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How the new Cabinet Committee on Security will shape India’s national security

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New Delhi, June 06: The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) would play a crucial role in shaping India's national security.

With National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval advising Prime Minister Narendra Modi on security related issues, the CCS would also comprise Home Minister, Amit Shah, Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh, Minister of External Affairs, S Jaishankar and Minister of Finance, Nirmala Sitharaman.

How the new Cabinet Committee on Security will shape India’s national security

The message that the Modi government sent out after appointing Doval for a second term and also choosing Shah as the Home Minister was that it wanted to give top priority to national security.

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Doval would continue to advise the PM on security issues, he will also coordinate between the armed forces and the intelligence agencies.

For the top brass handling national security, the top two priorities would be Kashmir and also wiping out the naxal menace. The approach against the naxalites would also largely involve in tackling those spreading the ideology and roping in funds on their behalf.

Doval had largely shaped India's national security policy in the past five years. One of the key areas of focus was Kashmir, where one got to witness his famous doctrine in force.

The policy largely moved away from the Track-II talks and thanks to this we witnessed an iron fist policy in which the separatists of Kashmir were completely sidelined. In the next five years, one would get to witness the continuation of this policy and security experts say that there would be a solution in place soon.

Although there was plenty of criticism for the manner in which the Kashmir issue was handled, the government decided to go ahead with its policy.

An senior official in New Delhi explained that talking to the separatists was not an option. It is not as though they would tow the line of the Indian government had we tried speaking to them, he also said.

The approach towards the Kashmir problem was based on the Doval doctrine. He had made it clear that there was no need to overreact as these troublemakers could not sustain beyond a point.

The broader message that Doval was sending out is that appeasement will not work and if these people in the Valley do manage to sustain beyond a point then there would be a price to pay.

The other challenges would include those in West Bengal and Kerala where the problem of radicalisation is immense. One could expect a road map on this in the next five years.

Last year, it was also decided to revive the Strategic Policy Group (SPG). The SPG apart from being the main mechanism for inter-ministerial coordination, will also form the national security policies based on the integration of inputs.

This group headed by Doval also includes the Niti Ayog, Vice Chairman, the cabinet secretary, RBI Governor, three military chiefs, Home Secretary, finance and defence secretary.

The Strategic Policy Group would also have the secretary of Defence Production and Supplies, scientific advisor to the Defence Minister, and secretary cabinet secretariat. Officials from the departments of revenue, space, Intelligence Bureau and energy too would be part of the group.

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In the recent days we have seen a lot of changes being made in the office of the National Security Advisor. In the past there was just one NSA, but today there are three deputies.

The creation of a Defence Planning Committee under the National Security Advisor was also another major development. The DPC was formed to facilitate a comprehensive and integrated planning for defence related matters.

With Doval at the helm, the message that was being sent out is that national security is of utmost importance. With him back as the NSA, it is clear that he will continue from where he had left off.

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