With India being part of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as non-permanent member from 1 January 2021, and UN 75 years of celebration (2020) hangover rolling over to next year, the debate on UNSC reforms continues, with no worthwhile progress, despite high pitch for reforms made by many countries including India. The fact that unilateral and multilateral interventions without UNSC sanction continue to happen, UN hesitancy and alleged delay to declare coronavirus as pandemic are seen as arm-twisting by Permanent Five (P5) member and UNSC passes resolution to grant stipend to a UN-designated global terrorist, diluting global response to biggest security challenge of the century, are some examples to justify poor credibility of UN/UNSC in absence of reforms.
It’s also a fact that there is no other alternative organisation to the UN, with as much recognition and membership of various countries, having large No of missions of various kinds to its credit, for various global roles, but it needs to be reformed to meet the aspirations of developing countries. Thomas G Weiss argues that If the United Nations did not exist, we would have to invent it. So why not to use our analytical toolkits to repair it?
UNSC was composed by victors of the Second World War in 1945 to suit their interests and the UN Charter was designed accordingly, giving to themselves the Permanent membership and veto power in the Council. The geopolitical, strategic, economic realities have changed considerably since then, but the UNSC has not reformed itself to these global realities. With global economic and population fulcrum shifting to Indo-Pacific, inadequate Asian representation and no African and Latin American representation are pushing the UN to irrelevance, unless it reforms itself.
The need for UNSC reforms has been emphasised by most of the UN Secretary Generals during their tenures. Antonio Guterres expression “The Security Council we have now does not correspond to today’s world. I have encouraged member states to have a serious dialogue on this. I want to continue this dialogue at the UN General Assembly, but the permanent members do not agree” indicates the helplessness of the UN in dealing with P5 on the subject. Indian PM Modi in his address on the 75th Anniversary of UN had urged that “Reform in the responses, in the processes, and in the very character of the UN is the need of the hour”. Many other countries have expressed similar sentiments since the last three decades.
WHAT NEEDS TO BE REFORMED?
UNSC in current form is not representative of the developing world and global needs, with the primacy of policy being a political tool in hands of P5, is well recognised globally. By 1992, India, Brazil, Germany, and Japan (referred as G4) had put up their claims and logic for demanding inclusion as permanent members. India has been part of the UN since inception, has the world’s second-largest population and is the world’s largest democracy suited to represent South Asia, having contributed maximum peacekeepers to the UN so far. Brazil is the largest country in Latin America (unrepresented continent) and fifth largest in the world. Japan and Germany are one of the largest financial donors to the UN.
Besides G4 countries South Africa (largest economy in African Continent) is also a claimant, as the Continent remains unrepresented on a high table of permanent members. The pitch for reforms of G4 was lowered by their regional rivals like Italy, Pakistan, Mexico and Egypt, which started formulation of another interest group, known to be “Uniting for Consensus” opposing G4 becoming permanent members with a veto power. The efforts for expansion of UNSC and reforms were also made in the form of The General Assembly Task Force on Security Council Reform and 2005 Kofi Annan’s Plan to expand to 24 member UNSC, with various combinations for equitable representation, but none of the initiatives have worked so far.
Reform in UNSC requires an amendment to the UN charter, in accordance with Article 108, which highlights that any reform of the Security Council not only requires the support of at least two-thirds of UN member states, but also all the permanent members of the UN Security Council must also agree to that, as they have veto powers. The stance of P5 members to expansion has been varying as per their national interest, like most P5 members agree to Indian inclusion, except China.
VETO POWER: THE BONE OF CONTENTION
Reforms to improve effectiveness and responsiveness of UN to international security challenges are meaningless without the reform of the UNSC veto power with P5, which enables any one of them to prevent the adoption of any “substantive” draft Council resolution, regardless of its level of international support. There have been many proposals since inception from totally abolishing veto power to selectively using for vital national security issues and requiring agreement from multiple states before exercising the veto thereby following consensus principle. The roadblock is that Articles 108 and 109 of the United Nations Charter grant the P5 veto over any amendments to the Charter, requiring them to approve of any modifications to the UNSC veto power that they themselves hold. It thus becomes obvious that even if one member of P5 doesn’t agree to any reform, the UNSC cannot be reformed.
