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Army Commanders’ Conference: Focus on Modernisation, Capability Development, and Human Resource Management

New Delhi: The Army Commanders’ Conference, a biannual event aimed at discussing key security-related aspects, concluded in New Delhi. The conference, held in a hybrid format due to the ongoing circumstances, witnessed extensive deliberations on ongoing transformation initiatives, leveraging technology for capability development, enhancing operational readiness, and addressing emerging security challenges.

Chaired by General Manoj Pande, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), the conference commenced with a virtual session on March 28, 2024, followed by in-person discussions on April 1 and 2. Senior leadership of the Army brainstormed on various aspects, emphasizing the need for doctrinal reforms, organizational restructuring, and technological advancements to meet future challenges.

In his keynote address on April 2, 2024, Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh reiterated the nation’s trust in the Indian Army and its crucial role in ensuring national security. He commended the Army’s contributions in safeguarding borders, countering terrorism, and providing assistance during crises. Singh urged the Army leadership to continuously review and adapt to doctrinal, structural, and organizational reforms to address evolving security dynamics effectively.

Singh also lauded the Army’s efforts in developing indigenous technologies in collaboration with industry and educational institutions, emphasizing the importance of modernization through indigenization. He reiterated the government’s commitment to the welfare of soldiers, veterans, and their families, emphasizing the need for a trained and motivated workforce capable of handling contemporary combat challenges.

During the conference, General Anil Chauhan, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), emphasized the importance of jointness, integration, and technological absorption in line with the ‘Third Revolution in Military Affairs.’ He commended the Army for its professionalism and commitment to border security while embracing transformational changes.

COAS General Manoj Pande applauded the Army for embracing transformational changes enthusiastically and stressed the need for continued efforts in technology absorption and doctrinal reforms. He emphasized the importance of seamless situational awareness and doctrinal flexibility to meet future operational challenges effectively.

The conference also saw addresses from Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), and Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), highlighting the importance of enhanced jointness and synergy among the services for optimal operational outcomes.

Distinguished speakers, including Amitabh Kant and Pankaj Saran, underscored the changing geopolitical landscape and the growing role of the armed forces in India’s rise. They emphasized the need for strategic planning and readiness to navigate complex global dynamics effectively.

Over the two days, senior Army leadership reviewed ongoing initiatives, identified future thrust areas, and emphasized the importance of aligning training with technological advancements. Key takeaways included organizational and procedural transformations, revisions in human resource management policies, and explorations into creating tailor-made organizations for realistic wargames and training.

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