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Thursday, 24 September 2009

From Today's Papers - 24 Sep 09

Indian Express

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IAF strength no match to China’s: Air chief

Gandhinagar, September 23
IAF chief Air Chief Marshal PV Naik today said the strength of the country's Air Force was inadequate and just one-third the size of China's and therefore the government was going in for more acquisitions to enhance its capability.

Naik also downplayed reports of Chinese air incursions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). “As far as Air Force is concerned, there are no incursions anywhere (across Indian border),” he said.

“Our present aircraft strength is inadequate. We have one-third of the Chinese numbers. And that is why we are going for more,” Naik said, echoing the just retired naval chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta's concern that the country neither has the capability nor the intention to match China force for force.

“The government of India is doing a lot to augment the Air Force capability,” Naik told reporters at the South Western Air Command (SWAC) headquarters here.

The Air chief's comments come against the backdrop of media reports about Chinese air "incursions" into India in the past several weeks.

“We are not downplaying the challenges before us. But there is a strategy to handle it. One can either deal with it sternly or play cool and continue to develop capabilities,” Naik said.

Naik further said "the government is giving full support as far as the acquisition of these things are concerned in terms of finance or otherwise”.

“But everything takes time. So, whatever contracts that have been signed or will be signed, we would get delivery after three years,” he said, adding that they were aware of the situation and were keen on increasing aircraft numbers.

Fighter aircraft are required for national security, initially at the borders, and also to guard the entire nation, Naik said.

When asked about deployment or arrangement along the India-China border, he said: “We have increased our capabilities on land as well as in air." However, he declined to divulge more information.

On security arrangements at various borders, the Air Chief Marshal said, “We are using advance technology in border areas like cameras, motion detectors and maintaining air surveillance. We also use satellite surveillance." He also said the country was faced by many challenges which were increasing day by day.

“So far the effect of all these challenges on Indian Air Force is that we have to be prepared for all kind of conflicts, starting from the top that is nuclear to the terrorist which is a lower spectrum conflict,” he said.

“We have to acquire capabilities in order to meet the nation’s aspirations,” he added.

Naik said that all the challenges be they geo-political or within the country were equally important. “Depending on the priority, all these challenges are being handled by developing capabilities not only of armed forces but also by looking into diplomatic and economic factors which form part of national security,” he said.

Asked what kind of aircraft the Air Force would be purchasing to strengthen its capacity, Naik said Medium Multirole Combat Aircraft (MMCA) are in the offing, while the second phase of trial for the F-18s and F-16 aircraft have been completed.

“We will also have Rafael fighter plane and C-130 Hercules. We already have one AWACS and would get two more next year,” Naik said, adding that global inquiries have also been floated for heavy transport aircraft.

Also in the offing are fifth generation fighter aircraft and medium transport aircraft for which there has been an agreement between the Indian and Russian government, he added. — PTI

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090924/main1.htm

‘100 IAF pilots have opted for VRS’

Gandhinagar, September 23
Air Chief Marshal P V Naik today said over 100 pilots of the Indian Air Force had applied for the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) as there were "fewer" promotional avenues for them. "We have a very steep pyramid structure (in the Air Force) where there are fewer avenues of promotions," Naik told reporters here in reply to a question on IAF pilots seeking the VRS.

"When one does not get promotions after 24-25 years of service, one wants to leave and try alternative avenues. Off hand I can tell that we have over 100 applications for the VRS from pilots," Air chief said.

Naik said the number of pilots opting for the VRS could increase after the improvement in market situation.

"Since there is a slump in the market outside, there are fewer applications. Once the slump is over, the (number of) applications might increase," he said.

Naik said the Air Force had set up an independent board of officers to assess the VRS applications of the pilots. — PTI

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090924/main1.htm#1

Pak violated ceasefire norms to push in terrorists: Army

Press Trust of India, Thursday September 24, 2009, Jaipur

Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor has said that Pakistan had violated ceasefire norms recently with an intention to push in more terrorists to Jammu and Kashmir before the onset of winter.

General Kapoor, however, said India's troops were quite alive to such tactics and giving befitting reply to contain intrusion into the Valley.

"There has been a violation by Pakistan in the last couple of days," he told media after reviewing the Mounted Parade of 61st Cavalry at polo ground in Jaipur.

