UN body now sets right facts on J&K, Arunachal
New Delhi, October 9 UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has dropped references to Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh as "independent entities" in its 2010 report and initiated a review of designating countries and territories. "In matters of this nature, FAO, as a specialised agency of the UN system, follows the principles and practice of the UN, specifically its Cartographic Section. The territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh are documented by the UN as disputed ones," Gavin Wall, FAO representative in India said. Notably, the categorisation had come as a surprise to many here. In its report, FAO has shown J-K and Arunachal Pradesh as separate countries along with India. The two Indian states figured in country grouping for East Asia. Wall said, "A review of FAO's system for designating country and regional data, which is based on the designations of countries and territories as established by the UN, has been immediately initiated in consultation with the UN with a view to promptly making any further adjustments as may be necessary." — PTI
Pak reopens supply route to NATO forces
Islamabad, October 9 Pakistan will immediately reopen a vital supply route for NATO forces in Afghanistan, 10 days after it was shut following a cross-border air strike by NATO forces, the Foreign Ministry said today. The United States apologised to Pakistan on Wednesday for the September 30 raid that killed two Pakistani soldiers, raising hopes that Pakistan would reopen the Torkham border crossing in the northwest for transporting supplies for NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Pakistan had closed the Torkham route passing through the Khyber Pass soon after the cross-border incursion killed the soldiers. Authorities cited security reasons. “After assessing the security situation in all its aspects, the government has decided to reopen the NATO/ISAF supply from the Pakistan-Afghanistan border at Torkham with immediate effect,” the foreign ministry said in a statement. “Our relevant authorities are now in the process of coordinating with authorities on the other side of the border to ensure smooth resumption of the supply traffic.” Richard Snelsire, the U.S. embassy spokesman, said Washington welcomed the reopening of the border crossing, and called it “a positive development.” An embassy official, speaking on background, said trucks would likely start moving into Afghanistan on Monday. The helicopter strike that sparked the border row was the most serious of recent cross-border incidents involving NATO-led forces fighting in Afghanistan, which have stoked tensions with Pakistan. The US ambassador described the incursion as a terrible accident. Saturday’s attack on the tanker trucks was the sixth in recent days. A second supply route passing through southwestern Pakistan has remained open. Trucking routes through Pakistan bring in around 40 per cent of supplies for NATO forces in Afghanistan, according to the United States Transportation Command. Of the remainder, 40 per cent come through Afghanistan’s neighbours in the north and 20 per cent by air. Most of the NATO supplies in Pakistan come through the northwest where Pakistani security forces have been battling a growing insurgency by militants linked to al Qaeda and Taliban. The United States has been pressing Pakistan to take a harder line against militants launching cross-border attacks from their Pakistani safe havens in the northwest on Western forces in Afghanistan. — Reuters
US drone takes out prized Al Qaeda leader
October 09, 2010 21:40 IST Tags: Al Qaeda, Khalid Mohammad Abbas al-Harabi, US, North Waziristan Agency, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman Share this Ask Users Write a Comment An Al Qaeda [ Images ] leader with a bounty of a million dollars on his head was killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan's lawless tribal belt earlier this week, security officials said on Saturday. Click! Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, an Al Qaeda operative of Libyan origin, died in a missile strike on Thursday, said the officials who spoke on condition of anonymity. Rahman was killed with three other militants when the unmanned spy plane fired two missiles at a vehicle in North Waziristan Agency, which borders Afghanistan. The US had earlier offered a bounty of one million dollars for Rahman. The officials said another lower ranking Al Qaeda operative, Khalid Mohammad Abbas al-Harabi, too was killed in the same missile strike. The US has significantly stepped up drone attacks in the Waziristan region since early September. The increase in strikes coincided with reports that Western intelligence agencies had uncovered a plot by militants based in the region to attack major European cities.
Make INA chronicles public: CIC
Himanshi Dhawan, TNN, Oct 10, 2010, 04.19am IST NEW DELHI: The Central Information Commission (CIC) has asked the defence ministry to make public the document chronicling the history of Indian National Army (INA). The draft, which traces the evolution of the Azad Hind Fauj — formed by Subhash Chandra Bose — has never been made public and is just another example of the lack of a comprehensive declassification policy within the government. The document, commissioned in 1950, records the INA's history between 1942-1945. While this document was declassified some years back, the government has not made any attempt to make even excerpts public. In fact, the defence ministry had refused to make the report public under Right to Information (RTI) on the plea that it would hurt the economic interest of the government which planned to publish the document. RTI applicant Chandrachur Ghose, in fact, was forced to submit an affidavit saying the information would only be used by him in his personal capacity.
