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Saturday, 17 April 2010

From Today's Papers - 17 Apr 2010

Kashmir Times
Kashmir Times
The Pioneer
Asian Age
Asian Age
The Pioneer
Asian Age
The Pioneer
Telegraph India
Kashmir Times
Asian Age
Asian Age
Telegraph India
Telegraph India
Kashmir Times





Antony: Navy officer had links with a Russian
Tribune News Service  New Delhi, April 16 Defence Minister A K Antony today said a Navy inquiry had established that a senior naval officer had connections with a Russian woman, but it was yet to be proved whether certain security aspects had been compromised or not.  The officer, Commodore Sukhjinder Singh, was in charge of the sea-borne aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov re-fitting project in Russia between 2005 and 2007. He was briefly part of the cost negotiation committee, too . Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the two-day Unified Commanders Conference, Antony said: “The Navy has completed one part of its investigations and the second part of the investigation, they have just started…. That particular man (Commodore Singh) had some relations with the other side... a lady. That part has been established. Nothing beyond that is proved so far. As the investigation is not complete, I am not jumping the gun.”  A decision was expected once the Navy completed its investigation, Antony said, while maintaining that the Navy was taking special care to speed up the inquiry and it would be premature on his part to jump to any conclusion.  The Navy submitted its Board of Inquiry report on the episode yesterday. It began the probe after it received a set of “objectionable” photographs of the officer along with a Russian woman a week ago. Sources say even if there has been no security leak, the officer will face action for moral turpitude -- having an illicit relationship with a woman. The officer possibly did not have access to documents which can be classified sensitive, added the sources.  After his Russian tenure, Commodore Singh returned to India as Principal Director of Aircraft Carrier Project before he was transferred to the Directorate General of Quality Assurance in the Capital late last year. Last month, the Cabinet Committee on Security gave its nod to sign a deal with Russia for raising the price of the carrier to $ 2.33 billion (about Rs 11,000 crore). Originally, India had purchased the 45,000-tonne warship at $974 million.  Top                     PM set up GoM on legal reforms Bill  Legal Correspondent  New Delhi, April 16 Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has set up a Group of Ministers (GoM) to go into the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill following serious differences within the Cabinet over the proposed legislation.  Besides Law Minister M Veerappa Moily, other members of the GoM are Sharad Pawar (Agriculture), P Chidambaram (Home) and Kapil Sibal (HRD), official sources said today.  The Bill, which is part of the ongoing legal reforms, is aimed at ensuring speedy disposal of cases, besides transparency and accountability in the judicial system. The draft Bill had generated a heated debate at a recent meeting of the Cabinet whose approval had been sought by the Law Ministry for moving it in Parliament. The meeting then decided to refer it to a GoM.  Among the provisions, on which there was no consensus, were an inquiry procedure for looking into complaints against Judges and a 90-day deadline for delivery of judgments from the date courts reserved their orders, sources said. Also, proposed deadline for verdicts was resented by the judiciary that viewed it as an infringement on its independence.  Sources said the GoM was expected to iron out differences in the shortest possible time as not only Moily but also the PM was keen on cleaning up the image of the judiciary that had come under cloud of late following a series of complaints - be it the impeachment move against Karnataka Chief Justice PD Dinakaran and Calcutta HC Judge Soumitra Sen or PF scam in Uttar Pradesh.








