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President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday cautioned that India is likely to confront many challenges both from within and outside the country in its march towards its “justifiable position” in the comity of nations. In his address to the members of 56th Course and Faculty of National Defence College, the President said that emergence of Asia as the new ‘centre of economic power’ has gradually shifted the centre of gravity of the world financial power from the West to the East. “Global war on terror and threat to the nation states from terrorists are likely to be another aspect which will take time and energy of the world community.
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“India is likely to confront many challenges both from within and outside the country in its march towards its justifiable position in the comity of nations,” he said. Speaking about the multi-party democratic system like India, he said various departments of the state must understand the strengths and limitations of those organs. “All wings of the State – the political leadership, the civil leadership and the armed forces need to strategise in a manner so as to enhance our defence capabilities and project our strengths effectively,” he said.
He said the role of the armed forces has also expanded far beyond traditional military matters with revolutions in military affairs and globalisation. “It is clear that future conflicts in the complex defence and security environment will require a more integrated multi-state and multi-agency approach,” he said.
In his address, the president spoke about the numerous challenges being posed in the context of today’s global environment because of changing dynamics. “The astonishing pace at which events have unfolded in the recent past could not have been foreseen even a decade earlier. Each country is guided in its actions by its national interests and objectives.
“The relationships are constantly changing and unless a country understands and adjusts itself to the changes that are taking place around the world, its own security could be seriously endangered,” he said. Mukherjee spoke about intense competition among nations to take control of natural resources which are are always at a premium leading to changes in concept of security of a nation.
“This adds to the challenges created by changing power equations. The concept of security has also undergone a major change. Security is no more confined to preservation of territorial integrity alone. “It also encompasses economic, energy, food, health, environmental and all other dimensions of national well being. It is thus a comprehensive concept including all elements of national power. Intensive research and quality analysis in all fields and disciplines is thus a prerequisite which calls for a holistic approach to studies across a vast spectrum of disciplines.”
The President said there must be a conscious effort to strengthen the linkages between different organs and not divide them into watertight compartments. “Adopting such an integrated approach is the only option to seek rich dividends and meet the emerging challenges,” he said, adding the success of any nation depends on how effectively it harnesses all the available resources at its disposal, foremost among these being the human resource.
Complimenting the NDC for training officers in various fields, he said multidisciplinary approach to problems of national security was recognised by ancient philosopher and political thinkers like Chanakya, the author of ‘Arthashastra’. The President recalled that even Jawaharlal Nehru, the architect of modern India, while inaugurating the National Defence College in 1960, had articulated that ‘defence is not an isolated subject. It is intimately connected with the economic, industrial and many other aspects in the country and is all encompassing’.