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Wednesday, 29 July 2009

From Today's Papers - 29 Jul 09

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US open to conditional talks with North Korea


Press Trust of India / Washington July 28, 2009, 9:53 IST


The United States today said it is open to bilateral talks with North Korea if Pyongyang takes some concrete steps to fulfill its commitments.

"Our longstanding policy is that we are open to a bilateral dialogue, but only in the context of the Six-Party Talks, only in a multilateral context," State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said.

Responding to a question about North Korea's offer of talks, Kelly said: "You heard what the Secretary (of State Hillary Clinton) said yesterday. She said that we are not going to reward the North Koreans by agreeing to meet with them without some specific actions that they have to take. They know exactly what those actions are."

Noting that the required actions were laid out in the 2005 joint statement, Kelly said: "If they take those actions, take some concrete steps, we are willing to meet in the Six-Party context, and within that context we could have bilateral discussions with them."

Kelly said the Obama Administration wants concrete steps to be taken by North Korea before it can go for a dialogue with them.

"We want them to uphold their commitments. Those commitments are laid out very specifically in this joint statement that they signed. Once they start doing that and agree to talks in a Six-Party context, then we can start talking about some movement forward. But right now, I don't see any," he said

http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/us-open-to-conditional-talksnorth-korea/69087/on

Deal for SU-30s deprives industry of Rs 2,711 crore
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 28
The mighty SU-30s are the pride of the IAF, but their procurement has generated some turbulence. A deal to procure 40 such aircraft has apparently deprived the Indian industry of Rs 2,711 crore in offset benefits. This has happened because the Ministry of Defence and the IAF failed to go in for an offset clause as stipulated in the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP).

In order to arrest declining force levels, the IAF concluded a contract worth Rs 9,000 crore with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in March, 2007, for the supply of 40 aircraft. These were to be delivered in phases between 2008-11.

While revealing this in its latest report, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has also pointed out that the IAF did not have any funds allocated for this acquisition and funds were diverted from other programmes. Further, the delivery schedules have been pushed from 2011 to 2012. Against eight aircraft to be delivered in 2008-09, only two were delivered till February, 2009.

The DPP classifies acquisitions as Buy-Indian, Buy and make with Transfer of Technology (ToT) or Buy-Global. Offset clause is applicable in the latter two cases. The MoD and IAF categorised the procurement as Buy-Indian on the grounds that the procurement was a repeat order for equipment developed through ToT.

The CAG termed this categorisation as incorrect. Buy-Indian implied that the indigenous content is a minimum of 30 per cent when an Indian vendor integrates the systems. In the said contract, however, the indigenous content was just five per cent, with 95 per cent of the material being imported.

The MoD maintained that categorisation of the procurement was discussed by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) and it was decided to procure the aircraft in the Buy-Indian category taking into account the urgency of procurement, indigenous content and price link and insistence of the offset clause would have delayed negotiations and negated price advantages.

The CAG termed the ministry’s contentions as unacceptable as adherence to the DPP was mandatory. It pointed out that the advice of the Defence Offset Facilitation Agency was not obtained in the matter. Moreover, the DAC was not empowered to supersede provisions of the DPP.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090729/nation.htm#10

Army for political solution to strife in Assam
Bijay Sankar Bora
Tribune News Service

Dimapur, July 28
The Army believes that the permanent solution to the vexed insurgency problem and recurring bouts of ethnic strife in North Cachar Hills district of Assam can be arrived at only through political process.

“The solution to the problems in the district has to be political. We can only control it and prepare the ground for the political process,” said Brigadier NK Misra, based in the Army’s 3 Corps headquarter at Rangapahar near here.

Meanwhile, Union Home Secretary GK Pillai will arrive in Assam on Thursday to make an assessment of the situation in the state. He is also scheduled to visit North Cachar hills on Friday.

The situation in the strife-torn district is improving gradually. The Army has moved into the interior areas of the district, leaving security of the railway track and national highway to the state police and para-military forces.

“The situation is slowly improving because of better coordination in operation and intelligence sharing among the Army, the police, the CRPF and the civil administration. We meet every evening to discuss strategy for the next day. The Army is now moving into the interior areas in order to help the civil administration rebuild confidence among various communities,” Brigadier Misra said.

The North Cachar Hills district, which has witnessed a series of violence mainly perpetrated by the banned Jewel Garlosa faction of the Dima Halam Daogah - DHD(J) - which is better known as Black Widow, falls under the jurisdiction of 3 Corps of the Army. As many as four infantry battalions of the Army are currently deployed in the district in addition to one battalion of the Assam Rifles, 25 companies of the CRPF and 10 platoons of the Assam Police.

