The Army Commanders’ Conference, an apex level biannual event, is being held in New Delhi from 18 to 22 April 2022. During the event, Indian Army’s apex leadership is comprehensively deliberating upon all aspects of existing security scenarios, situation along the borders, in the hinterland and challenges for the present security apparatus. In addition, the conference is also focusing on issues pertaining to organisational restructuring, logistics, administration, human resource management, modernisation through indigenisation, induction of Niche technologies and assessment of impact of the Russia – Ukraine war. The main highlight of the fourth day of the conference was the address by the Raksha Mantri, Shri Rajnath Singh, to the senior leadership of the Indian Army, which was preceded by a brief on the “Modernisation through Indigenisation” plans of the Indian Army.
The Raksha Mantri reaffirmed the faith of the billion-plus citizens in the Indian Army as one of the most trusted and inspiring organisations in the country. He highlighted the stellar role played by the Army in guarding our borders and fighting terrorism apart from providing assistance to the civil administration whenever called for. The Raksha Mantri also remarked “The Army is present in every domain from Security, HADR, Medical Assistance to maintaining the stable internal situation in the country. The role of Indian Army is very important in Nation building as also in the overall national development”. He reiterated his happiness to be present in the Army Commander’s conference and complimented the Army leadership for successfully taking ahead the ‘Defence and Security’ vision of the Nation and the Hon’ble Prime Minister. He also complimented the COAS, General MM Naravane of having successfully led the Army in last two and half years of his tenure as COAS, Indian Army.
The Hon’ble Raksha Mantri stressed upon the present complex world situation which effects everyone globally. He stated that “Unconventional and asymmetric warfare, including hybrid war will be part of the future conventional wars. Cyber, information, communication, trade and finance have all become an inseparable part of future conflicts. This necessitates that Armed Forces will have to keep all these facets in consideration while planning and formulating strategies”.
Commenting on the current situation along the Northern borders, the Hon’ble Raksha Mantri expressed full confidence that while troops are standing firm, the ongoing talks for peaceful resolution will continue and disengagement and de-escalation, is the way forward. Expressing his gratitude, he remarked “It is our ‘Whole of Government’ approach to ensure availability of best weapons, equipment and clothing to our troops braving extreme weather and hostile forces to defend our territorial integrity”. The Raksha Mantri complimented the efforts of BRO, which has led to the quantum improvement of road communication in the borders both Western and Northern, while working under difficult conditions.
Referring to the situation along the Western borders, he complimented the Indian Army’s response to cross border terrorism, however the proxy war by the adversary continues. The Hon’ble Raksha Mantri said “I compliment the excellent synergy between the CAPF/ Police forces and the Army in tackling the menace of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. The synergised operations in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir are contributing to increased stability in the region and the same should continue”.
The Raksha Mantri complimented the forces for the high standard of operational preparedness and capabilities which he has always been experiencing first hand during his visits to forward areas. He also paid tributes to all the brave hearts for making the ultimate sacrifice in the defence of the motherland. He complimented the significant contributions made by the Army in military diplomacy to further our national security interests by creating sustainable cooperative relationships with foreign Armies. He also complimented the Armed Forces for the recent evacuation of Indian Nationals from Ukraine in ‘Operation Ganga’.
The Hon’ble Raksha Mantri stressed upon the technological advancement taking place in every sphere of our life and applauded the Armed Forces for aptly incorporating them. He appreciated the Army’s efforts to develop niche technologies in collaboration with civil industries, including premier educational institutions and thereby progressing towards the aim of ‘ Modernisation through Indigenisation’ or ‘Atam Nirbharta’.
The Hon’ble Raksha Mantri highlighted that “the Government is focused on enhancing combat capability and ensuring welfare of soldiers”. He also remarked that “the Policy of Atmanirbhar Bharat is a big step towards self-reliance in defence which offers great opportunity to the Indian defence industry to meet the future requirements of the Armed Forces”. He applauded the Indian Army for working towards this goal and remarked that in 2021-2022, in keeping with the Atamnirbhar Bharat, Rs 40,000 crores worth of contracts by the Army are being awarded to Indian Vendors, which is commendable.
The Hon’ble Raksha Mantri also brought out that the recent corporatisation of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) is proving as a successful step and all 7 x DPSUs are working towards capability development of Armed Forces. He remarked that the government is committed in every manner towards the welfare of our Veterans and the Next of Kin of all categories of Battle Casualties. He also announced that Government is aware of the Risk and Hardship the defence personnel faces in the field areas, apropos, Government has decided to enhance the Risk and Hardship allowance for the Army personnel posted in such areas.
He concluded by saying that issues related to “Defence diplomacy, indigenisation, information warfare, defence infrastructure and force modernisation should always be deliberated upon in such a forum. The formalisation of Integrated Theatre Command is the need of hour and I am happy with the progress being made towards the same. I have full confidence in the senior Military leadership. The Nation is proud of its Army and the Government is committed to facilitate the Army in their forward movement, on the road to reforms and capability modernisation”.