Days after army chief General VK Singh dropped the bribe-bomb and his letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh outlining major gaps in India's defence preparedness created ripples in political circles, the Centre on Monday directed the army to streamline its purchase process so that accountability could be fixed in the event of slippages.
A meeting on Monday to finalise the army’s capital acquisition proposals saw defence minister AK Antony and Gen Singh come face-to-face for the first time after the recent spate of controversies.
Antony asked army officials to examine the possibility of compressing the time taken for technical evaluations and trials, and favoured delegation of more financial powers to the service headquarters for expediting acquisition of equipment and systems.
In a separate meeting, the defence acquisition council (DAC), headed by Antony, approved the crucial five-year and 15-year modernisation plans of the armed forces beginning 2012.
The DAC also cleared the 15-year long-term integrated perspective plan that would project requirements of the armed forces to be met through indigenisation and involvement of the private sector.
The two-hour DAC meeting was attended by Gen Singh, IAF chief NAK Browne and navy head Nirmal Verma.