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Wednesday, 26 August 2009

From Today's Papers - 26 Aug 09

The Pioneer

Asian Age

Telegraph India

Asian Age


Telegraph India

Asian Age

Times of India

DNA India

Orders for release of pay arrears issued
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
The Ministry of Finance today issued the much-awaited orders for release of the second installment of arrears arising out of the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations to all Central government employees.

When the pay commission recommendations were implemented in August last year, the government had directed that 40 per cent of the arrears, along with the total tax due, were to be paid in the 2008-09 financial year and the balance to be paid in 2009-10. “It has now been decided that the remaining 60 per cent of arrears may now be paid to the concerned government servants,” orders issued today by the ministry’s Department of Expenditure state.

The first installment has already been paid to the employees. The commission’s recommendations are being implemented with effect from January 1, 2006 and employees were entitled to arrears arising out of the pay difference.

Significantly, in the case of employees who joined the Central government on or after January 1, 2004, arrears would be released only after the individual concerned has deposited his application form with the competent authorities for registration to the New Pension Scheme, the orders state. The ministry had also issued a memorandum in this regard on August 17. As in the case of the first installment of arrears, government servants would be permitted to deposit their arrears in the GPF accounts. Though not mandatory, the ministry has encouraged employees to deposit their arrears in their GPF accounts.

VAT on BSF canteen items to go: Badal
Ravinder Sud

Hoshiarpur, August 25
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal this evening took the salute from second batch of 154 trainee women cops (GD) and 147 male constables at the passing-out parade at Subsidiary Training Centre of the Border Security Force at Kharkan village, 12 km from here.

Badal rued the decreasing number of Punjabi youths in officer ranks of the Indian Army. There was a time when 50 per cent officers in the Army were from Punjab, he said. To reverse the trend, the state government would set up an education-cum-Army training centre at Mohali. After getting education from this centre, the youth could join the Army, Badal said.

Accepting the demand of the Inspector-General, Badal said VAT would not be charged on items in BSF canteen. He also agreed to provide complete equipment of gymnasium at the STC Centre of the BSF at Kharkan.

He was impressed to witness the parade of women cops, who after completing 36 weeks of training, participated in the parade today.

Lauding the BSF for protecting Indian borders and maintaining peace in the country, Badal said the BSF was the pride of the country and known for discipline and dedication.

In a humorous vein the Chief Minister asked Inspector-General, Punjab Frontier, BSF, Himmat Singh to provide physical training to the MLAs so that they could serve people more effectively. Later, Badal told reporters that MPs and MLAs of Punjab would meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tomorrow in New Delhi to urge him to declare Punjab drought-hit and give suitable relief to farmers.

Referring to the break-up between the BJP and the INLD in Haryana, he said the SAD unit of Haryana would decide on its role in the elections of the state at the appropriate time.

Himmat Singh said newly pass-out women cops would be deployed on border posts for searching and frisking women going beyond fenced gates. Their services, if required, would also be used for internal security duty and counter insurgency performed by the BSF. The deployment of women cops on international border would add a new dimension to border management and role of the BSF.

Defence production needs to open up: study

Press Trust of India / New Delhi August 25, 2009, 17:59 IST

Despite having one of the largest defence industries in the developing world, India has not managed to attain self-reliance in defence production and its export performance has been way off the mark, says a study.

And excessive protection given by the government to public sector undertakings (PSUs) and Ordnance Factories (OFs) has bred incompetence and made these non-competitive, says the study by industry body Assocham and consultancy firm Ernst & Young.

"The state of our DPSUs/OFs, their production capabilities in terms of both quality and quantity, their accountability, competitiveness, the production accorded to them and their management are directly responsible for the present state of affairs," the study says.

Also, an assured and captive domestic market, it says, has reduced the competitiveness and led to complacency.

"Excessive protection extended by government to defence undertakings including their management and Ordnance Factories has bred so much non-competitiveness in defence production that a meagre sum of Rs 11.6 billion was earned in foreign exchange through export items of defence items in last three years," it says.

India's defence industry consists of 40 OFs, eight defence PSUs and a small but emerging private sector.

"Even with an assured order from Defence Ministry to the tune of Rs 200 billion every year, defence PSUs and OFs, which have the capability to ramp up, have not made a dent in the export market and also failed to stop imports," the study says.

In such an environment with immediate emphasis being on only developing “import substitutes”, India lacks cutting edge technology to produce state-or-the-art equipment. "So it is clear that exports were never a priority for either DPSUs and OFs," it says.

The study says the export performance is unlikely to improve until India changes its current 'skewed' defence industry policies, including the 26 per cent FDI cap.

India needs a well-defined export policy, it argues, clearly mapping out current potential countries and defence products for exports.

Defence exports, according to the study, could be accelerated with proper coordination between the Defence and the External Affairs ministries.

UN conference on disarmament to discuss on nuke-free world

Press Trust of India / United Nations August 25, 2009, 9:20 IST

United Nations Conference on Disarmament, which will begin in the Japanese City of Niigata later this week, will discuss the issue of how to achieve the goal of a nuclear-free world, UN officials said.

Strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime with a focus on the forthcoming 2010 Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is also high on the Conference's agenda, officials said.

The three-day conference beginning on August 26, is being hosted by Japanese government and the City of Niigata, and is being organised by the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs through its Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific.

Regional security issues in relation to nuclear proliferation will also be discussed, officials said.

Furthermore, the Conference would address challenges in the field of conventional weapons, and peace and disarmament education, as well as the important role of civil society in addressing these challenges.

This annual conference, which has been hosted by Japan since 1989, is recognised as an important forum for frank dialogue and exchange of views on pressing security and disarmament-related issues facing the international community.

