By Anupama Airy
The government will actively look at the proposal of creating a separate category of fast track procurement for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) equipments, which have to face an immediate impact following swift advancements in the technology space.
“The suggestion from the Signal Officer In Charge (Lt General Ashish Ranjan Prasad) to create a separate category of Fast Track procurement for ICT equipment which are very severely and rapidly effected by technological obsolescence is a very good suggestion….I will follow it up with the staff in the Ministry,” said the minister of state for defence, Dr Subhash Bhamre while assuring the Indian Army of a quick decision.
The minister’s remarks assume significance as rapid advances in ICT today will drive changes in the way future wars will be conducted in a digitized battlefield.
On his part, while stressing upon the need for induction of latest technology for the armed forces, Indian Army Chief, Gen Bipin Rawat said the induction of technologies into the Army’s communication systems has to be ruggedized and light weight, as wars are fought on the border.
“The Army has to keep pace with the digitized world and ensure that most of its systems are digitised as early as possible….. At the same time it has to be remembered that war will be fought on the border and therefore the technology to be incorporated into the Army’s communication system has to be ruggedized and light weight,” Gen Rawat said.
Dr Bhamre and Gen Rawat made these observations at the two-day Defcom India 2017 event, organised jointly by the Corps of Signals of the Indian Army and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). Also present at the event were Lt General Sarath Chand , Vice Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Ashish Ranjan Prasad, Signal Officer- in – Chief, Major General Milind N Bhurke, ADG Tactical Communications besides Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General CII.
Acknowledging the pace at which technology advancements were happening, Dr Bhamre assured that increasing of infrastructure for the Digital Army based on the latest state-of-the-art technologies is a top priority of the Government. He added that the robust, secure, high capacity data networks and information systems were an urgent necessity for Operational Commanders.
‘They are also a critical facet of the force modernisation plans of the Indian Army, which will further form a fulcrum for Tri-services integration in times to come’, he added.
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However, from security point of view, the minister noted that creation of infrastructure for the Digital Army will need indigenous Indian solutions. He emphasized that the creation of indigenous capabilities in ICT for the Defence sector will give a major fillip to the ‘Make in India’ programme.
“We in the Government have realized the importance of information enabled services for all our citizens…Like the ‘Digital India’ initiative is aimed at creating a digitally empowered society, in the same way ‘Information Superiority’ can empower military commanders at all levels to ensure our continued military dominance in all operations,” Dr Bhamre said.
“Future wars will be fought under the gaze of omniscient sensors and given the improved weapon systems, they will be more intense and of shorter durations,” he added.
The minister noted that creation of indigenous capabilities in ICT for Defence sector will gave a major fillip to the ‘Make in India’ programmer, which is a flagship initiative of the Government.