It has been seen in the past that UNSC in some of major global security issues, the UNSC could not arrive at a consensus and interventions happened by countries mainly from P5 without UNSC resolution. US entry in the Iraq war or Warsaw Pact war in Afghanistan are few cases in point. Holding veto power by any P5 member, therefore, doesn’t guarantee that a resolution howsoever important will get through in its favour, but it certainly guarantees that no resolution against its interest will go through in UNSC. It therefore gives a lucrative power which P5 members will not like to give up or share. The G4 members sometimes had agreed to compromise to become permanent members without veto power, but it means very little in terms of reforms.
Today the Permanent members (P5) countries in UNSC being a divided house, the veto power is the biggest obstacle in getting through any resolution, even for the global benefit, if it happens to be against national interest of any one of the P5 members or their allies/partners. UNSC has thus become an organisation, which can pass strong resolutions against weak countries, weak resolutions against strong countries and no resolution against P5 countries, and its implementation also follows the same power structure and politics. To address an extreme security crisis, breach of the peace or act of aggression, wherein the use of armed force is necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security, if the P5 fail to reach unanimity to discharge this primary responsibility, the UNGA can immediately consider to make appropriate recommendations (with two third majority) to members for collective measures, as per UNGA resolution 377 (Uniting for peace), but these provisions have sparingly been applied due to possible backlash from P5.
Besides the existing P5 members, an expansion of UNSC from five to 10 permanent members, with the addition of G4 and South Africa will provide equitable regional representation besides balancing developing and developed worlds to meet the aspirations of humanity. These ten countries account for nine out of ten largest economies and eight out of ten largest defence budgets. The rotational election of non-permanent members the numbers, which was increased from six to 10 in 1965, could continue on regional representational basis as hitherto fore. The expansion of P5 without veto power makes very little impact on the problems, because of which the reforms are required. Ideally the veto power should be abolished, but I don’t think P5 will like to part with their trump card, which makes them powerful in the UN.
WILL UNSC REFORMS EVER HAPPEN?
Under the given charter, articles and structures, there is very little hope for UNSC reforms in near future unless the lack of reforms can push the credibility crisis of UN to a degree that it becomes unsustainable for UN to function, or incidences of side-lining UN increase manifold. Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan (2015) has aptly said If the UN Security Council does not appoint new permanent members then its primacy may be challenged by some of the new emerging countries.
There is also a possibility that if the UN doesn’t reform itself, it may lose relevance and alternate global and regional groupings may assume greater importance with issue based consensus in like-minded groupings for unilateral/multilateral actions. More global pressure from middle powers like G4 may force an expansion of UNSC as a possibility, but abolition of veto power in current set up is unlikely, as it makes P5 powerful to an extent that the threat of using veto sometimes forces a change in drafting of resolution, even if it’s not in best interest of humanity. No P5 member is likely to compromise this power in its own national interest, which is generally prioritised before global interest, thus making the reformation process a mirage.
Maj Gen S.B. Asthana (Retd) is a strategic and security analyst, a veteran Infantry General with 40 years experience in national & international fields and UN. The views expressed are personal.
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SINO-INDIAN LOGJAM: THE STRATEGIC GAINS AND IMPLICATIONS OF GALWAN
Galwan is a turning point in our history. It was India’s ‘Casablanca’ moment when our boys stood on the burning deck to turn tables. It was that moment in time when India and the world realized that the Chinese can be overcome. It was the Nth coming of the Indian Armed Forces from behind. It ensured that India regained its strategic confidence. Many articles have appeared to commemorate the incident. However, a strange dichotomy has emerged. Most analysts say that India is in a state of asymmetry with PLA which has hung a Damocles sword over Ladakh to tie us down to our Northern Borders at the expense of our maritime interests in the IOR. One detects ‘Strategic Hesitancy’ due to a gross overestimation of Chinese capabilities despite Galwan and its aftermath. We need to understand the strategic gains of Galwan and their implications.
