Indian Army chief MM Naravane on Saturday said his forces’ allegiance was to the core ideals of the Constitution, and the Preamble, NDTV reported. “As the Army, we swear allegiance to the Constitution of India...justice, liberty, equality and fraternity enshrined in the Constitution should guide us,” Naravane said at a press conference.

Naravane’s remarks came two weeks after his predecessor Bipin Rawat criticised anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protestors. Rawat had said at an event in Delhi: “As we are witnessing in large number of universities and colleges, students the way they are leading masses and crowds to carry out arson and violence in cities and towns. This is not leadership.”

In his first press conference since taking over as Army chief on December 31, Naravane said the focus of training cadets would be on preparing the Army for future wars, which will be network-centric and complex. He said the emphasis would be on quality, and not quantity.

“Men behind the machine matter the most,” Naravane said. “We will make sure that our men get the best and we will look into all their aspirations, needs.”

The Army chief said the newly created post of chief of defence staff was “a very big step” towards the integration of the Army, the Indian Air Force and the Navy, Hindustan Times reported. He said the Army would make sure the success of the post. Bipin Rawat was appointed the first chief of defence staff on December 30.

Naravane said the Indian Army was prepared to deal with challenges along the northern border with China. “We are initiating rebalancing of preparedness along northern border, including moving advanced weapon systems,” he added.

The Army chief also said Siachen was strategically important for India. “Siachen is very important to us where one formation is looking after western and northern fronts,” he added. “It is strategically important. It is from there where collusion can happen.”