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President wants soldiers to be ‘technology efficient’

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BEST PERFORMANCE: President Pratibha Patil honours a meritorious candidate at the passing out parade at the OTA in Chennai on Saturday.
BEST PERFORMANCE: President Pratibha Patil honours a meritorious candidate at the passing out parade at the OTA in Chennai on Saturday.

Special Correspondent

Pratibha Patil reviews passing-out parade at OTA

CHENNAI: Modern warfare must necessarily incorporate measures to counter terrorism, President Pratibha Patil said here on Saturday.

Speaking after reviewing a passing-out parade at the Officers Training Academy here, at which 151 men and women were inducted into the Army, the President said terrorism posed a grave threat to global peace, stability and progress. The country was a victim of such attacks. This menace had to be tackled with determination and eradicated.

“During your training, you would have been sensitised about the external security scenario, particularly of our region,” Ms. Patil pointed out, adding that an understanding of the threat perceptions was important for the young officers’ preparedness in dealing with such challenges. The modern army was a knowledge-based force and application of science and information technology had become an integral part of defence preparedness and warfare. “In today’s knowledge-centric era, every soldier should be ‘technology efficient’, a requirement that highlights the need for better training and increased efficiency,” the President said.

Matter of pride

Turning her attention to women officers, she said it was a matter of pride that they had joined the Army after successfully completing the full training capsule in the first Short Service Course for Women. “It shows they have come a long way since our national freedom movement and today are standing, firm and determined, on the frontiers of the nation with matching zeal and enthusiasm.” She noted that youth from friendly countries — Afghanistan, Jamaica and Seychelles — were trained here and was confident the training would benefit their country and their friendship with Indian cadets would strengthen ties between the nations.

Medals presented

The President gave the Sword of Honour for the Best All Round Cadet and Silver Medal for standing second in order of merit to Prashant R.Pillai; the Gold Medal for standing first in order of merit to Shikha Bhaduria; and the Chief of Army Staff Banner to Jessami Company.

During the Pipping Ceremony she got down from the stage, walked around the lawn interacting with cadets, congratulating them and their parents and obliging children who wanted to be photographed with her.

General Deepak Kapoor, Chief of Army Staff, Governor Surjit Singh Barnala, members of the Diplomatic Corps were among the dignitaries present.

Prashant R.Pillai, hails from Pattanamthitta in Kerala and joined Indian Air Force as an Airman after completing Plus-Two. During his seven-year stint with IAF, he completed B.A. (History) through correspondence from Indira Gandhi National Open University.

Shikha Bhaduria, a physics graduate, belongs to Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh and comes from a family whose many members are in the armed forces. This is the first time that women were trained for nine months, on a par with men, ever since they were inducted for training in 1992, an OTA officer said.


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