FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK
At the recent Combined Commanders’ Conference, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a significant point on how the armed forces have to go ‘digital’ considering that future security challenges will be less predictable, situations will evolve and change swiftly and the like. With full-scale wars becoming rare and the durations of conflict becoming shorter, digital technologies are going to be pivotal in the scheme of things.
The Prime Minister has rightly stated that at the end of the day, capability of the force will be crucial. “When we speak of Digital India, we would also like to see a ‘Digital Armed Force’,” while urging the defence forces to give serious thought to upgrade technological skills for effective power projection at all levels.
By mentioning the invisible enemy, the Prime Minister was obviously referring to the growing threat of terrorism and insurgency that India is facing, which includes refocusing of Al Qaeda to South Asia, entry of ISIS in Af-Pak region-Maldives and the enhanced terror threat from our neighbourhood; Bangladeshi links to Burdwan blasts, Sri Lankan radicals undertaking surveillance spying in South India and the like.
In line with this thinking, the importance of technologies needs to be overemphasised. It is our endeavour at SP’s M.A.I. to keep you updated on technological developments. Not just that, we regularly organise seminars/conferences in association with other industry bodies to provide necessary information inputs and also to stimulate thinking. On October 27, in association with FICCI we organised a seminar on ‘Digitisation of the Battlefield’ which provided a platform for healthy interaction between the armed forces, the private sector and the defence industrial establishments and we hope to see technological advancements in the years to come. India has the capabilities, we just need to channelise our energies, our strengths and our talent. Here, it may not be out of place to mention the efforts of Brazil which through Embraer has led in defence and aerospace industry and the company’s latest roll out of KC-390 tactical aircraft is testimony to its prowess.
The bottom line is that Indian firms need to get foreign investments and foreign technology and for that to happen the foreign direct investment (FDI) and the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) need to be addressed conjointly. We believe it will happen considering a proactive government is in place. In SP’s Exclusives we have featured an interesting article on how two Indian-born sisters serve as a perfect bridge between India and the US. The sisters are part of a 12-soldier California Army National Guard contingent which was present at exercise Yudh Abhyas.
Continuing on India’s re-energised foreign relations, Lt General P.C. Katoch (Retd) writes about the visit of the Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and how it pans out in Asian geopolitics. With Modi at the helm, the geopolitics of the region is getting a dynamic shape. He seems to enthuse the region, per se. At home, he continues to enthuse a vast section and this time it was the armed forces personnel with whom he spent time at Siachen on Diwali day.
Jayant Baranwal Publisher & Editor-in-Chief