Gandhinagar: Indian Army today signed agreements with two key security- and space-related academic institutions to promote military research and innovation in key technologies and for training.
India’s Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Mukund Naravane joined the online event for signing of the Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with the Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Applications and Geo-Informatics (BISAG-N) and Rashtriya Raksha University (RRU), both based in the city, calling the tie-up a “path-breaking initiative towards enhancing interaction” between the armed forces and the academia.
The MoU with BISAG-N will facilitate exchange of knowledge and collaboration in the fields emerging technologies for development of GIS and Information Technology-based (IT-based) Enterprise Resource Planning Software, Training Content, Telecasting of Audio-Visual Content, Research and Knowledge Partnership, Technical Support and Upgradation for Resources Developed under a holistic partnership for projects, which have the prior approval of Army Management Studies Board (AMSB) or approved on case-to-case basis.
The MOU will leverage the relative advantage of BISAG-N to support training and evolving innovative solutions to boost operational capabilities of the Indian armed forces. BISAG-N, an autonomous scientific society under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology of the Government of India, will act as a medium of exchange of knowledge and collaboration in the fields of emerging technologies.
In another event, the MoU between the Indian Army and the RRU was entered into, to synergise innovations, research, technology incubation, joint projects, publication and patents, training, higher learning and distance education in the army.
RRU, an Institute of National Importance established under the Ministry of Home Affairs of the Government of India, is committed to identify, prepare and sustain statecraft of national, strategic and security culture through continuous enhancement and development of innovation, education, research and training cadres from the security, military and civilian society.
General Naravane, in his address, said ‘Atmanirbharta‘ (Self-Reliance) is the key to staying ahead of technological curve over India’s adversaries for which the Learning Management System projects for Map Reading, IT training and Geo-Spatial Information System with BISAG-N were a great beginning in which the joint collaboration is already showing a promising beginning.
The Indian Army chief said the demands of future warfare mandates Indian Army officers and men to be educated in niche domains of warfare to include Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Science, Cyber Warfare, robotics and aerospace that have potential military applications and a disruptive impact on modern-day warfare.
Army Training Command (ARTRAC) General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Lieutenant General Raj Shukla, in his presidential address, said this is a step towards strengthening the linkages between academia and the Indian military.
He laid specific emphasis on ‘Civil-Military Relations’, and expounded multifaceted aspects pertaining to mutual cooperation. “These MoUs will act as catalyst and enabler for orienting academia towards strengthening the nation’s defence and capability enhancement.”
BISAG-N Director General T. P. Singh said with signing of this MoU, his institution will act as a medium of exchange of knowledge and collaboration in the fields of emerging technology for development of GIS and IT-based software, generation of customised training content, telecasting audio-visual training content, develop specific projects required by Indian Army in the fields of IT and AI. BISAG-N dedicated the Learning Management System (LMS) developed for ARTRAC and its affiliated institutes, during the event.
RRU Vice Chancellor Professor (Dr.) Bimal N. Patel said his institution is an institute of national importance for preparing a model security of India and the university focuses on meeting specific requirements of the Indian Army in emerging and contemporary technologies in the field of Artificial Intelligence, disruptive military technologies, cyber and information warfare, aerospace capabilities and will provide certification for the institutionalised training undertaken at this institute. ‘Çhanakya’, a biannual publication of RRU on national security, was also launched during the event.
“The landmark MoU will facilitate and strengthen institutional cooperation between the Indian Army and BISAG-N towards strategising and implementing programmes pertaining to training, research and capability development,” a Ministry of Defence statement said.