Large number of niche-technology equipment are being inducted into the Army

New Delhi: The Army on Thursday said it has decided to operationalise command cyber operations and support wings as part of an overall approach to absorb niche technologies and modernise its online networks.

The decision to have dedicated cyber operations wings was taken at the Army Commanders Conference that took place from April 17 to 21.

With rapid migration towards net centricity, which entails an increased reliance on modern communication systems, the Army commanders reviewed the requirement to safeguard the networks and decided to operationalise Command Cyber Operations and Support Wings (CCOSW) in the immediate future, the Army said.

Sources said a large number of niche technology-enabled equipment are being inducted into the Indian Army including swarm drones, loitering weapon systems and ant-drone equipment.

The expansion of cyber warfare capabilities by India's adversaries has made the cyber domain more competitive and contested than ever before, they said.

"In order to augment the capabilities of the forces by absorption of niche technologies and equipment, it was decided to nominate lead directorates and 'Test Bed' formations to evolve optimal employment philosophies," the Army said in a statement.

It said the commanders also took stock of the emerging security scenarios and reviewed the operational preparedness and readiness of the Indian Army.

It said the Army Commanders' Conference also approved a new technical entry scheme (TES) for officers and it will come into effect from January 2024.

For the officers' entry to the Indian Army as B Tech graduates, a five-year TES model is currently being followed.

Under this model, one year military training is imparted at the Officers Training Academy (OTA), Gaya.

Thereafter, three years B.Tech degree is imparted at the Cadet Training Wings (CTWs), followed by one year at the three engineering colleges of Indian Army.

It is now decided to have a four-year tenure with three years of training focused on technical training at the Cadet Training Wings (CTWs), followed by one year of basic military training at Indian Military Academy in Dehradun.

The four-year training model will ensure that young officers are available in the Indian Army units to serve the country for one additional year.

In a significant step towards welfare of specially-abled children of those soldiers who die in harness, it was decided to double the sustenance allowance to such children through AGIF (Army Group Insurance Fund).

"In order to harness the indomitable spirit and never say die attitude of the soldiers who are battle and physical casualties, it was decided to identify and train selected motivated soldiers for paralympic events by training them at Army sports and mission olympic nodes in nine sporting events," the Army said.

The Army Commanders' Conference is an apex-level biannual event that is held in April and October every year.

The conference is an institutional platform for conceptual-level deliberations, culminating in making important policy decisions for the Indian Army.