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Wednesday, 6 July 2011

From Today's Papers - 06 Jul 2011






Teen's death Lt Col, 2 others questioned

A Lt Colonel and two other Army personnel are being questioned in connection with the shooting of 13-year-old Dilshan but police are yet to make a breakthrough.  Two days after Dilshan succumbed to gunshot wounds in army residential premises here, a top police official said, "We are verifying some of the leads. But there is no breakthrough yet." In Delhi, Army sources said a Lt Colonel, a jawan and a civilian guard were made available to the CB-CID in Chennai for questioning. They have not been detained, the sources said. On its part, the CB-CID Additional DGP R Sekar avoided a direct reply about the questioning of the Lt Colonel.  Asked if the state police were planning to seek the nod from Army headquarters to question some officers here, he said that army officers in Chennai were extending "full assistance" in the probe. — PTI









DRDO to undertake laser mapping of Himalayas

Exercise would help in identifying hazardous zones, availability of fresh water Vijay Mohan/TNS  Chandigarh, July 5 Precision maps of the vital road axis, mountainous topography and the amount of snow cover in the Himalayas would soon be available for developmental works, identifying hazardous stretches and determining water resources.  The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has launched a project to undertake laser mapping of the Himalayas in North India. Snow and Avalanche Studies Establishment (SASE), a DRDO lab here engaged in the study of snow physics and avalanche control, will be executing the project.  Using an airborne LiDAR (light detection and ranging), DRDO specialists would be able to generate accurate topographic data and produce high-resolution digital maps that have strategic value. LiDAR is an optical remote sensing technology that can measure the distance and other properties of a target by illuminating it with light using pulses from a laser.  It can also produce 3-D imaging and being airborne, can cover an area of several hundred square km in a day. A foreign LiDAR has been procured by the DRDO. This would be installed on a suitable aircraft. The gadget’s sensor would be mounted externally while the related operating paraphernalia, control panels and display units would be installed inside the fuselage. Under the first phase of the project, the Manali-Leh highway would be surveyed this year.  According to DRDO scientists, at least two surveys would be done, one of which would be in winters when snow cover is at its maximum. This would enable the calculation of the difference in snow cover during various seasons. According to DRDO scientists, LiDAR is highly accurate, with a variation or error probability of just a few centimetres.  It can detect subtle topographic features such as river terraces and river channel banks, penetrate tree cover and measure the land surface elevation beneath the vegetation canopy, “By generating data on road axis and the properties of the underlying soil, we can generate more reliable maps identifying avalanche-prone areas, weak stretches and other topographical features that would be beneficial in road making or other constructions in the mountains,” a scientist said.  Beyond roads, DRDO intends to use LiDAR to map the entire Himalayan region in Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. Later, this project could be extended to the Himalayas in the northeast. Scientists say that LiDAR can also be effectively used to accurately map the depth of the snow cover and detect the movement of glaciers, giving a fairly precise idea of the availability fresh water. “This would be valuable information to planers and policy makers associated with water security, agriculture and hydo-power generation,” the scientist said.







India to train Kyrghyzstan army, says Antony

Ajay Banerjee/TNS  Defence Minister AK Antony gets a traditional welcome on his two-day visit to Kyrghyzstan on Tuesday. WARM GREETINGS: Defence Minister AK Antony gets a traditional welcome on his two-day visit to Kyrghyzstan on Tuesday. — PTI   New Delhi, July 5 India’s continuous efforts to establish defence ties with countries that are neighbours with China, today resulted in an important development. Indian forces have been asked to train the armed forces of Kyrghyzstan — a former republic of the erstwhile Soviet Union.  The matter with Kyrghyzstan was sealed last night when Defence Minister AK Antony met his Kyrghyz counterpart Major-General Abibilla Kudayberdiev in Bishkek. “As a first step, India will be sending a team to train Kyrghyz Armed Forces in UN Peace-Keeping Operations and impart English language skills to them.  The team will be arriving in Kyrghyzstan by the end of this month itself,” the ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar said in an emailed communiqué from Bishkek this morning. Notably, this comes just two just two months after a top-level Chinese delegation visited Kyrghyzstan and Kazakhstan for ‘promoting ties’. It cannot be termed as a ‘diplomatic coup’ as China and several former soviet republics are part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.









