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Thursday, 17 February 2011

From Today's Papers - 17 Feb 2011

Dragon’s military might doesn’t worry Delhi much Tribune News Service  New Delhi, February 16 India today seemingly changed its tone on China saying it was not "unduly concerned" about its neighbour's military modernisation. Defence Minister AK Antony today said, "It is a matter of concern, but we are not unduly worried… an ongoing comprehensive review of our defence preparedness is on to meet security challenges."  Minutes after opening the Asian Security Conference organised by the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), Antony said, "Modernisation of armed forces of China and its ever-increasing military spending is a matter of serious concern, but we are not unduly worried because we will modernise and strengthen our armed forces."  The minister said the review of capabilities of the country's armed forces was an "ongoing and a constant" process and the defence preparedness was being reviewed on regular basis. "If there are any gaps, they will be filled up," Antony assured. He said India was strengthening its capabilities and infrastructure in that area. The government was also modernising armed forces and strengthening infrastructure in border areas, he added.  After China started deploying missiles and strengthening its military infrastructure along the Indian territory, India has also upgraded its roads and aviation infrastructure there. The first step in that direction was the opening of old and defunct air strips - Daulet Beg Oldie, Fukche and Nyoma - in remote valleys of Ladakh. New Delhi has already announced its intent to base fighters at Leh and set up two new mountain divisions of the Army - both in the North-East.  Asked if the Indian military modernisation was moving at a slower pace than China's, Antony said, "We are not modernising our armed forces by keeping in mind any other country. We are modernising our forces on the basis of a comprehensive review of the emerging security scenario around us."  On the reported Chinese objections over the trilateral Malabar series of war games among India, the USA and Japan, he said, "It started 15 years ago and we hold it every year. There is nothing against a particular country. It is to increase capabilities of our Navy."  On the unresolved border issue between the two countries, Antony said, "It can be settled only through dialogue and discussions."

Talking to Pakistan Old rhetoric out, conciliatory tone in  Whether it is the result of what recently transpired between the Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan at Thimphu (Bhutan) or the silent efforts being made for the past few months to get engaged, the easily noticeable change in India’s tone raises certain questions. Why has the posturing by Islamabad on the issue of punishing the guilty of the Mumbai terrorist killings not evoked similar reaction from New Delhi? Earlier it was Pakistan which was trying to persuade India to agree to resume the “composite dialogue process” that got snapped after 26/11. But now it is India which is doing all it can to ensure that the two countries start talking to each other once again. Why? Of course, both have made concessions — India agreeing to start a dialogue on the outstanding issues between the two without calling it the “composite dialogue process” and Pakistan offering to discuss all that was there on the earlier agenda. The unusually conciliatory noises being heard from both sides indicate a welcome change of heart.  Perhaps, it is Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s vision outlined earlier that is the cause for this interesting scenario. Some hidden hand may also be working behind it. There seems to be a realisation that India and Pakistan have a shared destiny and cannot ignore the geographical reality. So, why do they not learn to live as good neighbours? Actually, this question is relevant more in the case of Pakistan because attempts to vitiate the atmosphere have mostly been made from across the border. By adopting an accommodative approach India is, perhaps, telling Pakistan that negative policies like the use of terrorism to achieve geopolitical objectives will take us nowhere.  India is patiently waiting for who comes to occupy the Foreign Minister’s position in Islamabad after the exit of Shah Mahmood Qureshi. The two countries are to have Foreign Secretary-level talks before the expected dialogue between their Foreign Ministers in July. It is already there in the air that there will be no difficulty in settling the disputes over Siachen and Sir Creek, as considerable ground had already been covered before the “composite dialogue process” came to an abrupt end. The subcontinent needs an atmosphere of peace and cooperation more than anything else.

Pak off the hook on Mumbai carnage India shouldn’t agree to Siachen pullout by G. Parthasarathy  NEW Delhi appears to have lost the sense of direction in dealing with Pakistan. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh came close to fashioning an agreement with President Pervez Musharraf on Jammu and Kashmir, which recognised that “while borders cannot be redrawn, we can work towards making them irrelevant — towards making them just lines on a map.” But his belief that terrorism would not be allowed to undermine the “composite dialogue process” with Pakistan has cost us dearly both before and after the 26/11 attack on Mumbai. A large number of persons, including nationals of the US, the UK, Israel and Singapore, perished in the ruthless terrorist carnage unleashed by the Lashkar-e-Toiba on the people of Mumbai. There is no dearth of evidence about the involvement of the ISI in the Mumbai killings. This was not the first attack unleashed by the ISI. Dawood Ibrahim, the mastermind behind the 1993 carnage, still lives comfortably in Karachi.  Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee as Prime Minister agreed to resume the “composite dialogue process” in January 2004 following an assurance from President Musharraf that “territory under Pakistan’s control would not be used for terrorism against India”. India and Pakistan announced the resumption of what was called the “composite dialogue process” in all but name on February 10. Worse still, the Mumbai carnage was reduced to a virtual footnote — just another terrorist incident — in the announcement.  India has received unprecedented international support to deal with the perpetrators of 26/11. The Israelis have filed a highly publicised law suit in a New York court against LeT chief Hafiz Mohammed Saeed and ISI boss Lt-Gen Shuja Pasha for their role in the Mumbai attack. We have, however, shot ourselves in the foot thanks to some divisive and irresponsible statements by some of our politicians, voicing concern about “Hindu terrorism” in India.  The damage caused by these irresponsible statements became evident when I recently met a group of distinguished Pakistanis, who averred that India had no right to insist on action against the perpetrators of the 26/11 terrorist attack on Mumbai, as it had taken no action against the “Hindu terrorists” responsible for the deaths of Pakistani nationals in the Samjhauta Express bomb blasts. Pakistan’s official spokesman accused India of lacking the resolve to act against “”Hindu terrorists”. Pakistan has also launched a campaign claiming that the Indian Army is full of “Hindu terrorists” like Lt-Col Srikant Purohit, now under arrest for involvement in the Malegaon blasts. The issue of “Hindu terrorism” was raised when Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao met her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir in Thimphu. Irresponsible statements have resulted in India paying a high price internationally.  India’s response to these developments has been weak and incoherent. Instead of asserting that terrorist acts allegedly executed by Indians (from SIMI and Abhinav Bharat) were exclusively in their own country, which cannot be equated with the 26/11 attack, carried out by Pakistanis crossing illegally into India, our government has appeared defensive and confused in handling the issue. This, in turn, has led to India now getting itself cornered and unable to keep up pressure to force Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of the 26/11 attack to book.  India’s astute Foreign Secretary, who handled past negotiations with Pakistan with commendable skill, has urged people not to “lend any credence” to what Hafiz Saeed says. But is it prudent to forget that after vowing to raise the “Green flag of Islam” on the ramparts of the Red Fort, Hafiz Saeed masterminded terrorist strikes on the Red Fort in Delhi in 2001 and on Mumbai in 2008?  Having been put on the defensive on Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, the government has only further weakened our position by agreeing to what, in effect, is the resumption of the “composite dialogue” with Pakistan. The result of this is going to be that Pakistan will divert attention from terrorism it sponsors to its “grievances” on issues like river waters, Siachen, Sir Creek and Jammu and Kashmir. While continuing engagement with a neighbour is imperative even in times of conflict, what we are now finding is that the terms of the dialogue, which effectively sideline the salience of terrorism it sponsors, are being set by Pakistan.  Given the growing violence and religious extremism within Pakistan, it should be obvious that the weak civilian government headed by President Zardari lacks the authority to take any bold measures on issues like terrorism. The India-centric obsession of the Pakistan Army Chief, Gen Ashfaque Parvez Kayani, should also be kept in view. It is, therefore, astonishing that our government is prepared to resume the stalled dialogue with Pakistan on Siachen. Only a few years ago, the Prime Minister appeared agreeable to pulling out our forces from Siachen. He was forced to backtrack because of political and public opposition.  Dr Manmohan Singh’s readiness to consider withdrawal from Siachen was not only opposed by the Army, but also reportedly by his colleagues in the government and the Congress party. Given General Kayani’s track record, it would be a perilous mistake to withdraw from Siachen in the belief that the Pakistan Army will keep its word and not move into areas vacated by us, as it did earlier in Kargil. Our Army has made it clear that if the Pakistanis walked into vacated positions we now occupy in Siachen, we would not be able to retake these positions, which we have held sacrificing the lives of scores of our officers and men. Do the sacrifices of our men in uniform count for nothing?  New Delhi has already lost its trump cards in dealing with Pakistan-sponsored terrorism because of political leaders giving divisive, religious colours to terrorism and due to its diplomatic naiveté. Under directions from General Kayani, the Pakistan Government has returned to sterile rhetoric about Jammu and Kashmir and disowned the framework for a solution devised earlier with General Musharraf, which was based on the territorial status quo.  Does our government seriously believe that talks between Foreign Secretaries will lead to General Kayani having a change of heart, or his restraining General Pasha from planning attacks on Indian territory and on Indian interests in Afghanistan? Moreover, Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s visit to Islamabad has established that the civilian government is unable and unwilling to rein in, or act against, ISI-backed terrorist outfits. In these circumstances, any pullout from Siachen has to be linked to a final settlement of the Kashmir issue, and India should neither forget not forgive the perpetrators and masterminds of the 26/11 attack.

