BJP Government Performance Analysis: Defence Issues

 I’ve always been interested in Indian defence issues, so this is the first article in this series. Most of data and other posts in this series are indexed here.
To be honest, almost anyone apart from regime which had a sloth like AK Antony is an improvement for Indian defence needs. Almost every aspect of Indian defence sector ranging from acquisitions, research, management, border issues suffered immeasurably under UPA government. There were huge bribery scandals, no arms, ammunition, lots of acrimony involving defence personnel and further strengthening of perception of India as a soft state. To list all of those scams, most of them going in to hundreds of crores each will require a whole book, so not listing those here. On the other hand,  NDA government has done some really good work under guidance of Manohar Parrikar and Nirmala Sitaraman  There have been some long pending reforms and good actions in a short amount of time. Another good thing so far is that there have been no bribery scandals or slowdown in process due to fear of it which were the norm in previous regimes.
Akash surface to air missile
Akash surface to air missile

A. Defence Manufacturing and Acquisition


Points 9/10.
Defence manufacturing has been a weak point for India and we’ve been dependent on a number of extremely and unreliable weapon suppliers for our needs. Government, defence laboratories, state owned manufactures and Indian armed forces are equally responsible for the mess over the years. The reforms in this field have been very good under Manohar Parrikar and now Sitaraman.  A number of long pending projects have been cleared, private sector is being involved at a much greater scale and money being spent for our defence needs is staying within country. Modi’s Make In India has been a positive factor. All these steps have enabled India to save 1 lakh crore in defence sector. 1* This has been made possible by a number of steps aimed at involving private industry in a much bigger way. One of the major long pending steps was transfer of technology from government owned research labs to industry which happened for first time. 2* 4*
  1.  As mentioned above, local defence manufacturing by local private players has received lot of support. A number of Indian companies are now manufacturing all of or major components for missiles, small arms, howitzers, vehicles and various other equipments.  1* 2* 4*
  2. Issue of critical ammunition shortfall has been addressed by giving greater autonomy to armed forces, revamping production at OFB and setting up of private manufacturing plants.  – 3
  3.  Local weapon systems like Akash Surface to Air Missile, 4*  Light Combat Aircraft Tejas fighter 5* and Nag Anti Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) 6* have received much better and their long pending induction in armed forces expedited.
  4.  Development and manufacturing of small arms in India has received a major boost in last 4 years. A number of locally designed and made guns have already been inducted in various state police and paramilitary forces .11* 12* 13* 14* 15*
  5.  Long pending acquisitions and upgrades of essential items for soldiers like armour, helmets and guns have been approved.  Induction of these items was pending for decades. 7* 8* 16* 17*
  6.  Critical issue of shortage of artillery guns has been solved by fast track development and induction of various Indian as well as foreign systems. These have been the first induction of artillery by Indian army since Bofors howitzer in 1986.  18* 19* 20* 21* 22* 23* 24*
  7.  Long pending and seemingly dead deal for India Air Force MRCA (Dassault Rafale) finally signed at good terms. -79*
  1.  Some of essential projects like Arjun are still stuck due to battles between Army and DRDO.  In my opinion based on available open source information, army is being very unreasonable here. 25*
  2.  A number of naval projects like  submarines, Vikrant aircraft carrier, ships are delayed and seemingly no steps have been taken to rectify sub-par performance of local shipyards. 26* 27* 28*
  3.  Project for next generation of Infantry Combat Vehicles ( to replace BMP) has made very slow progress.  29*
A C-130 Hercules in a newly commissioned Advanced Landing Grounds
A C-130 Hercules in a newly commissioned Advanced Landing Grounds

B. Terrorism, Border and Internal security


Points 7/10.
This seems to be another field in which Modi government has done much better than previous regimes, but still fall shorts of expectations. Everyone already knows about some big actions like surgical strikes against terrorist camps in Pakistan and Myanmar. Home Minister Rajnath Singh faces regular abuse on social media for various reasons, but his work has proven that he is one of better ministers that this department has seen for quite some time. Some good work has been done to contain Maoists inside Indian hinterland. For the first time, civilian financiers and moles whose support enables Islamic terrorism in J&K have been targeted on such a large scale.  But there are still a  few issues which have not been addressed completely.
  1. Cross border strikes against terrorist targets in Pakistan and Myanmar have sent a strong message and raised morale.35* 36* 37* . There have been various other small scale operations against pakis which haven’t received that much coverage. 38*
  2.  Area under Maoist influence has shrunk quite a bit. Good intelligence work, better connect with locals and coordination between different state police forces and paramilitary forces has yielded good results. 30* 31* 32* 33* 34*
  3.  Indian Army and BSF have been given  greater autonomy to handle mischief by Pakis at border. It has yielded some good results and raised confidence of soldiers. Even BSF is regularly bashing up Paki posts which fire or try to insert terrorists. Pakis have now begged to enforce 2003 ceasefire agreement again. 39* 40* 41* 52*
  4. Overground workers, financiers and various other supporters of muslim terrorists in J&K have been raided and arrested not just in the state, but outside too. 42* 43* 44* 45*
  5. Shelters, aid and other facilities to victims of cross border shelling by pakis is being provided. It’s still not enough, but is first step for a long pending need. 55*
  6. Border issues with China have seen India get a bit more vocal and assertive compared to previous incidents. It has not been perfect, but still better than what we used to see earlier. Steps are being taken to reduce Chinese advantages like construction of border roads,  raising of dedicated military units and airfields 65* 66* 67* 68* 69* 70*
  7. One of the biggest improvements is visible in number of terrorist attacks and resulting causalities. Since 2014, there has been a massive drop in number of terrorist incidents in India outside J&K. 80* 81*
  1. This regime isn’t immune to appeasement policies when it comes to muslims leading to stupid decisions like ceasefire during ramzan. There have been some good successes against armed terrorists in Kashmir but issue of unarmed terrorists like the type who pelt stones and their supporters has not been adequately addressed.46*. After terrorist attack in Pathankot, we invited Pakistanis for a so called joint investigation. 48*
  2. Khalistani militants continue to make noise and try to be a nuisance in some foreign countries. They have not been countered effectively. 47*
  3. Resettlement of Kashmiri Hindus back in Kashmir is still not done. Very few steps have been taken to ensure that the displaced Hindus get their properties back 53* 54*
  4. Issue of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar has been a major failure. They have been allowed to settle in many parts of India and existing ones have not been deported. 50* 51*
  5. No progress of taking PoK back or support of locals there against paki hegemony.
  6. Forces involved in counter insurgency operations should have received better moral support from the government. Admittedly, it is just a point of view, but there have been incidents where soft jihadi Mufti regime in J&K (of which BJP is a part) has tried to implicate and harass security forces in fake cases. With BJP as partner in the govt, people had expected much stricter action against jihadi kashmiri muslims. But Mufti and her colleagues seem to be in control of administration. 76* 77*

