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Tuesday, 7 December 2010

From Today's Papers - 07 Dec 2010

Vohra stresses on national security architecture Tribune News Service  New Delhi, December 6 Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra today advocated that India identify its security needs without allowing state or regional politics to interfere with national interest.  Vohra, ex-Defence Secretary and Home Secretary, drew a clear line with his opinion while delivering the inaugural address at the three-day international conference on public security in federal polities, ‘Exploring the Global-National-Level Continuum’ here today evening. Organised by the Centre for Public Affairs, the conference will explore the approach needed to evolve a national security consensus.  “The nation immediately needs an over-arching national security management structure,” said Vohra, stating that it should be backed by adequate technical resources and manpower. He cited the example of the US which had a homeland security network in place after the 9/11 attacks in New York. Incidentally, the Union Home Ministry is also pushing for a centralised counter-terrorism network amid opposition.  Quite candidly Vohra said it would be impractical and hazardous to assume that security concerns would be addressed if the home and defence ministries continue to work in their respective spheres of internal security and external security. “Over the past 60-odd years, trans-border activities have not only blurred, they have also virtually demolished the line between internal and external security as we had envisaged. The security plan has to factor in both kinds of threats and the way to deal with them jointly,” the Governor said.  He cited the example of trans-border infiltration from Pakistan into Jammu and Kashmir and said it was being organised by the ISI. Mafia and criminal networks have links with intelligence agencies which allow them to plan and perpetrate incidents of the kind they do, he said.  Dwelling upon the role of states in law and order situations and the impact on national security, Vohra said, “We have not been able to have a collaborative and bipartisan approach to national security issues. Most states have been guilty of not maintaining the same level of preparedness while politicisation of police has affected its morale and accountability. At times, MHA advisories don’t even have the impact they should have.”  Former Governor and IPS officer Ved Marwah, who was chairing the session, squarely blamed political parties saying that they wanted power but no responsibility.
Lt Gen Lamba takes over as Army Vice-Chief  New Delhi, December 6 Lieutenant General Arvinder Singh Lamba, a senior Artillery officer with commando training, today took over as the Army’s vice-chief. He replaces Lt Gen PC Bharadwaj, who retired on November 30.  An alumnus of the Khadakvasla-based National Defence Academy, Lamba was commissioned into the Regiment of Artillery in June 1997 and now he is also the Senior Colonel of the Regiment.  An Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM) awardee, his operational experience includes participation in the 1971 Indo-Pak War in the eastern as well as the western theatres and vast exposure to counter-insurgency operations over several years, both within and outside the country.  His Command assignments encompass that of a Rocket Regiment, Mountain Brigade in counter-insurgency and later on in Operation Parakram in 2001-02, Infantry Division on the western sector, and an elite Strike Corps in the southern theatre.  The officer was Commander-in-Chief of the Army's Training Command at Shimla prior to taking over as the Army vice-chief. This tenure at the training command drew the General's focus on the imperative transformation in training to meet the postulations of emerging security and technological challenges. — PTI
Dichotomy in India-China ties Wen’s coming visit provides an opportunity by Zorawar Daulet Singh and Arun Sahgal  The complexity of India-China relations has envoked a cacophony of interpretations from observers in India and abroad. There is neither outright antagonism nor sincere bonhomie. New Delhi and Beijing have been grappling with a template to manage their bilateral ties. That this has been occurring in the backdrop of Washington’s own evolving approach to Asia and its two rising powers has made the process even more challenging.  In recent years, India and China have expanded the agenda of their engagement. In January 2008, the Manmohan Singh-wen Jiabao joint statement had called for common approaches on climate change, energy security, food security and restructuring of institutions of global governance. Their coordination over the climate change negotiations in December 2009, dubbed almost immediately as the “Copenhagen spirit”, exemplified a case of actual collaboration on a global issue. Simultaneously, contradictions on issues of high politics, especially regarding China’s sub-Himalayan strategic involvement, remain unaltered, enabling analysts to effortlessly paint an adversarial image.  How does one deconstruct the apparent dichotomy in the India-China equation?  The principal point to discern is that while India’s periphery is part of its core security interests, for China it is mainly linked to its (exaggerated) threat perceptions over Tibet and its overland strategic infrastructure (road and rail links, port development) part of a policy of periphery consolidation, and to secure and exploit potential geoeconomic opportunities in the long-term as Beijing seeks to develop southern and western China.  China’s core interests lie primarily in eastern Asia - Taiwan and the Han heartland - which are several thousand miles away from the Indian heartland and the reach of most of India’s military capabilities. In other words, China possesses more leverage over India’s core interests without reciprocal Indian pressure on issues that matter most to China.  Thus, discord is occurring in areas vital to India while cooperation is in non-core areas or on issues where China finds tactical solidarity with India useful. This fundamental dichotomy between the relations of India and China - discord at the regional level and collaboration at the global level - is unlikely to disappear in the coming years. From India’s grand strategic perspective, since its core interests lie in the subcontinent - territorial integrity, economic development and a secure periphery - it would be oxymoronic for these to be traded off for greater cooperation with China at the global or institutional level. And until India is able to construct material capabilities - both to deter China in the Himalayan theatre and a credible nuclear deterrence to ensure overall stability - and demonstrate an economic model that can integrate and reshape its periphery, the dual image of India-China relations will remain a relevant guide to policy makers and analysts.  