Prepare to counter cyber attacks: Antony to armed forces
Press Trust of India / New Delhi April 16, 2010, 16:36 IST  In the wake of reports of Chinese hackers stealing vital data from Indian defence and diplomatic computer networks, Defence Minister A K Antony today asked the armed forces to coordinate closely with other cyber security agencies to prepare a crisis management action plan against cyber terrorism.  The minister noted that cyber-space had emerged as an important medium for information sharing, but at the same time the existing technology was susceptible to misuse by anti-social and anti-national elements.  "Of late, extraordinary and unprecedented cyber crimes have taken place across the globe, exposing gap holes in cyber security systems," Antony told the armed forces Unified Commanders' Conference here.  "Although Defence Services at all levels have taken steps to counter cyber threat through stringent implementation of cyber security policy, there is still a requirement to ensure that all loopholes are suitably plugged. A few recent cases are reminders of our own vulnerabilities," he said.  Close interaction with national agencies like Computer and Emergency Response Team (CERT), NTRO, Home and IT Ministries to prepare a crisis management action plan for countering cyber attacks and cyber terrorism is essential, he said inaugurating the conference.  Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju, Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman and IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal P V Naik, Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma, Army Chief General V K Singh, Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar and Chief of Integrated Staff Committee Air Marshal S C Mukul were also present on the occasion.  Expressing happiness over the progress made to improve jointness among armed forces in various spheres, Antony said increasing involvement of Integrated Defence Service headquarters in defence issues, the functioning of Andaman and Nicobar Command and the progress of Strategic Forces Command were a few examples of the success of the inter-operability concept.  He said the future of optimal military power lay in joint operations.  "Towards this end, the first-ever Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan for 2012–27 is nearing completion under the aegis of IDS headquarters. Once finalised, it would be yet another milestone in our progress towards jointness," he said.  Referring to the use of large-scale energy resources in the armed forces and availability of alternative sources of energy, Antony called upon the top brass to bring about strict energy conservation discipline.  Regarding the armed forces modernisation, Antony assured the commanders that there would never be a paucity of funds.  However, he asked them to control the revenue expenditure by adopting various mechanisms such as increased use of technology, integration of the three Services, adopting joint training and procedures, and uniform inventories.  The Defence Minister said there also existed considerable scope for improving the quality and efficacy of defence expenditure through increased private sector engagement, import substitution and indigenisation, improvement in procedures and practices and better project management within the parameters of the government's policies.







Over 110 IAS, IPS officers facing criminal charges
Press Trust of India / New Delhi April 16, 2010, 15:52 IST  Over 110 officers from IAS and IPS are facing trial on criminal charges in CBI cases, the government said today.  In a written reply to Rajya Sabha, Minister of State in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Prithviraj Chavan said 84 IAS officers and 33 IPS officers are "facing trial on criminal charges in CBI cases as on March 31, 2010."  Twenty-one cases are being investigated against IAS and six against IPS officers by CBI as on March 31, he said. The minister said 15 IAS officers and one IPS officer are being investigated by the CBI under the Prevention of Corruption Act.  Chavan said the government has taken several steps to restore public confidence in IAS and IPS officers.  "These include speedy trial of corruption cases through setting up of special CBI courts, conducting disciplinary proceedings against the delinquent officers in a time bound manner, inculcating appropriate values, introducing mid-career mandatory training programme for IAS officers, recognising and rewarding good performers by instituting the PM's awards of excellence," Chavan said.







Maoist-shy army prefers Games toilet
OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT A security person stands guard during the inauguration of a venue for the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi  New Delhi, April 16: The army is enthusiastic about taking command of the Commonwealth Games to be held in Delhi in another five-and-a-half months in sharp contrast to its reluctance to go into battle against Maoists in the Dantewada jungles.  Among the responsibilities the army is prepared to take in the Games are such challenging tasks as guest management, venue management, management of toilet facilities, spectator services and opening and closing ceremonies.  A section of the top brass has proposed deploying nearly 500 officers and soldiers in the Games management hierarchy following a request by Suresh Kalmadi, the chairperson of the Commonwealth Games organising committee.  But the defence ministry is miffed with the campaign mounted for such a move after former generals in the Games’ organising body — including a former vice-chief of the army — began pulling strings through the old boys’ network to involve the army because its management is in a shambles.  “We have constituted a task force (after receiving the Games request) that will make a realistic evaluation of the service to be given by the armed forces in the national effort to host the Games,” a source in the defence ministry said. The task force includes the vice-chief of naval staff, Vice-Admiral Dalip Kumar Dewan, who also heads the Services Sports Control Board, and joint secretary (training) in the ministry, Upamanyu Chatterjee. They will give a report to the cabinet secretary who has called a meeting next week to review the preparations for the Games.  As soon as the request from Kalmadi was received, a department in the army prepared a powerpoint presentation in which it listed how the officers and soldiers could be involved. The Games management is desperately short of staff (nearly 600 vacancies) and the army is acting on Kalmadi’s proposal by suggesting that it will not only fill up the vacancies but also take charge with a deep involvement in an event “in which the nation’s prestige is at stake”, an officer said.  The officer explained that the Games request had come because of the army’s experience in hosting the Military World Games in Hyderabad and Mumbai in October 2007 in which 101 countries were represented, making it the largest sporting event (in terms of participating countries) to be held in India. About 50 countries are expected to participate in the Games this year.  For the army, the experience in counterinsurgency teaches lessons that are different from those learnt from managing an event of fun and games likely to be opened by the queen of England.  Just this morning, defence minister A.K. Antony repeated that the involvement of the armed forces in counter-Maoist operations was still an open question being dealt with by the Prime Minister and the Union home ministry.  In response to a question on the justification to use airpower, the defence minister said: “The government will take a decision after considering all aspects.”  Asked if that meant a possibility of deployment of the armed forces was still there, Antony replied: “Our Prime Minister has taken a decision that regarding the ‘Maoist thing’, the MHA (ministry of home affairs) is the nodal point. So I am not here to have a public debate on this. I can only say the government will take an appropriate decision after considering everything.”  But last week after the killing of 75 CRPF troopers in Dantewada, army chief General V.K. Singh had practically ruled out deployment of troops in the hinterland in an offensive “against our own people”.  Apart from former army vice-chief (who was also the engineer-in-chief), Lt General (retired) Noble Thamburaj, there are at least three other lieutenant generals, including a former deputy chief, in the top management of the Commonwealth Games. Lt General Shammi Dhillon is Kalmadi’s chief of staff, Lt General Raj Kadyan, a former deputy chief, is in charge of the queen’s baton relay, Lt General Ashok Kapur, a former chief of staff at the Pune-based southern command, is in charge of the Games village and Lt General Vasudev is in charge of venue management.







