New Delhi: The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by Defence minister Rajnath Singh from now on will take up arms and ammunition proposals which are prioritised by the chief of defence staff (CDS).
This means that chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force will have to co-ordinate and discuss their proposals with CDS and the chief in consultation with them will set priority of which arms or ammunition are needed and should be acquired.
Interestingly, according to the new rules the capital acquisitions still comes defence secretary Dr Ajay Kumar and revenue comes under the department of military affairs headed by CDS. But, even then it is the chief of defence staff who will set the priority of capital acquisitions.
“In the last DAC meeting which was also attended by CDS the old proposals on which had some work had been done were cleared. However, from now on proposals which are prioritised by the CDS will be taken,” said a senior official.
The last DAC had met on January 21 and had accorded approval for procurement of equipment worth over Rs 5,100 crore from indigenous sources.
CDS General Bipin Rawat has already indicated that he may not be in favour of Indian Navy’s proposal to have a 3rd aircraft carrier and he may not like Air Force to buy another 100 fighter jets at one go.
Based on change battlefield dynamics, CDS is expected to cancel approvals granted for acquisition of equipment that are now obsolete, said the official. “The technology is changing fast. The old Acceptance of Necessity (AoNs) which don't meet the changed battlefield dynamics will be cancelled. Anyway AoNs are there only for 2 years and after which they themselves expire,” said the official.
AoN clears the way for the tendering process for acquisitions to start after which the next step is the issuance of the Request for Proposal (RFP). CDS is the permanent member of DAC and Defence Planning Committee chaired by National Security Adviser (NSA).