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Updated on: Friday, January 14, 2022, 10:41 PM IST

Army Day 2022: Retired Major General (Dr) P K Chakravorty pays a tribute to our soldiers

Wherever required, it provided voluntary assistance to the Government in all spheres
Photo: PTI

Photo: PTI

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The Indian Army has been forever in combat ever since Independence. The year 2021 has been crucial for the Indian Army. The Chinese, despite 14 rounds of talks, are present in disputed areas and do not appear to agree. It is indeed creditable that the entire force is positioned with stability in the cold winters of Eastern Ladakh. The Indian Army also maintained its operational efficiency despite the ongoing pandemic. Wherever required, it provided voluntary assistance to the Government in all spheres. The Army Day of 2022 will be conducted in the backdrop of these issues.

The celebration of Army Day takes place traditionally on January 15 to mark the taking over of the first Indian Commander-in-Chief by General (later Field Marshal) K M Cariappa, from General Francis Robert Bucher. This occurred on January 15, 1949. The Army Day in 2021 was the 73rd parade to commemorate the historic event. The parade displayed the equipment and soldiers of the Indian Army. The celebrations are held across the Indian Army and are an occasion for awarding personnel and units for their bravery and distinguished service. On this occasion, it would be appropriate for us to know that the Army is currently modernising its equipment to be prepared to meet its operational challenges. The ceremonies will be held under precautions to be maintained for Covid.

P K Chakravorty

India faces a two-front collusive hybrid threat from China and Pakistan as also encounters a half front created by insurgency. Currently, the equipment held by the combat arms needs to be modernised. Apart from this, both China and Pakistan are undertaking a revolution in military affairs concerning their Armed Forces.

China has a focussed plan on modernisation of its Armed Forces which has resulted in the Peoples Liberation Army transforming itself into a well-equipped force with state-of-the-art weapons. The current President and Commander-in-Chief have introduced reforms to make the PLA a professional organisation. A case in point is that China is currently exporting drones to 18 countries.

Pakistan on its part has left no stone unturned to modernise its forces with assistance from China. The current strategic situation has witnessed complex situations along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China and on the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan. Further President Xi Jinping has tweaked laws to make him more powerful with regard to the defence of the country. China has formulated a new Land border policy and Xi Jinping is assured of an additional five years of power. War is an irrational act, which occurs without any warning. Accordingly, there is a dire need to modernise our forces to enhance their capabilities to meet challenges.

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To match the PLA implies that the Indian Army must move its modernisation programme in top gear. Indian Government, in 2019 finalised a road map to spend $ 130 billion in the next five to seven years to modernise the Armed Forces and bolster their capabilities to effectively counter the challenges from the adversaries. The plan includes the acquisition of a wide variety of weaponry to include missiles, warships, drones, fighter jets, surveillance equipment and the creation of architecture for Artificial Intelligence.

The Indian Army will also receive its due share and undertake its ongoing modernisation at a deliberate pace. The Indian Army has undertaken the effort to restructure and optimise its manpower for greater finances to be available for procurement. The process of restructuring the Indian Army is taking place after obtaining necessary approvals. With all this, the Indian Army is ready for operations against both adversaries and internal threats.

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Published on: Saturday, January 15, 2022, 07:00 AM IST
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