“The police and para-military forces have sanitised 3-km stretch along the railway track to ensure safe running of trains. We have now fanned out our troops to the interiors to help the civil administration to reach out to the remote villages,” Brigadier Misra said.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi informed the state assembly that ethnic clashes between the Dimasa and Zeme tribes had left at least 63 dead since March. Nearly 13,000 persons from both communities had been rendered homeless and were now lodged in 32 relief camps across the district.

“The Army is also trying to help the administration to shift people from vulnerable villages to 12 proposed clusters that will have round-the-clock security till peace returns. The Army is also ready to provide logistical support to the administration to set up more police stations in the district,” Brigadier Misra said.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090729/nation.htm#17

Pakistan launches psywar over Baluchistan

Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, with the help of compliant sections of Pakistan's journalist community, has embarked on a psychological warfare on the issue of the use of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba [ Images ] by the ISI against India and the demand of the Government of India that it act against the LeT for its involvement in the Mumbai [ Images ] terrorist attacks of 26/11.

The message of the campaign is clear: 'If you want us to act against the LeT, help us in acting against the Baluchistan Liberation Army.'

The BLA has been active in Baluchistan since 2005 and has badly damaged the Punjab [ Images ]i economy by repeatedly disrupting the supply of Sui Gas from the production wells in Baluchistan to industrial and domestic consumers in Pakistan's Punjab. The successful disruption of gas supply to industrial consumers in Punjab and power stations in the rest of Pakistan is partly behind the problems faced by the Pakistani economy and the serious disruptions in power supply in different parts of Pakistan.

Even if the US gives Pakistan billions of dollars in economic assistance, Pakistan's economy will not improve so long as Baluchistan continues to burn due to the grievances of the Baluchis against the Punjabis. The economic difficulties faced by the people due to erratic power supply, which is affecting the daily lives of millions of Pakistanis and damaging agricultural operations, are creating new pockets of alienation in the Seraiki areas of southern Punjab and Sindh.

The Pakistani Army, despite the use of the most ruthless methods of suppression and despite the misuse against the Baluchis of equipment such as helicopter gunships given by the US for use against Al Qaeda [ Images ] and the Taliban [ Images ], has not been able to enforce the Pakistan government's writ in the Baluch majority areas of the province. So long as the Pakistan Army [ Images ] does not succeed in Baluchistan, the much-hyped Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline will remain a pipedream.

So too the much-hyped dream of Gwadar becoming the preferred gateway for the external trade of Central Asian Republics and Xinjiang province of China. More than two years after it was inaugurated by the then president Pervez Musharraf [ Images ], the Chinese-constructed Gwadar port has failed to attract the CARs. The Chinese have their own problems in the Xinjiang province where the Muslims are in a state of revolt against Han domination in an area which is looked upon by pan-Islamic forces such as Al Qaeda as historically belonging to the Muslim Umma. At a time when the Kashgar area of Xinjiang is threatening to become the North Waziristan of the Central Asian region, it is not surprising that the Chinese are going slow on the various proposals, which had originated from Pakistan, for the further development of Gwadar.

Pakistani leaders are fond of describing Jammu and Kashmir [ Images ] as the jugular vein of Pakistan, using an expression originally coined by Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Pakistan cannot emerge as an industrial power if Baluchistan, the most mineral rich of the Pakistani provinces, remains in a state of revolt. The Baluch revolt has made the Pakistani leaders realise that Baluchistan is Pakistan's real jugular vein. Pakistan's economy will be perpetually in a state of near collapse if there is no stability in Baluchistan.

The federal government -- whether ruled by the military or political leaders -- are not prepared to loosen control of the Punjabi business class over the mineral wealth of Baluchistan. The Baluch demand for independence is not only due to political and ethnic reasons. It is also due to economic reasons. The rest of Pakistan -- particularly Punjab -- used to flourish with the help of the gas and other mineral resources of Baluchistan, with the Baluchs languishing in poverty. The Baluch nationalists have decided -- thus far and no further. For the last three years, they have seen to it that their mineral wealth no longer goes to Punjab and other provinces.

Just as China's problems in Xinjiang are due to the Han colonisation of the province, Pakistan's problems in Baluchistan are due to the Punjabi colonisation of the province. The Baluch freedom struggle is the outcome of the Punjabi colonisation. India has had nothing to do with it.

