Indian troops standing firm, talks for peaceful resolution to continue: Rajnath

New Delhi (NVI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today said that talks with China for peaceful resolution of the ongoing border crisis would continue even as Indian troops are standing firm in forward areas.

While addressing the ongoing Army Commanders’ Conference, Singh expressed gratitude and said, “It is our national responsibility to ensure availability of best weapons, equipment and clothing to our troops braving extreme weather and hostile forces to defend our territorial integrity.”

Rajnath Singh complimented the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) for its efforts to build infrastructure in forward areas and working under difficult conditions to connect far-flung areas.

The Indian Army’s apex leadership is comprehensively deliberating upon all aspects of existing security scenarios, situation along the borders and in the hinterland and challenges for the present security apparatus in the ongoing conference.

In addition, the conference is also focussing on issues pertaining to organisational restructuring, logistics, administration and human resource management.

Referring to the situation along the Western borders, he complimented the Indian Army’s response to cross border terrorism and ceasefire violations.

“I compliment the excellent synergy between the CAPF/ Police forces and the Army in tackling the menace of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. It is due to the synergised operations in the Valley that the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is moving to a stable and peaceful environment conducive for overall growth and development,” he said.

Singh reaffirmed the faith of the billion-plus citizens on the Indian Army as one of the most trusted and inspiring organisations in the country. He reiterated the stellar role played by the Army in guarding our borders and fighting terrorism apart from providing assistance to the civil administration whenever called for.

He also appreciated the role played by Indian Armed Forces in the ongoing fight against COVID-19. He remarked that “Actions of Indian Army truly ensure the integrity and sovereignty of our great nation.”

In addition to this, the Defence Minister lauded the forces for the high standard of operational preparedness and capabilities which he experienced firsthand during his visits to forward areas. He also paid tributes to the bravehearts of Galwan, Kashmir and the North East for making the ultimate sacrifice in the defence of the motherland.

He further said that the “Creation of CDS and DMA is a momentous decision in Indian history and the concept of Integrated Battle Groups, Integrated Theatre Commands and Integrated Air Defence Commands will be game changers in the way Indian Armed forces fight future wars.”

He also remarked that, “These were a result of the decision by Prime Minster Modi to undertake decisive reforms for transformational change to improve operational capability.”

He also alluded to the establishment of the Defence Cyber and Space Agencies which will enhance the kinetic potential of the forces.

He appreciated the Army’s efforts to develop niche technologies in collaboration with civil industries including premier educational institutions. He also complimented the in-house development of the “Secure Application for Internet (SAI)”, an application for secure messaging within the Indian Army.

He also stated that, “The Government is focused on enhancing combat capability and ensuring welfare of soldiers”. He said that the Delegation of Financial Powers – 2016, Defence Procurement Manual and the Army HQ Restructuring proposals are currently under review and will be finalised soon.

He also remarked that the announcement of Atmanirbhar Bharat and notification of negative list of imports are big steps towards self-reliance in defence which offer a great opportunity to the Indian defence industry to meet the future requirements of the Armed Forces.

Singh also remarked that the decision to grant permanent commission to women in the Army is another significant decision that will ensure equal opportunities for professional growth to all officers irrespective of their gender.

He also assured the veteran community that all issues related to Ex Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS), which he said was one of the government’s flagship schemes, will be addressed expeditiously.

The recent decisions to enhance monitory assistance to ‘Next of Kin’ of all categories of Battle Casualties from existing Rs 2 lakh to Rs 8 lakh granted under ABCWF and removal of minimum service clause for enhanced ordinary family pension are some of the major decisions taken to alleviate problems of our families, the minister stated.

He concluded by saying that, “The Government is committed to facilitate the Army in their forward movement on road to reforms and capability development”.

-CHK