China-ready test for military OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT  New Delhi, Feb. 16: Defence minister A.K. Antony today called for “a comprehensive review” of military readiness because China’s armed forces were developing rapidly.  “We are not unduly concerned about China’s military modernisation, but we need to carry out a comprehensive review of our defence preparedness and remain vigilant at all times,” he said at a two-day Asian Security Conference organised by the Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis.  Asked later if the “comprehensive review” he has called for would be a structured exercise, Antony said: “It is constant, it is an ongoing process”.  “We have to always assess the modernisation and preparedness around us. Every now and then we have to review our modernisation and preparedness. Wherever we feel there is a gap, we have to fill up that gap. That process is going on,” he said.  The call for a review comes even as New Delhi believes it is following a multi-pronged engagement with China. In a speech released today, foreign secretary Nirupama Rao referred at length to Rabindranath Tagore’s vision of a “civilisational relationship” with China. But she pointed to the border disputes and the freeze on friendly military exchanges with China as indicators of the underlying tension in the relationship. The foreign secretary gave the speech on February 12 in New York.  Reflecting the concern in New Delhi about China’s military readiness, Rao wondered aloud if the Chinese People’s Liberation Army was increasingly more assertive and whether it was shaping China’s neighbourhood policies. She said “there is a desire to slowly expand (friendly military) exchanges (but) there have been limits to the process” since China’s denial of a visa to the Indian northern army commander for an official visit.  Antony said India has now started emphasising on the development of infrastructure along the frontier with China. A large part of the infrastructure development is aimed at enabling troops and military supplies to move faster through difficult terrain.  “We must also increase our capabilities and strengthen our infrastructure. That, now, we are doing. The Indian government is also modernising its armed forces to meet any challenge from any quarters.”  Antony said “we believe the border dispute with China can be settled only through dialogue and discussion”.  In New York, Rao said: “The absence of a solution to the (border) question is not due to lack of effort; instead it arises from the difficulty of the question itself.” Despite the disputes, she said, the India-China boundary is “one of the most peaceful of all borders”.

India seriously concerned at China modernising armed forces: Antony Agencies Posted online: Wed Feb 16 2011, 14:07 hrs New Delhi : Expressing "serious concern" over China's military modernisation, Defence Minister A K Antony today said India needs to carry out a "comprehensive review" of its defence preparedness and "remain vigilant" to meet its security challenges.  "Modernisation of armed forces in China and its ever-increasing military spending is a matter of serious concern but we are not unduly worried because we also will have to modernise and strengthen our armed forces," Antony told reporters on the sidelines of the Asian Security Conference here.  "We also must strengthen our capabilities and infrastructure in our area and we are doing it. The government is also modernising armed forces and strengthening infrastructure in border areas," he said.  After China started deploying missiles and strengthening its military infrastructure along the Indian territory, India has also upgraded its roads and aviation infrastructure there.  It is also in the process of deploying four squadrons of the Su-30 MKI air superiority aircraft along with the raising of two new Mountain Divisions of the Army.  The minister said the review of capabilities of armed forces was an "ongoing and constant" process and the defence preparedness was being reviewed on a regular basis and "if there are any gaps, they will be filled up".  Asked if Indian military modernisation was moving at a slower pace than China's, Antony said, "We are not modernising our armed forces by keeping in mind any other country's modernisation. We are modernising our forces on the basis of a comprehensive review of the emerging security scenario around us."  On the reported Chinese objections over the trilateral Malabar series of war games between India, America and Japan, the Defence Minister said, "The Malabar exercise started 15 years ago and we hold it every year. There is nothing against a particular country. It is to increase capabilities of our Navy."  Antony said, "As two largest nations in the region, India and China need to enhance cooperation levels on common issues such as climate change and trade."  On the unresolved border issues between the two countries, the Defence Minister said, "The complicated border issue can be settled only through dialogue and discussions."

