Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

Defence budget will be adequate to acquire stand-off weapons: Officials

In the interim budget for 2019-20, announced on February 1, defence was allocated 319 trillion, a hike of 6.87% compared to the previous year. The budget will be presented on July 5.
By Shishir Gupta | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JUL 02, 2019 02:49 AM IST

The defence budget, which is part of the Union Budget to be presented later this week will be adequate to acquire so-called stand-off weapons and fund essential capital acquisitions, defence ministry officials said. According to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, stand-off weapons, such as the bombs used by the Indian Air Force to target the Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camp in Balakot inside Pakistan territory are being prioritised over nice-to-have futuristic platforms.

In the interim budget for 2019-20, announced on February 1, defence was allocated 319 trillion, a hike of 6.87% compared to the previous year. The budget will be presented on July 5.

Military experts termed the 6.87% inadequate (it is 1.52% of India’s GDP) but the fact is that defence capital expenditure (CAPEX) amounted to 31.28% of the country’s capital expenditure in 2018-19.

The defence ministry officials argued that with defence CAPEX already touching this level, the government cannot afford to hike it without crimping spends on crucial social sector schemes. The armed forces counter that defence capex has reduced from 45.3% in 2009-10.

“The choice with the government is limited. We can buy weapons but with a commensurate cut in social sector spending,” said a senior defence ministry official.

This has meant prioritising what is needed.

And some of that has been driven by the events of February.

The Indian Air Force’s Balakot Strike on February 26, 2019 was retaliation for the February 14 suicide attack on a CRPF bus in Pulwama. Twelve Mirage 2000 fighters crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and fired five Spice guided bombs on the Balakot terror camp, killing an unspecified number of terrorists.

While the Mirage fighters managed three direct hits on the northern camp housing trained suicide bombers and terrorists, it is Pakistan’s retaliation the following day which has made the IAF relook at its beyond visual range air to air missile inventory. With Pakistani F-16 fighters firing longer range US made missiles at Indian fighters, the essential requirement is that IAF must upgrade its air to air missile range on its Su-30 MKIs apart from upgrading their data link and on board communication equipment.

“Rather than focusing on an ambitious plan of aerial surveillance of Indian Ocean, the immediate requirement is to effectively militarily block or repel any challenge from western or northern borders. The other challenge that India needs to be prepared for is insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir as well as parts of the North-East,” said a senior military commander.

To this end, the Narendra Modi government is committed to national security and will ensure that essential capital acquisition is not impeded by lack of funds, the defence ministry officials said.

Two squadrons of French Rafale with far superior air to air missiles will arrive in India by next May and the first of the 22 Apache attack helicopter to be delivered in India next month.

Funds are also required to ensure that Indian Navy has long legs to tackle the worst case scenario in Persian Gulf, just as Indian Army needs to restructure its forces for faster response in the event of any crisis like 2017 Doklam or 2016 Uri attack, the officials said, listing their other immediate priorities.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
The Constitution bench of the Supreme Court will soon take up the case of Maratha quota law's validity.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
The Constitution bench of the Supreme Court will soon take up the case of Maratha quota law's validity.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

SC rules out immediate hearing on pleas challenging Tamil Nadu’s 69% quota law

By Abraham Thomas, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 08:41 AM IST
  • The petitions challenging the Tamil Nadu quota law have been pending in the Supreme Court since 2012.
Close
A Division Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli took this decision while initiating a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) of its own.(HT file)
A Division Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli took this decision while initiating a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) of its own.(HT file)

Weight in claim for declaring persons linked with judicial functions frontline

ANI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 08:19 AM IST
The court took this decision after receiving communication by Ramesh Gupta, Chairman, Bar Council of Delhi.
Close
India had been rated as “free” in Freedom House’s reports for 2018, 2019 and 2020, though its scores on a scale of 100 had declined during this period from 77 to 71.(AP)
India had been rated as “free” in Freedom House’s reports for 2018, 2019 and 2020, though its scores on a scale of 100 had declined during this period from 77 to 71.(AP)

India downgraded from ‘free’ to ‘partly free’ in democracy report

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 08:16 AM IST
  • The report titled “Freedom in the World 2021 - Democracy under Siege” said India “appears to have abandoned its potential to serve as a global democratic leader”.
Close
Representational Image. (Sanjeev Verma/HT archive)
Representational Image. (Sanjeev Verma/HT archive)

Wet spell likely over NW India this weekend: IMD

By HT Correspondent | Edited by Smriti Sinha
UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 08:12 AM IST
A fresh Western Disturbance is very likely to affect Western Himalayan region from the night of March 5 [Friday] and adjoining plains of Northwest India from the night of March 6 [Saturday
Close
The US policy with regard to Kashmir has not changed, Price said.(AP)
The US policy with regard to Kashmir has not changed, Price said.(AP)