"Those violations are being used as a means by Pakistan to push in additional terrorists before the winter sets in, so that there is a degree of instability in the valley and Jammu and Kashmir. Forces are quite well versed with these tactics. They are quite alive to these tactics," General Kapoor said when asked if Pakistan was violating ceasefire norms.

"We have appropriately deployed the forces and they would ensure to contain any infiltration bid further," the Chief of Army Staff said.

"Let me ensure, Indian borders are extremely safe. We are fully alive to any challenges to face... Nothing worrying on borders".

Asked if western borders are under scanner, the Army Chief said, "As the winter is approaching, there will be efforts from other side to push in infiltrators. As you would have noticed, the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is peaceful for the last 7-8 months".

Speaking about recent encounters, General Kappor said, "There were two encounters in the Valley. Troops are ensuring to contain intrusions. The Army has to fight to ensure that peace is maintained in the Valley."

"Army has to protect and save every civilian. While taking all precautions for civilians and their property, Army's hands are tied. Without any loss to them, armymen has to tackle terrorists".

"For terrorists, no law is applicable (during encounter). We have to work in limits against militants," the Army Chief said.

Pakistani troops had fired nearly 135 rounds on Indian positions in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district on Sunday night. It was the second such incident this month.

http://www.ndtv.com/news/india/pak_violated_ceasefire_norms_to_push_in_terrorists_army.php

India's aircraft strength inadequate: Air Chief Marshal

Press Trust of India / Gandhinagar September 23, 2009, 15:07 IST

Air Chief Marshal P V Naik today said the country's present fighter aircraft strength, which is one-third of China, was inadequate.

"Our present aircraft strength is inadequate. We have one third of the Chinese numbers. And that is why we are going for more," Naik told reporters at the South Western Air Command (SWAC) headquarters here.

He further said: "The government is giving full support as far as the acquisition of these things are concerned in terms of finance or otherwise."

"But everything takes time. So, whatever contracts that have been signed or will be signed, we would get delivery after three years," Naik added, saying they were aware of the situation and were keen on increasing aircraft numbers.

Fighter aircrafts are required for national security, initially at the borders and also to guard the entire nation, he said.

On a question if challenges faced by the country were being down played in view of recent reports of Chinese incursions, Naik replied: "As far as Air Force is concerned there are no incursions anywhere (across Indian border)."

"We are not downplaying the challenges before us. But there is a strategy to handle it. One can either deal with it sternly or play cool and continue to develop capabilities."

When asked about deployment or arrangement along the Indo-China border, he said, "We have increased our capabilities on land as well as in air." However, Naik declined to divulge more information.

On security arrangements at various borders, the Air Chief Marshal said, "We are using advance technology in border areas like cameras, motion detectors and maintaining air surveillance. We also use satellite surveillance."

Naik also said the country is faced by many challenges which are increasing day-by-day.

"So far the effect of all these challenges on Indian Air Force is that we have to be prepared for all kind of conflicts, starting from the top that is nuclear to the terrorist which is a lower spectrum conflict," he said.

"We have to acquire capabilities in order to meet the nations' aspirations," he added.

Naik said: "Depending on the priority, all these challenges are being handled by developing capabilities not only of armed forces but also by looking into diplomatic and economic factors which form part of national security."

http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/india%5Cs-aircraft-strength-inadequate-air-chief-marshal/74148/on

India sponsoring terror in Pakistan: Rehman Malik

IANS

PAK FLIP-FLOP: Rehman Malik said terrorists held in Swat have confirmed Indian involvement in terrorism in Pak.

Islamabad: Pakistan on Wednesday again appeared to be speaking in twin voices. While on one hand, the Prime Minister and President of that country said that they want to resume dialogue with India and improve ties, on the other hand, Interior Minister Rehman Malik has accused New Delhi of promoting terrorism in his country.

"Yes, it is true. The terrorists arrested from Swat and tribal areas of the country have confirmed Indian involvement in terrorist activities in Pakistan," Online news agency quoted Malik as telling a private TV channel.

The remarks come on the heels of separate statements by President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on the need for improved ties with India and for resuming the subcontinental dialogue process that New Delhi suspended in the wake of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks that have been blamed on elements operating from this country.

Those statements were seen to be setting the tone for the meetings in New York later this month of the foreign secretaries and later of the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session.

