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Sunday, 14 November 2010

From Today's Papers - 14 Nov 2010

With large numbers resigning for better prospects The IPS has vacancies for
630 officers Ajay Banerjee Tribune News Service New Delhi, November 13 It
will be several years before the country overcomes the acute shortage of
police (Indian Police Service ) officers. In January this year the
Parliament was informed that as on January 1, there was a shortage of 630
IPS officers and the annual intake was being increased by 60 additional
heads to meet the shortage. But that is clearly not enough. The northern
states, however, fared much better according to statistics made available by
the Union Home Ministry. Although Punjab had a shortage of 32 police
officers ( 112 against the sanctioned cadre strength of 144), Haryana and
Himachal Pradesh were short by just 8 and 11 officers respectively.
Uttarakhand was even better placed and missed only two IPS officers. In
sharp contrast, Madhya Pradesh (76), West Bengal (71), Orissa (60), Bihar
(48), Karnataka and Tamil Nadu ( 40 each) ,J & K ( 28) faced a serious
dearth of police officers. Ironically, a disproportionate number of officers
actually get recruited from many of the eastern states like Bihar and
Orissa. But with very few recruits from other states keen to serve in these
parts, the shortages piled up over the years. Many of these states also
face serious threats from underground outfits and the crisis of leadership
in the uniformed force has compounded the drift. At the end of March this
year, out of the 26 ADGP posts at the Centre, as many as 16 were vacant but
only one officer was available to fill them. The shortage has been
accentuated by the increasing trend of resignations. Since 2003, some 50
directly recruited IPS officers have resigned from their jobs citing "better
prospects and personal reasons". Out of these 50, a total of 21 quit the
service after the Sixth Pay Commission was implemented in 2008. Seven of
these officers who quit had been allocated cadres in North-Eastern states,
considered a tough posting. The IPS cadre has a sanctioned strength of 4013
officers while 3383 were actually in service at the beginning of this year.
The MHA had ordered a cadre review and decided on increasing the authorised
strength of IPS officers officers across the country to 4730. This number
will be achieved over the next three to four years. The government is also
exploring the possibility of conducting a limited competitive examination
just to recruit IPS officers and fill the gap. A senior functionary
explained that one-third of those who quit after the Pay Commission, had
tough postings. Some of the young recruits, when they are picked up by the
private sector at salaries which are five times higher, it is natural that
they would opt out. Experience in government as an officer, he pointed out,
is a huge bonus when looking for jobs outside. Other factors prompting
officers to resign include stagnation, late promotion, arbitrary
cadre-allotment, long field postings, arbirary and abrupt transfers,
disparity with other All India services and lack of motivation. Little has
been done to address these issues. The immediate need, however, is to
recruit more officers as responsibilities of policing are increasing by the
day. Post Mumbai, all states now have anti-terror squads, all of them have
intelligence collating and disseminating units and officials have to be
allocated to study the information collected. More and more officials are
also involved on technical tasks like phone tapping or tracking of
suspicious e-mails. With the changing dynamics in the neighbouring
countries, the MHA is also looking to beef up its network along the
Indo-Nepal border and the Indo-Bhutan border, respectively.
Lobbying on to save part of Adarsh society Shiv Kumar Tribune News Service
Desperate measures n The Adarsh society has been given two weeks to reply to
the show-cause notice for violating green norms n Some representatives of
the society have appealed to the Maharashtra government seeking
regularisation of the first seven floors of the building after paying a
penalty n Under the rules governing construction in the area, there is a
height limit of 45.6 metres while the Adarsh Society is 104 metres in height
n Residents on the upper floors of Adarsh Society are examining legal
options to say the demolition of the building November 13, 2010 Flat owners
in the controversial Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society have begun lobbying
to save at least part of the building after the Union Environment Ministry
on Friday issued show-cause notices asking why the building should not be
demolished. The society has been given two weeks to reply to the show-cause
notice. The society would be allowed another week if it sought to make
representations before the environment ministry seeking a stay on
demolition. Under the rules governing construction in the area, there is a
height limit of 45.6 metres while the Adarsh Society is 104 metres in
height. The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) permits
construction of buildings confirming to the height restrictions, officials
from the body said. Some representatives of Adarsh society have appealed to
the MCZMA seeking regularisation of the bottom seven floors of the building
after paying a penalty, sources said. However if the state authority agrees
to the proposal, all the floors higher than seven floors would be
demolished. However the Union Environment Ministry under Jairam Ramesh has
clarified that the MCZMA's clearance for the project was not sought and the
construction of Adarsh would not be regularised. Powerful sections in the
Maharashtra government are taking solace from the fact that the Union
Environment Ministry has been accommodating in the past particularly in
connection with projects like the proposed airport at Navi Mumbai.
