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Saturday, 15 January 2011

From Today's Papers - 15 Jan 2011






Army to battle threats, scams with new vigilance plan Ajay Banerjee/TNS  New Delhi, January 14 Indian Army Chief General VK Singh, today unveiled two separate strategies -- one for future battles and threats while the second for the much-needed discipline in the wake of a series of land scams involving the force.  The Army will be reorganised and restructured into a “lethal, agile and networked” unit. Secondly, a ‘vigilance mechanism’ will be put in place to prevent scams that have caused embarrassment to the force.  General Singh, while talking to reporters at the annual press conference ahead of the 62nd Army Day celebrations, candidly said the transformation included “enhancing operational capability through reorganisation, restructuring, force development and relocation”. In lay terms, this means the forces will be rejigged to have the ability to deliver a lethal strike in a shorter period of time.  The top-heavy structure of the Army headquarters is to be “flattened” to bring in faster decision-making. A group is studying if strategic capability --- namely the missile attack formations -- should be placed under one command of the Army.  “A strike capability in the mountains will be covered in the transformation,” the General said in an oblique reference to the preparation to tackle the growing Chinese threat. He clarified that this does not mean setting up of a ‘Mountain Strike corps’. At present all three strike corps are located and operational in the plains at Ambala, Mathura and Bhopal -- largely facing Pakistan.  One of the key points in modernisation will be induction of the much delayed artillery guns to replace the now ageing Bofors -- acquired in 1986. “Trials are on to check out a few guns, I can assure you that the first lot of inductions will take place within this year only,” the General said even as he declined to share details about the supplier.  About the issue of discipline, the Chief said: “One of the things we could have done better was to create some sort of a vigilance mechanism within the Army. At the moment we do not have this. We are looking at it very seriously.” The General said such a mechanism would assist the Army in carrying out “internal audits at the right time”.   MoD to computerise land records  New Delhi: Hit by the various land scams that involve the armed forces and also senior officials of the defence estates department, the Defence Ministry has decided to change its policies related to grant of 'No Objection Certificates' (NOCs) to private individuals.  Defence Minister AK Antony on Thursday had said: "After Adarsh (society scam in Mumbai), we have taken a decision to computerise entire land records with the defence estates so that nobody can play with them. We are also going to change the policy of granting NOCs. " He did not specify what alterations could be made and ruled out any “blanket ban” on NOCs saying “it was not possible.” — TNS

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2011/20110115/nation.htm#4
Defence production India’s indigenous capability is low  All major and even middle-level defence powers possess a strong military-industrial complex and are also major exporters of weapons. In contrast, India is the only regional power that seeks to be a global power of reckoning but it is almost entirely dependent on foreign imports for high technology weapon systems and platforms and has been an embarrassingly modest exporter.  As such, the Defence Ministry’s framing of a first-ever defence production policy (DPP) ought to be welcomed. The ambitious DPP envisages according preference to indigenous design, development and manufacture of defence equipment. Based on the approved Long-Term Integrated Perspective Plan, the Defence Ministry’s endeavour will be to mostly indigenously develop and build the all defence equipment, weapon systems and platforms required in 10 years and more down the line. The decision to import defence equipment will be dependent on the existing capability and the urgency and criticality of the requirement of a particular weapon system or platform.  Laudable as this policy might be, there is, however, one major problem: It is unrealistic. India’s state-owned military industrial complex has repeatedly demonstrated a severe limitation in building high technology defence equipment. In 1995, the Defence Research and Development Organisation, which is entrusted with spearheading India’s efforts to attain self-reliance in defence technology, conceived an ambitious 10-year plan to increase self-reliance in defence technology from 30 per cent to 70 per cent by 2005. Instead, a decade-and-a-half after the plan was put into effect and five years after the plan was supposed to have materialised, India’s import dependency continues to remain at 70 per cent. Successive reports prepared by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence on the functioning and capabilities of the DRDO and all the nine defence public sector units and 39 ordinance factories have, with monotonous regularity, been pointing to the severe limitations of India’s defence research, development and production capability. The government has since taken a series of measures to increase self-reliance – permitted 100 per cent participation of the private industry in the defence sector, allowed up to 26 per cent foreign direct investment, introduced a 30 per cent offset policy for all imports worth over Rs 300 crore and gone in for more joint ventures with foreign companies. India remains a long way away from achieving credible self-reliance in defence. And it will take more than just producing a booklet with loftily expressed ambitions.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2011/20110115/edit.htm#2
Centre for troops cut in Valley Not aware of such plan: Army Chief Tribune News Service GK Pillai“If violence is not there, we can gradually reduce the strength of security forces and make sure that forces are stationed only at the border and for preventing infiltration.” — GK Pillai, Home Secretary Gen VK Singh“We have not yet felt that we have to cut down our forces. If they (Home Ministry) want to cut down paramilitary or police forces, I won't say anything.”  — Gen VK Singh, Army Chief  New Delhi, January 14 The Union Home Secretary GK Pillai and Army Chief General VK Singh today seemed to talk on different wave lengths over confidence-building measures in Jammu and Kashmir. However, they did not contradict each other.  Pillai, while addressing a seminar at Jamia Millia University in the National Capital, said the government intended to reduce the forces' strength by one-fourth in J&K over the next 12 months.  The deployment of security forces should be minimum in populated areas, where local police would be ideal. “If violence is not there, we can gradually reduce the strength of security forces and make sure that forces are stationed only at the border and for preventing infiltration,” he said.  The Home Secretary said as part of the confidence-building measures, India and Pakistan, at present, allow people from Jammu and Kashmir and PoK to visit either side with a permit valid for 15 days.  “We suggested that the people visit their relatives more often. Now we are planning to unilaterally give six-month multiple entry permits for people of PoK,’’ he added. Pillai said New Delhi wanted to reach out to the people of the neighbouring country through various ways, including cultural exchange programmes. “We are encouraging musical, cultural programmes, and drama festivals between the two countries. We are encouraging Pakistanis to come here on these grounds,’’ he said.  The Centre was also asking corporate India to give jobs to youths of Jammu and Kashmir in different parts of the country. “We can absorb 1,00,000 youths all over India in the next 12 months,” the Home Secretary said.  Meanwhile, the Army Chief said the armed forces have been deployed in the state based on a certain threat perception. He said the Army was not aware of any troop reduction plans. He was responding to a question on Pillai’s statement and whether the Army felt that the situation had improved to an extent that the number of troops’ could be reduced. Though the Army Chief declined to make any direct comment on Pillai’s remarks, he said “the Army had deployed its troops in the state as per the requirements on the Line of Control and other areas.”  “We have not yet felt that we have to cut down our forces. If they (Home Ministry) want to cut down paramilitary or police forces, I won’t say anything,” the General added.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2011/20110115/main1.htm
THE THIRD BATTLE OF PANIPAT JANUARY 1761 WAR THAT CHANGED INDIA’S DESTINY M Rajivlochan  The forces of the Marathas clashed with those of Ahmed Shah Abdali 250 years ago in a historic encounter. The warring parties had no doubt about the prize to be had by the victor — the throne of Delhi  A painting depicting the fierce clashes that took place during the Third Battle of Panipat. A painting depicting the fierce clashes that took place during the Third Battle of Panipat.  On the 14th January 1761, with the Third Battle of Panipat, the Maratha effort to rule over India came to an end. It had begun in 1720, when the newly appointed Peshwa Baji Rao, all of 20 years of age, had shown his compatriots the vision for a Maratha conquest of Hindustan. He offered to share all the newly-accrued power with his able military commanders thus earning tremendous loyalty from Holkar, Gaikwar, Bhonsale and Shinde. We can see the remnants of these families in control of large tracts of land in Indore, Baroda, Nagpur and Gwalior respectively even today.  The Marathas set up a new kind of civil administration and effectively began to replace the now defunct Mughal imperial system. Their empire began to touch the borders of Delhi by the time of the death of Baji Rao in 1740. In the meanwhile the Marathas began to set up a system of stable administration much akin to that of the Mughals. This included charging Hindu traders double the transit duty that was charged from Muslim traders. However, the opportunity to expand the Maratha Empire further north into the Punjab came only when the Mughal governors of Punjab were rattled by invasions from Afghanistan and internally weakened by the continuous rebellion of the Sikh peasantry who refused to pay their taxes.     A detail depicting Panipat and its surrounding areas from a map (right) dated 1760  Matching the Maratha desire to control Delhi was a similar desire on the part of Ahmed Shah of the Abdali tribe. Ahmed Shah had been a slave of Shah Nadir of Iran and his chief of palace security. After Nadir's assassination in 1747 Ahmed Shah looted the palace treasures and fled to Kandahar. Here he persuaded other Pakhtun chiefs to join him in setting up an Afghan kingdom in the mountains that would be free from Iranian control. He also changed the name of his tribe from Abdali to Durrani (pearl), using a title that had been bestowed upon him by Shah Nadir.  Historically, the typical way for any Afghan chieftain to make himself popular with the other tribes of the region was to lead them into a military expedition to the plains of Hindustan and bring back loot that would impress everyone back home. Ahmed Shah lost no time in launching a similar attack on Lahore.  Ahmed Shah Abdali Ahmed Shah Abdali  In the 20 years of his rule, Ahmed Shah would come down the mountains nine times. Each time he would leave his nominee to rule over some territory within India in the hope that there would be at least a modicum of Afghan control over some parts of India. When that control was challenged, he would come down again, plunder a fresh part of the subcontinent and return with even more loot.  By 1757 it was the turn of the region around Delhi and further south to be looted. Before returning he appointed his son Timur Shah the governor of Punjab. Timur proved incapable of managing the rebellious Punjab. On seeing him weakening the Mughal governor of Jallandhar doab, Adina Beg, invited the Marathas to launch an attack on Lahore. It is said that to help Adina Beg the Marathas charged Rs. 1 lakh for each day's march and Rs. 50,000 for each day's halt.  Raghunath Rao, the Maratha general in-charge of Delhi, defeated Ahmed Shah's son on April 20, 1758, and set up a brief Maratha rule over Punjab with Adina Beg as the Maratha governor. A small contingent of Maratha troops was left at Attock and Multan. An enraged Ahmed Shah once again began to march into the plains of India.  The Battle: facts and implications      *        The most important Abdali gun was named the Zamzama. It was immortalised as 'Kims' Gun'. It is on display at the Lahore Museum.     * The Maratha army camp also included some 1,50,000 pilgrims who wanted to visit Mathura and other religious places.     * Ahmed Shah tried to set up a rule at Delhi with the help of the Rohillas. However, the summer heat and internal squabbling proved his undoing and he retreated back to Afghanistan appointing Shah Alam II, a Mughal prince as the ruler of Delhi.     * The Marathas regrouped their armies and planned to attack Delhi, but before that could happen, Ahmed Shah had withdrawn his army.     * The Marathas had brought Shah Alam under their control.  The conflict this time, however, was being couched in religious terms. Ahmed Shah declared that he was on a jihad to India. After all, his son had been kicked out of Punjab. Moreover, Ahmed Shah had been invited by Shah Waliullah (1703-62), one of the leading Islamic clerics in India based at the Rahimiya Madarssa in Delhi. Waliullah, one of the early proponents of a war-like Islam, wrote to Ahmed Shah that it was obligatory upon him "to wage an Indian campaign, break the sway of the unbelieving Marathas and Jats, and rescue the weaknesses of the Muslism who are captive in the land of the unbelievers."  The Marathas on their part stated that it was their holy duty to punish the invading Afghans for having desecrated the Golden Temple at Amritsar.  It was quite usual in those times to call upon differences in religion to justify pre-existing rivalries. It was just as usual for the combatants to call upon support from those of the other religion without bothering about the prima facie contradiction between religious assertion and ground reality. Thus one of the most important military commanders in the Maratha army was a Muslim general who controlled the Maratha artillery. His name was Ibrahim Khan Gardi and he refused to be wooed in the name of religion to side with the Afghans. None of the warring parties had any doubt about the prize to be had by the victor: the throne of Delhi.  Ahmed Shah crossed the Indus at Attock, then moving across north Punjab he crossed the Yamuna near Saharanpur into the territories of the Rohilla Afghans who sought his support against the Marathas.  On the march from Saharanpur to Delhi Ahmed Shah encountered a troop under the command of Dataji Shinde and then another under the command of Malhar Rao Holkar. Both were defeated.  Ahmed Shah over took Delhi, left a small contingent in the town and moved further south with the rest of his forces to Anupshahr, over a 100 kms south.  In the meanwhile the Marathas, under the command of Sadashiv Rao Bhau, having amassed a huge army of 70,000, retook Delhi from the Afghans and moved up north to attack Kunjpura, some 90 km away.  Ahmed Shah tried to save his garrison at Kunjpura but could not. He was on the eastern banks of the Yamuna and his position was extremely vulnerable. The Marathas, however, confident about their strength and numbers entrenched themselves at Panipat and let the Afghan forces cross the river and settle down facing them across the fields. The Marathas blocked the pathway of Ahmed Shah to Afghanistan just as Ahmed Shah blocked their supply routes from the Deccan.  Thus the two forces remained entrenched for two and a half months. In these two and a half months the two armies snatched provisions from the locals thus destroying the land in and around Panipat almost entirely even before any battle had been fought. It was only when it was not possible to keep the army in camp any longer that the Marathas decided to join battle.  Both sides had almost the same number of soldiers. Half of Ahmed Shah's forces were made up of his Indian allies. Almost half of the Maratha forces were made of mercenaries who were in the war for booty that the victorious Marathas always provided. And the Maratha track record in getting a victory on the battle field was quite good. This battle has been one of the most studied battles of Indian history. It lasted from sunrise to just before sunset.  For most of the day the Marathas had an upper hand and pulverized Ahmed Shah and his allies. But by 4 pm, the tide of battle began to turn. All the Maratha troops had become engaged in battle while Ahmed Shah still had a few troops in reserve. These fresh reserves were brought forth and the Maratha rout began. To make matters worse the prisoners taken at Kunjpura by the Marathas too began to attack the Marathas from behind. By sunset both sides decided to stop the battle. Most of the people on the battle field had either died or lay dying by then.  At night the Marathas decided to leave the battle field and escaped back towards Delhi. Sadashivrao Bhau's wife, who had been in-charge of the camp administration, too managed to flee along with her bodyguards.  The writer is Professor of History and Chairman of the Department of History, Panjab University, Chandigarh.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2011/20110115/edit.htm#6
Govt. considering troop reduction in Kashmir by 25 percent: Home Secretary Pillai Addressing a symposium on the ''Way Forward in Kashmir'' organised by the Jamia Millia Islamia University here, Pillai said: 'Government of India is hopeful that troops in Jammu and Kashmir might come down by 25 per cent in the next 12 months.' CJ: pascal                   Fri, Jan 14, 2011 14:56:18 IST Views:                8    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               UNION HOME Secretary G.K. Pillai on Friday said the Central Government is contemplating reducing the strength of security forces in Jammu and Kashmir by 25 per cent.   Addressing a symposium on the ''Way Forward in Kashmir'' organised by the Jamia Millia Islamia University here, Pillai said: "Government of India is hopeful that troops in Jammu and Kashmir might come down by 25 per cent in the next 12 months."   "We have already reduced forces from Srinagar as the presence of security forces should be minimum in populated areas. The local police should be able to handle the situation there," he said. "We should make sure that all the forces are positioned only at the border, preventing infiltration," he added.   He further said that India is also planning to unilaterally issue six-month multiple entry permits for people of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) wanting to visit Jammu and Kashmir through the LoC.   "We have allowed people from Kashmir and POK to meet for 15 days. We also have a six months multiple entry pass," he added. He said final recommendations in this regard from the Government-appointed interlocutors are expected by April.   The Central Government had appointed the interlocutors - eminent journalist Dileep Padgaonkar, academician Radha Kumar and economist M M Ansari - in the wake of street protests in Kashmir Valley and police action in which over 100 protesters were killed in 2010.   The interlocutors were tasked with suggesting ways of bringing about sustained peace in the Valley.?

http://www.merinews.com/article/govt-considering-troop-reduction-in-kashmir-by-25-percent-home-secretary-pillai/15840103.shtml
Army to set up internal vigilance wing to check scams The Army's image has suffered in last two years as a series of land scams beginning with Sukna in West Bengal, the Adarsh Housing Society in Colaba in 2009 and Central Ordnance Depot land in Kandivalli. Source : ANI   Fri, Jan 14, 2011 17:22:48 IST Views: 7    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   ARMY CHIEF General V.K. Singh today said that an internal vigilance wing will be set up to prevent scams and corruption from occurring.     The Army’s image has suffered in last two years as a series of land scams beginning with Sukna in West Bengal, the Adarsh Housing Society in Colaba in 2009 and Central Ordnance Depot land in Kandivalli.     Speaking at the annual Army Day press conference on Friday, General Singh said since he took over office on March 31, 2010 his emphasis is on “improving the internal health” of the force to stop corruption among its personnel.     Replying to a question on the numerous land scams, he said: “Though this is a very vast subject, what we are looking for is a vigilance mechanism. We do not have this (vigilance) in the Army. We now looking at having one. Of course, we do take suo motu action on a lot of issues (corruption and scams) that come up.”     Commenting on what action will be taken against his predecessor General Deepak Kapoor, whose name figures in the last three land scams, General Singh said the cases have been handed over to the Defence Ministry for appropriate action.     General Kapoor’s name figures in the Sukna land scam, the Adarsh Housing Society in Colaba and land adjacent to the Central Ordnance Depot Kandivali being handed over to a private developer.

http://www.merinews.com/article/army-to-set-up-internal-vigilance-wing-to-check-scams/15840115.shtml
Army asks for Rules of Engagement for new facility in Naxal-hit Chhattisgarh The Indian Army which is already deployed in battling militancy in Jammu and Kashmir and the North-East, has asked the government to finalise 'Rules of Engagement' as it gets ready to open a new training facility in Naxal-hit Chhattisgarh. CJ: Mineguruji   Fri, Jan 14, 2011 16:58:24 IST Views: 8    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   THE INDIAN Army, which is already deployed in battling militancy in Jammu and Kashmir and the North-East, has asked the government to finalise “Rules of Engagement” as it gets ready to open a new training facility in Naxal-hit Chhattisgarh.     The Indian Army has sought nearly 600 square kilometers of land in the forest area of Chhattisgarh to be given for training purposes.     The Army is already assisting central paramilitary and state police forces with training and logistics in the battle against Naxalism.   Speaking ahead of the 62nd Army Day here on Friday, Chief of Army Staff, General V. K. Singh said: “The Army will not get directly involved in internal security, especially while dealing with Naxalites. We have deliberately stayed out of any commitment to tackle left wing extremism, except for giving advice or training.”     General Singh clearly stated that the setting up of a training facility under the Central Command in Chhattisgarh has nothing to do with the Naxal problem, and added that the proposed facility would be part of an integrated plan that had been drawn earlier.   He further said that the Army has asked the Government about the Rules of Engagement to determine as to what extent its personnel are protected from civil laws when its facilities come up in Naxal areas.     Asked if Rules of Engagement include firing back on Naxals if they attack, General Singh said that “one can fire back in self defence,” adding that a clarification was needed on how the army should engage the attackers.     “We are neither operating in the area nor are seeking protection under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act. We don’t require outside protection and it will come from the force,” he said.   Naxalism has rapidly overtaken insurgencies in Jammu and Kashmir and in the North East to emerge as a bigger threat to India’s internal security.     Many more security personnel, for instance, are now being killed in Naxal-hit states of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Bihar, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh than in insurgency-hit states.

http://www.merinews.com/article/army-asks-for-rules-of-engagement-for-new-facility-in-naxal-hit-chhattisgarh/15840111.shtml
Kashmiri students visit Delhi as part of Operation Sadbhavna The students met National Conference President and Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah, who has invited then for lunch on Saturday. CJ: Shreyas Menon              Fri, Jan 14, 2011 16:44:02 IST Views:                5    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       STUDENTS FROM backward areas of Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri and Poonch Districts visited New Delhi on Friday as part of the Indian Army's ''Operation Sadbhavana'' educational tour. The students met National Conference President and Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah who has invited then for lunch on Saturday.   The students are also expected to interact with several other Ministers on Saturday.   The tour has been organized by 38 Rashtriya Rifles under the aegis of the Romeo Force of the Indian Army's 16 corps, which is based at Nagrota.   The army organizes the tour to expose young students to developments taking place in other parts of the country. During this tour, the students from Kashmir Valley have visited Goa, Pune and Hyderabad. They got the opportunity to visit historical, religious and other important places in these cities. The students also got the chance to interact with Goa Governor SS Sidhu during their visit.   In 1998, the Indian Army launched a unique operation called ''Operation Sadbhavana'' to win the hearts and minds of the population long ravaged by terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. Through ''Operation Sadbhavana'', the troops of Northern Command extended their mandate and made concerted attempts to apply the healing touch to win over the people by promoting development activities focusing on their basic needs.   ''Operation Sadbhavana'' and activities of the state administration were amalgamated harmoniously to generate synergy, with a clear focus to bring a palpable improvement in the quality of life of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

http://www.merinews.com/article/kashmiri-students-visit-delhi-as-part-of-operation-sadbhavna/15840107.shtml
Govt. considering troop reduction in Kashmir by 25 percent: Home Secretary Pillai Addressing a symposium on the ''Way Forward in Kashmir'' organised by the Jamia Millia Islamia University here, Pillai said: 'Government of India is hopeful that troops in Jammu and Kashmir might come down by 25 per cent in the next 12 months.' CJ: pascal                   Fri, Jan 14, 2011 14:56:18 IST Views:                    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                  UNION HOME Secretary G.K. Pillai on Friday said the Central Government is contemplating reducing the strength of security forces in Jammu and Kashmir by 25 per cent.   Addressing a symposium on the ''Way Forward in Kashmir'' organised by the Jamia Millia Islamia University here, Pillai said: "Government of India is hopeful that troops in Jammu and Kashmir might come down by 25 per cent in the next 12 months."   "We have already reduced forces from Srinagar as the presence of security forces should be minimum in populated areas. The local police should be able to handle the situation there," he said. "We should make sure that all the forces are positioned only at the border, preventing infiltration," he added.   He further said that India is also planning to unilaterally issue six-month multiple entry permits for people of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) wanting to visit Jammu and Kashmir through the LoC.   "We have allowed people from Kashmir and POK to meet for 15 days. We also have a six months multiple entry pass," he added. He said final recommendations in this regard from the Government-appointed interlocutors are expected by April.   The Central Government had appointed the interlocutors - eminent journalist Dileep Padgaonkar, academician Radha Kumar and economist M M Ansari - in the wake of street protests in Kashmir Valley and police action in which over 100 protesters were killed in 2010.   The interlocutors were tasked with suggesting ways of bringing about sustained peace in the Valley.?

http://www.merinews.com/article/govt-considering-troop-reduction-in-kashmir-by-25-percent-home-secretary-pillai/15840103.shtml
Cops, jawans joined stone-pelters in J&K  NDTV Correspondent, Updated: January 14, 2011 20:57 IST ad_title  PLAYClick to Expand & Play Srinagar:  Shocking details have emerged on how some policemen and jawans, were part of the stone-pelting mobs, that Kashmir's security forces repeatedly clashed with, during the civil strife between June and September last year.  NDTV has access to documents that show at least four policemen and one Army jawan were involved in the incidents.  "Some of them have been circumstantial because if they have been stuck in a locality and forced out of their homes. Those things are not exactly indicative or symptomatic of police behavior," said SM Sahai, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir.  The official line may be that it was an act of aberration, but three policemen have already been arrested, one has been charged, and one more is being probed to see if he funded a group of stone-pelters.      * Share this on Rediff.com Rediff.com     * NDTVTwitter     * NDTVNDTV Social     * Share with MessengerLive Messenger     * NDTVGmail Buzz     * NDTVPrint    Many Special Police Officers on contract, deserted the force when the agitation was at its peak. Three policemen at Police Training Centre in Baramulla quit their jobs. Some of them possibly felt a sense of alignment with the agitation, but most succumbed to the rising anger of the people against the police.   "In June-July, when the situation worsened, the police faced a huge pressure. So, I granted the force a Hardship Allowance," said Omar Abdullah, Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir.  The police say the bigger challenge before it is the extent of the involvement of government employees.  "We are more concerned about government employees who have been actively involved in organising stone-pelting and funding it," said SM Sahai.  Eighty government employees have been arrested, and cases have been registered against 181. Many of them are teachers. Ten serious offenders have been jailed for two years, without the benefit of trial.  The four-month long civil strife was a tightrope walk for local policemen. Now the expose, that some men in uniform were involved in stone-pelting has embarrassed the force that claimed all this while that the summer's unrest was fuelled by militants.

http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/cops-jawans-joined-stone-pelters-in-j-k-79399
Naam, Namak, Nishan: Indian Army's proud culture January 14, 2011 20:30 IST Tags: Capt Vikram Batra, Indian Army of, India, Maj Sandeep Unnikrishnan, PVC Share this Ask Users Write a Comment  Notionally, the proud Indian Army [ Images ] will be entering its 64th year of existence on January 15. This is because, in fact, the Indian Army is as old as the idea of India.  The killing fields of Kurukshetra have resounded with the resounding cry of Naam, Namak and Nishan, since the days of the cataclysmic Mahabharata [ Images ] War.   Field Marshal Philip Chetwode, a British cavalry officer, who became Commander-in-Chief in India, gave this work ethic of the army a new name during his address delivered at the formal inauguration of the Indian Military Academy in 1932 -- "The safety, honour and welfare of your country come first, always and every time. The honour, welfare and comfort of the men you command come next. Your own ease, comfort and safety come last, always and every time."  What is it that makes brave men and women in uniform live and die for the tricolour, over personal considerations? Since profit obviously isn't their motive, it has to be a spirit of selflessness and sacrifice; a feeling of oneness and unity with a grand idea; a dream; a commitment that leads them to sacrifice their comfort and even lives for an idea called India.  Should one term such people idealists, dreamers, impractical people, who lived and died for Naam, Namak, Nishan…the timeless culture and ethos of the Indian Army; or should one say in the language that emerging India speaks in, that it is this "corporate governance" credo that the country needs to follow implicitly, if it is to take its place in the hierarchy of developed and progressive nations.  Let us take a few examples to illustrate what this idea has meant to some brave hearts who have worn the India "colours" and the lessons we can take home from their achievements and sacrifices.  What can one say of a shy, self effacing, embodiment of the Chetwode motto who died? That he was disarmingly handsome and brave; that he was an inspirational leader and the Fakhr-e-Hind of his beloved country, India? That he was admired in death by his opposing number in the Pakistani Armoured Corps.  2/Lt Arun Khetarpal, PVC (Posthmous)  2/Lt Arun Khetarpal, Param Vir Chakra, (Posthumous), by the manner of his military skills and deathless spirit  brought rare honour to his distinguished regiment, The Poona Horse and to soldiering, during the Battle of Basantar, in the 1971 Indo-Pak War.  The visitor to Dras, coping with the freezing wind with balaclava, mittens, layered socks, insulated boots, thermal under and over garments, is shown a craggy ridgeline that divides India from Pakistan. The gaunt peaks that made Kargil [ Images ] famous are all there; paying homage to their uncrowned King; the impossibly steep Tiger Hill.  Close by is the looming Point 4875. It was in such unforgiving, barren mountains, that, in the summer of 1999, young Capt Vikram Batra, Param Veer Chakra, and 524 brave hearts like him willingly gave up their lives. Another 1,363 were wounded.  In June 1999, Vikram's battalion, 13 Jammu and Kashmir [ Images ] Rifles, was ordered to move to Dras and tasked to capture Point 5140. This peak on the Tololing Ridge not only led to Tiger Hill but was needed for sustenance of helicopter operations in the area.  Vikram and his men proudly held up the Tricolour on Point 5140 at 0435 hours on that bitterly cold June 20 morning, as he broadcast his funky success code: "Yeh Dil [ Images ] Mange More". On June 30, 1999, Vikram's battalion was later tasked to capture Point 4875 in the Mushkoh Valley.  It was his last battle.  He died on July 7, 1999, while trying to save another wounded officer colleague, from getting fatally shot. In so doing, he uncannily lived up to his forecasts: he was awarded the nations highest gallantry award; coming home wrapped in the national tricolour.                                                                                                                           Capt Vikram Batra, PVC (Posthmous)In September 2010, I was invited to Sikkim, to participate in a military seminar. I later addressed young soldiers of a military formation deployed at the 14,300 feet high Nathu La Pass on the Indo-Chinese border on our work ethics.  I had finished my address when a smart young officer walked up to me. He was a NSG colleague of Maj Sandeep Unnikrishnan, AC (Posthumous) and was at the iconic Taj Hotel [ Images ] on 26/11 with Sandeep.  Moved by my references to selflessness and courage under adversity, he spoke with deep feeling about his pride for this bravest of brave "mad cap" colleague, as he put it; a person forever taking the first step; putting his life at risk before his men could.  He lived the Indian Army's heroic "Follow Me" credo to the fullest, knowing that he would have to pay the price. Tragically, in the moments, preceding his death, he broke his own rules. "Do not come up, I will handle them", Unni selflessly told his men. He died in a hail of bullets     Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, AC (Posthmous)    What was it about these soldiers that was unique? They dreamt dreams of pretty girl friends; of great rank and honours as young officers do, so that's not unique. They were generous, thoughtful, gutsy and focused. Many young men and women also have these traits. They all had a sense of humour that women in particular so cherish in gentlemen. I guess some of us are humorous too.  What did set them apart is best expressed in the words of the great writer, Henry Ward Beecher: "In this world it is not what we take up, but what we give up, that makes us rich".  He was right.  These officers cheerfully and fearlessly gave up their most valued possession -- their lives -- for the idea of India. In the finest traditions of the Indian Army and the Chetwode Motto, they gave up their 'today' for our 'tomorrow'.  They passed out from the Indian Military Academy into the commissioned ranks of the Indian Army to the moving, timeless strains of Auld Lang Syne, Robert Burns's immortal, moving song reminiscing those days that will never return.  Let us, then, you and I, dear reader, "drink a cup o' remembrance for auld lang syne" to the deathless spirit of these officers on Army Day; a spirit that will be with us for ever, even though the officers have moved on, leaving us proud but broken hearted.  I think that we should rise up as a Nation, and never ever forget the sacrifices these soldiers have made in the name of Flag and Country. A practical and respectful way to do so is to look after them in life and in death, as well as their dependants morally and materially and in a way that does the uniformed forces and the country they serve proud.  It is also necessary to make the "corporate governance model of the Indian Army of "Naam, Namak and Nishan," the corporate governance model of emerging India.

http://www.rediff.com/news/column/naam-namak-nishan-indian-armys-proud-culture/20110114.htm
Women in the Indian Army: An idea whose time has arrived Last updated on: January 14, 2011 18:41 IST Share this Ask Users Write a Comment  The role of women as soldiers and warriors has been evident in history the world over for centuries. As early as the 15th century, Joan of Arc, is said to have led the French army during the hundred year's war against England [ Images ].  More recently, during World War I, the service of women was utilised for nursing duties in the war zone. Russia [ Images ] is said to have raised a few women battalions for combatant roles during the war but the concept did not take off and these battalions were disbanded soon after.  The role of women expanded rapidly during World War II. They were inducted into war industries, building ships, aircraft, vehicles, and weaponry.  They provided logistic support for soldiers and soon enough gained an entry into professional areas of work that were previously the preserve of men.  Thousands of women joined defensive militias in countries across Europe and America. This was also the period that witnessed a perceptible increase in the number of women serving in the military itself.  Indian military history also boasts of a fair share of women soldiers, Razia Sultan and the Rani of Jhansi being the most famous.  Women were also a part of the Indian National Army raised by Subhash Chandra Bose to fight the British. Post independence, women have for long been serving the Indian Army [ Images ] in the Army Medical Corps, Army Dental Corps and Military Nursing Service.  In all these branches they have played a commendable role and have risen to high ranks within their cadre. However, beyond this the Indian Army did not induct women for 47 years, after independence. It is said that the idea to induct women into the Indian Army first came after a senior army officer witnessed lady officers giving the guard of honour in the United States of America. The first batch of Short Service Commission women officers was inducted into the Indian Army in the year 1993.  This milestone was achieved through generation of considerable debate, both, within and outside defence circles. The debate acquired the hue of a gender issue with terms like equality of the sexes and discrimination against women thrown in for good measure.  Since the Indian Constitution guarantees equality of opportunity for all, irrespective of sex, it was considered only right that women should be allowed to join the army as well. The more vociferous among the women activists even referred to this as the "last male bastion", with a liberal dash of self-righteousness and victory in their speech.  At present there are about 1,000 women officers in the Indian Army and they account for about 2.44 per cent of the total strength of the officer cadre. This number has grown steadily over the years and it is a compliment to the Indian Army that it has moulded itself to make place for these women officers and maintain an open mind about their continued presence. It is, after all, not easy to effect changes of such an intrinsic order, in a large conventional and tradition driven organisation like the Army.  Women in the Indian Army were inducted primarily in the non-combat arms like the Judge Advocate General branch, Army Service Corps and Army Education Corps in addition to the traditional services that they were serving in.  Soon enough they found a place for themselves in services like Corps of Signals, Engineers, Intelligence Corps etc. Apparently they have proved their ability and discharged their duties suitably enough, for what started as a five-year stint has been increased to ten and subsequently fourteen years for a few disciplines. Now two departments i.e. JAG and AEC have granted permanent commission to the women in the Indian army.  Change is often accompanied by a measure of initial chaos, which gradually settles down, given time. Chaos, however, is something that an organisation like the army simply cannot afford, since what is at stake here is the entire nation's security and honour.  There have, no doubt, been teething problems but these are no more than in any other employment sector. In fact, it is to the credit of the Indian Army that its in-built mechanism of grievance redressal is sufficiently well equipped to deal with such issues.  The pertinent questions in this regard are -- has the experiment been a success? Should it be extended? These apart, there are some subsidiary questions that need answering as well. What for instance, is the special role that women can or should discharge in the Army? What qualities do they bring to these jobs to make them more efficient to discharge the same?  The lady officers, as women are addressed in the army, seem to be quite happy with their chosen profession. An interaction with them clearly illustrates their professionalism and will to stand tall next to their male colleagues, in the discharge of their duties.  A spirit of comradeship has developed between the younger generation of officers of both genders, who have trained and grown together in service. They exhibit a rare comfort level, which has developed with time. Therefore, it can be safely presumed that the experiment has been a resounding success and there is no case to now look back on the issue.  Organisations like education, medical services, logistics and technology driven segments like communication and engineering are well established niches for women.  These bring in to call such qualities of the head and heart, which are well suited to women. Research has shown that women are more perceptive and intuitive and endowed with organisational skills that help plan right down to minute detail.  They have the ability to empathise and understand, thus making them excel in all such fields that deal with interaction with human personnel; these are fields where women in the army can make a sterling contribution.  On hindsight it seems that the entire debate that was ignited, when the idea was in its nascent stage was not unprecedented.  Whenever, women have first stepped into essentially male worlds, the opposition has always been there. Such debates have had more to do with ideologies, principles, traditions and safety of the women. However now, almost two decades post the event, one can sit back and take a more rational view of things and feel that the idea of women in the Indian Army has finally arrived.  People often wonder as to why women would like to join the Army in the first case. After all it is a tough life with eternal questions of modesty and propriety coming to the fore.  The Indian Army offers job challenges that are difficult to come by in most other sectors of employment. The thrill and pride of serving one's motherland is an additional attraction. All this comes along with a well laid down code of conduct that makes things far more orderly and easy to adhere to.  Women, in fact, feel more safe within the Army than they do in other services of a similar genre' in the civil sector. It is for all these reasons, in addition, to attractive pay packets that women like to choose the army as a career option.  There are still questions that remain unanswered and in fact open to debate. The foremost of course is, whether women should be inducted into the combat arms as well.  The fact is that no active army in the world has inducted women in its combat arms. Even the army of Israel, which is considered most gender neutral, goes by role suitability, rather than mere lip service to gender equality.  Nature has given different attributes to both men and women and it is only right that to optimise one's productivity and the organisation's efficiency, the right person be chosen for the right job. Issues like gender discrimination have no place in decisions like these.  Most important, there is a lot at stake and such decisions should be taken only after careful consideration and more important - gradually.  So far, the induction of women into the Indian Army has been a successful experiment and the credit for this goes, both, to the organisation as well as the women. In order to ensure that future experiments are just as successful, one must proceed with a measure of foresight and judicious contemplation.

