Skip to main content

Defence, foreign policy and Union Budget: Need to increase pace of modernization

By IMPRI Team 

The IMPRI Center for International Relations and Strategic Studies (CIRSS), IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi hosted an interactive panel discussion on the topic “The Defence, Foreign Policy and Union Budget 2023-24” on 7 February 2023, under the IMPRI 3rd Annual Series of Thematic Deliberations and Analysis of Union Budget 2023-24, as part of IMPRI #WebPolicyTalk. The session was chaired and moderated by Dr. Simi Mehta who is currently serving as the CEO and Editorial Director of IMPRI.
The session was inaugurated by Ms. Fiza Mahajan, a researcher at IMPRI, who welcomed and briefly introduced the chair and panelists of the discussion. The Panelists for the discussion were Prof Sanjukta Bhattacharya, who is a retired Professor, International Relations, at Jadavpur University, Kolkata; Major Gen. (Dr) P K Chakravorty who is VSM (Retd), Strategic Thinker on Security Issues; Prof Swaran Singh, who is currently serving as the Professor and Chairperson at the Centre for International Politics, Organization and Disarmament (CIPOD), Jawaharlal Nehru University and Mr. Robinder N Sachdev, who is the President, The Imagindia Institute, New Delhi, and Founder of The Lemonade Party.
The discussion was opened by Dr. Simi Mehta with a brief introduction of how Defense and Foreign Policy play a crucial role in the Indian Budget and how it impacts the geopolitics of India.
The discussion was carried forward by Samriddhi Sharma, a researcher at IMPRI who presented a brief overview of the budgetary allocations for defense and foreign policy. She exclaimed that defense has been allocated 5.4 lakh crores with a hike of 13% as compared to last year. On the same hand, the Indian army was allocated funds with a hike of 15.6 % whereas Indian Airforce gets the largest share of the Indian budget giving thrust to a rise in defense infrastructure. As a whole, she concluded by saying that genuine efforts have been taken to revamp the Defense sector through considerable investments in innovation and R&D that were the need for the hour.
The first panelist for the discussion was Prof Sanjukta Bhattacharya who threw light on how there is a deficient allocation of available resources along with the emphasis on MSME in the defense budget.
She further said that India will soon become a developed economy by 2047 which will mark 100th year of independence as well. Also, she mentioned that the economy of any country is responsible for promoting the military of any country. She further emphasized that the government is promoting a people-first policy as well as there is improvement in innovation and digitalization in regards to foreign policy. She concluded by saying that the Indian budget should not be measured solely into the quantum of funds but should be measured in the needs of required modernization across different domains, especially in hypersonic missiles.
Continuing with the discussion Major Gen. (Dr) P K Chakravorty focused on the capital outlay for the defense sector and emphasized increasing the pace of modernization. He exclaimed that defense is not only restricted to borders but the Indian Navy, Army, and Airforce needs to emphasize building assets and infrastructure. Then he took upon the pensions that don’t form part of the defense budget but it has increased considerably.
Moreover, he raised an issue about the slow transmission of budget details to the public that later has considerable impacts and encourages defense to export in order to thrive in long run. He further touched up the revenue part of the budget as well as innovation. He further stressed the importance of outsourcing elaborating it with the help of the Ukraine War. He ended up by putting his remarks that the economy itself needs a minimum of three submarines one under refit, the second ready for firing, and the third one owing to be ready for war.
Prof Swaran Singh expressed his views on the 13% growth rate of India in terms of defense that express India’s outlook for growth and modernization in long run but he raises his concern that the bulk of budget allocation for defense goes to maintenance, salaries, and pensions some part goes for capital expenditure and only minuscule part goes for ammunition so we need to prioritize our research and development as well as weapons. He further said that there are limitations in the Indian budget as compared to the global level. He ended up by saying that during the pandemic India was not able to fully utilize the expenditure allotted to it so it needs to be taken into consideration also India should push its economy in terms of trade and commerce with foreign countries.
Mr. Robinder N Sachdev presented his presentation on Optopolitics and on Weaponising Peace. He presented three constructs. First was Optopolitics which he exclaimed by giving an example of a Chinese balloon. The second construct was the Lemonade Mindset that he explained with the help of the union budget that we have to make lemonade that is best out of what we have. The third construct was Weaponizing Peace he clarifies with the help of two examples of Pakistan and China.
After a question and answer session, the program was concluded with closing remarks by Dr. Simi Mehta, who thanked and praised the team at the IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute for hosting a successful panel discussion and for ensuring the smooth functioning of the event. The event was concluded with a final vote of thanks by Ms. Fiza Mahajan on behalf of the IMPRI Center for International Relations and Strategic Studies (CIRSS).
Acknowledgement: Bhanvi, a researcher at IMPRI



