Developments along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh added to challenges faced by the Indian military on the “active and disputed borders” in the western and eastern fronts, army chief, Gen MM Naravane, said on Thursday.
The “unprecedented” military standoff with China required an immediate response and large-scale mobilisation of resources at a time when the country was grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic, he said, while addressing the annual session of the PHD Chamber Of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI).
Naravane, who spoke on the theme “Resilient India”, outlined the role played by the military in countering the pandemic and the current focus on indigenisation in acquiring advanced hardware and weaponry. He called for doing away with the “L1 system” of awarding defence contracts to the lowest bidder to ensure India gets access to advanced technology.
Without naming China, Naravane highlighted the challenges posed by the standoff on the LAC, which began in May last year and resulted in the death of 20 Indian soldiers and four Chinese troops during a clash at Galwan Valley, the first such fatalities since 1975.