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Antony tells Army chief to speed up Gen VK Singh's plans

By RS Chauhan
Last updated on: July 03, 2012 12:15 IST
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Defence Minister AK Antony has told Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh to speed up some of the crucial aspects of the transformation process set in motion during previous Army Chief General VK Singh's tenure so that the Indian Army's renewed focus on the China border does not waver.

During a crucial meeting on Monday held to discuss the Army's annual acquisition plan, Antony asked the Army chief to streamline procedures within the Army HQ so that proposals for new acquisitions could be processed faster.

One of the main tasks that former chief VK Singh had identified was to de-bureaucratise the Army headquarters so that all proposals for acquiring new weapons and platforms could be formulated without unnecessary delays.

Modernisation of the Indian Army and shortages in critical equipment have been in sharp focus since the letter of the former chief, General VK Singh, to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was leaked to the media.

Antony also told the Army to deploy extra manpower in the north-east as fast as possible. Two mountain divisions have recently been raised by the Army in the north-east and a reorganisation of the two existing corps -- 3 and 4 -- have also been reorganised in the past three years.

Although the Army's longstanding demand for acquiring attack helicopters on their own was discussed in the meeting, the minister did not clear the proposal yet.

The defence minister instructed the Army to step up the infrastructure development in the north-east, and also reviewed new measures taken to increase and improve ammunition storage systems in the north-east. The meeting was attended by senior officials of the ministry of defence including Defence Secretary Sashikant Sharma and Secretary, Defence Production, Shekhar Agarwal.

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RS Chauhan in New Delhi
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