If India had wanted to take advantage of the widespread alienation among the Baluchs against the Punjabi colonisers, it could have done so in 1971 after crushing the Pakistani Army in the then East Pakistan. Indira Gandhi [ Images ] could have easily ordered the Indian Navy to crush the Pakistan Navy and to move to the Baluch coast and help the Baluch freedom-fighters, who had risen in revolt. She did not do so because she felt that the Baluch problem was Pakistan's internal affair and that it was not in India's interest to further weaken Pakistan.

Despite considerable sympathy and friendly feelings for the problems of the Sindhis, Mohajirs, Baluchis and Pashtuns, far-sighted Indian leaders, who succeeded Indira Gandhi as prime minister, refrained from taking advantage of Pakistan's internal problems in retaliation for its use of terrorism against India. The late G M Syed, father of the Sindhu Desh movement, openly visited India when Rajiv Gandhi [ Images ] was the prime minister. Similarly, many Pashtun, Baluch and Seraiki leaders had openly visited India on many occasions to interact with Congress leaders. The message conveyed to them was very clear: They should sort out their problems with the Government of Pakistan. India would have no role in it.

Despite this, since 2005, Pakistan has been alleging Indian interference in Baluchistan and is now talking of an alleged Indian role in the Pashtun belt. It is being helped in this exercise by some US non-governmental analysts not well disposed towards India.

Pakistan has now stepped up this campaign for two reasons: Firstly, its economy is steadily worsening as a result of the continuing freedom struggle in Baluchistan. Secondly, its intelligence agencies find in this psywar a pretext for not acting against the LeT.

India should not fall into this trap. It should follow a two-pronged approach. Firstly, it should make it clear that Baluchistan is Pakistan's internal affair and that it has nothing to do with terrorism. Hence, it could not figure in Indo-Pakistan discussions on terrorism. Secondly, Pakistan's attempts to divert the attention of the international community away from the LeT's activities will not be allowed to succeed.

The writer is Additional Secretary (retired), Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India, New Delhi [ Images ] and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. He is also associated with the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: seventyone2@gmail.com

http://news.rediff.com/column/2009/jul/28/raman-pakistan-launches-psywar-over-baluchistan.htm

India abolishes the army batman as 'abhorrent' relic of British Raj

Jeremy Page in Delhi

To the Indian army officer, it has always been an essential perk of the job to have a batman — a personal assistant responsible for duties such as shining your boots, cleaning your weapons and serving your whisky at sundown.

To many Indian politicians, however, the post is an abhorrent relic of the British Raj, under which soldiers have to perform degrading tasks such as walking their officers’ dogs and taking their children to school.

Now the Indian Government has finally bowed to political pressure and ordered the army, for the first time, to prevent its roughly 34,000 officers from using their sahayaks, or assistants, as domestic servants.

“Sahayaks will not be employed for menial household work,” A. K. Antony, the Defence Minister, told Parliament on Monday. “Any practice that lowers the self-esteem is to be abhorred . . . In this context, it is always ensured and shall continue to be ensured that soldiers are not employed on any demeaning and humiliating tasks.”

Mr Antony was responding to a report by a parliamentary committee last year which said that using batmen as domestic servants was “demeaning and humiliating” and contributed to psychological problems in the 1.3 million-strong army.

“The committee take a very serious view of the shameful practice which should have no place in an independent India,” the report said.

A separate government commission also recommended cracking down on the use of batmen as servants among paramilitary forces under the Home Ministry.

Many MPs want to abolish the system, under which batmen are still officially obliged to answer their officers’ telephones, maintain their uniforms and weapons and act as their bodyguards. India is thought to be the only country in the world to maintain such a tradition after Pakistan’s decision to replace batmen with contracted non-combatant domestic staff in 2004.

Britain abolished the system after the Second World War. In India, the navy and air force phased it out several years ago and pressure has been mounting on the army to follow suit. Current and former batmen complain that they are issued with inferior uniforms, passed over for promotions and frequently humiliated by their officers, or more often their wives.

Army psychologists have also found that verbal abuse and perceived humiliation are among the factors accounting for a spate of recent suicides in the army.

Yet Mr Antony stopped short of abolishing the system altogether, in an apparent concession to army top brass worried that losing such perks could accelerate a brain drain to the private sector.

Instead, he defended the army by saying that it had repeatedly issued detailed instructions on duties to be performed by batmen.

He also backed the army’s assertion that a batman was a “comrade-in-arms” to officers, symbolising “trust, respect, warmth, confidence and interdependence, which are the fundamentals of relations between the leaders and the led”.

