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Friday, 26 September 2008

From Today's Papers - 26 Sep






Pay hike: Black Diwali for military?
Nitin Gokhle
Thursday, September 25, 2008 (New Delhi)

All Central government organisations will start paying out the new salaries in October but the armed forces have decided not to accept the hikes.

The military is peeved with discrepancies in parity and status in comparison to their counterparts in civil services and Central police organisations. (Watch)

Now, Defence Minister A K Antony wants Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take a final call in the matter. "Your personal urgent intervention is needed to resolve the issue," said Antony to Singh.

Antony wrote to the Prime Minister on Tuesday after the Finance Ministry rejected the military's demands, although, on record he sounds hopeful.

"The matter is with the Finance Ministry and they are looking into this," said Antony.

All the three services are united on the issue. The Army chief met the Cabinet Secretary on Thursday morning. The Air chief had also met him on Wednesday on the same issue. Earlier the Navy chief, Admiral Sureesh Mehta, who heads the Chiefs of Staff Committee, had raised the core issues with Antony in a detailed note.

The core issues are:

# Lt Colonels are now paid Rs 10,000 less than civilian counterparts. Over 19,000 officers are in the rank of it. Colonels and equivalent will get at least Rs 10,000 less than their counterparts in civil services and other Central organisations.

# Lt Generals are now paid lower than DGPs, which makes the status reduced. Lt Generals, admirals and air marshals have been kept at a lower status and pay scales than DGPs, a glaring disparity that will affect operational coordination.

# Pension has been reduced for jawans. The pay commission has cut back on the pension amount of jawans by assuming that they will be inducted into paramilitary forces after they finish their military service, a decision that is nowhere near implementation.

Cost of meeting Military's pay demand: Less than Rs 450 crores

What has annoyed the military leadership is that the cost of implementing their demands is less than Rs 450 crore annually.


Jawans to get pension on old pattern
Centre agrees to restore 70 pc weightage

New Delhi, September 25
The government has agreed to restore 70 per cent “pensionary weightage” to jawans, even as defence chiefs today intensified efforts to get “anomalies” in the 6th Pay Commission notification removed.

“The government has given in principle approval to reverting to the 70 per cent pensionary weightage, as demanded by the services, overruling the 50 per cent recommended by the Central Pay Commission (CPC), providing much-needed relief just before this Diwali,” top defence ministry sources told PTI here.

Espousing their cause, the services chiefs today apprised Cabinet secretary K.M. Chandrasekhar and officials in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on the issues.

Earlier, jawans used to get 70 per cent of their last drawn pay as pension calculated on the basis of their 10-month average salary before retirement.

Under the CPC notification, the jawans, who form the backbone of the armed forces but retire at a relatively young age, are to be provided with the option of lateral entry into

the Central police forces and paramilitary and in return they will get reduced “pensionary weightage” of 50 per cent.

In order to resolve this issue, defence minister A.K. Antony had written a strong letter to both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and finance minister P. Chidambaram, particularly batting for the jawan’s pensionary benefits, reduced by the CPC. — PTI



IAF nears deal to procure 80 medium helicopters
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
The Indian Air Force’s (IAF) helicopter fleet will get a shot in the arm with a deal to acquire 80 medium lift helicopters (MLH) expected to be signed with Russia in the next three to four months. The added fleet strength will boost the IAF’s tactical operational capability in the mountainous border areas.

Revealing this, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Maintenance Command, Air Marshal Gautam Nayyar, said negotiations were in the final stages. The aircraft will begin arriving two to three years after the contract is signed.

Mi-17 V-5

l More powerful engine

l Better avionics

l Night operating and enhanced armament capability

l Capability to land at over 18,000 feet

l Payload capacity of about 36 troops and 4.5 tonnes cargo

Based upon the Mi-17 airframe, the new helicopters christened Mi-17 V-5 will have a more powerful engine, better avionics, combined with night operating and enhanced armament capability, than the recently acquired Mi-17 1-V versions. The choppers will have the capability to land at over 18,000 feet. The MLHs will have a payload capacity of about 36 troops and 4.5 tonnes cargo.

The maintenance support for the MLH is being set up at No.3 Base Repair Depot here and about Rs 80 crore has been earmarked for setting up the requisite infrastructure and technical facilities. The new helicopters will replace the 50-odd Mi-8 choppers that have been serving the IAF for about 35 years and are at the end of their lifespan.

According to reports, the deal had flown into rough weather earlier over Russia's attempt to significantly increase the prices. A preliminary agreement to procure the new MLH was reached in March 2007 at a meeting of the Russian-Indian intergovernmental commission on military cooperation. The ministry of defence had finalised the proposal at approximately $650 million in March 2007, but the Russian Rosoboroexport firm hiked the price to $1 billion.

Air Marshal Nayyar said transfer of technology (TOT), concerning the advance equipment installed in the MUL helicopters, will be a part of the deal under the offset clause. Such TOT was not a part of the deal for the Mi17 1-Vs procured earlier.

He added that the IAF is stressing upon the government to ensure TOT and ensuring adequate product support from the original equipment manufactures at the time of contract signing itself as problems crop up later.

The Maintenance Command chief said Rs 500 crore had been earmarked to modernise all IAF base repair depots (BRDs) over a period five years. The IAF has 13 BRDs spread across the country for repair and overhaul of its vast inventory of aircraft, missiles, radars, electronic equipment and other gear.


