Tuesday, 14 June 2022 | PNS | Dehradun
Defence minister Rajnath Singh said that unless the silos of the civil administration and armed forces are broken to deal with hybrid threats, the nation cannot expect adequate preparedness to respond to future challenges. He stressed that synergy does not mean infringing upon each other’s autonomy. Addressing participants of 28th Joint Civil-Military Training Programme at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) in Mussoorie on Monday, he pointed out that the concept of national security has broadened, as many non-military dimensions have been added to the more general aspect of protection from military attacks. Singh described the Russia-Ukraine situation and other similar conflicts as proof that the world is witnessing challenges far beyond conventional warfare. “War and peace are no longer two exclusive states, but a continuum. Even during peace, war continues on many fronts. A full-scale war is lethal to a country as much as it is for its enemies. Therefore, full scale wars have been avoided in the last few decades. They have been replaced by proxies and non-combat wars. Technology, supply line, information, energy, trade system, finance system etc. are being weaponised, which can be used as a weapon against us in the coming times. People’s cooperation is needed to deal with this widened scope of security challenges,” he said, while emphasising on the need to adopt ‘Whole of the Nation’ and ‘Whole of the Government’ approach to overcome these challenges.
He asserted that the full-fledged process of civil-military jointness has been started by the government with the creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff and establishment of Department of Military Affairs. He said, these decisions are proving to be helpful in making the country ready for future challenges. He added that the steps taken to modernise the armed forces and make the defence sector self-reliant have started to yield results with India not only manufacturing equipment for its armed forces, but also meeting the needs of friendly countries.
“India is a peace-loving nation which does not want war. It has never attacked any country, nor has it captured an inch of anyone’s land. However, if anyone casts an evil eye on us, we will give a befitting reply,” said the Defence minister.
He exuded confidence that programmes like the Joint Civil-Military Programme at LBSNAA will play a crucial role in the journey of civil-military integration, which has started under the present government. He said that while the division of work was necessary for the smooth functioning of a vast country like India, over a period of time departments and ministries started to work in silos. The approach of working in silos has been changed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who focusses on working with jointness. This new approach, with which the government is now working, has ensured holistic development of the nation, he added.
It will be recalled that the Joint Civil-Military Programme was initiated in 2001 to foster structured interface between civil servants and armed forces officers for a shared understanding of national security.