"Pakistan has retaliated with full force whenever India started the blame game against us," Malik said, adding: "Pakistan had offered unconditional support to India after the Mumbai attack but our sincere efforts to bring the culprits of this incident to justice are not being replied constructively."

At a meeting with former US president Bill Clinton in New York on Monday, Zardari said the resumption of the subcontinental composite dialogue was in the best interests of the region.

Zardari also reiterated that Pakistan was determined to prevent its territory from being used against any other country.

On his part, Gilani said on Tuesday that Pakistan wants good relations with all neighbouring countries, including India, on the basis of equality.

Addressing a large gathering at the Multan circuit house, Gilani said Pakistan wishes to resolve the water and Kashmir disputes with India through negotiations.

He also stressed that the two nuclear powers should decide to move forward and focus on the well-being of their poverty-ridden people, adding this will pave the way for a socio-economic revolution in the region.

Gilani comments come a day after it was announced Monday that with Pakistan arresting suspected Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed,

Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna will hold talks with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi in New York on September 27 to review Pakistan's action against the 26/11 terrorists.

The Foreign Ministers' meeting will be preceded by talks between India's Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir in New York on September 26.

http://ibnlive.in.com/printpage.php?id=102028&section_id=2

Medical branch dodges MoD to deny facilities to SSC officers
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
Apparently circumventing the Ministry of Defence and the Army headquarters, the Directorate-General of Medical Services (DGMS) has written to all Army commands asking them not to extend medical facilities to ex-short service commissioned (SSC) officers at military hospitals.

Medical facilities to ex-SSC officers at military hospitals were withdrawn by the DGMS some time ago, following which they had raised the issue with the Army authorities. The matter was referred to the MoD for clarification and earlier this year, the Army issued a circular that pending the MoD’s final decision, military hospitals would continue catering to ex-SSC officers.

A letter issued a few week ago to the medical branches of all commands by the DGMS (Army) to the effect that the direction of the Central Government and the Army headquarters on the subject of providing medical facilities to non-pensioner ex-servicemen be ignored. Medical facilities in military hospitals were earlier available to only retired defence pensioners as per the Regulations for Medical Services of the Armed Forces (RMSAF). However, in 1996, a Presidential sanction amended the said regulations and extended the facilities to all personnel who had earned the status of ex-servicemen.

Despite the amendment, sporadic incidents were still reported wherein old non-pensioners such as world war veterans, Emergency Commission Officers and SSCs were refused treatment.

Interestingly, in response to queries under the Right to Information Act, the Directorate-General, Armed Forces Medical Services, which oversees the medical directorates of the three services, has stated that the provisions of the amended regulations are being followed. This is contrary to the stance of the DGMA (Army) which has asked the commands to restrict facilities to only those personnel who are mentioned in the original unamended RMSAF, thereby ignoring the amendment already issued by the Central Government and the consequent orders issued by the Army chief.

Incensed veterans have now written to the MoD against the “highhandedness” of the DGMS (Army) and the DG Armed Forces Medical Services. Veterans have also pointed out that the military medical establishment had earlier also requested for the withdrawal of these facilities from non-pensioner ex-servicemen, but the request was rejected by the government.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090924/nation.htm#29

Army chief: Pak ‘violates’ ceasefire to help infiltration

Jaipur, September 23
Army Chief Gen Deepak Kapoor today said Pakistan has violated ceasefire norms recently with an intention to push in additional terrorists to Jammu and Kashmir before the onset of winter. The Chief of Army Staff, however, said India’s troops were quite alive to such tactics and giving befitting reply to contain intrusion to the valley.

“There has been a violation by Pakistan in the past couple of days,” he told media after reviewing the Mounted Parade of 61st Cavalry at polo ground here.

“Those violations are being used as a means by Pakistan to push in additional terrorists before the winter sets in, so that there is a degree of instability in the valley and Jammu and Kashmir. Forces are quite well versed with these tactics. They are quite alive to these tactics," Kapoor said when asked if Pakistan was violating ceasefire norms. “We have appropriately deployed the forces and they would ensure to contain any infiltration bid further,” he said.

“Let me ensure, Indian borders are extremely safe. We are fully alive to any challenges to face... Nothing worrying on borders”.