It would also address the particular disarmament and non-proliferation concerns of countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

Lockheed Martin sets up new missile defense systems operating unit

Bureau News

August 25th, 2009

Lockheed Martins starts missile defense unit

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co., a division of defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp., said Tuesday that it has established a new missile defense systems operating unit based in Huntsville, Ala.

The new unit includes program management, engineering and production facilities in Huntsville and Courtland, Ala., as well as program operations in Denver and Sunnyvale, Calif.

Ret. Army Major General John W. Holly was named vice president for missile defense systems and will lead the new operating unit, the company said.

Holly joined Lockheed Martin in January 2008 and most recently served as its vice president of Huntsville operations. His military career spanned more than 30 years and culminated as the deputy director for the Missile Defense Agency.

In afternoon trading, Lockheed Martin shares slid 30 cents to $74.41.

US Army: Senior Army leaders from 26 nations gather in Tokyo to discuss security, cooperation

Tue. August 25, 2009; Posted: 06:18 AM

Army Chief of Staff equivalents from 26 countries and senior staff officers from 31 countries around the Pacific and Indian Ocean regions gathered to officially open the Pacific Armies Chiefs Conference VI and the Pacific Armies Management Seminar XXXIII in a ceremony at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, Japan, Aug. 24.

This year's PACC and PAMS are co-hosted by the Japan Ground Self Defense Force and U.S. Army.

The theme for both conferences is Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief in natural and human-induced disasters. The week-long conferences will allow senior officers to discuss and exchange ideas in order to help promote peace and stability in the region, coming up with solutions to complex humanitarian aid issues and develop interpersonal relationships.

"Together, we face some unique and very tough challenges," said Lt. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon, commanding general, U.S. Army, Pacific and PAMS XXXIII co host.

Catastrophic disasters are currently a major security threat in the Asia-Pacific region, where 40 percent of the world's disasters have occurred in the last 30 years, said Japan Ground Self Defense Force Gen. Yoshifumi Hibako, chief of staff.

"I firmly believe that discussing the role of ground forces and the issue of international cooperation, as well as the issues that must be addressed in the future will result in greater trust and contribute to stability in the region," he said.

Ground forces have great capabilities for operating against natural disasters, said U.S. Army Chief of Staff and PACC VI co host, Gen. George W. Casey Jr.

Coordinating those forces is a key issue he hopes to focus on during the course of the conference.

"When a disaster strikes, it throws people off balance and everybody wants to help, but without proper coordination, it adds to the burden of the disaster," Casey said.

Mixon also stressed the goals of the conferences by emphasizing the sharing of lessons learned from past disasters during the week.

"We will share lessons learned from our experiences in coping with past disasters. We will discuss civil-military and interagency cooperation in disaster relief operations, and we will look at ways to increase multilateral military cooperation. All of this is designed to foster collaboration and enhance cooperation through dialogue," Mixon said.

That dialogue will help the nations come together and build, or continue to build, positive relationships, which will help in the future.

"When you have a crisis, is not the time to begin building relationships. You do that before and that is what we are doing here," said Casey.

The delegates from each country will meet daily to discuss a variety of topics dealing with this year's theme.

PACC is a biennial, multi-national, executive defense forum and fosters military-to-military cooperation, develops interpersonal relationships and contributes to regional dialogue and stability.

PAMS is a multinational military seminar that provides a forum for senior-level officers from the Asia Pacific's regional ground forces to exchange views and ideas.

It is not only a forum to enhance understanding of the subjects studied, it also provides an opportunity for the future leaders of the region's armies to establish and cultivate a set of strong interpersonal relationships.

PACC VI is scheduled to conclude Aug. 27 and PAMS XXXIII will conclude Aug. 28

Somebody please remind NDA of its martyrs

By: Anshuman G Dutta Date: 2009-08-25 Place: Delhi

The Academy wants to build a museum for its gallantary award winners but has no record of them

It's an identity crisis of another dimension.

The country's premier army training institution wants to honour its martyrs and decorated soldiers but it doesn't know who they are.

The National Defence Academy (NDA) has no record of its graduates who won various gallantry awards in the three armed forces. The NDA has come up with a proposal to raise a museum to honour its brave graduates but there are no records to help it find them.

A senior Defence Ministry official while discussing the issue said that there are 60,000 gallantry medal winners in the Indian army and it is very difficult to indentify which among them passed out from the NDA. The Academy being a tri-service intuition trains cadets for all the armed forces which are sent to their respective academies after completion of their three year long tenure.

"After passing out from the NDA the cadets go to their different training academies for further training. They are assigned new service number in their new academies, which is not related to the service number provided by the NDA. Now, the job is finding the officers who won gallantry awards and passed out from NDA has become a tricky job for us," said the officer.

The list of gallantry medal winners in the armed forces is maintained by the Adjutant General's branch in the Indian army. But in this case the AG branch too could not be of any help to the NDA.

Meanwhile, the NDA is planning to write to all the different branches of the armed forces to get the details of officers who served with them and won gallantry awards.

The gallantry awards are broadly divided into two categories wartime gallantry medals and peace time gallantry awards. The wartime gallantry awards include Param Vir Chakra the highest gallantry medal- followed by Mahavir Chakra and Vir Chakra. The peacetime gallantry awards include Ashok Chakra, Shaurya Chakra and Kirti Chakra. Besides these there are awards like Sena Medal, Vayu Sena Medal and Nau Sena Medal awarded by respective services.

Though the list of the PVC, MVC and VrC awardees are easily available along with their background but the NDA is finding it real hard to dig out the list of other gallantry awardees. The museum, which is being planned in the academy, will showcase the history and heroism of the NDA graduates.

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