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Sunday, 31 October 2010

From Today's Papers - 31 Oct 2010

Swedish defence giant seeks more share in India
Tribune News Service New Delhi, October 30 Swedish defence equipment maker,
SAAB, is looking to have a key role in supply of equipment for the three
services - the Army, the Navy and the Air Force. The company that is the one
of the six contenders for the $11-billion deal for fighter aircrafts for the
IAF, is already having tie-up for 'Carl Gustav' rocket launchers for the
Indian Army and the stealth technology radars for the Navy. CEO of SAAB
Håkan Buskhe told reporters that he was looking for further tie-ups and was
in talks with Mahindra and Mahindra in the aviation sector.
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2010/20101031/nation.htm#4
Musharraf's mystique The rugged commando with Machiavellian skills
by Admiral Sushil Kumar (retd) Sandeep Joshi General Pervez Musharraf, the
former Army Chief and President of Pakistan, is like a ghostly radar echo
that appears from nowhere, creates panic and vanishes in a cloud of chaff.
Now it's from London that he has popped up after years in exile and the
subcontinent is buzzing with speculation. Interestingly, he has made a habit
of doing this, each time he is away from his home base in Pakistan. This is
the stuff that the media thrives on and Musharraf has made the most of it.
Remember Kargil? That was when Musharraf made his explosive debut as the
Army Chief of Pakistan in May 1999. The General was away in China,
ostensibly on an official visit, when an intelligence agency managed to
intercept his telephonic conversation with his Chief of General Staff,
Lt-Gen Mohd Aziz Khan in Islamabad. Only then did we come to know that the
multiple intrusions across the Line of Control were part of a sinister
strategic manoeuvre which had been personally planned and orchestrated by
Musharraf with regular Pakistani Army troops masquerading as Mujahideen
freedom fighters. Until the treachery at Kargil was exposed, we had
believed quite foolishly that Pakistan's Army Chief was a sober and plain
thinking commando incapable of intrigue or deception. Kargil unveiled that
façade but more than that it also revealed Musharraf's eccentricity.
Maddened by the failure of his Kargil gamble, he went so far as to blackmail
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and threatened nuclear retaliation against
India. Then quite mysteriously, Musharraf vanished from the scene, leaving a
helpless Prime Minister to sort out the Kargil imbroglio and face the wrath
of the international community. It was from Sri Lanka that Musharraf
hatched his next move. This time around, the radar blip that painted
menacingly on the Air Traffic Controller's panel at Karachi was no illusion
and left Nawaz Sharif dazed with no reaction time for a counter air
operation. Musharraf landed on Pakistani soil and a saddened nation watched
tamely as his loyalists including Lt-Gen Mohd Aziz Khan and Lt-Gen Ahmed
staged a well rehearsed military coup. In his wildest dreams, Prime Minister
Nawaz Sharif may never have expected such betrayal from his favourite
General who had been handpicked by him as the Army Chief of Pakistan.
Having shown his true colours, Musharraf faded into the background and came
forth in his new avatar as the military President of Pakistan. The scheming
General took on the guise of an international peacemaker and joined the
chorus against global terrorism. It was music to our ears and there were
many who even believed that Musharraf was an angel of peace with Kargil and
the military coup being only a fairy tale. This was dramatic irony that
would have sent William Shakespeare into ecstasy. In his transformed
civilian persona, embellished with a stylish Navy salute, Pervez Musharraf
breezed into the Agra Summit in July 2001. He had the air of a seasoned
statesman as he promised peace in the subcontinent with unabashed sincerity.
The rugged Army commando had acquired Machiavellian skills with which he
charmed the media and disarmed our political establishment. Fortunately,
our armed forces were not taken in by this charade and always maintained
that Kargil is the real face of Musharraf. In fact, what is little known is
that Musharraf's obsession with the Line of Control goes back to his days as
a Brigadier when he tried his stunts at the Siachen glacier. In or out of
military uniform, Kashmir has remained the deep-rooted military agenda of
Musharraf and this has been the advice of our Service Chiefs for dealing
with Musharraf. Sadly, this advice went unheeded at the Agra Summit where
Musharraf craftily played his 'Kashmir' card and startled the Indian side as
he merrily stomped out of the meeting with the media fawning over him. Now
alas, it's Musharraf ahoy from London. He has popped up suddenly from out of
the cold, though it's not surprising since the solitude of exile may have
been unbearable for this power-hungry impresario. He is obviously eyeing his
old hunting grounds in the subcontinent in keeping with the Biblical proverb
— where your treasure is, there will also be your heart. Enamoured by
Musharraf's mystique, the media got him on their radar. His pronouncements
on terror sound bizarre coming from someone who skillfully fuelled the
terror network of the subcontinent even as he jumped onto the American
bandwagon. So his penchant of running with the hare and hunting with the
hounds has been stimulated by the current turmoil in Pakistan where
anti-American sentiment is running high and the Taliban with their soulmates
seem to be gathering momentum. With the Pakistan Army chomping at the bit,
his old instincts may have been rekindled. Returning to Islamabad with a
political party in tow may well be a ploy for a soft landing and to pave the
way for another military coup. But does it matter how it happens? When there
was a change of guard in Pakistan last time, Musharraf had flown in from
Colombo; this time it would be from London. Should all this happen, there
may be a silver lining to it. Hopefully, Pakistan may finally have someone
with authority to whom we can talk.
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2010/20101031/edit.htm#2
MoD to issue notice to beneficiaries
Ajay Banerjee Tribune News Service New Delhi, October 30 Even as the
Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and three former chiefs of the armed
forces are under fire for their alleged dubious role in the Adarsh Housing
Society in Colaba Mumbai, the Ministry of Defence has decided to issue
notices to serving officers and functionaries who are among the
beneficiaries of the society. More than 35 of the 103 flats in the upscale
society have been allotted to officers of the Army, the Navy and also
functionaries of the Defence Estates Department. Some of them are still
serving. The notices will ask the officials to explain how they were
allotted the flats and what was the criteria they fulfilled. They will be
questioned about the source of money they used to fund their acquisitions.
Importantly, if any one of them has not listed the flats in the mandatory
annual property returns, the matter will be taken up separately. Sources
confirmed that the questions have been raised on how these officials funded
their flats and these notices will be served next week. Flats were allotted
for Rs 65-70 lakh each by the Adarsh society and the serving officers will
have a lot of explaining to do about the source of money, said a senior
functionary. In case of irregularities disciplinary proceedings under the
Army Act or the Navy Act will be initiated. The market value of each flat is
close to Rs 10 crore as the society is located a stone's throw from major
South Mumbai landmarks like the Taj Hotel and the Gateway of India. It is
one of the costliest piece of real estate in India. The list of
beneficiaries includes several middle level officials of the Army, the Navy
and the Defence Estate Department. The last category happens to be civilian
employees of the ministry and are mandated to look after the huge properties
of the ministry across the country. At present, the list is being
scrutinised to verify all names and their full initials as there could be
officers with the same name working in the two forces. Once that is done,
the officials were be taken to task.
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2010/20101031/main2.htm
World's big enough for India and China: Wen
'There is enough space in the world for India and China to achieve common
development ... to have cooperation,' Wen said at the beginning of a meeting
with Singh on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific summit in Hanoi. CJ: Vijay
Singh Fri, Oct 29, 2010 17:33:07 IST Views: 18 Comments: 0 Rate: 1 out
of 5 2 out of 5 3 out of 5 4 out of 5 5 out of 5 0.0 / 0 votes
CHINESE PREMIER Wen Jiabao told Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday
the world was big enough for their two countries to develop and cooperate,
sounding a positive note ahead of a visit planned for later this year. The
world's most populous countries have engaged in repeated diplomatic sparring
over the last two years, reflecting growing friction over their disputed
borders and roles as emerging global powers despite bilateral trade that has
grown 30-fold since 2000. "There is enough space in the world for India
and China to achieve common development ... to have cooperation," Wen said
at the beginning of a meeting with Singh on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific
summit in Hanoi. "We must strive to ensure the sound and steady growth of
our relationship," he said. Wen said his "preliminary consideration" was
that he would visit India later this year. "To make the visit a productive
one, we will discuss and reach consensus on some major aspects to lay a
foundation for the visit." That visit, which Indian media said would take
place in December, would follow a visit to India by U.S. President Barack
Obama in early November on a trip that will also take Obama to Indonesia,
South Korea and Japan. Some commentators have portrayed the tour as a
White House effort to counterbalance China's influence in Asia, which has
worried Indian officials. But Obama's aides said the administration's
strategy is to develop both relationships. China defeated India in a 1962
war, but they still spar over their disputed 3,500 km (2,170 mile) border
and the presence of exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, in
India. China's support for India's arch-enemy Pakistan, which backs
separatists in disputed Kashmir and also claims the Himalayan region in
full, has added to the suspicion.
http://www.merinews.com/article/worlds-big-enough-for-india-and-china-wen/15
834010.shtml

Adarsh Society scam: Former Army chiefs give up flats
NDTV Correspondent, Updated: October 31, 2010 00:32 IST Ads by Google
Luxury Home Doors Windows – European Quality. Made for India. India's #1
Window & Door Company www.Fenesta.com New Delhi: Former Army chiefs
General N C Vij and Deepak Kapoor have said they are surrendering their
flats from the scam-tainted Adarsh Housing Society. General Vij said he is
also giving up the membership of society. "I have written to the Adarsh
Society that I am giving up the membership with immediate effect. I have
also informed the Defence Minister of my decision," he told NDTV. General
Vij also said had purchased a flat in the Society in Mumbai after retirement
without knowing that they were meant for war widows. * Share this on
Rediff.com Rediff.com * NDTVTwitter * NDTVNDTV Social * Share
with MessengerLive Messenger * NDTVGmail Buzz * NDTVPrint He has
favoured an investigation into the whole episode to punish the guilty. "I
applied for the flat after I had retired and at that time, but I had no idea
that it was meant for war widows and Kargil heroes... having discovered
this, I discussed it with Admiral Madhavendra Singh and General Deepak
Kapoor and jointly decided to surrender the flat," Vij told reporters in New
Delhi. In a joint statement released by Singh on Friday, the three former
services chiefs had said they would return the flats if they were meant for
war heroes and their families. Asked if he is open for any probe into the
alleged scam, Vij said, "Let there be investigations and the facts of the
case be ascertained." "I have decided to return the flat to the authorities
concerned," he said adding, "I don't want to be even remotely associated
with this and deprive the war widows of their right." Asked if the whole
episode had hurt the image of the armed forces, the former Army chief said,
"It does hurt the morale of the armed forces." Meanwhile, former Navy Vice
Chief Vice Admiral R P Suthan has said he was allotted the flat in 2004 but
he pulled out of the scheme after the Housing Society failed to show him the
documents related to the building. A controversy has erupted over how the
Adarsh society in upscale Colaba, originally meant to be a six-storey
structure to house Kargil war heroes and widows, got converted into a
31-storey building. The high-rise is built on 6,450 sq metres within the
Colaba naval area and was cleared on the condition of housing war veterans
but now has 104 members including senior Army commanders, a former
environment minister, legislators and state bureaucrats.
http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/adarsh-society-scam-former-army-chiefs-giv
e-up-flat-63509

With 7,000 sq km, defence ministry owns land equal to 5 Delhis
Rajat Pandit, TNN, Oct 31, 2010, 04.14am IST NEW DELHI: Land scams and
defence often go together. The defence ministry, after all, owns a
staggering 17.3 lakh acres of land around the country. That is little over
7,000 sq km. Or, about the size of five Delhis (new, old and rural) put
together. Defence, railways and ports, in fact, are the largest landowners
in India. Yes, the defence land includes airbases, firing ranges, dockyards
and other crucial military establishments. But, from the famous sprawling
maidan in front of Victoria Memorial in Kolkata, the huge Delhi Cantonment
and the Navy Nagar in tony south Mumbai to hill stations like Dalhousie,
Lansdowne and Kasauli, MoD also owns some pretty prime property across the
country. So, it's no wonder that all this land attracts gleeful
unscrupulous elements, both from within and outside, who are eager to grab,
misappropriate or encroach some chunks of this precious commodity. In fact,
a defence minister not so long ago had send shivers down the military ranks
by obliquely suggesting the sale of large parts of defence land, with the
unstated intention of raking in the moolah. While the 17.3 lakh acres of
defence land is managed by the three Services and other organisations like
Ordnance Factory Board, Defence Research and Development Organisation and
others, the 1.13-million strong Army is by far the biggest land-holder. The
Army has 13.79 lakh acres under its control and management, while the much
smaller IAF has 1.51 lakh acres and Navy 0.37 lakh acres. Of the total 17.3
lakh acres, around 2 lakh acres lie within the 62 cantonments in 19 states.
There is even a big Directorate General of Defence Estates for "advisory and
executive functions" in matters relating to defence lands and civic
administration in cantonments. Apart from huge land holdings, the armed
forces also have veto powers on land sale or construction activities near
their stations on grounds of security. Take, for instance, the recent
infamous Sukna land scam case, in which four generals were indicted. The
case revolved around the alleged conspiracy to aid the transfer of a 71-acre
tea estate adjacent to the Sukna military station in Darjeeling district to
a real estate developer, who was a family friend of one of the generals.
Then, there are several instances of defence land being misused. The
continuing saga of the swanky Santushti shopping complex, the haunt of the
rich and the famous just down the road from the PM's official residence in
the Capital, is one of the examples. The latest CAG report slams MoD and
IAF for blatantly violating all rules and regulations in managing Santushti,
with its 43 shops, which was established by the Air Force Wives Welfare
Association (AWWA) on defence land in 1985 with the ostensible purpose to
help needy military personnel and their families. But the "irregular
allotment" of many shops to fashion designers, businesswomen and other
gliterrati has "defeated the welfare objectives of providing assistance to
ex-servicemen, war widows, disabled military pensioners and the like", said
CAG. Shades of the Adarsh scam?
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/With-7000-sq-km-defence-ministry-ow
ns-land-equal-to-5-Delhis/articleshow/6844419.cms