US welcomes steps taken to return J-K to full economic, political normalcy

PTI, Washington
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 08:09 AM IST
State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said the US, at the same time, continues to follow developments in Jammu and Kashmir closely.
Close
Properties of Anurag Kashyap, Taapsee Pannu linked with now-dissolved Phantom Films were raided on Wednesday on charges of tax evasion.(Instagram)
Properties of Anurag Kashyap, Taapsee Pannu linked with now-dissolved Phantom Films were raided on Wednesday on charges of tax evasion.(Instagram)

I-T raids on Anurag, Taapsee till evening: 'Nothing new', say NCP, Shiv Sena

UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 07:55 AM IST
Trinamool MP Mahua Moitra said this happens to that part of Bollywood that stands straight.
Close
Supreme Court granted Centre three months to grant permanent commission to women Army officers.(PTI Photo)
Supreme Court granted Centre three months to grant permanent commission to women Army officers.(PTI Photo)

SC to hear women officers' petitions for permanent commission in Army, Navy

Written by Prashasti Singh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 08:14 AM IST
In their petitions, the women army officers have alleged that the directions were not being complied with in "letter and spirit".
Close
The world's largest vaccination drive, which began on January 16, has cumulatively inoculated over 1.63 crore people, as of March 3.(PTI)
The world's largest vaccination drive, which began on January 16, has cumulatively inoculated over 1.63 crore people, as of March 3.(PTI)

LIVE: Canada receives 500,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine from India

UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 08:26 AM IST
Globally, the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) has affected more than 115 million people, as per the John Hopkins Covid-19 tracker.
The word “sedition” disappeared from the Constitution when it was adopted on November 26, 1949 and Article 19(1)(a) gave absolute freedom of speech and expression.
The word “sedition” disappeared from the Constitution when it was adopted on November 26, 1949 and Article 19(1)(a) gave absolute freedom of speech and expression.

Disagreeing with govt is not sedition, says SC

By Utkarsh Anand, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 03:49 AM IST
  • India’s sedition law has an interesting past — it was introduced by the British in 1870, decided to be dropped from the Constitution in 1948 after discussions of the Constituent Assembly.
Close
All government departments and state governments will come up with their own plans to mark the occasion.(Unsplash)
All government departments and state governments will come up with their own plans to mark the occasion.(Unsplash)

Centre plans tourism push to mark 75 years of Independence

By Deeksha Bhardwaj, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 03:32 AM IST
  • India will also promote tourism by celebrating 2022 as the Visit India Year through a promotion campaign highlighting India’s strengths like heritage, culture, art, wellness and yoga.
Close
Earlier in the day, Agra zone additional director general of police Rajeev Krishna announced a cash reward of <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>1 lakh for information on the mail accused.
Earlier in the day, Agra zone additional director general of police Rajeev Krishna announced a cash reward of 1 lakh for information on the mail accused.

2 held for murder of sexual assault survivor’s father

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Agra
UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 02:05 AM IST
  • The ADG has constituted teams of police personnel from Aligarh to assist the Hathras police.
Close
The post-mortem report showed she was strangled to death, the officials said.(HT file photo)
The post-mortem report showed she was strangled to death, the officials said.(HT file photo)

Teen held for murder of girl after rape bid

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Agra
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 01:58 AM IST
  • The incident took place on Sunday afternoon, when the girl went to a wheat field, owned by the family of the accused, to collect fodder and water.
Close
A district magistrate in Manipur on Tuesday withdrew a notice served by him to a talk show under the new rules framed and announced by the Centre last week.(Unsplash)
A district magistrate in Manipur on Tuesday withdrew a notice served by him to a talk show under the new rules framed and announced by the Centre last week.(Unsplash)

Only Centre can enforce new digital media rules: I&B ministry to states

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 01:51 AM IST
  • The provisions under the new rules relate to the code of ethics for digital news publishers, setting up of a grievance redressal system and the requirement of disclosure of information to Centre, the ministry said.
Close
The instrument costs nearly <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>4 crores and has been named Aries-Devasthal Faint Object Spectrograph &amp; Camera (ADFOSC), the release said.(Representative Image)
The instrument costs nearly 4 crores and has been named Aries-Devasthal Faint Object Spectrograph & Camera (ADFOSC), the release said.(Representative Image)

Spectrograph designed for Uttarakhand telescope

By Anonna Dutt, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 01:47 AM IST
  • The instrument will support the 3.6 metre Devasthal Optical Telescope (DOT) in Uttarakhand, an official release from the department of science said on Wednesday.
Close
Lt-Gen BS Raju said this truce deal is desirable for both India and Pakistan and it is the need of the hour.
Lt-Gen BS Raju said this truce deal is desirable for both India and Pakistan and it is the need of the hour.

‘Ceasefire need of the hour... desirable for both India, Pak’: Lt-Gen BS Raju

By Ramesh Vinayak, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 08:43 AM IST
  • Lt-Gen BS Raju said a quiet LoC will allow us to address the challenge of terrorism in a focused manner.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP