hooda document
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The article is written by Shreya Pandey from Banasthali University, Jaipur. The article analyses the recommendations of the document for enhancing the nation’s security.


The security of one’s nation is the most important concern for every country. India is a country promoting peace that never attacked any country in the first instance. Yet the neighbouring countries have been attacking, to which India has retaliated. Thus, it was necessary to make such plans so that national security could be safeguarded. Certain drafts were made to strategise and expand the nation’s security by the National Security Advisory Board (NSAB), but they weren’t accepted. In the case of Extra -Judicial Execution Victim Families Assn. v. Union of India, it was held by SC that the nation’s security is predominant, which also includes safeguarding the states.

Lt. General (Retd.) DS Hooda, the one who planned the surgical strike on PoK after the Uri attack, was asked to prepare a vision document for safeguarding and enhancing the security of the nation. He framed a document on national security and submitted it to the chief of Congress Rajiv Gandhi. The document came to be known as the Hooda Document, which acts as a grundnorm for strategising the nation’s security in a uniform structure. The document thrives on dealing with the issues of the nation’s security and also it suggests bringing reforms such as social equality, higher defence management, etc. for enhancing the nation’s security. 

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Hooda document

The Hooda document was made by Gen Hooda and six other group members. This strategises to enhance the nations’ security which, according to the document, would first need to understand the objectives to attain it. These objectives can be enlisted as:

  • Safeguarding national sovereignty.
  • They are protecting national integrity.
  • Establishing a peaceful internal atmosphere in the country.
  • They are bringing India at a better position in international affairs.
  • Providing justifiable, prosperous, and equitable climate to the citizens. 

The document consists of an introduction, detailed discussions and suggestions on the objectives and a conclusion. Thus, the Hooda Document can be divided into three parts:

1. Introduction – The document starts by understanding the need for protection of the people of the country as its population is very large. It is very important to provide equality, safety, and opportunities for every person so that they can grow and live peacefully. Internal peace is a very important constituent of national security, and for this, the citizens must feel secure and satisfied. The introduction of the article states that there are millions of people who fall in the below poverty line list. Although the Constitution talks of social quality, etc., yet India is marked at the top for economic inequality. Till these problems are in India, India can not be fully secured. There are several problems being faced or will be faced by India in the future due to terrorism, geopolitical atmosphere, neighbours like Pakistan, etc. India is surrounded on one side by a nation that keeps attacking inside its territory, the other side doesn’t have well -defined boundaries on which issues can arise, and from another side, it has the Indian Ocean which can also be a reason for conflicts. 

2. Objectives To fulfil the objectives laid down by the document, there are few tenets to achieve national security completely. They are:

  • Assuming rightful place in global affairs – The most powerful countries of the world, like the SA, Russia, China, etc., have always been in conflict with each other to surpass others. Therefore, they don’t depend on each other for international cooperation. India is relied on by many countries as a reliable international partner. The document suggests expanding its diplomatic influence in two areas for placing itself in one of the leading powers of the 21st century. They are:
  1. Advancement in technology to establish an equitable and a digital world. This requires establishing a people -centric digital society to build its own national experience of Digital India.
  2. Giving an intellectual perspective to the international cooperation that will create a way that is inclusive and forward -looking through which the world will develop in the 21st century. An Indian saying “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” is a phrase that means that the whole world is our family. This phrase would act as a catalyst to play such a role.

The document also suggests how the relations must be maintained by India with other countries. One of the most powerful countries, i.e., the USA is one of the leading countries of the world with whom India must maintain her friendly relations. Indo -Pacific strategy, trade, and investment must be harmonised and secured on the basis of international trade conventions. Also, the connection between both the countries and its citizens must be strengthened. With Russia, India should expand its participation as much as the USA does, and also the interaction between the citizens, media, etc. should be increased. Relations with China should be based on the principle of reciprocity. With other major countries like France, UK, etc., India is suggested to maintain a relation by the principle of equality. India’s land movement towards the West is blocked by Pakistan. Thus, India needs to find an alternative to bypass it for which Iran could be helpful.