Checkmating the Dragon’s growing influence

The continuing march into South and Southeast Asia is part of China's well-calibrated policy in consonance with the overall grand design. While China professes peace and friendliness, its strategic aim remains marginalising India through overt engagement and covert containment Major Gen. G. G. Dwivedi (Retd)  Aircraft carrier “Varyag” that China bought from Ukraine under refit at a Chinese port. It will add to a growing military clout just as other powers in Asia are becoming uneasy about Beijing's more strident claims over disputed seas in the region Aircraft carrier “Varyag” that China bought from Ukraine under refit at a Chinese port. It will add to a growing military clout just as other powers in Asia are becoming uneasy about Beijing's more strident claims over disputed seas in the region. Photo: Reuters  POST 1949, China’s external and domestic policies were based on the ideology of “socialism with Chinese characteristics”. This kept it out of crucial multi-lateral platforms of global politics. It was the second revolution orchestrated under Deng Xiaoping that brought about a paradigm change, with public policy coming in the ambit of mainstream Chinese politics.  Today, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) perceives itself as an ascendant power while America is seen on the decline. The main objective of China’s policy is to shape a unipolar Asia by preventing the emergence of rival powers. Its policies are driven by long-term strategic concerns and actions guided by national goals. China has always considered Asia-Pacific as its area of influence. It has redefined its earlier “Periphery” policy by encompassing the concept of an “extended neighbourhood”. There is marked increase in Chinese presence in the region. The PRC has made concerted efforts to marginalise India in south and southeast Asia.  PRC’s Grand Vision  Traditionally, the Chinese have countervailed adversaries through alliances to avoid direct confrontations. Mao’s era, due to domestic compulsions, saw China allied with the Soviets. Post 1978, Deng pursued an “open-door foreign policy”. Continuing this policy, Jiang Zemin ensured external interface through an “independent foreign policy for peace”. His successor, Hu Jintao, has adopted a “balanced development” approach instead of a “GDP-centric growth model”, to create a harmonious society. Hence, ensuring peaceful rise by maintaining a conducive periphery is the cornerstone of China’s current foreign policy.  In the prevailing environment, China’s external interest are threefold -- Ensure a secure periphery, sustain regional stability along with economic vibrancy and maintain territorial integrity. With the exception of Taiwan and Sparatly islands, China has by and large realised its primary objectives during the last decade. This is in consonance with its strategic vision of a “peaceful rise”.  Throughout history, China was the pre-eminent political and military power in east Asia. Therefore, the PRC leadership is keen to change the international status quo by replacing the US as the hegemonic power in the Asia-Pacific region. Over the past decade Chinese leaders have adopted an increasingly moderate and flexible approach vis-a-vis its strategic neighbourhood, resulting in remarkable expansion of Chinese influence. The salient facets of Beijing’s strategy are proactive initiatives at the political, economic and diplomatic levels to develop a common ground by putting aside differences and fostering closer bilateral/multilateral arrangements  Chinese Inroads Into Asia  China has traditionally wielded significant influence in southeast Asia, which constitutes a fluid turf due to the power game dynamics and often referred to by Chinese scholars as a soft underbelly. PRC has pursued its designs through skilled diplomacy, binding the region to China politically, economically and militarily. China’s broad objectives in the region are:      * Work towards peaceful and prosperous South East Asia to sustain modernisation.     * Ensure diminution of U S influence in the region.     * Seek passive and strategically neutral Japan.     * Endeavour for sovereign authority over South China Sea.  China’s policy towards south east Asia is marked by soft paddling outstanding regional disputes and willingness to engage in multilateral dialogue while projecting an attitude of good neighbourliness. Chinese inroads into south Asia region have been primary economics centric.  