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Indian Army plans transformative reforms to boost combat capabilities

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane, Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Anil Chauhan, Army Chief Gen. Manoj Pande along with other Army officials during the Army Commanders' Conference in New Delhi. (Photo: PIB)

NEW DELHI (PTI): Top commanders of the Indian Army have decided to explore the feasibility of creating a tailor-made organisation to function as "adversarial force" to carry out realistic wargaming and training as part of overall efforts to enhance the force's combat prowess to deal with future security challenges.

The commanders, at a conference, also decided to revise the force's human resource management policy to make it more innovative towards meeting the requirements of a tech-enabled future-ready Indian Army.

The top Army brass also resolved to undertake organisational and procedural transformation in the 1.2 million force to ensure induction and absorption of niche technology towards futuristic capability development with a focus on 'Atmanirbharta' (self-reliance).

Towards this, the innovation potential of Army Design Bureau will be upscaled besides separate cells of the bureau being established at command headquarters.

"To further bolster the initiative, the option of creating a separate fund head will be explored. In addition, test bed brigades/ formations will be nominated to ensure greater efficiency and continuity in trials and finalisation of trial reports," the Army said.

"Moreover, to ensure lifetime support, future procurements will include aspects catering for holistic sustenance requirements during contract finalisation stage," it said.

In another significant decision, the top Army brass decided that the force's human resource management policies will be revised and attuned to facilitate absorption of niche technology with matching training infrastructure.

"The revised policy will be more innovative towards meeting the requirements of a tech-enabled future-ready Indian Army," the Army said in a statement.

"To ensure realistic wargame and training, feasibility of creating a tailor-made organisation to function as Adversarial Force will be explored," it said.

The commanders also decided to explore more opportunities to collaborate with other ministries to optimally utilise resources and synergise efforts for enhanced capability building and infrastructure development in border areas.

The Army Commanders' Conference concluded in New Delhi on Tuesday. The biannual event, held in a hybrid format, commenced with a virtual session chaired by Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande on March 28 and it was followed by in-person discussions on April 1 and 2.

The senior leadership of the Army brainstormed a wide array of security-related aspects, including ongoing transformation initiatives, leveraging technology and innovation for capability development, enhancing operational preparedness, addressing emerging security and HR-related issues.

In his address at the conference on Tuesday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reaffirmed the nation's trust in the Indian Army, acknowledging its indispensable role in national security.

He applauded the stellar role of the Army in guarding the borders, fighting terrorism and providing aid to the civil administration during crises.

Singh exhorted the Army leadership to constantly review doctrinal, structural, and organisational reforms to meet future challenges in view of the evolving security dynamics.

He emphasised the importance of developing a trained and motivated workforce that can handle the challenges of contemporary combat while being adept at futuristic evolution in warfighting.

Singh called on the leadership to invest in human capital by adhering to the traditions and principles of mutual respect, loyalty, and discipline.

The conference was was also addressed by Chief of Defence Staff Gen Anil Chauhan, Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande, Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar and Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari.

During the two-day deliberations in Delhi, the senior Army leadership delved deep into current and emerging security landscapes, contemporary subjects affecting the Indian Army and HR aspects affecting serving personnel, their families and the veteran community, the Army said in a statement.

"The necessity to align the training with technological advancements to harness the innovation potential of the Indian defence industry was also emphasised," it said.

"The senior leadership reviewed the progress made on the ongoing transformative initiatives and future thrust areas were identified. The Commanders expressed their satisfaction with the steady pace of achieving 'Atmanirbharta' in line with the national resolve," it added.

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