Custom Search Engine - Scans Selected News Sites


Wednesday, 22 December 2010

From Today's Papers - 21 Dec 2010






Russia’s interest in India How they can benefit from each other  How significant is India’s position in the Russian scheme of things for Asia and the rest of the world can be understood from the fact that both top leaders of that country have found time to visit New Delhi this year. President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit has come about after Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s dialogue with Indian leaders in March. Russia apparently does not want to lose time to get as much economic gains as possible from the fast growing nuclear power industry in India. Russia, which has already been cooperating with India in two nuclear power projects in Tamil Nadu, has been having discussions with the Indian authorities for two more such projects in the same state — Kudankulam III and Kudankulam IV. But certain provisions in India’s newly enacted nuclear liability law are coming in the way. President Medvedev is likely to bring to bear upon India that its law relating to the nuclear industry must be in consonance with the 1963 Vienna Convention. India has its own viewpoint that the law cannot be allowed to have loopholes to deny adequate compensation to victims of a nuclear accident if it ever happens.  But nuclear energy is not the only area where the two countries can help each other. Russia has vast gas and oil reserves and India needs these for meeting its fast growing power requirement. India has joined the gas pipeline project along with Afghanistan and Pakistan to bring gas from Turkmenistan. Russia does not want to be left behind, as the impending talks between the Indian leadership and the Russian President may indicate.  There are certain other subjects about which there is commonality of views between the two countries. How to go about fighting terrorism emanating from the Af-Pak area is one such issue. In this regard India and Russia need to discuss a joint strategy for post-July 2011 Afghanistan in view of the scheduled departure of the US-led NATO troops from there. Iran may offer its help to both India and Russia to protect their interests in Afghanistan. How far Iran can be allowed to join the Indo-Russian strategy should be discussed during Medvedev’s New Delhi visit.

Those Fridays in 1971 by Brig Suryanarayanan (retd)  IT was 6.40 pm on Friday, December 3, 1971. Some of us were sitting outside our dugouts being filled, in forward area and distributing jawans’ pay, under low-wick-lanterns. Suddenly, the speeding General Officer’s car screeched to a stop before my Fire Direction Centre (FDC); he bombarded me from within: “Surya, what are you people doing outside the dugouts? Why are your vehicles hooked up? Why are the dugouts being filled? Where is your Commander?”  I explained that the Commander had gone to witness a newly arrived regiment moving from Hide to Temporary Gun Position by night; we were closing up and moving my FDC to another position, approved by his HQ! He shouted at me: “Don’t you know the PAF has attacked our forward airfields? Ground attack is expected tonight. You better re-occupy this very position! I shall send your Commander here” and off he went. (That regiment would have problems soon; which is a separate story!)  The Commander came after an hour and saw us re-digging. He said sheepishly: “I should have listened to you and left the dugouts unfilled but camouflaged” (my suggestion that morning)! He had flown off the handle and called us “softies”! My reasoning, which I couldn’t tell him, was: every Friday, there used to be Mirages on photo-recce over the Divisional sector, which did not happen that day, conveying some foreboding; secondly, Yahya had said in an interview the previous week that “Next Friday, I will be off fighting a war!”  We had not even finished re-digging when intense enemy shelling started over my FDC and the gun positions at 8.48 pm! I ordered ‘breaking wireless silence’ and immediately, frantic calls for fire from 108 field-guns under my control as Brigade Major, came from 26 Observation Post officers all over the front!  I occupied the half-re-done FDC; and our return fire commenced. Within the first hour, my living bunker and jeep got direct hits and were written off; I lost my personal effects and had no jeep for the remainder of the war! Non-stop action went on for the next five days and nights, when we couldn’t get a wink of sleep! The GOC directed the operations mostly from my FDC till December 6, due to excellent communications.  Due to some reverses, we had to pull back guns and the FDC from the present locations (which, planned for a different scenario, had become untenable) to the rear across the river, after three days. Before that, we got two prize catches: a Lt Col of an enemy’s attacking battalion, lying wounded and begging for mercy (the highest ranking PoW in the Western sector) and his arrogant second-in-command elsewhere! The latter would return as Military Attaché to India in 1989!  During a lull in battle on the ninth, I had dozed off and my Commander very sweetly got me moved to his caravan; I woke up after 18 hours for a hot bath and back to the FDC into a renewed fierce counterattack! It was a Friday again, when I had to write my “Last Letter or Will”.