Conscious that its rise manifests concern among its neighbours, PRC has tried to dispel fears of a “China threat” and demonstrated its desire to behave as a responsible power. However, China is wary of Japan, which has refused to exclude Taiwan Strait from its security agreement with the US. Beijing also knows it has limited influence in the Korean Peninsula. China’s activism in southeast Asia, therefore, is an important element of its response against potential containment.  Southeast Asian nations have responded rather favourably to Chinese regional activism. Due to historical and geopolitical realities, these nations have reconciled to the inevitability of living in China’s shadow. Countries like Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore are able to leverage their positions optimally by exploiting the resources of both China and the US. Even Myanmar, due to its political isolation, has been a major beneficiary of China’s assistance as reciprocation for its favourable policies towards China.  Despite growing Chinese influence, the US continues to retain a dominating position in southeast Asia. The US–ASEAN Enhanced Partnership Agreement of 2005 seeking closer cooperation in trade, investment and security is a step towards ensuring greater involvement in the region. ASEAN too seeks enhanced US cooperation to obviate overdependence on China The choices before Washington are either to maintain status quo by following the current policy through bilateral alliances, or assign Beijing participatory role in the region. The way Obama administration is courting Beijing indicates that US’ Asia policy is no more driven by an overarching geopolitical framework.  PRC’s Growing Influence in South Asia  South Asia, due to its strategic importance, is considered by China as part of its extended periphery. PRC perceives India as a rival and views the latter’s strategic posturing directed towards seeking hegemony in the region, exercising control in the Indian Ocean and containing China, while striving to emerge as a military power. China’s strategic interests in south Asia are largely economic. In consonance with the expansion of its strategic space, China has deepened its influence in India’s neighbourhood. China’s march into south Asia gained momentum when it went for market economy in the 1980s, opening new vistas beyond Pakistan. Salient facets that merit attention are:      * Beijing has an enduring strategic partnership with Islamabad. Change in the political leadership or shift in policies in either country has had no impact on continuing mutual trust and cooperation. Pakistan’s strategic significance is priceless for China, especially in the zero sum game orchestrated by Beijing in the Indian subcontinent. While denying access to southwest and central Asia, Pakistan has provided a direct link to China with Eurasia through the Karakoram highway. Presence of PLA soldiers in the Gilgit area for infrastructure projects has added new dimension to the military cooperation between the two countries. The Gwadar Port, where PRC has made huge investments, provides Beijing direct linkage to the Indian Ocean. Pakistan’s strategy in Kashmir to tie down a large number of Indian troops dilutes India’s capabilities against China.     * Bangladesh is a doorway for China to India’s northeast and both share a common ground on many issues. China values Bangladesh for its immense natural gas reserves, accessibility and geographic proximity to Myanmar. PRC has extended lucrative economic packages for infrastructure development and socio-economic needs of Bangladesh. China is a also a major supplier of arms and equipment to Bangladesh.     * Nepal’s strategic location is of immense importance to PRC, which has cultivated Kathmandu as part of its larger security agenda. With construction of the “Friendship Highway” from Lhasa to Kathmandu, China has gained strategic access into south Asia. The proposed extension of the Qinghai-Lhasa railway line to Kathmandu will further enhance the connectivity. There is also active defense cooperation between the two countries. PRC has always sought to use Nepal as a counter-weight to India and ensure Kathmandu’s neutrality in a Sino-Indian standoff.     * China cherishes bilateral relations with Colombo given Sri Lanka’s strategic location in the Indian Ocean. Sri Lanka is also crucial to China for implementing its “String of Pearls” strategy. Close relations between the two serves China’s interest in obviating Indian predominance. Colombo is a major beneficiary of Beijing’s economic and military assistance.     * As for Sino-Indian interface, there is definite concern regarding the concurrent rise of the two big powers. The relations between the two giants are complex and marked by contradictions. Despite the agreement on confidence building measures with regards to the boundary dispute, there is underlying antagonism, suspicion and trust deficit. In India the perception is that China has persistently endeavoured to deny it the deserved stakes in the international arena. The boundary issue and Dalai Lama’s presence in India are two major irritants in bilateral relations. Chinese officials attach considerable importance to India’s military capability and its impact on the periphery, particularly in the Indian Ocean Region.  Appraisal  In orchestration of its “peaceful rise”, the Chinese leadership is convinced that sustained economic development has to be accorded the highest priority. In the Chinese concept of Comprehensive National Power (CNP), both soft and hard power are equally relevant. For enhancing CNP and emerging as a global player, China requires strategic space and enlarged area of influence. Its continuing march into south and southeast Asia is part of a well-calibrated Asia policy in consonance with the overall grand design. China has used its strategic advantage to leverage and consolidate its standing in the region.  PRC has specially developed close relations and partnerships with India’s neighbours. Today, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka affirm to “One China” policy and unequivocally support China on the sensitive Tibet issue. They speak one voice with regards to China’s entry into SAARC, disregarding Delhi’s discomfort. Whereas PRC professes a policy of peace and friendliness, its strategic aim remains marginalising India through overt engagement and covert containment. However, PRC does make efforts to keep India from making strategic alliances with the US.  It is imperative that India crafts a deliberate and effective strategy to ensure its rightful status as a regional power. This implies seriously contending the growing Chinese influence around its periphery and simultaneously striving to enlarge its footprint particularly in southeast and central Asia. The approach has to be multi- pronged, a combination of soft and hard power. India’s relations with southeast Asia should have three fold objectives: Strengthen bilateral relations, institutionalise political and economic mechanism and mutually address regional security concerns. India has to play a more proactive role in the region. Even President Obama, while addressing the Parliament during his visit here, stated that India should upgrade its relations from “looking East” to “engaging East”.  India’s emergence is seen as positive development by Asia-Pacific nations. They now see India as a power that could play a balancing role in the region. ASEAN accounts for 9.42 per cent of the global trade and is India’s fourth largest trading partner with bilateral trade of over $50 billion. As India is not a direct competitor for ASEAN export-led economies, the opportunities for mutual gains are considerable. In defence cooperation, there is vast scope in areas like combating terrorism, maritime security, sharing intelligence, capacity building and training.  To ensure a favourable neighbourhood, India needs to take fresh initiatives that combine good economics and astute diplomacy. A shortsighted approach vacillating between appeasement and coercion has not yielded the desired results. In the prevailing environment, smaller neighbours are not averse to India playing a lead role as long as their interests are well served. Politically, India must treat China on equal footing and not give in to its coercive diplomacy. Underplaying the Dragon’s growing capability would be a serious strategic blunder. India ought to improve its potential in the application of combat power on its northern borders and enhance force projection capability in the region.  China’s inroads into the strategic neighbourhood are in sync with its grand design, as it prepares to take its rightful place in the new world order. In a systematic manner, Beijing has made long term investments in the region to gain a strategic foothold, while dispelling concerns about a “China Threat’. Favourable response from majority of the nations in the region implies a major diplomatic triumph for Beijing. Expanding influence of China in the Asia-Pacific region is a reality. To cope with the live challenge, India needs to formulate a pragmatic national security policy after undertaking a holistic strategic review in the long term global perspective. Keeping in view the magnitude and complexities of the security spectrum, bold reforms would be required to be put in place to institute a dynamic mechanism to ensure seamless coordination and synergy that are the inescapable prerequisites for effective implementation.  The writer is a former Assistant Chief of Integrated Defence Staff, served as the Defence Attaché in China








