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General Studies 2 >> Governance

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1. Context

Recently, The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) cleared the procurement of 97 Light Combat Aircraft Tejas Mk 1 A and 156 Light Combat Helicopters from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited among other big-ticket acquisitions worth Rs 2.23 lakh crores.

2. About the Defence Acquisition Council

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) is the apex body for all defence acquisitions in India. It was formed after recommendations made by the Group of Ministers on 'Reforming the National Security System' in 2001, post-Kargil war. The DAC is headed by the Defence Minister and comprises the following members:

  • Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS)
  • Secretary, Department of Defence Production
  • Secretary, Finance
  • Secretary, Defence Research and Development
  • Controller General of Defence Accounts
  • Other senior officers from the Ministry of Defence and the Services

The Role of the Defence Acquisition Council

The DAC's primary role is to:

  • Accord approval for AoN (Acceptance of Necessity) for Capital Acquisition Proposals.
  • Categorise the acquisition proposals into 'Buy, Buy & Make, & Make'.
  • In-principle approval of 15-Year Long-Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTPP) for Defence Forces.
  • Delegate powers to Services/C&AS for the acquisition of items up to a certain value.
  • Consider and approve other issues as may be referred to it by the Defence Minister.

Functions of the Defence Acquisition Council

The DAC's primary functions are to:

  • Approve capital acquisitions for the Indian Armed Forces.
  • Formulate and implement policies and procedures for defence acquisitions.
  • Monitor the progress of defence acquisitions.
  • Oversee the implementation of the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP).

Reasons for the creation of the Defence Acquisitions Council 

The DAC was created to address the following shortcomings of the previous defence acquisition system:

  • Lack of a clear and transparent decision-making process.
  • Delays in the procurement of defence equipment.
  • Escalation of costs.
  • Lack of coordination between different agencies involved in the procurement process.

3. About Defence acquisition

Defence acquisition is the process of acquiring goods and services for the Indian Armed Forces. It is a complex and time-consuming process that involves the identification of requirements, the preparation of specifications, the selection of vendors, the negotiation of contracts, and the delivery of equipment. The Indian defence acquisition process is governed by the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP), which is a set of guidelines that outlines the process for acquiring defence equipment.

The key stages of the defence acquisition process:

  •  The first step is to identify the requirements of the Armed Forces. This is done through a detailed assessment of the operational needs of the Armed Forces and the availability of resources.
  • Once the requirements have been identified, the next step is to prepare the specifications for the equipment to be acquired. The specifications must be clear, detailed, and unambiguous so that the vendors can understand what is required.
  • The next step is to select the vendors who will be invited to participate in the bidding process. The vendors are selected based on their technical ability, financial strength, and experience.
  • Once the vendors have been selected, the next step is to negotiate the contracts. The contracts must be fair and reasonable, and they must protect the interests of the government.
  • The final step is to deliver the equipment to the Armed Forces. Once the equipment has been delivered, it must be tested and accepted by the Armed Forces.

4. The Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP)

The Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) is the guideline for defence acquisitions in India. The DPP was first introduced in 2006 and has been revised several times since then. The DPP outlines the process for defence acquisitions, from the identification of a requirement to the final acceptance of a product.

The DPP is designed to ensure that defence acquisitions are conducted in a transparent, efficient, and cost-effective manner. The DPP also seeks to promote indigenous defence production and to maximize the involvement of Indian companies in the defence sector.

Key features of the DPP

  • The DPP emphasizes the need for transparency in all stages of the defence acquisition process. This includes publishing all relevant documents online and making them available to the public.
  • The DPP aims to streamline the defence acquisition process and reduce delays. This includes simplifying the tendering process and reducing the number of approvals required.
  • The DPP seeks to ensure that defence acquisitions are conducted cost-effectively. This includes negotiating the best possible price for goods and services and promoting indigenous defence production.
  • The DPP promotes indigenous defence production by giving preference to Indian companies in the tendering process. The DPP also provides incentives for Indian companies to invest in research and development.
  • The DPP seeks to maximize the involvement of Indian companies in the defence sector. This includes encouraging Indian companies to form joint ventures with foreign companies.

5. The Way Forward

The DAC and the DPP play a vital role in ensuring that the Indian Armed Forces are equipped with the latest and best possible weapons and equipment. The DAC and the DPP are also important for promoting indigenous defence production and for maximizing the involvement of Indian companies in the defence sector.


For Prelims: Defence Acquisition Council, Defence Procurement Procedure, Light Combat Aircraft, Tejas Mk 1 A and 156, Light Combat Helicopters, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Kargil war
For Mains: 
1. Critically analyze the role of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) in streamlining and expediting defence acquisitions in India. (250 Words)
Previous Year Questions
1. The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) designed and developed by HAL is also known as (MP Police Constable 2017)
A. Suryakiran        B. Aryabhatta      C. Tejas         D. Prakash
2. Which of the following statements is true about the recent procurement of Tejas fighter’s aircraft by IAF? (IB ACIO Grade II 2021) 
(1) The IAF has recently purchased 83 Tejas fighters aircraft from HAL
(2) The total deal is Rs. 78,000-crore
A. 1 only         B. Neither 1 nor 2         C.  Both 1 and 2      D. 2 only
3. What is the name of India's indigenously built Light Combat Helicopter? (OSSC BSSO  2022) 
A. Nag         B. Trishul         C. Prachand          D. Agni
4. The headquarters of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited is located at _______________. (MP Police Constable 2017) 
A. Chennai        B. Bengaluru        C.  Dewas     D. Koraput
5. What was Kargil war otherwise known as? (MP Patwari  2017) 
A. Operation Vijay       B. Operation Vishwas   C. Operation Shaurya   D. Operation Paramveer
Answers:1-C, 2-A, 3-C, 4-B 5-A
1. Analyze the circumstances that led to the Tashkent Agreement in 1966. Discuss the highlights of the Agreement. (UPSC 2013)
Source: The Indian Express

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