Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat has stressed the need to overcome and shed the colonial era syndrome completely as the current environment demanded a "change in outlook and policies".

Speaking at a webinar organised by Vivekananda International Foundation on 'Shaping the armed forces to meet likely current and future challenges', Gen Rawat said that recent events had shown that many of the biggest threats today respect no borders and must be met with collective action. 

That includes the Covid pandemic, biological threats, escalating climate crisis, cyber and digital threats, international economic disruptions, protracted humanitarian crises, violent extremism and terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. 

"And none can be effectively addressed by one nation acting alone," General Rawat said.

Stating that India cannot fight the next war premised on the experiences and structures of the past wars, the CDS said there is a need to have a greater emphasis on advancing jointness and integration across the board so as to develop trust amongst the rank and file and shape congruent perception to jointly operate efficiently and effectively.

"The central theme is 'To Be Future Ready' by balancing preparedness for today's requirements with what we need to do differently to meet tomorrow's challenges," he said.

Terming India's neighbourhood is a complex geographical entity, collectively and individually representing a world of historical links, shared legacies, commonalities as well as diversities, General Rawat said that there is an emergent need to develop a vision for the region. 

"However, one must be careful to not bite more than we can chew. It must be intrinsically linked to our national interests, which are directly linked to national security," Gen Rawat said. 

Calling national security a multifaceted and all-encompassing concept enmeshed with building up of comprehensive national power, he said, "In today's changed and complex world, security now has a much broader construct that includes geopolitical interests, internal stability, economic and social security."

On indigenisation, he said, "Our nation's aspiration of becoming a regional power cannot rely on borrowed strengths. India's wars have to be won with Indian solutions; indigenisation is the way forward and we are fully committed to it."