Abrogation of Art 370: Increasing alienation, relentless repression, simmering conflict

One year after the abrogation by the Central Government of Art. 370 in Kashmir, what is the situation in the Valley. Have the promises of peace, normalcy and development been realised? What is the current status in the Valley? Here is a detailed note by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties , “Jammu & Kashmir: One Year after Abrogation of Art. 370: Increasing Alienation, Relentless Repression, Simmering Conflict”:

Repeated failure to appoint Chief, other commissioners undermining RTI Act

By Anjali Bhardwaj, Amrita Johri* The post of the Chief Information Commissioner of the Central Information Commission (CIC) has fallen vacant with the retirement of Bimal Julka with effect from August 27, 2020. This is the fifth time in the last six years that the Commission has been rendered headless. Four posts of information commissioners are also vacant in the CIC. Currently more than 35,000 appeals and complaints are pending in the commission resulting in citizens having to wait for months, even years for their cases to be disposed, thereby frustrating peoples’ right to know. Since May 2014, not a single commissioner of the CIC has been appointed without citizens having to approach courts. The failure of the government to make timely appointments of commissioners is a flagrant violation of the directions of the Supreme Court. In its February 2019 judgment, the apex court had categorically stated that if the CIC does not have a Chief Information Commissioner or required strength

Ultimate champion in crisis, arguably best ever skipper: Created history in Aussie cricket

By Harsh Thakor  In the history of cricket few cricketers knit and propelled a cricket team or had such profound influence on the game as Ian Chappell. Ian Chappell was responsible for converting a bunch of talented individuals into a world beating side, giving a dramatic turn to Australian cricket. Few cricketers ever led such a renaissance.

BSF's unconstitutional, whimsical order violates life, livelihood of Dalits, minorities

Kirity Roy, Secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), writes to the Chairman, National Human Rights Commission: *** I want to attract your attention towards the illegitimate restrictions on the life and livelihood of the villagers of Paschim Sahebganj village under Dinhata - II Block and Sahebganj police station in Cooch Behar district of West Bengal by the Border Security Force personnel attached with Dharala Border Out Post under 138 Battalion BSF. The population of Paschim Sahebganj village is around 1480, where almost 75 percent of the villagers belong from Hindu Scheduled Caste (Dalit) and 25 percent from minority Muslim backgrounds.The main occupation of the villagers is agriculture. About 260 acres of cultivable land in the village that belongs to the villagers is located outside the border fencing, which is heavily guarded by the Border Security Force (BSF). The BSF regulates the ingress and egress of the villagers to their fields through the fencing gates that a

Largest democracy in world has become weakest at hands of fascist Hindutva forces

Note on “The Nazification of India”, a report released By Justice For All: *** This report, the Nazification of India, compares how Hindutva ideology not only is inspired by Nazis and Fascists of Europe, but their treatment of the Muslim minority closely follows developments that resulted in pushing Jews to the gas chambers. Situation is indeed quite alarming. The report says that the largest democracy in the world has become the weakest at the hands of the fascist Hindutva ideology. India today is ruled not just by a political party the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), but its mother organization the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Because the BJP’s government policies are linked to extra-legal enforcement by RSS paramilitary street power, this report has coined the term “The BJP-RSS regime” to reflect their intrinsic links and collaborative relationship. The Nazification of India report marks the anniversary of the Gujarat pogroms of 2002 against Muslims which propelled the BJP-RSS

Varanasi social worker who has devoted her life for the ultra-poor and the marginalized

Passion Vista and its partners profile Founder and Managing Trustee Shruti Nagvanshi as  someone whom women leaders look up to: *** Shruti Nagvanshi, a social worker and human rights activist based in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, has devoted her life to reaching out to the ultra-poor and marginalized communities in India. Born in Dashashwmedh, Varanasi on 2 January 1974, she married Dr Lenin Raghuvanshi on 22 February 1992 and has a son, Kabeer Karunik, a Business management Graduate who is also a national level snooker player.

