oppn parties Borders Cannot Be Secured With Outdated Rifles, Find The Funds Fast

News Snippets

  • S Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, says Pakistan should release and repatriate Kulbhushan Jadhav immediately
  • Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala asks the Speaker to hold the trust vote latest by 1.30 pm today
  • The Government sends a list of 24 questions to mobile app company that runs video app TikTok seeking answers for anti-national and obscene content carried on the platform
  • Sarvana Bhawan founder P Rajagopal, serving a life term for murder, dies in a Chennai hospital
  • SC allows time till July 31 to the Ayodhya mediation panel
  • IT department attaches "benami" plot worth Rs 400cr in Noida. The plot allegedly belongs to BSP leader [email protected]@@s brother and his wife
  • Dawood [email protected]@@s nephew, Md. Rizwan Iqbal, was arrested from Mumbai airport as he was waiting to board a flight to Dubai
  • Trouble brews in Bihar JD(U)-BJP alliance as Bihar police asks special branch officers to keep tabs on RSS activities
  • Trust vote in Karnataka assembly today. With rebel MLAs deciding to stay away after the SC order, the Congress-JD(S) government is likely to fall as it does not have the numbers
  • Amit Shah says the government will identify and deport illegal immigrants from all parts of the country
  • Reports from Pakistan confirm that Hafiz Saeed has been arrested and sent to jail
  • After the SC order, Karnataka Speaker says he will go by the Constitution in deciding on the resignations of the 16 MLAs
  • Rebel MLAs say they will not attend the trust vote on Thursday
  • Supreme Court rules that rebel MLAs cannot be forced to attend the assembly and vote in the floor test
  • Both the Centre and the Assam government have sought re-verification of up to 20% of draft NRC data
International Court of Justice agrees with India, stays Kulbhushan Jadhav's execution. It asks Pakistan to allow consular access to the accused.
oppn parties
Borders Cannot Be Secured With Outdated Rifles, Find The Funds Fast

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The governmentÂ’s decision to cut modern rifles procurement for the infantry division of the Indian army by two-thirds is baffling, to say the least. Although 800000 modern rifles were required to replace the INSAS rifles being used since 1988, funds have now been sanctioned only for 250000 rifles. It is said that the order was pruned to prioritize spending and speed up delivery. Another reason is that out of the 450000 troopers in the infantry, only 250000 go to battle zone while the rest are support soldiers.

But the reality on the ground is different. Infantry troopers bear the brunt of the battle with India engaged in two war-like zones across the eastern and western frontiers. Also, with terrorism in J&K and Maoism in other parts of the country engaging the troops, it is extremely necessary for soldiers to have modern weapons to take on these ultras who are increasingly laced with sophisticated arms.

Once the decision is taken to prune the order, it becomes very difficult to get sanction for further order. Even if the army and the government wanted to speed up the order, the correct procedure should have been to get sanction for all 800000 lakh rifles at one go and order in tranches with a gap of 6 months to a year. For instance, 250000 rifles should have been ordered immediately and say another 200000 for delivery 6 months after the first delivery and the rest after 1 year. That would have speeded up the first delivery and ensured that the rest were kept in the loop. But now, given the bungling ways of the bureaucracy, it is not certain when, if at all, the rest of the rifles will be procured.

Further, even if half of the infantry troopers act as support soldiers, they have to be kept battle ready and be equipped exactly like the others. For, if they are required to go to the battle zone in an emergency, they cannot be expected to carry outdated and phased out INSAS rifles. With the Pakistani and Chinese armies modernizing their infantry, India cannot be caught napping. Indian soldiers need modern weapons to keep the country safe. It is upon the government to cut expenditure elsewhere but provide funds for the armed forces to keep them in battle readiness.