The army deployed similar arguments before the parliamentary committee, testifying that though batmen were not supposed to act as domestic servants, many did so out of “reverence”.

Some officers have also argued that civilian government officials enjoy similar perks — and often treat their staff far worse.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6731047.ece

India tightens controls on arms buys

Published: July 28, 2009 at 12:07 PM

When the deputy chief of the Indian army recently promised the Indian public and private sectors a "level playing field" in purchases of military hardware he wasn't talking about electric golf carts to take elderly golfers around hilly golf courses.

The carts, which cost about $243,000, were allegedly bought with money designated for electric wheelchairs in military hospitals and on track alignment reconnaissance vehicles.

Meanwhile, the India government announced major reforms to the country's military procurement program designed to speed up and tighten quality controls over the purchase of defense equipment. Decisions on modern combat and related materiel for the Indian armed forces are being delegated to a new committee under the Master General of Ordnance.

Defense Minister A K Antony told the Indian parliament: "There is no question of delays now. After considering security aspect, the committee can take decisions and can give money also. Now the committee under MGO can give all clearances."

Responding to critical questions about delays and the issue of sub-standard equipment, the minister said the government will speed up the process of Indianisation in military purchasing to bring more transparency and give "more space" for both Indian industry in both the private and public sectors. The Indian military procures some 70 percent of its purchases from outside the country, a figure that Antony described as "shameful and dangerous."

The "military" golf carts are just the tip of an iceberg of recent criticisms of India's military procurement program highlighted in reports by India's Comptroller and Audit General. Purchases from Russia have come in for particular criticism.

The CAG said 2,000 laser-guided 155mm Krasnopol-M rounds, which the army acquired from Russia in 2002, had proved unsuccessful. Bought for some $77 million, the comptroller's report said they had been acquired "without necessary evaluation." The critique was embarrassing because an earlier $31 million purchase of 1,000 similar rounds made in 1999 was also found to have been flawed.

India's purchase of a second-hand Russian-built aircraft carrier has also come under attack. The Admiral Gorshkov is due for delivery by 2012, though the CAG believes it could well be delayed, at a total cost of $1.8 billion. The final bill doubled, say Indian media reports, when the Russian shipyard escalated the price of its refitting in 2007.

The Admiral Gorshkov will turn out to be 60 percent dearer than a new warship, says CAG, adding, "The objective of inducting an aircraft carrier in time to fill the gap in Indian navy has not been achieved."

India is building its own 858-foot carrier to be armed with surface-to-air missiles, latest radar and an array of other combat systems from Israel, France and Russia.

'With this project, India joins the select club of 40,000-ton aircraft carrier designers and builders," the navy said in a statement.

The CAG report has also criticized the induction into the Army Aviation Corps of 40 advanced light helicopters -- designed and developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited -- at a cost of $360 million. It says they are underpowered, limiting their range to 5,000 instead of the required 6,500 miles, which will delay the phasing out of the AAC's obsolete Chetak (SA 316B Alouette III) and Cheetah (SA 315B Lama) helicopters, reducing the army's operational efficiency in the mountainous Kashmir region.

Meanwhile, the Indian ministry of defense has ingeniously defended its golf carts. It says they "facilitate noiseless reconnaissance in close proximity to the enemy."

Jane's Defense Weekly, however, notes that more than half of India's 180 golf course are owned or managed the military -- most of them by the army.

http://www.upi.com/Security_Industry/2009/07/28/India-tightens-controls-on-arms-buys/UPI-97101248797263/print/

A ‘libertarian’ China tours foreign journalists to show their army for the first time in the history!

Bureau News

July 28th, 2009

People's Liberation ArmyBEIJING — China took foreign journalists on a tour of a People’s Liberation Army division north of Beijing on Tuesday, calling it a sign that the world’s largest army is opening up to the outside world.

China has long been tightlipped about its military strength and capacity, drawing criticism from other countries wary of the Asian giant’s growing power and skyrocketing military spending.

Senior Colonel Leng Jiesong, head of the army’s Third Guard Division, told journalists that the tour was part of a policy of increased openness.

“China is more and more open to the outside world, and so is the People’s Liberation Army, and we are actively speeding up our opening process,” he said.

The visit comes ahead of Aug. 1, which marks the 82nd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army, which now has 2.3 million members.

The tour was organized by the Ministry of Defense and attended by officials from the Foreign Ministry. Journalists took a tour of of soldiers living quarters, viewed a counterterrorism exercise involving a hijacked bus, and watched target practice involving automatic weapons and rocket launchers.

