Oner­ous tasks be­fore the new Navy Chief

SP's MAI - - EDITOR’S DESK -

While con­grat­u­lat­ing the new In­dian Navy Chief Ad­mi­ral R.K. Dhowan, we be­lieve that he has ur­gent tasks cut out for him – en­sur­ing safety and se­cu­rity of men and ma­chines. His ap­point­ment comes in the back­drop of a spate of ac­ci­dents in the In­dian Navy which took toll of a few brave mariners, leading to the res­ig­na­tion of Ad­mi­ral D.K. Joshi as the Chief of the Naval Staff. In the last ten months, the Navy has suf­fered 14 mishaps in­clud­ing two in­volv­ing sub­marines.

Ob­vi­ously, the first task be­fore him is to give safety the top­most pri­or­ity, along with mod­erni­sa­tion. On as­sum­ing charge he has as­sured ‘We have ef­fec­tive safety au­dits and strict pro­ce­dures in place to en­sure that ac­ci­dents don’t hap­pen. And the way to do that is to fol­low stan­dard op­er­at­ing pro­ce­dures (SOPs) that are laid down and we don’t take any short­cuts that lead to these ac­ci­dents.”

It is not a se­cret that the In­dian Navy is ‘man­ag­ing’ with equip­ment that need to be re­placed and the process of equip­ment in­duc­tion has been slow. While the Navy is go­ing to fol­low SOPs, the govern­ment and the po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship have to take bold de­ci­sions on equip­ment in­duc­tion and not pro­cras­ti­nate. All the three Chiefs of the armed forces have been putting this point across, but the po­lit­i­cal bosses have their own agenda. De­layed de­ci­sions are no de­ci­sions and we hope that the new Chief will em­phat­i­cally send this mes­sage across to the people at the helm.

In­di­geni­sa­tion is fine, but we can­not be risk­ing lives, wait­ing for in­di­geni­sa­tion to hap­pen. Though the Navy Chief has said the fu­ture of In­dian Navy is based on self-re­liance and in­di­geni­sa­tion, one cer­tainly needs to look at some of the ur­gen­cies. He has also said, “It will be my en­deav­our to en­sure to pull on the oars to­gether and keep­ing my hands on the tiller to en­sure that we run an ef­fi­cient, taut and a happy Navy.”

We wish the Navy Chief all the best in his en­deav­our to make the In­dian Navy a po­tent force among sea­far­ing na­tions. We re­spect and hold in es­teem the In­dian Navy for its role in se­cur­ing the na­tion and wish to see it in all its glory.

In his fort­nightly view­point, Lt. Gen­eral (Retd) P.C. Ka­toch talks about vir­tual mis­sion board which al­lows warfight­ers to gather around a ta­ble, and plan their op­er­a­tions. This was seen dur­ing the Osama bin Laden oper­a­tion where the US Pres­i­dent and oth­ers gath­ered around a ta­ble to wit­ness the oper­a­tion. The In­dian Army is de­vel­op­ing the Tac C3I Sys­tem in pur­suit of the same ca­pa­bil­ity.

Mean­while on the in­ter­nal se­cu­rity front, the Maoist at­tacks are dis­turb­ing the fab­ric of the na­tion. In a ma­jor post-poll at­tack, 15 people, in­clud­ing six per­son­nel of Cen­tral Re­serve Po­lice Force (CRPF), were killed. The govern­ment has to firmly deal with the Maoists be­fore they spread to larger ge­o­graphic ar­eas. We look for­ward to your feed­back as to im­prove our cov­er­age. Happy read­ing!

Jayant Baran­wal Pub­lisher & Edi­tor-in-Chief

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