The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today said that the hybrid nature of conflicts coupled with increasing use of drones and cyber warfare has brought a paradigm shift to the battlefield and asked our armed forces to develop capabilities in these new and emerging areas. It should be our vision to develop the Indian military into a ‘future force’, he said.
Addressing the officers and staff of Defence Services Staff College, Wellington today, the Vice President said that India is facing multiple security challenges in a highly complex and unpredictable geo-political environment. Noting that we are facing both symmetric and asymmetric threats from outside and within, he wanted our armed forces to be fully prepared to handle any challenge and repel any security threat firmly. Observing that India’s approach has always been of peaceful coexistence and never an expansionist one, he expressed confidence that any attempt to challenge India’s sovereignty by inimical forces would be dealt with strongly by our security forces.
Shri Naidu also said that in its long history, India has never invaded other countries and we have always has always maintained peaceful coexistence with other nations. We believe in the value of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, he added.
On this occasion, Shri Naidu said that geostrategic and geopolitical compulsions, terrorism and climate change, have added to the complexity of the security matrix and called for having a deeper understanding of such issues. Recognising that a change in the security paradigm with time is today’s reality, he stressed the need to constantly strengthen our preparedness and draw up a robust strategy.
Emphasising the need to attain self-reliance in defence and aerospace technology, Shri Naidu appreciated the government for taking several initiatives towards atmanirbharta in this crucial field. “As we step into the future, you will have to graduate from single service competencies to multi domain challenges which require a thorough understanding of joint and multi domain operations,” he told the officers and wanted the trainers and faculty of DSSC to inculcate a sense of jointness and synergy amongst all students.
Recognizing that the armed forces are amongst the most respected entities of our country, the Vice President said that they have earned the regard of their fellow citizens through their untiring efforts and great sacrifices. “Be it fighting external aggression or insurgencies or aiding civil administration during the times of natural calamities, the men and women in uniform have always done the nation proud,” he further said.
The Vice President also commended the members of the armed forces in dealing with the situation on our borders as well as the recent COVID-19 pandemic. “I feel elated when I interact with members of the armed forces. I always find their high morale and dedication to duty extremely inspiring,” he said.
Stressing the need to make people more aware of the dedication and sacrifices of our brave soldiers, Shri Naidu called for creating monuments for such heroes in our educational institutions to infuse a sense of patriotism and respect for armed forces in our younger generation.
Pointing out that India has had a glorious tradition of women warriors, Shri Naidu cited many examples of outstanding women military generals in our history such as Rani Durgavati of Gondwana, Rani Abbakka, the Tuluva queen, Rudrama Devi, Kittur Chennama, Rani VeluNachiyar, Laxmibai and Begum Hazrat Mahal. He expressed happiness over the government’s efforts towards empowering women in the uniformed services such as implementation of Permanent Commission for women officers and opening of National Defence Academy and all Sainik Schools for girls. “I am happy to see women officers being posted in the fighter stream of the Air Force, onboard naval ships, in the Corps of Military Police and also in Missions abroad,” he said and called these signs of a welcome trend. It is my firm conviction that all steps should be taken to give women equal opportunities in every sphere of life,” Shri Naidu further said.
Praising DSSC for its sterling contribution to training and educating the future leaders of armed forces of India, the Vice President complimented the faculty members and trainers of DSSC as seasoned Gurus nurturing 21st century military professionals and thought leaders.
He also praised the officers and soldiers of the Madras Regiment for their glorious history of service with distinction.
Thiru K. Ramachandran, Minister for Forests, Govt. of Tamil Nadu, Lt. Gen S Mohan, AVSM, SM, VSM, Commandant of the Defence Services Staff College, distinguished members of the defence services, veterans and other dignitaries were present.