Ministry of Defence (India)

Ministry of Defence
रक्षा मंत्रालय

South Block building, housing the Cabinet Secretariat
Agency overview
Formed 1776
Jurisdiction IndiaRepublic of India
Headquarters Cabinet Secretariat
Raisina Hill, New Delhi
28°36′50″N 77°12′32″E / 28.61389°N 77.20889°E / 28.61389; 77.20889
Annual budget 2.24 lakh crore (US$33 billion) (2014)[1]
2.47 lakh crore (US$37 billion) (2015)[2]
Ministers responsible
Child agencies
  • Department of Defence
  • Department of Defence Production
  • Defence Finance
  • Department of Defence Research and Development
  • Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare
  • Indian Armed Forces
  • Inter-Services Organisations

The Ministry of Defence (Hindi: रक्षा मंत्रालय, Raksha Mantralay) (abbreviated as MoD) is charged with co-ordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government relating directly to national security and the Indian armed forces and has the largest budget of the federal departments of India.

The President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the country. The Ministry of Defence provides policy framework and resources to the Armed Forces to discharge their responsibility in the context of the defence of the country. The Armed Forces (including Indian Army, Indian Air Force, Indian Navy) and Indian Coast Guard under the Defence Ministry are primarily responsible for ensuring the territorial integrity of the nation.



A Military Department was created by the Supreme Government of the British East India Company at Kolkata in the year 1776.[3] Its main function was to co-ordinate and record orders, relating to the Army, issued by various Departments of the Government of the East India Company. The Military Department initially functioned as a branch of the Public Department and maintained a list of Army personnel.[3]

With the Charter Act of 1833 the Secretariat of the Government of the East India Company was re-organised into four Departments, each headed by a Secretary to the Government.[3] The Armies in the Presidencies of Bengal, Bombay & Madras functioned as the respective Presidency Armies until April 1895, when the Presidency Armies were unified into a single Indian Army. For administrative convenience, it was divided into four Commands; Punjab (including the North West Frontier), Bengal (including Burma), Madras and Bombay (including Sind, Quetta and Aden).[3]

The supreme authority over the Indian Army was vested in the Governor General-in-Council, subject to the Control of the Crown, which was exercised by the Secretary of State for India. Two Members in the Council were responsible for military affairs. One was the Military Member, who supervised all administrative and financial matters. The other was the Commander-in-Chief who was responsible for all operational matters.[3] The Military Department was abolished in March 1906 and was replaced by two separate Departments; the Army Department and the Military Supply Department. In April 1909 the Military Supply Department was abolished and its functions were taken over by the Army Department. The Army Department was re-designated as the Defence Department in January 1938. The Department of Defence became the Ministry of Defence under a Cabinet Minister in August 1947.[3]

Post Independence Changes

The functions of MOD which in 1947 was mainly logistic support to the Armed Forces, has undergone far reaching changes. In November 1962, following the 1962 war, a Department of Defence Production was set-up to deal with research, development and production of defence equipment. In November 1965, the Department of Defence Supplies was created for planning and execution of schemes for import substitution of requirements for defence purposes. These two Departments were later merged to form the Department of Defence Production and Supplies. In 1980, the Department of Defence Research and Development was created. In January 2004, the Department of Defence Production and Supplies was renamed the Department of Defence Production. A Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister was appointed to advise on scientific aspects of military equipment and the research and design of Defence forces equipment. Ace Navigation and Avionics Scientist, Dr G. Satheesh Reddy is the present Scientific Adviser to Raksha Mantri.[4] The Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare was created in 2004.


The responsibility for national defence, according to official web site of the ministry, "rests with the Cabinet, which is discharged through the Ministry of Defence, which provides the policy framework and wherewithal to the Armed Forces to discharge their responsibilities in the context of the defence of the country.The Raksha Mantri (Defence Minister) is the head of the Ministry of Defence." The Defence Ministry is responsible for "obtaining policy directions of the Government on all defence and security related matters" and communicating these directions to "Services Headquarters, Inter-Services Organisations, Production Establishments and Research and Development Organisations". The MoD works closely with the National Security Council, Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Home Affairs.


MoD is headed by the Union Cabinet Minister for Defence, who is supported by one Minister of State.[5]

Minister Rank Portfolio
Manohar Parrikar, MP (BJP) Minister of Defence (India) Overall responsibility for MOD
Subhash Bhamre, MP (BJP) Minister of State (Rajya Raksha Mantri) Charter of duties includes secondary logistic and administrative functions

Defense Civilians

There are about 400,000 defense civilians, under the MOD including Ministry of Finance personnel attached to MOD. In 2015–16 Defence pension bill was ₹ 54,500 crores of which about 36 percent was on account of defense civilians".[66]

Defence Secretary, senior officials and Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister

The Ministers are supported by a number of civilian, scientific and professional military advisers.

The Defence Secretary as head of the Department of Defence is the senior most civil servant and is responsible for co-coordinating the activities of the four Departments in the Ministry. His/Her role is to ensure that the MoD operates effectively as a department of the government.[3][5] Defence Secretary is assisted by Additional Secretaries and Joint Secretaries to Government of India posted in the Ministry.