Army seeks provisions for countering Naxals R Krishna Das / Kolkata/ Raipur February 17, 2011, 0:46 IST  Indian Army has asked for sought legal protection and guidelines for conduct of training in a base that it planned to start the restive Narayanpur Chhattisgarh district, known as a strong Naxal den.  The state government’s guidelines would equip the Indian Army for countering the Naxals if the rebels attack the training base or army establishment. The area where the base has been proposed is in Abhujmand-a 4000 square km area.  “The purpose of our proposed base is only for training and (the Indian army) will exercise maximum restrains to avoid direct conflict with the Naxalites”, general officer commanding-in-chief of the Central Command (Lucknow), Lt General V K Ahluwalia, said here today.  He added that there was no such condition or contingency that Naxalites would try to attack the army training base. “After all, they (Naxals) are also our people and such situation (of engaging in battle) will hopefully not arise”, Ahluwalia said. But if such situation arises that Naxalites attack the army camp, the Indian Army is preparing ground for the safety of troop and the establishment. “We have sought legal protection and guidelines from the state government and are hopeful that the formalities will be completed soon”, Ahluwalia said.  The Army officials also met Governor Shekhar Dutt earlier in the day and reportedly discussed the issue with him.  The legal protection and guidelines from the state government are crucial as there are no rules of engagement for the Indian Army to counter the Naxalites, no matter in self defence also. Since any move of army against rebels could also target the civilians in the forests, the army officials want to prepare all the covers before starting the base.  “The training base, probably in a 25 square km area, will train the jawans in counter insurgency and jungle warfare”, Ahluwalia said, adding that the proposed site meets all parameters of training including climate, terrains and others. He added that urbanization had resulted in closure of many training bases and the Indian Army had to search for new areas.           

Freeze fear after defence scams SUJAN DUTTA A BAE Land Systems ultra-light howitzer under-slung from a helicopter. The army wants to buy 145 of these guns in the first instalment to equip new artillery regiments on the China frontier.  New Delhi, Feb. 15: An environment of suspicion in and around the government after a string of scams is threatening to freeze crucial purchases that the armed forces say are urgent and essential.  Despite defence minister A.K. Antony’s clean image and promises of transparency, frequent corruption charges — and even those made by anonymous sources — are sticking to the UPA government.  At the very least this is a crisis of credibility. Antony has said that major purchases are in the pipeline.  The latest in the series is an army investigation into a complaint from the blue that two former chiefs manipulated the system to favour a BAE Land Systems’ ultra-light howitzer despite Antony stating today: “I assure you nobody will be able to manipulate our procurement process.”  BAE Land Systems, based in the US, is also the current owner of the erstwhile Bofors AB that supplied the 155mm shoot-and-scoot howitzers in 1987, in a deal that snowballed into the biggest scandal to confront the then Rajiv Gandhi government.  Asked if the defence ministry was investigating the alleged leak of the technical trials’ report of the howitzer, Antony replied: “The army has ordered inquiry at the highest level.” That would mean that the chief, General V.K. Singh, is himself monitoring the investigation.  General V.K. Singh took the helm last year after a probe he ordered in the eastern command into an attempt to transfer land in Sukna in north Bengal led to the court martial of a serving Lt Gen. (P.K. Rath) for the first time.  That scam was followed by the Adarsh allotment scandal.  General V.K. Singh’s predecessor, General (now retired) Deepak Kapoor had to meet Antony to clear his name. Kapoor is now also alleged to have got an out-of-turn discretionary allotment of land in Haryana from the chief minister’s quota.  Even as these scandals were being investigated, the 2G spectrum issue unseated former telecom minister A. Raja.  “The problem really is one of the environment,” a senior army officer said today.  Antony and the defence establishment he leads have been looking to make 2010 and 2011 a take-off year for defence purchases after concluding that modernisation of the armed forces have been tardy for too long. The artillery regiments of the army, for instance, have not procured any howitzers in 22 years.  “The main thing is that, nowadays, we have lot of competition. We have to be very careful,” Antony said today. Though he said he was not wanting to pre-empt the investigation, within the army, senior officers suspect that BAE Land Systems’ competitor, Singapore Technologies Kinetics was miffed after the government decided to procure the ultra light howitzer through a direct deal with the Pentagon.  Last week, the chairperson of the chiefs of staff committee, Air Chief Marshal Pradeep Vasant Naik, also indicated that losing bidders for multi-million-dollar major military contracts from India, orchestrate corruption charges. The upshot is that procurement is held up and military modernisation gets frozen.  Asked when he expected that the contract for 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft for the Indian Air Force would be signed, Naik said: “The (losing) competitors try to put a spoke in the wheel — and then the usual process of a transaction being vetted by the Central Vigilance Commissioner and others starts all over again and acquisitions get delayed. If nothing of that sort happens I expect a contract latest by September this year.”  Six aircraft from the US, Russia, France, Sweden and a European consortium are competing for the estimated $12-billion IAF order that is one of largest military contracts in the world today. Top

