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Special Content

Issue no 42, 15-21 January 2022

Indian Army: Nation First

74th Army Day: January 15, 2022


The Indian Army is involved in effectively countering both military and non-military facets of asymmetric and sub-conventional threats, emerging from within and outside the country.


Every year, the Indian Army celebrates 15th January as 'Army Day' to commemorate the day when Lieutenant General (later Field Marshal) KM Carriappa took over the command of Army from General Sir FRR Bucher, the last British Commander-in-Chief in 1949 and became the first Commander-in-Chief of Indian Army post Independence. To commemorate this important moment in the country's history, Army Command headquarters in Delhi and other parts of India organise parades. The Cariappa Parade Ground at Delhi Cantt sees the main event.


Who was KM Cariappa?

Field Marshal KM Cariappa, fondly known as 'Kipper', was born on 28th January, 1900 in Mercara state, now called Karnataka. He received the King's Commission in 1919 with the first group of Indian cadets, and in 1933, was the first Indian officer to join Staff College, Quetta. In 1942, Lt Col KM Cariappa raised the 7th Rajput Machine Gun Battalion (now 17 Rajput). In 1946, as a Brigadier, he joined the Imperial Defence College, UK. Recalled from the UK to serve as a member of the Army Sub Committee of the Forces Reconstitution Committee, during the partition, he achieved an amicable settlement for the division of the army between India and Pakistan. He was conferred the rank of Field Marshal on April 28, 1986.


Recent Initiatives of Indian Army


Operation Sadbhavana

Operation Sadbhavana (Goodwill) is an unique humane initiative undertaken by the Indian Army in Jammu & Kashmir to address aspirations of people affected by scrooge of terrorism, sponsored and abetted by Pakistan. The unique operation has provided succor to a large section of the population of the union territory.

Launched in an extremely challenging operational environment, the operation is a part of the counter terrorist strategy to wrest the initiative and re-integrate the 'Awaam' (Locals) with the national mainstream. The aim of Operation Sadbhavna is also to supplement the efforts of the government in restoring public services, rebuilding infrastructure and creating a conducive environment for development.

The focus of Operation Sadbhavana is to improve the overall core social indices of education, women and youth empowerment, and healthcare with simultaneous thrust on capacity building through implementation of community/infrastructure development projects. The underlying theme is to blunt Pakistan-sponsored anti India propaganda and facilitate all around development of the State based on a participative model involving the local people, Army and the civil administration. Accordingly, the core of Operation Sadbhavana theme gyrates around aspirations of local populace and India's national interest.


COVID-19 Response

The Indian Army has been at the forefront of COVID response at the national level and played a pivotal role in mitigating the sufferings of the people. Right from rescuing stranded Indians from COVID-19 affected areas, such as China, Iran, Italy, Malaysia, etc, to providing relief materials to all across the country, Armed Forces have put in place all its medical and manpower resources. The Indian Army deployed several of its medical and paramedical staff for supporting civil hospitals in management of COVID-19. The Army also created a number of facilities on a war footing in order to provide extensive medical assistance at a number of places. In another initiative, a COVID Tele-consultancy and Information Management Cell was functioning 24x7 rendering medical advice as well as information about admitted patients with due sensitivity.


Disaster Mitigation and Rescue Operations

The Indian Army actively assists the civil administration as part of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief operations. The Army deploys Task Forces, comprising infantry, engineers, communication, recovery and medical teams and conducts rescue and relief operations wherever necessary in the face of natural disasters.


Make in India

'Make in India' and 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' have been given a major impetus during planning and procurement of equipment for the Indian Army, wherein, there is endeavour to support the emerging defence industry in the country. With its extensive range of equipment spanning a vast technological spread, it is a key entity in facilitating the 'Make in India' pursuit, a success. A comprehensive and persistent, focused coordination with the industry towards development of the artillery guns, ammunition to enhance its long range precision firepower and mobility and future combat vehicles to provide sustained mobility to the combat arms, is being pursued. Architecture for providing capabilities of cyber warfare, space warfare and special operations has been bolstered with modern equipment and technologydriven systems.


Quantum Technology

With the use of emerging technologies, the Indian Army is making steady, yet significant strides when it comes to technology domains. With the due support from the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), the Army has established a Quantum Lab at Military College of Telecommunication Engineering, Mhow (Madhya Pradesh) to lead research and training in this key developing field. The research undertaken by the Indian Army in the field of quantum technology will help leapfrog into next-generation communication and transform the current system of cryptography in the Indian Armed Forces to Post Quantum Cryptography (PQC).


Source: Indian Army/PIB/India Year Book 2021 Compiled by: Annesha Banerjee & Anuja Bhardwajan