Prime Minister pitches for a ‘Digital Armed Force’
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the Combined Commanders’ Conference 2014 in the Defence Ministry War Room on October 17, even while tension continues along the borders of China and Pakistan. The conference is the first meeting of the Prime Minister with all top commanders, including the three Service chiefs.
The Prime Minister said that India’s armed forces, which represent the world’s largest democracy, were second to none in professionalism, valour, commitment, service and duty. The armed forces have always vindicated the faith and confidence that people of India placed in them, whether it is for our nation’s security or for relief in times of natural calamities.
The Prime Minister noted that the world was looking at India with renewed interest, confidence and excitement and there was a universal current of expectation from India to emerge not only as one of the poles of the global economy, but also as one of the anchors of regional and global security. He emphasised that an atmosphere of peace and security was essential to enable India to achieve its goals of economic development.
He noted that “beyond the immediate, we are facing a future where security challenges will be less predictable; situations will evolve and change swiftly; and, technological changes will make responses more difficult to keep pace with. The threats may be known, but the enemy may be invisible. Domination of cyber space will become increasingly important. Control of space may become as critical as that of land, air and sea. Full-scale wars may become rare, but force will remain an instrument of deterrence and influencing behaviour, and the duration of conflicts will be shorter.”
He assured the armed forces of his commitment to provide adequate resources to ensure full defence preparedness, overcome shortages and meet modernisation needs. He also asked the defence establishment to reform procurement processes as also suggest corrective measures to avoid delays in domestic development and production of defence equipment.
“We should remember that what matters is capability of the force. When we speak of Digital India, we would also like to see a ‘Digital Armed Force,’ ” and asked the Services to give serious thought to upgrade technological skills for effective projection of power by men.
He called for increased jointness and urged the three wings of the Services to work as a team. He suggested that the Commanders’ Conferences should be organised alternately on sea, in forward Army camps and at airbases, while assuring the Commanders that he would continue the practice that he had started of meeting the three Chiefs at least once a month.
The Indian Air Force chief, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, as the chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, made a presentation, followed by the Indian Navy chief Admiral R.K. Dhowan and the Indian Army chief, General Dalbir Singh.
Besides the Prime Minister, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley addressed the conference. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, the National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Defence Secretary R.K. Mathur were part of the conference.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the top commanders of the Indian armed forces,
during Combined Commanders’ Conference in New Delhi