Admiral Joshi Criticises UPA Govt's Defence Management

Published: 14th October 2014 10:42 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th October 2014 10:45 PM   |  A+A-


NEW DELHI: Former Navy Chief Admiral D K Joshi, who resigned in the wake of a blast in a submarine last year, today made a sharp criticism of the defence management in the previous government and alleged there was no accountability and authority.     

He was also amused that there was a "great haste" in accepting his resignation given to the then Defence Minister A K Antony.        

"Where there is authority, there is no accountability and where there is responsibility, the authority is not there. You don't have to accept it coming from me but for more than a decade now recognising fully that the higher management of defence needs reforms," Joshi told NDTV.       

When asked what prompted him to resign, Joshi said the root cause was the "dysfunctional and inefficient" business model that exists wherein professional competence, domain expertise, accountability, responsibility and authority, these all reside in separate silos in different locations.     

"And whilst professional competence, domain expertise, accountability, responsibility is with the service, that is not the case with the authority," he said.            

By authority, Joshi said, he meant empowerment, "the power of proving something over the other."   

Asked what prompted the government to accept his resignation with such alacrity, Admiral Joshi said he was amused that there appeared to be such great haste to pin it on someone.     

"On the speed of its acceptance, I really have no comments. In my letter I had requested that it would be with immediate effect. Neither then nor now do I have any issue with that. The fact that it got accepted in a couple of hours, surprised is not the word but I certainly was amused that there appeared to be such great haste to pin it on someone," he said.        

Admiral D K Joshi quit suddenly in the wake of a series of accidents. Admiral Joshi's resignation came after a fire on INS Sindhuratna, which left two sailors dead.

An official investigation had found that deaths happened due to their failure to adhere to mandatory protocols to wear gas masks during such incidents. Last year, the INS Sindhurakshak exploded and sank, killing 18 crew members.

Asked whether the situation could have been handled differently, Joshi said while he took the responsibility limited to the in-service component, he had already described the operating environment as "dysfunctional".

"I have described the operating environment which to my mind was dysfunctional. Being a service chief was not only about preening around on national TV on Republic day or people saying we saw you on tv, you were looking smart in your uniform...           "In actual fact, you were unable to get a set of batteries for your submarine. That to me was a totally untenable situation for continuation as a chief," he said.            

When asked about the vested interest, Joshi said that he would not be naming anybody and it was clear that "these are ones who wield the authority".


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