Vimarsh talk by Gen. Manoj Mukund Naravane, The Chief of Army Staff, GoI, welcome remarks by Dr Arvind Gupta, Director, VIF
Gen MM Naravane, Chief of Army Staff
Distinguished Members of the Strategic Community,
Diplomats,
Veterans,
Members of the Media
Dear Friends,

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to this edition of the Vimarsh lecture series. In the last few months, we have had the honour of hosting the air and the navy chiefs.

Today we have General Mukund Narvane PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, ADC, The Chief of the Army Staff with us. I would like to extend a hearty welcome to the General and thank him for accepting our invitation to interact with us.

It is a special privilege to have him with us today at a time when the Chinese have vacated the fingers area after prolonged and difficult negotiations.

It is my pleasure to introduce the esteemed speaker.

General Naravane did his schooling at Jnana Prabodhini Prashala, Pune.

An alumnus of the National Defence Academy and the Indian Military Academy, he was commissioned in The Sikh Light Infantry Regiment in Jun 1980.

He is an alumnus of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and Higher Command Course, Mhow.

The General holds a Master’s Degree in Defence Studies, an M.Phil Degree in Defence and Management Studies, and is currently pursuing his Doctorate.

In a distinguished military career spanning almost four decades, he has done key command and staff appointments in Peace and Field, both in the North - East and Jammu and Kashmir.

He was a part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka.

He has commanded a Rashtriya Rifles Battalion, raised an Infantry Brigade, was Inspector General Assam Rifles (North) and has commanded a prestigious Strike Corps.

His staff assignments include tenures as a Brigade Major of an Infantry Brigade, Defence Attaché at Yangon, Myanmar, an instructional appointment in the Army War College as Directing Staff and two tenures at the Integrated Headquarters of MoD (Army), New Delhi.

He had the privilege of commanding the Republic Day Parade in 2017 in his capacity as GOC Delhi Area.

After successfully commanding the Army Training Command, Shimla and the Eastern Command in Kolkata, he held the appointment of Vice Chief of the Army Staff before becoming the Chief of the Army Staff on 31 Dec 2019.

Friends,

Undoubtedly, the last year has been a difficult year for India. A health crisis of unimaginable proportions, an economic crisis and a national security crisis have befallen the country simultaneously.

The nation gratefully remembers the supreme sacrifice of our soldiers in the defence of the country at Galwan.

It is a matter of satisfaction that we are coming out of these crises gradually.

Covid has accelerated the transition to a new world order whose contours are still not clear. The security environment surrounding India is evolving. We are witnessing the emergence of new power equations in the world.

Presently, there is considerable political turmoil in some of our immediate neighbours and also in the extended neighbourhood. This affects Indian security deeply.

Further, the salience of non-traditional security issues has grown. The threat of terrorism is not gone away even as radicalisation is affecting the youth.

The recent tragedy in Uttarakhand should alert us to the socio-economic and security implications of climate change. Our resilience in dealing with natural disasters is being tested.

Conflicts are being fought in multiple domains. The adversary is not always visible. The salience of information warfare and social media in particular is growing. The war of narratives is as important as the actual battles. The unregulated cyberspace is emerging as a domain of warfare.

We have to be alert to the machinations of adversaries who are prone to exploit all domestic issues for their nefarious ends.
The emerging technologies hold the potential of changing the political, social, economic and business environment and fundamental ways.

We will also have to constantly hone our national security strategies to ensure that we are ready to prepare for these challenges.

In particular, we need to strengthen our deterrence to thwart enemies’ designs.

No doubt, the Indian army and the national security planners are aware of the challenges and are duly preparing for them.

We are honoured to have Gen Narvane to talk to us on “The role of the Indian Army and the emerging national security challenges.”

General Narvane.

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