Rajnath Singh

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh calls the international community to counter global cyber attacks jointly

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has called for concerted efforts of the international community to counter “grave” emerging security threats such as cyber-attacks and information warfare.

He was addressing the officers of the Indian Armed Forces, and Civil Services as well as from friendly foreign countries during the 60th National Defence College (NDC) course convocation ceremony in New Delhi on November 10, 2022.

He threw light on the narrowing gap between internal and external security and said that new dimensions of threats are being added with changing times, that are difficult to classify. He asserted that terrorism, which generally falls into internal security, is now classified in the category of external security, as training, funding, and arms support of such organizations is being carried out from outside the country.

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He pointed out that the organized use of social media and other online content generation platforms is engineering the opinion and perspective of the masses.

“The deployment of information war was most evident in the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Throughout the conflict, social media has served as a battleground for both sides to spread competing narratives about the war and portray the conflict on their own terms. The propaganda campaigns as a means of strategy to shape narratives are by no means new during warfare, but its reach has increased by leaps and bounds due to the shift toward social media as the primary distribution channel,” said Rajnath Singh.

He emphasized that when peace and security of any region is threatened, the entire world feels its impact in multiple ways. “The recent Ukrainian conflict showed how its ripple effects could adversely impact the whole world. Together, Russia and Ukraine export nearly a third of the world’s wheat and barley, but this conflict had prevented grain from leaving the ‘breadbasket of the world and led to a food crisis in various African and Asian countries. The conflict has also fuelled an energy crisis in the world. In Europe, oil and gas supply has been dwindling. India has also been affected as the Russia-Ukraine war led to a disruption in international energy supply, making the energy import much more expensive,” he said.

Rajnath Singh stressed the need to consider security as a truly collective enterprise, which can create a global order beneficial to all. “National security should not be considered a zero-sum game. We should strive to create a win-win situation for all. We should not be guided by narrow self-interest which is not beneficial in the long run. We should be guided by enlightened self-interest which is sustainable and resilient to shocks,” he said. The Raksha Mantri added that while many multilateral organizations, such as United Nations Security Council, are working in the field of security, there is a need to elevate it to a level of shared interests and security for all.

During the convocation ceremony, eighty officers from the 60th NDC Course (2020 batch) were awarded the prestigious MPhil degree from the University of Madras. Shri Rajnath Singh awarded the parchments to the graduating officers. The NDC’s flagship ‘National Security and Strategy’ course, using a comprehensive pedagogical model, is conducted over a 47-week duration. The award of the MPhil degree from Madras University is a concurrently running programme for volunteer officers during the course.

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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh calls the international community to counter global cyber attacks jointly
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