Indigenous Defence Doctrine

Indigenous Defence Doctrine: Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March 2021 called for a holistic approach focused on breaking down civil-military silos and expediting the speed of decision-making. He advised the services to rid themselves of legacy systems and practices that had outlived their utility and relevance. Doctrines, procedures, and customs practiced in the armed forces needed to be indigenous, the PM suggested.

He was addressing the valedictory session of the Combined Commanders Conference at Kevadia, Gujarat. Taking note of the rapidly changing technological landscape, the PM highlighted the need to develop the Indian military into a ‘future force’.

What exactly is a Military Doctrine?

  • More than a hundred definitions have been adapted and cited for military doctrines.
  • A military doctrine is nothing but a base, reference document which contains guidelines that drive our armed forces to conduct their assigned tasks in persons of the national objectives in the best possible manner.

The soul of a doctrine are

  • who are we
  • what we do and
  • how we do
  • what is our national character
  • what is our what is the one national aim
  • what is the one national objective
  • what is the national security policy and
  • how do we do it

So this being the basic thing it can be just understood that doctrine is something which will guide the armed forces in doing their business in the best possible manner keeping in mind all the nuances that have gone into making the doctrine.

Military Doctrines of Other Nations

  • Russia defines it as “a system of officially adopted State views on the preparation for armed defence and armed protection of the Russian Federation”.
  • The NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) defines it as “fundamental principles by which the military forces guide their actions in support of objectives”.
  • India’s Integrated Defence Staff distils it as “Who we are, What we do, and How we do” in a basic and generic manner

Evolution of India’s military doctrine


1971 war and thereabout our doctrine actually was purely a defensive one that means we had  no content in the doctrine which is of offensive nature so our doctor at that time was purely defensive


  • It was realized that the character of warfare was changing and there was a need to induct a little bit of mechanized and offensive content in the conduct of warfare in the conduct of doctrine.
  • In 1987 to 1989 IPFK (In Sri Lanka) happened. The peace enforcement in sri lanka took place in 1987
  • A new concept of warfare the insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir rose to its peak giving rise to an element of warfare related to counter insurgency and counter terrorism then what happened


  • Kargil gave us the concept of wars in mountains and altitude and what are the nuances of it.
  • 2001 attack on parliament which took place and thereafter Operational Parakram at that time around that time the thinking was to again prepare a post kargil war doctrine  an Indian army came out with its doctrine called the doctrine of limited war.
  • We were that time thinking of conduct of limited conventional operations in the overhang of nuclear background because both India and Pakistan at that time were nuclear power countries and therefore in 2004 the doctrine which came out was also colloquially sometimes called the cold start doctrine

Cold Start Doctrine

  • We have to keep the operational readiness of forces to such a high level that they can get into operations especially the strikers in limited or in the minimum possible time that is from a cold start that is for no warning period.
  • if the enemy is surprised by your cold start, you will be able to cause significant destruction on the enemy then what will happen you will be able to gain quick quickly gain land
  • land in the territory should be used for bargaining and thirdly and thirdly you will remain below the threshold because it is a limited walk below the threshold starting a nuclear trigger.


Now there is a need to update this military doctrine considering we have got a nuclear triad, China is getting more aggressive in Ladakh and Pakistan continues to cause upheaval in Kashmir. In this regard, urgent steps are required which remove silos in the defence decision-making and keep our sovereignty intact.


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