Indian Army officer Capt Soiba Maningba Rangnamei of 16 Bihar Regiment during the clash with Chinese soldiers in the Galwan Valley. (ANI Photo)
Fact 1: In Mar 2020, the Belfer Centre analysis stated “China is regularly operating with a permanent Indian conventional force advantage along its border areas…it would have to rely upon mobilization primarily from Xinjiang and secondarily from the Western Theatre Command… By contrast, Indian forces are already largely in position”. This forecast has been borne out on ground. My own view is that China does not have an ‘Akshay Patra’ from where it can draw forces without consequences – long and short term. The PLA does not have numerical superiority over Indian Army along the LAC if numbers are crunched. Further, the recruitment standards of PLA have been lowered as per South China Morning Post and many other inputs. The quality of PLA is suspect.
Fact 2: PLA Air Force (PLAAF) suffers from a numerical disparity in comparison to the IAF along the LAC. India has a stronger air position, with a large number of airfields. Even if some airfields are down, operations can continue from other locations. The same is not true for PLAAF. IAF has a clear edge for the present. The PLAAF is trying to neutralise this edge by building up air infrastructure at a frenetic pace.
Fact 3: Any terrain allows deployment up to a level only. Beyond that, pumping in more forces results in diminishing returns. It is a matter of space, logistics, effectiveness, survivability, mobility and recuperability. In high altitudes, these factors get compounded. From a defensive perspective, India has adequate forces to thwart China. In my considered opinion, China does not have enough forces to wage a decisive war in its favour against India.
Fact 4: China is transforming PLA from a conventional land based force to a multidimensional force with a global foot print. Increasing force levels along the LAC is at expense of the larger role. The assessment to be done is whether a hand brake has been already put on this process post Galwan.
Fact 5: Comprehensive national power is a fictional metric coined by the Chinese to create a halo. It has no value on the battle field. Otherwise Taliban should not have kept USA on the run for so long. India needs to fight asymmetrically to defeat PLA. While India has the tools to do so in Tibet, PLA does not have it. There are no morals in not using the asymmetric option against an untrustworthy enemy.
Fact 6: Conventional ‘big’ battles between nuclear nations is fertile imagination. Most of the conventional weapons are now consigned to deterrence only. However we need to be prepared to defend our territorial integrity conventionally if push comes to the shove. The trend will be localised battles of high pressure and intensity.
Pre-Galwan Opinion: As per the Belfer Center Report, ‘India has key under-appreciated conventional advantages that reduce its vulnerability to Chinese threats and attacks. India appears to have cause for greater confidence in its military position against China than is typically acknowledged in Indian debates, providing the country an opportunity for leadership in international efforts toward nuclear transparency and restraint. Indian strategists have not focused on this opportunity, in part because they draw pessimistic conclusions regarding China’. How true!
Corroboration. Overall all these facts and opinion have been borne out in the past one year on ground in Eastern Ladakh. However things are changing.
The PLA executed a premeditated and calibrated operation to ensure that the focus of Indian action remains on the LAC instead of expanding to POK and Aksai Chin. This was in response to abrogation of Article 370 and its political postulations. To that extent, China has achieved its aim as I have enunciated in my article ‘Aim Revisited’@ https://www.gunnersshot.com/2021/06/please-read-in-conjunction-with-these.html . However when viewed in the larger context, PLA did not achieve objectives to cripple India like cutting off the DSDBO road or inflicting a military defeat on the Indian Army or coercing India into alignment with China or preventing India from doing what it wants. In fact the opposite has happened. PLA had to retreat humiliatingly after destroying their own defences and obliterating the Chinese flag. To that extent China stands defeated. However there are larger issues which have exposed the severe limitations of the PLA and China. We need to exploit them. Unfortunately at a military level, these have not come out clearly. At the political level it has not been realised as to how to drive home the advantage which Galwan gave us. I will leave the bureaucratic level out, whose (in)action has contributed more to the detriment of national interests, objectives and strategy.