Defence minister ask officials to be careful with documents after report leaks PTI / Tuesday, February 15, 2011 18:55 IST  Viewing seriously the leakage of a report on trials of a US gun system that India plans to buy, defence minister AK Antony today sounded a note of caution to officials dealing with such matters amid assertion that no manipulation would be allowed in the procurement procedures.  He noted that Army has ordered an inquiry into the alleged leakage of the secret report that contained assessment of the trial of ultra-light M-777 artillery guns which India proposes to procure from the US.  "Already Army has ordered an inquiry at the highest level. We will find the truth," Antony told reporters on the sidelines of function here.  Sounding a note of caution, Antony said due to increasing competition in defence deals, the armed forces need to be very careful during acquisition processes.  At the same time, he added, "nobody would be able to manipulate our procurement procedures."  Asked whether there was any timeline for completion of the probe, Antony said, "The report came only a few days back. The Army is doing inquiry... they are very serious and we will not allow any manipulation at any level."  He said, "Whenever there is a leak or mistake, we are taking action against it. Proper action is always taken. Transparency will be maintained at every level. There is a pucca (fool-proof) system".  The Army proposes to procure 145 M-777 Ultra-Light 155 mm Howitzers from the US under an inter-governmental agreement, which will mark the first deal of the artillery gunships that India has entered into in 25 years after the Bofors gun scandal broke out.  The field trials of the American howitzer have been carried out at various places including Leh, Sikkim besides the desert and plain areas also. The trials are yet to be completed, sources said.  American BAE Systems' M-777 and Singapore Technologies Kinetics' (STK) Pegasus were the two contenders for the deal to supply the 155mm/39 calibre guns to the Army for being deployed for mountain warfare.  The government chose the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route to procure the M-777 howitzers from the US after STK was blacklisted for its alleged involvement in the Ordnance Factory Board scam in 2009.  Due to the blacklisting, the Army had to cancel the tender for procuring 400 towed howitzers also and has reissued a new Request For Proposal (RFP) last month.  The deal is critical for Army's Rs20,000 crore artillery modernisation plans to do away with the deficiency of modern howitzers in service.

Indian Army chief in J&K on a two day visit by Vijay Kumar Malla    February 15, 2011         Udhampur/Jammu, February 15 (Scoop News) – Gen VK Singh,Chief of Army Staff arrived Jammu  today on a two day visit to Headquarters Northern Command.  He was received by Lt Gen KT Parnaik, GOC-in-C Northern Command at the Bikram Park Helipad. During his visit, Gen VK Singh reviewed the state of defence preparedness and security situation in J&K. He interacted with senior officers of Northern Command.   The Army Chief, who arrived at Udhampur-based Northern Command on a two-day visit this morning, held a meeting with top army personnel.  Singh also reviewed the security situation, counter-terrorism and counter-infiltration measures in the state.

