An IDC Analysis


New Delhi, 30 April 2006

In this age of computers the Service HQ and MOD have employed several civilian staff for the maintenance of computers and networks. The war room leak case had shown that cyber security was going to be a major challenge and net centric communications the key to warfare. The Chief of the Indian Army Gen JJ Singh a popular figure on the Golf course, is a fine soldier first and a General later and that is what the huge Indian Army needs. For it was Napoleon who said an army of lions led by a sheep can never win, but an army of sheep led by a lion will win. And ‘Singh’ means a lion. This lack of lion like leadership and the willingness to stand up to the political masters has been alluded to in some way in the Henderson Brooks report, which is locked up in MOD and even past Chiefs of Staff have not seen it. This is as sad as it is strange. Now the PM says the documents can be released after 50 years so we will have to wait till 2012 to know the truth of the India–China war of 1962, if the deadline is not extended in the meanwhile, as many actions of Leadership or the lack of it may come to light.

Gen. JJ Singh made a profound statement at the recently held DEFENCE COMMUNI-CATIONS SEMINAR –– DEFCOM at the Meridian Hotel in New Delhi. The Army Chief stated that the Indian Army, the second largest in the world must also be counted as one of the best. It was obvious that the lion who leads the Army knew the value of IT and swift communications, as the key to the future battlefield successes –– and systems and weapons which were now software intensive had to be inducted. The seminar was organized by Gen Davinder Kumar the SO C-in-C with CII and had adequate funds as it was sponsored by Nortel, Raytheon, Selex and some twelve other communications giants and the theme was 'Tactical Communications in the Battle Area'. The senior army brass appears to know that the civilian Industry has many of the keys and must be involved. The whole gamut of Army tactical communications was discussed and SO C-in-C asked Shri MM Pallam Raju to take quicker decisions for acquisition of sophisticated communication equipment.

Separately Gen JJ Singh addressing the first meeting in Delhi of the Army IT Advisory Board, said the Army looks to IT for improved administration and cost-effective resource management during peace time and as a force multiplier during military operations. Mark the words civilian help to modernise the Army. The army is well into the process of establishing a strong IT infrastructure, and the advisory board is meant to help it harness the skills of the IT industry and academia.

Appreciating the role of the IT industry, Singh said India had emerged as an IT giant due to the vision and entrepreneurial acumen of leaders in this field. The advisory board's meeting was chaired by Lt. Gen. S. Pattabhiraman, the army's vice chief, and was attended by senior officers of the army and defence ministry, besides academicians and industrialists. Now the board will, on a regular basis, address macro-level issues and provide advice on IT-related aspects, including future technologies, infrastructure development, equipment maintenance and security.

The members of the board include K.S. Viswanathan, vice president for strategic sales with Wipro, Tanmoy Chakrabarty, Head of the global government industry group of Tata Consultancy Services, and Rajendra S. Pawar, chairman of NIIT. Special invitees to the meeting included T.S. Darbari, director of corporate strategy at HP, Neelam Dhawan, managing director of Microsoft India, and Bhaskar Pramanik, managing director of Sun Microsystems. Just shows how fast communications are moving and where the civilians come in.

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