Asked if western borders are under scanner, the Army Chief said, “As the winter is approaching, there will be defence from other side to push in infiltrators. As you would have noticed, the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is peaceful for the past 7-8 months”.

About recent encounters, Gen Kappor said, “There were two encounters in the valley. Troops are ensuring to contain intrusions. The army has to fight to ensure that peace is maintained in the valley”. “For terrorists, no law is applicable (during encounter). We have to work in limits against militants,” Gen Kappor added.

Pakistani troops had fired nearly 135 rounds on Indian positions in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district on Sunday night. It was the second such incident this month. — PTI

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090924/nation.htm#6

Media under attack
No harm in playing up China threat
by T.P. Sreenivasan

From lowly politicians to high-level policymakers and strategists, all have begun to aim their guns at the Indian media, particularly the electronic media, for sensationalising events and not helping the government deal with sensitive matters in its own quiet way.

A writer, who has more than his share of space in the media, laments: “Chinese military unhappy with Indian media.” Is it such a disaster that the Chinese military is unhappy with something in India, having made India unhappy for decades?

In Kerala, the ruling party is uncomfortable with the media, which is accused of parallel investigations, throwing the impartial police investigations, involving the Home Minister himself, out of gear.

It is alleged that young anchors and reporters know nothing about anything and they put out stories without checking sources and backgrounds and without hearing the other side of the story. The media is the villain, which is allegedly causing internal and external turmoil.

Blaming the media is an ancient pastime, but it was easier when reports in the print media could be denied, except when an odd reporter produced an audio tape. But today statements can be replayed at will, making denial a hard option.

The only escape clause is the attribution of motives. Since the ship of state leaks at the top in diverse directions, the media is advised to exercise restraint. If the top brass cannot keep its mouth shut, the media should be shut out.

The latest attack on the media began with the coverage of the 26/11 attacks on Mumbai. The virtual spectacle of evil was there for all to see, but the blame has been put on the media for giving clues to the terrorists and their minders in Pakistan by covering the developments live.

The charge is that the live telecast helped the terrorists to execute their plans. Kasab and company had no time to watch TV and their minders in Pakistan certainly had other sources to tell them what was happening. In such a masterly operation, care would have been taken to station agents to report events to them.

The answer was not to preach to the media, but to ensure that no one was given access to the sites of attack. Here was a situation where people were camping outside the Taj with food vendors having a field day. How would the media miss such an opportunity to bring the story live to the living rooms?

But the knee-jerk reaction was to criticise the media for being unpatriotic and irresponsible. Even a code of conduct was devised for the media. The code of conduct should have been prescribed for the security authorities to restrict access to the area.

Even more amazing is the lament that the media is exaggerating the Chinese threat to India. There are any number of instances of China encircling India with the specific purpose of countering our development and international profile. Pakistan and Myanmar are nothing but pawns in this Chinese strategy.

The Chinese moves to strengthen its claims in Arunachal and Ladakh militarily and politically are there for all to see. The effort to block ADB assistance to an irrigation project in Arunachal Pradesh marked a new beginning in terms of diplomatic pressure. Reports of Chinese incursions are not manufactured in press rooms, but officially given out by the defence authorities. The comments of the retiring Naval Chief about the Chinese threat were not made in jest. How could the media afford not to take note of these developments and reach the appropriate conclusions? It was the External Affairs Minister, who appeared unrealistic when he tried to play down the Chinese military and diplomatic actions against India.

China is fully aware of the nature of the Indian media and no harm was done by the media playing it up and the minister playing it down. The media has the right to inform the public and it is for the government to give the right assessment at the right time.

An incident involving a cargo plane from the UAE was reported by the media. The plane had landed in Kolkata en route to Beijing and the normal requirement of declaring the cargo was not met. A routine inspection revealed that the cargo was lethal weapons. The media is being faulted for reading too much into this incident, which embarrassed the UAE as well as China.

A friendly country sending arms and ammunition to an unfriendly neighbour through India was not without immense news value. There was nothing wrong in the UAE and China being asked to explain what was clearly a breach of international norms in air transport.

The government itself did not give a credible explanation about the incident except to indicate that the arms were being returned to Beijing after a show in the UAE. The information that the two countries have such cooperation is valuable for India. Blacking out such information from the public was not an option to be exercised by the media.