Another vital issue in India-China relations has been the widening imbalance in their economic interactions. While most observers, including official statements, laud the $60 billion two-way trade, a dispassionate appraisal of the true state of Sino-Indian “interdependence” actually reveals a disconcerting asymmetry that should neither be celebrated nor suppressed in India’s China discourse. Accounting for nearly 20 per cent of India’s overall trade deficit and a dominant position as a leading supplier of telecommunications and power equipment for India Inc, China has acquired growing leverage over India’s development. In lieu, India supplies natural commodities like iron ore (44 per cent of the exports to China) that are swallowed by our neighbour’s giant industrial maw. If unaddressed, such leverage will inevitably spill further into the political sphere.  Assuming the above narrative captures the essence of bilateral relations, what issues should New Delhi prioritise in its discussions with Premier Wen Jiabao, who is scheduled to visit India in mid-December?  First, it is now generally accepted that India can no longer be the object of Chinese contempt in Asia. If China is seeking to reframe the terms of its relationship with the West, India, too, has persevered to reshape its own equation with the major powers, including Beijing. Analysts in China have conceded that Beijing’s erstwhile posture of benign neglect towards India has outlived its utility (if it ever had one), an impression that has been reinforced by the US courting of India in a gradual but sustained fashion. Logically, India must revise its own posture: from a grieving to a confident aspiring regional power.  Second, in recent years, India has arguably diluted its own stand on Kashmir to the point that India’s interlocutors are not even aware of its “red lines” on this vital issue. Contrast this with China’s consistent and unwavering position on Tibet, Taiwan, etc. India should take this opportunity to unambiguously articulate its core interests and simultaneously express a mutual intent to respect each other’s territorial sovereignty.  Third, New Delhi should convey its concerns over China’s surreptitious transfer of strategic technologies to Pakistan and urge it to adhere to its global non-proliferation obligations. For years, India’s own vulnerable status in the global nuclear system had precluded it from criticising China’s proliferation record. This posture should now be reversed. India should also express its reasonable and defensible position on terrorist safe havens in the subcontinent, a position recently reiterated to President Obama, even if it invites a blank stare from our Chinese interlocutor.  Fourth, a growing myth among India’s strategic community is that China is on the cusp of acquiring a permanent presence in the Indian Ocean region. The reality is that China is constrained in East Asia, surrounded by the most formidable naval armada ever assembled in world history. American submarines and aircraft-carriers regularly patrol in close proximity to China’s eastern seaboard, making the notion of China as an Indian Ocean power a distant aspiration. China remains essentially a continental power. Therefore, given the actual naval balance in the northern Indian Ocean, New Delhi may reassure Mr Wen that rather than undermining China’s energy and commercial sea-lanes, India seeks to promote an open and cooperative architecture in securing the maritime commons around India’s near abroad. China, on its part, needs to perhaps reassure India on its continental intentions by exploring confidence-building measures with India in the subcontinent - like forming a joint venture on an infrastructure or energy project in a neighbourhood state.  The policy challenge before both Asian powers is managing the other’s rise. New Delhi and Beijing both have officially exhorted that the world is big enough for each to grow and develop, and attain a commensurate status within a plural international system. Yet, neither has demonstrated any creativity to advance the logic of their argument. Perhaps, Wen’s coming visit will offer New Delhi another opportunity to restate its case and commence sophisticated discussions that should focus not on token declarations but on incremental gains.n
ikiLeaks: How cash flows to terrorists  Eric Lichtblau and Eric Schmitt, The New York Times, Updated: December 06, 2010 12:00 IST ad_title  Washington:  Nine years after the United States vowed to shut down the money pipeline that finances terrorism, senior Obama administration officials say they believe that many millions of dollars are flowing largely unimpeded to extremist groups worldwide, and they have grown frustrated by frequent resistance from allies in the Middle East, according to secret diplomatic dispatches.  The government cables, sent by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and senior State Department officials, catalog a list of methods that American officials suspect terrorist financiers are using, including a brazen bank robbery in Yemen last year, kidnappings for ransom, the harvesting of drug proceeds in Afghanistan and fund-raising at religious pilgrimages to Mecca, where millions of riyals or other forms of currency change hands.  While American officials have publicly been relatively upbeat about their progress in disrupting terrorist financing, the internal State Department cables, obtained by WikiLeaks and made available to several news organizations, offer a more pessimistic account, with blunt assessments of the threats to the United States from money flowing to militants affiliated with Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Hamas, Lashkar-e-Taiba and other groups.  A classified memo sent by Mrs. Clinton last December made it clear that residents of Saudi Arabia and its neighbors, all allies of the United States, are the chief financial supporters of many extremist activities. "It has been an ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist financing emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority," the cable said, concluding that "donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide."      * Share this on     * NDTVTwitter     * NDTVNDTV Social     * Share with MessengerLive Messenger     * NDTVGmail Buzz     * NDTVPrint   The dispatch and others offered similarly grim views about the United Arab Emirates ("a strategic gap" that terrorists can exploit), Qatar ("the worst in the region" on counterterrorism) and Kuwait ("a key transit point"). The cable stressed the need to "generate the political will necessary" to block money to terrorist networks -- groups that she said were "threatening stability in Pakistan and Afghanistan and targeting coalition soldiers."  While President George W. Bush frequently vowed to cut off financing for militants and pledged to make financiers as culpable as terrorists who carried out plots, President Obama has been far less vocal on the issue publicly as he has sought to adopt a more conciliatory tone with Arab nations. But his administration has used many of the same covert diplomatic, intelligence and law enforcement tools as his predecessor and set up a special task force in the summer of 2009 to deal with the growing problem.  While federal officials can point to some successes -- prosecutions, seizures of money and tightened money-laundering regulations in foreign countries -- the results have often been frustrating, the cables show. As the United States has pushed for more aggressive crackdowns on suspected supporters of terrorism, foreign leaders have pushed back. In private meetings, they have accused American officials of heavy-handedness and of presenting thin evidence of wrongdoing by Arab charities or individuals, according to numerous cables.  Kuwaiti officials, for example, resisted what they called "draconian" measures sought by the United States against a prominent charity and dismissed allegations against it as "unconvincing," according to one cable.  The documents are filled with government intelligence on possible terrorist-financing plots, like the case of a Somali preacher who was reportedly touring Sweden, Finland and Norway last year to look for money and recruits for the Shabab, a militant group in Somalia, or that of a Pakistani driver caught with about $240,000 worth of Saudi riyals stuffed behind his seat. One memo even reported on a possible plot by the Iranians to launder $5 billion to $10 billion in cash through the Emirates' banks as part of a broader effort to "stir up trouble" among the Persian Gulf states, though it was not clear how much of the money might be channeled to militants.  One episode that set off particular concern occurred in August 2009 in Yemen, when armed robbers stormed a bank truck on a busy downtown street in Aden during daylight hours and stole 100 million Yemeni riyals, or about $500,000. American diplomats said the sophistication of the robbery and other indicators had all the markings of a Qaeda mission. "This bold, unusual operation" could provide Al Qaeda "with a substantial financing infusion at a time when it is thought to be short of cash," a dispatch summarizing the episode said.  Al Qaeda's branch in Yemen, known as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, is seen as a rising threat by the United States and was blamed for a parcel bomb plot in October and the failed attempt to blow up a jetliner last Dec. 25. The cables do not make clear whether the finances of the Yemen group are tied to Osama bin Laden's network.  American officials appear to have divided views on the bin Laden group's fund-raising abilities. A February cable to Richard C. Holbrooke, the administration's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, said that "sensitive reporting indicates that al-Qaida's ability to raise funds has deteriorated substantially, and that it is now in its weakest state since 9/11."  But many other cables draw the opposite conclusion and cite the group's ability to generate money almost at will from wealthy individuals and sympathetic groups throughout the Middle East while often staying a step ahead of counterterrorism officials.  "Terrorists avoid money transfer controls by transferring amounts below reporting thresholds and using reliable cash couriers, hawala, and money grams," a recent cable warned. "Emerging trends include mobile banking, pre-paid cards, and Internet banking."  The documents suggest that there is little evidence of significant financial support in the United States or Europe for terrorist groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan, despite a string of deadly but largely low-budget attacks in London and other European cities in recent years, according to the documents.  "U.K. financing is important, but the real money is in the Gulf," a senior British counterterrorism official told a Treasury Department official, according to a cable last year from the American Embassy in London.  In hundreds of cables focusing on terrorist financing, the problem takes on an air of intractability, as American officials speak of the seeming ease with which terrorists are able to move money, the low cost of carrying out deadly attacks, and the difficulty of stopping it. Interdictions are few, and resistance is frequent.  In Kuwait, for instance, American officials have voiced repeated concerns that Islamic charities -- largely unregulated by the government there -- are using philanthropic donations to finance terrorism abroad. But a Kuwaiti minister, in a meeting last year with the United States ambassador, "was as frank and pessimistic as ever when it came to the subject of apprehending and detaining terror financiers and facilitators under Kuwait's current legal and political framework," a memo summarizing the meeting said.  Saudi Arabia, a critical military and diplomatic ally, emerges in the cables as the most vexing of problems. Intelligence officials there have stepped up their spying on militants in neighboring Yemen, and they provided the tip that helped uncover the recent parcel bombs. But while the Saudis have made some progress, "terrorist funding emanating from Saudi Arabia remains a serious concern," according to a cable in February. Mrs. Clinton's memo two months earlier said Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba and other groups "probably raise millions of dollars annually from Saudi sources, often during Hajj and Ramadan." Officials said they believed that fund-raisers for extremist groups had often descended on the pilgrims to seek money for their causes.  The American Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, reported in February that the Saudis remained "almost completely dependent on the C.I.A." for leads and direction on terrorist financing.  So it was not surprising that a month earlier, the embassy reported in a separate cable that Treasury Department officials had provided information to the Saudi domestic intelligence service, the Mabahith, on three senior Taliban leaders -- Tayyeb Agha, Mullah Jalil and Khalil Haqqani -- who had made several fund-raising trips to the kingdom, the cable said. (Like a number of other suspected financiers identified in the cables, the three Taliban leaders do not appear on the Treasury Department's list of "banned" entities suspected of terrorism financing connections.)  The Americans shared phone numbers, e-mail addresses and passport information for the three men with the Saudis to cross check against Saudi customs databases. Saudi authorities said they were not familiar with the Taliban leaders but promised to pursue the tips.  Last week, American officials said steady pressure from the Bush and Obama administrations had led to significant improvements in fighting terrorist financing. They said, for example, Saudi Arabia was now taking actions that they had long hesitated to take or had resisted, including holding financiers accountable through prosecutions and making terrorist financing a higher priority. A leading Saudi religious scholar has issued an edict against terrorist financing, and the Saudis have created new financial intelligence unit.  "The U.S. government has been relentless in pursuing sources and methods of terrorist financing, including prioritizing this issue with all countries in the gulf region," said Stuart A. Levey, a senior Treasury official, who was speaking generally about American policy and not about anything in the leaked cables. "As a result, we have put Al Qaeda under significant financial pressure."  Behind the scenes at diplomatic encounters, tensions have occasionally flared. In 2007, a senior Bush administration official, Frances Fragos Townsend, told her Saudi counterparts in Riyadh that Mr. Bush was "quite concerned" about the level of cooperation from the Saudis, and she brought a personal letter on the subject from the president to King Abdullah, according to a cable summarizing the exchange.  Ms. Townsend questioned whether the kingdom's ambassador to the Philippines, Mohammed Ameen Wali, might be involved in supporting terrorism because of his involvement with two people suspected of being financiers, the summary said.  Prince Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, challenged the assertion, however, saying the ambassador might be guilty of "bad judgment rather than intentional support for terrorism," and he countered with an assertion of his own: an unnamed American bank handling the Saudi Embassy's money in Washington was performing unnecessary audits and asking "inappropriate and aggressive questions."  American diplomats said that while the Saudis appeared earnest in wanting to stanch the flow of terrorist money, they often lacked the training and expertise to do it. "Their capabilities often fall short of their aspirations," a cable last November said.  Saudi leaders appear equally resigned to the situation, according to the cables. "We are trying to do our best," Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who leads the Saudis' anti-terrorism activities, was quoted as telling Mr. Holbrooke, the special representative to the region, in a May 2009 meeting.  But, he said, "if money wants to go" to terrorist causes, "it will go."
WikiLeaks: 'Be ready to use force against China'  Press Trust of India, Updated: December 06, 2010 14:01 IST ad_title  Melbourne:  Australia's former premier Kevin Rudd had told the US that it should be ready to "deploy force" if attempts to integrate China with the international community do not yield results, secret cables released by WikiLeaks have disclosed, prompting an embarrassed Australia to insist that it continues to have strong ties with Beijing.  According to a secret cable written by a US diplomat, Rudd told US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last year that Australia and the US should work to integrate China into the international community but be prepared to "deploy force if everything goes wrong".  Rudd also said his vision for an Asia-Pacific Community was primarily an attempt to contain Chinese influence.  As the revelations surfaced, Australian government today stressed at its relationship with China will remain strong despite them.      * Share this on     * NDTVTwitter     * NDTVNDTV Social     * Share with MessengerLive Messenger     * NDTVGmail Buzz     * NDTVPrint   According to 'The Australian', Attorney-General Robert McClelland today dubbed the new disclosures by WikiLeaks as "grossly irresponsible".  The opposition Coalition said it was troubled by the revelations, and called on Prime Minister Julia Gillard to clarify whether she supported Rudd's comments.  While declining to comment on the specifics of the cable, the first released by WikiLeaks in which Australia features prominently, McClelland insisted Australia's strong relationship with China would continue.  "We have a very strong relationship with the Chinese government and the people of China, a strong business relationship, strong diplomatic relationships, strong government-to-government relationships, and that arrangement will continue," he said.  "The Foreign Minister has not given dignity to the publication of this information by commenting on it," McClelland said.  "All I can do is reiterate is that we have (a strong relationship with China) at a number of levels, including law enforcement operation, including again when they have had emergencies to provide assistance," he said.  McClelland said the Australian Federal Police was investigating the release of the cable.  "It is grossly irresponsible of an organisation to even contemplate publishing such information. Free speech is one thing, we all respect that, but we also respect the freedom and rights of people to live without fear," he said.  He said it was "fair enough" that media outlets had published embarrassing material, but added "I would again just caution people to come back and really see what's going on here".
