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GEOPOLITICS (January 2019) focuses on the army. To begin with, Army Chief Bipin Rawat would like to see women in combat roles but he feels that there is a compelling need for pre-entry perception management. Is it our mind-sets that needs to be changed? Also, the government must provide a major boost to the army's modernisation drive, particularly infantry modernisation to enable the army to fight and win the nation's future wars in an era of strategic uncertainty and to manage ongoing challenges pertaining to internal security. The issue also takes a close look at the defence supply chains and the opportunities they provide for Indian Industry. Even as the country seeks greater private sector involvement in the defence industry, it is useful to consider whether becoming part of global supply-chains offers an opportunity to increase the prospects for India's industries becoming major players in the Indian defence sector. Is India ready to fight in mountainous terrains? The question is relevant since the modernisation of the Army's mountain divisions has not kept pace with the modernisation of its plains formations and now, combined with infrastructure shortcomings, there are areas of concern. Also, as part of its massive modernisation drive that will re-equip its troops with advanced personal arms, the Indian Army has narrowed its choices to American, Russian and UAE rifles. The army should not only take a quick decision to ensure a reliable weapon in the hands of over a million soldiers, it should also take into account the latest global developments in bullet calibres and add-ons that can make a critical impact in combat. Plus: An indepth report on why our ground forces need an air force along with all regular pages.

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