The Indian Army’s Officer Crisis Posted by: isasssr | February 14, 2011 Comments Off |  Robin JeffreyRobin Jeffrey Visiting Research Professor  India today has plenty of distractions: ministerial scandal, Maoist insurgency, Kashmir unrest, spiralling food prices, non-functioning parliament. But a deep-seated problem gets overlooked: “the officer crisis in the Indian military”.  That’s the title of an article by Indian journalist and scholar, Dinesh Kumar, in the most recent issue of the academic journal, South Asia (vol. 33, no. 3, December 2010). It deserves wide reading.  Kumar is not an other-worldly academic or callow graduate student. He was defence correspondent of the Times of India for nine years and resident editor of its edition in Chandigarh, once the heartland of Indian military recruitment, Punjab and Haryana states. He has just finished a PhD dissertation.  There is nothing secret in what Kumar reveals. The facts are public, but they are unconnected and few people are thinking about them. The Big Fact is that the officer corps of the Indian Army is about 25 per cent under strength. Voluntary armies often face recruitment problems, but the Indian Army’s predicament is striking. US officer-training academies have been able to hit 95 per cent of their targets in recent years; the Indian Army could manage only 66 per cent of its officer- recruitment target in 2007-08 (Indian Air Force officer recruitment was 11 per cent below target; the Navy, 17 per cent).  In the 1960s and 1970s, a career as an army officer was seen as rewarding and glamorous. The brother of a friend with whom I taught school in Chandigarh in the late 1960s had been promoted to major during the 1965 war with Pakistan. He was barely 30; his family was immensely proud. And there were perks. In old, waiting-list, quota-raj India, the major was the first in our circle to acquire a motorbike, the result of a military quota.  However, in the 20 years since 1991 and the unleashing of Indian capitalism, the attraction of the military has fallen away. Kumar tells us that the last public survey attempting to gauge the popularity of a military career was in 1995. It revealed that among career choices, “the armed forces rank at the bottom”.  There is more money and comfort to be had in scores of other occupations. Kumar tells us that a junior officer now starts on a salary of Rs 325,000 a year (about US$7,100 or S$9,000). A bus driver in Singapore starts on a salary about one-third higher. Little wonder that enterprising young Indians choose to take their chances elsewhere. And experienced officers are leaving for more attractive opportunities. Kumar says that ten of the colonels selected to go to the Army War College in 2008 declined because they did not want to accept the condition that they commit themselves to a further five years of service.  As warfare and security operations become both more technical and more dependent on intelligence (with a big and a small “I”), the need for highly trained and motivated officers grows. Without them, a large standing army can become a large and unruly white elephant

For talents, Army motivation sessions at prime colleges Pranav Kulkarni Posted online: Thu Feb 17 2011, 01:56 hrs Pune : The Indian Army has undertaken a drive to attract young talents from prime colleges in the city. It is conducting motivation sessions at 12 city colleges, including Fergusson College, Wadia College, Symbiosis, SSPMS and Bishops, over the next two months.  “The whole idea is to motivate the best talents to join Indian Army. The challenge is that people have limited knowledge about the armed forces or for that matter about the various entry points. The idea is to reach out to them and make them aware of the opportunities that the Indian Army provides,” said Colonel Bharat Dabral, director recruiting, Recruiting Office, HQ.  With assistance from Maj Gen (retd) Ashok Taskar, the team conducted sessions at Bishop’s Junior College on February 5, Spicer College on February 8 and Fergusson College on February 10. “The response has been good. We had a gathering of about 500 students. Most of them are interested in joining the armed forces but have limited knowledge about them. For instance, a student’s perception about Army is limited to the infantry. But then, there are numerous other branches such as engineers, medical corps, signals and so on that they can join. The drive is important to generate awareness, more during June-July when the fresh talents passes out,” said Ravindrasinh Pardeshi, principal, Fergusson College. “The city has a huge defence establishment and has immense potential in terms of youngsters who can join the forces.”  The two-hour presentation is divided into a number of aspects that — with the help of pamphlets, powerpoint presentations and charts — give information about the forces, like various entry points into the Army, life as an officer, perks, remuneration, adventure, retirement and so on.  “This is an ideal period to conduct sessions as students are looking for an option during this time and secondly, a number of entry examinations are held during and post this period. Our experience has been that a number of students approached us after the seminar asking us questions about the army and that is exactly what we expect. The enthusiasm triggered is what will create awareness and urge them to join the forces,” Col Dabral said.

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