<a href="" target="_new"><IMG SRC="" WIDTH=728 HEIGHT=90 BORDER=0></a> Govt officials questioned over missing Adarsh papers December 06, 2010 21:56 IST Tags: Urban Development department, Central Bureau of Investigation, Gurudas Bajpe, Himanshu Roy, Colaba Share this Ask Users Write a Comment  At least six officials of Maharashtra [ Images ] government have been questioned in connection with the theft of key documents pertaining to the scam-ridden Adarsh housing society, but no breakthrough has been achieved yet, a senior official said on Monday.  "We have questioned at least six officials attached with various departments of the government so far and the investigation is moving in the right direction," Joint Police Commissioner (Crime) Himanshu Roy said.  "Apart from the officials, those who have access to the file have also been questioned. There is no breakthrough as such at this point of time. But we hope to crack the case soon," he added.  A day after Gurudas Bajpe, secretary of the Urban Development department, gave a written complaint about the missing documents from a file pertaining to the society, the city's Marine Drive [ Images ] police have registered a case of theft on November 27.  Due to the seriousness of the issue, the case has been transferred to the crime branch that usually probes underworld- related or sensitive in nature cases.  The disappearance of the papers has been brought to the notice of UD department by the Central Bureau of Investigation, which is probing into the Adarsh scam, where flats built in Colaba area in the name of Kargil [ Images ] war heroes were allotted to bureaucrats, politicians' relatives and defence officers. The missing papers include remarks of state government officials and the chief minister.
'I was desperate. I wanted to get into the army' Last updated on: December 6, 2010 16:18 IST Share this Ask Users Write a Comment Krishnant Gholap, right, with a friend in the white uniform worn in the NDA cadet's mess.      Next Abhishek Mande In our special year-end section, looks at people -- who for better or worse -- wrote the India story this year.  Krishnant Gholap is an autorickshaw driver's son. After two failed attempts, he made it to the National Defence Academy, Khadakvasala, which he saw as the only way out into a better life.  He graduated from the NDA last month.  Abhishek Mande spent time with Krishnant on his last day at the Academy and met the Gholaps at their humble home in Pune. He tells the story of the hardships faced by the family to realise a long-cherished dream.  Sometime in the last semester at the NDA, Cadet Krishnant Gholap was struggling.  He had to pass a run test -- complete a stretch of 5 km in 26 minutes. This was his fourth and final attempt.  The first three times the cadet missed the target by a little over 20 seconds. If he couldn't meet it this time, he would have to stay back for another six months and graduate one batch behind his peers.  There were other things to consider too. His sister Rohini was to get married. The family had been saving up for the wedding for a long time.  Another six months would mean the family would also have to keep aside Rs 1,500 each month for his pocket money according to NDA rules.  For a family that lives in an apartment slightly larger than the cadets's rooms in the Academy, this was a lot of money.  Plus the fact that he could not make it with the rest of the batch would be a blot on his career.  "There were too many things tied in with my passing out (from the NDA). I couldn't afford to lose," Krishnant recalls.  And so he ran.  With a 20-odd kilo bag on his back, a gun on his shoulder and a pair of boots as heavy as lead, Krishnant Gholap ran because his life depended on it.  On November 29, 2010 a little past nine in the morning, Cadet Gholap marched with the rest of his batch and stepped on the 'Antim Pag' or the 'Final Step'.  Somewhat poetically, as the last of the cadets marched out of the parade ground, the sun -- that was hidden behind the clouds all morning -- began to shine brightly.
