NEW DELHI: In the midst of the tense year-long standoff between India and China, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat said on April 7 that the dragon is ahead of India in terms of technology and can launch large-scale cyberattacks. General Bipin Rawat, in describing the divide between India and China, said the biggest gap between the two countries was in the cyber domain, which was being tackled seriously.
In his address at Vivekananda International Foundation, General Bipin Rawat said the “biggest differential” between India and China is in the cyber domain, adding that the neighbouring country has been able to spend a significant amount of money in new technologies.
“We know that China is capable of launching cyber attacks on us and that it can disrupt a large amount of our systems. What we are trying to do is to create a system which would ensure cyber defence,” he said.
He informed that, “I would say without a doubt that the Navy is well ahead of the Army and the Air Force in terms of technology adoption,” NDTV quoted.
The Chief of Defence Staff said that a series of measures are being implemented that will “change the way we combat, the way we grow capacity, whose aggregate impact will begin to create momentum shortly.”
He also emphasised the importance of India developing its own unique defence strategies and systems, saying, “Even with the assistance that we might receive from other nations, I believe we will have to learn to stand on our own two feet during times of war,” The Indian Express quoted.
‘India is attempting to build cyber-firewalls.’
General Rawat said that India is working to develop firewalls to combat cyber-attacks and that the problem is being treated “seriously.” According to the CDS, each service has its own cyber agency to ensure that even though they are attacked by hackers, the downtime and effects of the attack are restricted.
“We should be able to withstand cyber-attacks and continue to use our devices, either as a backup or as a preventative measure using firewalls. So, while we are attempting to build cyber-firewalls, we are certain that they (China) will be able to breach the barriers… But then, what we’re trying to figure out is how long your machine will be down and how you’ll be able to function during the cyber-attack process. That is something we are looking at and taking seriously,” he said.
Following the border spat with China, India banned a number of Chinese applications, including the video app TikTok, after reviewing the companies’ responses on issues including compliance and privacy.
General Rawat said, “Leadership demonstrated a political will and determination.”
After a brawl between Indian and Chinese troops in June 2020, which resulted in the martyrdom of twenty Indian soldiers and an unspecified number of Chinese casualties, bilateral relations between India and China were severely strained. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told the Rajya Sabha in February 2021 that India and China had agreed to disengage from the Pangong Tso region in eastern Ladakh after maintaining military and diplomatic contact.