Northern Army Commander Lieutenant General (retired) D S Hooda
Northern Army Commander Lieutenant General (retired) D S Hooda

Hooda panel recommends creation of specialised information warfare units, restructuring of military intelligence

ANI | Updated: Dec 29, 2018 15:07 IST

New Delhi [India], Dec 29 (ANI) Faced with the increasing use of social media for anti-India propaganda, a single-member panel set up by the Defence Ministry and the National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) has recommended creation of new specialised units for information warfare in areas where the counter-insurgency operations are being conducted.
The panel headed by former Northern Army Commander Lieutenant General (retired) DS Hooda has recommended that the Army and the Air Force should sort out their issues such as the ownership of attack helicopter and utilisation of air defence assets which are common for both the services in a big way. Lt Gen Hooda had overseen the surgical strikes conducted across the Line of Control (LoC) in 2016.
"The way information warfare is being carried out against us and the way it is emerging on a global scale, the Hooda panel has suggested that the Army and defence forces set up specialised information warfare units in the areas where we are carrying out counter-insurgency operations," sources who have dealt with Lt Gen Hooda's report, told ANI.
Lt Gen Hooda submitted his report to the NSAB recently and held discussions with the members of the NSAB including noted China expert Lt Gen SL Narasimhan about 10 days ago.
The panel was set up by the government based on the recommendation of Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra about five months ago and utilise Lt Gen Hooda's expertise for carrying out a study on the restructuring of the armed forces.
Sources said the panel has recommended that the Army should set up these specialised information warfare units on an experimental basis and evolve them as per the output received from their operations.
Lt Gen Hooda has also suggested restructuring of the cyber warfare operations.
He has also recommended scaling down the size of regular Army by about 20 per cent and instead, have a reserve Army which can be called upon for warfighting in case of conflicts.
Four different studies on force restructuring have been initiated by the Army Chief. The studies that aim to set up a lean and mean fighting unit may curtail around 50,000 soldiers.
The panel has also suggested for a better utilisation of the Army Special Forces which are generally used for tactical operations against terrorists in both Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeastern states.
Sources said the report by Lt Gen Hooda has also been shown to the Army headquarters including Army Chief General Bipin Rawat along with the senior leadership of the force including Director Generals of Military Operations, Perspective Planning, and Military Intelligence to discuss the changes suggested by him. (ANI)