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India needs stronger armed forces to become developed nation by 2047: Rajnath Singh

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh poses for a group photo with Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R. Hari Kumar and others during the 'Defence Accounts Department Day' celebration event at Controller General of Defence Accounts, in New Delhi, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023. A PTI Photo

NEW DELHI (PTI):  India needs stronger armed forces with modern equipment to become a developed nation by 2047, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Sunday while underlining the need for effective utilisation of financial resources by the three services.

Singh made the remarks after launching several digital initiatives of the Defence Accounts Department (DAD) during its 276th annual day celebrations at Delhi Cantonment on Sunday.

Describing the DAD as the "guardian of defence finance", he emphasised the need to bolster the internal vigilance mechanism so that any suspicious activity can be detected and reviewed immediately.

This, he said, will not only help in dealing with the problem quickly but also increase the trust of the people in the department.

"If we wish to create a developed nation, we will need stronger armed forces with modern arms and equipment. Therefore, it is necessary to effectively utilise the financial resources available to us," Singh said.

"There should be a fine balance between the demands of services and the allocation of available resources," he said.

Singh also suggested to the DAD for the creation of an in-house standing committee that can research and study market forces and provide high-quality market intelligence to the field officers.

During his address, Singh appreciated the organisation for its efforts towards enhancing the country's defence capabilities through a transparent and efficient financial system.

Terming accounting as extremely important for an individual, organisation and the nation as a whole, he said, "Our wants are unlimited, but the available resources are limited."

He commended the DAD for ensuring judicious use of resources while extracting optimum output.

The digital initiatives launched included an integrated defence finance dashboard for the Ministry of Defence -- SARANSH (Summary of Accounts, Budget and Expenditure for Raksha Mantralaya) and BISWAS (Bill Information and Work Analysis System and e-Raksha Awaas).

While Singh lauded the DAD for coming out with numerous digital initiatives, he exhorted it to develop its professional capabilities to deal with the complexities arising out of the constantly-evolving times.

He urged it to collaborate with reputable institutions such as Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) to develop and adopt customised training modules, as per requirements.

Singh urged DAD officials to keep in mind two broad aspects while extending financial advice -- realistic assessment of the demand of the user agency and understanding of the product's market.

He stressed the need to pay attention to the fact whether there is a need to buy a product or not and if a similar product of equal or greater effectiveness is available somewhere else in the market at a lower cost, according to the defence ministry.

This understanding will further increase the quality of financial advice, he said.

To develop such an understanding, Singh suggested the creation of an in-house mechanism, a standing committee of experienced people who can research and study market forces and provide high-quality market intelligence to the field officers.

"Big banks and financial institutions develop in-house economic intelligence and research teams. On similar lines, the DAD needs to develop an in-house team for market research and intelligence," he said.

The defence minister also recommended collaboration with industry associations and business schools for extensive study of market conditions.

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