'Are we going to fight Pakistan with the US'
Raman Puri, 30-Oct-2010 10:16:30 AM FacebookTwitterDiggLinked
InGoogleDeliciousStumbleuponShare on rediff.com Font Size: Increase Font
Size Decrease Font Size Keywords: India-US defence ties | | See Full Image
US President Barack Obama greets India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (L)
at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington US President Barack Obama
greets India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (L) at the Nuclear Security
Summit in Washington Vice Admiral Raman Puri asks hard questions about
India-US defence ties The Indian experience of buying weapons from America
is not smooth. We have recently found problems in weapons-locating radars of
the United States. The American transfer of technology means that they will
build, they will sell the item and keep you on a short leash as far as spare
parts and support system are concerned. My contention is that as long as we
don't have a deep political understanding with the US, it is not advisable
to get into a deep defence relationship. The Asia Pacific is America's
concern, but India's concern is Pakistan, Afghanistan and China. Why do we
need certain defence agreements with US that give us inter-operability in
far away shores? Further, growing Indo-US defense ties suggest that the
Indian government has given up on the goal of self-reliance. It is now
merely a political slogan. Their excuse is lame. They say the Defense
Research and Development Organisation has not delivered. I don't think
critics of the DRDO have analysed what is not delivered. There is no synergy
in the ministry of defence. There is no synergy between the decision-making
structures of the government. Army headquarter is one silo, the naval and
air force headquarters are separate silos. The ministry of defence works on
its own. There is a very loose coordination attempted at the individual
level without a formal structure. There is a firewall between the production
and the research side of the weapons making systems. There is hardly any
mission statement from the armed forces. That doesn't come because you don't
have a national security strategy and its stated goals. 'Army's shopping
from the US doesn't make sense' The Indian army's shopping from the US or
Israel doesn't make sense because our army has not issued a mission
statement yet. I think our so-called shopping of state-of-the-art weapons
don't make sense till the National Security Council and the office of
Chairman, Chief of Defense Staff function in coordination. Both these
institutions are resisted or just ignored. The Indian armed forces are
apolitical; why there should not be a chief of defence staff? How will he
become more powerful than politicians? Today in cyber warfare, we don't
have joint strategies of the three wings. I have seen meetings between the
chiefs of the three defence wings. They don't produce any doctrines. They
function on a limited agenda. When the issue of buying of defense equipment
from America comes, they talk about 'latest' and 'high technology.' These
are just subjective words. What India needs is to fight efficiently with its
competitors. We are not in competition with the US or Europe. We are and we
should compare ourselves with our neighbours. I have not read a
professional joint mission need of Indian forces in 40 years. So, who is
pushing the forces to buy such costly arms? 'Why should we go for American
aircraft' In absence of solid internal defence coordination of the three
wings of the air force, army and navy, how can India sign the Communication
Interoperability & Security Memorandum of Agreement, Logistics Support
agreement, End Users Agreement kind of pacts with America? Some of these
agreements will allow the inter-operability of Indian forces with the US,
but what about inter-operability within our own forces? If we sign such
agreements with the US then we will need double set of equipments: One to
read American algorithms and one to read ours. Why do we need
inter-operability that the Americans want so much? Are we going to fight
with Pakistan or any other country along with the US? Surely, we don't want
to join American forces doing the dirty work of intervention operations? The
Indian armed forces should remain independent of such tie-ups, which are not
backed by political understanding of the highest order. In my assessment
all that the Indian defence forces need is updated Sukhoi- 30s and Light
Combat Aircraft. We should keep modernising the LCAs; they are as good as
the Mirage 2000. Why should we go for American- made 126 Medium Multi-Role
Combat Aircraft? Each US-made MMRCA will cost us over $ 70 million while the
LCA cost us only $ 26 million. Why should we spend so much money? Of course,
we have problems with our LCA but we should be working to solve that. Why
should we be so keen to become dependent? And, remember, when you build the
LCA indigenously, you are building an institution. I can say only that I
disagree with my own community when they want to go for US- or Israel-made
weapons and completely bind themselves with them. I know for sure that in
2003 the Air Force only wanted the Mirage 2000. Why don't you upgrade it? I
think that is what the Indian Air Force needs to fight China, Pakistan or
any other neighbour if need be. The Indian government doesn't have second
professional advice. It is totally in the hands of service chiefs who many
times don't agree with each other. That disturbs the country's research and
development and upsets production infrastructure. 'India and US' political
goals do not match' In India, there is no systematic method to produce
joint mission requirements. We don't draw joint technological plans with
long-term perspectives. India doesn't have a technological commission to
cater to needs of the defence services. At this rate, in the long term, our
dependence on the US will increase. Indian taxpayers will pay much more than
what you should be paying for the capabilities being created. I think we
will feel sorry when we have to use those capabilities. Importantly, if the
US and India's political goals do not match, then US made equipment
capabilities will be much reduced, with problems of spare parts, upgradation
and other legal restrictions on technologies. There are many lobbies
working around in New Delhi representing the British, French, Americans,
Russians, etc. I believe they should not influence us. Even foreign aircraft
come only after 10 or so years don't blame indigenous efforts to develop
them that take that kind of time. Second, we must see what we can afford.
Three, we should not have a fetish for state-of-the-art equipment if we can
mange with what we have or what we can get with help of the DRDO. Also, is
what you are buying really state of the art? I don't think so. I have seen
negotiations for a few things going on for decades, still you say you are
buying the latest! We have made ballistic missiles to ballistic missiles
systems. I don't think there is any technology left that doesn't go into
that system. 'We must promote self-reliance' The American system of
selling weapons to India under Foreign Military Sales has kept middlemen
away, but I don't think it's helpful in getting access to spares and other
services. I think CISMOA should be a no-go area for Indian defense services.
Being poor is no crime. But being a slave is a crime. How can you file
status report to Americans under the LSA? On one side we are losing
politically when in Af-Pak policy the Americans keep India out while
allowing Pakistan to have strategic depth, but still we want to sign defence
agreements with them. I agree that the US is a powerful country. We should
have defence ties with it. But we must promote self-reliance. China is doing
today what it wants because it's not dependent on others. You can't be even
a sub-regional power if you are totally dependent on outside powers for your
weapons. We can't even have military diplomacy. Also, China's official
defense budget is three times our own and their procurement costs are much
lower than ours because they have much greater levels of indigenisation. So,
when we are buying from abroad our needs cannot clearly help to bridge the
growing asymmetries in capability. We must be cautious of the factor of
affordability when planning to buy from America or any other country. We
have to choose appropriate strategies to meet our mission needs and not some
hypothetical 'state-of-the-art' printed in the brochure of weapons
manufacturing companies. As told to Sheela Bhatt
http://www.mynews.in/News/are_we_going_to_fight_pakistan_with_the_us_N104848
.html

I have returned the Adarsh flat, says former Navy chief Agencies,
30-Oct-2010 10:59:03 PM FacebookTwitterDiggLinked
InGoogleDeliciousStumbleuponShare on rediff.com Font Size: Increase Font
Size Decrease Font Size Keywords: Adarsh Society | apartments | VIPs |
Adarsh Housing Society | Mumbai | former Navy chief Admiral Madhavendra
Singh | I have returned the Adarsh flat, says former Navy chief I have
returned the Adarsh flat, says former Navy chief New Delhi: Amid a
controversy over allotment of apartments to former heads of services among
other VIPs in the Adarsh Housing Society in Mumbai, former Navy chief
Admiral Madhavendra Singh today said he had returned the flat. "What more
do you want us to do?" he told CNN-IBN. He further said, "I have returned
the flat. The moment I found that it was not meant for us but was meant for
war widows, I have returned it. Now it is up to the Society to decide what
they want to do with it." A controversy has erupted over how the Adarsh
Society in upscale Colaba, originally meant to be a six-storey structure to
house Kargil war heroes and widows, got converted into a 31-storey building.
"The inquiries are on...whatever the inquiries establish, we will see,"
Singh said.
http://www.mynews.in/News/i_have_returned_the_adarsh_flat_says_former_navy_c
hief_N105093.html

Saturday, 30 October 2010

From Today's Papers - 30 Oct 2010





Adarsh Housing Scam Probe hints at criminal conspiracy Involvement of Army,
Navy officers not ruled out by MoD investigation
Tribune News Service New Delhi, October 29 An investigation by the Ministry
of Defence has "prima facie" found a "criminal conspiracy" in the
scam-tainted Adarsh housing project, Mumbai, in which the involvement of a
few officers of the Army and the Navy at some stage has not been ruled out.
Notably, the land where the society has come up was meant for the
construction of a hostel for the daughters of serving officers. However, the
Ministry was yet to study if any of the beneficiaries among the forces
reflected their prime acquisitions ― worth crores in the open market ― in
their annual property returns. Not only former chiefs, middle-level officers
in the rank of Lt Colonel of the Army or Lt Commander of the Navy were on
the list. Some below officer ranks of the Navy, too, were beneficiaries.
Each flat's cost was around Rs 70 lakh and the allottees were required to
show their source of income and the property had to be shown while filing
returns, as mandated by the government rules. Valued at some Rs 500 crore,
the land is located in posh Colaba area of south Mumbai ― was in "de
facto" possession of the Army, sources pointed out while making it clear
that they do not have access to the revenue records of Maharashtra. Listing
out the details, sources said the land had a chequered past. In the late
1940s, the Maharashtra government ― under British Rule then ― wanted land
that was in the possession of the Army in Santa Cruz for an expressway and
in lieu the state was to give equal land or its market value in Colaba.
During that period, there was some construction of the Army on this very
land in Colaba. In 1964, the Collector of Mumbai wrote to the Defence
authorities, saying "Colaba land cannot be given (to the Army)", says
internal reports of the Ministry. In 1996, an eco park was inaugurated by
the DG infantry. A boundary wall was also constructed by the MES and the
Army was in a way "having control over the land". It was only in 2003
that the Defence Estates wrote to the Collector saying "the Army interests
were superior to any other". However, a NoC was issued to the builder. The
Ministry is trying to ascertain who cleared the NoC. The other angle is the
security issue ― to see if the building was a risk to the high-value
security assets on the coast.
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2010/20101030/nation.htm#1




