ARMY COMMANDERS’ CONFERENCE 16-21 Apr 2018- Verbatim statement By Lt Gen AK Sharma, DG, Staff Duties, Indian Army
1 Good afternoon to all present.
2 As you are aware that the Army Commanders’ Conference is a Bi-annual event and is the highest level ‘Military Conference’, which charters the course of the Indian Army through participative deliberations.
3. On 16 Apr 2018, the opening day of the conference, the participants were addressed by Hon’ble Raksha Rajya Mantri, Shri Subhash Ramrao Bhambre, During his address, the Hon’ble RRM while complimenting the Indian Army in handling the myriad of security challenges in a professional manner emphasised the need for being prepared for highly dynamic internal and external security challenges. He further reiterated the need for synergized capacity building between the three Services to optimize the resource allocations.
4. He assured that the govt was fully seized of issues pertaining to force modernization. capacity building and infrastructural development. As such, government has streamlined procedures by delegation of powers to the Service HQ for making up short falls in ammunition and critical spares. He concluded by reiterating that the government remained fine in its resolve to safeguarding India’s national interest and territorial integrity.
5. in his opening remarks on 16 Aor 2018. Chief of the Army Staff, impressed upon the need to work in a collaborative manner for retaining and enhancing the current levels of combat effectiveness. He expressed satisfaction at the way Indian Army was adapting to dynamic security challenges. He stressed on the need to lay down judicious priorities to ensure that the allocated resources are utilized optimally and the force modernization be carried out unabated.
6. Now I shall dilate upon issues deliberated during the conference. • First and foremost, the deliberations appraised the current sit along the LoC, the increase in the CFVs and the adequacy of the response mechanisms. The apex commanders confabulated on the prevalent situation in the Valley and reviewed the recent developments affecting modus operandi of the operations of the armed forces deployed in the region. It was felt that priority must be accorded towards ushering peace, by conducting counter terrorist operations that minimize collateral damage. Radicalized youth must be brought into the main stream by carrying out deradicalisation and collective approach that focuses on convincing the youth to shun violence and gun culture. The senior commanders also deliberated at length on the prevailing situations along the Northern borders, the capacity building endeavours including infrastructural development and measures to provide them requisite impetus • During the Army Commanders’ conference considerable time was spent on re-prioritizing the existing requirements to ensure that the resources allocated for force modernization and capacity building were utilized optimally within the budgetary allocation. The discussions also dwelt upon increasing the content of indegenisation in force modernization. • Human Resource management, facilitation of veterans and streamlining of ECHS formed important part of the discussions. The issues related to cadre management, assured career progression and measures to meet the genuine aspirations of the entire rank and file of the Indian Army were deliberated upon in great detail.
The other aspect which was given prominence during the conference was the recommendations of the Committee of Experts’ (i.e. the Shekatkar Committee). The issues discussed were the implementation timelines. the challenges thereof and the mechanism to mitigate the same.
7. The sessions of Commands was followed by update by Principal Staff Officers providing update on contemporary issues. The key issues covered during this session were financial management, equipment optimization, management of communication and data security and streamlining of existing procedures pertaining to administration. Discussions were also held on Cyber Security and Security of Military establishments and bases.
8. I wish to inform you that Indian Army was represented by 19 athletes in the Common Wealth Games 2018 Contingent. Out of these three won Gold medals, three Silver medals and four Bronze. The representatives of the Indian Army athletes in Common Wealth Games were felicitated during the conference and their performance was lauded by all Senior Commanders. In addition, Southern Comd was declared the Winners of the Army Sports Championship and was awarded the rolling trophy. COAS Gold Medal Essay Competition winners were also felicitated.
9. The conference is underway and would conclude on 21 Apr 2018. Tomorrow the Army Cdrs will be deliberating upon matters pertaining exclusively to Military operations. 10. Thank you.
Shailesh Kumar is an independent journalist with over 15 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.