Union government has asked the Integrated Defence Staff, a tri-services body, to set-up cyber and aerospace agencies and a special forces division, a ministry of defence official aware of the development said on condition of anonymity.

An officer of the rank of major general will be the head each of the three new verticals. And, the new entities will be “staffed without adding on more manpower,” a second government official said, asking not to be identified.

It will have offensive capabilities too. The special forces division will have elements of garud commandos of the Indian Air Force, the marine commandos from the Indian Navy and the Special Forces from Indian Army. They will train together and exchange best practices.

In 2012, the chiefs of staff committee recommended the formation of three separate joint commands — cyber, space and special operations —to deal with new and emerging threats.

The Centre has also been pushing for more synergy and “jointness” to prepare for threats from the “emerging triad” of space, cyberspace and special operations for future combat.

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