In the backdrop of the lingering border row in eastern Ladakh, the Army has upscaled its efforts to impart Chinese language training to its personnel as part of the overall strategy to ramp up surveillance along the over 3,400-km Line of Actual Control.
A slew of measures has been undertaken to improve its in-house Mandarin expertise with an aim to empower junior and senior commanders to engage with Chinese military personnel as and when the situation demands, sources in the security establishment said on Sunday, 10 July.
On Saturday, 9 July, the Army issued a notification for recruiting Mandarin language experts into the Territorial Army.
The source said various Mandarin language courses are being run at the language schools at the Northern, Eastern and Central Commands.
Use of AI
The Indian Army is also using Artificial Intelligence-based solutions for the translation of various scripts or literature from the Mandarin language.
"With improved Mandarin skills, Indian Army personnel will be better empowered to convey their points in a much more cogent manner," said one of the sources.
As per inputs, the Indian Army now has a significant pool of Mandarin-qualified personnel drawn from all ranks, including officers and junior commissioned officers (JCOs).
"With recalibration of the Indian Army's strategic outlook towards Northern borders, the Indian Army has upscaled its Chinese language training and has synergistically enmeshed appropriate scaling of Chinese linguists within its overall strategy," said another source.
The sources said the Chinese language experts are a functional requirement at the tactical level and are required for providing analysis at the operational and strategic level while catering for futuristic needs.
They said an increasing number of Mandarin experts are required for better exchange of viewpoints and understanding of the Chinese PLA's version of their activities during various interactions such as Corps Commander level talks, flag meetings, joint exercises, and Border Personnel Meetings (BPMs) etc.
The Indian Army has already concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) with Rashtriya Raksha University (RRU), Central University of Gujarat (CUG) and Shiv Nadar University (SNU) for imparting Mandarin proficiency to its personnel.
Simultaneously, in-house efforts include increasing the vacancies at the Army's Training School at Pachamari and the School of Foreign Languages, Delhi.
The sources said proficiency level testing of trained soldiers is being conducted through civilian institutes like Langma School of Languages in Delhi to assess the competence level of linguists as per international standards.
The armed forces have taken a series of measures in the last two years to increase overall surveillance along the LAC following the military standoff in eastern Ladakh.
The border face-off between the Indian and Chinese militaries erupted on 5 May 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas.
The standoff escalated after the Galwan Valley clashes on 15 June 2020.
Both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry.
As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process last year in the north and south banks of the Pangong lake and in the Gogra area.
Each side currently has around 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the LAC in the sensitive sector.