Defence offers state unused WWII strip at Kalyan for airport Yogesh Naik, TNN, Dec 7, 2010, 04.56am IST Article Comments Post a comment Email this article Print this article Save this article My Saved articles Login Register@indiatimes Reduce font size Increase font size Share on Hotklix Share on Messenger Share on Facebook Share on Yahoo Buzz! Hotklix           Digg Google Bookmarks        StumbleUpon Reddit              Newsvine Live Bookmarks             Technorati Yahoo Bookmarks               Blogmarks            ApnaCircle Tags:Thane collectorate|City Industrial Development Corporation Times of India MUMBAI: The defence authorities have told the state government that it can use an unused World War II airstrip that was built by the British for a smaller airport at Kalyan.  About five years ago, then secretary (special projects) Sanjay Ubale raised the issue of a second airport at Kalyan. At that time, the proposal for an airport at Navi Mumbai had not firmed up. The City Industrial Development Corporation was looking at Nevalli in Kalyan but realised it was unfit for an international airport.  The plot was handed over by the British to the Indian Army and later to the navy. Vice Admiral Sanjeev Bhasin, flag officer commanding-in-chief of the western naval command said, "The plot has been encroached upon and people are using it for farming. We do not want the plot. The state government should take it over."  A senior Thane collectorate official said, "It is a huge plot of land of almost 1,600 acres. One can construct a bigger airport when operations at Navi Mumbai get saturated."  A senior Mumbai transformation unit officer said an airport for smaller planes, helicopters and parking bays can be constructed there.  Mihir Bhagwati, president of the Bombay Flying Club, said, "It will be very nice if the authorities construct an airport. We can have an airport that is bigger than the one at Juhu." Due to heavy air traffic and congestion in Mumbai, the club has been forced to shift its flying sessions to Dhule district. Club members feel an airport at Kalyan will reduce costs.  The state government is in talks with the ministry of defence production to have Nashik as an alternative airport in case of an emergency in Mumbai. At present, flights from Mumbai are diverted to Ahmedabad in case of an emergency.
Germany offers India joint defence production for third-party sale 2010-12-06 22:00:00   Air Tickets @ Rs. 99 Only Ads by Google Buy 1 Flight Ticket & Get 1 Free On All Bookings. Limited Time Offer!  New Delhi, Dec 6 (IANS) Pitching hard to grab lucrative defence deals worth billions of dollars, Germany Monday said it has offered India provisions for forgoing an end user monitoring agreement and transfer of technology in joint production of military hardware for third-party sale in future.  German Ambassador Thomas Matussek told reporters here that, among other things, expanding defence trade ties would be one of the key focus areas during Chancellor Angela Merkel's talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when he visits Berlin Saturday for a day-long trip.  German and European firms are eyeing multi-billion dollar India defence projects that include a $10-billion jet fighter contract, another worth $600 million for 197 light combat helicopters for the Indian Army, for six mid-air re-fueller aircraft worth $2 billion, and for six submarines worth $11 billion.  'Germany offers technology transfer on a broader scale. We want to offer you perhaps more than competitors. We want to offer you full technology transfer. We offer you to forego the end-user monitoring agreement,' Matussek said about the offer that even India's close partners like the US insist on.  The EUMA allows the selling party to periodically carry out an inspection and inventory of all articles transferred to India.  Matussek said Germany wanted to develop military hardware 'together with India also for later on sale to third countries'.  He said Germany's Eurofighter is a bidder for the 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) together with three European partners namely Britain, Spain and Italy.  The Eurofighter's Typhoon is competing against the US' F/A-18 Super Hornet and F-16IN Super Viper, Sweden's Gripen, France's Rafael and Russia's MiG-35 to win the Indian Air Force's $10.2 billion project.  'What we are offering is a cutting-edge product. We stand ready to work together with India (for this) platform in future. That means this is not only an offer for sale but a long-term technological cooperation,' the envoy said.  Another contract a European firm is eyeing is light combat helicopters for the Indian Army. The helicopter contract for lifting supplies for troops stationed at high altitudes is worth $600 million.  'We are looking forward to the decision in the competition for 197 light helicopters for the army where Eurocopter is a promising contender. We are quite positive and hopeful on that,' he said.  Yet another contract is the mid-air refueller aircraft for the IAF, which order is worth $2 billion.  The Airbus Corp, the subsidiary of a pan-European Aerospace Corporation, European aeronautic defence and apace aompany, is bidding for re-fuellers.  Matussek said the Airbus Corp has offered 'highly' competitive bid to the IAF for six re-fueller aricraft.  'The tender offers option to reconfigure the aircraft for transport, including VIP transport. So you have the aircraft and it is up to you if you want to use it as the re-fueller or as you can chip around the furniture and the interior and use it as a VIP aircraft. I think this has been judged best value for money already a year ago,' the envoy said.  Another key area of defence cooperation, he said, are submarines. India is planning to spend Rs.50,000 crore ($11 billion) to build six submarines.  'So the issue is six submarines. Germany's Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft is contending for the project. This is at a preliminary stage and later on there will be tender offers.'  He said the Indian defence ministry has already forwarded a request for information to the HDW and that has been replied a couple of weeks ago.  Matussek said the two sides would also discuss enlarging the scope of the India-Germany strategic dialogue on key global issues like UN reforms, the international financial crisis, counter-terrorism, non-proliferation and climate change.  The two sides will meet in Berlin after attending the summit of the 27-nation European Union (EU) in Brussels.