  • Achieving a secure neighbourhood – India’s neighbours are countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, China, and an Ocean, i.e., the Indian Ocean. Pakistan has been attacking India and never came on an amicable settlement. The relations between Pakistan and India were never friendly. Although India and Pakistan have signed a peace treaty yet, Pakistan has kept nurturing and sending terrorists to India. The recent two major attacks in Pathankot and Pulwama are enough to prove how Pakistan keeps attacking India. India has given a reply to Pakistan in these two attacks through surgical strikes. There may be further instances of such attacks. Therefore, India should be ready to defend itself if such instances again exist in the future. 

Afghanistan is a country through which if the conflicts are resolved, India has a strategic interest in it, which seems to be unlikely to happen in the current situation. The document suggests understanding the country’s position and gets drawn into supporting the Taliban. Conflicts between China and India is certain that even a certain successful trading partnership can not avoid it. It is important for India to understand China’s power and India’s potential strength. India’s interest should be prioritised and for this, securing its territory and borders is very important. It is necessary to accurately define the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Also, India should be prepared to deal with the breaches in the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement. 

The Indian Ocean which can be a topic for future conflicts is properly being handled by the Indian Navy but it is suggested that the force and strength of maritime should be increased for cooperation and security. It is also suggested that an effort should be made to increase the Indian Ocean Rim Association’s (IORA) composition to include all the oceanfront countries and also a permanent secretariat must be appointed. 

  • Peaceful resolution of internal conflicts – To strengthen national security, it is very important for the country to resolve the internal conflicts that keep emerging within the country due to some political manipulations, religious conflicts, etc. Many movements have been taken to control insurgencies in many areas like Jammu and Kashmir, but still, some terror groups keep emerging and disturbing India’s peace. Jammu and Kashmir are the epicentres for such internal conflicts due to Pakistan’s support to the terror groups, and also one of the main reasons is that some residents of Kashmir feel alienated and angry. One of the main threats is that the youth is participating in such terror groups. Safety measures must be taken to ensure peace in those areas of Kashmir where such terror groups usually reside and attack. These measures must be looked into in two ways, i.e., transnational and internal dimensions. The security forces must strengthen in three areas: intelligence, training, and joint operations.
  • Protecting our people – The main aim of the national security strategy is to safeguard its people and provide a healthy environment for their development. The protection of the people of India is of paramount interest as the main component of a state is its people. India is a developing country where its economic position is getting better, so it is important that the money flow should be equally distributed to all the people of India. People face some common problems from which getting security is essential for effective national strategic planning. Such problems are cybercrime, climate change, etc. Also, it should be given certain securities such as economic security, energy security, etc. People should get security from technological disruptions and demographic pressures 
  • Strengthening our capabilities – A plan should be made and executed to strengthen the capability of India from all dimensions. India should work to secure its land and maritime borders since there have been many conflicts in defining its borders and safeguarding it from other neighbouring countries like Pakistan and China who keep attacking and trying to cross the border and enter India. There have been many reasons for such conflicts as – no defined borders, lack of road and other essential services, lack of infrastructure, etc. To meet such issues, it is important to have better security at the borders, maintaining a proper infrastructure and strengthening coastal security. 

Strengthening military capability is another way of strengthening India. The military is an important component for securing the country as it is noted that India’s neighbour keeps attacking; it becomes important to have a better and a strong military force. For strengthening the military force, the following measures must be taken:

  • Decision making structures must be properly established and organised. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) must be a fully integrated headquarter, and a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) must be appointed for working together to make plans for the force.
  • A comprehensive review must be taken in all three forces. 
  • The ad -hoc budgetary allocation must be replaced, and budgets for development of capability plans must be approved. 
  • Replace the existing Defence Procurement Procedure(DPP) with better qualitative procedures. 

India must develop a strong and indigenous defence production capability. The government should support the plans made for enhancing production. The equipment, buildings, technologies, infrastructures must be upgraded. Police transformation is as essential as strengthening and enhancing the military because these forces keep the country protected from the outer world. Still, police protect each individual by maintaining peace and order in the country. Other areas for building capability are intelligence, space, cyber warfare, nuclear force, and strategic communications.

3. Conclusion – The national security strategy thrives too dealing with all the areas through which India should get secured and also looks upon the issues which are currently prevailing in India from which India should develop and enhance itself. 

