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India Enhancing Border Infrastructure with the Seriousness It Deserves, Says EAM Jaishankar

Jaishankar emphasizes that acquiring and developing weapons, along with building related capacities, is not just central to India's defense policies but is also integral to its diplomacy.

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Gandhinagar, Dec 24 (The Street Press India) – India is beefing up its border infrastructure to boost national security. According to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, the country is swiftly building roads, bridges, and tunnels along the China border—a significant improvement compared to previous decades.

Even after the setback in the 1962 war with China, where “complacency” and “neglect” towards border infrastructure played a role, India didn’t learn its lesson until the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi began addressing security matters with the seriousness they deserve, he emphasized.

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During the third convocation of Rashtriya Raksha University (RRU), the Union minister highlighted that India has integrated security considerations into its diplomatic strategy. Emphasizing the significance of acquiring and developing weapons, as well as building related capacities, he noted that these aspects have not only been central to defense policies but also integral to diplomatic efforts.

He further pointed out that despite logistics being crucial in terms of security and warfare, it remained a neglected dimension until recently.

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Illustrating the progress in India’s border areas facing China, the minister, in his address to graduating students of RRU, presented compelling figures. He highlighted that today, road construction has doubled, bridging and tunnelling have tripled, and the border infrastructure budget has quadrupled compared to the commitments and achievements of the last decades.

He emphasized that it’s not just about the length and number of roads, tunnels, and bridges but the significant impact they have on operational capabilities. Over the past decade, there has been all-weather connectivity to Ladakh and Tawang, a strategic focus on access to critical passes along the LAC (line of actual control), and the construction of the world’s highest motorable road.

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Highlighting the potential cost of “complacency” and “neglect” in security, the minister stressed the graphic lesson learned in 1962, emphasizing that unfortunately, subsequent generations did not heed these lessons. It’s only now, he added, that the nation is approaching border infrastructure with the seriousness it deserves.

He noted that the application of new technologies and construction techniques has led to visible results, aided by the reform of entities like the Border Roads Organisation (BRO). Jaishankar pointed out that by traditional security metrics, India confronts exceptional challenges.

Efforts to address past shortcomings, particularly in the last decade, have been strenuous, leading to positive repercussions in the security field, the minister emphasized. He highlighted that the overall development of national strengths since 2014 has played a significant role.

The focus on acquiring and developing weapons, along with building related capacities, has not only been central to India’s defense policies but has also influenced its diplomacy, he pointed out. Geopolitical calculations, he added, heavily consider which nations are likely to be reliable partners during times of stress, leading to the deep embedding of the security factor into the country’s strategy and diplomacy.

Highlighting the concept of dual technology, which now includes critical and emerging technologies, the minister commended Indian diplomacy for successfully forging relationships with multiple and sometimes competing powers. He emphasized the interconnectedness of economic and technological capacities, stating that both are equally crucial for India’s security. According to him, the progress of nations and history is significantly reflected in the progress of technology.

In the post-1992 reform era, the minister acknowledged that while India opened up its economy, there was insufficient attention given to safeguarding and upgrading manufacturing. He emphasized the importance of robust manufacturing for staying updated on technology and emerging as a leader in a specific domain.

To address past indifference, India has actively promoted manufacturing through various schemes, according to Jaishankar. However, he also pointed out that progress comes with downsides and increasing vulnerabilities, such as cybersecurity challenges in the digital age.

The minister highlighted ongoing debates about AI-driven deepfakes and the significant impact of fake news and disinformation on shaping mass opinion. He underscored the vulnerability exposed by the globalized environment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Addressing concerns about external dependence, especially in terms of equipment for infrastructure and weaponry, India is actively working to mitigate long-standing challenges in this regard, he added.

On a separate note, Jaishankar expressed concern about the vandalism of a Hindu temple with anti-India graffiti in the US, emphasizing the need to prevent extremists and separatist forces from gaining such space outside India.

External Affairs Minister Jaishankar expressed concern about the incident involving the vandalism of a Hindu temple in the US. He mentioned that the consulate has lodged a complaint with the US government and the local police, and an inquiry is underway.

The Newark, California police reported receiving a complaint about graffiti at Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Hindu temple. Images on social media revealed the spray-painted word ‘Khalistan’ on a signpost, along with other objectionable graffiti.

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Sk Sahiluddin
Sk Sahiluddinhttps://www.siligurijournal.com
Sk Sahiluddin is a seasoned journalist and media professional with a passion for delivering accurate and impactful news coverage to a global audience. As the Editor of Siliguri Journal, he plays a pivotal role in shaping the editorial direction and ensuring the highest journalistic standards are upheld.
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