ndia, France to intensify defence relations Published: Monday, Dec 6, 2010, 18:59 IST Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI  India and France today agreed to intensify their cooperation in the defence sector, particularly in the field of anti-piracy and maritime security and expected to finalise soon a deal for upgrading IAF's Mirage-2000 fighter aircraft.  "The two States agree to continue and intensify their cooperation on counter-piracy and maritime security. France and India recognise the need for an intensified cooperation in combating piracy in the Gulf of Aden and other areas," said a joint statement issued after talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and visiting French President Nicolas Sarkozy in New Delhi.  It said the two countries welcomed efforts and future prospects for joint programmes in defence industry, which would include joint research and development and transfer of technology and as a first step, they "expect to launch soon the Short Range Surface to Air Missile and Kaveri (aircraft engine) programmes.  "Discussions concerning the upgrading of Mirage-2000 aircraft are expected to be finalised soon," the statement said.  France already has a naval force deployed in the Gulf of Aden to fight the sea brigands from Somalia who had in the recent years adversely impacted movement of merchant vessels in one of the busiest sea lanes for commerce.  India, too, joined the anti-piracy patrols in October 2008 and have so far escorted about 1,300 vessels in the Gulf of Aden to safety apart from warding off about two dozen pirate attacks on cargo ships.  "France is one of India's most important and reliable defence partners. We deeply appreciate France's willingness to supply us advanced defence technologies in a way that contributes to the modernisation of our own defence industry. Singh said in his opening remarks at a joint press conference with Sarkozy after their talks here.  The joint statement also said the two countries "reaffirm their common interest" in continuing their defence relationship "which is an important pillar of their strategic partnership and reflects their common determination to work for global peace and security."  It also welcomed the ongoing exercises between their navies and Air Forces and spoke of their interest in extending the cooperation through joint exercises to their two armies soon.  At the centre of the estimated Rs9,640 crore upgrade programme for 50-odd Mirage-2000 fighter jets in the IAF fleet is the plan for advanced multimode pulse doppler radar and fire-and-forget missiles, to be executed by French companies D'Assault and Thales along with Indian DPSU Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.  The IAF currently operates two squadrons of Mirage-2000s and the upgrade programme will enable the aircraft to perform a given mission effectively due to greater fuel and weapon-delivery capacities.  The project will involve providing the aircraft, which IAF inducted first in mid-1980s, a fly-by-wire digital cockpit and an enhanced weapons-carrying capability.  Under the programme, the French companies would deliver the first two upgraded aircraft within 40 months of the contract being finalised and at the same time, HAL would upgrade another two aircraft. Later, the Indian DPSU would take charge of the programme for the rest of the Mirage-2000 fleet within India.  India and France have also decided to co-develop the SRSAM missile under an agreement between the Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and French missile manufacturer MBDA.  The missile is being developed to provide Indian armed forces better air defence capabilities to protect its vital installations.  While India and France initiated the project in 2007, the missile project, tentatively named 'Maitri', took over three years to finalise. The next generation air defence missile, which will be inducted by the Army, Navy and Air Force, could also be made available for export.  The Kaveri engine, being codeveloped by the two countries, is for India's indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) or 'Tejas' for which HAL has partnered with French Snecma.
Indian Army formulates requirements for FMBT Tanks  Army   Posted On: Dec 06, 2010 print this news Prototype of Arjun MK2 NEW DELHI (PTI): The government Monday said the Army has formulated its requirements for a Future Main Battle Tank, which is likely to be developed by the year 2020.  "Preliminary Staff Qualitative Requirement of Future Main Battle Tank has been formulated by the Army...It is likely to be developed by the year 2020," Defence Minister A K Antony told Lok Sabha in reply to a written query.  For its future warfare requirements, the Army wants its futuristic tank to be lighter and more capable than that of the present ones in its inventory such as the T-90, Arjun and the T-72 tanks, he said.  The Indian Army has over 3,000 tanks in its fleet, which includes a majority of Russian-origin T-72 and T-55, which are likely to be replaced in the near future.
