Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said the Army has asked the HRD Ministry to include a book on heroic achievements of the highest gallantry awards recipients from the armed forces in the school curricula. He said the Army is hoping that this book will become part of the CBSE syllabus next year, as promised by the Human Resources Development minister. “As far as honouring our martyrs is concerned, this year we have approached the HRD ministry to ensure that valour, bravery and sacrifice of some of our highest award winners are taught in the schools. “Therefore this year we have come out with a book which highlights the gallant actions of our gallantry award winner officers from the Armed Forces,” said Rawat at a function here. Rawat also said the Army is aiming to set up “galleries” giving information about the heroic deeds of personnel from the armed forces at universities and colleges.
“We have successfully reached out to about 200 colleges and universities, but our aim in the next one or two years is to ensure that we have a gallery of these valiant officers in every university and college of our nation,” he said. These galleries will display sketches and photographs of gallantry award winners, their brief biodata and records of their achievements. Rawat was speaking at a program organised by the BN Srivastava Foundation to mark completion of 10 years of an initiative under which school children are encouraged to make greeting cards as well as rakhis which are sent to members of the Armed Forces. Asked about the government’s decision to rope in the Army to build foot overbridges in Mumbai, Rawat told reporters, “Yes, we will construct these bridges, and the work will start soon”.
The decision, in the wake of a deadly stampede at Elphinstone Road station in September, has drawn criticism from some quarters, as it seeks to assign a ‘civilian’ task to the Army. “We do feel that if we can aid the government by doing a faster job before there are more casualties (then we would do it),” the Army chief said. Asked about the situation on the China border, Rawat said everything was peaceful on that front. As to whether the talks by the special representative appointed by the Centre with various stake-holders in Jammu and Kashmir and the operations of the security forces can proceed simultaneously, he said, “Interlocutors will have their dialogue and we will do our job.”