Vimarsha: "Shaping the Armed Forces to meet likely Current and Future Challenges", by General BipinRawat, Chief of Defence Staff.
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Under the Vimarsha series of lectures organized by the VIF on 07 April 2021,General Bipin Rawat, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM, ADC, Chief of Defence Staff spoke on 'Shaping the Armed Forces to meet likely Current and Future Challenges'. It was followed with an equally exhaustive Q&A session. The CDS covered a wide spectrum in his talk, covering the issues of evolving nature of threats to India’s security, complexities in modern warfare, hybrid wars, implications of China’s rise, Pakistan’s proxy war against India, India’s military preparedness and the role of military diplomacy.

In his talk, he spoke about Chinese "capability differential" between the two countries when it comes to technology especially in the cyber field. He highlighted the need for creation of systems towards cyber defence. On the requirements of new technology, the CDS was clear on the urgent need for the armed forces to embrace new technology. On Artificial Intelligence and Quantum computing, he said that AI is being used for predictive maintenance and by the Navy for the "underwater domain," but clearly "we have lagged behind." When it comes to Quantum computing, the situation is the same, he said.

He emphasized on the need for greater cooperation between the services and highlighted the necessityof the integrated air defence command. He regretted, that the army, navy and air force all have air defence systems, but they do not speak to each other as they have different algorithms.

He brought out the need to avoid temptation of looking at the western world for security solutions, and instead bring outto the world the need to learn from India’s vast experience in dealing with diverse challenges. The CDS said that the "Democracy, justice, liberty and international peace call upon us to enhance our global reach and play an important role in global and regional affairs by promoting international peace and stability through a rules-based international order". The need of internal stability for meeting its external vision was also touched upon by General Rawat.

Responding to a question on the challenges to theaterisation and the ongoing efforts to bring about jointness among the three services, the CDS said that India as a nation believed in status quo and there was always a hesitation to change. He also emphasised on the need to integrate the armed forces with the other security forces, like the Central Armed Police Forces, “which are also very huge in numbers, and can add to the capacity building of the armed forces”. He said the procurements of the CAPF are also being integrated with the armed forces.

On women in the armed forces, the CDS said the services were opening more roles to them and there were some areas where they were performing better than men and vice-versa.

Event Date 
April 7, 2021

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