Independence Day 2020: It is nation first for Indian Army
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The Indian Army is the country's last line of defence. Apart from protecting the nation from all adversaries, internal and external, the Army has also undertaken a host of initiatives for the betterment of the nation and in the process contributed proactively to nation-building. The army's people friendly operations in the Kashmir valley have supplemented the Indian government's decision to abrogate Article 370 and assisted the administration of both union territories to reorganise themselves and function in the federal structure of the Indian Union. Synergy between security forces in Kashmir has achieved remarkable success in elimination of large number of terrorist leadership which has significantly dented the morale and recruitment of terror groups. Counter terrorist operations have ensured that terrorists have not been able to execute any major terror attack after the Pulwama incident in February 2019. The Army was instrumental in the successful and incident free conduct of Amarnath Yatra 2019, Panchayat, Block Development Council and Parliamentary elections and enactment of state re-organisation.

Pro-active operations by the Indian army in conjunction with Assam Rifles have ensured a stable situation in significant areas of the North East. Both organisations have conducted carefully calibrated operations to facilitate the smooth conduct of civic life and environment of peace in the areas, that is congenial to the socio-economic development of the region. The army has also continued with its people friendly operations including constructing and implementing small civil projects in remote areas, supplementing the initiatives of the local government.

Defence cooperation with armies of friendly foreign countries constitutes an important tool for furtherance of national interests and foreign policy objectives. In keeping with India’s rising global stature in recent years, the Indian Army has undertaken a host of cooperation and coordination exercises with major and middle powers in and out of the Indo-Pacific region, cementing its reputation as one of the most professional armies in the world. The army's spectrum of interaction with friendly foreign forces ranges from humanitarian and disaster relief operations, joint military exercises and academic sessions.

Joint exercises with friendly foreign countries constitute the most visible component of defence cooperation engagements. In the previous year, Indian Army embarked on enhancing the scope and complexity of joint exercises and hosted two multinational exercises based on regional groupings for African nations and ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus countries. The Army also participated in inaugural bilateral joint exercise with Uzbekistan and hosted the first tri-service Exercise Tiger Triumph with the United States of America. Indian Army has also been participating in various events in previous editions. Army Scout Masters Competition was hosted in India for the first time in August 2019. Eight teams from Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Belarus, Sudan and India participated in the event and the Indian Army won the event hands down, displaying its professionalism and combat capabilities. Indian Army modernisation efforts covered the entire spectrum of conflict. Major initiatives were undertaken at organisation and ministerial levels to give impetus to acquisition and procurement of critical weapons and equipment, thrust being on augmenting lethality, survivability, mobility, battle field transparency and insertion (special operations).

The Indian army has excelled in all areas of operations and also contributed immensely in nation building by undertaking people friendly projects. Indian army's interactions with friendly foreign countries have advanced the strategic interests of the country. The Indian Army continues with its pledge to be the sword arm of the nation with a humane touch.

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