Technology should be tweaked to be user-driven: Lt. Gen. Shokin Chauhan, Director General, Assam Rifles at Sixth International Conference and Exhibition on Homeland Security

17 November, 2017


In his Keynote address at ASSOCHAM's conference on Homeland Security, Lt. Gen. Shokin Chauhan, Director General, Assam Rifles asserted the need for the industry to tweak technology to be user-driven. He stressed that each border is different, and complexities come in people and terrain. Speaking from his experience at the Indo-Myanmar border wherein a Free Movement Regime is in place, he urged industry to develop technological solutions to help identify people at the border. This, in addition to virtual fences and anti-infiltration obstacle systems, could be game changers. 

In his Special Address, IPS, DGP Modernization, Kerala Police, Dr. N.C. Asthana reasserted the point that borrowed wisdom will not work. He said that Original Equipment Manufacturers had no idea as to what the user needs. Citing first-hand examples from various counter-insurgency operations in the North-East, Kashmir and Central India, he opined that many investments in ammunition, vehicles and weapons had been expensive and ineffective. He also mentioned how basic requirements like anti snake bite vaccinations and proper jungle boots were lacking. He thus called upon industry to invest in research and development for effective and cost- effective products that suit Indian needs.

Chief Guest, Dr. Jitnedra Singh, Minister of State, Prime Minister Office Personnel, responded to Dr. Asthana's remarks saying that Indian diseases needed Indian remedies and a milieu for this would be created. He spoke of how in the 80s and 90s the defence forces and civilian population were ill equipped to deal with insurgent movements, but this is no longer the case. The government, he said, has clarity in its approach and has been decisive about dealing with terrorists or insurgents as terrorists. According to him, this has added to the confidence of the public about issues of security.

Minister of State for Home Affairs, Hansraj Gagaram Ahir, who was Guest of Honour, reiterated the government's resolve to calm down on terrorism and extremist left-wing activity. He mentioned how the Prime Minister's Make in India policy was aimed at attaining self- sufficiency in manufacturing defence equipment.
The event also saw the launch of a knowledge paper on 'Homeland Security-Digital Frontiers' jointly prepared by ASSOCHAM and Ernst and Young. 

The Inaugural Session on Day-1 and the Opening Session on Day-2, were followed by exhaustive Technical Sessions on varied topics such as: Safeguarding Ports, Metros, Railways and Transportation Systems, Disaster Management including Radioactive and Biological Threats, Security of Educational Institutions, Operational Challenges in Counter Insurgency and Solutions, Border Area Management: Challenges and Opportunities, Role of Technology in Smart Policing and Cyber Forensics and Data Analytics. 

Prominent dignitaries and experts present at the conference included Chairman, ASSOCHAM National Council on Homeland Security, Padmashri D.R. Kaarthikeyan; Chief Security Commissioner, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, S. Upadhye; Member, National Disaster Management Authority, Dr. D.N. Sharma; IPS, Special Commissioner of Police: Traffic, Delhi Dependra Pathak; Director General, Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRandD)- AP Maheshwari; Deputy Secretary-Police Modernisation, Ministry of Home Affairs, Amrik Singh; Director/ Scientist F, CERT-In, Ministry of Electronics and IT; President,Omveer Sigh; ASSOCHAM, Sandeep Jajodia; Secretary General, ASSOCHAM, DS Rawat; Co-Chairman, ASSOCHAM National Council on Homeland Security, Anil Dhawan, besides others.