President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday said that in the rapidly changing environment, the nation's faith in the armed forces has remained unshaken.
His remarks assumes significance in the wake of recent criticism by politicians of the Army for using of a human shield in Kashmir and also the criticism of Army Chief General Bipin Rawat for defending the move.
"In the rapidly changing environment, one factor which has not changed is the faith reposed in the armed forces by the entire nation," he said while addressing the convocation ceremony of the College of Military Engineering (CME) here.
In all, 71 M.Tech and B.Tech students passed out from the premier technical and tactical training institution of the Indian Army, established in 1943.
Mukherjee said that the Indian Army engineers had traditionally left their mark on prestigious national projects, "be it oil pipeline at Siachen, prestigious naval bases and airfields in the North East or roads cutting through the Himalayan ranges".
He said that young technocrats would have to imbibe the latest developments in the field of technology for defence forces, and being the "technical intellect of armed forces", the nation would look up to them to "define and modify the way defence forces operate by exploiting technological advancements".
"As engineers in uniform, you have to perform the dual role of being good engineers and equally good soldiers. You face the formidable task of providing the Indian armed forces with the technical know-how and skills required by them to fulfil their assigned task of ensuring the security of the nation and millions of our people.
"I am sure that each and everyone of you will follow the footsteps of your illustrious predecessors and shall live up to the high standards expected of you," the President said.
Describing knowledge as the emerging currency of the world in the present century, Mukherjee urged the young soldiers to make full use of technical knowledge.
"You can be successful in all your endeavors only by being professionally competent and by keeping abreast with the latest developments. The need of the hour is therefore to exploit the cutting edge technologies which are best suited to meet the requirements.
About the emerging threat of cyber crime, the President said that with the changing security environment and technological advancements, this problem have affected all walks of life including military strategic operations. "We should remain prepared for any eventuality," he said.
Training Command chief, Gen. D. R. Soni, terming the situation in Jammu and Kashmir a "proxy war", said that it remained a challenge as the armed forces had been engaged in low-intensity operations but the country needs to remain "fully prepared for a full-scale war at all times" in the present security scenario.
"The Army must remain abreast with most advanced art and craft of warfare," he added.
The convocation ceremony was attended among others by Maharashtra Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao.
(With IANS inputs)