PLANNED OFFENSIVE VS SPEED OF REACTION
The PLA incursions were meticulously planned with two divisions at a time and place of China’s choice. News of rehearsals on walk-through GIS models had also been publicised. It was probably appreciated that India will not be able to react in time and space to even pose a challenge to PLA. Hence two divisions would be able to militarily coerce India to achieve multiple political aims and objects. The execution failed due to gross under-assessment of Indian capabilities. All these were probably based on PLA norms. These norms indicate PLAs lack of military grasp. Its incapability to exploit the advantage and initiative when the window of opportunity opened is well established now. However the more important issue is the Indian reaction. We could build up an equivalent amount of forces to mirror PLA deployment in a matter of 2-3 weeks and stymie the offensive in super high altitudes. In the battlefield equations of time and space, capability to build up forces in such quick time frames indicates India’s latent offensive capability. Any one noticed that? India’s military capability to launch an offensive into Tibet at a time and place of its choosing by beating the PLA in time is now established. The edge which IAF brings to the table enhances Indian offensive potential. India will win the ‘Race to the Swift’ unless PLA commits additional forces in Tibet on a permanent basis. It seems to be doing that now! Anyone with fundamental common sense will discern as to who is tying down whom. Further, it tells us that we need to get into a preventive counterattacking mode rather than being permanently defensive.
OUTMANOEUVRE IN HIGH ALTITUDE
Occupation of Kailash Range and heights above Finger 4 in the face of PLA led to China being outmanoeuvred. More importantly, there was no counter manoeuvre by the PLA due to its limited capability in high altitude. The limitations of a political Army when set against a professional Army have been exposed. Significantly, the capability of PLA will not get better since it has already degraded its intake standards of height, eyesight and even hearing. Overall it leaves PLA as a vulnerable force in the mountains at super high altitudes. This will be exploited by all forces opposing China anywhere. It has taught everyone that PLA can be arm twisted into retreat.
There are reports in the media that PLA is turning over both the divisions from Eastern Ladakh. It begs a question. Why are they doing so? It takes more than a year for troops to get used to the environment and be fit for fighting. Just when those two divisions were getting fit to fight they are being turned over. PLA will now have two new divisions which are not fully fit for high altitude warfare. There are two explanations. First. The two divisions are beat-up and fatigued in near combat. Poor show then. Second. PLA troops do not identify with Tibet as their home land worth defending by sacrificing their life. After all, China as it exists today is an unnatural country which has never existed earlier in history. It has a spatial divide, an ethnic/racial divide and an economic divide between its Han dominated core in the East and the non-Han West. Despite all the talk of change of demography, Hans have not settled in Tibet in droves. Both these issues need monitoring to assess PLA’s ability and commitment to fight a last man last round battle in high altitudes.
Rebalancing a strike corps deployed against Pakistan to face the PLA has a tremendous strategic dividend for India. The rebalancing exercise does not detract our capability against Pakistan or in the IOR. On the other hand dual tasking significantly enhances our defensive and offensive options and capabilities along the LAC. PLA has now been forced to react to this. It will have to deploy additional forces in Tibet which is its secondary theatre and it will be at the cost of its larger geopolitical priorities. It has come to light that PLA is busy building infrastructure to house troops permanently along the LAC. PLA has been forced to commit itself much more to the LAC than hitherto fore and it no more takes Indian Army for granted.
