Defence minister Rajnath Singh to address top brass at army commanders’ conference


Rajnath Singh addressing army commanders

Defence minister Rajnath Singh will address the top brass at the ongoing army commanders’ conference, officials said. The minister’s address is expected to touch on different aspects such as the security situation along the borders, modernisation of the armed forces and achieving self-reliance in the defence sector. The four-day conference, chaired by army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane, began on October 26. The country is currently locked in a border dispute with China in the Ladakh theatre and the next round of military talks to reduce friction is expected soon.

The situation in the eastern Ladakh theatre, where the army is preparing for a long haul, will be discussed during the conference. The border row is in its sixth month and efforts to disengage and de-escalate have yielded no results. The eighth round of military talks between corps commander-ranked officers to reduce border tensions is expected to be held shortly.

Also Read | Indian Air Force to get a big Rafale boost, 16 fighters to land by April

Indian and Chinese military commanders met for the seventh time on October 12 in their latest attempt to defuse tensions. The Indian side demanded comprehensive disengagement at all flashpoints and restoration of the status quo ante of early April during the talks. The two sides agreed to continue with the dialogue process to arrive at a mutually acceptable solution for early disengagement in the eastern Ladakh theatre, said a joint press statement issued a day after the talks.

“The first day of the conference was spent deliberating on matters related to human resource management…And today’s [Wednesday’s] schedule includes in-depth discussions on the various agenda points projected by the various army commanders, including an update by CINCAN (Commander-in-Chief of Andaman and Nicobar Command),” the officials said.

The officials said the top brass will get an update from the Director General of Border Roads (DGBR) on the various infrastructure development projects being undertaken by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and allied formations in the forward areas.

Also Read | Top Army commanders to review situation in Ladakh, reforms at 4-day conference 

The BRO has been working on a war footing to execute key projects despite the ongoing border row with China and the Covid-19 pandemic.

As India remains focused on scaling up its border infrastructure despite the ongoing border tensions, Singh, earlier this month, dedicated 44 bridges in forward areas to the country, including 10 in Jammu and Kashmir, eight each in Ladakh, Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh, two in Himachal Pradesh and four in Sikkim.