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8 May 2017 Question Bank


8th MAY 2017


(1 Question)

Answer questions in NOT MORE than 200 words each. Content of the answer is more important than its length.

Links are provided for reference. You can also use the Internet fruitfully to further enhance and strengthen your answers.



1.     Discuss the major provisions enshrined in the Joint Doctrine of the Indian Armed Forces 2017.


  • The Joint Doctrine of the Indian Armed Forces 2017, released in April, has formally embedded "surgical strikes" as a part of sub-conventional operations - meaning that from now on, they are among a range of options at the military's disposal to respond to terrorist attacks.
  • The more interesting aspect in the second such joint doctrine since 2006 is that the scope of "surgical strikes" has been left open.
  • There is no mention of their employment being within the country or beyond its borders - the ambiguity is intended to send a message in the neighbourhood.
  • Further, while acknowledging that the possibility of a "conventional war under a nuclear over-hang" recedes with attendant "political and international compulsions", the doctrine notes that training of ‘‘Special Operations Division'' for execution of precision tasks needs no reiteration.
  • Factoring in the escalation potential of a conflict due to such actions, it states: "The possibility of sub-conventional escalating to a conventional level would be dependent on multiple influences, principally: politically-determined conflict claims; strategic conjuncture; operational circumstance; international pressures and military readiness."
  • The doctrine also reiterates the basic tenets of the Indian nuclear doctrine, no-first use (NFU) and minimum credible deterrence, contrary to recent calls to revise the NFU and speculation in the West that India would resort to a first strike.
  • It adds that conflict will be determined or prevented through a process of credible deterrence, coercive diplomacy and conclusively by punitive destruction, disruption and constraint in a nuclear environment across the Spectrum of Conflict.
  • Special Forces units will be "tasked to develop area specialisation in their intended operational theatres" to achieve an optimum effect.
  • Another important pronouncement under the "National Military Objectives" is: "Enable required degree of self-sufficiency in defence equipment and technology through indigenization to achieve desired degree of technological independence by 2035."
  • The various objectives open up an entire gamut of capability addition and process optimisation for the Indian military to be able to enforce it.

Reforms awaited:

  • Achieving these broad objectives requires seamless synergy between the three services, a far cry in the present circumstances.
  • Some of the biggest policy decisions have been stuck endlessly - appointment of a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), formation of cyber, space and Special Forces commands and carving out inter-service theatre commands.
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