THE GEO-STRATEGIC FALLOUT
Galwan inspired many countries to face up and counter China which were hesitant to do so till then. Malaysia, Phillipines, Singapore, Japan and Vietnam took up issues more forcefully with China after Galwan. These countries will be thankful that India has tied down China in remote Tibet. It takes Chinese focus away from them. Unfortunately, this fact has not been played up by either our diplomacy or strategic community to build or form a coalition of nations which are militarily affected by China and have a dialogue with them for joint action. Galwan also forced convergence of all democratic nations to form an unitary view about China. QUAD would not have come about without this action. NATO would not have declared China as a systemic global security challenge. The geo-strategic fallout has been huge.
We have turned ‘Defeat into Victory’ but are we capitalising on it? We have exposed the limitations of PLA. The Chinese seem to have learned from their shortcomings. They are increasing the depth of the battlefield and building a firm base. I do not see a plan to overcome our short comings. We remain in awe of Chinese! We are not able to tell the world as to how to deal with China! There is a need for political and strategic introspection. Galwan has also brought out that while we are fully prepared and capable of taking on the PLA in close battles, we are unprepared for the deep battle. We need to be able to deter the Chinese from any further adventurism by re-tooling for war in super high altitudes. We should enforce ‘Standoff’. Standoff can be imposed by improving battlefield transparency, reach, and survivability of existing forces. Let me put it across simply, the table which I outlined in my earlier article can be implemented incrementally, with indigenous technology as an evolutionary process. It needs unified thinking and clarity of mind. More than great financial investment, it needs commitment and dedication. That is sorely lacking. Strengthening the LAC is not at the cost of our maritime aspirations as being perceived by many. The challenge before the CDS is to increase joint ‘force’ and ‘operational’ capability. Theatre commands are contentious and emotive issues. Let them evolve. Increasing indigenisation rather than importing Russian tanks and Israeli guns should be the greater priority. We have a task cut out ahead.
Lt Gen P.R. Shankar was India’s DG Artillery. He is highly decorated and qualified with vastoperational experience. He contributed significantly to the Modernization and Indigenisationof Artillery. He is now a Professor in the Aerospace Dept of IIT Madras and is involved inapplied research for defence technology. His other articles can be read onwww.gunnersshot.com
India’s military capability to launch an offensive into Tibet at a time and place of its choosing by beating the PLA in time is now established. The edge which IAF brings to the table enhances Indian offensive potential. India will win the ‘Race to the Swift’ unless PLA commits additional forces in Tibet on a permanent basis. It seems to be doing that now! Anyone with fundamental common sense will discern as to who is tying down whom. Further, it tells us that we need to get into a preventive counter-attacking mode rather than being permanently defensive.
INDIAN COAST GUARD ON ALERT OVER OIL SPILL FROM MV DEVON
The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) received information from MRCC Colombo in late hours of Thursday regarding a mid-sea oil spill about 450 Km South East of Chennai. On further investigation, it was revealed that a Portugese Flag Container ship MV Devon on passage from Colombo to Haldia (West Bengal), developed an underwater crack in the left side fuel tank containing about 120 KL of Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil (VLSFO).
The crack resulted in spillage of about 10 KL of oil into sea before preventive action was taken and remaining oil in tank was transferred to another tank by ship’s crew. The vessel is carrying 10795 Tonnes of general cargo in 382 containers and manned by 17 crew of mixed nationality. The container ship is continuing her voyage to Haldia & likely to reach today. ICG is in continuous contact with MV Devon and master has reported that the vessel is stable. ICG pollution response team at Chennai has been alerted and kept standby. In addition, ICG ships & aircraft deployed at sea are also put on alert in pollution response configuration.
It may be recalled that, ICG ships & aircraft in a coordinated operation with Sri Lanka deployed vessels had successfully undertaken a major firefighting operation last month onboard MV X-Press Pearl off Colombo, thereby averting a major environmental disaster. The vessel now partially sunk off Colombo is under the supervision of Sri Lankan authorities and efforts are in hand for its salvage.