BRO looks to private sector for support Airlifting men, material to remote
areas

Vijay Mohan Tribune News Service Chandigarh, October 29 With the Air Force
unable to provide adequate airlift support to the Border Roads Organisation
(BRO) to ferry men and equipment to remote areas, the BRO is looking at
outsourcing its requirements to civilian aviation companies.
Directorate-General, Border Roads, is in the process of finalising a
contract with public sector helicopter operator Pawan Hans for leasing at
least two medium-lift helicopters to meet its operational commitments. The
Ministry of Defence has also suggested that the BRO tap private sector in
this regard. Prevailing geo-political situation in India's neighbourhood
and the infrastructural development being undertaken by some neighbours
close to borders have given rise to the need to develop an effective road
and communication network in the border areas. At present, the IAF is sole
organisation providing rotary wing airlift facilities to the BRO. Against a
demand for airlift of about 4,000 tonne of load by helicopter for the year
2010-11 by the BRO, the IAF has been able to allocate a task of only about
900 tonne. According to available figures, the BRO had placed a requisition
order of 1,250 tonne till July this year, out of which just 142 tonne or 11
per cent, was airlifted. The BRO has projected a demand for at least five
helicopters this year in addition to the facilities the air force is already
giving it, failing which its projects would suffer. The BRO is responsible
for the construction and maintenance of strategic roads in the country's
border regions and the development of vital infrastructure in remote areas
can be attributed to it. The BRO has been consistently allotted air effort
much less that its requirements as the IAF does not has the requisite rotary
wing assets to meet the demands of agencies like the BRO. The situation is
expected to ease somewhat once the proposed 80 medium-lift helicopters being
procured by the IAF begin to arrive. Besides routine air maintenance to the
mountainous frontiers in the northern and eastern sectors and other
operational tasks, the IAF is also committed to meet certain requirements
for the civilian populace of Jammu and Kashmir and some northeastern states.
It is now also being roped in for anti-naxal operations that constrained the
withdrawal of its helicopters deployed overseas on the UN peacekeeping
missions. Keeping in view the long-term requirements, the Border Roads
Development Board is also mulling the option of the BRO procuring its own
helicopters, which could be maintained and operated by Pawan Hans, but
dedicated to meet the BRO's operational requirements.
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2010/20101030/nation.htm#15
Chinese Premier to visit in Dec Ruchika M. Khanna In Hanoi
Tribune News Service PM may meet Hillary Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is
likely to meet US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Hanoi on Saturday on
the sidelines of the East Asia Summit. October 29 Chinese Prime Minister
Wen Jiabao would be visiting India, possibly in the third week of December
to resolve outstanding issues that are bedevilling the relationship between
the two countries. Announcing this during the meeting with Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh, the Chinese premier hoped that both sides will be able to
"reach a consensus on some major aspects so as to lay a foundation for the
visit". This announcement by the Chinese premier set the mood for the
meeting between the two leaders, especially in the backdrop of the uneasy
relationship between the two countries. It also opened the scope for a
full-fledged dialogue between the two sides on all core issues. Recognising
the importance to cooperate and coexistence so ás to grow together, Wen
said to Manmohan Singh, "You have said on many occasions that there is
enough space in the world for India and China to achieve common development.
On top of your remarks, I add that there is enough space in the world for
India and China to cooperate". During the meeting, both the prime
ministers resolved to achieve a consensus on all core issues, including the
boundary dispute, China's shift in the Kashmir policy (issuing of stapled
visas to residents of Jammu and Kashmir and its engagement in PoK), before
Wen visits India later this year. The leaders instructed their Special
Representatives and other senior officials to prepare for Wen's visit and
work for solution to these issues. The Special Representatives from both
sides are expected to meet in Beijing by November end in preparation for the
Wen's visit. In addition, Zhou Yong Kang, a member of the standing
committee of the Politburo in China, is also expected to come to India next
week and call on Manmohan Singh to discuss these 'core issues'. National
Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon said that during the bilateral talks
between the two countries, that lasted for 45 minutes here this morning, the
two leaders discussed a range of international issues where both countries
have similar views. "Both sides recalled their work together on the issue
of climate change in Copenhagen in 2009, besides issues like counter
terrorism, disaster management, energy cooperation and food security," he
said, adding that the meeting between the two leaders was warm, fruitful and
covered the entire gamut of relations between the two countries. "Both the
leaders took a broader view of the strategic relationship by discussing the
specifics in this relationship. They spoke of sensitivities to each others'
core issues, and determination to carry the relationship forward. While
discussing the boundary dispute between the two countries, both sides said
that they look forward on early resolution of the issue. They agreed that
there is need to carry forward the process on the parameters of the
agreement signed in 2005, as the guiding principle on resolving the issue,"
he said, adding that the frequent number of visits between the political
leadership on both sides during this 60th year of our diplomatic
relationship with China, has helped in cementing the strategic relations.
Menon also said that the two sides also held discussions on trade relations
between the two countries. "The Chinese premier said that he was conscious
of the imbalance in trade between the two countries and the progress being
made after the Joint Economic Group meeting of India and China.
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2010/20101030/main3.htm
Indian troops on UN mission repulse attack, kill 8 rebels
Express news service Posted online: Sat Oct 30 2010, 00:55 hrs New Delhi :
Months after three Indian soldiers were killed when their UN outpost in
Congo was attacked by Mayi Mayi rebels, an Indian unit posted in the same
region has repulsed an attack on its post and has killed eight rebels. No
Indian soldiers were injured. While the Army released details now, the
attack took place on Monday night when about 40 rebels armed with assault
rifles and other weapons came dangerously close to the UN peacekeeping base
in Rwinidi, 140 km north of Goma in North Kivu province. "Despite repeated
warnings from Indian troops, the rebels continued their advance towards the
base, opening fire on peacekeepers and trying to enter the company premises
from different directions," an Army officer said. Indian troops retaliated
in self defence and repelled the attack as per the rules of engagement in UN
missions. "The ensuing clash lasted nearly 20 minutes. Eight of the rebel
cadres were killed in the incident," the officer said. While the other
rebels fled from the spot, the troops recovered two AK-47 assault rifles,
three magazines, ammunition, three machetes, hand grenades and explosives.
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Indian-troops-on-UN-mission-repulse-attack
--kill-8-rebels/704660






Adarsh Society land scam: Defence sniffs criminal conspiracy
DNA / Rajshri Mehta / Friday, October 29, 2010 19:30 IST A probe ordered by
defence minister AK Antony has prima facie found a "criminal conspiracy"
in the way the controversial Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society in Colaba
has come up. The society has several former and serving service chiefs and
bureaucrats as members. The probe has also "not ruled out"' collusion of
local military officers with the promoters of the housing society, sources
said on Friday. Defence ministry officials admitted the army had been in
"de-facto" possession of the prime 6,490 sq mt plot of land for over 60
years before the high-rise came up. The possession was established based on
the report sent by the defence estate officer (DEO) referring to past
correspondence of the land being with the army. It is learnt that the DEO
has pointed out that the state government prepared a property card of the
disputed land as their own only in 2007. "The town planning department
carried out a survey only in 2003 and gave the plot a CTS no, 652, in 2004.
If a development plan of Backbay Reclamation was prepared, why were the
plots not numbered, or importantly, the property card not prepared by the
government,'' questioned a senior officer. Ministry sources said the
question of whether the society sought or obtained any no-objection
certificate from the military for the high-rise had also not come out
clearly. The Indian Army, represented by the general officer commanding
(Maharashtra Gujarat and Goa), is learnt to have echoed the views of the
DEO. Meanwhile, former army generals NC Vij and Deepak Kapoor and former
navy chief Madhavendra Singh have said they will return the flats if the
building had violated any promise of providing flats to the kin of Kargil
martyrs.
http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_adarsh-society-land-scam-defence-sniff
s-criminal-conspiracy_1459525





Criminal conspiracy in Mumbai highrise, Army officers could be involved:
Defence probe Agencies

Posted online: Fri Oct 29 2010, 21:31 hrs New Delhi : A Defence Ministry
probe has "prima facie" found a "criminal conspiracy" in the controversial
Adarsh Housing Society project in Mumbai, where several former service
chiefs, politicians and bureaucrats were allegedly given flats at throwaway
prices. The probe, ordered by Defence Minister A K Antony this week, has
also "not ruled out" the collusion of some officers with the highrise
promoters, sources said here on Friday. "In fact, prima facie there appears
to be a criminal conspiracy (in the Adarsh Society controversy). But in all
these things, we are not ruling out the collusion of some (military)
officers at the ground level (in letting the construction come up)," the
sources said here. The Defence Ministry, they said, is determined that all
those guilty of wrongdoing in the episode are not spared and a decision on
the matter will be taken within 10 days before Parliament's winter session
begins on November 9. Defence Ministry sources said there were some loose
ends in the case such as the ownership of the land, apart from seeking and
obtaining no-objection certificates for the construction of the highrise,
though the Army had been in "de facto" possession of the prime 6,490-sq mt
plot of land in upscale Colaba for over 60 years before the 31-storey Adarsh
Society highrise came up there in 2003. The probe is also convinced that
the building posed a major security concern, as spelt out by Western Naval
Commander Vice Admiral Sanjeev Bhasin in his July 2010 letter seeking action
against the building, the promoters and the officers involved in overlooking
the construction itself since 2003. "On the question of security
implications of the highrise building, certainly there is a problem over
there... an issue of security in this building because it overlooks many
military installations over there," the sources added. The probe was
ordered by the Defence Minister this week and the ministry had sought
reports on the controversy and its past background from the Army, Navy and
the Defence Estates. While the Army and the Defence Estates Directorate
submitted their reports, the Navy was yet to do so, sources said. Former
Army chiefs Generals N C Vij and Deepak Kapoor, ex-Navy chief Admiral
Madhavendra Singh, former Army Vice Chief Lt Gen Shantanu Chowdhary, former
Union Minister and Shiv Sena MP Suresh Prabhu are among those who have been
allotted flats in the building that came up with a promise to provide
residential apartments to widows and dependents of 1999 Kargil war martyrs.
The controversy, which has been brewing since the construction began on the
land in 2003, resurfaced this week after the Navy took exception to the
Maharashtra government according permission for Occupation Certificate to
the building that has come up in an area under the control of the Navy's
base in Colaba. The Navy had once again flagged the security concerns posed
by the 100-metre tall building in the aftermath of the 2008 November terror
attack on the city through the sea route, Navy sources said here. In his
letter to the Defence Ministry and the Army, Vice Admiral Bhasin had said
that despite repeated intimations to various concerned departments of
Maharashtra government to not issue a 'No Objection Certificate' or an
'Occupation Certificate (OC)', it came to notice that the Mumbai
Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) had issued an OC to Adarsh
Society building. The building next to a planned helipad and military
installations is also believed to have violated the Coastal Regulatory Zone
(CRZ) II limit of a height of 30 metres. On the history of the land itself,
the Defence Ministry probe found that the Maharashtra government had in the
late 1940s sought 40 acres of land from the Santa Cruz firing range for its
Western Expressway. But the military had laid the condition that the state
government should give it land of an equivalent size or the market value of
the land in Colaba. However, this condition was not fully complied with by
the state administration, the sources said. In 1964, the then Bombay
collector had said the Colaba land could not be given to the Army. But since
the 1940s, the Army had made constructions on the land, where the Adarsh
Housing Society has now come up. In 1996, the Army's Director General of
Infantry had inaugurated an Ecological Park in the area and a boundary wall
was erected by the Military Engineering Service around that land.
Accordingly, the Army used the land for carrying out its training and
exercises of its troops. "Effectively, what it means is that the land was in
de facto possession of the Army for long," the Defence Ministry sources
said, but added that the ownership, whether of military or civil
administration, had not come out clearly yet under its probe. In 2003, the
Defence Ministry "had heard" about some civilian construction coming up on
the said land and at that time, the Defence Estates Director General wrote
to the the Collector that "the Army's interests over the land is superior to
any other constituent's". Defence Ministry sources said the question of
whether the Society sought or obtained any no-objection certificate from the
military for the high rise construction had also not come out clearly under
its probe yet. "Now, the ministry is trying to ascertain the facts and fill
those gaps. However, a letter written by the Society mentions that the
military had agreed to the construction of a girls' hostel on the land for
the wards of its officers serving offsite," the sources said. Asked if the
Defence Ministry or the Naval establishment in Mumbai would have security
concerns with other highrises in the Colaba area, the sources said, "Though
it is true that similar buildings existed in the locality, we have to take
these issues seriously." Asked if some serving officers too have been
allotted flats in Adarsh Society and if they had declared the property in
their annual submissions, the sources said officers, who have not made the
declaration, would face severe action under the existing rules.
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/criminal-conspiracy-in-mumbai-highrise-arm
y-officers-could-be-involved-defence-probe/704533/




5 relatives of Chavan got flats in society
Mumbai October 29, 2010 A day after it came to light that Maharashtra Chief
Minister Ashok Chavan's mother-in-law was among the allottees in the Colaba
property scam, now more of his relatives' names have figured in the list of
beneficiaries. Latest revelations show that four more of Chavan's
relatives have been allotted flats in the controversial property Adarsh
Cooperative Housing Society in Mumbai's Colaba locality. Those awarded
flats in the society include the chief minister's father S.B. Chavan
(allotment number 91) along with other relatives Seema Vinod Sharma (No-73),
Madanlal Milkiram Sharma (No-101) and Jagdish Ambika Prasad Sharma (No-74).
Earlier, name of Chavan's mother-in-law Bhagwati Manoharlal Sharma
(allotment number 90) had emerged as one of the flat owners in the society.
She died in July this year. Chavan evaded questions on the matter as
Headlines Today approached him for his clarification on Friday. After the
Indian Armed Forces, of which many serving and retired officers secured
flats in the high-rise, the scam is now turning out to be a major
embarrassment for the Congress as more details emerge on the high profile
people. Chavan's role has been under cloud, particularly after revelations
that he insisted on accommodating civilians in the list of beneficiaries.
Adarsh society had written a letter agreeing to Chavan's demand to
accommodate 40 per cent civilians. He was the state's revenue minister at
that time. There were ominous signs for the chief minister with the
Congress making it clear that the guilty would not be spared. In New Delhi,
party spokesperson Manish Tewari said Defence Minister A.K. Antony has
already promised a probe and those found breaching norms would be punished.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has been investigating the matter
even as the army is conducting an internal probe after the names of its top
brass figured in the scam. The apartment was developed reportedly on an
army-owned plot which was meant for Kargil war heroes and widows.
http://indiatoday.intoday.in/site/Story/118240/India/5-relatives-of-maharash
tra-cm-got-flats-in-adarsh-society-.html







