National Security Strategy

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November 07, 2023

Why in news?

India is working on its first-ever national security strategy document after years of deliberations in the military and strategic community.

Security Architecture in India

  • After India became a nuclear-weapon state in 1998, the national security architecture underwent a significant change.
  • At the apex, a National Security Council (NSC) was set up with the Prime Minister (PM) as the Chairman.
  • Its permanent members included ministers of home, defence, external affairs and finance.
  • A new post of National Security Advisor was created to serve as the Secretary of the NSC.
  • In addition, a Strategic Planning Group (SPG) was established under the chairmanship of the Cabinet Secretary.
  • A National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) was also set up.
  • It comprised of a number of retired civil and military officials, and it had direct access to the PM.
  • After the Kargil war in 1999, a Defence Intelligence Agency was set up to coordinate military-related intelligence.
  • Also, a Nuclear Command Authority (NCA) was set up to manage India’s nuclear weapon arsenal.

What is National Security Strategy?

  • NSS - A National Security Strategy (NSS) document outlines the country’s security objectives, and the ways to achieve these.
  • It defines traditional, non-traditional threats and opportunities while introducing accountability of agencies tasked with the implementation of such responsibilities.
  • History - The NSS of India has not been defined since its Independence in 1947.
  • Earlier 3 attempts has been made (2007, 2019 and 2021) to come out with the national security strategy, but there was hesitation at the political level.
  • Significance of NSS - The strategy will cover the entire range of traditional and non-traditional threats facing India, such as financial, energy, information, and environmental security.
  • It will guide the military and security reforms and provide a holistic view of the national security.
  • NSS will reflect India’s response to the rising geopolitical tensions and uncertainties in the world.
  • The document will be made public and updated regularly based on emerging situation and newer threat assessments.

Global Regulatory Landscape

  • US- The main pillars of NSS 2022 is strengthening democracy, revitalizing alliances, building inclusive global economy, and defending America and deterring aggression.
  • UK- It covers a range of diverse but interdependent threats, such as terrorism, cyber-attacks, natural disasters, and international military crises.
  • Russia- NSS 2021 reflects the country’s willingness and ability to defend its national interests and values in the face of the complex and dynamic challenges of the 21st century.
  • China- Comprehensive National Security strategy is closely tied to its governance structure.
  • Pakistan- National Security Policy 2022-2026, underlines national security objectives and priority areas.

Why India needs a National Security Strategy?

  • Resource utilisation- The strategy will help in optimal utilisation of India's comprehensive national power and resources.
  • Address vulnerabilities- India’s border is linked with large scale smuggling and contraband trade that permits channels through which terrorists and criminals find easy access.
  • Technology driven world- NSS would enable the identification of critical infrastructure that may be vulnerable to cyber-attacks, and the development of human resources capable of identifying attacks and protecting and restoring critical systems.
  • Nuclear security- The country’s nuclear deterrent must deal with the challenge of two nuclear-armed neighbours namely China and Pakistan.
  • Dynamic nature- The only political direction to the Armed Forces in existence is Raksha Mantri’s operational Directive of 2009 which is outdated and needs to be revised.
  • Jointness- There has to be a national defence doctrine to achieve synergy, coordination and jointness among the three services and to enhance their combat effectiveness and operational readiness.

What components must the NSS encompass?

  • Climate change- NSS should anticipate the consequences of ecological degradation such as melting of glaciers, sea level rise, large scale migration of population and formulate coping measures.
  • Internal security- The strategy must address the internal security threats such as inequality, erosion of institutions, lawlessness and centre-state relations.
  • External security management- The doctrine should emphasise the need to restore deterrence against India's adversaries, especially China, and to pursue the goal of transforming India into a modern, prosperous and secure country.
  • Strategic communication- NSS must be integrated with strategic communication, particularly in a democracy, to shape public perceptions through constant and consistent public outreach and to provide a channel for public opinion or feedback.

What lies ahead?

  • NSS must be executed within the parameters laid down by the Constitution of India and the country’s democratic political dispensation.
  • NSS should be citizen-centric, constitutionally guided, and democratically accountable.



  1. Indian Express- India to bring national security strategy
  2. Indian Express- Work starts on national security strategy
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