An approach to lake/pond restoration by Ramveer Tanvar, Pond Man of India

By Monami Bhattacharya*, Mansee Bal Bhargava**  Lakes/ ponds are often referred to as an elixir of life, a living ecosystem that adds incremental value to the larger biota. Across the tropical landscape of the country lakes/ ponds are a common sight. Lakes/ponds have always shaped the life and livelihood of those dwelling in and around it. The dependence of the local population on these natural resources of water is noticeable since time immemorial. However, they are fading fast in both rural and urbanscapes from the popular parlance with the advance of humanity. It has been a popular notion to value land more than the waterscape and hence these nurturers of life are under stress in several areas. In many instances, these once beautiful waterscapes referred as the ‘Eye of the Earth’ are mostly now only dilapidated garbage dump yards emitting foul smell with no sign of a healthy ecosystem.

Urban crisis: Impact of erosion of democratic framework on Indian cities

By IMPRI Team  On 13th February, 2023, IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi in collaboration with ActionAid Association India arranged a book launch followed by lecture series under the title “India’s G20 Presidency & the Urban Agenda for the Developing Countries”. The event was held in Indian International Centre (IIC) Annex, New Delhi. The event began with the book inauguration session, under the honorary presence of Mr Sitaram Yechury, former Rajya Sabha member and General Secretary, CPI (M), accompanied by Mr Sandeep Chachra, executive director, ActionAid Association India. Session 1 | Book Launch: ‘Cities in Transition’ by Mr Tikender Singh Panwar The book launched was “Cities in Transition”, written by Mr Tikender Singh Panwar, former Deputy Mayor, Shimla and a Senior Fellow at IMPRI. Beginning with brief remarks on his book, Mr Panwar outlined the basic subject matter and the purpose behind writing the book, which he considers as a by-product of his experien

Panchayat funds defrauded: Roads without potholes a fundamental right but not here

Kirity Roy, Secretary Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), and National Convenor (PACTI) Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity, writes to the chairman, National Human Rights Commission: *** Through this complaint, I want to draw your attention to the plight of the villagers of Nawdapara in the District of North 24 Parganas. The village is situated under the Bagdah Police Station, Bagdah Block and Mama Bhagina Post Office respectively. Nawdapara is a Muslim minority populated village. Indo Bangladesh Border Road (IBBR) passes through the middle of the village. There is a naka checking post of the BSF inside the village and BSF associated with Mama Bhagina Border Out Post, 68 Battalion, ‘B’ Company guard 24 hours in that check post. People have lived in this village since the independence of India. The market is about three to four kilometres away from Nawdapara village. One primary school is situated within the village but the high school is about five to six kilo

Riverscapes: mythology, iconography, folklore and origins amidst rising water problems

By Proshakha Maitra*, Mansee Bal Bhargava** Rivers are not just bodies of water and resources flowing across a landscape, but they are flows supporting a variety of cultural beliefs, values, and ways of life by linking people, places, and other forms of life (Anderson, et al., 2019). Since ancient times, rivers have been the ‘cradle of civilizations’ where the major civilizations of the world developed along the banks of the rivers. Even the earliest known urban culture of the Indian subcontinent, the Harappan (Indus Valley) Civilization developed along the banks of the Indus River that flows from the mountains of Tibet through India and Pakistan. Every river has its tales of mythology, iconography, folklore and origins which are worth knowing, especially in the current times when they are under severe distress of development. Since knowing these intangible aspects of the tangible resource/heritage is crucial to instigate emotional and spiritual connect which may in turn make people an