A crisis of confidence in Indian army
* At stake, the army's IzzatRated 2↑ 0↓ (2 Votes) * Army's image
on the declineRated
Rahul Bedi. An alarming rise in the number of Indian military officers
charged with corruption, senior ranks quitting due to frustrating service
conditions, and increasing instances of 'fragging' in which disgruntled
soldiers shoot dead their seniors, are severely damaging the image of the
country's defence forces. Few want to join the once-favoured military with
the shortage of officers in the army never having fallen below 11,000 for
over a decade against a sanctioned strength of 46,615 personnel. The navy
and the air force too face officer shortage but it is not as severe as in
the 1.2 million strong army. Senior defence officials cite expanding
employment opportunities as the reason behind the shortage. But serving and
retired officers say this is only part of the cause. The Services too have
to take responsibility for lowering the military's image and overall
standing in the country's order of precedence and preference, they point
out. "Standards and values have changed for the worse and the army is not
impervious to the overall environment," admits a retired Lieutenant
General. Like the rest of society, India's military too is in the turbulent
and unsettling throes of transition, he adds. Serving army officers say the
'rot' in service ethics has been steadily creeping into the Services. Till
the 1980s, military officers were considered upright men, respected in
society and eagerly sought after by parents as suitable match for their
daughters. Retired military men talk nostalgically of the days when a mere
note from the commanding officer on behalf of a jawan to the local
authorities back in his village carried weight. Those were the times when
the esprit d' corps in the apolitical service was strong and invitations to
riotous, albeit swinging, regimental officers' messes were much sought
after. Salaries were low but the lifestyle was lavish in what was largely a
gentleman's army. Many officers were, in reality, eager boys trapped
inside adult bodies seeking to indulge in passions like shikar, riding, polo
and outdoor living and danger at state expense as expansive colonial
traditions made military service not only respectable but attractive. From
Independence till the third war with Pakistan in 1971, there was ample
opportunity for such expansiveness. And it was adequately vindicated,
except for the disastrous 1962 war with China in which India came off badly.
But in this instance, it was widely acknowledged that it was the political
and not the military establishment that forced ignominy upon the country.
The flamboyance, bravery and tactical brilliance of all ranks in the three
wars with Pakistan are well recorded and the subject of study in combat
institutions around the world. It is rarely acknowledged even at home that
in 1971, the Indian army single-handedly achieved what even the United
States with all its mite and technical wizardry has not managed since World
War II ― it liberated a nation. Politics was rarely, if at all, discussed
by officers who, if passed over for promotion, retired gracefully, confident
of their status in society. Promotions, the bane of the Services today, were
merit-based and, by and large, fair with undeserving candidates, adhering to
the Peter Principle and rarely ever crossing their limits of incompetence.
Army chiefs and senior commanders brooked no political interference in
operational matters and were listened to with respect by the establishment.
Asked by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to move into East Pakistan ― later
Bangladesh ― in early 1971, General Sam Manekshaw ― later Field Marshal ―
firmly told her that it would take at least 10 months before his force would
be ready for combat. "That" he declared, referring to Indira Gandhi's
scheme of launching operations earlier "would present me with problems far
more complex than what had been the bane of the German general staff for
more than 50 years across two world wars. It would be unwise to rely on
diplomatic assurances that the Chinese would not react in support of
Pakistan. We must wait for the snow to block the northern passes." Indira
Gandhi listened and Bangladesh came into being in December that year. In
short, the olive green uniform enjoyed an exalted status it was soon to
lose. Its professionalism and apolitical stance began to slowly unravel
after the Third Pay Commission in the late 1970s when officer ranks were
diluted, ostensibly to enhance career prospects, but their responsibilities
reduced in inverse proportion to their promotions. Periodic cadre reviews
further led to a lopsided rank structure creating a situation where
Lieutenant Generals among the seniormost army officers, and their
equivalents in the navy and the air force, discharged duties previously
performed by middle-ranking Colonels and half-colonels and similar ranks in
the other two services. Currently there are over 900 Brigadiers, some 290
Major Generals and 85-odd Lieutenant Generals, roughly around a third of who
were replaced every two-three years due to retirement, promotion and other
reasons. Pressure on promotions in the pyramid-like structure also meant
that most served between 12-18 months in these higher ranks leaving them
little time to effect any meaningful change in the overall command and
control structure. The cadre re-assessment was the moment for which
politicians and civil servants had long been waiting. Having always looked
upon the military with suspicion after independence and gazing nervously at
Pakistan's experience, they were simply waiting for an opportunity to gain
ascendancy over the Services. Incidentally, this inherent misgiving and
fear of the military persists, adversely manifesting itself in the
non-appointment of a Chief of Defence staff, despite ministerial commissions
and review and parliamentary committees stressing the need for such an
officer in a nuclear weapon state and for an expanding military power with
possible out-of-area responsibilities. Sadly, many senior officers actively
contributed to this negative state of affairs by seeking political and
bureaucratic patronage for career enhancement whilst in service and for
lucrative sinecures after retirement. Consequently, over years the
military's standing deteriorated, reaching the unbelievable stage where it
was selectively included in the "security loop." The Service chiefs, for
instance, were told about the multiple 1998 Shakti tests at Pokhran just
hours before they occurred; and that too as insurance against any "adverse
reaction" from neighbouring Pakistan. In the intervening period thereafter,
the military has been dealt a limited hand in maintaining India's strategic
deterrence. In another shocker, the military, particularly the army, was
also unaware of India's cache of chemical weapons stored at various Defence
Research and Development Organisation laboratories across the country that
were destroyed under the global Chemicals Weapon Convention some years ago.
In conclusion, a large number of military officers concur that India's
Mughal-like army, with an inordinately high teeth-to-tail ratio, faces a
serious crisis of confidence which simply refuses to abate even as it is
increasingly employed not only in counter-insurgency operations, flood and
drought relief but also to battle mosquitoes threatening the Commonwealth
Games athletes' village. For, besides struggling against the slew of
corruption charges, lopsided promotions and un-equitable pensions, the
military also faces ad hoc equipping policies determined and dominated by
ill-informed politicians and civil servants, as it grapples desperately to
reorder and modernise itself within a nuclear weapon state. But that, as
they say, is a far longer and complex saga.
http://indianmilitarynews.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/a-crisis-of-confidence-in
-indian-army/

Forget sick father, army more important, major told
The Armed Forces Tribunal on Tuesday dismissed the plea of an UAV specialist
Army major, who wanted to quit the Army to take care of his ailing father.
The tribunal said army personnel resignation is not in national interest.
"Since Major Sumit Sharma is a specialized officer in particular branch ―
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) operations) ― which is already running short
of officers… we do not think proper to interfere in this matter as the
national interest has higher priority than any other priority," said the
tribunal bench headed by Justice A K Mathur and Lt Gen M L Naidu.
Sharma approached the tribunal seeking directions to the Army to accept his
resignation with immediate effect and relieve him with all the benefits from
Service as he had to look after his ailing father. After the death of his
mother in 2007, the officer had submitted his resignation which was also
rejected.
The Army had opposed the resignation of the officer saying Sharma had
received specialist UAV training as an observer in 2006 for Israeli-made UAV
systems and was suitably employed as per his training. It had said that
there was an acute shortage of officers in the Regiment of Artillery and the
criticality was more profound for specialist officers.
The tribunal said "Since his services are indispensable to the Army because
of his specialised training, therefore, we are not inclined to interfere in
the matter,"
The officer, posted at Jammu, had contended that his application for
compassionate posting to New Delhi to look after his sick parents, was
rejected by his own Unit.
http://indianmilitarynews.wordpress.com/2010/10/28/forget-sick-father-army-m
ore-important-major-told/

Friday, 29 October 2010

From Today's Papers - 29 Oct 2010

Adarsh Society scam CBI probing how defence land was transferred Tribune
News Service New Delhi, October 28 The Defence Ministry has asked the Army
and Navy to tell if a controversial piece of prime real estate located in
Colaba, Mumbai, was ever held by either of the two services and was it ever
classified as "defence land". Sources said, the Ministry would be keen to
hand over the investigation to an outside agency like the CBI as multiple
agencies are involved in the clearance of such projects, some of which are
not under the Ministry of Defence. The land under the scanner is valued at
Rs 500 crore and was allotted at throwaway rates to Adarsh Society to build
a 31-storey complex. The beneficiaries of flats in the society include
several former Army and Naval officers, senior bureaucrats and top
politicians of Maharashtra. Media reports have accused the top brass
belonging to the armed forces for colluding with civilian agencies and
political authorities in the scam and getting flats allotted for themselves.
Media reports originating from Mumbai have quoted revenue authorities of
Maharashtra saying the land never belonged to the Defence Ministry. The
Ministry, in a query to the Army and Navy, has made it clear if the land was
with them. No time-frame has been given, however, the information is wanted
at the earliest as questions could pop up during the forthcoming Winter
Session of Parliament commencing in the first week of November. The
beneficiaries are Chief Minister Ashok Chavan's late mother-in-law Bhagwati
Manoharlal Sharma, former Army chiefs Generals N C Vij and Deepak Kapoor,
ex-Navy chief Admiral Madhavendra Singh, former Army Vice Chief Lt Gen
Shantanu Chowdhary, former Union Minister and Shiv Sena MP Suresh Prabhu.
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2010/20101029/nation.htm#7
Army probing into Adarsh Housing Society scam: General VK Singh The Mumbai
Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) which had earlier issued
the operational certificates (OC's) for the construction of the society has
now backtracked and claimed that the MMRDA is not involved in any way. CJ:
Daljit Singh Bhatia Thu, Oct 28, 2010 15:03:44 IST Views: 26
Comments: 1 Rate: 1 out of 5 2 out of 5 3 out of 5 4 out of 5 5 out of 5
0.0 / 0 votes SPEAKING AT a convention on the sidelines of an
inaugural programme which is being produced by the National Geographic
Channel, Chief of Army Staff, General V.K. Singh, has assured that the army
is investigating the alleged role of senior officers in the multi-storeyed
Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society scam. Speaking during the event in New
Delhi on Wednesday, General Singh said, "A lot has been published in the
newspapers about it. As far as we in the Army are concerned, the
investigation is on, and further, I don't want to say anything on it because
it would disrupt the inquiry." When specifically asked whether the army is
conducting the inquiry or the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), General
Singh said, "See, if you want to ask about CBI then you can ask the ministry
about it this we are telling you at our level." Defence officials have
been accused of grabbing the building allotted for war widows and defence
veterans in Mumbai. The 100 metre-tall housing society complex, which is
spread over an area of 6490 square metres, has reportedly violated the
coastal regulation limit height of 30 metres. The building is currently
home to several top defence officials and leading politicians. Meanwhile,
the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) which had
earlier issued the operational certificates (OC's) for the construction of
the building has now backtracked and claimed that the MMRDA is not involved
in any way. On the issue, Metropolitan Commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad said
the land was given by the state to the society. A lot of correspondence had
gone back and forth between the collector, BMC and other agencies in this
regard.
http://www.merinews.com/article/army-probing-into-adarsh-housing-society-sca
m-general-vk-singh/15833861.shtml

Chinese Parliament approves VP for top military post October 29, 2010 00:29
IST Tags: Central Military Commission, Communist Party of China, Xi Jinping,
Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, People's Liberation
Army Share this Ask Users Write a Comment Chinese Parliament approved the
nomination of Vice President Xi Jinping for the vice-chairmanship of the
powerful Central Military Commission, paving the way for him to succeed
President Hu Jintao in 2012. Click! The Standing Committee of the National
People's Congress, which is regarded as the "rubber stamp" legislature of
the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC), gave its formal approval to the
Party's nomination of Xi, who would be the second civilian besides Hu to be
part of the all powerful military body, state television reported. Hu, who
was scheduled to retire along with the present set of top party leaders,
including Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, is the Chairman of the Commission.
Though 57-year-old Xi was regarded the natural successor to Hu, as
traditionally Vice President succeeded the President after the completion of
two terms in office by the later, doubts arose last year when he was not
appointed to this post. It had sparked speculation that Hu may prefer
someone else to be his successor. Resting all speculation, the Fifth Plenary
Session of the 17th CPC Central Committee on October 18 appointed Xi to the
CMC, putting him in line to succeed Hu as Chinese President and Party Chief
in 2012. Xi's promotion last week was announced at the close of the crucial
CPC plenum which also pledged to make "steady and vigorous" efforts to
promote political restructuring, official Xinhua news agency reported. The
Chinese Vice-President is following Communist party tradition in the
footsteps of Hu, who also became President and party chief after heading the
Central Military Commission (CMC). The body oversees 2.3 million soldiers of
the People's Liberation Army. Besides being the son of a former top
Communist leader, Xi also became well known in China after he married Peng
Liyuan, a well-known Chinese folk singer who was widely popular in the
1980s. His political career took off after be came close to former
President Jiang Zemin and later had successful stints as the secretary of
the Communist Party's Shanghai unit. He also won praise for successfully
holding the 2008 Beijing [ Images ] Olympics [ Images ].
http://news.rediff.com/report/2010/oct/29/chinese-parl-approves-vp-nominatio
n-to-military-council.htm