India eyes strategic toehold in Kyrgyzstan

India has concluded talks with Kyrgyzstan to train its forces for UN missions, a move that could give New Delhi a strategic toehold in the only country that hosts both American and Russian military bases. India will dispatch a training team to Kyrgyzstan by July-end which will also help Kyrgyz soldiers hone their English skills, as part of an overarching plan to step up defence cooperation with the Central Asian nation, bordering China.  “India has offered assistance to Kyrgyzstan to strengthen its defence and security capabilities. The training team is the first step,” said an official, part of a high-level delegation led by defence minister AK Antony currently in Bishkek — the Kyrgyz capital.  Antony, who held talks with his Kyrgyz counterpart Maj Gen Abibilla Kudayberdiev, said the current level of military engagement with Kyrgyzstan was “rather limited,” but there was scope to expand it to “military training, defence research and development and production of armaments.” Antony, who began his three-day tour on Monday, also offered Kyrgyzstan joint research and development with the Defence Research and Development Organisation in non-defence sectors such as physiology, medicine, animal husbandry and nutrition.  Kyrgyzstan is one of the poorest countries in the former Soviet Union.  Kyrgyz president Roza Otunbayeva and Antony on Tuesday inaugurated the Kyrgyz-Indian Mountain Biomedical Research Centre in Bishkek for which New Delhi forked out Rs 6 crore.