JI for review of defence policy
Saturday, April 17, 2010 By Our Correspondent  LAHORE  JAMAAT-E-ISLAMI Ameer Syed Muanwwar Hasan has called for reviewing country’s defence policy, making it subservient to national requirements and Pakistan ideology instead of US agenda.  The present defence policy of the country only serves the US interests and the government and the armed forces must review it, he said while delivering the Friday sermon at Mansoorah masjid.  He termed the Washington Nuclear Security Summit an attempt to corner Pakistan and to snatch our nuclear assets, saying it was fortunate that Prime Minister had not signed any ill-conceived pact. He said nuclear programmes of India and Israel were a threat to Pakistan and the Muslim world.  Therefore, this country should reject every pressure to sign the NPT.  Syed Munawwar Hasan welcomed the military exercises, as these inculcated faith, piety and Jehad’s spirit among the army men. However, he said the nation should be informed who was the target of these preparations.  He said the nation had deep love for its armed forces but if these served the US agenda, this would create problems.  He lamented that for the last eight years, Pakistan was acting as US hanger-on and providing logistic support and other facilities to the US and NATO forces and Pakistan’s most sensitive airports were under the US use.  This was a cause of unrest for the nation.  The Jaccobabad airport, which was of strategic importance with reference to India, Iran and India, was still under the US control although it must be retrieved in the larger national interest.  Syed Munawwar Hasan termed the ban on Al-Rashid Trust and Al-Akhtar Trust another proof of US hostility towards Islam.  He said both these institutions were working strictly under the law and the allegations of their contacts with the Al-Qaeda were baseless. Various agencies had thoroughly investigated the affairs of these institutions and had found nothing illegal.  He said these institutions had rendered great services for the refugees and the quack affected people and were also imparting quality education to their students which was not acceptable to the US.  The JI chief warned the rulers of strong public reaction if the problems of price, loadshedding and oppression were not solved promptly.








Forces need action plan to fight cyber attacks: Antony
TNN, Apr 17, 2010, 02.38am IST NEW DELHI: The armed forces should be capable of fighting enemies both in the real and virtual battlefields.  This was defence minister A K Antony's message on Friday, in the backdrop of the spurt in online espionage attacks from China.  Armed forces need to prepare "a crisis management action plan", in close conjunction with agencies like National Technical Research Organisation and Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) as well as ministries like home affairs and communications, to counter cyber attacks and cyber-terrorism, said Antony.  Addressing the unified commanders' conference, he said, "Of late, extraordinary and unprecedented cyber crimes have taken place across the globe, exposing gaping holes in cyber-security systems."  "Although the defence services have taken steps at all levels to counter cyber-threats through stringent implementation of cyber-security policies, there is still a requirement to ensure that all loopholes are suitably plugged. A few recent cases are reminders of our own vulnerabilities," he added.  As was first reported by TOI, the Army-CERT last month sounded a high alert to all military installations to guard against "focused large-scale cyber attacks" that are being planned on "internet facing" government organisations and corporate groups from March 31 onwards. China has made cyber-warfare one of its topmost military priorities, with Chinese hackers regularly breaking into sensitive computer networks of countries like US, UK, Germany and India. In December last year, Chinese online espionage agents had even tried to penetrate computers in the Indian NSA's office. THE TIMES OF INDIA Powered by INDIATIMES