Through a unique docu-reality format, Nat Geo will take its viewers inside
the Indian Army, on a passage of honour and pride National Geographic
Channel is all set to drive the youth of the country to pursue a once in a
lifetime opportunity and live the life of an Indian Army soldier. After the
mega success of Mission Udaan, Mission Everest and Mission Navy, Nat Geo now
collaborates with Indian Army for its next mega Mission Property - "Idea
presents Nat Geo Mission Army". Through this series, Nat Geo will take five
shortlisted citizens, through an exclusive journey, which will be tough and
adventurous, only one among the five will win the grand prize of being a
part of an Indian Army Mission abroad, a feat never accomplished by any
other TV channel in the country. General Vijay Kumar Singh PVSM, AVSM,
YSM, ADC, Chief of the Army Staff launched 'Idea presents Nat Geo Mission
Army' during a grand event held at India Gate today. The event was graced by
the top brass of the Indian Army. The ambience was provided by the
spectacular display of the Army band, military equipment and horse cavalry,
thus, capturing the true spirit of the Indian Army. Through a unique
docu-reality format, Nat Geo will take its viewers inside the Indian Army,
on a passage of honour and pride, giving them an opportunity to experience
the life of soldiers who epitomize 'Courage under Fire'. Mission Army will
take you close to the Indian Army, to pay a tribute to our Indian Jawan. In
the series; five Indian citizens from different walks of life will get
chance of a life time to experience the life of the soldier. "We are very
happy and proud to partner with National Geographic Channel for Mission
Army, as we feel that the values and authenticity the channel brings, will
enhance and bring forward the true spirit and grit of the Indian Army.
Through this association, with National Geographic Channel, we want to
create a platform, which will capture the life inside one of the largest and
most prestigious organizations in the country. Through the series, we want
to give the nation an insight into the challenges and hardships our officers
and jawans undertake, to ensure that their fellow countrymen can live in
peace and harmony. Be it in the peace time or at war, we want to tell the
nation that the Indian Army is always there for you- always and every time.
The series and the channel is the right platform for us to showcase our
culture, ethos, equipment and the terrain we operate in. I am sure it will
be an eye-opener for many, when they will get an invaluable access into our
lives. We are looking forward to giving our countrymen, especially the
youth, a window into the adventurous and honourable life of the Indian Army"
said General Vijay Kumar Singh, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, ADC, Chief of Army Staff.
Speaking about the mega series, Keertan Adyanthaya, Managing Director -
National Geographic Network & Fox International Channels said, "Nat Geo has
been associated with the Indian Defence Forces, since 2003 and through our
Mission properties, we have not only given the Indian youth, a once in a
lifetime opportunity to be a part of the Armed Forces, but have taken our
viewers into territories, where no civilian has got access. With this unique
property 'Idea presents Nat Geo Mission Army'- for the very first time, in
the history of Indian television, Nat Geo will take its viewers inside the
second largest army in the world. We are proud and honored to be associated
with the Indian Army". Interested participants can register online, for
Mission Army on-ground selections, by simply logging on to
www.natgeotv.co.in/missionarmy or by sending MISSION to 5667722. Nat Geo has
created an exclusive facebook page, where interested participants can
register. The facebook page will have a host of features like information of
the participants, videos, factoids and an interesting photo gallery.
Indian civilian nationals, above the age of 18, who are physically fit, can
apply to be a part of Mission Army. On-ground selections would be organized
in Mumbai on November 14, 2010, Bangalore on November 21, 2010 and New Delhi
on November 28, 2010. All participants would undergo physical, psychological
and mental tests, akin to what happens in an actual Army selection centre.
Five candidates will be selected per city and they will go through a
rigorous medical examination, at the Research and Referral Hospital, of the
Indian Army in New Delhi. The medical tests of the fifteen participants will
be held on November 29 and 30, 2010. Those who clear the medical tests will
go to the final round. This round will decide the five finalists, who will
get the opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of the Indian army for the
next 30 days. The final round will be held at Rajputana Rifles Centre, New
Delhi on 01st Of December 2010. The five finalists will then undergo a
training capsule at the prestigious Indian Military Academy in Dehradun, and
will further get an exposure into all arms and services of the Indian Army.
They will go to Units, Institutions and establishments, right from Chennai
to Siachen. They will get to go to institutions like the Commando school in
Belgaum, High Altitude warfare School in Gulmarg, the Armoured Corps Centre
at Ahmednagar and Artillery Centre in Deolali, besides seeing the life of
the army personnel in their regiments in Srinagar and the deserts of
Rajasthan. They will be trained and tasked at each of these places and will
be evaluated by the Army; for only one amongst the five will win the honour
of being part of an Indian Army Training Team abroad. National
Geographic Channel has planned an extensive 360-degree campaign, including
on-air, on-line, radio, outdoor and on-ground, to create a strong connect
with its target audience. Leading telecom brand, Idea has become the
presenting sponsor of the show on Nat Geo. Nat Geo has also partnered with
RED FM as the official radio partner.
http://www.indiainfoline.com/Markets/News/National-Geographic-Channel-joins-
hands-with-the-Indian-Army/4976984474

connanxlrc1000's Avatar Join Date: Feb 2009 Location: LAND OF LINCLON
Posts: 1,979 Countries: [United States] [India] Thanks: 485 Thanked 1,030
Times in 465 Posts Arrow Yudh Abhyas 2010 - U.S. Army to
Host Indian Army in Alaska for Annual Military Exerci Yudh Abhyas 2010 -
U.S. Army to Host Indian Army in Alaska for Annual Military Exercises |
India Defence 2010-10-27 U.S. Army elements in Alaska are preparing to host
the Indian army for the next in a series of annual field engagements that
aim to improve bilateral readiness and cooperation while demonstrating U.S.
commitment to South Asia and the broader Asia-Pacific region, the U.S. Army
Pacific commander told American Forces Press Service. U.S. Army Lt. Gen.
Benjamin R. Mixon called the Yudh Abhyas exercise to be held next month on
Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson an example of the growing theater security
cooperation program under way throughout the region that's extending far
beyond historical alliances. Last year alone, U.S. Army Pacific conducted
214 of these events in 29 countries -- ranging from the Army's largest
multinational exercise, involving 12,000 participants, to small
staff-officer exchanges. While reinforcing military-to-military
relationships with longtime partners in the region such as South Korea,
Japan, Thailand, the Philippines and Australia, Mixon said the command is
increasingly engaging with other strategically significant nations. These
include Indonesia and Malaysia, important moderate Muslim nations, as well
as India. During Yudh Abhyas 2010, the 25th Infantry Division's 4th Brigade
Combat Team "Spartans" will join their Indian counterparts in airborne and
weapons exchanges and a brigade-level command post exercise. "It's going to
be a great exercise," Mixon said. The training will build on last year's
Yudh Abhyas exercise, the U.S. and Indian armies' largest joint military
exercise ever, which also included the largest deployment of Stryker armored
vehicles outside a combat zone. About 300 U.S. soldiers from the 25th
Infantry Division's 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, deployed from
Hawaii with 18 Strykers to train with the Indian army's 7th Mechanized
Infantry Battalion at one of India's premier military training sites. These
and similar engagements, Mixon said, are key building blocks in supporting a
regional security framework. "The importance of the Asia-Pacific region is
obvious to everybody," he said. "So across the board, having a U.S. presence
on the ground in the Asia-Pacific region enhances peace and stability in the
area." It also prepares the U.S. and partner militaries that could be called
on with little notice to cooperatively support missions ranging from
humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to peacekeeping. "It prepares
us if there are contingencies," Mixon said. "We have already built some
very, very important relationships that make operations go a lot better when
they first begin." Mixon has presented Army leaders with a long-range plan
to improve training areas within U.S. Army Pacific. The plan, if approved,
will enhance capabilities and save dollars spent deploying Pacific-based
U.S. units elsewhere for training, he said. But it will also offer U.S. Army
Pacific new opportunities to host regional partners for military-to-military
training such as Yudh Abhyas 2010. Meanwhile, Mixon is emphasizing the
importance of cultural "astuteness" among his troops. Recognizing the
"hundreds and hundreds of languages and dialects and cultures" within Asia
and the Pacific, he recognizes it's all but impossible for his soldiers to
master the linguistic challenges the region presents. What he wants is for
his soldiers to be willing to learn enough of a given language to show
respect for the cultures of the people they engage with, and the curiosity
to take that learning to the next level. "By doing that, they become astute
in how to operate in that particular country," he said. Mixon noted how many
of his soldiers easily adapted as they shifted from one culture to another
during exercises last year in Thailand and the Philippines. "That is what we
want our soldiers to be able to do," he said. As these efforts continue,
U.S. Army Pacific is undergoing an internal reorganization that will improve
its ability to support a operations in one of its key focus areas, the
Korean peninsula. That initiative, called Pacific Integration, involves
folding 8th U.S. Army in Korea into U.S. Army Pacific by next year. Eighth
Army already has reorganized as the Army's only field army, poised on the
Korean peninsula to fight alongside its South Korean counterparts, if
required. U.S. Army Pacific will provide enabling capabilities for 8th
Army, along with other Army units throughout the region. Establishing a
single Army service component in the Pacific will eliminate redundancies and
provide a more efficient, more capable force, Mixon said. connanxlrc1000 is
offline Reply With Quote Sponsored Links
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Thursday, 28 October 2010

