ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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AFTER the gorgeous show of arms and materiel at the Republic Day parade and the rehearsals of the eight- minute fly-past that did not take place, one might have expected the 1969-70 report of the Ministry of Defence to vaunt the strength of the Indian armed forces. Instead, it is strangely muted about the physical aspects of the forces It concentrates rather pointedly on questions of organisation and training; only when it comes to defence production is it somewhat informative. No amount of reading between the lines would tell one that the Indian army's small weapons are now roughly the equal of those of the more modern armies of the world, that it has far more and qualitatively better artillery support -than ever before (though even now probably less than adequate), that it has at least two, possibly three well- equipped armoured divisions with one in reserve, that it has a fairly balanced fighter force going up to Mach-2 interceptors, or that the Navy, though militarily insignificant still, is poised for an expansion that might give it a meaningful capability for short-range defence. This is just the moment when the Government of India could have patted itself on the back for the armed strength it has built up

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