Armed Forces Must Be Trained To Tackle Chemical-Biological Threats: Rajnath Singh

GWALIOR, Sep 20 (PTI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said the country’s armed forces must be properly trained and equipped to combat chemical-biological threats as early detection was a prerequisite for successful protection and decontamination.
Addressing scientists at a Defence Research and Development Establishment (DRDE) function in Gwalior, Mr Singh said the country”s forces are deployed in many regions where adversaries may use such weapons.
“Use of chemical-biological weapons may jeopardise life, health, property and commerce in a way that it may take a long time to recover. Our forces must be properly trained and equipped to operate effectively and decisively in the face of chemical-biological attacks,” he said.
Early detection of chemical-biological agents is the prerequisite for successful protection and decontamination, he added.
Praising the defence organisation for 45 years of glorious service, Mr Singh said, “I am pleased to know that DRDE has developed several technologies for detection, protection and decontamination of toxic agents.”
“I was impressed that DRDE has been recognised as the only national laboratory by Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) as part of an international network of designated laboratories for verification of environmental and bio-medical samples,” Mr Singh said.
This allows DRDE to undertake forensic and off-site investigations of use of chemical warfare agents and their victims, he informed.
“This provides India an edge at the international level and opportunity to play a decisive role in proving compliance of international treaty in case of any eventuality,” Mr Singh added.
He said the DRDE must also focus on facilitating the industrial base to meet substantial requirement of materials and equipment as chemical-bio agents have high impact on human health and psychology and are highly resource intensive.
The defence minister said while the armed forces play an important role in securing the nation, scientists working in defence organisations were in an equally important role in strengthening the country’s security.