South Asian Insider
Security council secretariat gets ₹333 crore, a tenfold hike
The National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), which reports to National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval, has seen a tenfold increase in budgetary allocation this year.
Last fiscal, though ₹33 crore was allotted to the NSCS, it ended up spending ₹81 crore; this year the allocation has shot up to ₹333 crore.
NSCS works as an advisory group, comprising various experts on security-related matters, and is headed by deputy NSA Arvind Gupta. The body is responsible for advising the Prime Minister on key strategic and security issues, both on domestic as well as international fronts, and consists of academics and eminent professionals.
Brainchild of Brajesh
Mr. Doval, who is said to be the final authority on all major security-related decisions, has had a deep interest in reviving the scope of NSCS, which was the brainchild of late former NSA Brajesh Mishra.
Mr. Mishra set up the NSCS in 1998 under the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
In 2011-12, only ₹ 17.43 crore was allocated for the body. In 2012-13, it was marginally increased to ₹20.33 crore, going up to ₹26.06 crore in 2013-14.
After NDA-II came to power in 2014-15, the allocation for NSCS was increased to ₹44.46 crore but it could spend only ₹25 crore.
The National Security Advisory Board (NSAB), which draws experts from all fields, is a subsidiary of NSCS and so is the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC). The allocation for the office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister has also increased substantially from ₹5.19 crore to ₹34.83 crore.
“The funds being allotted for NSCS were always insufficient and the increase in funds is a welcome step. It does security analysis, war-gaming etc. and advises the government on key security issues,” said a former member of NSCS, on condition of anonymity.
NSCS has about 100 staff of all scales. “The increase has got to do with activities. There is much more activity than ever in the past,” said a senior official.
Another official pointed out that NSCS has a limited ambit, so it was surprising to see such a dramatic budget hike.
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