The trip comes as China’s Defense Ministry gears up to launch its official Web site. State media have said the site will be online in time for the army’s anniversary, but the director of the ministry’s information office, Hu Changming, would not confirm the launch date.

China’s military spending has jumped by double-digit percentages every year for nearly two decades. This year, Beijing announced a 14.9 percent rise in military spending to 480.68 billion yuan ($70.27 billion).

That spending puts it on par with Japan, Russia and Britain, but it is still dwarfed by the U.S., which spends nearly 10 times as much.

http://blog.taragana.com/n/china-takes-foreign-journalists-inside-peoples-liberation-army-says-it-is-trying-to-be-open-122542/

110 LoC violations by Pak since 2006

28 Jul 2009, 0424 hrs IST, ET Bureau

NEW DELHI: Defence minister A K Antony on Monday told LS that there have been 110 ceasefire violations from the Pakistani side along the Line of

Control (LoC) since 2006.

“A total of 110 incidents of ceasefire violations have taken place along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir since 2006. These include 47 incidents of trans-LoC firing... our troops have suffered nine fatal and 25 non-fatal casualties,” the minister said. A maximum of 77 such incidents had taken place in 2008, 21 in 2007 and three in 2006. He also told the House that nine violations have taken place this year.

Replying to another query, minister of state for defence M M Pallam Raju said 690 officers and soldiers were killed on duty in the same period. “54 officers, 62 Junior Commissioned Officers and 574 other ranks have been killed on duty since 2006,” he said. On his part, Mr Antony said Indian troops take strong action against any attempts to violate LoC while maintaining adequate restraint to prevent escalation.

The minister also acknowledged that there was a massive shortage of officers in the Army. “The Indian Army is short of over 11,387 officers,” the minister said. While the Navy was short of 1,512 officers, the shortage in the Air Force was 1,400, he said. However, there is no significant shortage of Personnel Below Officer Ranks in the Armed Forces.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/PoliticsNation/110-LoC-violations-by-Pak-since-2006/articleshow/4827935.cms

Made in India, for India’s defence

c.s. chima Posted online: Tuesday , Jul 28, 2009 at 0446 hrs

Major modernisation programmes of our armed forces, long delayed by the problems and cost of acquiring systems from abroad, lengthy procurement procedures (often scuttled by allegations of kickbacks), as well as hitches in establishing state-of-the-art indigenous defence capability, urgently need to be expedited. For example, the bulk of weapon systems of the army’s air defence arm are of ’70s and early ’80s vintage. All three services are in a largely similar state. Obviously, from a national defence perspective, urgent action must be taken to ensure an adequate operational capability.

Contrary to official pronouncements from the Ministry of Defence (MOD), and optimistic reports claiming that our defence field was gradually opening up to Indian private industry in collaboration with DRDO, defence PSUs (DPSUs), and foreign technology partners; the actual development of major modern defence systems and platforms like tanks, artillery guns and air defence weapon systems has been a non-starter. So far, not a single case for the development of a ‘High Technology Complex System’, as defined in the procedure given for ‘Make Category’ in the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP), has been cleared by the Department of Defence (DOD) in the defence ministry.

The track record over the last five decades of indigenous development and production of defence systems by the various efforts of the DRDO, defence PSUs, and ordnance factories, with some outsourcing to private industry, under the control and regulation of the DOD and Department of Defence Production (DDP), has been very unsatisfactory. Most acquisitions have been outright ‘buy’ from foreign vendors, with transfer of technology clauses in some cases. The 2005 Kelkar Committee report had recommended an integrated approach involving the users, the defence ministry and industry in the indigenous ‘Make’ procedure. While ‘strategic, complex and security sensitive’ projects would be undertaken by the DRDO, ‘high technology complex systems’, the major battle systems would be undertaken by Indian industry, defence PSUs and ordnance factories on a level playing field. The subsequent Ramarao Committee report on the review of the DRDO, submitted to the government in March 2008, had recommended a more positive, proactive and effective role for the DRDO, for which it is to be urgently restructured. MOD has still to start action.

