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Modi govt committed to fill gaps arisen due to late decisions: Sitharaman

The three-day-long IAF commanders conference is taking place amid an evolving regional security scenario

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Nirmala Sitharaman, Defence Minister

Lack of timely decision making in the last decade resulted in gaps in the and the is committed to fill them, said today.

In an address at the bi-annual conference of commanders, the defence minister also said that the powers given to the service chiefs should be "fully utilised" in achieving required capabilities of the forces.

"She said that the is committed to fill the gaps which have arisen due to lack of timely decision making in the last decade," the said in a statement.

The three-day-long commanders conference is taking place amid an evolving regional security scenario and growing assertiveness by in some parts of the Sino-border.

Last week, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa had said is capable of effectively countering any threat from and simultaneously in a two-front war.

Inaugurating the conference, Sitharaman also said that the budgetary allocations "should not be viewed as a constraint and should be looked at to acquire what is absolutely necessary," the statement said.

Currently, the has 33 fighter squadrons against the authorised strength of 42 squadrons. The has been pressing the to expedite acquisition of combat jets to overcome the shortage.

Sitharaman said the along with the DRDO and the Ordnance Factory Board, a state-run defence equipment maker, should make an assessment about the possible areas of indigenisation under the 'Make-in-India' programme.

In his address, Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa emphasised the need for continuous effort and training to maintain IAF's air power, and called for continuing the process to enhance capability of the force.

He also reiterated the IAF's role as the first responder in most contingencies and thus the need to sustain the ongoing process of capability enhancement making use of the government's thrust on the 'Make-in-India' initiative.

The said the conference will deliberate on a raft of issues which will decide the future trajectory of the force.

It said deliberations will take place on operations and maintenance issues.

Various administrative initiatives were also expected to be taken at the conclave to enhance the working environment of the

In sync with the government's initiative, two mobile applications for Air Force Cellular Network (AFCEL) phones will also be released during the conference, the said.

A book titled 'Aero India- Ascent through the ages' was also scheduled to be released during the conference.

First Published: Tue, October 10 2017. 16:39 IST