Defence without money, a mere pipedream?
http://tribune.com.pk/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/fbokhari.jpg  Farhan Bokhari is a defence analyst and writes for The Financial Times. By Farhan Bokhari April 17, 2010  Share                  Printer Friendly  Email  Comments       Karachi: The Pakistan Army’s “Azm-i-nau” or “new resolve” war games that kicked off last week must be acknowledged as a vital measure, necessary to secure key interests versus a grim reminder of its dissociation from a rapidly faltering country.  The ongoing exercise the largest of its kind since the much publicised “zarb-i-momin” or “strike of the faithful” under the former army chief General Aslam Beg, seeks a renewed focus on defensive action in the Pakistani plains along the eastern Indian border.  Pakistan has fought 3 major wars with India here including the 1971 campaign to save the then West Pakistan province after the fall of the eastern wing. It is true that much water has passed under the bridge since the last all out Indo-Pak encounter of 1971. Besides, a combination of people-to-people contacts backed by greater popular awareness of each other has stepped in motion.  But Pakistan’s defence and security planners have good reason to remain on alert, given the large scale build up of Indian armed forces, now emerging as one of the world’s more expense driven outfits. The series of Indian incursions along the line of control in Kashmir right up to Siachen coupled with Pakistan’s reaction in the shape of the Kargil episode continue to point towards an underlying tendency for conflict.  There is little by way of a convincing response to a valid question such as: in the absence of a demonstrable capacity to react, does Pakistan revert to its nuclear option the next time a slice of its territory is run over by Indian forces?  While the threat is real, Pakistan’s ability for adequate preparation to deter the threat continues to be heavily undermined by its failure to secure key domestic components.  The successive government’s failure to revamp the state’s machinery has now overshadowed the military’s ability to keep up with securing Pakistan’s border. Pakistan’s historic democratic deficit also does not help. The military’s past interventions in civilian life continue to fuel periodic expectations from aspiring public leaders.  A country incapable of paying its bills in the face of a dilapidated tax collection system and surrounded by repeated failures to care for its citizens simply will not have the capacity to keep up with its defence related needs.  The matter of this yawning gap between needs and aspirations standing in sharp contrast to resources, is set to become all the more acute as India marches towards the global platform, backed by one of the world’s fastest growing economies and a domestic situation that attracts a growing number of investors.  For cash-strapped Pakistan, maintaining a modern conventional force and internal stability will remain a pipedream.







SBI launches special services for IAF 
Press Trust of India, April 16, 2010 (New Delhi)  The country's largest lender State Bank of India on Friday launched a special concessional banking scheme for the Air Force personnel.  Under the scheme--Defence Salary Package-- Air Force personnel will get facilities such as free draft and free fund transfer from 16,000 branches of the SBI and its associate banks.  "I recommit that SBI would serve the very best we can," SBI chairman OP Bhatt said at the launch of the scheme on Friday in the Capital.  SBI said it plans to add 5,000 ATMs to its existing network of 20,000, which will benefit over a lakh Air Force personnel as the bank intends to locate a large number of them near the Air Force formations.  The package also includes unique lifetime account number even after retirement, zero balance account, free mobile banking, preferential allotment to lockers, and cheaper home, car and personal loans among others.  "Our business correspondents appointed in un-banked rural areas will also be available for basic banking requirement of the Air Force and their families," SBI said.  Speaking on the occasion, Air Chief Marshal PV Naik said, "I hope SBI would meet the expectations of the defence personnel," adding he would urge the SBI chairman to translate it into reality at the earliest. A similar package was also signed with the Army and the Navy earlier.



1 comment:

  1. The services officers in Commom Wealth Games can be utilised for Anti Maoist Operations by various state govts,since most of them are senior Generals.Lower rank officers can also be used as advisors in various state govt and MHA.Even CPOs can request services of these retired officers for training and opertional planning.Definitely Army officers are not happy to manage Toilets in CWG Delhi 2010.

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