India, Mongolia hold joint military exercises K. V. Prasad Share  ·   Comment   ·   print   ·   T+    The troops of India and Mongolia engaged in joint exercises, with the latest two-week drill in counter-insurgency ending in Belgaum on Sunday.  Nearly 30 officers and personnel of the Mongolian armed forces participated in the workout called “Nomadic Elephant” along with 50 officers and personnel of the Indian Army in counter-terrorism environment.  The current engagement tapered and ended around the time the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao was in India and Pakistan. Steady growth  Defence cooperation and relations between the militaries of the two countries has seen a steady growth over the last decade with the first joint exercise in 2004. For the last few years, the joint drills are being held every year.  In recent years, the exercises varied with the one in 2005 being held at the Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School at Vairnagte, Mizoram while another exercise held in Mongolia in September 2008 was on peacekeeping operations. Top meetings  Besides exercises, both countries have had visits of top brass with the former Vice-Chief of the Army Staff Lt. Gen. Noble Thamburaj visiting Mongolia last year on the Mongolian armed forces day while its Chief of the Army Staff visited the Defence Expo here.  Mongolian Defence Minister L. Bold was one of the dignitaries at the 2009 Aero India and also took part in the Joint Working Group meeting.

Medvedev to push for military, nuclear deals in India  By Giles Hewitt (AFP) – 5 hours ago  NEW DELHI — Russian President Dmitry Medvedev arrives in India Tuesday, the latest in a line of visiting global leaders seeking military and trade deals with the world's second-fastest growing major economy.  Traditionally India's default defence supplier, Russia now faces stiff competition from Europe and the United States as India diversifies its sources of military hardware and becomes more demanding over pricing and quality.  "The Russians are uncomfortable with the changing scenario and Medvedev needs to convince India why Moscow should remain our regular defence provider," said retired Indian Army general and military scholar Afsir Karim.  Medvedev's lobbying trip comes hard on the heels of similar visits by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, as well as US President Barack Obama.  All three announced deals and framework agreements worth billions of dollars, and the Russian president will also be looking to seal key accords on the supply of military fighter jets and the construction of nuclear power stations.  In an interview published in the Times of India on Monday, Medvedev said he viewed the growing competition for India's booming defence market with "serenity and pragmatism".  "We are ready to compete, the main point being that the fight for contracts is fair," he said.  The president will hold talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday and then travel the next day to India's financial capital, Mumbai.  Wary of China's military modernisation drive, India is embarking on what global consultancy firm KPMG has described as "one of the largest procurement cycles in the world".  Between now and 2016, India's defence sector is expected to spend 112 billion dollars on capital defence acquisitions, KPMG said in a recent report.  Among the deals on offer is a 12-billion-dollar contract for 126 fighter jets and Medvedev will be pushing hard for India to select the Russian-made MiG-35.  But European and US aeronautical giants including Dassault Aviation, Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp. are also bidding for the tender.  The president will seek to finalise an agreement for the joint production of a fifth-generation fighter with stealth capabilities that could be worth up to 30 billion dollars, with India planning to induct as many as 300 of the aircraft.  New Delhi and Moscow enjoy close ties that date back to the 1950s and even as India looks to build new strategic partnerships, analysts say Russia retains a competitive edge as a tried and tested ally.  "India needs to keep in mind the fact that, in this changing and complex global order, preserving the trust of a consistent supporter is very important to meet the challenges that may arise in the future," said Pallavi Pal, a researcher at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses in New Delhi.  On the nuclear front, Russia is already building two reactors in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu and Medvedev is hoping to seal deals for two more during his visit.  Energy-hungry India is one of the world's biggest markets for nuclear technology with ambitious plans to reach a nuclear power capacity of 63,000 megawatts by 2032, from the current level of 4,560 megawatts.  Medvedev is scheduled to take time out during his stay in Mumbai, the capital of India's Bollywood film industry, to visit a movie studio.  Bollywood films are popular in Russia where they are regularly shown on a number of private TV channels.

