The 2nd edition of the five-day Army Commander Conference (16-20 October 2023) concluded yesterday on 20 October.
The conference was attended by key leaders, including Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Lt General Anil Chauhan, Chief of the Army Staff (CoAS) General Manoj Pande, and Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari.
Here are the key topics that were discussed in the conference.
(1) Lessson From Israel-Hamas Conflict and Russia-Ukraine War
Army commanders conducted a comprehensive analysis of geostrategic issues, including the Russia-Ukraine war and the Israel-Hamas conflict.
The objective was to extract valuable insights for the Indian military.
The Indian Army has initiated a study to closely scrutinise and learn from Hamas' multi-pronged attacks against Israel, with a particular focus on the use of power gliders by militants to infiltrate Israeli territory via air.
(2) Addressing Officer Shortages In The Army
The Army has been grappling with officer shortages for the better part of two decades. Currently, out of the authorized 50,312 officers, the Army only has 42,913, leaving a shortfall of 7,399 officers.
To address this shortage, commanders discussed methods to enhance the appeal of Short Service Commission (SSC) officers, transition all internal examinations to online mode, and establish rapid resolution mechanisms for issues faced by veterans.
Presently, several internal exams, such as promotion boards, require physical attendance, necessitating personnel to travel from remote areas, which takes them away from their duty stations.
Shifting these examinations online is expected to save time and effort. A similar situation exists for Junior Commissioned Officers and other ranks who must attend numerous in-person exams for career advancement.
(3) Disasters Like Sikkim's Glacial Lake Outburst (GLOF)
The ACC also addressed the recent glacial lake outburst and floods in Sikkim, along with the resulting losses and the state of preparedness for such events.
The conference emphasised the importance of synergy between all government agencies for efficient rescue, relief, and rapid restoration of communication infrastructure in such situations.
Mechanisms for improved responses to similar contingencies were discussed as well.
(4) Training Philosphy And Efficient Response Mechanisms
The statement released by the Army highlighted that military leadership extensively deliberated on the training philosophy and architecture for the Army in a new era.
This includes initiatives related to digitization and automation, signifying the military's commitment to staying current in an ever-evolving landscape.
The apex leadership also engaged in brainstorming sessions on both current and emerging security scenarios.
They also reviewed operational readiness and delved into foundational aspects of organisational structures and the development of evolving training regimes.
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