Indian Army has blown the fuse When I wrote in my previous posts about the corruption in Indian Army I have so many reasons to write that. I respect the feelings of the millions of Indian people who still regard Indian Army as an institution which emphasizes the value of honesty and a sense of duty. Despite the scams in Indian army in recent times, many of us continued to believe that the number of corrupt people in Army are numbered, contrary to which I do believe that since the organization system of Army is such that only few can corrupt, the anybody at that position has proved that Army has equally corrupt organisation of India. Just go through the post below which I happen to see this morning in the tehalka website and you will have another sigh ‘Oh no….Not again!’.  THE AVALANCHE of corruption allegations has not abated for the Indian Army. This time, the deal in question is the massive irregularities in the tender process for the procurement of fuses for three artillery guns: 105 mm, 130 mm and 155 mm. It is alleged that South African firm FUCHS Ltd has monopolised supplies via Indian public sector undertakings for the past several years. The tender is worth about Rs. 1,000 crore. What is surprising is that as early as 2008, the multi-party Committee of Petitions (CoP) of the Lok Sabha, hearing a complaint on the issue, ruled that fuses must be procured though tenders and no further monopoly should be permitted. The committee made some strong recommendations, saying, “The entire matter needs to be investigated thoroughly by an appropriate agency to unearth the motives and financial irregularities in procurement of electronic fuses.” It strongly deprecated the “indefensible” arguments of Army Headquarters (AHQ) for sticking to a single vendor in the first instance and deplored the failure of the Ministry of Defence to introduce a multi-vendor system. Despite this clear directive, AHQ found imaginative ways to scuttle the directive of the CoP, using a request for proposal (RFP) for 10 lakh fuses. At first, a global request for interest was issued as no Indian firm manufactures electronic fuses. But at the next stage of the RFP, the procurement procedure was tampered with by manipulating specifications. A paragraph about giving priority to indigenous products was inserted, knowing well that this would limit participation in the tender. So, no global RFP was issued, leaving the coast clear for the Indian company. “Tenders were manipulated and crafted in such a way that no other company except FUCHS Ltd of South Africa under the cover of PSU Electronic Corporation of India ltd (ECIL), could qualify in these tenders,” says Maharajganj MP Harsh Vardhan, who is a member of the ministry’s consultative committee. “What is shocking is that to ensure ECIL is not disqualified due to the single-vendor situation, they roped in another PSU, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL). BEL has never manufactured an hearelectronic fuse. This was just to ensure that ECIL is not in a single-vendor situation on paper and force the MoD to continue purchases from a single source.” Another complainant, HN Sharma, who used to be political adviser to late prime minister Chandra Shekhar, points out the clear nexus between ECIL and the Artillery Wing. “In a note sent to the Lok Sabha Committee, the army admitted that former director-general of Artillery Lt Gen Charanjit Singh joined ECIL immediately after retirement,” he says. “But since ECIL had been routinely appointing army officers after retirement and nobody ever objected, the army did not do anything about it.” Sharma, who filed the complaint along with Barmer MP Manvendra Singh, explains, “The three guns have different types of fuses. Yet, clauses like — ‘if the company does not possess all three types of technology for each fuse they will not be considered’ — was inserted. Specification was based on FUCHS’ capability to facilitate the company. What is surprising is that ECIL is not even a defence PSU, but somehow it has emerged as sole supplier of almost 80 percent of electronic fuses. ECIL in turn depends on imports from FUCHS. Companies like ITI, IFB and few others were willing to participate but it was ensured that they do not emerge as a potential threat to ECIL’s monopoly.” When these anomalies were brought to the notice of the defence minister, he ordered an inquiry into the matter with Joint Secretary Jatinder Bir Singh as its head. After thorough examination in October, the Joint Secretary came to the conclusion that the situation is not all right and recommended retraction of these tenders. MUCH TO the surprise of many in the MoD, instead of following the recommendation, the then director-general (acquisition) SK Sharma, referred the matter to the Scientific Adviser to the defence minister. Despite the clear directive of the CoP and its own ministry, another committee was appointed under the chairmanship of the scientific adviser, which recommended the continuation of trials and said that if a singlevendor situation arises after two years, the situation can again be referred to the DAC. According to a senior officer in the MoD, this is shocking. “Who will be responsible for enormous losses to the tune of approximately Rs. 500 crore in case recommendations of the department are implemented after two years of trial? Why was the Committee of Petition’s decision overruled? Where was the need to have another committee?” he asks. Harsh Vardhan and other MPs have written to both the CAG and CVC for a detailed probe into the issue but they have not received a reply in this case. The wait is on.
7322 Indian Army Personnel Deployed on United Nations Peacekeeping Missions 2010-12-06 7322 Indian Army personnel are presently deployed in various United Nations Peacekeeping Missions.  Indian Army is presently participating in 07 (Sevn) UN Peacekeeping Missions. They are : UNIFIL (Lebanon), UNDOF (Golan Heights Israel/Syria), MONUSCO (Democratic Republic of Congo), UNMIS – (Sudan), UNOCI (Ivory Coast Cote'd Ivoire), MINUSTAH (Haiti) and UNMIT (East Timor).  The duration of service after which personnel are de-inducted follow norms which depend upon the rank of the person deployed and duty assigned in deployment.  Delays, if any, in the rotation of personnel is due to administrative reasons such as arrangement of flights by the UN.  This information was given by Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in a written reply to Shri Dilip Singh Judev in Lok Sabha today.

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