General Manoj Pande, Chief of Indian Army Staff

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Nagpur, Dec 18 – Security and economic progress of the country share a symbiotic relationship, said General Manoj Pande, Chief of Indian Army Staff, on Saturday.

While addressing the management professionals at the Indian Institute of Management in Nagpur, he explained that the larger dimensions of national security include economic security, food security, energy security, health security and environmental security, among others things.

Dwelling extensively on the economic, diplomatic and technological issues, the Army chief said, “The overall ‘rise’ of a nation can be said to occur, when there is a significant and continuous increase in its Comprehensive National Power.

“The CNP of a nation is a function of many factors, such as — strategic culture, economic strength, military power, foreign policy clout, diplomatic influence, internal cohesion, capability of human capital, advancement in science & technology, knowledge and information base, advantages of geography and natural resources, attractiveness of soft power and the firmness of its national will,” he said.
“Our economic growth is on a firm footing. Unlike many nations, we were able to brave the economic downturns of the Pandemic and Russia-Ukraine conflict, based on an agile, resilient and consumption-driven economy. An aspirational demographic dividend, cost advantage, accruing from vast human capital, policy reforms, skilling initiatives, infrastructure investment, digital potential, frontline entrepreneurship, the promise of being a reliable supply chain stakeholder and our commitment to sustainable development, have made us today, the fifth largest economy in the world, and the fastest-growing major economy,” he noted.

He further said that India’s foreign policy and diplomatic pursuits are playing a vital role in securing India’s interests.

“Our stance on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, is a fine example, where we stood steadfast and clear, towards addressing legitimate concerns based on national interest. The country has taken a lead in championing initiatives for finding solutions to global problems, in ventures such as International Solar Alliance, Global Bio Fuel Alliance, Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure and Vaccine Maitri,” he pointed.
Talking about the new conflict-spectrum threats, he said that they have concurrently appeared on the horizon.

“Increasing weaponisation of space, poses significant challenges to the security of space assets. The cyber domain has its own myriad manifestations. CERT-In Annual Report of 2022, records almost 14 lakh cases of website intrusion, malware propagation, malicious code, phishing, distributed denial of service attacks, ransomware attacks and data breach attempts in one year,” the Army chief said.

Touching upon threat from non-state actors, he said that they are increasingly gaining access to modern technologies of military use and employing it for an asymmetric leverage in conflict.
Cumulatively, the battle space has become more complex, contested and lethal, he averred.
On future challenges, Gen Pande said: “… the Character of War has also undergone a profound change. Disruptive technologies are blunting conventional combat force ratios. Multi domain operations to include space, cyber, electromagnetic spectrum and information, are today inescapable realities.”
“The growing centrality of cyber domain in critical national infrastructure and systems, has resulted in it
emerging, as a new battleground of digital confrontation. The conventional instruments of war have also undergone notable technological progression,” he added.