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In the chain of motivational lectures at IIT Kanpur for the First Year Students, our guestspeaker was, Lt Gen Harpal Singh, PVSM,AVSM,VSM Engineer-in-Chief Indian Army, an alumnus of National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla. He spoke on "Synergizing the efforts of corps of engineers and research institutions for futuristic capability and infrastructure development".
Col Ashok Mor, the Officer In charge NCC at IIT Kanpur welcomed the guest speaker Lt Gen Harpal Singh. Our student Siddartha Govil, introduced the guest speaker. Gen has been double M Tech from Virginia State University, USA. Masters in Management Studies and M.Phill (Defence Studies) and has been DG Border Roads.
Lt Gen Harpal Singh, in his address to the students said “Infrastructure development is the forte of Engineers and is manned by civil, mech, and electrical engineers keeping in mind the geostrategic environment in which the Indian armed forces are operating. Various research institutes such as IIT are further contributing towards the Requirement to enhance warfighting capabilities, especially in forward areas by making our armed forces self-reliant, active participation in AI, drones, etc.
Four Pillars of Engineers -
Combat Engrs - Mobility, Bridging at most inhospitable and difficult terrains. Defence Infrastructure created during the recent standoff in an extremely compact form which has enabled the prolonged deployment of troops. Disaster management - first responders at various disasters and calamities. Bomb and Disposal work is undertaken by combat engrs.
BRO - Atal tunnel, quick mobilization during Standoff, snow Clearance, Indo china strategic roads. working with NHAI.
MES (Military Engineer Services) - Largest construction agency in the country. Construction of Hospitals, Airfields, Army officers do M Tech from IIT’s every year for specialization. Marine Infrastructure to Eastern Airstrips. Working towards solar photovoltaic works. The MES and IIT's can work together for heralding the next generation of construction technology.
MILITARY SURVEY - Satellite imagery, UAV with optical and radar sensors.
In case of Assault Bridges - DRDO and active participation of industry. The Raw material is not sufficient - Design is adapted from foreign countries. Hight mobility vehicle come in semi or completely locked down kits and are only assembled locally. We can work on Manufacturing of powerful engines for critical platforms fighter aircraft and transport aircraft.
"I WONDER IF WE CAN LAUNCH MISSIONS TO MARS WHY ARE WE NOT IN A POSITION TO MANUFACTURE POWERFUL ENGINES” ISRO epitome of self-reliance and NASA owes its success to Indian brains. We look forward to the best and bright minds of IIT's working for a complete transformation in upcoming technological works.
An integrated civil and military ecosystem may be the answer with Next-generation infrastructure in high altitude isolated areas such as Siachen, oxygen cylinder, fuel cells, water generation, daily needs infra. Relocatable habitat, with the ability to survive extreme snow and blizzards. Assault crafts in inland lakes- riverine areas. Indigenous hoover craft coming up.
Construction speed can be increased by BRO, achieving self-reliance in manufacturing heavy road construction plants and machinery needs to be undertaken in the very expedited manner it is here the academia can actively engage with us in our labs and ongoing project sites.
Tremendous potential is there in Microtunneling machines which can be used for construction of underground excavated field defenses which can withstand heavy bombardment. This will give protection to our soldiers. This is another area we need to focus on.
Construction of bunkers incorporated with 3D printing robotic construction and use of alternate lightweight construction material esp in inhospitable terrain to overcome the human limitation. Greater ballistic protection merits more research. Research on a variety of composites. Work is undergoing at CME Pune Sarvatra Kavach, Unmanned IED disposal ROV, Anti Mine Boot, Ballistic Helmet has a huge scope for collaboration.
Explosives- Modern explosives next-gen of explosives like the auto stem need to be worked on such things which have much greater destructive power. Next-gen of deception and camouflage by utilizing satellite imagery and another modern tech. We are actively working with IIT Kanpur research on metamaterial which is a tremendous promise for transforming camo capabilities at an extremely low cost. We need to take this road together with greater rigor.
Detection of landmines is always a challenge. Research on the more tech-advanced alternative is the need of the hour. We are looking to collaborate with IIT's in the field of construction of marine structures both off shore and onshore. Certain areas academia can help us - Improving the accuracy of trans border geo special data and development of geo dine model of neighboring countries.
Sarvatra is our motto which implies omnipresence.
While advanced research is taking place in AI and the use of 5G, sappers require to focus on very basic hardware. We need to closely work together in empowering and making the armed forces stronger.The sky is the limit to research on tech for military might.Hypersonic talk waves nanotech is critical tech that merit research. We recommend frequent visits to forward areas and mil areas for better understand and working in groups rather than individual approach has to be the norm.
Indigenization and self-reliance lead to a reduction in cost and this will always be a deciding factor while inducting new tech. We need to strengthen direct engagement between IIT's and engrs. Various projects are going on at Madras, Bhbawaneshwar and Gandhinagar. Research should aim at the quantum enhancement of our abilities. The functional military complex not far away with Defence corridors in UP and Tamil Nadu.
Aatmanirbhar is a necessity for ensuring strategic autonomy without dependence on foreign countries for critical weapon systems and tech.
Lt Gen Harpal Singh thanked for the opportunity to address the students and IITK fraternity. Col Ashok Mor proposed vote of thanks to the speaker.