From Today's Papers - 28 Oct 2010

Two naval bases okayed in Orissa, Tamil Nadu * New naval bases to come up on
the Eastern sea board at Paradip and Tuticorin * These will be the first
major naval bases other that Vizag on the eastern coast Ajay Banerjee/TNS
Defence Minister AK Antony addresses the Naval Commanders' Conference, in
New Delhi Defence Minister AK Antony addresses the Naval Commanders'
Conference, in New Delhi on Wednesday. — PTI New Delhi, October 27 In an
apparent bid to counter China's growing presence in the Bay of Bengal,
especially its new forays in Bangladesh and Myanmar, the Indian Government
has okayed two new naval bases on the Eastern sea board - Paradip and
Tuticorin in Orissa and Tamil Nadu, respectively. These will be the first
major naval bases other that Vizag on the eastern coast. The Navy has
smaller stations but no big bases that typically provide all logistics
support like supplies, replenishment, repair and maintenance. Paradip has a
commercial port. Though the east coast as a host of Coast Guard stations,
the decision was taken to ramp up Naval presence, sources said. China has
announced its intention to build a deep sea port at Sonadia near Cox Bazar
Bangladesh. It is also building ports in Myanmar. All these are in the Bay
of Bengal and face India. Most of country's missile tests are conducted off
the east coast. India's "look east" policy aims at engaging smaller navies
that are east of India. For them this will be a huge morale booster as all
of them regularly conduct exercises with India, said sources. Defence
Minister AK Antony today told top Naval Commanders that "due priority" will
be given to creation of new operational and administrative infrastructure in
the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep & Minicoy Islands. Antony,
while addressing the top brass of the Navy at the bi-annual commanders
conference, asked the Navy to further strengthen professional ties, mutual
trust and streamline capacity to inter-operate with the navies of countries
of the Indian Ocean. China's main oil supply routes pass through these
waters and it is very fidgety about India's control over the Indian Ocean.
Antony called for "…a state of perpetual operational readiness". The
Defence Minister said Navy's responsibilities in the Indian Ocean Region are
crucial as well as sensitive from the point of view of economic prosperity
and security of the nation. Antony told the Navy commanders "…engage
like-minded African states in the western Indian Ocean Region, such as
Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya, to enhance strengths and
stability". He made specific reference to Sri Lanka saying there was a need
to sustain the momentum of cooperation with Sri Lanka to ensure peaceful
fishing on either side of the International Maritime Boundary Line and to
prevent a possible resurgence of the LTTE. Earlier, Naval Chief Admiral
Nirmal Verma commended the Naval commands for integrating coastal population
into the coastal security architecture through widespread campaigns — 33 in
this year alone.
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2010/20101028/main6.htm
Whistleblower Case AFT summons Military Secretary Vijay Mohan/TNS
Chandigarh, October 27 Observing negligence of the Army to carry out orders,
its earlier orders to consider the case of a lieutenant colonel for
promotion, the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) today ordered the Military
Secretary at the Army Headquarters to appear before it in person and show
cause as to why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against the
respondents. The Tribunal's bench comprising Justice Chanshyam Prashad and
Lt Gen HS Panag directed the Army to consider the petitioner, Lt Col BS
Goraya for promotion to the next rank and if found fit, to be promoted with
all consequential benefits with effect from May 12, 2010. The bench has
fixed November 12 as the next date of the hearing. The Military Secretary is
among the principal staff officers to the Army Chief and is responsible for
the cadre management of officers. Lt Col Goraya had alleged that he was
being victimised and not being considered for promotion as he had exposed
irregularities by his commanding officer during his tenure in an Army
Service Corps battalion. Disposing-off an earlier petition filed by the
officer against his withdrawal from the Service Selection Board for
consideration for promotion, the Tribunal had directed the board held in May
2010 to consider him.
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2010/20101028/nation.htm#13
Pak designs in Afghanistan What President Obama needs to be told by G.
Parthasarathy THERE have been few instances where an American President has
given such open access to a journalist to go through the secrets of an
ongoing conflict as President Obama has done for Pulitzer Prize winning
newsman Bob Woodward's book "Obama's Wars". The book contains detailed
accounts of sensitive meetings on the war against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda
in Afghanistan and lays bare the infighting within the Obama team. History
alone will tell whether Woodward's revelations really served American
national interests, or paved the way for the Taliban and terrorist groups
across the world to get a better understanding of American vulnerabilities
and weaknesses. For us in India, it provides a valuable insight into the
potential and limitations of the "strategic partnership" with the world's
most powerful country, as the Americans implement Obama's directions to
finalise an "exit strategy" from Afghanistan. What emerges from the book is
that despite the belief in India that the US relations with India and
Pakistan are "de-hyphenated" (which indeed they largely were during the
latter half of the Bush Presidency), a measure of "hyphenation" continues on
American policies on Afghanistan. The Pakistanis have succeeded in
persuading significant sections of the Obama Administration that their
support for the Taliban and other radical Islamic groups that challenge the
Americans in Afghanistan and promote terrorism in India is because they feel
"threatened" by India. The logical corollary to this has been Pakistani
demands for the Americans to squeeze India to resume dialogue, without any
action by them on Indian concerns on terrorism and to get India to settle
Jammu and Kashmir on their terms. The Pakistanis have also secured a
movement forward in their demands for a nuclear deal akin to that given to
India, granting access to more and more sophisticated weaponry and
recognition that Pakistan will play the key role in future developments in
Afghanistan. Interestingly, virtually every White House briefing on
Afghanistan of Obama and his Cabinet officials is on the basis of a
background presentation by a middle-level intelligence official Peter Lavoy
— a long-term India baiter. Woodward reveals that every briefing of Lavoy
commences with a justification of Pakistani support for the Taliban because
of what are said to be Pakistan's "obsessions" with India. Lavoy repeatedly
focuses on Pakistani "concerns" on India's economic assistance to
Afghanistan and its allegations of Indian funding of "separatist movements
in various regions of Pakistan, most notably among the natives of
Baluchistan". He even implicitly justifies Pakistani allegations about
former Afghan Intelligence Chief Amrollah Saleh being an "Indian agent".
While Woodward recognises that Lavoy's is not the only voice the President
is influenced by, he does note that Vice-President Biden echoed Lavoy
stating: "What Pakistan does not want, as a matter of faith, is a unified
Afghan Government led by a Pashtun sympathetic to India, like Karzai". But,
given American anger at Pakistani duplicity in Afghanistan, President Obama
is unlikely to concede all that Islamabad demands. Woodward's book leaves
one with the clear impression that while the Americans will reduce forces in
Afghanistan, they will retain residual military power to prevent a total
Taliban takeover. In the meantime, they will seek "reconciliation" with the
Taliban and target the Taliban and Al-Qaeda bases across the Durand Line.
India should, however, prepare for the contingency of a more precipitate US
withdrawal, especially if the Americans are able to eliminate the Al-Qaeda
leadership, in which event the ISI will use the Taliban and their supporting
jihadi groups from Pakistan to seek a military takeover of Afghanistan.
Consultations with Russia, Iran and Afghanistan's Central Asian neighbours
have to be stepped up. More importantly, the Americans led by President
Obama should be firmly told that it is entirely incorrect to attribute
Pakistani behaviour in Afghanistan to their "concerns" about India. By
keeping Afghanistan unstable, isolated and saddled with Taliban-style
rulers, Pakistan seeks to subsume Pashtun nationalism and divert attention
from the fact that virtually no Pashtun recognises the Durand Line as an
international border. Woodward notes that some American officials describe
the areas straddling the Durand Line as "Pashtunistan". India should assert
that it expects that the dispute between Afghanistan and Pakistan over the
Durand Line will be settled in a manner that fulfils Pashtun national
aspirations. A sustained diplomatic effort to get more attention focused on
the real motives of Pakistani policies and intrigues in Afghanistan is long
overdue. The fact that that the CIA knew of David Coleman Headley's links
with the Lashka-e-Toiba and yet chose not to inform New Delhi about this
during his visits to India prior to the 26/11 strikes, or when he visited
India even in 2009, will cast a shadow on President Obama's visit to Mumbai.
The FBI acted against Headley only after it received reports that he was
plotting a terrorist attack on Denmark. Woodward reveals that while ISI
chief General Shuja Pasha acknowledged that ex-ISI officials were involved
in the 26/11 attack when he was summoned to the US shortly after the attack,
the CIA later learnt that the entire attack was planned, financed and
executed by serving ISI officials. Moreover, even after 26/11, Lashkar
leaders like Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi continue to plot terrorist attacks with
ISI connivance. Despite this, India continues to receive "advice" from
Washington on why it should continue dialogue and resolve problems with
Pakistan, as though Pakistan is a normal State, amenable to reasoning. When
Dr Manmohan Singh visited Washington in November 2009, the establishment of
a "Joint Counter-terrorism Initiative" was announced with much fanfare. This
was not very different from the euphoria that followed the announcement of a
"Joint Counter-terror Mechanism" with Pakistan, in Havana earlier. It is now
evident is that while the US will help in upgrading our intelligence
capabilities in technical and professional terms, it will not share any
intelligence with us which implicates the ISI for its involvement in
terrorist activities against India. Those who argue that as a "victim of
terrorism" Pakistan will act against terrorist groups waging war against
India will hopefully realise that they are living in a fools' paradise. New
Delhi has necessarily to adopt punitive and retributive policies for raising
the costs for Pakistan when it sponsors terrorism against India. We are not
going to be bailed out by the Americans. Moreover, New Delhi and Washington
will not necessarily see eye to eye on India's security concerns on China
and Pakistan. The India-US bilateral relationship, however, has to be
nurtured because of its intrinsic importance and value to both sides,
transcending the differences we may have on the American approach to some of
our national security concerns.
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2010/20101028/edit.htm#4
CBI gives armed forces, society a week to reply Prafulla Marpakwar, TNN, Oct
28, 2010, 02.12am IST MUMBAI: The ministry of defence is now considering
invoking the provisions of the Defence of India rules, but the Central
Bureau of Investigation had already stepped in to probe the row over the
allotment of land to Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society at the beginning of
October. Although CBI joint director Rishiraj Singh declined to comment, a
senior state government official on Wednesday confirmed that following a
specific complaint of rampant irregularities, the CBI wrote to Mumbai
collector Chandrashekhar Oke, society general secretary R C Thakur and
competent authorities of the Indian navy and army on October 2. "However,
barring the Mumbai collector, nobody responded - neither the society nor the
Indian navy and army officials. As a result, the probe into the crucial case
has been hampered," the official said. The CBI has set a deadline of one
week for the society and the defence establishments to respond, failing
which it will take action as per the provisions of law. The CBI has asked
Oke to submit the entire correspondence between the collectorate and the
society, particularly on the registration of the society, rules under which
the land was allotted and whether the land belonged to the state revenue
department or defence. "In response to the CBI's letter, Oke's office on
Tuesday submitted a comprehensive report as asked by the investigating
agency," he said. In a letter to Adarsh society, the CBI asked it to
provide the letter of allotment of land from the revenue department, the
no-objection certificate from either the Indian navy or army and the list of
members, along with the affidavits and declarations filed by them while
obtaining membership of the society. "So far, there has been no response
from the society. We are awaiting their reply. If, in the next few days,
there is no response, the CBI will proceed as per rules," the official said.
The CBI proposes to probe into the declarations and affidavits filed by the
members. "Its line of thinking is: can a member whose monthly income is
between Rs 25,000 and Rs 75,000 afford a flat sold at between Rs 80 lakh and
Rs 1 crore?" said the official. "Of the 103-odd members, the monthly income
of over 45 members is between Rs 25,000 and 75,000. The CBI will probe into
the source of funds of all such members.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/6825129.cms?prtpage=1
When will India get the Admiral Gorshkov? Posted on27 October 2010.
Diagram of wikipedia:INS Vikramaditya.INS Vikr... Image via Wikipedia
India's buying spree has run into some serious hurdles. It had planned to
spending $2.5 Billion on an obsolete Aircraft Career that even the mighty
Russian Empire could not afford to operate. Moscow has jacked up the price
several times and now it is around $3 Billion. It would be worthwhile in
this context to narrate Indo-Russian defence relations briefly. The
relations dated back to the heydays of the cold war when the economic and
defence capability of India, surrounded by hostile powers, was at a poor
shape. The then Soviet assistance was timely. Its willingness to come closer
as reflected in the friendship treaty of 1971 was noteworthy. Whether it was
the establishment of heavy industries or the issue of securing national
sovereignty and integrity, the Soviet assistance was phenomenal. In fact,
India's army would be unimaginable without the Soviet/Russian weapons.
Intellibriefs $2.5 Billion or the $4 Billion spent on Aircraft Carriers
will not make India a superpower, and any pretenses of this need to be
nipped in the bud by the latest book on the subject by Paragh Khanna. "India
has missed the boat" on that count. Bharat is hemmed in towards the East by
the Strats of Malacca by Chinese Naval bases in Burma and Hainan. Bharat
cannot contol the Chinese, either from the East, the West or the South.
India has only a few Boeing P-8 US-made Submarine Hunter planes and one
decrepid and obsolete Aircraft Carrier. The declining Indo-Russian
relationship leaves Delhi scrambling for new arms sources—but they come with
strings. Delhi's deal with Russia about an Aircraft Carrier will probably
never go through. India: $3.2 for obsolete aircraft carrier while millions
starve. The Indo-Russian relationship is not what it used to be. Russia
elides India in Flanker Su-30 development. The race is on. Both China and
Bharat have started indigenous production of Aircarft carriers. In typical
Indian fashion, the keel was laid with much pomp and ceremony. In typical
Chinese stoic demeanor, the Chinese Aircraft Carrier in production is the
subject of much speculation in the West and in Delhi. Delhi will get the
first glimpse of the Chinese fleet of Aircraft Carriers when they sail from
Gwader to Hainan. As Bharat waves goodbye to its hallucinating dreams of
superpower status, the writing on the wall for Delhi is clear–the oceans
surrounding Delhi are fast becoming Chinese Lakes. "Waving Goodbye to
Hegemony" By Parag Khanna: Dawn of a multipolar world with China and Europe
and maybe Russia. N C Bipindra Chaubattia (Uttarakhand), Oct 24 Russia
today defended the delays in joint defence projects with India, including
the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier, saying it should be "excused" if
sophisticated and modern weapons systems was what New Delhi wanted.Though
time overruns were "unfortunate," Russian Federation Ambassador to India
Alexander M Kadakin said it was the experience in both countries when it
came to latest technology defence equipment projects." As far as Admiral
Gorshkov is concerned, Indians asked us for a state-of-the-art warship and
for such a warship, there is a cost. For a cheap price, you can only
purchase a 3-carat diamond. "Now it will be a modern aircraft carrier and if
there is a delay of two or three months for delivery, what difference would
it make. If you need a potent warship, these delays have to be excused,"
Kadakin told reporters on the sidelines of an Indo-Russian army exercise
that ended here.India had flagged the delays in critical defence projects
such as Gorshkov during the recent bilateral Military Technical Commission
meeting between the Defence Ministers of the two countries in New Delhi.
Admiral Gorshkov, which India bought from Russia in 2004, is already behind
schedule by two years, having been originally scheduled to be delivered
after a refit at the Sevmash naval shipyard in Russia in 2008. Now the
45,000-tonne warship is rescheduled for delivery in end of 2012 or early
2013, though India coughed up USD 2.33 billion earlier this year after it
had bought it for a price of USD 974 million under the original contract.
Kadakin said such experiences existed in both countries and that it should
be excused when the project involved sophisticated systems."Both countries
have this experience that without delays we will not get such sophisticated
systems. That is why sometimes this kind of delays do happen. It is
unfortunate," he said.He was replying to a query on delays in major defence
projects between India and Russia such as the Admiral Gorshkov, which has
been rechristened by Indian Navy as INS Vikramaditya. (PTI) The Admiral
Gorshkov entered service in 1987, but was inactivated in 1996 (too expensive
to operate on a post Cold War budget). The Indian deal was made in 2004, and
the carrier was to be ready by 2008. But a year ago reports began coming out
of Russia that the shipyard doing the work, Sevmash, had seriously
miscalculated the cost of the project. The revised costs were more like $1.1
billion for the $700 million refurb. The situation proceeded to get worse,
with Sevmash reporting ever increasing costs to refurbish the carrier. The
Indians were not happy, and at first insisted that the Russian government
(which owns many of the entities involved) make good on the original deal.
India sent its own team of technical experts to Russia, and their report
apparently confirmed what the Russians reported, about shipyard officials
low-balling the cost of the work needed. This is a common tactic for firms
building weapons for their own country. It gets more complicated when you
try to pull that sort of thing on a foreign customer. The Russian government
will cover some of the overrun cost. The Sevmash managers who negotiated the
low bid are being prosecuted. Once refurbished, the Gorshkov, renamed INS
Vikramaditya, should be good for about 10 years of service–though the
Bharatis may drag it out for thirty years–just to show that the Bharat has
an Aircraft Carrier.
http://www.dehlitimes.com/?p=310
Boom of guns and business battle - Singapore firm speaks out after sikkim
trial of us arms SUJAN DUTTA New Delhi, Oct. 27: Somewhere in Sikkim this
week, the hills are echoing with the thunder of American "flying cannons"
firing volley after volley of Indian ammunition — not to start a war with
China, but in the hope of winning a Rs 2,900-crore ($650 million) order. In
the Indian Army's high-altitude firing range, artillery officers are
supervising what they call "confirmatory trials" of the BAE Land Systems
155mm/39cal M777 ultra-light howitzers even as the foreign and defence
ministries in New Delhi look for a big idea — such as a multi-million-dollar
cheque — to add zing to Barack Obama's India visit. The deal for the
"flying cannons" — so-called because the ultra-light howitzers weighing just
about 4.2 tonnes each can be underslung and flown by some helicopters — is
already a minor victory for the Pentagon. The M777 uses titanium and
aluminium alloys to keep its weight low. Whether the contract is signed
during the presidential visit or not has become secondary. The Singaporean
rival vying for the order has complained and cried foul but both the Indian
defence ministry and the Pentagon have decided the deal will be pushed
through. The army wants the guns to equip six new Indian artillery
regiments — the initial order will be for 145 howitzers — being raised
especially for the China border. Last week, a senior US government official
confirmed, two of the BAE Land Systems-made M777 ultra-light howitzers
landed in Delhi. They were then flown to Sikkim. The aircraft carrying the
guns overflew Gwalior where a gun of the same category — called the Pegasus,
after the winged horse of Greek mythology, has been idled. The Pegasus is
made by Singapore Technologies Kinetics (STK) that is swinging in the grey
area of a blacklist and a ban after the defence ministry asked the CBI to
probe its links with former chief of the Ordnance Factory Board, Sudipto
Ghosh. STK's chief marketing officer, Brigadier General Patrick Choy, has
written to the defence ministry more than twice asking for an opportunity to
be heard. Now, he does not mind going public. "Our gun was on the firing
line for the trials last year when suddenly it was asked to be withdrawn,"
he told The Telegraph over phone from Washington DC. "We have not been given
an explanation and our gun is still in India and now we hear that the M777
is being tried," he said. "I have written to the MoD (ministry of defence)
expressing my frustration — there doesn't seem to be a level playing field.
Why have I been blocked from the competition? But there has been no
response," said Patrick. But Indian Army officials — and BAE sources — say
that the M777 has been ready for trials for long. Last year, one of the
trials got deferred after the Indian Army said the Pegasus was yet to be
calibrated to fire Indian ammunition. The government then re-tendered but
earlier this year the defence secretary, Pradip Kumar, said India was