Obama Must Face Pakistan's Brewing Nuclear Crisis

A confluence of five indicators escalates risk to Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.  President Obama must help mitigate the brewing crisis before it becomes a horrific nightmare.  First, Pakistani Islamist groups have become the world’s most significant terrorist threat and capable of obtaining nuclear weapons, according to a new report by the Federation of American Scientists (FAS).  The Pakistani Neo-Taliban (PNT), the label given to the coalesced terrorist groups, has “conducted the most sophisticated, ambitious and operationally complex terrorist attacks in this century,” said Charles Blair, director of the Terrorism Analysis Project for FAS and author of the June 2011 report.   Blair states the PNT took root in Pakistan’s tribal areas after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.  “They [the Pakistanis] didn’t think that when the Taliban and al-Qaeda came into the tribal areas that they would target the Pakistani state,” Blair said.  But terrorist attacks inside Pakistan spiked at 1,916 incidents in 2009 and now Pakistan finds itself “in the midst of a civil war against many of these same forces.”   The PNT has become a “threat to the very existence of Pakistan” said U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus in 2010, and according to Blair the PNT has a global agenda and is a “highly capable group that can seek and will seek nuclear weapons.”   Second, the physical security of Pakistan’s atomic arsenal warrants close examination, especially in light of America’s undetected airborne raid on Osama bin Laden’s lair in Abbottabad on May 2.  What does this security breach say about Pakistan’s nuclear insecurities, especially with regard to non-state actors such as the PNT?  The FAS report identified several PNT attacks conducted on or near Pakistani nuclear facilities.  The most recent incident was against Pakistan’s naval station Mehran on May 22.  Militants stormed the base with rocket launchers and hand grenades and killed 10 troops.  That well-fortified facility is 15 miles from Masroor Air Base, a depot for nuclear weapons.  But a senior U.S. State Department official believes Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is safe from extremists, according to a report in the Indian Express.  “We don’t think there is any renewed concern … .  Those [nuclear] assets remain under much tighter security than what we saw in Pakistan’s naval base,” said Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake.   Blake’s confidence is ill-placed.  The Baltimore-based Maldon Institute reported on nuclear threats tracked by Shaun Gregory, the director of the Pakistan Security Research Unit at the University of Bradford in Britain.  Gregory’s report identifies attacks at a nuclear missile storage facility, a nuclear air base, and the nuclear weapons complex at the Wah Cantonment, Pakistan’s nuclear weapons assembly point.  Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and army chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani insist their 100-odd atomic weapons are completely secure, and the U.S. has given Pakistan an estimated $100 million since 9/11 to harden its arsenal, train its people and improve surveillance.  But Gregory insists that despite “elaborate safeguards, empirical evidence points to a clear set of weaknesses and vulnerabilities in Pakistan’s nuclear safety and security arrangements.”  Third, one of those “vulnerabilities” is the cadre that oversees Pakistan’s atomic arsenal.  Pakistan’s military has traditionally been secular, but according to John McLaughlin, the former deputy director at the CIA, Pakistan’s security forces have become increasingly diverse.  There is evidence it is infiltrated at all levels by violent Islamists.  But Pakistani officials insist their nuclear personnel reliability program is stringent.  Retired Gen. Khaled Ahmed Kidwai, director general of the Strategic Plans Division, which oversees Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, told the New York Times, “Our security systems are foolproof.”  But how “foolproof” are Kidwai’s assurances if bin Laden, the world’s most wanted terrorist, can successfully “hide” in a Pakistani military town for five years without detection?  Obviously that incident humiliated Pakistan’s security forces and prompted some housecleaning.  Last month, Pakistani Brig. Gen. Ali Khan was taken into custody over accusations of ties with Hizb ut-Tahrir, a prohibited organization bent on achieving a worldwide Islamic theocracy (caliphate).  Then on June 22, Pakistani officials interrogated four army majors with alleged connections to Khan.  Are these actions for show, or has Pakistan really become serious about Islamists among its security forces?  Apparently, some security officials with Islamist sympathies have escaped the housecleaning.  In late May, Syed Saleem Shahzad, a Pakistani journalist who covered national security and terrorism, was found dead, his face horribly beaten, according to the New York Times.  He reportedly received repeated threats from the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s chief intelligence agency.  Shahzad disappeared from Islamabad two days after he published an article suggesting the militant attack at naval station Mehran was retaliation for the navy’s attempt to crack down on al-Qaeda militants in the armed forces.   Fourth, Pakistan is expanding its atomic arsenal at a much faster rate than any other nation.  A soon-to-be-published study by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, as reported by the Indian Press Online, states Pakistan could possess close to 200 atomic warheads within a decade that is more than Britain.  Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar, Pakistan’s minister of defense, tried to justify the larger atomic arsenal even as the domestic Islamist threat grows.  He explained India, Pakistan’s archenemy, was more financially capable of carrying on a prolonged war than Pakistan, according to the news agency Press Trust of India.  Therefore, one must surmise, Pakistan will make up the difference with atomic arms.  Finally, Pakistan has a history of nuclear proliferation.  “Those things that I fear in the future,” Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Associated Press, include “the proliferation of that [Pakistani nuclear weapon] technology, and it’s the opportunity and the potential that it could fall into the hands of terrorists.”  Pakistan acknowledges its scientists passed sensitive nuclear information to members of al-Qaeda, and in the 1970s A. Q. Khan, the father of Pakistan’s atomic bomb, covertly sold nuclear information and equipment to Libya, North Korea and Iran.  But it feigned ignorance of Khan’s proliferation activities until 2003, even though those transactions required extensive military logistical support.  These indicators of a brewing nuclear crisis coincide with a very strained U.S.-Pakistan relationship.  For example, Pakistan’s ambassador to the U.S., Husain Haqqani, told a May 2011 U.S. National Defense University audience that many Pakistanis consider America their “principal national security threat,” and, according to Dawn, a Pakistani newspaper, some Pakistani military officials believe the U.S. is determined to “denuclearize” their country.  President Obama must act quickly to mitigate Pakistan’s brewing nuclear crisis.  He should engage in a frank discussion with Pakistan’s senior leaders, offer positive inducements such as financial loans and aid, and security guarantees to leverage action to shore up nuclear surety.   But failing Pakistan’s immediate action, Obama must be prepared to curb aid and expand our operations against terrorist targets in Pakistan.  He must also be prepared to secure Pakistan’s atomic arsenal before it falls into the hands of Islamic jihadists with or without Islamabad’s cooperation, to prevent a hellish nuclear catastrophe in that country, the region and across the globe.










