Deliberate weaponisation of pathogens big concern: NSA Ajit Doval
National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval on Thursday called for the need to build comprehensive national capabilities and bio-defence, bio-safety, and bio-security, saying that “deliberate weaponisation of dangerous pathogens” was a matter of serious concern.
Doval was speaking on ‘National security preparedness in the age of disasters and pandemics’, at the Pune Dialogue on National Security (PDNS) 2021 organised by Pune International Centre. “The deliberate weaponisation of dangerous pathogens is a serious concern. This has heightened the need to build comprehensive national capabilities and bio-defence, bio-safety, and bio-security,” he said.
He said the Covid-19 pandemic has reinforced the need to predict threats and while biological research has legitimate scientific purposes, its dual-use application can be misused.
Doval said new areas of warfare have shifted from territorial frontiers to civil societies, adding that factors like people’s health, sense of wellbeing and security, and their perception of government impact the will of a nation.
Pointing at the changes taking place in global security landscape, he said, “Wars are increasingly becoming cost-ineffective instruments of achieving the nation’s political and military objectives. The new areas of warfare have shifted from merely territorial frontiers to the civil societies. The common people’s thinking, health, sense of well-being and their perception of their government have assumed new importance.”
All these elements, Doval said, impact the will of the nation.
Protecting people from false and motivated propaganda also becomes “absolutely necessary” in the age of information revolution, the NSA said. National security planning needs to factor in all these challenges and strategies to maximum international cooperation, he added.