considering procurement of the M777 through the Pentagon's Foreign Military
Sales (FMS) route, a direct government-to-government transaction that
effectively bypasses competition. Even now, as the gun is being evaluated,
senior officers call it a "confirmatory trial", a phrase that conveys both a
confirmation of the order and the testing of the guns. Asked why the test
if the order is confirmed, an official said: "We wanted to check its
performance in Indian conditions." The guns were also tried in the Rajasthan
desert in summer. The M777 is used by the US Marine Corps, Canadian and
Australian armed forces and is currently deployed in Afghanistan. The Indian
Army projected the need for ultra-light howitzers from a lesson learnt in
the 1999 Kargil war — to deploy big guns faster in high altitude. Despite
the controversy dogging the process of the selection, the army is simply
relieved that the government is inclined to place the order because it has
not added a single big gun to its arsenal since the Bofors FH77 in 1987. In
a notification to Congress, the Pentagon's sales wing has said: "The (M777)
howitzers will assist the Indian Army to develop and enhance standardisation
and to improve interoperability with US soldiers and Marines who use the
M777 as their primary means of indirect fire." Needless to say, the Indian
order will also generate jobs in the M777's assembly plant in Mississippi.
BAE Land Systems, that has a joint venture in India with Mahindra &
Mahindra, is also in competition with STK for an order of towed howitzers of
the 155mm/52cal. BAE has fielded the FH77B05, a modernised version of the
Bofors gun that was seen in action in the 1999 Kargil war, and STK was in
the competition with its iFH 2000. But a frustrated STK, whose Indian
partner is Punj Lloyd, has flown-out the gun that it had brought for the
trials to India.
http://www.telegraphindia.com/1101028/jsp/frontpage/story_13110372.jsp#
Desperate to re-order and modernise Rahul Bedi Share · Comment ·
print · T+ AP "Standards and values have changed for the worse and the
army is not impervious to the overall environment," admits a retired
Lieutenant General. File photo shows Indian Army soldiers participating in
R-Day parade rehearsal. A large number of military officers concur that the
Indian army, with an inordinately high teeth-to-tail ratio, faces a serious
crisis of confidence. An alarming rise in the number of Indian military
officers charged with corruption, senior ranks quitting due to frustrating
service conditions, and increasing instances of 'fragging' in which
disgruntled soldiers shoot dead their seniors, are severely damaging the
image of the country's defence forces. Few want to join the once-favoured
military with the shortage of officers in the army never having fallen below
11,000 for over a decade against a sanctioned strength of 46,615 personnel.
The navy and the air force too face officer shortage but it is not as severe
as in the 1.2 million strong army. Senior defence officials cite expanding
employment opportunities as the reason behind the shortage. But serving and
retired officers say this is only part of the cause. The Services too have
to take responsibility for lowering the military's image and overall
standing in the country's order of precedence and preference, they point
out. "Standards and values have changed for the worse and the army is not
impervious to the overall environment," admits a retired Lieutenant General.
Like the rest of society, India's military too is in the turbulent and
unsettling throes of transition, he adds. Serving army officers say the
'rot' in service ethics has been steadily creeping into the Services. Till
the 1980s, military officers were considered upright men, respected in
society and eagerly sought after by parents as suitable match for their
daughters. Retired military men talk nostalgically of the days when a mere
note from the commanding officer on behalf of a jawan to the local
authorities back in his village carried weight. Those were the times when
the esprit d' corps in the apolitical service was strong and invitations to
riotous, albeit swinging, regimental officers' messes were much sought
after. Salaries were low but the lifestyle was lavish in what was largely a
gentleman's army. Many officers were, in reality, eager boys trapped inside
adult bodies seeking to indulge in passions like shikar, riding, polo and
outdoor living and danger at state expense as expansive colonial traditions
made military service not only respectable but attractive. From Independence
till the third war with Pakistan in 1971, there was ample opportunity for
such expansiveness. And it was adequately vindicated, except for the
disastrous 1962 war with China in which India came off badly. But in this
instance, it was widely acknowledged that it was the political and not the
military establishment that forced ignominy upon the country. The
flamboyance, bravery and tactical brilliance of all ranks in the three wars
with Pakistan are well recorded and the subject of study in combat
institutions around the world. It is rarely acknowledged even at home that
in 1971, the Indian army single-handedly achieved what even the United
States with all its mite and technical wizardry has not managed since World
War II — it liberated a nation. Politics was rarely, if at all, discussed
by officers who, if passed over for promotion, retired gracefully, confident
of their status in society. Promotions, the bane of the Services today, were
merit-based and, by and large, fair with undeserving candidates, adhering to
the Peter Principle and rarely ever crossing their limits of incompetence.
Army chiefs and senior commanders brooked no political interference in
operational matters and were listened to with respect by the establishment.
Asked by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to move into East Pakistan — later
Bangladesh — in early 1971, General Sam Manekshaw — later Field Marshal —
firmly told her that it would take at least 10 months before his force would
be ready for combat. "That" he declared, referring to Indira Gandhi's
scheme of launching operations earlier "would present me with problems far
more complex than what had been the bane of the German general staff for
more than 50 years across two world wars. It would be unwise to rely on
diplomatic assurances that the Chinese would not react in support of
Pakistan. We must wait for the snow to block the northern passes." Indira
Gandhi listened and Bangladesh came into being in December that year. In
short, the olive green uniform enjoyed an exalted status it was soon to
lose. Its professionalism and apolitical stance began to slowly unravel
after the Third Pay Commission in the late 1970s when officer ranks were
diluted, ostensibly to enhance career prospects, but their responsibilities
reduced in inverse proportion to their promotions. Periodic cadre reviews
further led to a lopsided rank structure creating a situation where
Lieutenant Generals among the seniormost army officers, and their
equivalents in the navy and the air force, discharged duties previously
performed by middle-ranking Colonels and half-colonels and similar ranks in
the other two services. Currently there are over 900 Brigadiers, some 290
Major Generals and 85-odd Lieutenant Generals, roughly around a third of who
were replaced every two-three years due to retirement, promotion and other
reasons. Pressure on promotions in the pyramid-like structure also meant
that most served between 12-18 months in these higher ranks leaving them
little time to effect any meaningful change in the overall command and
control structure. The cadre re-assessment was the moment for which
politicians and civil servants had long been waiting. Having always looked
upon the military with suspicion after independence and gazing nervously at
Pakistan's experience, they were simply waiting for an opportunity to gain
ascendancy over the Services. Incidentally, this inherent misgiving and
fear of the military persists, adversely manifesting itself in the
non-appointment of a Chief of Defence staff, despite ministerial commissions
and review and parliamentary committees stressing the need for such an
officer in a nuclear weapon state and for an expanding military power with
possible out-of-area responsibilities. Sadly, many senior officers actively
contributed to this negative state of affairs by seeking political and
bureaucratic patronage for career enhancement whilst in service and for
lucrative sinecures after retirement. Consequently, over years the
military's standing deteriorated, reaching the unbelievable stage where it
was selectively included in the "security loop." The Service chiefs, for
instance, were told about the multiple 1998 Shakti tests at Pokhran just
hours before they occurred; and that too as insurance against any "adverse
reaction" from neighbouring Pakistan. In the intervening period thereafter,
the military has been dealt a limited hand in maintaining India's strategic
deterrence. In another shocker, the military, particularly the army, was
also unaware of India's cache of chemical weapons stored at various Defence
Research and Development Organisation laboratories across the country that
were destroyed under the global Chemicals Weapon Convention some years ago.
In conclusion, a large number of military officers concur that India's
Mughal-like army, with an inordinately high teeth-to-tail ratio, faces a
serious crisis of confidence which simply refuses to abate even as it is
increasingly employed not only in counter-insurgency operations, flood and
drought relief but also to battle mosquitoes threatening the Commonwealth
Games athletes' village. For, besides struggling against the slew of
corruption charges, lopsided promotions and un-equitable pensions, the
military also faces ad hoc equipping policies determined and dominated by
ill-informed politicians and civil servants, as it grapples desperately to
reorder and modernise itself within a nuclear weapon state. But that, as
they say, is a far longer and complex saga.
http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/article853071.ece?homepage=true&css=pri
nt
India on the path of aggression Sajjad Shaukat AFTER learning positive
lessons from the past conflicts, especially World War I and World War II, in
the modern era of new trends like renunciation of war as a state policy,
peaceful settlement of disputes and economic development, it is expected
that unlike the non-state actors, state actors will behave with
responsibility when controversy arises between them or two countries over
any issue. Quite contrarily, Indian irresponsible civil and military leaders
are still acting upon aggressive policy towards Pakistan and China. In this
connection, Indian present Army Chief General VK Singh has said on October
15, 2010 that China and Pakistan posed a major threat to India's security,
while calling for a need to upgrade country's defence. Notably, General
Singh after taking over the charge on March 30 had said in his first
strategic statement, "Indian Army is well prepared to face any threat from
China." Before him, Indian former Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor had
vocally revealed on December 29, 2009 that Indian Army "is now revising its
five-year-old doctrine" and is preparing for a "possible two-front war with
China and Pakistan." While India is no match to China in conventional and
nuclear weapons, but the statements of its two army chiefs clearly show that
Indian rulers are ready to go even to the extent of war against Beijing.
That is why India's war-mongering policy continues against China. Notably,
in May 1998, when India detonated five nuclear tests, the then Defence
Minister George Fernandes had declared publicly that "China is India's
potential threat No. 1." India which successfully tested missile, Agni-111
in May 2007, has been extending its range to target all the big cities of
China. As regards Indian new military build up against China, on May 31
last year, after 43 years, New Delhi re-opened its Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO)
airbase in northern Ladakh, which overlooks the strategic Karakoram Pass and
is only 8 km south of the Chinese border-Aksai Chin area. India has also
erected more than 10 new helipads and roads between the Sino-Indian border.
In this context, Defence Ministry planners are working on building
additional airfields and increasing troops—raising two new mountain
divisions to be deployed along the 4,057-kilometer Line of Actual Control
(LAC). New Delhi has also announced to develop immediately 1,100 kms of
strategic roads on the Indo-Tibetan border. With the help of Israel and
America, on 26 February 2008, India conducted its first test of a
nuclear-capable missile from an under sea platform after completing its
project in connection with air, land and sea ballistic systems. On May 10,
2009, Indian Navy Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta had disclosed that New Delhi
"will soon float tenders to acquire six submarines". Mehta also accused
Beijing and explained that the "Indian Navy would keep a close watch on the
movements of Chinese submarines which are operating out of an underground
base in the South China Sea" and "wish to enter the Indian Ocean". However,
under the pretension of Chinese threat, Washington, New Delhi and Israel are
plotting to block the sea lanes of the Indian Ocean for their joint
strategic goals. It is notable that in order to conceal its covert
activities, India has always blamed China for backing Maoist uprising. In
this respect, instead of addressing the root causes of the Maoist uprising,
Indian government has recently intensified its blame game against China,
alleging for supplying arms to these insurgents. Besides, peace-loving
country like China, Pakistan is also particular target of India's aggressive
policy. In this regard, during the terrorist's attack on the Indian
parliament and during the Kargil crisis, Indian rulers had left no stone
unturned in intimidating Islamabad through war-like approach coupled with
concentration of troops on the Pak-Indian border. It is mentionable that in
the aftermath of the Mumbai carnage of November 26, 2008, New Delhi again
acted upon aggressive policy. In wake of a continued rising tension between
the two nuclear states regarding the culprits of Mumbai tragedy, Pakistan
proved itself as a responsible state actor. On February 12, 2009, Islamabad
submitted its report to India after lodging FIR against the nine suspects
and taking six accused persons into custody. Pakistan's positive behaviour
was greatly appreciated by the foreign officials and media, while on the
other side, New Delhi along with its media anchors took it as a surprise
because India has, itself, been acting upon a reckless policy regarding
Pakistan which is still being pursued through a threatening style. However,
since November 26, 2008, setting aside our ruler's views that non-state
actors were linked to the Mumbai mayhem, India's blindly rejection of
Islamabad's offer of joint investigation, various contradictory statements
of Indian military and civilian leadership such as calling Pakistan the
epicentre of terrorism, emphasizing to hand over the fugitives to New Delhi,
take action against them inside Pakistan, terrorism is state policy of
Islamabad and all options are open for India including military
one—deployment of Indian military troops across the international border
have shown that India is a reckless state actor. Despite Islamabad's
optimistic reaction, India had not ruled out surgical strikes on selective
targets of our country. The fact of the matter is that Islamabad's
realistic reply has proved, without any doubt, that some non-sovereign
entities in Pakistan, India and even in some western countries had planed
Mumbai catastrophe, but New Delhi wanted to unilaterally blame Islamabad in
that respect in order to conceal Indian culprits because its real
anti-Pakistan designs would be exposed through a genuine probe. In that
regard, Islamabad also raised 30 questions in the report, reciprocally
seeking information about Indian officials involved in Malay villages and
Samjotha Express blasts in which Indian mastermind Lt. Col Srikant Purohit
was found guilty in targeting Muslims and details on the death of Indian
Anti-terrorist Squad Chief Hemant Karkare during Mumbai tragedy. Question
arises as to why there is no international pressure by the sole superpower
or UN on Indian government to handing over Lt. Col. Purohit, other similar
criminals and especially Ajmal Kasab to Pakistan. And why India avoided
joint probe in this serious matter. In fact, India has only been exploiting
the Mumbai events to fulfil some covert aims against our country. First, New
Delhi wants to divert the attention of US President Barack Obama from the
thorny issue of Kashmir as earlier he had recognised an inter-relationship
between war against terrorism in Afghanistan and this dispute. Second, India
wants to use delaying tactics in relation to the composite dialogue or any
result-oriented talk in resolving any issue with Pakistan. Third, New Delhi
intends to continue creating unrest in Pakistan by supporting insurgency in
Balochistan and Pakistan's other regions from Afghanistan where it has
established a terror-structure with the help of Indian army and intelligence
agency, RAW. Fourth, India, with the backing of America, wants to contain
China with a view to thwarting Sino-Pak cooperation, especially in the
Gwadar seaport. The most alarming point, however, is that Indian all
clandestine designs as part of its aggressive policy are not only directed
against Pakistan and China but also against Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal
and Bangladesh. There is no doubt India's aggressive policy will ultimately
weaken the federation of India itself as non-state actors or insurgents are
present almost in every state of India. Nevertheless such an aggressive
policy will further embolden Hindu terrorists who already keep on massacring
Muslims and Christians intermittently. In November 2010, President Obama
will visit India to sign a number of agreements with New Delhi. Most likely
India is going to ask purchase of C-17 and F35 aircrafts along with latest
defence-related equipments from the US. It seems that America will further
encourage India in its hot pursuit policy in one or the other way. In fact,
while playing an opportunist role, India wants to extract maximum benefits
from the US. It is the right hour that Obama should take cognizance of the
fact that Indo-US defence pact is likely to initiate a dangerous arms race
in the region as China and Pakistan will be compelled to give similar
response to New Delhi. American president should know that Indian regional
hegemonic designs are a potent threat to the global peace. US president must
take serious notice of Indian gross human rights violations in Kashmir,
against Maoists, Christians, Muslims and Sikhs. Washington must also force
India to resolve Kashmir dispute with Pakistan for the sake of regional
peace.— Opinion-Maker
http://dailymailnews.com/1010/28/Editorial_Column/DMColumn.php
Scam-hit Adarsh Society denies encroaching defence land 2010-10-27 23:10:00
Tata Housing at Pune Ads by Google La Montana - 1,2 BHK Apts Talegaon
Mediterranean Style Architecture. www.Lamontana.co.in Mumbai, Oct 27 (IANS)
The controversial Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society claimed Wednesday that
it had not encroached even an inch of defence land here, as alleged, and
that the property in question belongs to the Maharashtra government. In a
statement issued here late Wednesday evening, retired brigadier M.M. Wanchu,
president of the society, said: 'The fact is that no defence land has been
grabbed, not even an inch has been encroached by Adarsh Society.' Wanchu
cited a defence communication and said the land on survey number 652, Colaba
Division, forming part of Block VI, is state government land earlier
allotted to BEST and left out for road widening. It was subsequently
allotted to the society because the road widening project was abandoned
after a ban was imposed on reclamation in 1991. 'This is an important
aspect of the whole case and it is clarified that defence has nothing to do
with the land in question,' he said. The Western Naval Command (WNC) had
written to the deputy registrar, A ward, for the first time Aug 27, 2009,
seeking details of the society. 'The persons staying in the building or the
members have been approved by the government of Maharashtra and their
antecedents have been properly verified and checked by the state government
authorities,' according to Wanchu. Wanchu also dismissed as 'baseless' and
factually not correct the contentions that while allotting the land, the
state government had stipulated that it was reserved only for Kargil war
widows or a girls hostel. The society president said that Colaba is a
non-cantonment military station, which is providing residential
accommodation to navy, army, air force and housing recreational clubs and
there was no naval establishment around the areas near Adarsh Society as
alleged. He pointed out that the WNC headquarters starts at the Lion Gate,
near Colaba, which is around 3-4 km away from the society. The most
sensitive buildings overlooking the WNC and naval dockyards were Hotel Taj
Mahal, the Reserve Bank of India building, the Bombay Stock Exchange
building and DSK Tower, besides twin highrises, Oyster and Dolphin, which
were in the heart of the army area and next to the Indian Naval Hospital,
Ashvini, he said. 'Therefore, these are the sensitive buildings the Navy
should be concerned about and not the Adarsh Tower, which is far away from
them,' he said. 'The reasons are best known to official as to why no
objection has been ever raised by navy prior to September 2009, when the
building was completed. It will be a sheer incorrect statement to make that
either the navy or other authorities have ever raised any security concerns
about Adarsh Society,' he said. 'It may be noted that some of the aspirants
have been denied membership due to non-availability (of flats) and that is
the origin of the problem,' the society president contended. Wanchu also
pointed out that the residential navy area in Colaba was surrounded by more
than 10,000 slums towards the Arabian Sea side, which should be a major
security concern of the naval authorities and not Adarsh Society. He said
that raising names of generals and other officers was only to sensationalise
the issue. 'General Vij was given membership in 2009, almost 5 years after
his retirement. Similarly, General (Deepak) Kapoor applied for membership,
when he was in the northern command and therefore had no role to play in
formation of the society or allotment of land,' he said. 'They have been
allotted only a two-BHK flats as a result of increase in FSI. It may be
noted that though it is a society like any other normal housing society, but
have accommodated more than 60 percent service/ex-servicemen including
Kargil heroes and widows and other brave soldiers in addition to 20 percent
Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes as per government Rules,' Wanchu said.
Wanchu also submitted a list of the 103 members of the society, who include
several big names from various fields of life.
http://sify.com/news/scam-hit-adarsh-society-denies-encroaching-defence-land
-news-national-kk1xksbeidg.html

