GIST of India Year Book 2024

Chapter-4 : India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD)

Short Notes or Revision Notes 

Mission: Safeguarding India through policy, resources, and domestic production.

  • Oversees national defense policies and operations.
  • Facilitates indigenous weapon development and exports (₹15,920 crore in 2022-23).
  • Promotes gender equality (e.g., NDA entry for women).
  • Encourages domestic production through initiatives like:
    • iDEX & DAP 2020: Supporting MSMEs and startups.
    • Defense corridors in UP & Tamil Nadu.
    • Positive indigenization lists & relaxed FDI policies.
  • Explores new frontiers like space warfare with agencies like DSRA.


  • Department of Defence (DoD): Overall policy and administration.
  • Department of Military Affairs (DMA): Manages the armed forces.
  • Department of Defence Production (DDP): Drives domestic production.
  • Department of Defence Research and Development (DRDO): Develops military technology.
  • Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (DESW): Supports veterans.


  • Defence Minister: Head of the Ministry.
  • Defence Secretary: Coordinates departments.
  • Chief of Defence Staff (CDS): Promotes joint military operations (established in 2019).

Additional Bodies:

  • Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA): Manages defense finances.
  • Border Roads Organisation (BRO): Builds infrastructure in border areas.

Indian Coast Guard and Ministry of Defence Reforms

  • Coast Guard:Protects maritime assets, aids fishermen, combats smuggling, and safeguards the marine environment (established under the Coast Guard Act, 1978).
  • Department of Military Affairs (DMA) (Established in 2019):
    • Promotes jointness in military operations, procurement, training, and staffing.
    • Supports reforms like the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) position and Integrated Theatre Commands.
  • Integrated Defence Staff (IDS):Assists the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) in joint training and crisis management.

The Indian Armed Forces

  • Indian Army:Safeguards territorial integrity, focusing on modernization and indigenization.
    • Participates in UN peacekeeping missions and conducts community development programs (e.g., Operation Sadbhavana).
    • Provided medical assistance and disaster relief during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Indian Navy:Ensures maritime security through anti-piracy operations, search and rescue, and humanitarian aid.
    • Launched Operation Samudra Setu to repatriate citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Commissioned INS Vikrant, India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier.
  • Indian Air Force (IAF) Modernization:
    • Focuses on indigenous production and technological advancements.
    • Recent acquisitions include Rafale jets, Apache helicopters, and Chinook helicopters.

Make in India Initiatives in the Air Force

  • Indigenization:IAF inducts domestically developed equipment like LCA Mk-1A Tejas aircraft, Akash Missiles, and ALH helicopters.
  • Digital India:IAF utilizes a secure fiber network and automation applications for enhanced efficiency.
  • COVID-19 Relief:IAF airlifted medical supplies, equipment, and stranded citizens during the pandemic.
  • Force Modernization:IAF integrates new technologies and upgrades existing platforms.

Other Important Aspects of Indian Defense

  • Women Empowerment:The armed forces promote gender equality with opportunities for women officers in various roles.
  • Defense Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs):Bolster India’s defense capabilities.
  • Autonomous Institutes:Ensure quality assurance and standardization.
    • Examples: DGQA, DGAQA, DOS.
  • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO):Focuses on indigenous development of defense systems and technologies.
  • Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (DESW):Oversees welfare programs for veterans (e.g., ECHS health scheme).

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