It is the duty of the media to bring to light aberrations in international relations to enable the government to deal with them appropriately. In fact, the media blitz gives the government a good reason to make our friends and foes answerable to their behaviour. As long as stories are not manufactured, these should be welcomed and investigated. To close the eyes of the media or to restrain it is to let a valuable asset to go unutilised.

How hyperactivity of the media helps in international negotiations was demonstrated during the three years of debate on the India-US nuclear deal. Critics of the government got as much media space as the supporters did and the charges made in the media must have helped our negotiators to secure better terms from their US counterparts.

Recently, one of the virulent critics of the nuclear deal confessed that many of his articles were written in the Atomic Energy Commission to keep the heat on. He had stopped writng about it once he was assured that we had got a good deal.

Our print and electronic media are doing a fabulous job in terms of reporting and analysing events. They make mistakes frequently and even mislead the public. But they are legitimate instruments of opinion making and they should not be restricted in any way.

The state should learn to keep its secrets and also step in if there is misinformation. Let us not lose the asset we have in a vibrant media network on the plea that only balanced and accurate stories should be put out.

The writer is a former Ambassador and a member of the National Security Advisory Board, New Delhi

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090924/edit.htm#6

Chinese Army to showcase transformation

Ananth Krishnan

Gone are the days when National Day parades in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square meant a crowd of one million, clad in red, marching and swaying its arms in eerily perfect unison to Communist Party songs.

Next week, Tiananmen Square will host military drones, satellite launchers and new radar systems, reflecting the transition of China’s armed forces from a lumbering, unwieldy military unit, one that was “lax and bloated” in former leader Deng Xiaoping’s words, to a sleeker, more high-tech outfit.

The People’s Liberation Army will hold its first military parade in a decade on October 1, the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The parade will showcase the PLA’s transition “from manpower to science and technology,” said Major General Gao Jianguo, a military spokesman, on Wednesday. To the interest of military-watchers in India and elsewhere, the rare parade will for the first time showcase 52 new indigenous weapons systems. On display will be new home-made Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), five new missiles including the intercontinental ballistic DF-31 and a nuclear missile, as well as new radar and satellite systems.

Defence analysts say China is using the parade to send a strong message, both home and abroad, about the army’s new capabilities.

“This is kind of a display of conventional deterrence to tell adversaries ‘We have these in our stock, so be careful’,” said Srikanth Kondapalli, chairman of the Centre for East Asian Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University and an expert on China’s armed forces.

Following the Gulf War in 1991 and the war in Afghanistan in 2001, China’s leaders stressed the need to improve its military’s co-ordination and transition from mechanised warfare to Information Warfare (IW). “This means more IW platforms, space-based systems and UAVs,” said Mr. Kondapalli. “Unlike mechanised warfare, IW provides for the seamless availability of information, better co-ordinates different sections and makes a military force more effective.”

Liang Guanglie, China’s Defence Minister, said this week the army hoped to complete this process by 2020. He also said he believed China’s weapons-systems now “matched” the West’s, and the country would launch a three-step plan to upgrade weapons systems next year.

Showcasing the new weapons systems would serve two purposes: displaying the military’s prowess “to build national sentiment” at home and sending a message abroad of the army’s capabilities, said Brigadier Arun Sahgal of the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, New Delhi.

“To the U.S., the message is that we are fast bridging the technological gap,” he said. “To major Asian powers, namely India and Japan, there is a coercive context in terms of conventional and strategic asymmetry.” The Indian Army, Mr. Kondapalli added, will be keenly watching. “At a subterranean level, there is an arms race between the two countries,” he said. “This is not said outwardly, but if China acquires something, India has to acquire a counterpart.”

October 1 will also feature the more traditional elements of a National Day parade. Several thousand school children will perform with flowers, 60,000 doves will be released into Beijing’s skies and 5,000 soldiers will conduct a march past, most likely to the tune of Communist Party revolutionary anthems from the 1950’s. .

http://beta.thehindu.com/news/international/article24198.ece?css=print

India Medium-Lift Helo Program Faces More Delays

By vivek raghuvanshi

Published: 23 Sep 2009 12:45

NEW DELHI - India's homegrown Medium Lift Helicopter project has been grounded as state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) has failed to find global partners to co-develop the helicopter.

HAL has broken off negotiations with Eurocopter of France and Mil Design Bureau of Russia. One of the companies was to have been awarded the contract for co-development of the program.