Scientific Adviser to Raksha Mantri plays a key role in formulation of R&D policies and promoting self-reliance in Indian Defense Industries. Ace Avionics and Navigation Scientist Dr G. Satheesh Reddy is the present Scientific Adviser to the Raksha Mantri.[4]

Civil Services under MOD

There are ten Group A Civil Services and one group B civil service under the MOD.[6] These are as follows:

Group ‘A’ Central Civil Services

Group ‘A’ Central Civil Services Under the Ministry of Defence[6]
Name of Service Group
1. Indian Defence Accounts Service A
2. Indian Defence Estates Service A
3. Defence Aeronautical Quality A
4. Defence Quality Assurance Service A
5. Defence Research and Development A
6. Indian Ordnance Factories Health Service (CDMO Cadre) A
7. Border Roads Engg. Service (E&M Cadre) A
8. Indian Defence Service of Engineers (MES) A
9. Indian Naval Armament Service A
10. Indian Ordnance Factories Service (IOFS) A

Group ‘B’ Civil Services

Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Services (AFHQCS) is a Group B service constituted in 1968.[7][8][9] It is responsible for providing secretarial, housekeeping, and ancillary support services to the Armed Forces headquarters and and inter-service organizations of the ministry of defense(MOD).[7]: First Schedule The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), who reports to the defence secretary, is the Cadre Controlling Authority of the AFHQCS

Finance Division

The Finance Division of the Ministry of Defence is headed by the Secretary Defence (Finance). He/she exercises financial control over proposals involving expenditure from the Defence Budget and is responsible for the internal audit and accounting of defence expenditure. In the latter tasks, s/he is assisted by the Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA).

Chiefs of the Tri-Services

In 1955, the title of Commander-in-Chief was abolished and the three Service Chiefs were designated as the Chief of the Army Staff, the Chief of the Naval Staff and the Chief of the Air Staff. The heads of the three services of Indian Armed Forces are:



The Ministry of Defence consists of four Departments; Department of Defence, Department of Defence Production, Department of Defence Research & Development, and Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare. The Defence Secretary functions as head of the Department of Defence and is additionally responsible for coordinating the activities of the four Departments in the Ministry.

The principal functions of all the Departments are as follows:

Inter-Services Organisations[10]

  • Officers Training Academy
  • Indian Military Academy
  • Military Engineer Services
  • Armed Forces Medical Services
  • Directorate General Resettlement
  • National Defence College
  • Directorate General Defence Estates
  • Directorate of Public Relations
  • Canteen Stores Department
  • Army Purchase Organisation
  • Services Sports Control Board
  • National Cadet Corps
  • National Defence Academy
  • Directorate General Quality Assurance
  • Armed Forces Films and Photo Division
  • Armed Forces Medical College
  • History Division, Ministry of Defence
  • College of Defence Management
  • Defence Services Staff College
  • Ministry of Defence Library
  • Border Roads Development Board/Border Roads Organisation
  • Strategic Information Services
  • Tactical Intelligence Division

Integrated Defence Staff (IDS)

To ensure a high degree of synergy between the Armed forces, the Government has set up the Integrated Defence Staff, headed by the Chief of Integrated Staff as the Chairman. It was created on 1 October 2001 based on the recommendations of the Group of Ministers which was set up in 2000 (post-Kargil) to review India's defence management. It acts as the point organisation for integration of policy, doctrine, war fighting and procurement by employing best management practices. The current Chief of Integrated Defence Staff is Lt General Satish Dua who took over on 31 October 2016.[11]

Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC)

'Chiefs of Staff are the authority for advising the Defence Minister and normally through him the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs on all military matters which require ministerial consideration'. The IDS is 'the principal arm and Secretariat to the Chiefs of Staff Committee'[12][13]


The COSC is composed of: (a) Chief of the Army Staff (COAS); (b) Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS);(c) Chief of the Air Staff (CAS); and (d) Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (non-voting member). The Scientific Adviser to the Minister of Defence is invited to attend when ever needed.

The member longest on the Committee is the Chairman.[12]

Strategic Information Services/ Tactical Intelligence Division

SIS/TID is a highly classified division within the walls of Ministry of Defence under the Government of India. Very limited information is available for this division.

See also


  1. "India's Defence Budget 2011-12". Minister of Defence. Retrieved 29 December 2011.
  2. Gooptu, Biswarup (16 March 2012). "India's Defence Budget 2012 increased to Rs 1.93 lakh crore". The Economic Times. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "About The Ministry of Defence of Republic of India". Minister of Defence. Retrieved 29 December 2011.
  4. 1 2
  5. 1 2 "Who is Who: Organisation Structure and officers of the Ministry of Defence of Republic of India". Minister of Defence. Retrieved 29 December 2011.
  6. 1 2 "10 ARC Report: Need for Reforms" (PDF). New Delhi: DOPT. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
  7. 1 2 "SRO 113 Civil Service Rules, 1968" (PDF). MOD. 1 April 1968. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  8. MINISTRY OF DEFENCE (1 May 2001). "S.R.O. 87 Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service Rules, 2001" (PDF). S.R.O. 87. New Delhi: Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  10. "MOD Annual Report for Year 2010-2011" (PDF). Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  11. "Press Information Bureau". Retrieved 2016-11-04.
  12. 1 2 "The Composition, Secretariat nd Function of the Integrated Defence Staff". Integrated Defence Staff. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  13. "Integrated Defence Staff --". External link in |title= (help)

External links

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