NEW DELHI : Union Minister of Defence Shri Rajnath Singh on Monday said the government is committed to creating a robust, secure and self-reliant logistics system to effectively deal with future security challenges. Addressing a seminar on Army logistics here, the Union minister said the government is also focussing on establishing common logistics nodes in the country in tune with the needs of the three services.
Through these nodes, the resources of one service will be seamlessly made available to the rest, he said. “Government is committed to create a robust, secure, speedy and ‘Aatmanirbhar’ logistics system to effectively deal with future security challenges and take the country to greater heights,” he said. Singh delivered the keynote address at the first Indian Army Logistics seminar on the theme ‘Samanjasya Se Shakti’ at the Manekshaw Centre here. He also shared his insights on Information & Communication Technology (ICT) architecture, terming it as a major part of efficient logistics.
“All the services have developed their ICT architecture. It is our endeavour that there should be interoperability among the three services so that we can use our resources in the best way,” he added.
The defence minister also called for civil-military fusion to further strengthen the logistics system and stay prepared to deal with future challenges.
He emphasised that logistics in future wars will require jointness not only among the three services, but “also among different bodies in the form of industrial back-up, research and development, material support, industry and manpower”. The defence minister spoke of the synergy needed between civil and military stakeholders, and asserted that presence of representatives from different sectors of the two sides showed the “commitment” to achieve the goal as India stood on the threshold of an ‘Amrit Kaal’. “We are rapidly moving towards jointness of the three services,” Singh said, adding, logistics is among the fields that benefited the most from this jointness.
He said ‘atmanirbharta’ (self-reliance) in logistics is an important component, and the government has formulated many policies to achieve that goal.
It is an important need of the time to reform the logistics system in tune with the 21st century, the minister said.
Singh also underlined that India has made rapid progress in the rail and other sectors in transportation.
In the five years preceding 2014, doubling of tracks of 1,900 km of railway lines was done. And, in the last seven years doubling of line has been done for over 9,000 km of railway lines, he said.
The opening ceremony of the seminar was attended by Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande, IAF chief Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari and Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar and NITI Aayog member V K Saraswat, and officials of ministries of defence, railways, civil aviation, commerce and industry, paramilitary forces and representatives of academia and industry were also present on the occasion, among others.
The defence minister in his address also said, the foundation has been laid to establish a “strong logistics system”, which is pivotal for operational preparedness of the armed forces as it ensures that right items, with right quality and quantity, are available to the military at the right time and right place. Military logistics is an extremely important aspect that determines the outcome of a war, he said.
Elaborating on the visible positive results, Singh said that due to the government’s efforts, the response time has been significantly reduced to deal with counter-insurgencies as well as in disaster relief, humanitarian assistance, non-combat evacuation, combat search and rescue and casualty evacuation. This is an important aspect of nation building and all efforts are being made in this regard, he added.
The Union minister called for formulating robust policies to enhance commitment and mutual trust between civil and the military, which will provide a renewed thrust to the government’s vision of protecting the people from future threats.
He suggested learning from the policies and best practices of different countries, stressing that the highest level of civil-military coordination can only be achieved when all stakeholders come together under a robust framework.
Singh also threw light on a number of policies formulated by the government to integrate logistics in the country and make it self-reliant. These policies include National Logistics Policy, PM Gati Shakti and other efforts to ensure infrastructure development.
In his opening remarks, Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande emphasised on bringing synergy in the efforts of the nation to make India a global powerhouse of defence logistics. He exuded confidence that the ongoing efforts will not only cater to the domestic needs, but also help the friendly foreign countries.