C. Other Defence Issues

Points 7/10
This section is for other issues related to Indian defence like government policies related to defence, handling of grievances and so on. For the abuse BJP gets from left-liberal circles for being regressive, a lot of pioneering work has been done like much greater participation of women in defence including path breaking combat roles. We also got our first female Minister of Defence and so far she has done an excellent job. There have been some good developments and for some aspects, things have remained the same if not worse.
  1. For the first time, women are being given combat roles in Air Force, Coast Guard and various other branches like Assam Rifles.  56* 57* 58* 59*
  2. One Rank One Pension has been rolled out. It is not perfect and the events leading up to it’s implementation were avoidable. But the basic work has been done and the veterans have started to receive their dues. 60* 61* 62*
  3. Indian Ministry Of Defence has decided to not challenge disability pension for soldiers. 63*
  1. There has been very little progress in resolving the issue of disparity between pay of civilian and military officers. 64*
  2. Some stupid decisions like opening up of cantonment roads for civilian traffic 71* 72* which was later reversed. 73*
  3. Spending on defence has not been up to expectations. 75*
  4. Arun Jaitley was given additional charge of defence ministry for quite some time. These departments need two separate heads, not a single person juggling the two jobs. 74*


So far, this regime has been one of the best ones for Indian defence sector. As mentioned above, it is not perfect and a lot still needs to be done in due time.As far as the shortcomings are concerned, there are some very sore points like handling of illegal immigrants and civilian jihadis in Kashmir.  But even the detractors and people with very high expectations should be reasonably happy with the performance so far.




1. Modi’s Make in India just saved Rs 1 lakh crore in defence sector.
4.  We have given nearly 300 transfer of technologies in the last three years
7. Defence ministry’s Rs 16,000-crore arms buy: 7.40 lakh assault rifles, 5,719 sniper rifles for Indian forces
17. After 9-Year Wait, Indian Soldiers To Finally Get Bulletproof Jackets
21. Know all about Indian Army’s latest self-propelled gun K9 VAJRA-T 155mm/ 52 calibre howitzer
22. India’s Fastest Deal: #MakeInIndia K-9 Guns To Start Deliveries In 11 Months
24. First five Indian M777 howitzers to enter service in September
26. Aircraft carrier Vikrant to be commissioned by 2020
29. Army’s combat vehicle project gets green signal Read more at:
32. Maoists area of influence shrinks; 44 districts removed from affected list: Union Home Secretary
34. Echo from the hills of Chhattisgarh: ‘We are the first Bastariya Battalion
35. India Claims ‘Surgical Strikes’ Across Line of Control in Kashmir
37.India carries out ‘surgical strikes’ against Pakistan after Kashmir attack
38. Revenge of ‘The Fallen’ – Part 1
41. India-Pak thaw: Both agree to follow ceasefire on LoC in letter and spirit
48. Pathankot attack probe: What made Govt invite Pakistan, asks Parliamentary Panel
51.  Deport Bangladeshi Immigrants Along With Rohingyas Within a Year: PIL in SC
54. Resettlement of Kashmiri Hindus – The inside story and The way forward
57. In A First, Indian Coast Guard Deploys Female Officers In Combat Roles
61. Revised Pensionary benefits under OROP released to over Two Lakh Defence Pensioners
64. Military-civil rift over rank and pay parity likely to widen: Sources
65. Roads to all China border posts soon, says Rajnath Singh Union home minister
66. Chinese and Indian troops face off in Bhutan border dispute
68. Amid China Standoff, India Hits Pedal on Border Road Construction After Delay
69. India to Add Seven More Advanced Airfields Near Border With China
76. Army orders court of inquiry against Major Nitin Leetul Gogoi
77. Major Leetul Gogoi raided our home at night: Mother of woman at hotel
78. J-K govt to move court for pardons of 4,961 stone-pelters
79. India, France ink €7.87 billion agreement for 36 Rafales€7.87-billion-agreement-for-36-Rafales/article14995775.ece
80. 2017: The Zero Death Year!
81. India Fatalities: 1994-2018

1 thought on “BJP Government Performance Analysis: Defence Issues

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *