Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu is on a five-day visit to Rajasthan

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Monday urged the security forces to prepare themselves to dominate not only in a conventional war but also establish their superiority in the new and emerging areas of conflict such as information and cyber warfare along with the increasing use of robotics and drones in the battlefield.

He said this while interacting with the officers and troops of 12 RAPID Division of the Indian Army in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.

He said the geo-strategic environment around the country was turning unpredictable. “We are facing both symmetric and asymmetric threats from outside and within”, he observed.

The Vice President termed peace as the prerequisite for progress of humanity and emphasized that the Indian military has an onerous responsibility to ensure peace and stability on the country’s borders and also within it.

Praising the valour of the Indian Army, he said that any attempt to challenge India’s sovereignty by inimical forces would be dealt with strongly by the country’s security forces.

The Vice President, who is on a five-day tour to Rajasthan, on Monday visited ‘Jaisalmer War Museum’ where he was received by Major General Ajeet Singh Gahlot, General Officer Commanding 12 RAPID.

He praised the Indian Army’s Battle Axe Division (12 RAPID) for defending the nation and also guarding the borders in scorching Thar desert and in harsh climatic conditions. “The nation is assured that any misadventure by an adversary will be given a befitting reply by the Indian Army,” he told the troops of 12 RAPID.

Reiterating that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India, the Vice President said that by doing away with Article 370, which was a temporary provision only, Indian Parliament removed a major barrier between the people of J&K and the rest of India.

Expressing his happiness on visiting the ‘Golden City- Jaisalmer’, Naidu said that the city is known for its rich cultural legacy and military traditions.

Recalling his visit to Laungewala Battle Site on Sunday, the Vice President said that he felt immensely proud on hearing the inspiring story of Major Kuldeep Singh Chandpuri and his men in the historic battle of Laungewala.

Naidu said that he turned emotional on seeing the very place where Indian soldiers sacrificed their lives for the motherland. He advised youngsters to visit the place to see and understand the adverse climatic conditions in which the brave soldiers guard the country’s frontiers.

On the occasion of ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’ of India’s victory in the 1971 Indo-Pak war, the Vice President paid rich tributes to the country’s valorous soldiers and wished a happy and successful tenure for all ranks of 12 RAPID Division posted in the Jaisalmer area.

Later in a Facebook post, the Vice President called upon people to visit the nearby war museums as they are a reminder of the many sacrifices that the country’s courageous soldiers make to ensure that citizens sleep peacefully every night.

During his visit, he paid tribute to the martyrs by laying a wreath at the memorial and wrote in his post, "When it comes to ensuring the sovereignty and protecting the territory of our nation, our Defence Forces have time and again proved their strength and mettle."

As part of his ongoing visit in the border city of Jaisalmer, the Vice President on Monday also held a Sainik Sammelan at 191 BN HQ and interacted with the Border Security Force personnel posted in the area. He praised BSF troops for guarding the nation’s frontiers amid difficult climatic conditions.

On his arrival at the headquarters of 191 BN, he was received by Pankaj Goomer, IG BSF, Rajasthan and Arun Kumar Singh, DIG, 191 BN, Jaisalmer who briefed him on the role and duties of BSF in the area.

Recognizing the high standards of training, discipline and ethos maintained by the force, the Vice President also appreciated BSF for successfully fighting internal security threats like terrorism and Naxalism. “You have always followed the rules while containing the extremist violence despite provocations,” he told the troops.

Noting that BSF has always been prompt in aiding the civil administration in cases of disasters, Naidu specifically lauded its personnel for joining the fight against COVID-19 pandemic by helping the local administration. He also praised the BSF for undertaking social activities like protection of the environment, water conservation, Swachhta and anti-drug drive on the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Referring to increasing security threats on borders, Naidu said that cross-border terrorism and drug smuggling have necessitated increased alertness on the part of our security forces. He praised BSF for taking measures to counter the emerging threats from enemy drones on the border and asked the force to update itself with the latest technologies.

Naidu assured the troops that the government is making every effort to improve facilities for them. The Vice President expressed satisfaction over the increase in representation of women in our security forces.

Recalling the brave and courageous women from Indian history such as Panna Dhai and Rani Bagheli, he said the government is encouraging more women to join uniformed services.

On this occasion, the Vice President also felicitated the Laungewala war veteran, Bhairaon Singh