INS Vikrant memorial gets BMC nod
Tribune News Service
Mumbai, July 1
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has granted permission to erect a memorial to India’s first aircraft carrier INS Vikrant that was sent to the scrap yard earlier this year.
The memorial will come up on a traffic island in South Mumbai close to the Western Naval Command, according to civic sources. “The standing committee of the BMC with support from all political parties has given the green light to the memorial,” said a senior civic official.
The memorial has been mooted by retired naval personnel who served on board the aircraft carrier. Commodore Medioma Bhada (retd), who served as a pilot on board the INS Vikrant, along with some of his former colleagues sought permission to erect memorial for the iconic warship that played a major role in the liberation of Bangladesh.
State remains major contributor to armed forces: Lt Gen Nair
Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, July 1
Punjab still remains one of the top contributors to the armed forces for Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) and other ranks. The number has almost doubled in the past three years.
This was stated by Lieutenant General RN Nair, Director General (Recruiting), during the raising ceremony of the Army’s interim Selection Centre North (SCN) for officers at Kapurthala on Wednesday.
He also announced that the shortage of officers in the Army has come down from 12,000 to around 7,000 this year.
General Nair said that according to the 2011 Census, the Recruitable Male Population (RMP) of Punjab is around 2.34 per cent which is the highest in the country.
The state has the highest quota of 1,400 seats out of the total 60,000 vacancies for JCOs and other ranks in the country.
“Punjab was subscribing to up to 3,000 vacancies until three years ago. The number has almost doubled to around 5,000 recruitments in 2014-15, one of the highest in the country,” said General Nair.
He also said that for the recruitment of jawans, the open rally system has now been linked with an online registration system.
“We sometimes received around 20,000 candidates in an open rally, making it difficult for us to scrutinise all of them in a single day. Now, the candidates have to first register themselves online for a rally on our department’s website and only after receiving confirmation, come for the rally,” he said.
Also to boost the officers intake from the state; the Army had decided to open an SCN with two selection boards for officers at Ropar.
The provisional SCN raised at Kapurthala military station will operate until March 2016 and thereafter, it will be shifted to a state-of-the-art 200-acre campus (presently under construction) at Ropar.
The proposal was conceptualised and initiated by Lt-General NPS Hira, presently the General Officer Commanding at Vajra Corps, a few years back.
The upcoming centre at Ropar will be the country’s fifth selection centre and will facilitate the intake of more officers into the armed forces.
According to sources, the Army has a shortage of around 7,000 officers, Navy and Air Force have a shortage of around 1,200 and 2,000 officers respectively.
The move has also come in support of the state government’s war against drugs as even today, it has been accused of failing to control the drug menace that has made its youth incapable of meeting the “good physical standards” of the Indian Army.
Besides allocating around 203 acres for setting up the SCN at Ropar, the state government has also allocated around Rs 5 crore for the development of the area in its vicinity.
Earlier, there were only four selection centres for officers — Allahabad, Bhopal and Bangalore for army and at Dehradun for the Air Force.
There was a long pending demand for a selection centre in Punjab. Young aspirants from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, and Jammu and Kashmir had to appear before the Special Selection Board (SSB) at these places to get selected as officers in the armed forces.
Now, with an SCN coming up in the state, it is expected to fill the shortage of officers in the third largest army in the world.
ITBP denies grabbing land at Milam post
Pithoragarh, July 1
The ITBP has denied the allegation that it has illegally occupied a villager’s land at its Milam post on the China border in the Johar valley of Pithoragarh district. It said it had already paid for the land that it needs for future expansion of the sensitive border post.
The paramilitary force had to reply to the charge levelled by former Uttarakhand Chief Secretary RS Tolia last evening that the ITBP and the BRO had illegally occupied a villager’s land at the Milam post and were using the material of deserted buildings of villagers for their own purpose.
The ITBP in a press note issued here today said it has 0.903 hectares at the post which had been transferred to it by the special protection force that manned the border before the task was given to the ITBP. “The ITBP has always given the top priority to the security of the country as well as the interests of villagers at remote border posts,” it stated.
The paramilitary force said for further expansion of the post it had purchased a plot near the Milam post from the district administration for Rs one crore about two and a half years ago. “The land is barren and out of Milam village limits. Therefore, the question of the force grabbing the villager’s land does not arise,” said 14th battalion of the ITBP, which at present is manning the Milam border post.
e-application must to join Army ranks
Effecting a major change in its recruitment process, the Army has made it mandatory for all candidates desirous of getting enrolled into the rank and file to register and apply online.
While the process of online applications existed for the officer cadre, it has now been extended to the other ranks.
The new shift in policy comes around 17 years after the Army did away with the system of candidates submitting applications to the recruitment offices and instead introduced the concept of holding open recruitment rallies to bring in more transparency and check possible connivance of insiders with touts.
The recruitment rallies were introduced after a court of inquiry held at Ambala had revealed malpractices in recruitment. Open rallies did not require prior application or registration and instead candidates assembled at designated places on pre-announced dates and were screened for eligibility and fitness on the spot and shortlisted candidates, thereafter, had to undergo documentation, written tests and medical examination.
The new online procedure will be implemented with effect from September 1.
IAF told to plan for advanced weapons
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, July 1
In a significant ramp up for Indian air defence capabilities, the Ministry of Defence has given a green signal to the Indian Air Force (IAF) to plan for the latest ‘advanced weapons’ to be inducted in the arsenal.
The IAF is mandated as the sole agency to protect the vast India air space from incoming enemy missiles, UAVs, fighter jets and helicopters. The Army and the Navy have their own ‘area specific’ air defences for their formations.
The ‘advanced weapons’ will be transformation from the existing system of air defence missile to a ‘network centric’ approach that interconnect all available resources on a single platform. Real time imagery from truck-mounted radars, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and satellites will be available to ground-based commanders and senior commanders to react with the best possible weapon within range of the enemy threat.
The IAF has been tasked to look at appropriate technology for the future.
Sources said air defence was one of the priority areas of the ministry headed by Manohar Parrikar. The first priority will be the estimated Rs 18,000-crore plan to add the latest version of the surface-to-air missiles of the Akash series.
Akash system can simultaneously engage multiple targets in all weather conditions and can strike at targets at an altitude of 20 kms. It can also engage UAVs in addition to helicopters and fighter planes. At 96% indigenisation, it represents a major capability development for a crucial weapon system. The Army version is to protect armoured columns and bases and is designed for high mobility.
Indian Army busts hideout in J&K's Kishtwar district
NEW DELHI: Security Forces and JKP on Wednesday unearthed a cache of weapons and ammunition from a hideout near the remote area of Kasiyan in Kishtwar district. According to the Indian Army, the cache had potential to be utilised in abetting terrorist activity in the region especially during Ramzan and the forthcoming Machel Yatra.
"The deliberate search of the area of 48 hours led to the recovery of one AK-56 Rifle with three magazines, two Pistols with two magazines, one under Barrel ..