1st wheelchair-bound officer promoted as Maj Gen PTI | 10:10 PM,Oct 27,2010
New Delhi, Mar 19 (PTI) History was created in the Indian Army today when a
wheelchair-bound officer was promoted to the rank of a Major General.
Belonging to the elite Parachute regiment, Maj Gen S K Razdan picked up his
two-star rank today and is posted at the Headquarters, Integrated Defence
Staff, Army officials said here. The 52-year-old Para Commando was left
paralysed below his waist after a spinal injury 15 years ago during a
gunfight in Kashmir, an effort which had won him a Kirti Chakra, the
country's second highest peace-time gallantry award. In a daring effort in
1995, Razdan had taken on terrorists and saved the lives of 14 women in a
16-hour operation in Damal Kunzipur on October 8, which also happens to be
his birthday. The officer was shifted to the Army's Base Hospital in the
national capital, where he was treated for his injuries. The Army has in the
past promoted amputee officers to General-officer rank, but this would be
the first time a wheelchair-bound officer has become a Major General, the
officers added.
http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/news/1st-wheelchairbound-officer-promo
ted-as-maj-gen/451325.html

Tower of shame For a man sought by his furious boss after going missing
from office, Ramchandra Sonelal Thakur looked calm and relaxed. It was 2003.
Thakur and I were at a café in Colaba, just outside south Mumbai's sylvan,
sprawling military station. Between sips of his coffee, Thakur told me of
his plan to rehouse war veterans and widows in a six-storey building. "You
see, it is for a noble cause," he said, explaining how as chief promoter and
founding member of the proposed Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society he
intended do the military a good turn. It seemed a minor detail to him that
he was a junior defence estates official, being probed by the Central Bureau
of Investigation for allegedly allowing construction on defence land in
exchange for two flats in Nagpur (the allegations were never proved). It
seemed irrelevant that his boss, director general of defence estates Veena
Maitra had denied him leave to be here in Mumbai. Thakur left Delhi anyway;
and much to Maitra's chagrin, he was slowly, methodically, and improbably,
managing to push his housing society through not one but two bureaucracies,
military and civilian. "Adarsh is only concerned with the military, all
branches of the defence forces," Thakur told me. This was the first of many
lies, which over the last seven years became the bedrock on which Thakur's
dream rose 30 storeys from the original six. In doing so, the Adarsh Society
mowed down what was then a park (inaugurated in 1996 by the local army
commander) of about 100 trees, brought on board a power list of names from
the military, politics and bureaucracy — and laid bare not just all that is
wrong and shameful about emerging India but the opportunities this
immorality offers those who dare. Even in 2003, Colaba was among Asia's most
valuable swathes of real estate (Adarsh's plot is now valued at more than Rs
500 crore). As we talked, I pointed to the name of "Kargil Hero" Subedar
Ramnarain Achelal Thakur, the lone JCO (junior commissioned officer) on
Adarsh's list of 71 beneficiaries. Even if your society is for war veterans
as you claim, how, I asked Thakur, could the Subedar hope to deposit Rs 6
lakh as a 20 per cent advance? "You see, jawans (soldiers) have ancestral
lands," said Thakur. "They can sell them easily. "Then Subedar Thakur will
collect his family from Bihar and move them to Cuffe Parade." Did he
seriously expect me to believe such explanations? It didn't matter. Thakur
seemed to be made of Teflon, as did his scheme. Director general Maitra said
she had asked the Maharashtra government to stop the transfer of the army's
park to Thakur's society. As for her errant junior, she said: "We are going
to proceed against him for this, and we are waiting for the CBI to finish
the inquiry." Seven years have passed since I first reported this story. A
veil of silence descended around Thakur; his backers possessed a doggedness
people like me did not. They knew irritants like me would go away if they
all stayed the course and stayed silent. None more so than the man whose
go-ahead was needed for the transfer of army land to civilian control, Maj
Gen T.K. Kaul, then Commander of the local army base. Today, as then, Kaul
refuses to answer questions or his phone or fax. Retired, he lives in the
Adarsh tower. Others who got flats blandly said then — and reiterate now —
that they did not know of the Kargil angle or the reputation of Thakur,
general secretary today of the Adarsh Society. Admiral Madhavendra Singh
was chief of naval staff when he became a member of Adarsh. "I had
absolutely no idea about the background of the person who is promoting it,"
he said in 2003. Retired today, the admiral says, "I have no clue if the
society was meant for Kargil heroes." Glib denials work because Thakur and
the Maharashtra government are right in insisting the society's paperwork is
in order. On September 16, 2010, the state handed Adarsh its occupation
certificate, the final clearance. It was obvious his society's powerful
members helped Thakur get a thicket of clearances, many of which should
never have been given. India is plagued with dubious land transfers, and the
army has had its share, involving its top echelons. But the Adarsh case is
particularly depressing because it reaffirms that nothing is sacred in
acquisitive new India; laws or memories of dead soldiers. Defence minister
A.K. Antony will find it hard to probe the case, as he now promises. Adarsh
was cleared by two of Anthony's Cabinet colleagues: power minister
Sushilkumar Shinde and heavy industries minister Vilasrao Deshmukh. In 2003,
Shinde dodged all questions on Adarsh; he continues to do so. The affable
Deshmukh just says he doesn't remember. Since I first wrote the Adarsh
story, follow-ups were few. Today, there's been a fresh burst of publicity,
thanks to a protest — the latest of not-so-many over the years — from vice
admiral Sanjeev Bhasin, chief of the western naval command based in Mumbai.
When I tracked down Thakur earlier this week, he was as confident as ever.
"Khatta angoor kaun khaya? Who has eaten sour grapes?" he said to me,
implying that Admiral Bhasin was opposing Adarsh because he did not get a
flat there. As in 2003, Thakur invited me to a meeting. Not at a café this
time but at his grand tower.
http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/Print/618685.aspx
2 ceasefire violations by Pak at Poonch, Uri sectors in J-K Jammu/Srinagar:
In two ceasefire violations on Wednesday, Pakistani troops pounded 10 Indian
posts with mortar bombs and rockets and fired indiscriminately along the
Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch and Uri sectors in Jammu and Kashmir. The
ceasefire violations within a gap of a couple of hours are the eighth in
less than a month along the LoC in J and K and the fifth this month alone
with the last incident occurring on Sunday. No casualties among the Indian
troops were reported in today`s incidents unlike during the ceasefire
violation on Sunday when army jawan Moray Sehdev of 17 Mahar Regiment was
killed after Indian posts were targeted with rockets in the Krishnagati
sub-sector in Poonch. The ceasefire violations occurred when the 63rd
Infantry day was being celebrated to mark the landing of the Indian army in
the Kashmir valley to beat back Tribal attack in 1948 to foil the designs of
Pakistan. Armed with heavy guns and rocket launchers, Pakistani troops
shelled Indian forward posts along LoC in Krishnagati sub-sector of Poonch
district around 1630 hours, Brigadier General Staff (BGS), 16 Corps, Brig
Satesh Dua told PTI in Jammu. Two to three posts came under unprovoked
shelling and firing, he said. Indian troops guarding the LoC took position
and retaliated leading to heavy exchanges till late in the evening, he said.
Over 20 to 25 mortar bombs and rockets were fired on Indian side, he said,
adding there was no casualties among the Indian troops. Pakistani troops
fired from their Chuha, Pimple and Daku posts and targeted Indian forward
posts of Kranti, Kripan-1, Chajja and Kripan-2 posts. The army believes
that ceasfire violation is a diversionary tactic to facilitate infiltration
of militants from across the LoC before the onset of winter snow which
blocks the Himalayan mountain passes. In the second ceasefire violation
which was in the Valley, Pakistani troops fired towards Indian positions in
Uri sector by resorting to unprovoked firing, an army spokesman said.
"Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked firing towards our positions in Uri
sector this evening," the spokesman said in Srinagar.. He said there were
no casualties in the firing.
http://www.zeenews.com/print.aspx?aid=664112

 

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