Sources in the Indian Defence Ministry said the Medium Lift Helicopter program is already delayed and cannot be delayed further. As such, they say, a procurement is to be made from the global market, though the HAL project also will stay.

HAL has been looking for global partners to co-develop the 10-metric-ton helicopter for use by the Indian Navy, Army and Air Force. The state-owned company has been negotiating with Eurocopter and Mil Design Bureau for two years, but no vendor has received a final selection.

An official from HAL, however, said the project is still on, adding that the technical and financial details offered by Eurocopter and Mil Design Bureau could not be synchronized with HAL requirements. The official gave no details.

Indian defense forces need to deploy a medium-lift, 10-ton helicopter to replace aging Russian-made Mi-8 and Mi-17 helicopters. There is a total demand of more than 350 Medium Lift Helicopters by the three wings of the Indian defense forces, with a major requirement from the Indian Navy.

The Navy asked the Defence Ministry in March to purchase medium-lift helicopters from the overseas market, citing delays in HAL's co-development project.

HAL took up the Medium Lift Helicopter program nearly five years ago, and the program is still in the drawing-room stage. Further delays in the procurement of the helicopter will affect the combat worthiness of the Indian Navy, said a senior Navy official.

The Navy wants the medium-lift chopper for combat and rescue missions, while the Army and Air Force want the helicopters mainly for logistics purposes.

Last year, HAL bagged an order for 187 Light Observation Helicopters, while the remaining order for 197 copters was floated globally. Sources in the Defence Ministry said HAL is on a global hunt to find partners to speed up that program, so that the Army can take delivery of the helicopters by 2014.

But the Light Observation Helicopter program also is delayed, as the Defence Ministry canceled the procurement process for 197 helicopters at the final stage, in which Eurocopter emerged as the front-runner against Bell Helicopter of the United States. However, following Bell's complaints on issues of transparency in the procurement process, the government decided to cancel the contest and seek fresh bids.

The Army and Air Force need new light helicopters to replace about 300 aging Cheetah and Chetak helicopters. HAL is developing the 3-metric-ton Light Observation Helicopter and the program is on track, said a HAL official.

http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4290669&c=AIR&s=TOP

Showacse of mighty machines

TNN 23 September 2009, 11:23pm IST

MYSORE: Dasara could be the best opportunity for the defence forces to showacse their mighty machines. If the Indian Air Force (IAF) is flying

over a dozen aircraft at the Dasara air show on Thursday, the Army is preparing to stage an impressive display of heavy artilleries and warfare machines.

There will be anti-aircraft gun, T-72 and BMP war tanks. More alluring could be prototype of Tejas, the light combat aircraft, pilot-less Nishanth, the surveillance aircraft, and Laksh, the pilotless target aircraft (PTA).

The anti-aircraft gun and T-72 tank will be taken in a Dasara procession on September 28 while others will be on display at Dasara exhibition grounds from Saturday. The exhibition is the second biggest draw after Jumboo Savari. Though the Dasara officials tried to get the armed forces contingent for the procession, it could not be accommodated since the caravan's movement is not timed.

"We are trying to introduce defence technologies, either indegeniously developed or available with us, to the people so that they understand the importance of service of the defence forces," former MLC G Madhusudana said on Wednesday.

The `Know your defence' exhibition will have the participation of ADE, DRDO and HAL. The ISRO and BEML, which provide useful technologies to man Indian borders, will also be there.

The DRDO is bringing in the missile technologies it has developed over the years, former MLC, who heads the armed forces committee, told reporters. "We tried to get the marching contingent but the Army conveyed to us that they should have their command at the Jumboo Savari," he stated.

Entry to the defence expo, held between 11 am and 4 pm, at the Dasara exhibition grounds is free. The Karnataka Exhibition Authority will not charge for the entry, Madhusudana explained. The expo is on till October 2.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/news/city/mysore/Showacse-of-mighty-machines/articleshow/5048314.cms

* Nitish for military officers' training academy in Gaya

STAFF WRITER 19:43 HRS IST

Patna, Sept 23 (PTI) Bihar government today assured all help for construction of India's third military officers' training academy in Gaya.

During a meeting with defence ministry officials here, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar urged them not to shift the existing Army Service Centre from Gaya to Bangalore.

