Mumbai, India (CU)_ Chief of Defense Staff Gen Bipin Rawat delivered his speech at the Vivekananda International Foundation. He said that India’s leadership had shown political will and strength to protect vital national interests in the face of an unprovoked attack on its stability and integrity. He said, “Our leadership has displayed the political will and determination to uphold our vital national interests in face of unprovoked assault on our security, values and indeed our dignity”.
Chief of Defense Staff Gen Bipin Rawat warned that China has the potential to launch cyberattacks against India as there is a technological capability gap between the two countries. These comments were interpreted as a reference to the border dispute with China in eastern Ladakh. In response to a query, he said that the largest disparity between India and China is in the cyber domain, highlighting that the neighboring country has invested a significant amount of money in new technologies.
General Rawat warned that a capability differential in terms of technology has developed between India and China over time, and that China has a technological lead over India. He said, “We know that China is capable of launching cyberattacks on us and that it can disrupt a large amount of our systems. What we are trying to do is to create a system which would ensure cyber defense”.
He said that they are building new firewalls to combat cyberattacks and that the problem was being tackled seriously. According to the CDS, each service is linked to its own cyber agency to confirm that even though they are attacked by hackers, the attack time and effects of the attack will not continue for a longer time. General Rawat said, “What we are trying to do is to create a system which would ensure cyber defense…We should be able to overcome cyber-attacks and continue with our systems either through an alternative or preventive means through firewalls”. He added, “I would unhesitatingly say that the Navy is far ahead than the Army and the Air Force as far as the way they are imbibing technology”.
He also spoke about India’s military evolution, saying that the country must resist the urge in seeking the West for security solutions, and instead invite the rest of the world to benefit from its extensive experience in coping with a variety of challenges. He said, “Democracy, justice, liberty and international peace call upon us to enhance our global reach and play an important role in global and regional affairs by promoting international peace and stability through a rules-based international order”. General Rawat noted that it is time for the military to focus heavily on technology.