For the first time, junior commissioned officers (JCOs) and Jawans are taking part in the top conference, as reported by Hindustan Times on Wednesday

PM Modi in his address also asked students to practice three mantras. He said that students should follow the goals set by them in their lives by following the mantras of self-confidence, self-awareness and selflessness.

The scope of the Combined Commanders’ Conference, to be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 6, has been expanded this year to make it “a multi-layered, interactive and informal event”, with the added participation of 30 officers and soldiers of various ranks from the three services, the department of military affairs (DMA) said in a statement on Thursday.

The focus of the conference, being conducted at Kevadia in Gujarat from March 4-6, is on evolving a joint military vision.

For the first time, junior commissioned officers (JCOs) and Jawans are taking part in the top conference, as reported by Hindustan Times on Wednesday.

“The three-day conference will have the combined apex level military leadership of the country reviewing the security situation and defence preparedness of the armed forces, and deliberating pertinent organisational issues for evolving a joint military vision for the future,” the statement said.

It will be attended by defence minister Rajnath Singh, chief of defence staff General Bipin Rawat, the three service chiefs, secretary-ranked officers from the defence ministry and top military officials. The PM will chair the valedictory session on Saturday. National security adviser Ajit Doval will also be present.

The conference was traditionally held in Delhi. But it has been organised outside the national capital after 2014. In the past, it has been held on India’s solitary aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, Indian Military Academy, Dehradun and Air Force Station, Jodhpur.

“There have been several major developments in the Higher Defence Organisation since (the last edition of the conference in 2018) including appointment of first ever chief of defence staff and setting up of the DMA, and several important and multifarious issues affecting modernisation and transformation of the armed forces are currently under active consideration/ implementation,” the statement added.

The conference is being held at a time when Indian and China are negotiating disengagement in eastern Ladakh and the military is putting finishing touches to its Theaterisation plan. It also comes on the back of Indian and Pakistani militaries last week announcing that they had begun observing a ceasefire along the Line of Control from the midnight of February 24.