New Delhi: Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande on December 29 said that the Indian Army is fully committed and supportive of efforts towards evolving the integrated theatre commands. During the address at the 4th Gen KV Krishna Rao memorial lecture, Gen Pande said, “From General Rao’s times while the legacy challenges of disputed and unresolved borders continue, the nature of threats both in the conventional as well as the non-conventional domain have undergone a change.”
“You have disruptive and dual-use technologies, which impact the character of warfare, making battle spaces more complex, contested, and more lethal,” he added. The Army Chief said that Information Warfare has sharpened the potential of social media in conflict zones and we have been witness to this for some time now, making it an increasingly significant part of conflict prosecution.
“The grey zone aggression characterized by deniability caution quotient is emerging as a strategy of choice and our adversaries are constantly striving to widen this brand of resume grey zone in the conflict spectrum by employing both kinetic as well as non-kinetic means,” he said. He pointed out that India’s geopolitical influence in the international environment has expanded and grown manifold.
“Today, we are witness not only to the rising aspirations of our people, but also the expectations of the world community from our country and the vision for Amrit Kaal for the next 25 years that the honourable Prime Minister enunciated,” he said. General Manoj Pande further mentioned that he will focus on four key aspects while mentioning the transformation of the Indian Army.
“The first one is on the aspect of human resource management, where you all are aware of the progressive and in fact, the path-breaking reform of the Agnipath scheme, which was taken about six months back. And we just have started the Agniveers joining the regimental centres – the first batch is of close to 25,000. We also have come up with an extremely transparent, robust, and credible Assessment and Selection system based on which the selected Agniveers will then form the core of our organization in the future,” he said.
He then highlighted the initiatives regarding the modernisation and infusion of technology. “The second aspect of transformation that we’re looking at is of course, the modernization and infusion of technology through a focused roadmap especially in the context of induction of niche and disruptive technologies. In this regard, again, a number of initiatives and most of you would be aware, we have established Centres of Excellence, especially for AI and quantum key distribution of the MCTE. We also have with the leading academic institutions of the country, established what we are calling the Indian Army cells. This will form the basis of our subsequent major capital procurement project,” he said.
Emphasizing that it is the right size that matters in terms of rebalancing, force restructuring and optimization of our organizations, he asserted, “The third aspect of reforms is in terms of rebalancing, force restructuring and optimization of our organizations. As far as restructuring and reshaping the organization are concerned, I think it is more to I would say right size rather than reducing the size of an organization. It also has to do with improving or getting the teeth-to-tail ratio right. And this regard a number of legacy organizations, legacy units, and establishments, which we found have little or less relevance in today’s environment. We are either planning to completely do away with them or maybe rationalize the numbers or in fact, sort of combine some of these organizations in terms of focusing on only our core function, certain non-core activities is something which again, we’re looking at undertaking outsourcing in a big way.”
The Army Chief also pointed out the importance of jointness and better integration. “Lastly, and perhaps the most important one amongst all four is this aspect of jointness and better integration. And that is where I take the topic for today’s lecture on theorization which General Naravane will elaborate on. We are also looking at how best you can integrate it aggregate the capabilities of the three services both in terms of jointness, integration and finally in terms of achieving the integrated theatre command models,” he told.
“As these initiatives are underway, I am reminded of the famous quote of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi who said “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” he added. He said that Army Training Command is leading the effort in change management philosophy. “To address the impact of these changes or transition, the cognitive domain is as important and in that context, we have come up with a change management philosophy where our Army Training Command is leading the effort. This not only applies to the senior or the middle-level military leaders but even to the junior leaders, which I think should be our guiding document in the near future.”
Concurrently, he said that ensuring a good organisational climate breeds not only competence and in turn, leads to success. “I’m confident that all these changes that I just alluded to, will bring in a new vigour and confidence in the Indian Army and make it stronger, more capable to be in strike with the future. In effect, all our efforts that I mentioned aim towards giving shape to a modern professional army,” he concluded.