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Strategic Policy Group (SPG)

  • Category
    Internal Security
  • Published
    16th Oct, 2018

Government has recently reconstituted the Strategic Policy Group to assist the National Security Council (NSC).

Context

  • Government has recently reconstituted the Strategic Policy Group to assist the National Security Council (NSC).
  • The SGP will now be chaired by National Security Adviser to strategise on the matters dealing with internal and economic security.
  • Earlier SPG was chaired by the Cabinet Secretary and consisted of serving senior officials responsible for policy-making and follow-up action in matters concerning national security plus the chiefs of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force and the Intelligence Bureau and the Research and Analysis Wing, the external intelligence agency.
  • Its functions have been expanded. Earlier it was mainly tasked with making policy recommendations to the NSC.

About

The Strategic Policy Group is the first level of the three tier structure of the National Security Council. It forms the nucleus of the decision-making apparatus of the NSC.

Functions:

The reconstituted SPG will have following function:

  • The SPG will assist the NSC and undertake among other tasks a long term strategic Defence review.
  • The SPG shall be the principal mechanism for inter-ministerial coordination and integration of relevant inputs in the formulation of national security policies.

Members:

The group will comprise of important functionaries of the government with background from diverse fields of governance and management. The group beside National Security Adviser will include:

  • Vice Chairman of NITI Ayog, Cabinet Secretary, three defence services chiefs,
  • RBI Governor,
  • Secretaries of External Affairs, Home, Defence, Finance, Defence Production, Revenue, Atomic Energy, Space and
  • National Security Council Secretariat
  • Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister, Secretary (R) in Cabinet Secretariat and the Intelligence Bureau chief.

Significance

  • The reconstitution of the committee is significant as SGP would now be able to provide vital inputs for defence mechanism from different ministries.
  • The platform would be of immense use in formulating and reviewing the long term security challenges such as water scarcity, communalism, police reforms, cyber security etc.
  • By including the members from various ministries and departments in the SPG, the synchronisation of planning for national security would be more meaningful.

    National Security Council of India:

    • It is an executive government agency tasked with advising the Prime Minister's office on matters of national security and strategic interest. It was established in 1998, with Brajesh Mishra as the first National Security Adviser. Prior to the formation of the NSC, these activities were overseen by the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister.
    • The three-tiered structure of the NSC comprises the Strategic Policy Group, the National Security Advisory Board and a Secretariat represented by the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC)

Learning Aid

A brief overview of SPG :

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