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INTERVIEW
‘Today, We Have the Advanced Equipment Which Can Take Care of a Larger Portion of The Spectrum and is More Potent’
Commandant, Military College of Telecommunication and Engineering, Lt Gen.
V.K. Sharma
Can you give an overview of the college and your mandate?
Military College of Telecommunication and Engineering (MCTE) is a premier institution imparting training in communications, computers, IT, electronic warfare, and information warfare to the entire Indian Army. In addition, we also have a cadets training wing (CTW) which imparts training to those who come in through the 10+2 technical entry scheme. They get commissioned into the Indian Army with the proviso that 65 per cent of those commissioned from here will join the Corps of Signals and remaining 35 per cent will go to other arms and services. The Institute is divided into a number of faculties and wings. There is a faculty dealing with leadership and command-oriented courses called Faculty of Combat Communications (FCC). This faculty is headed by a brigadier and imparts training in three courses which are Regimental Commander’s Course, Young Officer’s Course and Company Commander’s Course. In addition to these primary courses we also conduct Senior Signal Officers Study Fortnight (SSOSF) once in a year where officers of the rank of brigadier attend a brainstorming session on what needs to be done for the Corps and where we are heading.
The FCC also conducts electronic warfare course and is responsible for the information warfare (IW) course which is primarily conducted by Army War College. The IW course has three basic components: electronic warfare, cyber warfare and psychological warfare. Out of these three, electronic warfare and cyber warfare are dealt by MCTE whereby we provide instructors for the course.

We also have a Faculty of Communication Engineering (FCE) which deals with all technical courses starting from the foreman of signals course which is for non commissioned officers (NCOs) who then become junior commissioned officers (JCOs) directly after doing this course. The second one is the degree course in engineering to meet the requirements of the Indian Army. The Signal Officers Advance Telecommunication Engineering course (SOATE) is an MTech course. There is also a provision of doing Phd as we have an arrangement with Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Vishwavidyala. Apart from the army officers, some civilians are also registered for this course.

Then we have a faculty of computer technology and systems (FCT & S) and the IT wing. We are a centre of excellence for training in IT recognised by the Indian Army. The IT policy has recently been formulated wherein the needs have been recognised for middle and higher level advanced courses for IT and these courses will be running with effect from 1 January 2011. There is also a cyber wing to meet the security requirements and framing of secrecy equipment and devices, secrecy policies and most importantly key management. Today, all the systems which are confidential in nature are to be managed by keys and the key management itself is a matter of concern because the number of devices is increasing day by day. So this is an important aspect of cyber wing and we are upgrading these courses.

What are the major changes that have happened in the electronic warfare (EW) in the last five years? Where exactly are we headed in this area?

We have EW equipment which has been indigenously manufactured by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) on which training is being given in addition to the new equipment which is on its way from Israel. Samyukta system by BEL is state-of-the–art equipment and has already been fielded in one of the groups. We also have simulators on which training is imparted. An inter-services course is also conducted by each service in rotation every year. The recent advancement in EW is that now the same equipment is able to address a large number of frequencies for which separate equipments were required earlier. Today, we have the advanced equipment which can take care of a larger portion of the spectrum and is more potent. These systems can also take care of the anti-ECCM (electronic counter counter-measures) techniques adopted by the adversaries like frequency hopping etc.
 
 
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