The present pandemic of Coronavirus has impacted the Armed Forces of all countries of the world. Currently, the immediate focus is on defensive measures with an aim of keeping personnel fit. Overall the Indian Armed Forces have to deal with the surveillance, diagnosis, offensive and defensive measures in this realm. For which there needs to be certain structures in place.
The Indian Armed Forces must have a fresh look at Biotechnology and undertake the following measures:
- Department of Military Affairs should have a special project which could be headed by a three star General and have a two star Medical officer to assist him.
- The Project should comprise of three services, DRDO a representative from the ministry of Health a representative from the Ministry of Finance and Representative from the Ministry of Defence.
- The Project must have the capability of knowing the latest viruses and also details of Case X genetically engineered viruses.
- The Project must keep in touch with the laboratories to keep ahead of impending biological weapons and genetically engineered products.
- The Project must also look at the possibility of India’s crop and livestock being harmed and provide a response mechanism for the same.
- The Project could suggest innovative ideas on the subject like ducks eating locusts.
- The Project must be given the same importance as Atomic Energy Commission and ISRO. The powers should be such that results are produced at all cost.
- The Project could function as a Biological Warfare Commission.
- They would create a Biological Warfare Doctrine as also measures to be undertaken to develop Offensive and Defensive Biological Warfare.
- The Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS) would actively cooperate with the project.
- Issues would be emerging as the project formalises and navigates itself in the biological warfare world.
We would definitely improve once the project takes off. This will enable us to be proactive while dealing with Biological Warfare.
– Major General P K Chakravorty, VSM (Retd.) was Deputy Director General of Perspective Planning Directorate, Defence Attaché to Vietnam and Additional Director General Artillery at Army Headquarters. Post-retirement, the Officer was an Advisor to BrahMos Aerospace.
Source: “Biotechnology and Biological Warfare – its Applicability to Indian Armed Forces” a web article published by the Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF).