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Monday, 3 January 2011

From Today's Papers - 03 Jan 2011

Kumaria is Chief of Western Air Command Tribune News Service  New Delhi, January 2 Air Marshal DC Kumaria, a fighter pilot, took over as the Chief of the Western Air Command (WAC) here today. The WAC covers all forward air bases in Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir besides Hindon in Western UP.  In his first interaction with officials, Air Marshal Kumaria put forth his vision for the Command, which is the ‘Sword Arm’ of the IAF.  He said his constant endeavour would be to enhance the combat potential of WAC. “We will work as a team and bring synergy in our efforts to succeed in this objective,” WAC spokesperson Squadron Leader Priya Joshi said quoting Kumaria.  He stressed upon the all round improvement in the work ethos to improve efficiency.
Changing security environment India needs long-term strategic review by Harsh V. Pant  This seems to be the time to woo India as a defence partner. The British Defence Secretary, Mr Liam Fox, was in New Delhi recently promoting the Eurofighter Typhoon as India looks to buy 126 multi-role combat aircraft for its air force. The French President, Mr Nicolas Sarkozy, too has visited India pushing Dassault’s Rafale, which is back as a contender after it was initially knocked out of the race for technical reasons last year. The Obama Administration is also eyeing the lucrative multi-billion dollar tender for medium multi-role combat aircraft of the Indian Air Force. The Russian President, Mr Dmitri Medvedev, came to India firming up an already tight defence partnership. Russia was and still is a huge seller of defence equipment to India, but the Indian government’s outreach to the US and Europe has allowed for a diversification of the defence market.  India has emerged as the world's second-largest arms buyer over the last five years, importing 7 per cent of the world's arms exports. With the world’s fourth largest military and one of the biggest defence budgets, India has been in the midst of a huge defence modernisation programme for more than a decade now that has seen billions of dollars spent on the latest high-tech military technology. According to a recent report by the KPMG, India will be spending around $100 billion on defence purchases over the next decade. This liberal spending on military equipment has attracted the interest of Western industry and governments alike and is changing the scope of the global defence market.  And yet, just a few weeks back India’s Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik bluntly informed the country that half of the equipment used by the Indian Air Force was either obsolete or obsolescent. Though he assured the nation that the IAF was quite “capable” of carrying out its defensive role, he was unequivocal in his suggestion that most of the hardware used by the IAF was not in the best operational condition. At a time when Indian political leaders blithely talk of India’s rise as a military power, such a statement from the top military leadership raises serious concerns about the trajectory of India’s defence policy. That this is happening at a time when the regional security environment in Asia is witnessing an unprecedented military transformation should make redressing the situation the top priority of the government.  India’s security environment is deteriorating rapidly with the prospect of the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan, the military taking control in Pakistan, China asserting its territorial interests more aggressively than ever before, deepening Sino-Pakistan military cooperation, internal turmoil in Kashmir and the growing threat from Maoists.  As a percentage of the GDP, the annual defence spending has declined to one of its lowest levels since 1962. More damagingly, for the last several years now the defence ministry has been unable to spend its budgetary allocation. The defence acquisition process remains mired in corruption and bureaucratese. A series of defence procurement scandals since the late 1980s have also made the bureaucracy risk averse, thereby delaying the acquisition process. A large part of the money is surrendered by the defence forces every year, given their inability to spend due to labyrinthine bureaucratic procedures involved in the procurement process. India’s indigenous defence production industry has time and again made its inadequacy to meet the demands of the armed forces apparent. The Indian armed forces keep waiting for arms and equipment while the Finance Ministry is left with unspent budget year after year. Most large procurement programmes get delayed, resulting in cost escalation and technological or strategic obsolescence of the budgeted items.  Not surprisingly, while the Indian Army is suggesting that it is 50 per cent short of attaining full capability and will need around 20 years to gain full defence preparedness, naval analysts are pointing out that India’s naval power is actually declining. During the 1999 Kargil conflict, operations were hampered by a lack of adequate equipment. The then Indian Army Chief had famously commented that the forces would fight with whatever they had got underlining the frustration in the armed forces regarding their inability to procure the arms they needed. Only because the conflict remained largely confined to the 150-kilometre front in the Kargil sector did India manage to get the upper hand, ejecting Pakistani forces from its side of the Line of Control (LoC). India lacked the ability to impose significant military costs during Operation Parakram because of the unavailability of suitable weaponry and night vision equipment needed to carry out swift surgical strikes. Similarly, the public outcry after the terror attacks on Mumbai in November 2008 was strong enough for the Indian government to consider using the military option vis-√†-vis Pakistan. But it soon turned out that India no longer had the capability of imposing quick and effective retribution on Pakistan and that it no longer enjoyed the kind of conventional superiority vis-√†-vis its regional adversary that it had enjoyed for the past five decades.  The higher defence organisational set-up in India continues to exhibit serious weaknesses with its ability to prosecute wars in the contemporary strategic context remaining doubtful. The institutional structures as they stand today are not effective enough to provide single-point military advice to the government or to facilitate the definition of defence objectives. Coordinated and synergised joint operations need integrated theatre commands, yet India hasn’t found it necessary to appoint even a Chief of Defence Staff.  The Indian government is yet to demonstrate the political will to tackle the defence policy paralysis that seems to be rendering all the claims of India’s rise as a military power increasingly hollow. There has been no long-term strategic review of India’s security environment and no overall defence strategy has been articulated. The challenge for the Indian government is to delineate clearly what products it needs and how to build up its own industry in the process by significantly reforming the domestic defence manufacturing sector. In the absence of a comprehensive, long-term appraisal of the country’s defence requirements, there will be little clarity on India’s real needs in defence acquisitions. And India’s rise as a major global player will remain a matter of potential.
India joins UNSC as key global player  New York, January 2 India has joined the UN Security Council (UNSC) as its non-permanent member for a two-year term after a gap of 19 years, hoping that the seat at the high table will not only cement its place as a key global player, but also pave the way for becoming a permanent member of the powerful wing of the world body.  Beginning January 1, India along with Germany, Portugal, South Africa and Columbia became the five non-permanent members of this 15-member body. India’s approach to key global issues would be keenly watched not only by the members of the United Nations - especially the third world countries - but also from the P5, in particular the US, who would like New Delhi to align itself with and support Washington’s move on burning issues like Iran.  As India celebrates the support of US President Barack Obama for its quest to become a permanent Council member, India's ambassador to the UN, Hardeep Singh Puri, said New Delhi is ready to serve in the powerful structure with a fresh outlook on several international issues, especially human rights.  “Over the last year we have been repositioning ourselves on issues...I can anticipate that we will be much more upfront and even demanding on human rights issues,” Puri said. “That reflects the changing priorities in India,” he said.  “I don't see us having any problem in terms of where our interest lies and where the interest of the permanent members lie, including the fact I think we are on the same page with them on most of these issues,” he underlined. The top diplomat further stressed that while India is part of G-77 and the non-aligned world, this affiliation would not prevent it from taking actions and positions that contributed to the “larger public good.” “If this means going against positions that some groups take then we will have no hesitation,” he said. — PTI
Antony to lay foundation stone of NIRDESH NIRDESH would concentrate on enhancing self-reliance in production capabilities relating to all kinds of warships, submarines and other related platforms required by the Indian Navy and Coast Guard to safeguard our long coastline. CJ: Vikram Kamble                   Sun, Jan 02, 2011 13:10:17 IST Views:              9    Comments: 0 Rate:  1 out of 5 2 out of 5 3 out of 5 4 out of 5 5 out of 5 0.0 / 0 votes       TO ENHANCE self reliance in warship production capabilities of India, Defence Minister AK Antony will lay the foundation stone of the National Institute for Research and Development in Defence Shipbuilding (NIRDESH) on Tuesday in Calicut.     NIRDESH would concentrate on enhancing self-reliance in production capabilities relating to all kinds of warships, submarines and other related platforms required by the Indian Navy and Coast Guard to safeguard our long coastline and protect maritime interests of India.   The Government of Kerala has agreed to provide more than 40 acres of land with requisite sea front for this prestigious institute.     The institute would pave the way for achieving enhanced self reliance and also augment the efforts of the Department of Defence Production in developing a robust defence industrial base by providing technology support and promote ancillary industry participation in the defence shipbuilding sector.     It would support the defence shipbuilding industry by addressing their emerging needs relating to design and construction of state of the art defence platforms including specific R&D projects to provide turnkey solutions.     NIRDESH will be an autonomous body under the aegis of Department of Defence Production and registered under the Registration of Societies Act 1860.
Lt Gen Singh takes over as NDA commandant Published: Sunday, Jan 2, 2011, 16:56 IST By DNA Correspondent | Place: Pune | Agency: DNA  Lt Gen Jatinder Singh has taken over as Commandant of National Defence Academy (NDA) on Saturday from Vice Admiral Satish Soni, who has been posted as Officer on Special Duty to Chief of the Naval Staff.  Singh, a specialist in mechanised operations and counter-insurgency operations, is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy (42nd Course, ‘Juliet’ Squadron) and was commissioned into the 1 Guards (2 Punjab) regiment of the Indian Army on June 13 1973. He is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and Higher Command Course (Air) at College of Air Warfare, Secunderabad.  He has operational experience of commanding from a company to a division in the counter-insurgency environment.  He also held the position of Chief of Staff of the Desert Corps and DGof Rashtriya Rifles.
Indian military detached from reality Asif Haroon Raja  The Brahman Hindu of today wishes to re-establish the ancient grandeur of the old order in the light of which he basks for he is a child of that culture. The Hindus contemptuously dismiss historic factuality and instead cling to self created myths and legends. The nostalgia for a mythical past acts as a distorting mirror. They strongly believe that Mahabharata extended over an area from including eastern Iran and Afghanistan to Tibetan landmass to Burma in east and up to Indonesia; that India had always been a united country ruled by great Aryan Kings till the invaders from the northwest came and destroyed this unity. They seek to reclaim and reunite all lost territories and emerge once again as a great ‘Mahabharata’.  They refuse to admit the historical fact that India was never a united country under Hindu rulers. Emperor Aurangzeb Alamgir and later on the British had united India during their respective rules. It was amidst such figments of imagination that former Indian Army Chief Gen Deepak Kapoor crowed about Indian military power. He probably got swayed by American backing and continuously rising Indian defence budget. It was during his tenure that Indian Army assumed the role of a rogue army. Extremist Hindi army officers like Lt Col Srikant Purohit and many others got aligned with Hindu extremist groups and BJP and surreptitiously started targeting Indian Muslims in India. Extremist Hindus had been gunning down Indian Muslims from the time of partition of India. They wanted to cleanse India of the presence of Muslims and to establish Hindutva. Hindu extremist forces started to flourish when BJP emerged as a political force on Indian scene and challenged the hegemony of Nehru dynasty in mid 1980s.  Scandalous Mumbai attacks also took place in Gen Kapoor’s time when the Indian military might stood paralyzed in front of ten terrorists for 72 hours. He had to seek the assistance of Israeli and South African commandoes to overpower and kill nine of them. India kept insisting that the ISI had a hand in all the terror attacks. Maharashtra chief of anti-terror squad Hemant Karkare who had arrested a gang of terrorists led by Lt Col Purohit was on the verge of exposing the Military-Hindu terror nexus. Fearing that he will be killed, he had sought American protection, not knowing that he had rung the wrong doorbell. He was killed within first hour of Mumbai attacks on 26 November 2008. After his unfortunate murder, the investigations that were in advanced stage have been hushed up. The trainer of Hindu suicide bombers and death squads retired Lt Gen Hoon had also surfaced in Kapoor’s time. It was a put up show to frighten Pakistan that in case it launched suicide bombers into India, the latter also had similar capability. Presence of Hindu Taliban in India could be link of the same chain. Soon after the Mumbai episode when India was clamoring for aerial strikes on suspected Jihadi camps in Pakistan, and IAF chief had claimed that the air force was all set to carryout the strikes, Kapoor chickened out. He was rightly judged as a braggadocio, a geek and a strong believer of myths by US Ambassador in New Delhi as disclosed by Wikileaks. This impression was formed because of his fondness of propagating Cold War doctrine and without any rhyme or reason hurling threats to launch a limited war under nuclear overhang. He claimed to have polished and readied the new concept which looked very attractive on the map for peacetime Napoleons.  His successor Gen Vijay Kumar Singh desiring to sound equally flamboyant and Rambo-like followed his footsteps. On 15 October 2010, while speaking at a seminar at New Delhi he described Pakistan and China as major irritants for India’s security and talked of possibility of war in a nuclear scenario. He stressed upon the need to further bolster India’s war fighting capabilities to fight war in nuclear scenario. Warmongering statements by former Indian Army chief Gen Deepak Kapoor and now by his successor Gen VK Singh gives a clear idea about the bent of mind of Indian military. It believes in jingoism and in giving provocative statements without any provocation from Pakistan’s side to keep the temperature on the boil. One thought that Gen Singh would perform more sensibly but he too is fond of rhetoric. Neither China ever threatened India or Pakistan. Both have been striving to keep the atmosphere tension free and friendly since war is not in favor of anyone. On no occasion China and Pakistan made a threatening statement or took any offensive step which could become a cause of annoyance for India. On the contrary, Indo-China relations have seen a marked improvement over the last one decade and both are cooperating with each other in various fields. Even the troublesome Tibetan border dispute has been placed on the backburner. Like China, Pakistan too has sought friendship of India as is evident from Indo-Pak composite dialogue which was renewed in early 2004.  Whatever accusations made by Pakistan against India have been authenticated by WikiLeaks. It has proved that Indian intelligence agencies are involved in immoral activities in Balochistan and FATA. It has unmasked the true worth of current Indian army chief and his predecessor terming them as show-offs and far detached from reality. In case Gen Kayani had resorted to rhetoric to scare away a bully, he could have been ignored but not Gen VK Singh claiming to be army chief of most powerful Army of South Asia trying to overawe a smaller neighbor through gimmicks. While Gen Kayani has behaved coolly and maturely in testing times, both Kapoor and Singh lost their sense of balance in normal times and behaved irrationally and haughtily.
