CHIEF OF THE ARMY STAFF GENERAL DALBIR SINGH ANSWERED TO SP’s ON ARMY DAY PRESS CONFERENCE
SP’sLANDFORCES: QUICK QUESTIONS
Jayant Baranwal: What are the new security challenges?
COAS: The dynamics of security challenges keep changing with time, the environment prevailing not only in India but in our neighbourhood and across. The new security challenges that have now emerged, one is cyber threat which is a main challenge that we have to counter. We are taking certain steps towards this, whether it is creation of firewalls, the number of layers that we are creating, the age gap between the computers, the education of people on ground and also sensitising the environment. We have a cyber group here at the Army Headquarters and there are establishments created, certain organisations at the formation level which are looking into this aspect. Also, we carry out a cyber audit periodically to ensure that the security of this aspect is taken care of. This is one basic area, otherwise asymmetric threat has only increased. Every time you find the answer to one, another comes up.
Baranwal: Are we equipped enough today to handle any kind of conflicts or we are still stuck with the point where General Malik had said during Kargil “We shall fight with what we have”?
COAS: There are areas where there has been very little progress or no progress. For example, the acquisition of artillery guns. For the last 28 years, we have not got a single piece added to our inventory, so there are certain deficiencies of that kind. But there has been substantial progress, at least in the last year-and-a-half, on this account. Very large number of clearances have been given on major procurement cases. Talking about Arty itself, 814 guns were cleared. Whether it is Vajra or Dhanush, they are at various stages of procurement. So a large number of procurement cases of major equipment and ammunition are definitely moving ahead. It will take some time. I think in the near future we will start feeling the effect.
Baranwal: Will fast-tracked modernisation process keep the ‘Make in India’ on side to meet the immediate and critical requirements?
COAS: For both the critical and important projects, we will Buy and Make (Indian), because if it is critical, it is immediate and ‘Make in India’ will take some time. We will straight away provide what is minimum required, thereafter, through the transfer of technology we will make the balance quantity.