Meanwhile, residents on the upper floors of Adarsh Society are examining
legal options to say the demolition of the building.
India, B'desh to keep peace on border Ashok Tuteja Tribune News Service New
Delhi, November 13 India and Bangladesh have resolved to maintain peace and
tranquillity along their border amid indications by Dhaka that it was open
to the idea of having an extradition treaty with India. The fourth meeting
of the India-Bangladesh Joint Boundary Working Group (JBWG) concluded in New
Delhi last evening with the two sides agreeing to take up a joint survey of
the Adverse Possession of Land (APLs) along the Meghalaya-Bangladesh border
on a priority basis. The two countries reaffirmed that peaceful conditions
should be maintained in the border regions, officials here said. The JBWG
was set up in December 2000 to resolve matters relating to the demarcation
of the undemarcated boundary between the two countries and other outstanding
issues pertaining to the territories in the APLs, enclaves and also erection
of permanent boundary pillars wherever necessary on the demarcated boundary.
India and Bangladesh share a common border of 4,096 km touching five states
- West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram - as well as a shared
history and socio-cultural heritage. Relations between New Delhi and Dhaka
have witnessed ups and downs ever since Bangladesh attained independence in
1971 although Bangladesh remains India's largest trading partner in the
region. Lately, the two countries have seen an unprecedented swing in
bilateral ties, thanks to Sheikh Hasina being at the helm of affairs in the
neighbouring country. New Delhi is quite appreciative of the cooperation it
has been receiving from the Sheikh Hasina government in tackling the
North-East insurgent groups. The authorities in Bangladesh had last year
foiled at least one attempt to target the Indian High Commission in Dhaka.
In recent months, Dhaka has also handed over some ULFA rebels to the Indian
authorities. Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, who was in Agartala
earlier this week, reassured New Delhi that her country would not allow
insurgent groups to use its soil for anti-India activities. She also stated
that Bangladesh would continue to cooperate with India in the fight against
terrorism, regardless of whether the two countries have an extradition
treaty or not.
Adarsh scam: A bigger land-grab plan Prachi Jawadekar Wagh, Updated:
November 13, 2010 20:22 IST Ads by Google TATA Housing - New Haven –
Presenting Premium Row Houses in Boisar. Drop an Enquiry! Mumbai: The Adarsh Housing scam has made the national
headlines and cost a Chief Minister his job. The Army is investigating the
role of some of its senior-most officers. Now, it seems that this scam was
part of a much more elaborate plot. NDTV has learnt that the promoters of
the Adarsh Housing Society were also gunning for another prime piece of
defence land in South Mumbai worth crores. Under the scanner now is a 7000
square metres of sea facing land in South Mumbai. Documents with NDTV show
that while Adharsh was being built, members of that society prosposed an
Adarsh II here, in 2007, to the then Revenue Minister Narayan Rane. Just as
land for Adarsh in Colaba had been acquired on citing Kargil widows, heroes
and war veterans, Adarsh II was proposed as low-cost housing for servicemen
and the poor. In both cases, the lands fell in the Coastal Regulation Zone.
