Country's security constantly changing: President



Dehra Dun: Asking the armed forces to be well acquainted in dealing with challenges of the 'knowledge era', President Pratibha Patil on Saturday said threats to the country's security are "constantly changing".

"The nature of warfare on the battlefield is constantly changing, as indeed are the various threats to our national security," she said.

Patil said this while speaking to the 546 'Gentleman Cadets' who passed-out of the Indian Military Academy (IMA) here after a glittering martial ceremony.

"The Army today must be fighting fit, and at the same time well acquainted to deal with the challenges of the knowledge era that we are living in," Patil said, who had arrived in the city a day before to officiate in the event.

Patil also urged the young officers to keep their conduct "high and impeccable" and fall back to the IMA's motto of keeping honour and welfare of the country first, when they are "faced with doubts, temptations, dilemmas and uncertainties."

"Being officers of the Indian Army requires that your character, discipline and integrity is absolute and unyielding. I urge you to keep your conduct and demeanour high and impeccable, and be an example for others to emulate," Patil told the young officers, who stood in a parade formation in the backdrop of the historic and iconic and 'Chetwode Hall'.

The President also asked the officers, including 17 from foreign countries and two from neighbouring Nepal, to not only display their role of warriors but also act as agents of peace and succor.

"Dear Cadets, as young officers of the time honoured Indian Army, your basic role is that of a warrior and a protector but you also have to act as a provider- provider of succor, peace and hope to citizens in times of disaster, calamity and distress.

"Wherever you are posted and in whatever capacity, always remember that you are an integral pillar of this vast edifice of our nation, and the stronger the pillar, the stronger is the nation," she said.

The President, who is also the supreme commander of the armed forces, said the officers should keep themselves updated about the new technologies and scientific developments.

"The application of science and technology in the field of defence preparedness and warfare is essential for the effectiveness of the armed forces. You as future leaders, must keep yourself abreast of new and emerging technologies, new age weapons and concepts of technology-driven warfare.

"Never ever let lack of knowledge and preparedness stand in the way of you performing your dharma, the dharma of a warrior," she said.

She also asked the young officers to be leaders with great qualities.

"Always remember, a leader is one who is not only mentally and physically tough, but one who is open to new ideas and can be calm and composed in difficult situations. And most importantly, one who can have the trust of those he leads.

"I exhort you, to do what it takes to develop this trust and confidence, and instill a deep spirit of unity of purpose in your team. Our armed forces have had a number of such officers, who throughout their career showed the way through their sterling leadership," she said.

Cadets from Bhutan, Mongolia, Maldives, Mauritius, Tajikistan and Nepal were the members of the passing-out squad this time.

Uttarakhand Governor Margaret Alva, Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' and Army chief V K Singh were also present during the passing-out parade.

PTI