Dehra Dun, Dec 10: Acknowledging the unblemished record of professionalism of Indian Armed Forces, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today lauded their deepest regard for the letter and spirit of the democratic Constitution of the secular Republic.
"The Indian Armed Forces have a message for the world based on the record of their service to the nation," he said after reviewing the Passing Out Parade of the Platinum Jubilee Course of the Indian Military Academy (IMA) here.
"Our armed forces have demonstrated to the world that it is possible for one of the largest armies in the world, one of the oldest armies in the world and one of the most professional armies in the world to strengthen the sinews of a democratic society and nation," he said, in obvious reference to the activism of the army in some neighbouring countries and elsewhere.
Dr Singh said the Armed Forces had set an example for nations and societies across the world by strengthening the foundations of Indian democracy, and defending democracy at home and abroad, through UN Peacekeeping.
Saying that the major challenge before the forces was to become more efficient and more modern in their functioning, he said a modern army should be a knowledge-based force and its soldiers a thinking machine.
"The application of science and technology and information technology has become an integral part of defence preparedness and warfare," Dr Singh said, while pointing out that there was a need for better educated and better trained soldiers.
Stressing the need for high quality training, good quality equipment and the ability to strategise and act for the success of the armed forces, the Prime Minister said the government was fully committed to the technological modernisation of the Armed Forces.
"We will not shy away from investing whatever is required in the training and equipment of our armed forces. While Government will find the resources required, the leadership of our armed forces must focus attention on improving efficiency of expenditure and, to use a common phrase, continually improve the 'bang to buck' ratio," Dr Singh said.
Lauding the contribution of the IMA, he suggested greater investment in jointness in thinking and functioning at every stage in the career of officers and soldiers.
"Institutions like the IMA, and other institutions of our armed forces, must develop the intellectual and organisational framework for such jointness in thinking and in action," Dr Singh said, while stressing the need for instilling in officers the correct leadership values and a respect for knowledge and learning.
Among those who were passing out were members of friendly foreign countries of Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Bhutan and Kazakhstan.
"The bonds of friendship with fellow cadets that they have formed here will further strengthen the bonds of friendship between our nations," the Prime Minister said.