In fact the Adarsh II plot,during high tide, goes under water. While Adarsh
Housing Society totally bypassed environmental clearances the Adarsh II
claimed that the Urban Development department had strongly advocated
development of this land- a claim not backed by documents * Share this
on * NDTVTwitter * NDTVNDTV Social * Share
with MessengerLive Messenger * NDTVGmail Buzz * NDTVPrint In
2008, another proposal, with covert links to the Adarsh Society, was floated
- the Rakshak Cooperative Housing for servicemen and ex-servicemen. This
proposal came with a detailed survey map of vital defence properties in
South Mumbai. The map was prepared by the architect of Adarsh Society based
on information that is, otherwise, highly confidential. Lieutenant General
(retired) Moti Dar, who headed the Rakshak Society proposal told NDTV,
"Rakshak Society proposal was inspired by the ongoing construction of Adarsh
Society. However I do not remember who gave me the map." Sources tell NDTV
this map is proof that Adarsh Society had detailed information of each piece
of defence land that could be potentially grabbed. When contacted the
Adarsh Society promoters refused to the answer queries on these projects,
but documents indicate an elaborate land grab scheme that could now come
under the scanner.
End of army drill, pat from US OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT An American soldier
checks the gear of an Indian Army commando during the drill in Alaska New
Delhi, Nov. 13: Indian and US army commandos tried combined air assault and
ground attack missions during the latest edition of a series of war games in
Alaska that coincided with the visit of US President Barack Obama to India
this week. The field drills for the exercises at Site Summit on Joint Base
Elmendorf-Richardson of Yudh Abhyas 2010 concluded today. The soldiers
began with a fortnight of classes and troop leading procedures that they
rehearsed to function as members of a team, a drill designed for what the
two militaries call "inter-operability". "This mission was the culmination
of all our work for the past couple of weeks. It was the last mission, the
big mission and a very important one. A lot of preparation went into it.
We've done nothing but training with the Indian soldiers and it's been
awesome," said Sgt. Steve Faulkner, the team leader with Bravo Troop, 1st
Squadron (Airborne), 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team
(Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, quoted in a US army release. The
exercise was divided into three parts: security, support and assault. The
Indian soldiers were among teams tasked to clear an area. "The training we
performed prior to this mission allowed them to understand our tactics and
us to understand theirs and it eliminates any confusion," said the release
quoting Ross Berger, cavalry scout with Bravo Troop, 1-40th Cavalry. "It's
good to see how they operate because we've learned a lot from their tactics
that we've never thought of. "I was surprised how exceptionally well we all
worked together and meshed. There hasn't been an instance of confusion. We
understand each other really well," Faulkner said. "Tactically, they are
really sound," Faulkner said. "We just gave them a little bit of instruction
on the equipment." The Yudh Abhyas series of exercises is an annual
feature. Like in the last edition in Babina in India, this time too the
Indian soldiers tried out several US-made weapons, including the Javelin
Anti-Tank Guided Missile. The Indian Army is buying at least 400 of the
Raytheon-made weapons and the two sides are discussing a proposal to produce
them under license and the Indian defence public sector Bharat Dynamics
Hillary: Pakistan used terror outfits against India WASHINGTON: Pakistan
has used terror outfits as a hedge against India, U.S. Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton has said, but she implied that things might not have changed
completely. In an honest assessment of the situation in the
Afghanistan-Pakistan region, Ms. Clinton acknowledged that the U.S. policy
of creating the 'mujahideen' to oust the Soviet Union from Afghanistan had
boomeranged. Pakistan's policy towards India and Afghanistan was "changing"
for the better, but she could not vouch for a U-turn. "They [Pakistan] have
in the past hedged against both India and an unfriendly regime in
Afghanistan by supporting groups that will be their proxies in trying to
prevent either India or an unfriendly Afghan government from undermining
their position." "That is changing... Now, I cannot sit here and tell you
that it has changed, but that is changing," she told ABC News in an
interview the transcripts of which were released by the State Department.
Ms. Clinton admitted that the U.S. had created radical outfits and supported
terrorists like Osama bin Laden to fight the Soviet Union, but that strategy
had boomeranged. "Part of what we are fighting against right now, the United
States created. We created the Mujahideen force against the Soviet Union [in
Afghanistan]. We trained them, we equipped them, we funded them, including
somebody named Osama bin Laden." "And it didn't work out so well for us,"
she said. The Secretary of the State said Pakistan was paying a "big price"
for supporting the U.S. war against terror groups. "... I think it is
important to note that as they have made these adjustments in their own
assessment of their national interests, they're paying a big price for it."
"And it's not an easy calculation for them to make. But we are making
progress [in Afghanistan]. We have a long way to go, and we can't be
impatient... Well, the headlines are bad. We're going home. We cannot do
that," she said. Appearing on the same show, Defence Secretary Robert Gates
said Pakistan has withdrawn an equivalent of six divisions of its army from
the Indian border, moving them to the war zone with the Taliban. "They're
attacking the Taliban- Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, and safe havens that are a
problem for us." Gates said. Unwise to blame us, says Pakistan Reacting to
Ms. Clinton's comments on Pakistan's policy of using terror outfits against
India and Afghanistan, Pakistan's Foreign Office said his country was trying
to deal with extremist forces and it would be unwise to blame it. "I think
this is a regional issue. In all countries, we do have forces which are
extremists, which are violent, and we are trying to handle them," spokesman
Abdul Basit told an Indian TV channel. In New Delhi, the Ministry of
External Affairs said India hoped to see "movement" on the part of Islamabad
towards dismantling the terror infrastructure, an issue it has been raising
unequivocally. — PTI
Kayani's doctrine of escalation The writer is director at the South Asia
Free Media Association, Lahore Should we
adjudge the 'intent' of India while framing our military defence, or should
we look at India's 'capacity' to harm Pakistan? Intent is when India says it
wants a stable Pakistan and wants normal, good-neighbourly relations with
it. Capacity is the actual capability of the Indian army to harm Pakistan,
its induction of new weapon systems and the upgradation of the systems it
has. Our army chief, General Kayani, adheres to the second 'realist'
assessment. He says he will frame Pakistan's defensive strategy in line with
India's acquisition of Pakistan-specific weapons. On Tuesday night,
November 9, 2010 Dunya TV had anchor Najam Sethi saying that General
Kayani's doctrine opened Pakistan to an arms race that Pakistan simply could
not afford and that the 'doctrine' was a new concept in Pakistan's
confrontation with India. Anchor Dr Moeed Pirzada, a well-read person among
our TV commentators, said that the 'realist' doctrine of General Kayani was
the widely accepted yardstick of defence response among nations. It was much
safer to study the war capability developed by the enemy state than to pay
heed to the peaceful 'intent' expressed by it. The doctrine was embraced by
the US in its confrontation with the Soviet Union. It paid off because the
latter also tacitly accepted it in the bilateral arms race at the global
level. Finally, the Soviet Union quit the field of military competition in
the face of President Reagan's planned escalation under the rubric of 'space
wars' initiative and was made to disintegrate later by its other internal
contradictions. This happened after the 'disarmament' efforts by the two
super-rivals had reached an advanced stage, delineating the nuclear status
quo and precluding accidental nuclear conflict as far as possible. India and
Pakistan are not even there as yet. The Soviet Union simply could not keep
up with the capacity of America's free economy to innovate in the
development of weapons. The totalitarian vision of Lenin, which rejected
competition by calling it 'economy of waste', was gone by the time Brezhnev
came to power in the Soviet Union in the 1970s along with much more
realistic regional leaders like Gorbachev in Leningrad and Yeltsin in
Moscow. The Soviet economy simply could not keep up with the new advances
that competition in the US market had made possible. Where does one place
Pakistan in this 'realist' military paradigm? India's economy, its high
growth rate and its ability to indigenise military technology at a far
higher scale than Pakistan, will go on compelling Pakistan to match India by
inducting technologies it does not own. The ratio of its defence spending to
the GDP is already too high to sustain. The arms race with India — including
the acquisition of nuclear weapons — has damaged Pakistan; and the doctrine
of escalation is already somewhat comparable to an imaginary acceptance of
it by Cuba vis-à-vis America. India has always thought of dictating
Pakistan's military build-up till Pakistan can no longer sustain it without
affecting the quality of life of the common man. India 'supported'
Pakistan's nuclear programme when Pakistan's growth rate was hitting rock
bottom as opposed to India's record high growth rate at the time of Pokhran.
Pakistan did Kargil when its economy was almost belly-up, once again
indicating the lack of realism among its military leadership. Now that its
internal situation causes alarm across the globe, is it right to articulate
this 'realist' policy of escalation? Pakistan has always known that it
can't match India in military capability. That is why it adopted the
asymmetric approach. India had the same kind of problem vis-à-vis China but
it ignored the doctrine that General Kayani has embraced in his
India-centric strategy. It also did not adopt the asymmetric war approach
against China. Pakistan has come to grief after half a century of using
non-state actors against India. It is isolated internationally and is under
attack from the very non-state actors it once nurtured and patronised. It
is time we changed the paradigm of defence in Pakistan and returned to the
normalcy of trade and trade routes. Pakistan's revisionism vis-à-vis India
must give way to compulsions of self-correction; and Pakistan must become
open to international finance as an important adjunct to South Asia's rising
economy. Published in The Express Tribune, November 14th, 2010.
Pakistan's strategic interests News & Views Mohammad Jamil Debate has been
raging since 1950s whether Pakistan should have joined defence pacts with
the West – Seato, Cento and bilateral agreement with the US. After Soviet
forces landed in Afghanistan, what they said on the invitation of Afghan
government, Pakistan jumped into the fray and joined the Afghan jihad, which
many believe resulted in bringing Pakistan to the present pass. The question
also arises as to why Pakistan leadership buckled under pressure when
America threatened to consign Pakistan into stone-age. In hindsight, one
could say that all those decisions were big blunders, as Pakistan could not
achieve any of its objectives vis-à-vis integrity of the country, resolution
of Kashmir dispute and a sound industrial base. It is true that at the time
of independence, Pakistan had meager resources, not enough to build a strong
defence force. But had the then leadership and bureaucracy used their
cerebral faculties, they would have succeeded in making Pakistan
self-reliant. In fact, Pakistani leadership looked outside for help and
depended on the West; and it was dependency syndrome that Pakistan was
coerced into joining the war on terror, which resulted in enormous and death
and destruction. Pakistan is indeed a resourceful country, but corruption,
ineptness and lack of visionary leadership were the causes for bringing
Pakistan on the verge of collapse. Quite a few Pakistani
pseudo-intellectuals, anchorpersons, journalists and media men started
saying that Pakistan is a failed state. In print media, articles are
published leveling the same accusations which Indian and American leadership
do. For example, they continue blaming Pakistan military and its
intelligence agencies for their clandestine connection with militants and
banned organizations like Lashkar-i-Taiba. In TV talk shows, one often
listens to 'brilliant' analysts, panelists and anchorpersons who remind
Pakistan government that it should conduct in a manner that America,
European countries and India start trusting Pakistan. Instead of identifying
the causes for the degeneration and supineness that have crept in society,
and suggesting measures to make Pakistan economically and militarily strong,
they are on a self-destruct course. They make a mockery of the term
'strategic depth' used by our political and military leadership by giving a
spin or misinterpreting it as if Pakistan wants to install a government of
its choice in Afghanistan. In 1960s also this term was used for Iran
conveying an impression that in the event of enemy's attack Pakistan could
withdraw to the Iranian territory to prepare for counter-attack. Anyhow,
Pakistan's desire to see a friendly government in Afghanistan is logical
because from King Zahir Shah to Najibullah, Pakistan's relations with
Afghanistan had remained strained. Now, when Pakistan has suffered in men
and treasure during Afghan jihad, and when America and India see their
strategic interests in Afghanistan and Central Asian Republics sitting more
than 11000 and 2000 kilometres away respectively, Pakistan has genuine
concern over being surrounded by India from the East and West through its
clout with Afghan government. Russia was unhappy over Pakistan's help to
Afghan resistance, and secondly for having recognized the Taliban. But
Pakistan never condoned the acts of the Taliban or their 'passion' for
exporting Islam. Russia does not like to see the Taliban coming to power or
share power in Afghanistan; which is why it has offered transit route for
supplies to NATO forces in Afghanistan, and also training the Afghan forces.
Having that said, Russia would not like to see America firmly entrenched in
Afghanistan. America should bear in mind India-Russia nexus, as during Cold
War era India had never opposed Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. In a
meeting in Dushanbe the other day, Russia's Director of Federal Security
Service, Alexander Bortnikov has said: "Pakistan and Afghanistan have become
'incubators' of terrorism, and pose a threat to Russia and all constituents
of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) of former Soviet republics".
In 2001, India joined the New Great Game being played out in the Central
Asian Region (CAR), where fierce competition for the area's vast energy
resources was intensifying. Rahul Bedi, quoting military and diplomatic
sources, had written in the Frontline in September 2002 that a military base
was operational since May in Tajikistan in Farkhor close to the Afghan
border. The Farkhor base was also being used to funnel relief assistance
that India pledged to Kabul after the Taliban's ouster. Farkhor base was set
up following a bilateral agreement signed during then defence minister
George Fernandes' visit to the Tajik capital Dushanbe in April 2001. It was
agreed that India will train Tajik defence personnel, service and retrofit
their Soviet and Russian military equipment and teach its army and air force
personnel English. Indian army had been running a 25-bed hospital at
Farkhor since 2001, even before 9/11 during the civil war in Afghanistan.
The Northern Alliance military commander, Ahmad Shah Masood, who was
assassinated two days before 9/11 ie on 9th September 2001 by two Arab
suicide bombers posing as journalists, died in the above India-run hospital
in Tajikistan. Through Tajikistan, India had also reportedly supplied the
Northern Alliance (NA) high altitude warfare equipment; helicopter
technicians from the clandestine Aviation Research Centre (ARC) operated by
the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), repaired the NA's Soviet-made Mi-17
and Mi-35 attack helicopters. The ARC operated a fleet of spy aircraft that
provide the RAW aerial reconnaissance, communications and electronics
intelligence and imagery analysis. India however says that it does not have
any base as per today. Since Pakistan has given tremendous sacrifice during
Afghan jihad, and played host to more than three million Afghan refugees,
and in the process suffered from drug and Kalashnikov culture, Pakistan is
justified in desiring that it should not have a hostile government on the
western border. Viewed in the context that objective of a foreign policy
for any country is to have cordial relations with all countries of the world
especially the neighbouring countries, and to safeguard its national
security, independence and sovereignty, Pakistan's foreign policy has been a
dismal failure since its inception. In 1950s, the Arab countries like Egypt,
Syria, Libya etc., were unhappy with Pakistan because of joining the Cento
and Seato pacts, and for entering into bilateral agreement with the US. The
newly independent and non-aligned nations were suspicious of our role; the
socialist block considered Pakistan as their enemy and the US-led western
powers thought of Pakistan no more than a pawn on their international
political chessboard. America has in the past ditched Pakistan after
achieving its objective. And this time it would not be different. Pakistan
should, therefore, review its foreign policy, and enhance strategic
relationship with China. Pakistani leadership should not have fears that
building up trust with China would annoy America. And in the event of a war
between the US and China, Pakistan could suffer because of India being
strategic partner of America. When we say that there could be no war between
India and Pakistan, as war between two nuclear states is not an option, then
there is not a remote possibility of war between India and China or America
and China.
India to allow private shipyards to manufacture naval ships Our Bureau Fri,
Nov 12, 2010 10:33 CET In a major policy shift, the Indian government
will allow private Indian shipyards to construct naval ships, an activity
which was previously limited to state owned ship building companies. This
will open up the field for foreign investment in Indian shipyards and see a
major infusion of technology and finance into the domestic shipbuilding
industry. The Indian Navy has one of the most ambitious ship
induction programs in the world as part of its master plan to become a blue
water navy in the 21st century. The Defence Minister A K Antony has said
that starting Janaury 2011, state owned shipyards will have to compete with
private ones for ship building contracts. "Government has taken a
decision that from January 2011 onwards, the Defence Acquisition Council
(DAC) will not give any nominations to the defence shipyards for Naval
projects and they will have to compete with the private shipyards for the
tenders," Antony said Wednesday in a report quoted to a news agency.
The Government will procure equipment for the Navy under 'Buy Indian Make
Indian' category where both PSU and private sector shipyards will have to
compete for tenders, he said. He said initially the policy would be
applicable for Navy only, gradually it would be extended to acquisition by
the Indian Army and Air Force as well forces. AddThis

Indian Army Raises Arunachal Scouts Unit By sinlung / On : 3:33 AM/
indian-armyShillong, Nov 11 : The Indian Army today formally raised the
first battalion of the Arunachal Pradesh scouts— a well-trained army unit
that will be operative only in Arunachal Pradesh. The functions and
operations of Arunachal Pradesh scouts will be similar to that of the Ladakh
scouts — the frontier unit of the Indian Army that had played a major role
during the Kargil war. The raising day of the Arunachal Pradesh scouts was
formally inaugurated by Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu at
the sprawling parade ground of the Assam Regimental Centre (ARC), Shillong
today. In his address to the jawans, Khandu said: "We should take pride
that for the first time in the history of Indian Army, a battalion has been
named after the State of Arunachal Pradesh". Disclosing that the concept of
Arunachal Pradesh scouts has been his dream and a long-felt demand of the
State as well, Khandu extended his gratitude to Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Defence Minister AK Antony, Chief of
Army Staff General VK Singh, top brass of the Army and bureaucrats for
honouring the genuine demand for raising the Arunachal Scouts. He further
acknowledged the relentless efforts made by the Arunachal Pradesh Governor
Gen J J Singh, his Cabinet colleagues, Members of Parliament, MLAs and
officers from the State for making the dream of Arunachal Scout come true.
"Since this new battalion is born out of the Assam Regiment, you continue to
be a part of the living symbol of martial strength and traditions of the
Northeast. The glorious tradition of the people of the Land of the Rising
Sun and the dawn-lit mountains of India and their inborn ability of
surviving in all kinds of adverse conditions and treacherous terrain would
be the core strength of your battalion" Khandu asserted. "You will have the
difficult task of making your own history and creating unparalleled
traditions. I have no doubt that you will embark upon the arduous task of
creating one of the strongest, cohesive, disciplined and operationally
proficient battalions of the Indian Army," Khandu said emphatically. Khandu
requested the recruits to give their best as the country and the State of
Arunachal Pradesh would look up to them with full confidence as the
sentinels of the country. In addition to the raising ceremony of first
battalion of Arunachal Scouts, Khandu attended the Passing out ceremony of
294 batch of the Assam Regiment as the reviewing officer on the day.
Impressed by the excellent performance of the passing out contingents
through march past and drills, Khandu congratulated them for being a
full-fledged soldier of the motherland and successfully completing the
training course. Khandu believed that training should be made mandatory for
all personnel time and again so that it could make them fit and healthy. He
hinted similar type of training programmes for the State police. Khandu
encouraged the personnel to show bravery and courage in safeguarding the
territorial boundary and maintain the discipline and devotion which are
mandatory in arm forces. Although Arunachal Pradesh scouts will be under
the aegis of the Assam Regiment, the men will be from the qualified
inhabitants of Arunachal Pradesh. Khandu also said, "By their inborn
virtues, Arunachal Pradesh scouts will take the mantle of the other jawans
to maintain vigilance in places that have varying altitudes from 1,500 feet
to 2,400 feet of altitude from the sea level". Khandu also said that
taking into consideration the unmanned 1,200 km border with China, 520 km
with Myanmar and 219 km with Bhutan, the local recruits of the new force
will go a long way in ensuring the national integrity. When asked on
whether the Chinese factor is the reason for raising the army battalion, the
senior most serving officer of the Assam Regiment Major General SN Singh
told a group of newsmen on the sidelines of the ceremonial programme that
the raising of the new unit was not a target to anybody. "It's a battalion
with men from the place", he said, and added: "They are the ones who are
acclimatized with the topography, the weather and the other conditions of
the area." Adding further to what the Arunachal Chief Minister said General
Singh also added that the raising of the new battalion would give an
opportunity to the people of Arunachal Pradesh to take an active part in the
defense of the country. Meanwhile, the Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister
announced a financial package of Rs 50 lakh for the new Arunachal scouts and
Rs 5 lakh for the instructors. Among others from Arunachal Pradesh, PWD &
UD Minister Nabam Tuki, Parliamentary Secretary Labour and Employment Padi
Richo, GOC 56 Division Maj General R N Singh and Commandant, Assam
Regimental Centre were present on the occasion.

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