The biannual Army Commanders' Conference which commenced on April 16, concluded on April 21, 2018.
On the opening day of the Conference, the participants were addressed by Raksha Rajya Mantri, Shri Subhash Ramrao Bhamre. During his address, the RRM while complimenting the Indian Army in handling the myriad of security challenges in a professional manner emphasised the need for being prepared for highly dynamic internal and external security challenges. He further reiterated the need for synergized capacity building between the three Services to optimize the resource allocations.
Dr Bhamre assured that the government was fully seized of issues pertaining to force modernization, capacity building and infrastructural development. As such, government has streamlined procedures by delegation of powers to the Service HQ for making up short falls in ammunition and critical spares. He concluded by reiterating that the government remained firm in its resolve to safeguarding India's national interest and territorial integrity.
In his opening remarks on April 16, 2018, Chief of the Army Staff, Gen Bipin Rawat impressed upon the need to work in a collaborative manner for retaining and enhancing the current levels of combat effectiveness. He expressed satisfaction at the way Indian Army was adapting to dynamic security challenges. He stressed on the need to lay down judicious priorities to ensure that the allocated resources are utilized optimally and the force modernization be carried out unabated.
During the Conference, the deliberations appraised the current sit along the LoC, the increase in the CFVs and the adequacy of the response mechanisms. The apex commanders confabulated on the prevalent situation in the Valley and reviewed the recent developments affecting modus operandi of the operations of the armed forces deployed in the region. It was felt that priority must be accorded towards ushering peace, by conducting counter terrorist operations that minimize collateral damage. Radicalised youth must be brought into the main stream by carrying out deradicalisation and collective approach that focuses on convincing the youth to shun violence and gun culture. The senior commanders also deliberated at length on the prevailing situations along the Northern borders, the capacity building endeavours including infrastructural development and measures to provide them requisite impetus.
A considerable time was spent on re-prioritizing the existing requirements to ensure that the resources allocated for force modernization and capacity building were utilized optimally within the budgetary allocation. The discussions also dwelt upon increasing the content of indegenisation in force modernization.
Human Resource management, facilitation of veterans and streamlining of ECHS formed important part of the discussions. The issues related to cadre management, assured career progression and measures to meet the genuine aspirations of the entire rank and file of the Indian Army were deliberated upon in great detail.
The other aspect which was given prominence during the conference was the recommendations of the Committee of Experts' (i.e. the Shekatkar Committee). The issues discussed were the implementation timelines, the challenges thereof and the mechanism to mitigate the same.
The sessions of Commands was followed by update by Principal Staff Officers providing update on contemporary issues. The key issues covered during this session were financial management, equipment optimization, management of communication and data security and streamlining of existing procedures pertaining to administration. Discussions were also held on Cyber Security and Security of Military establishments and bases.
pix: Naresh Kumar and GD Mehra