Anticipating major business amounting to thousands of crores, with many foreign governments now prepared to share their defence technology, leading Indian industries and foreign defence companies are reported to have been negotiating for joint venture development and manufacture of advanced defence systems. In some cases, collaborative agreements have been finalised and infrastructure established for the manufacture of specific high technology defence systems. This flurry of activity is taking place despite of the fact that no sanction for the development of a prototype based on any specific Services requirement, or contract for any such system, has been accorded by the government. Even internal routine ‘make’ cases proposed by the DRDO and DPSUs are understood to have been shuttling between the ministry and proposers for the last three years. Therefore, the proposal to raise FDI in defence from 26 per cent to 49 per cent, as presented by the finance minister in the recent Economic Survey, may be difficult to implement in such a situation.

The existing indigenous defence production in the country is almost entirely the government’s domain; executed by DPSUs and ordnance factories, assisted in some cases by the DRDO. These organisations have contracts with private industry and foreign vendors for certain processes and components. The several wings of the MOD responsible in some way for this process tend to function in a compartmentalised manner, leading to delays and cost overheads. Since an increasing number of high technology systems would now be developed on the joint consortium model, with significant foreign participation, it is essential that a more pragmatic procedure be adopted for managing indigenous development and production of defence systems under one nodal agency in the MOD.

The entire policy and management of the acquisition and procurement process is controlled by the acquisition wing of the DOD based on the DPP, now its 2008 version. The ‘offset provision’, which was incorporated in the DPP three years ago, and stipulates that a minimum 30 per cent cost of the investment by any foreign partner within India, in the form of components, services or technology, is also controlled by the acquisition wing, even though the Defence Offset Facilitation Agency, (DOFA), has been set up under the DDP to facilitate this policy. A study of DPP 2008 will reveal that the procedures set for both the ‘Buy and Make’, and the ‘Make’ categories of defence systems involve a very centralised, complicated, and time consuming process, requiring repeated sanctions from the acquisition wing for each stage. Moreover, this wing of the DOD is inadequately staffed and does not have the necessary expertise, thus necessitating numerous queries to the User Service, Finance, DDP, DRDO and Quality Assurance. It is, therefore, recommended that the acquisition wing of DOD handle all categories of acquisition and procurement cases up to the stage of categorisation and acceptance of necessity by the Defence Acquisition Committee, which is headed by the defence minister. Thereafter, it should only control the ‘Buy’ and ‘Buy and Make’ categories up to the ‘Buy’ stage, and hand over the ‘Make’ stage to the special nodal agency.

It is imperative that this nodal authority, with experts from among all stakeholders, and all wings of the MOD and services, is made functional in the defence ministry. For this purpose, the existing DDP of the MOD should be restructured on a corporate pattern, to incorporate more efficient procedures with necessary checks included. Each project should have an integrated project management team, given authority to take necessary decisions, including routine expenditure, and preferably headed by someone from the Service for which the system is intended. The selected private industry or partnership venture could be assisted by the government, where necessary, from the modernisation budget.

India is a fast-emerging regional and economic power. An effective defence capability, sustained by a vibrant, modern indigenous defence development and production infrastructure is vital. Major foreign investment and technology is all set to participate in our defence sphere. Changing some existing mindsets and procedures and adopting a fresh, radical approach is the need of the hour.

Lt Gen (Retd) C.S. Chima is a former DG, Army Air Defence and was a member of the Ramarao DRDO review committee.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Made-in-India--for-India-s-defence/494970

ISI, Pak Army exert significant influence on policy towards India: Report

Ani

July 28th, 2009

WASHINGTON - The Inter State Intelligence (ISI) and the Pakistan Army play a significant role in influencing Islamabad’s policies towards New Delhi despite the fact the two have always denied any role in government’s functioning, a report said.

Stratfor, the global think tank, in its report said: “The ISI and the army already exert a significant influence on policy towards India, whether they have a formal seat or not”.

Referring to the alleged meeting of Indian officials with the ISI chief Shuja Pasha on July 3, the report said that it was an important meeting which could have an effect on the region.

“Regardless of what was said during the July 3 meeting, the impromptu meeting itself was a significant one,” it said.

The report said that the dynamics of the region were fast changing, which may be the prime reason behind the ISI chief calling the unplanned meeting.

“The last thing India wants to see is the US ease up on Pakistan, should a terrorist attack take place in India, its ability to hold Pakistan responsible would be severely compromised. This is why the Indians are not buying reports of Pakistan targeting terrorist groups.

The Pakistanis know they cannot be held responsible. These are the newly emerging dynamics of the region, and they may well be the reason the ISI chief held his impromptu get-together with the Indian military attaches,” the report said. (ANI)

http://blog.taragana.com/n/isi-pak-army-exert-significant-influence-on-policy-towards-india-report-122729/

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