Conveying his strong appreciation for the “resolute dedication” shown by the armed forces over the past year, in the context of the COVID pandemic and the challenging situation on the northern border, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday advised the services to “rid themselves of legacy systems and practices that have outlived their utility and relevance.”
Mr Modi was addressing the valedictory session of the three-day Combined Commanders Conference (CCC) at Kevadia in Gujarat.
“Prime Minister stressed the importance of enhancing indigenisation in the national security system, not just in sourcing equipment and weapons but also in the doctrines, procedures and customs practised in the armed forces,” a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said.
Stating that the Prime Minister was briefed by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) about the discussions during this year’s conference, the statement said Mr. Modi particularly appreciated the inclusion of Junior Commissioned Officers (JCO) and Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO) this year.
The annual CCC brings together the military commanders and top officers of the three Services and civilian leadership in the national defence system.
Emphasizing the need to optimise manpower planning in both military and civilian parts of the national security architecture, Mr. Modi also called for a “holistic approach, focused on breaking down civil-military silos and on expediting the speed of decision-making.”
Taking note of the rapidly changing technological landscape, Prime Minister highlighted the need to develop the Indian military into a ‘future force’, the statement said. Pointing out that the country would be celebrating 75 years of its independence next year, Mr. Modi called upon the armed forces to use the occasion to undertake activities and initiatives that would inspire the youth of the country, the statement added.
This year’s CCC occurred as India and China are in the process of finalising the second phase of disengagement in Eastern Ladakh to end the ongoing standoff and also as armies of India and Pakistan reaffirmed their commitment last week to the 2003 ceasefire amid escalating firing across the Line of Control (LoC) and other areas.
Since 2015, the CCC has been held outside the national capital and the last edition was held in 2018 at Air Force Station, Jodhpur. Since, then there have a series of higher defence reforms including the appointment of the first CDS and setting up of the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) as part of triservice integration. The formation of integrated theatre commands is in advanced stages of implementation.