http://www.rediff.com/news/column/women-in-the-army-an-idea-whos-time-has-arrived1/20110114.htm
Govt eye on defence land OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT  New Delhi, Jan. 13: The government today said it would tighten norms on the transfer of land in the possession of the armed forces after a series of scams in which officers allegedly manipulated the system and struck deals with realtors.  “There will be no cover-up, no mercy to the guilty but there will be no vendetta,” said defence minister A.K. Antony when asked about the action he was taking after the suspicious real estate deals were exposed.  Antony said that the rules under which no-objection certificates (NOC) were issued to convert the ownership of defence estates into private property would be made tougher.  “We will make it more difficult, not stop it altogether, because sometimes it is needed,” the defence minister said.  Three dubious land deals by the armed forces are being investigated since last year.  The first is in North Bengal’s Sukna military station where senior officers, including three generals, have been court-martialled or reprimanded for giving an NOC to a Siliguri-based realtor.  Then it was the Adarsh highrise case that is being probed by the CBI after land belonging to the army in Mumbai’s Colaba area was allegedly transferred and military officers and Maharashtra government officials and their families were allotted apartments.  In the latest scam, the southern army commander wrote to army headquarters last week objecting to the transfer of an acre, for which the army was paying a rent, in north Mumbai’s Kandivli suburb.  The defence estates department of the ministry has an estimated 17 lakh acres in its possession. But the land records are not streamlined. This has made it possible for junior officers to manipulate the system, Antony said.  He has now ordered the department to computerise the land records.  “We have taken a decision to computerise the entire defence land records and curb releasing of NOCs… Nobody at the lower level military authority can play with NOCs. We are streamlining the system and putting in place strong measures so that nobody can misuse it,” Antony said.  “We are going to streamline it and take all proper steps to protect every inch of our land,” said Antony.  Stay on highrise  Bombay High Court today ordered an interim stay on the sale of flats in an 18-storey residential building in Worli on a PIL filed by the to the navy.  Har Siddhi Heights, the navy has said, is a “security threat”, a case similar to the Adarsh Housing Society.  The force stated that the building faces INS Trata, a naval missile base at Worli. The base houses crucial defence weaponry.

