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Antony tells Commanders modernisation process will get topmost attention

New Delhi, Tue, 24 Apr 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Apr 24 (ANI): Asserting that while modernisation remains the topmost priority of the government, Defence Minister A.K. Antony on Tuesday said this however cannot be done at the cost of a set of core values-transparency, probity and accountability.

Addressing the Unified Commander's Conference, here, Antony urged all commanders to ensure that these principles are adopted and followed in letter and spirit.

"We have a collective responsibility to ensure that every single rupee is spent meaningfully and judiciously and wasteful expenditure is eliminated," he said.

Antony said the government is constantly fine-tuning the Defence Procurement Procedure to cut down delays in procurement process.

He asked the Services to put their best foot forward by having a well-defined approach to procurement, based on clear and objective General Staff Qualitative Requirements (GSQRs).

The Defence Minister said there is also a need to ensure that procedures are strictly adhered to and the Services ensure the timely meeting of technical parameters.

Referring to a nationwide, secure and dedicated optical fibre network, to be implemented by the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, in lieu of the vacation of a part of spectrum by Defence Services, Antony said the approval of Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure for the budget is awaited.

" The "defence band" and the "defence interest zone" have been mutually agreed upon by the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Communication and Information Technology to meet the spectrum requirement for strategic communication of defence forces and this will be promulgated soon," he said.

Antony said, while on the one hand IT has helped in breaking down linguistic and geographic barriers and resulted in a level playing field, on the other hand, Information and Communication Technology are also being misused by anti-social and anti-national elements.

Describing cyber-crimes as another dimension in the security architecture, he said the services need to be fully aware of the implications and put in place security systems and standard operating procedures to counter such threats.

Talking about the neighborhood, the Defence Minister said latest events in the Af-Pak region clearly show that it cannot be presumed that the Af-Pak issues are nearing solution.

" We need to keep a close watch on the situation in the region, as any developments in the Af-Pak region will have strategic and security implications for India," he said.

Referring to Jammu and Kashmir, Antony said the situation in the state has improved over the past few years.

"However, the coming summer months will prove to be a real test for an even more realistic assessment. We have to remain vigilant and active and cannot afford to drop our guard," he said. (ANI)

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