Important conflicts

The document notes the important conflicts that India is currently facing, or in the future, it may engage, and it can be broadly divided into two parts:

  1. External conflicts – India has its neighbouring countries like Pakistan, China, and Afghanistan, which never had friendly relations with India. Pakistan has kept attacking India and testing its patience for a long time. China and India, on the other hand, have conflicts regarding the borders that aren’t well -defined. Afghanistan is a country with which India can have some strategic interests, but it doesn’t seem that India is utilising it by entering into any such agreement.
  2. Internal conflicts – The main conflict within India is the issue of Kashmir. Its residents, terror groups and political agendas keep giving rise to situations where internal conflicts occur. There is a strict need for a politico -military strategy to calm and control the situations. There is a need to create a comfortable and hospitable atmosphere so that the people of Kashmir can integrate with the people of other states of the country. The same strategy should be used for the North -East insurgents, but with the North -East insurgents, the case is different. The tribal people who aren’t educated and are deprived of the basic resources are used to fulfil political agendas by washing their minds and filling rage in them against the government. The document suggests making such plans so that the confidence and faith of tribes may be gained and they should be informed to give proper knowledge. 


Threats to national security

There are many threats to India’s security relating to borders, external conflicts but there are certainly other major areas of threat and concerns such as cybercrimes that have been continuously expanding and raising a question on security of the private and essential information of the public. The threats of several cyber attacks have emerged in India. It was once where an Israel based company NSO attacked the database of prominent personalities. Another issue is energy security, the document aims to increase the share of natural gas in energy production from 6% to 15% in the global market. The document also suggests the establishment of a Strategic Petroleum Reserve that would monitor the imports of oil from each country. 

Climate change is also a threat to national security as if there occurs any climatic change in India; then it can lead to the immigration of people. An example of such a prediction and its threat is the Syria War, 2011, which occurred due to the immigration of people resulting from drought. The document suggests to assess the risk and develop policies to preserve nature. India is currently dealing with a major problem of an unequal sharing of the money among all sectors of the people. The document suggests many measures related to economic security to enhance and develop the country. It suggests independence of RBI, progressive taxation, infrastructure development, and prevention of devaluation of Indian rupee to strengthen the national economic security. Demographic pressures are also on India as the rights given by the Constitution haven’t been completely provided to the people. Instances of gender inequality, unemployment, etc still prevail in the country. In such a case, education and skill development can only be the key to cure such problems in India only then the national security can be attained. 

Suggestions by the document 

The document deals with almost all problems and situations of the country which are a hurdle in attaining national security in India. It suggests many such plans be executed to eradicate the problems and conflicts that have arisen. It also suggests certain measures to improve the capabilities and strength of India. It suggests the involvement of Border Road Organizations to bring under the command of the Army. It recommends giving more power to the National Security Council so that it does not only remain as an advisory board. It also recommends restructuring the intelligence agencies to enhance their efficiency. It recommends bringing certain reforms in the country like making intelligence as a separate institution. For cyber warfare, a separate Cyber command must be established which is specifically accountable for Cyber Crimes. The document also concludes that the technologies of India are not that advanced to deal with the conflicts of space. So, it recommended the country be ready for defending itself from any such conflict in the future. 


The Hooda document deals with almost all aspects of the security of the nation in a holistic way. The document gives recommendations to protect the country and gives security to all the people of the country. It’s a document that needs acceptance and its enforcement can be done only by adopting certain legislations. It is a theoretical document that doesn’t have a practical approach while dealing with the problems that are between the success of the national security strategy. The document doesn’t explain the ways of implementing such suggestions. It also didn’t notice that the political, social, and cultural aspects are also a hurdle for national security. Yet, this document has a straight, confident idea for enhancing the security of the nation and it almost marked all the problems that are to be dealt with to provide a safe, secure and healthy environment for its people.


  1. http://rsrr.in/2020/01/09/the -hooda -document -expanding -the -contours -of -national -security/
  2. https://manifesto.inc.in/en/national_security_strategy_gen_hooda.html
  3. https://aspirantworld.in/editorial -analysis -a -blueprint -for -a -national -security -strategy/

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