New Delhi: Army Chief Gen MM Naravane said Tuesday that the procurement process for the Armed Forces has not kept pace with time. He asserted that a revolution in bureaucratic affairs is needed for real transformation to take place. MM Naravane said many procedural lacunae have crept into the acquisition process. This has happened due to ‘overbearing nature’ of the rules and regulations. The Army Chief noted that the needs of ‘information-era’ warfare cannot be hamstrung by the procedures of the ‘industrial age’.
Naravane was delivering an address at the United Service Institution of India. He said the Armed Forces cannot hope to fight and win the next war with ‘legacy structures’ evolved from the past. He added that there is a need for focusing on faster decision making.
“Our procurement process unfortunately has not kept pace with the requirements of time. Many procedural lacunae have crept into the acquisition process due to the overbearing nature of our rules and regulations, leading to a ‘Zero Error Syndrome’,” Naravane said.
“The need of the hour is to have a metamorphosis here too, perhaps even doing away with the concept of the L1 (lowest bidder) vendor altogether. For real transformation to take place, we require a revolution in bureaucratic affairs,” the Army Chief added.
Gen Naravane referred to various reform initiatives. He informed that the Army has brought about major structural changes by aligning both the revenue and capital routes of procurement under the Deputy Chief of Army Staff (Capability Development and Sustenance). “This alone is not enough,” he said.
The Chief of Army Staff said capability development in the Armed Forces must be guided by foreseeing future threats.
“We cannot hope to fight and win the next war with legacy structures evolved from the past. Our force structures must be agile, flexible, modular and networked. They should reflect the realities and challenges of the contemporary battlefield,” Gen Naravane pointed out. “Our structures must support faster decision making,” he asserted.
Gen Naravane said commanders will have to be comfortable using Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled systems while taking decisions. However, they would need to understand the limitations of these machines and the mistakes that they may commit.