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Defence security corps now a step closer to being a digital army

Defence Security Corps personnel now have a software ‘ARPAN’ which shall ease personal documentation and all issues related to their progression. The ARPAN software consisting of seven modules facilitates end-to-end human resource and financial management of junior commissioned officers and other ranks with major functional advantages of timely processing of postings, promotions, release of salary, publication of personal occurrences and processing of pension.

The software rolled out by DCOAS (IS &T) for the Defence Security Corps provides valuable data for decision and policy making for the Defence Security Corps Directorate. After launch of this software, Defence Security Corps troops would be able to access their service profiles, statement of accounts and adjustment of allowances at par with the troops of the
Indian Army.

Developed jointly by the Army Software Development Centre (ASDC) and Tech Mahindra, ARPAN 3.0, using state-of-the-art web-based technology, the software would be implemented across 45 of the Army’s Record Offices in the country in one year time, sources said, adding, it has already been test-bedded at seven such offices. The army has invested `1.9 crore in developing ARPAN 3.0 with Tech Mahindra, which got the contract after a competitive bidding process.

In 2015, former defence minister Manohar Parrikar had launched this software for the Army’s over 12 lakh soldiers. This coincided with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India initiative. As of now, all these records are maintained manually, which is a time-consuming exercise. Implementation of the new software would cut down the time significantly.

While the government intends to create a high capacity information network for the Digital Army based on state-of-the-art technologies of the Indian armed forces, the Indian Army has a long way to go before it is totally digitalised. For instance, Army’s operational information systems are expected to be fully functional only around 2022-2024 and the Tactical Communication System (TCS) has yet to come.

Other long-term plans of the Army include developing automation applications for equipment procurement, storage, maintenance, logistics management and a geographic information system (GIS), connectivity for which is provided through the secure Army Data Network, available to all units of the Indian Army.

Minister of State Subhash Bhamre had recently said that there is an urgent need for a robust, secure, high capacity data networks for Operational Commanders. “They are also a critical facet of the force modernisation plans of the Indian Army, which will further form a fulcrum for tri-services integration in times to come,” he had said recently.

Also, there is a need for indigenous capabilities in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for the defence sector, and from a security point of view India needs to have indigenous solutions for the Digital Army.

These initiatives are expected to give a major fillip to the ‘Make in India’ programme of the central government.

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