Through the grind, to the top

GROOMING makes a man perfect, they say. But for this 46-year-old school, it seems, grooming its wards alongside academics is what sums up its standing, credibility and motto.
City-based Sainik School is now basking in glory as its alumnus have made it big for themselves and the institution. Perhaps it is the only such institution in the country which has produced six serving three star generals (Lieutenant Generals and equivalent) in the Indian Armed Forces.
SSB as fondly called by old boys, was formed way back on January 15, 1962, under the active support of the then chief minister Biju Patnaik following the Chinese aggression. Now, it is proud to have Lt. General JK Mohanty as Army Commander of the Army Training Command, Air Marshal SK Bhan as the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Air Command, Lt. General KPD Samanta as Director General Rashtriya Rifles, Lt. General PK Rath as Corps Commander in the Eastern Sector, Air Marshal JN Verma as the Air Officer Administration and Lt. General P. Mohapatra as the Signal Officer-in-Chief and Director General of Signals of the Indian Army.
Not only this, of the currently serving two star generals (Major General and equivalent ranks), seven are from this institute.
According to Principal Col. Ashok Kaul, apart from shaping careers of the ‘who’s who’ in the Armed Forces, the school has become instrumental in creating 600 commissioned officers and several other professionals.
However, besides the normal training for making future cadets for the National Defence Academy, the students are also given better education on physical education, language, music and horse riding, he said.
Recently the cadets of SSB added another feather to their caps as the school’s football team became the winner of the All-India Sainik Schools Championship and participated in Subroto Cup tournament in New Delhi.
Lt. General P. Mohapatra recently paid a visit to the campus and met the students. He also glorified the dedication and commitment of the teachers who were largely instrumental in shaping the stalwarts of the school who are today posted in prestigious positions in the Indian Armed Forces and in other arenas.
The ‘War Memorial’ at the entrance of the school reminds everyone of the gallant men who attained martyrdom for the sake of the motherland. But for the young boys, who come here aiming to serve in the Armed Forces one day, the achievement of seniors would sure go a long way to inspire.
bibhutibarik@epmltd.com



India Likely to Buy More Russian Fighters

New Delhi, Sep 25 (Prensa Latina) India expects to negotiate the purchase of 30 Russian MIG-29K fighters during the upcoming visit of Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov to Delhi.

The PTI Indian news agency reported on Thursday that the Indian government hopes Serdyukov´s visit, will also pave the way for the signing of a contract aimed at redesigning Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carriers

PTI cited president of the Air Force United Corporation Alexei Fedorov who said that negotiations for additional supply of MIG-29K aircraft, to be used in aircrafts carriers, is on the meeting´s agenda.

The purchase of the 45,000-ton Admiral Gorshkov carrier comes with a dozen of single-seater MIG-29K and four two-seater MIG-29UB, plus the choice of ordering another 30 fighters by 2015.

In addition Indian Army expects to buy laser beam guns for its antiterrorist and counterinsurgency unit, reported PTI.



DRDO develops 'laser power' for Indian troops

Ajit K Dubey
New Delhi, Sept 25 (PTI) Following in the footsteps of the US Armed Forces, the Indian Army soldiers will soon be armed with laser guns to help take on militants without even firing a single shot.

The Laser Science and Technology Centre (LASTEC), a DRDO laboratory, has developed 'Laser Dazzler' -- a non-lethal gun -- for the armed forces to be used during counter-insurgency and anti-terrorist operations.

"The laser gun is a non-lethal anti-personnel weapon, which could be used to disorient or dazzle an armed soldier or a terrorist without causing any collateral damage in the process," LASTEC's Associate Director A K Maini told PTI here today.

He said the gun would flash a laser beam, which could virtually "blind" the terrorist or anti-social element for around 40 seconds - time good enough for the troops to nab the culprit.

The flash beam of the gun is two to three metres wide, which would provide better chances to the forces in disorienting the target.

"The gun can be used effectively in counter-insurgency operations and close combat battles by the defence and paramilitary forces," Maini said.

The DRDO-developed gun would be used for trials by the Army in counter-insurgency operations in the next five to six months. It would be tested in "real combat" situations in both Jammu and Kashmir and North Eastern states.

The laser guns are also fully compliant with the UN conventions, which prohibit the use of laser guns that cause permanent blindness. PTI



DRDO develops 'laser power' for Indian troops
Press Trust Of India / New Delhi September 25, 2008, 11:15 IST

Following in the footsteps of the US Armed Forces, the Indian Army soldiers will soon be armed with laser guns to help take on militants without even firing a single shot.

The Laser Science and Technology Centre (LASTEC), a DRDO laboratory, has developed 'Laser Dazzler' -- a non-lethal gun -- for the armed forces to be used during counter-insurgency and anti-terrorist operations.

"The laser gun is a non-lethal anti-personnel weapon, which could be used to disorient or dazzle an armed soldier or a terrorist without causing any collateral damage in the process," LASTEC's Associate Director A K Maini told PTI here today.

He said the gun would flash a laser beam, which could virtually "blind" the terrorist or anti-social element for around 40 seconds - time good enough for the troops to nab the culprit.

The flash beam of the gun is two to three metres wide, which would provide better chances to the forces in disorienting the target.

"The gun can be used effectively in counter-insurgency operations and close combat battles by the defence and paramilitary forces," Maini said.

The DRDO-developed gun would be used for trials by the Army in counter-insurgency operations in the next five to six months. It would be tested in "real combat" situations in both Jammu and Kashmir and North Eastern states.

The laser guns are also fully compliant with the UN conventions, which prohibit the use of laser guns that cause permanent blindness.



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