Indian Army Seminar on ‘Year of Tech Absorption, Empowering the Soldier’

A seminar-cum-exhibition was conducted by the Indian Army on the theme ‘Year of Technology Absorption—Empowering the Soldier”. The event was conducted by the Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS), on behalf of the Indian Army in Manekshaw Centre.

The seminar brought together technology experts and industry professionals to deliberate on the adoption of modern technologies like Artificial Intelligence and advanced hardware in the military domain. It aimed at fostering a collaborative environment for academia and the defence industry to fast-pace the ongoing initiatives for technological absorption in the military.

The event commenced with an inaugural address by Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande. Keynote address was delivered by Mission Director, Atal Innovation Mission (AIM, Niti Aayog), Chintan Vaishnav. This was followed by an exhibition, demonstrating the progress and capabilities of India’s defence sector.

The COAS underscored the vital need of being self-reliant in warfighting platforms and systems besides achieving self-sufficiency in critical technologies through indigenous Research and Development. He emphasised that technology has emerged as the new strategic arena of competition which drives geo-political powerplay. He also said that technology is being leveraged for weaponisation of varied domains, ranging from Information to Supply Chains. Citing examples from recent conflicts, he mentioned that disruptive and dual use technologies are proliferating at unprecedented scale and transforming the Character of Modern Wars. He mentioned that a suite of digital technologies encompassing electronic warfare, micro-electronics, drones, precision attack systems, loiter munitions and Star-link terminals are challenging traditional force multipliers.

The COAS reiterated the commitment of Indian Army to continue its pursuit towards transitioning into a modern, agile, adaptive and technology enabled future ready force. He urged all stakeholders, the services, industry partners, start-ups, research & development institutions, academia and policy makers to synergise their efforts and develop a vibrant national defence eco-system.

The seminar was conducted in three sessions, with first session focussed on ‘Contemporary Technology and Industry Capabilities’. The session was moderated by Director General Capability Development Lt Gen. Vineet Gaur and the speakers were personalities from academia and industry such as Prof. Mayank Vatsa (IIT Jodhpur), Dr Mandira Majumder, Rajiv Mehrotra, Vaibhav Gupta, and Col Karandeep Singh (retd). This session analysed the emerging role of the Indian defence industry in strengthening of overall defence architecture. The speakers also deliberated upon the technology developed so far and future roadmap to build cutting-edge technologies for military usages.

The second session was moderated by Lt. Gen. Subrata Saha (retired) and focussed on ‘Empowering Soldiers: Amplifying Impact Through Modern Technologies’. Maj. Gen. Sunil Mehrotra from Signals Directorate and S.B. Taneja from DRDO examined options to leverage present and next-generation technologies to enhance the capabilities of Indian Army. Looking beyond the domain of land, this session analysed the role of space and cyber domains in the present context and future scenarios.

The final session on ‘Maximising Technology Effectiveness & Soldier Preparedness’ was moderated by Lt Gen. P.R. Shankar (retired). The speakers were Lt Gen. Rajesh Pant (retd), Geo George Philip, Dr K. Mohanavelu, and Maj. Gen. Ajay Sharma. The participants brainstormed wide-ranging options ranging from military applications of cyberspace, impact of drones and satellites on the modern battlefield, besides delving upon hardware and software options to empower soldiers.

The seminar culminated with closing remarks by deputy chief of the army staff (strategy) Lt Gen. Tarun Kumar Aich. Reflecting positive thoughts on impressive trajectory of Indian Army’s transformation, he reiterated that adoption of niche technology in tandem with agile doctrinal reforms is extremely crucial. He also stated that Indian Army will continue to foster a spirit of collaboration with the industry and academia to empower the soldiers.



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