India's neighbours pose challenges: Antony

New Delhi: The situation in India's neighbourhood poses various challenges for the country and there is a need to strengthen the internal fabric to meet it, Defence Minister AK Antony said on Wednesday.

"Global security environment continues to be a cause of concern and the situation in our neighbourhood poses various challenges. There is a pressing need to strengthen the internal fabric of our society and nation to meet such challenges," Antony said here.

He was addressing a gathering of senior army officials after inaugurating Gyandeep Centre of Excellence in collaboration with Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), which will provide higher education to army personnel for their post retirement career avenues.

Applauding the efforts made by the Army to train its soldiers for alternate career once they retire from service, Antony said empowerment of soldiers is an important issue which must be addressed and monitored at all levels.

"Today soldiers are well educated and technology savvy, the effort of empowerment of our soldiers will go a long way. It will also enhance competence of our soldiers while providing them second career alternatives once they retire," he said.

Stressing on the need to create educational infrastructure along with credible certification methods, he said, "These veterans from the armed forces must be integrated with our society as they would continue to work with the same dedication and commitment that they displayed as members of the armed forces.

Addressing the conference, Army Chief Gen V K Singh said, "Our aim is to empower our JCOs and jawans who get a great amount of education and military training which needs to be certified and to ensure a greater capacity building for our officers."