Only robots will be on display
TNN, Oct 9, 2010, 09.45pm IST MYSORE: The indegenously devleoped defence technologies will be on display at Dasara. There will be different types of robots that are used for security purposes. But there won't be any tanks or prototypes of other machines. The armed forces panel attributed this to lack of time. BJP MLC G Madhusudan, who heads the armed forces committee, on Saturday admitted they could not contact the Indian Army to get the machines. "We didn't have time to get things done. But nonetheless we are trying," the legislator told reporters. According to him, the army officials have conveyed that they are taking part in an expo at Madurai and cannot spare any for Mysore. The expo on the Dasara Exhibition premises will open from Tuesday and will be open between 10 am and 8 pm. The entry is free. Madhusudan said some 12 units of DRDO, including HAL, are getting their models developed for the General Cariappa defence expo. The panel is also hosting a technical expo at the spot showcasing the achievements of labs attached to the defence ministry.
Saraswat: DRDO working on India's own computer operating system
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V.K. Saraswat, Scientific Adviser to Raksha Mantri, Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and DG DRDO during an inauguration function in Bangalore on Saturday. Photo: K. Gopinathan The Hindu V.K. Saraswat, Scientific Adviser to Raksha Mantri, Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and DG DRDO during an inauguration function in Bangalore on Saturday. Photo: K. Gopinathan Two software engineering centres to be set up in Bangalore, New Delhi The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is working on creating a futuristic computing system, including India's own operating system, said V.K. Saraswat, Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister and DRDO Director-General. Talking to journalists after inaugurating the DRDO Transit Facility here on Saturday, Dr. Saraswat said: “We do not have our own operating system. Today, various bodies, including banks and defence establishments, need security. Having our own operating system will help us prevent hacking of our systems.” Two software engineering centres are being set up for this purpose in Bangalore and New Delhi. “To start with, we will have 25 scientists at each of these centres. We are in touch with institutes such as the Indian Institute of Science, Indian Institute of Technology Madras and the Centre for Development of Telematics, besides universities and industries. We will use available talent.” Citing security reasons, he refused to provide details of organisations involved in the project. The new operating system would also have commercial use, he said and added: “With a home-grown system, the source code will be with us and it helps in securing our systems,” he said. Asked about the money involved for the project and the timeframe, Dr. Saraswat said it was fairly a costly affair, without elaborating on the timeframe. He said a series of indigenously built military satellites with surveillance imaging and navigation capabilities were being launched. “There will be a series of [defence] satellites. Numbers cannot be revealed because they are classified. Each year, you will find one or two satellites going up.” These satellites will be dedicated to different defence applications and launched as per the schedule put out by the Department of Space. “The Army, the Navy and the Air Force each have their own requirement, and it won't be appropriate to say how many each of them would need,” Dr. Saraswat said. It will have payloads for surveillance, imaging, navigation and communication. “You should be able to see with very high resolution and precision the movements of troops and things like that [in the neighbourhood].” Data and commands can be sent through these satellites to cruise missiles, he added. Dr. Saraswat said there was a possibility of exporting many things developed by the DRDO laboratories, including the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), which, he said, was regarded as the best aircraft. “Many countries are approaching us for Akash and Nag missiles, and the LCA,” he said. The priority was to provide indigenous technology. “Export is only incidental,” he said.
BEML to supply 788 TATRA vehicles to Indian army
BEML, the premier public sector manufacturing defence equipment, has bagged a whopping order worth Rs.632 Crore from the Ministry of Defence for supply of BEML TATRA variants. This huge order comprises supply of BEML Tatra Variants of 498 Nos. of 8x8, 278 Nos. of 6x6 (with Winch) and 12 nos. of 6x6 (without Winch) to Indian Army. These 788 BEML TATRA vehicles have to be delivered to Indian Army within a period of 18 months. In this regard, Ministry of Defence has already made 50 per cent advance payment to BEML amounting to Rs. 315.83 crore. It is to be mentioned that BEML Tatra vehicles are manufactured with unique technology suitable for all terrain operations. BEML Tatra 8x8 ranges are the multi-terrain vehicles used for tank transportation as well as personnel. These equipment are provided with a winch for self recovery and loading of dead tanks on to the trailer. Similarly BEML TATRA 6x6 ranges are high mobility vehicles used for GS role in Indian Army. These vehicles have a payload capacity of 8000 KGs and useful for towing trailers on public roads upto 65,000 kgs and on terrain conditions trailer weighing upto 16,000 kg. These vehicles also are provided with winch for self recovery and recovery of other vehicles. BEML, a Rs.3000 crore Mini Ratna Public Sector Company (PSC) under the Ministry of Defence, is operating in three core businesses viz., Mining & Construction, Rail & Metro and Defence & Aerospace. The company has set a target of Rs. 4,000 crore to achieve for the current financial year i.e., 2009-10 besides having a corporate goal of achieving a Rs. 5,000 crore turnover during 2013-14, which is being the ‘Golden Jubilee Year of the Company’.