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Modi calls for army to become 'future force'

NEW DELHI, March 6: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday stressed the importance of enhancing indigenisation in the national security system, not only in sourcing equipment and weapons but also in the doctrines, procedures and customs practised in the armed forces.

The Prime Minister also conveyed his appreciation for the dedication shown by the Indian armed forces over the past year during the coronavirus pandemic as well as the challenging situation on the northern border, his office said in a statement. He was addressing the Combined Commanders’ Conference at Kevadia in Gujarat.

“Every Indian is very proud of our armed forces. Their courage is remarkable. Urged the armed forces to think about various reforms that would make the forces even stronger. Also discussed ways to integrate brave veterans in the celebrations to mark 75 years of Independence,” Modi later tweeted.

Highlighting the rapidly changing technological landscape, the Prime Minister emphasised the need to develop the Indian military into a 'future force'. He also stressed the need to optimise manpower planning in both military and civilian parts of the national security architecture, according to the Prime Minister’s Office.

Modi called for a holistic approach, focused on breaking down civil-military silos and on expediting the speed of decision making as he advised the forces to rid themselves of legacy systems and practices that have outlived their utility and relevance.

The Prime Minister also pointed out that the country would be celebrating 75 years of its Independence next year, and called upon the armed forces to use the occasion to undertake activities and initiatives that would inspire the youth of the country.

The conference in Kevadia comes at a crucial time when the Indian and Chinese troops were negotiating disengagement in the eastern Ladakh sector. It also comes days after the announcement by Indian and Pakistani armies that they have begun observing a ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) from the midnight of February 24.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, the three service chiefs, secretary-ranked officers from the defence ministry and top military officials attended the event.



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