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1110114/jsp/nation/story_13438357.jsp
India's military shopping spree By Jason Overdorf  NEW DELHI, India — Nearly 30 years after its inception, India's supersonic light combat aircraft was finally cleared for induction into the air force this week — four years behind schedule, $500 million over budget and still propelled by an American-made engine.  Now, New Delhi is getting ready to double-down.  "After the Tejas [aircraft] accomplishes a series of milestones, the country is poised for a major turning point," Defense Minister A.K. Antony said at the test flight ceremony in Bangalore on Monday.        With a whopping $100 billion earmarked for defense purchases this decade, India has its sights set on simultaneously modernizing its moribund military and jumpstarting its own lame duck defense industry.  But there's a long way to go. Shortly before YouTube videos surfaced of a Chinese stealth fighter, India's Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) in all seriousness unveiled a domestically designed and developed... airship.  "There's a gap between their ability and their claims," said Anit Mukherjee, a research fellow at the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses. "They may not be able to do a Fiat, but they claim to be able to build a Ferrari."  Meanwhile, the stakes couldn't be higher. A modern military is essential if India is to take a larger role in Asia and the Indian Ocean — where China is swiftly gaining influence. The DRDO is 40 years behind schedule and $1.6 billion over budget, the defense minister said in May. And its most ambitious and vital projects have by and large been failures.  While that might be embarrassing for India, it's a huge opportunity for U.S. suppliers like Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Northrop Grumman. But Washington will need to cut some of the red tape associated with U.S. arms deals to leverage American industry's cutting-edge defense prowess to reshape U.S.-India relations. And New Delhi will need to defeat the rearguard resistance to private industry posed by the left to transform its domestic defense industry.  "There are three gods in Hinduism: Brahma, the creator; Shiva, the destroyer, and Vishnu, the preserver. You will need all three to reform our aerospace sector," said former Air Vice Marshal Kapil Kak, who now heads a think tank called the Center for Air Power Studies.  The first step will be Shiva's job: destroying — or radically restructuring — the existing system.  India's department of atomic energy has built a nuclear bomb and its space agency has sent a rocket to the Moon. But since 1992, when APJ Abdul Kalam declared that India should aim to make 70 percent of the equipment used by its military by 2005, the DRDO has "invented" radar and sonar systems, combat rifles, an artillery gun and cold weather gear for soldiers posted on the Siachen glacier — all of which it could have bought off the shelf elsewhere (including North Face).  Various ballistic missiles have failed in the testing process. Army personnel say the Arjun tank doesn't shoot straight. And even after it gets a second-generation engine in 2014, again from General Electric, critics say the Tejas — which was jointly produced by the DRDO and state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. — will not be able to compete with state-of-the-art fighters.  "DRDO has not produced anything that would change India's strategic condition in any way," said Sunil Dasgupta, a defense expert with the Brookings Institution. "After all, that's the entire point of military research and development."  As a result, India is preparing for a foreign shopping spree. According to a recent study by the consultancy firm KPMG, India is expected to buy $100 billion in foreign weapons by 2022. In the pipeline already are a $10 billion contract for 126 multi-role combat aircraft, a $7.6 billion tender for 12 stealth frigates, a $3.5 billion deal for seven submarines and a $3 billion contract for 197 light helicopters, among other items.  But Indian industry could benefit, too, if New Delhi plays its cards right. If it succeeds in leveraging its planned big-ticket purchases and its attractiveness as a manufacturing center for global suppliers to encourage technology transfers, KPMG argues, India could become one of the world's key sourcing destinations for defense systems and equipment, fueling technology spinoffs for a host of industries.  "If you look very conservatively, over the next 20 years, India will require about 1,200-1,500 aircraft in the civil sector alone," said Kak. "If you take the military aircraft, the military and civilian infrastructure, and you put it all together I see in the next 20 years a market of between $250 and $300 billion."  That's not the only reason the intersection of the commercial and military aerospace industries presents exciting prospects. There's a lesson in history, too. Prior to India's 1991 economic liberalization, the country's automobile sector was in much the same condition as its aerospace industry is today — with only two state-owned manufacturers, both relying on outdated designs to generate a pittance in sales.  Since opening to joint ventures and later direct foreign competition, however, India's car industry has grown more than tenfold in sales and manufacturing capacity — producing nearly 2.5 million cars a year, compared with less than a million in 2003. More than 40 Indian auto parts companies generate $100 million or more in annual revenue — supplying components to virtually every carmaker in the world. And half a dozen of the world's largest auto companies have invested $500 million or more in the past year to make India a global hub for small car manufacturing.  Aerospace could be looking at its own reform-era boom, following the government's decisions to open up the defense industry to domestic private companies and allow limited foreign direct investment in defense in 2001. Already, Mahindra Defence Systems has inked a deal with Seabird. Tata Advanced Systems has formed agreements with Boeing, Israel Aerospace Industries and Sikorsky Aircraft. And Larsen and Toubro has signed pacts with the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), Boeing, Raytheon, the Russian Aircraft Corporation (RAC MiG), Saab Gripen and Lockheed Martin.  "The Indian aerospace industry, both military and civil, stands uniquely poised today, on the threshold of catapulting itself into the global arena," the consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers wrote in a recent industry report.  But both New Delhi and Washington will have to break existing paradigms for U.S. suppliers to seize the opportunity and bolster the ongoing transformation of U.S.-India relations.  For decades, India has preferred to buy arms from Russian defense companies, due to the erroneous impression that its state-owned firms are less prone to corruption — especially after allegations of kickbacks from Sweden's Bofors brought down Rajiv Gandhi's government in 1989. Moreover, Indian strategists until recently deemed American companies to be unreliable weapons suppliers, following America's gunboat diplomacy in the 1971 war between India and Pakistan, the U.S. decision to equip Pakistan's air force with the F-16 in the 1980s, and the imposition of sanctions in response to India's nuclear tests in 1998.  At the same time, America's private defense firms — in contrast to state-owned rivals — will likely have deep reservations about the demands India is making in return for access to its large and fast-growing weapons market. The terms of the multi-role combat aircraft contract, for instance, require that a massive 50 percent of the total outlay be outsourced back to Indian industry in what is known in the industry as "offsets." And the absence of any significant privately owned Indian defense companies will make meeting that requirement difficult for American firms — which unlike their Russian rivals are reluctant to form joint ventures with state-owned enterprises.  "I don't think Indian officials accept this idea that government can fund research without actually conducting it. There are no startups, no programs whereby people can come together in garages to develop new technology," said Dasgupta, who co-authored "Arming without Aiming: India's Military Modernization," with the Brookings Institute's Stephen P. Cohen. "That is something that needs to happen in order to foment the activity that breeds innovation."  To overcome those obstacles, Washington will need to cut some of the red tape associated with U.S. arms deals and begin to treat India like the "strategic partner" it is meant to be instead of a subordinate ally.  For example, India at first baulked at signing America's boilerplate logistical supply agreement and proliferation security initiative, because some Indian policymakers feared it would force India into toeing the U.S. line on foreign policy.  Meanwhile, New Delhi will need to shake off its fears about private firms in the defense sector — whether related to corruption or sovereignty. At the simplest level, that means opening defense and aerospace further to foreign direct investment and removing the remaining tax incentives and the like that give state-owned firms a cost advantage. But it also means formulating a defense industrialization policy that identifies and prioritizes the technologies and capacities it wants to acquire, and amending the existing offset policies, according to KPMG.  Currently, India doesn't offer its foreign suppliers any offset multipliers — which encourage technology transfer by giving desired technologies a greater offset value than the contract's actual dollar amount. (For example, if India assigned jet engine technologies a multiplier of 7, then choosing a local company to manufacture $100 million in components would earn the foreign firm $700 million in offsets). But most importantly, India will need to re-envision its current narrow definition of privatization — which doesn't allow for government-funded research unless one of its moribund government labs does the work.  "The biggest long-term thing is to create a procedure whereby research can be independent from the state," said Dasgupta. "If that can happen somehow the pace of innovation will get faster."

http://www.minnpost.com/globalpost/2011/01/13/24820/indias_military_shopping_spree
Narendra Modi is guest of Indian Army today evening Ahmedabad, 15 January, 2011      Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi will be the guest of Indian Army today evening, and the Army jawans have kept their weapons such as Khukri, and Lazim ready, but just for dance performances.  Mr. Modi will be at Ahmedabad’s Army cantonment today evening as a Chief guest of “Army Day” function being held here.  “Army Day” is celebrated every year on 15 January to commemorate anniversary of the Indian Army. Today’s Army day marks 63rd anniversary.  Narendra Modi will watch Martial dance forms, Khukri dance, Lazim and Bhangra dance performed by Army personnel at Rawlley stadium in Ahmedabad Cantonment.  This is perhaps Modi’s first visit as a Chief Minister to the cantonment area of Ahmedabad to attend Army function.

http://deshgujarat.com/2011/01/15/narendra-modi-is-guest-of-indian-army-today-evening/


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