Parnaik takes charge as head of Northern Command Shujaat Bukhari Share  ·   print   ·   T+    He has vast experience in counter-insurgency and high-altitude warfare  Lieutenant-General K.T. Parnaik on Saturday took over command of the prestigious Northern Command at Udhampur. He succeeds Lieutenant- General B.S. Jaiswal, who retired on Friday.  A highly decorated officer, Lt. General Parnaik is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla, and was commissioned into the 2 Rajputana Rifles on March 31, 1972. After early years of regimental service and staff appointments, he graduated from the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington. He has done the Senior Command, Higher Command and National Defence College courses. During his long career, he has held a variety of sterling and balanced portfolio of Command, Staff and Instructional assignments.  He has vast experience in counter-insurgency and high altitude warfare. He commanded 2 Rajputana Rifles in Rajasthan Sector (Udaipur) and Jammu and Kashmir, an Infantry Brigade in Operation Parakram on the Line of Control, and a Mountain Division in Sikkim. Before taking over as Director-General of Perspective Planning, the General Officer commanded the Indian Military Training Team (IMTRAT) in Bhutan and a Corps in the northeast.  Lt. General Parnaik held a number of prestigious staff appointments which includes Additional Director-General, Military Intelligence at the Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence (Army). He has also held various instructional appointments at the Indian Military Academy, IMTRAT and Army War College, Mhow.  For his distinguished service in the north-eastern sector, he was awarded the Chief of Army Staff Commendation Card twice. He was also honoured with the Yudh Seva Medal in 2003 for his exemplary conduct of operations while in command of an Infantry Brigade during ‘Operation Parakram'.  The General Officer was also honoured with the Gallantry Award of Uttam Yudh Seva Medal for his command of 4 Corps during ‘Operation Rhino' in 2010.
Gen Singh to shortly take over as chief of Southern Command NEWDELHI: Lt Gen A K Singh, a veteran Armoured Corps officer, has been elevated tothe rank of General Officer Commanding-in-Chief and will shortly take over asthe chief of the Army's Pune-based Southern Command.  Commissioned inthe Armoured Corps, Singh has commanded the elite 7th Light Cavalry regiment,the White Tiger Division and is presently commanding a Strike Corps along thewestern frontier.  A graduate of Staff College, Camberley, UK, HigherCommand Course at Army War College and the National Defence College in Delhi, hehas also attended prestigious courses in Russia and Sweden.  Singh hasbeen instrumental in several key visionary initiatives as also strategic andoperational planning transformation studies of the Indian Army as the DirectorGeneral of Perspective Planning at Army Headquarters here.  TheGeneral officer is presently the Colonel of the Scinde Horse, 74 and 51 ArmouredRegiments.
DRDO to participate in "Pride of India - Science Expo - 2011" in Chennai 2011-01-02 20:40:00 Science Magazines Articles Ads by Google Get the National Geographic Mag at Your Home. Only 2875 Rs Annually  The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) will participate in the "Pride of India - Science Expo - 2011" organized during January 3 to 7 as part of 98th Indian Science Congress (ISC-2011) at SRM University in Chennai.  Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh is schedule to inaugurate the ISC-2011 on January 3.  The major attraction at DRDO stall will be a Main Battle Tank (MBT) Arjun, which has become the pride possession of the Army forming two of its armored regiments.  Other items on display will include models of "Tejas", the first indigenous and worlds lightest flying light combat aircraft, strategic and tactical missiles and some of their sub-systems displaying cutting edge technologies that have been mastered indigenously, Rustom, Nishant and Lakshya unmanned aerial vehicles; unmanned ground vehicles, computerized pilot selection system, life support systems; "Combat free fall system" capable of dropping paratrooper from a height of 30,000 feet, protective gear for protection against Nuclear Biological and Chemical agents.  Major DRDO labs for the nine technology clusters of DRDO are participating in the expo with over 100 exhibits and models along with charts and films during this mega event.  Scientific Adviser to Raksha Mantri and Secretary- Department of Defence R and D, Dr Vijay Kumar Saraswat, DG DRDO, S. Sundaresh, Chief Controller R and D (Armaments and Combat Vehicles) and other senior DRDO Scientists will be present on the occasion. (ANI)

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