NORTHERN COMMAND PAYS HOMAGE TO GALLANT SOLDIERS ON ITS 50TH RAISING DAY
‘Golden Jubilee Raising Day of Northern Command’ was celebrated at Udhampur amidst strict COVID protocol. On this occasion, Lt Gen S Harimohan Iyer, COS, HQ Northern Command, on behalf of Lt Gen YK Joshi, Army Commander, Northern Command and all ranks, laid wreath at the Dhruva War Memorial and paid homage to the gallant soldiers of Northern Command who have made the supreme sacrifice for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country.
Northern Command was raised on 17 June 1972 and completed 50th Raising Day. In his message to the troops, the Army Commander stated that these glorious years are testimony to historic operational achievements of Northern Command in ‘Op Meghdoot’, ‘Op Parakarm’, ‘Op Vijay’ ‘Op Rakshak’ and ‘OP Snow Leopard’. The resolute response of the Indian Army against aggression on the LC & LAC has won numerous accolades. In addition, our firm yet people friendly sub-conventional operations have not only thwarted attempts by our Western adversary to destabilise the nation but also, won the hearts and minds of the local populace.
Northern Command has been at the forefront to assist the administration and people of UTs of J&K and Ladakh during every natural calamity like snow blizzards, earthquakes (2005), Cloudburst of Leh (2010), floods in Jammu & Kashmir (2014) and frequent avalanches. The current COVID-19 pandemic is yet another example when the Indian Army has gone out of its way to support the people, in their times of need.
The Army Commander in special order of the day complimented all ranks for their extraordinary leadership, courage and sacrifice to keep the flag of the Command, the Indian Army & Nation flying high and exhorted all ranks to rededicate towards safeguarding our Nation’s integrity and resolve to confront new challenges with exemplary professionalism and courage.
INDIAN COAST GUARD SAVES 16 LIVES FROM SINKING BARGE MV MANGALAM NEAR REVDANDA PORT
In a swift sea-air coordinated operation amid inclement monsoon weather, Indian Coast Guard ship and helicopters undertook successful rescue of all 16 crew on Thursday from sinking MV Mangalam near Revdanda port of Maharashtra. MRCC Mumbai received information from Second officer of Indian flagged MV Mangalam (IMO-9084619) intimating that the vessel was partially sinking with 16 crew onboard approximately 3 Km from Revdanda Port (Raigarh District), and the master was planning to abandon the vessel. The crew of the distressed vessel were in panic due to swelling water ingress and waves breaking over the ship. MRCC team initiated rescue action and convinced the master and crew to remain onboard with life jackets as Coast Guard ships were dispatched for assistance.
Indian Coast Guard Ship Subhadra Kumari Chauhan pressed into action and proceeded towards distressed vessel with best speed for rendering assistance. Meanwhile, two Indian Coast Guard Chetak Helicopters were also launched at 9:45 am from Indian Coast Guard Air Station Daman for evacuation of the crew from MV Mangalam. Braving rough seas, Indian Coast Guard ship Subhadra Kumari Chauhan quickly arrived at scene of distress and post assessment of situation lowered the rescue team in inflatable boat amidst challenging sea conditions. Meanwhile, Indian Coast Guard Helicopters also arrived at the location and despite gusting monsoon winds commenced airlifting of crew. Through daredevil operations, the ICG Ship & helicopters successfully rescued all 16 crew. The rescued crew were taken to Revdanda and administered first aid following COVID protocol. All crew were safe and healthy.
The timely co-ordination and rescue by ICG once again saved precious lives. On an average, Coast Guard saves one precious life every second day at sea. The incident once again showcased Indian Coast Guard’s resolve and commitment towards safety of life at sea, upholding its motto ‘We Protect’ and ready to undertake operations at sea 24×7 through the year.
DEFENCE MINISTER INAUGURATES 12 ROADS BUILT BY BRO IN NORTHERN AND EASTERN BORDER AREAS
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh dedicated to the nation 12 roads, built by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) in the Northern and Eastern border areas on Thursday. At an event organised in Lakhimpur district of Assam, the Raksha Mantri e-inaugurated a 20-km long double lane Kimin-Potin road, along with nine other roads in Arunachal Pradesh and one each in the Union Territories of Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir. The roads have been constructed under ‘Arunank’, ‘Vartak’, ‘Brahmank’, ‘Udayak’, ‘Himank’ and ‘Sampark’ projects of BRO.
