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Role of technology questioned

By R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, May 15 � Though a rosy picture on the technological advances is sought to be painted by the Government of India, the fact that it took five days to locate the wreckage of the helicopter crash involving Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu reflects the limitations of technology, said former GOC of the 4 Corps of the Army, Lt Gen (Retd) DB Shekhatkar.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, Lt Gen Shekhatkar, who is well versed with the ground situation in Arunachal Pradesh, said that in the past also, a number of chopper crashes took place in the North East and on most occasions the technology was not helpful in finding the crash sites and it was only the local people who managed to find the wreckages. Same was the case with the chopper in which the Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister was traveling as only local villagers could find the wreckage.

Lt Gen Shekhatkar said that too much dependence on technology can prove to be disastrous for India, particularly in the hilly terrains as it is evident that the satellites failed to penetrate the clouds and into the hilly terrains. He expressed the view that there should be a right mix of technology and local human knowledge in dealing with national security.

The former Army officer pointed out that in the hostile terrain and weather condition, it is not possible to keep a close watch on every inch of the international border with China round the clock and one would have to depend on technology. But at the same time, too much dependence on technology would be disastrous as it has been proved beyond doubt that technology available with India is not adequate to deal with hostile weather conditions. �If China decides to attack, can we ask them to wait for the weather to clear,� he asked. He also said that the scientific community of India must start working on developing technology for bad weather conditions and in hilly terrains like that of Arunachal Pradesh to ensure that India is not caught off-guard in case of deterioration of the relations with China.

Lt Gen Shekhatkar further pointed out that India procures most of the modern equipment including weapons from different countries, but no one knows for sure whether such equipment would work properly in weather conditions faced in areas like Arunachal Pradesh. The kind of equipment used in the plain areas of the country might not be suitable for the hilly areas and �we also have to assess whether the countries manufacturing equipment do have knowledge of hostile weather conditions like Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh. The technology used by America may not be suitable for India and even the technology and equipment including weapons used in other parts of India may not be suitable for Arunachal Pradesh.� In this regard, the scientific community of India must go for a thorough study of the weather condition along the border with China and decide what is best for the area.

There is no denying the fact Bofors guns were useful for India in the past but it will not be an easy task to transport those to the borders with China if required, Lt Gen Shekhatkar pointed out, giving an example of area-based needs.

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— Dalai Lama(THIS IS STATIC)

Role of technology questioned

GUWAHATI, May 15 � Though a rosy picture on the technological advances is sought to be painted by the Government of India, the fact that it took five days to locate the wreckage of the helicopter crash involving Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu reflects the limitations of technology, said former GOC of the 4 Corps of the Army, Lt Gen (Retd) DB Shekhatkar.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, Lt Gen Shekhatkar, who is well versed with the ground situation in Arunachal Pradesh, said that in the past also, a number of chopper crashes took place in the North East and on most occasions the technology was not helpful in finding the crash sites and it was only the local people who managed to find the wreckages. Same was the case with the chopper in which the Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister was traveling as only local villagers could find the wreckage.

Lt Gen Shekhatkar said that too much dependence on technology can prove to be disastrous for India, particularly in the hilly terrains as it is evident that the satellites failed to penetrate the clouds and into the hilly terrains. He expressed the view that there should be a right mix of technology and local human knowledge in dealing with national security.

The former Army officer pointed out that in the hostile terrain and weather condition, it is not possible to keep a close watch on every inch of the international border with China round the clock and one would have to depend on technology. But at the same time, too much dependence on technology would be disastrous as it has been proved beyond doubt that technology available with India is not adequate to deal with hostile weather conditions. �If China decides to attack, can we ask them to wait for the weather to clear,� he asked. He also said that the scientific community of India must start working on developing technology for bad weather conditions and in hilly terrains like that of Arunachal Pradesh to ensure that India is not caught off-guard in case of deterioration of the relations with China.

Lt Gen Shekhatkar further pointed out that India procures most of the modern equipment including weapons from different countries, but no one knows for sure whether such equipment would work properly in weather conditions faced in areas like Arunachal Pradesh. The kind of equipment used in the plain areas of the country might not be suitable for the hilly areas and �we also have to assess whether the countries manufacturing equipment do have knowledge of hostile weather conditions like Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh. The technology used by America may not be suitable for India and even the technology and equipment including weapons used in other parts of India may not be suitable for Arunachal Pradesh.� In this regard, the scientific community of India must go for a thorough study of the weather condition along the border with China and decide what is best for the area.

There is no denying the fact Bofors guns were useful for India in the past but it will not be an easy task to transport those to the borders with China if required, Lt Gen Shekhatkar pointed out, giving an example of area-based needs.

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— Dalai Lama(THIS IS STATIC)