WHY IN NEWS ?
- The Inter-Services Organisations (Command, Control and Discipline) Bill, 2023, was introduced in the Lok Sabha this year.
- It provides disciplinary powers to the commanders heading tri-services organisations.
- It is a requisite precursor to the creation of unified theatre commands, which are along-awaited reform.
WHAT ARE THEATRE COMMANDS?
- Integrated Theatre Commands of the Indian Armed Forces are varying degrees of synergy and cross–service cooperation between the military wings of the Indian Armed Forces.
- Combining the resources of all three services ( the Army, Navy, and Air Force) under a single commander to secure a particular geographic area is known as integrated theatre commands.
- India currently has service–specific commands system. However, joint and integrated commands, also known as unified commands and further divided into theatre or functional commands, have been set up and more are proposed.
- The only fully functional theatre command is the Andaman and Nicobar Command set up in 2001.
- While the Strategic Forces Command, set up in 2003, is an integrated functional command or specified combatant command.
CURRENT COMMANDS IN INDIA:
- The Indian armed forces currently have 17 commands.
There are seven commands each of the Army (Northern, Eastern, Southern, Western, Central, South-western and Army Training Command).
- The Air Force has seven commands (Western, Eastern, Southern, Southwestern, Central, Training and Maintenance).
- The Navy has three commands (Western, Eastern and Southern).
- A four-star military commander is in charge of each command.
ADVANTAGES OF THEATRE COMMANDS:
- The aim is to bring all the 17 individual commands into four or five unified or theatre commands. It might also have two more functional commands for training and logistics.
- The rationale being this will help in better planning and military response and also bring down cost.
- While the cost may go up in the immediate future since all theatres would have to be armed with sufficient systems, it will prove to be cost-effective in the long term as all acquisition will be a unified one.
- The need for a unified approach to war fighting was brought out in the deliberations after the 1999 Kargil battle.