Over the last year and a half, China has taken several overt steps to undermine India at the Line of Control (LAC). These steps are in the form of passing new border laws, heavy deployment of troops and weaponry, using demographic changes to displace the local Tibetan population, etc. However, right since the Doklam standoff, India has responded to China proactively. A quick look at the actions initiated by India in the recent past highlights success of the several steps taken to keep China at bay.
Military Theatre Commands
One of the most vital military reforms taking place in India at a fast pace is the theaterisation of military commands. Under this initiative, the existing 17 commands of the three armed forces will be brought under four to six ‘joint commands’. These commands will focus on specific borders and roles. This integration is expected to bring significant synergy among all three service branches.
In the latest development, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh have already been put fully under the Lucknow-based Central Command.
24/7 surveillance at the China-LAC
The Indian Army is stressing on 24/7 surveillance of the LAC and is accordingly installing needed surveillance cameras. Sensors are also being installed, on a war footing, at sensitive zones notorious for Chinese transgressions. Besides, satellite imagery is also being used to monitor the 3,000-plus km LAC.
Troop reinforcements along the LAC
A crucial step taken by the Indian Armed Forces is the deployment of additional troops on a permanent basis irrespective of the border tensions. The Indian Army has not revealed the number of troops it has deployed to forward areas. However, a significant number of troops are now positioned along the LAC to augment operational capability and preparedness.
Emergency Powers to the Armed Forces
Last fortnight, the Defence Ministry has for the third time extended the emergency powers given to the Army, Navy, Air Force and the Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) for urgent procurement and works. The extension highlights the priority India is giving to the standoff with China.
India is fast building a network of roads, bridges and tunnels to establish full-fledged and all-weather connectivity to the forward regions with China. A few days back, the Border Roads Organisation launched five major road development projects in Ladakh to improve the overall infrastructure in this strategically crucial area. These newly inaugurated road developments are just a few of the several infrastructure projects that have already started functioning.
India’s firepower augmentation with the induction of Rafale and Mirage 2000 fighter jets, M777, Bofors, K9-Vajra and other artillery guns, T-90 and T-72 tanks, drones, etc., at the LAC, is well-known, and India is only adding to it.
Overall, India has put up a robust resistance to thwart China’s ‘Salami Slicing tactics’ used by them to usurp land from neighbours.