Uttarakhand, June 13: Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday exuded confidence that the Joint Civil-Military Programme will prove beneficial for the civil servants and Armed Forces officers in developing an understanding of coordination and collaboration in the domain of national security.
The Joint Civil-Military Programme was initiated by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Central government in 2001, with the intent of fostering a structured interface between the civil servants and Armed Forces officers for a shared understanding of national security.
In the programme, the participants are drawn from the Civil Services, Armed Forces and Central Armed Police Forces, as its objective is to familiarise the participants with challenges to the management of national security, emerging external and internal security environment and the impact of globalisation, to provide an opportunity for the participants to interact and exchange ideas on the subject and expose them to the imperatives of civil-military synergy.
While addressing the participants of the 28th Joint Civil-Military Training Programme at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), here in Mussoorie, Singh 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.
He also termed the Russia-Ukraine situation and other similar conflicts a 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, the 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 They have been replaced by proxies and non-combat wars,” he said.
“Technology, supply line, information, energy, trade system, finance system etc. are being weaponised, which can be used against us in the coming times. People’s cooperation is needed to deal with this widened scope of security challenges,” he said while emphasising the need to adopt the ‘Whole of the Nation’ and ‘Whole of the Government’ approach to overcome these (full-scale war) challenges.
Singh also asserted that a full-fledged process of civil-military jointness has been started by the Government with the creation of a post of the Chief of Defence Staff and the establishment of the Department of Military Affairs.
He said, “these decisions are proving to be helpful in making the country ready for future challenges.”
He further added that the steps taken to modernise the Armed Forces and make the defence sector ‘Aatmanirbhar’ have started to yield results.
The Defence Minister also shared his opinion 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 the future challenges.” He, however, maintained that “synergy does not mean infringing upon each other’s autonomy, it means working together while respecting one’s identity, like the colours in a rainbow.”
“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,” he said.
“After independence, India followed the old stream of governance which led to the creation of various social, economic and political institutions and ministries/departments for the security and prosperity of the people…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,” he said.
He stressed that the approach of working in silos has been changed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who focuses on working with jointness. “This new approach, with which the Government is now working, has ensured holistic development of the nation,” he stated.
He also paid glowing tributes to former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri who dedicated his life to the upliftment of the Nation. (Agencies)