The defence officials said there was a proposal to upgrade the facilities of the Army hospital in Gaya with increasing the number of beds from 92 to 150 and set up a modern operation theatre.

Defence officials were here to discuss the issue with the chief minister in the wake of his demand to Defence Minister A K Antony over opening an officers' training academy and cancelling the plan to shift the Army Service Centre from Gaya.

The country has two such academies in Chennai and Dehradun.

http://www.ptinews.com/news/296873_Nitish-for-military-officers--training-academy-in-Gaya

Name cleared, Army officer seeks promotion

Gautam Datt

First Published : 23 Sep 2009 12:30:00 AM IST

NEW DELHI: The commanding officer of a forward post on the Line of Control, which was attacked nine years ago by Pakistanis who killed seven Indian troops in the bloodiest raid after the Kargil war, is back in reckoning for promotion after winning a prolonged court battle over a tarnished confidential report holding him responsible for the incident.

Colonel Sandes was the commanding officer of 17 Maratha Light Infantry from July 1997 to March 2000 which was responsible for manning Ashok listening post in the Rajouri sector. He had recommended that the post should be withdrawn because of its “extreme vulnerability” to enemy attack.

The attack took place on February 27, 2000 in which seven Indian troops were killed and one Junior Commissioned Officer went missing.

After the major embarrassment, as the head of an Indian soldier was displayed as prized possession in Pakistan and its pictures were splashed all over the local press, the Army ordered a court of inquiry into the incident. The confidential report of Colonel Sandes blamed him for “command failure”, a very serious offence in the Army.

The officer took the legal course and in 2008 got a reprieve from the Delhi High Court which quashed the confidential report.

The Army headquarters appealed against the order in the Supreme Court.

But on September 4, 2009, the apex court dismissed the Special Leave Petition of the Government. The officer is now in race for promotion to the rank of Brigadier.

Colonel Sandes was due for promotion three years ago but missed the bus because of the court proceedings, said his counsel T K Joseph. The Army’s court of inquiry had not blamed him for the attack on the post. According to the court of inquiry, the isolated posts should have been backed by adequate protection in the form of surveillance devices and strengthened by deploying service weapons.

The guerilla attack on Ashok listening post was hailed as a victory in Pakistan. As it has now come out, one of the attackers was Ilyas Kashmiri, a Harkat-ul-Jihad al- Islami commander who was killed in Pakistan in a US drone attack. He became a local hero and was even rewarded by the former President Pervez Musharraf who was the Army Chief at that time.

Colonel Sandes is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, the Defence Services Staff College and the College of Defence Management.

http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/story.aspx?Title=Name+cleared,+Army+officer+seeks+promotion&artid=nNVZRQ9/IC8=&SectionID=b7ziAYMenjw=&MainSectionID=b7ziAYMenjw=&SEO=Kargil+war,+Colonel+Sandes,+T+K+Joseph,+Harkat-ul-&SectionName=pWehHe7IsSU=

Indian Army Chief reassures border with China is safe

Ani

September 23rd, 2009

JAIPUR - Chief of Army Staff General Deepak Kapoor reassured on Wednesday that the country’s border with China is secure.

Recent reports in Indian media said the Chinese troops breached the international border earlier this year in northern Ladakh region and painted ‘China’ on some boulders and rocks.

Reports said the Chinese troops had entered nearly 1.5 kilometres into the Indian territory near Mount Gaya, which is recognised as an international border by both India and China.

The red markings were found around 1.5 to 1.7 kilometres inside the Indian territory.

“The Indian borders are extremely safe. There is nothing to worry that should concern any normal citizen of the country. We are fully alive to any challenges that we may face at any point and there is nothing to worry about,” said General Kapoor on the sidelines of a function in Jaipur city.

China has also denied any border incursions by its troops, and blamed Indian media of trying to stoke tensions.

“The number of transgression is exactly at the same level in comparison to last year and media should not go on overdrive on this sensitive issue. We have a proper mechanism to resolve these incursion issues whenever a violation takes place,” General Kapoor said.

China lays claim to 90,000 sq km of land on the eastern sector of the border in Arunachal Pradesh, earlier known as NEFA (North Eastern Frontier Agency). (ANI)

http://blog.taragana.com/n/indian-army-chief-reassures-border-with-china-is-safe-176583/

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