Speaking on the occasion, Rajnath Singh lauded BRO for its contribution in infrastructure development of remote border areas of the country, especially amid the COVID-19 restrictions. He said the roads inaugurated today hold strategic and socio-economic importance as they will play an important role in strengthening national security as well as promoting development of the North-East region. “These roads will be helpful in fulfilling the needs of our Armed Forces and transporting necessities like medicines and ration to remote areas,” he said. The Raksha Mantri added that these road projects are part of the ‘Act East Policy’ of the Government wherein special emphasis is being laid on the overall development of the border areas. He reiterated the resolve of the Government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for the development of North-east, describing the region as the gateway to not only the overall development of the country, but also to the nation’s relations with East Asian countries. Rajnath Singh paid tribute to the soldiers who showed exemplary courage during the Galwan Valley incident last year and made the supreme sacrifice in the service of the nation. He said India is a peace-loving nation but its response to aggression has been resolute.
Chief Minister of Assam Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma, Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Mr. Pema Khandu, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs & Sports, Minority Affairs and Ayush (Independent Charge) Mr. Kiren Rijiju and Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region & Minister of State for PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh were among the dignitaries who attended the event virtually. The Raksha Mantri also touched upon some of the major reforms undertaken by the Government, including appointment of Chief of Defence Staff, measures to boost self- reliance in defence manufacturing and Corporatisation of Ordnance Factory Board (OFB). These reforms are proving to be a game changer in the military preparedness in the rapidly changing times, he said.
Rajnath Singh underlined the constant efforts of the Government to make India self-reliant in defence manufacturing under the ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’ envisioned by the Prime Minister. “We are actively working towards making India a defence manufacturing hub. Self-reliance in defence production will reduce our dependence on imports, increase exports and strengthen our economy,” he said. In his address, DG Border Roads Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhry gave a brief overview of the achievements of BRO and reiterated the commitment of the organisation towards infrastructural development of border areas.
SWARNIM VIJAY VARSH CELEBRATIONS AT RASHTRIYA RIFLES SECTOR HEADQUARTERS
NEW DELHI: The Swarnim Vijay Varsh Victory Flame after having entered the serene Kashmir Valley through the Navyug Tunnel on Tuesday, continued its journey and made its way to Anantnag City, also known as the ‘Land of Infinite Springs’. The Victory flame was received by Commanding Officer of Rashtriya Rifles Battalion, Wuzur and travelled to Khanabal, Anantnag via Mir Bazar, Khudwani and Wampoh and reached Rashtriya Rifles Sector Headquarter, Khanabal.
The flame was received with tremendous fervour by school children, local youth, 13 Veer Naris, 55 ex-servicemen, personnel from Security Forces & Law Enforcement Agencies and many other civilian dignitaries from the local administration. Thereafter, the Victory Flame was escorted through the Khanabal Junction, proudly carried by military personnel & civilians alike before entering the Khanabal Military Garrison. Later, the Victory Flame was handed over to the Commander, Sector Rashtriya Rifles, Khanabal at the War Memorial. Wreaths were laid to pay homage to the unsung War Heroes, by the visiting dignitaries, including Mr Hilal Ahmed Shah, Mayor Anantnag, Mr Ghulam Hussain Sheikh, IAS, Additional DC Anantnag, Mr Imtiyaz Hussain Mir, SSP Anantnag, Mr DP Upadhyay, DIG CRPF, Mr Abdul Jabbar, IPS, DIG (South Kashmir) and Commander Sector Rashtriya Rifles, Khanabal, followed by a ceremonial Guard of Honour. Post the solemn event, the celebrations continued with cultural performances by school children and local artists, followed by the felicitation of Veer Naris, Veer Matas & veterans by the dignitaries present.
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