Shailesh Kumar, National Defence
New Delhi, 26 November 2019
The two day DEFCOM INDIA 2019 seminar commenced at Manekshaw Centre, New Delhi on 26 November 2019. The theme for the seminar is, “Communications: A Decisive Catalyst for Jointness”. The seminar is devoted to the seminal theme of leveraging communications for achieving jointness between the three services.
In his inaugural address the Raksha Rajya Mantri Shripad Naik highlighted that the announcement of Chief of Defence Staff by the Prime Minister has been made keeping in view the much needed reform to streamline and further improve the coordination and integration between the three services. He stressed that seamless communications between the three services were a pre-requisite for achieving the vision of jointness.
General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Army Staff during his key note address brought out the security challenges confronting the Nation and stressed on the need for ‘jointness’. He brought out that secure and interoperable joint communications were the need of the hour. General Bipin Rawat also stressed on the need for the industry to meet the aspirations of the Armed Forces and offer solutions which meet the operational requirements.
While delivering the welcome address, Jayant Patil, President (Designate), Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM) remarked that DEFCOM 2019 has brought together startups, R&D organizations and academia under one platform to showcase new technologies.
Patil commended the Ministry of Defence for setting out a well-defined target for the Indian Defence Production and Defence Exports by the year 2025. He also appreciated the persistent efforts of the Corps of Signals of Indian Army for encouraging indigenous manufacture of IT and Communications systems.
Lieutenant General Rajeev Sabherwal, AVSM, VSM, Signal Officer-in-Chief and Colonel Commandant of the Corps of Signals, in his Opening Address, highlighted that the recent announcement of the CDS by the Hon’ble PM is an important milestone towards achieving triservices jointness. General Sabherwal dwelt upon the critical importance of communication networks as the core element of “jointness” in every domain of warfare. He conveyed that the envisaged outcome of DEFCOM 2019 would be to define the contours of a joint communications framework for the tri-services.
Gen Bipin Rawat, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM, ADC, Chief of the Army Staff, delivered the Keynote Address and shared that in times to come, there will be major changes in the Corps of Signals, thereby enabling them to play a pivotal role in synergizing communications between the three services. He stressed on the need for developing indigenous technology to ensure highest level of security of the communication networks. Gen Rawat added that the network for spectrum will connect all military stations of the three services which will enable synergy of the desired level. He conveyed that the DEFCOM provides opportunity for the Industry to understand the requirements of the armed forces and match the same with Industry capabilities.
The Chief Guest for the conference, Raksha Rajya Mantri, Shripad Yesso Naik, in his inaugural address, stressed on the importance of communications in achieving triservices jointness. He said that the role of the defence industry will be critical in meeting the target of 5 Trillion USD economy by 2024. He also drew attention to the role of MSMEs in the defence ecosystem and shared that it is the Govt’s aim to have a two-fold increase in the number of MSMEs from 8,000 to 16,000.
DEFCOM 2019 one the first day witnessed active participation from the armed forces, industry, research and development organisations and the academia. It provided an excellent opportunity for the industry to understand the requirements of the Armed Forces. The DEFCOM exhibition showcased cutting edge communication solutions from the industry and gave officers from the three services an opportunity to gain insights on technology and industry capabilities. The prestigious DEFCOM journal was also released during the seminar
Shailesh Kumar is an independent journalist with over 17 years of experience in crime, political and defence reporting for leading media brands including Star News, India TV and NewsX. He is the founder editor of defence and security news portal, National Defence.