China must recover territory ‘looted' by neighbours, said PLA General Ananth Krishnan Share  ·   Comment   ·   print   ·   T+    A General of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) called on the Chinese government to take a more aggressive line in its foreign policy as well as recover territory “looted by neighbours,” in an essay that was published in the official media only two days before Premier Wen Jiabao's arrival in India.  “The neighbouring area is not peaceful, and we have outside threats,” wrote Major General Luo Yuan, who is also the deputy secretary-general of the Chinese Academy of Military Sciences, in an essay published in the official Global Times, a Chinese newspaper known for its nationalistic views.  China, he said, could not call itself “a strong nation” unless it “recovered the land looted by neighbours.”  While the essay did not name India or specific territorial disputes and only issued a general call for Chinese society to become more militaristic, the Communist Party-run Global Times agreeing to publish the general's comments on neighbouring countries only days ahead of Mr. Wen's arrival in New Delhi could not be ignored, diplomatic sources and analysts said.  His view, according to them, signalled the marked difference between the PLA's views and the stated “peaceful rise” position often publicly articulated by Chinese diplomats and officials. While PLA officers usually do not issue public statements on foreign policy, the PLA, unlike other militaries, has a significant influence on formulating foreign policy, analysts say.  Major General Luo's essay is thought to have reflected views within the military that China's military modernisation, as well as its influence, had not kept pace with the country's economic progress. ‘Unsolved issue'  “China's gross domestic product is close to the second in the world, but we have not even solved the issue of national unification,” Major General Luo said, according to a report in the South China Morning Post. “We have not recovered the land looted by our neighbours.”  The past three decades of peaceful development, he said, had led to “some army personnel becoming slack” and “too accustomed to this comfortable pacifism.” Chinese policy needed to be more aggressive.  “But aggression does not mean that one likes war,” he said. “It is a means of deterrence.”  Major General Luo is regarded as a particularly nationalistic and divisive figure, even calling on China to sell its holding of United States treasury bonds to protest arms sales to Taiwan — a suggestion dismissed by the government.  He is, nevertheless, seen as reflecting views widely held within the military. ‘Potential dangers'  Obliquely questioning China's official “peaceful rise” policy mantra, Major General Luo wrote: “It seems some people like to resort to peaceful means to all questions. [But] We have to think of potential dangers in times of peace. Our neighbouring situation is not good. We have threats from foreign countries, and our country is still not unified.”  Ties between the Indian military and the PLA are particularly strained. At present, India has no contact with the PLA, with defence exchanges being suspended after the PLA voiced objections in July to hosting the head of the Indian Army's Northern Command, saying he was in charge of the “sensitive” region of Kashmir.  The joint communiqué issued after Mr. Wen's recent visit to India, for the first time in several years, had no mention of military-to-military ties or defence exchanges, as is the usual practice.

Navy considers moving higher command course to Goa DNA / Suman Sharma / Tuesday, December 21, 2010 2:43 IST  With an aim to decongest the Mumbai naval base, the Indian Navy is planning to move the Naval Higher Command course from the Mumbai-based INS Karanja to Goa, at its existing Naval Academy in Mandovi.  The academy has moved to Ezhimala in Kerala, and so the Goa facility, with an upgraded and better infrastructure, is being considered to hold the six-month course for navy officers of the rank of Captain.  The strength of the course may be increased from 24 to approximately 40. This might even include foreign officers in future.  A source told DNA that the idea behind is to have officers from all friendly countries, as is the case in other defence training institutes like the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, and the Delhi-based National Defence College.  An officer told DNA that those courses which are open to foreign officers have a classified section strictly meant for Indian officers. As and when the naval higher command course opens for foreign officers, it would follow the same guidelines, as is the case with Indian officers in courses abroad.  According to sources, the Mandovi facility has basic cadet accommodation and training infrastructure facility. These will be upgraded and new structures will come up for better officer accommodation and a better training area, akin to a college.  Indian naval officers go for the Indian NDC-equivalent to the US Naval War College in Rhode Island for a year. The Indian Army’s Higher Command in Mhow also does not include foreign officers, and is the only army course not to have foreign student officers.

