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Traditions, innovations should be balanced in Armed Forces: Defence Minister

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reviews the Combined Graduation Parade at the Air Force Academy, in Dundigal near Hyderabad on Dec. 17, 2023. (Photo: PTI)

HYDERABAD (PTI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday stressed the need for maintaining the traditions of the Armed Forces while adopting innovation and said there has to be a balance between both of them.

Addressing the Combined Graduation Parade (CGP) at the Air Force Academy at Dundigul near Hyderabad, Singh urged the newly commissioned officers to never lose their openness towards new ideas, innovative thinking and idealism.

He exhorted the officers to give due importance to tradition in the Armed Forces, terming it as time-tested, but pointed out that if tradition is followed for a long time without thinking, then a state of "inertia or ossification" occurs in the system. To avoid this situation and keep pace with the constantly-evolving times, there is a need to innovate.

The Defence Minister called for striking a balance between tradition and innovation, describing it as extremely crucial.

"Strike a balance between tradition and innovation to keep pace with constantly-evolving times. If we follow only tradition, we will be like a dead lake. We need to be like a flowing river. For that, we will have to bring in innovation along with tradition. Keep flying and touch greater heights, but maintain your connection with the ground," he said.

Earlier, the Defence Minister was received by Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari.

A total of 213 Flight Cadets, including 25 women, were commissioned into various branches of the Indian Air Force upon completion of their training. Eight officers from the Indian Navy, nine from the Indian Coast Guard and two from friendly countries were also awarded ‘Wings’ following the completion of their flying training.

The highlight of the parade was the 'Commissioning Ceremony' in which graduating Flight Cadets were awarded their 'Stripes' by the Defence Minister.

Flying Officer Atul Prakash from the flying branch was awarded the President's Plaque and Chief of the Air Staff Sword of Honour for standing first in the overall order of merit in the pilots' course.

Flying Officer Amrinder Jeet Singh was awarded the President's Plaque for standing first in the overall order of merit amongst the ground duty branches.

An enthralling aerobatic show by Su-30MKI, synchronous aerobatics by the helicopter display team 'Sarang', and 'Surya Kiran’ aerobatic team marked the grand finale of the CGP.

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