Parivartan Chintan

News Excerpt:

The heads of all tri-service military institutions gathered in New Delhi, for the first-ever tri-service planning conference called the ‘Parivartan Chintan’.

Key highlights:

  • This pioneering tri-service conference aims to generate new and fresh ideas, initiatives and reforms to propel jointness and integration efforts.
  • The day-long discussions will be chaired by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).
  • The conference takes place on the backdrop of the three services combining to set up Integrated Theatre Commands (ITC), containing elements of the Army, Navy, and Air Force.
  • This is the first-ever conference of the Heads of all Tri-Services Institutions, the Department of Military Affairs, Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff and the three Services, with officers from varied service brackets, through their diverse understanding and experience, recommending measures to achieve the desired “Joint and Integrated” end state swiftly.
  • The Defence Minister urged the armed forces to be prepared to meet the challenge of warfare's fast-changing nature and stressed on the present complex world situation which affects everyone globally. He focused on how:
    • Unconventional and asymmetric warfare, including hybrid war, will be part of the future conventional wars.
    • Cyber, information, communication, trade and finance have all become an inseparable part of future conflicts.

What are Integrated Theatre Commands?

  • India created its first tri-service command—the Andaman and Nicobar Command, 23 years ago in 2001.
  • In the United States and China, the theatre commands are based on the region of operation, but India is taking a different approach. 
  • India’s theatre commands adhere to the concept of ‘ One Border One Force,’ which ensures focused and efficient management.
  • In an integrated theatre command, one commander takes unified command of the three services for security concerns in a particular geographical theatre. 
    • The commander of ITC has the power to efficiently and quickly deploy all the military resources that are at his disposal. 
    • These resources will be from all three wings of the armed forces: Army, Air Force and Navy. 
    • According to initial plans:
      • The Army’s South Western Command (SWC) in Jaipur will serve as the headquarters of the integrated theatre command that will counter Pakistan.
      • The Central Command, based in Lucknow, will serve as the headquarters of the integrated theatre command that will safeguard the borders with China.
  • The theatre commanders will be four-star rank officers making them equivalent in rank to the Chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force, with the CDS commanding all six. 
    • The other joint commands, which handle specific activities like logistics, training, cyber and space, missiles and intelligence, will be headed by three-star officers.
    • All the theatre commanders and the commanders of new commands will report to the Department of Military Affairs (DMA), which is headed by the CDS himself.

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