Manmohan Bahadur writes: Soldiers in the digital age

Source– The post is based on the article “Manmohan Bahadur writes: Soldiers in the digital age” published in the “The Indian Express” on 31st July 2023.

Syllabus: GS3- Security

Relevance: Issues related to armed forces

News- The article explains the issues of impact of social media on armed forces recruits

What are issues faced by armed forces due to increasing use of social media in recent times?

There is a significant lack of research on how the modern-day recruit, influenced by social media, differs from his counterpart of twenty years ago upon entering service.

Recently the Army has issued a directive suggesting the potential suspension of pension for veterans whose remarks on social media spoil the Army.

There is the attraction of consumerism and the irresistible desire to move ahead quickly. Combined with the allure of social media fame, it is causing a shift in the standards of political and social norms, values, and ethics.

There is the growing trend of polarisation based on cultural, ethnic, linguistic, and religious differences.

Social media platforms are filled with videos showcasing the divisions that have seeped down to even the school level. The armed forces recruit their personnel from this environment.

Way forward-

There is a need to detoxify the mass that enters at the training institution level. They need to be taught that in the armed forces, all Indians are seen as just Indians.

Existing organised and structured training programs should be thoroughly reviewed. The actions of junior leaders play a crucial role as effective training tools in this regard.

The reduced training duration for enlisted Agniveers presents a new challenge in this regard. Their four-year engagement period is not sufficient to assimilate the values and norms of their service.

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