Indian army chief talks terror in Nepal TNN, Dec 20, 2010, 07.41pm IST KATHMANDU: The six-member military delegation headed by Indian Army Gen Vijay Kumar Singh kicked off its three-day official visit to Nepal on Monday by discussing security concerns with the Nepal Army chief, Gen Chhatraman Singh Gurung, and high-ranking officers of the Nepal Army while paying a courtesy call on the Nepali general.  Only last week, Nepal was stirred when WikiLeaks published a memo focusing on a meeting in June 2009 between the then US National Security Advisor James Jones, Indian defence minister A K Anthony and Gen Singh's predecessor Gen Deepak Kapoor. The cable had detailed the Indian Army chief's concern that at least 16 terrorists entered India through Nepal that year and proceeded to Jammu and Kashmir.  After Major-General D S Hooda from the Indian delegation broached the subject of Indian security and South Asia at Monday's meeting, both sides discussed Nepal's role in combating internationalism terrorism, potential terror and criminal activities due to the open border between the two countries and the need to treat them as major security issues to be dealt with on a priority basis, the Nepal Army Public Relations Directorate said in a statement.  The two generals also discussed enhancing bilateral assistance. Talks are on about a possible joint mountaineering expedition by the two armies though the details are yet to be chalked out. Gen Singh was also briefed on the role of the Nepal Army in UN peacekeeping operations and civilian functions like building roads and other infrastructure, rescue operations during natural disasters and combating poaching.  On Tuesday, Gen Singh will visit the Mountain Warfare Training Centre in Jomsom in Mustang, the northernmost district adjoining the Tibetan border. The centre, established nearly 40 years ago after Nepal's army disarmed Tibet's Khampa warriors, who were waging a guerrilla war against the invading Chinese army, currently trains members of the Indian Army as well as from other countries like the UK, France, Italy and Sri Lanka.  From Jomsom, he will be visiting Pokhara city, one of the main recruitment centres for the Indian Army's Gorkha brigade and also the site of the regional pension camp. Gen Singh will interact with Indian Army veterans, including those who were disabled during warfare. He will also visit the Nepal Army's western divisional headquarters headed by Major General Nar Bahadur Khandel.  The investiture ceremony will take place on Wednesday, after a visit to the Nepal Army's Peacekeeping Training Centre at Panchkhal. President Ram Baran Yadav will confer the honorary title of general of the Nepal Army on Gen Singh at a ceremony in Shital Niwas in Kathmandu. Gen Singh will receive an insignia, a sword and a citation. He will also meet Nepal's caretaker Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and Defence Minister Bidya Bhandari.  The ceremonial, good-will visits started from 1950 when Gen Kodandera Madappa Cariappa visited Nepal. Since then, 19 top Indian Army officials have visited Nepal.

Army warns of recruitment frauds India Blooms News Service   New Delhi, Dec 20 (IBNS) The Ministry of Defence on Monday warned against fraudulent advertisements on recruitment published in newspapers.  “It is submitted that few cases have been noticed recently wherein fraudulent advertisement regarding recruitment were inserted in newspapers including national newspapers,” said defence ministry spokesperson M Upasani in a media statement.  “These advertisements pertain to recruitment activities into the army and were purportedly inserted on behalf of Army/Govt of India. It appears that a number of touts and fraudsters are trying to trick gullible candidates to part with large sums of money by promising them recruitment,” he said.  Upasani asked print media houses to check credentials of clients before accepting such advertisements.  “While the Indian Army on its part has and is in the process of bringing such defaulters and fraudsters to books, you are requested to advise your marketing and advertisement departments to accept such ads only after ascertaining the credentials of client,” he said.




No comments:

Post a Comment


Mail your comments, suggestions and ideas to me

Template created by Rohit Agarwal