Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Raksha Mantri's Independence Day Address to the armed forces

Defence Minister Antony's top 5 issues concerning the Indian military. Going by the sequence in which Defence Minister AK Antony raised issues in his Independence Day address to the armed forces today, corruption within the military is its biggest threat… followed by the need to protect human rights during counter-terrorism operations. Equipment modernization came in fifth place.
Here is the order in which Antony raised issues in his speech:
No.1: Corruption
No.2: Protecting human rights during counter-terrorism ops
No.3: Border and coastal security
No.4: Welfare of serving and retired soldiers
No.5: Equipment modernization

No.1: Corruption
Corruption is today a serious challenge facing our nation - and our Armed Forces are no exception to the rule. Corruption not only badly affects the morale of the personnel, but also has many other implications. I appeal to each one of you to renew the pledge to work with all the honesty, fairness and transparency at your command in your day-to-day work. Our Armed Forces have been renowned for their hard work, determination, efficiency and discipline. It is our individual duty and collective responsibility to ensure that the excellent work done by our Armed Forces in general, is not undone at any cost.
No.4: Welfare of serving and retired soldiers
Dear jawans, your all-round welfare is always uppermost in our minds. Our Government has been making all-out efforts to improve your living and working conditions. We have taken several steps to further improve the quality of rations, accommodation and clothing. Our scientists have developed a nutritious, ready-to-eat diet called "AAHAR". This will go a long way in meeting requirements of fresh food of all you jawans.
In our ongoing efforts to improve the well-being of jawans, our Government has further widened the scope of ECHS and established more polyclinics and regional health centres. We have also taken up special measures to accelerate the Married Accommodation Project (MAP). Under the project, a total of nearly two lakh dwelling units are being constructed in four phases at an estimated cost of over Rs. 17, 000 crores. Presently, 54, 000 dwelling units have been constructed out of a total of 58, 000 dwelling units under Phase-I of the project. Phase-I I of the project involving the construction of 70, 000 dwelling units has also begun. Phase-Ill and Phase-IV of MAP have been merged so that the work on the remaining 71, 000 dwelling units of MAP Phase III and Phase IV can be expedited. We are sure that MAP will go a long way in boosting the morale of our Armed Forces. Today, I wish to reassure you that when it comes to the welfare of jawans, we will never make any compromises.

Ex-servicemen have always been one of our topmost priorities. We are making our best efforts to ensure that there are no procedural delays in pension-related cases of ex-servicemen. Our Government is aware that ex-servicemen have some grievances with the amount of pension they get. A high-level committee has been set up under the chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary to look after such cases, as well as other problems.
Defence Minister Antony's top 5 issues concerning the Indian military

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