India opens high-altitude military research centre in Kyrghyzstan

NEW DELHI: India on Tuesday opened a mountain biomedical research centre in Kyrghyzstan to help better the lives of both military personnel and civilians, making it the first such joint project New Delhi has had with any country.  The centre, which has been built in Kyrghyz capital Bishkek, was jointly inaugurated by Kyrghyzstan President Roza Otumbaeva and Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony on the second day of the latter's three-day visit to the Central Asian nation.  "The Kyrghyz-Indian Mountain Biomedical Research Centre (KIMBMRC) will carry out research on the mechanism of short-term and long-term high altitude adaptation," a defence ministry release here said.  "It will also mobilise and synchronise the expertise of the two countries in the area of high altitude research," it added.  Scientists from the two countries will focus on molecular biology approaches to identify markers for screening of people for high altitude resistance and susceptibility to high altitude sickness and development of mountain maladies.  "The benefits of these studies will apply to a large population across the globe, as more and more people travel to the mountains every year. India's contribution to the project is Rs.6 crore," the release said.  The centre has a field station at Tuya Ashu, located at a height of 3,200 metre. Akpay Sarybaev, a leading cardiologist and expert in mountain medicine, has been nominated as the centre's director.  The proposal for joint collaboration in the area of mountain medicine and to establish the centre was mooted during talks between then Kyrghyz President A. Akaev and then Indian president A.P.J Abdul Kalam in November 2003.  "The realisation of that shared vision has finally culminated in the establishment of this centre. The joint endeavour of our scientists will provide a platform to utilise the expertise of both the institutes in a holistic manner to evaluate, as well as improve the performance and enhance the process of acclimatisation at high altitudes using psychological, biochemical and molecular research tools," Antony said at the event.  President Otunbaeva, in her address, thanked the Indian government for taking the initiative for setting up this world class institute in Bishkek.  She said 10 percent of Kyrghyzstan's gross domestic product is generated by the populace living in high altitudes. "The fruits of the research of the scientists of this institute will help in improving the life and health of people living in high altitude areas," she said.  India has deputed a team of physiologists, biochemists and molecular biologists, headed by India's Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS) director Shashi Bala Singh to the centre's facilities in both Bishkek and Tuya Ashu to carry out studies on high altitude acclimatisation with special reference to molecular mechanism of human performance promotion and amelioration of maladies in mountain operations.  The scientists team will be assisted by 20 Indian Army soldiers, who too have been deputed to the centre. The Indian scientists and soldiers will stay there for about six weeks.  A large number of dignitaries including Kyrghyz Minister of Health Sabyrbek Jumabekov, First Deputy Defence Minister Zamir Suerkulov, First Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Nurlan Aitmuarzaev, and Indian ambassador to Kyrghyzstan P. Stobdan, apart from the Indian defence ministry delegation was present at the inaugural function.








Defence diary

Pune From Baramulla, girls’ team visits city  An 18-day educational tour for college girls from north Kashmir under the aegis of ‘Kilo’ Force Signal Regiment was flagged off by Brigadier V G Khandare, Deputy GOC, Kilo Force on June 14.  After touring Delhi and Chennai, the team reached Pune on June 24. The all-girls tour (Watan Ki Sair), comprising students of SSM Engineering College, Pattan, Baramulla, was planned by Kilo Force under the leadership of Lt Gen Ata Hasnain, Corps Commander. In Delhi, they interacted with President Pratibha Patil and Dy Chief of Army Staff, Lt General V S Tonk, and in Chennai with Governor Surjit Singh Barnala. They also took part in a host of other activities. During their three-day stay in Pune, they visited IT firm Cognizant Technology Solutions, Shaniwarwada, the Sinhagad Fort and the National Defence Academy (NDA), Khadakwasla .  NDA hosts Mozambique delegation  Brig Gen Luciano Amandio Soares Barbosa, Military Attache, High Commission of Mozambique, led a team to the National Defence Academy (NDA). The team was received by Lt Gen Jatinder Singh, Commandant, NDA. The team was briefed on various aspects of training the cadets and was taken around the campus for a tour to see training facilities and infrastructure. The visitors were explained the methodology of training. A lunch was hosted in their honour. India and Mozambique have, meanwhile, agreed to work together on maritime security to make the Indian Ocean a safe region for maritime trade.  ‘Open more avenues for ex-servicemen’  The 20,000 ex-servicemen in the district including 9000 from the city have reason to cheer. Defence Minister A K Antony has called upon states to open more job avenues for them. At the 29th meeting of the Kendriya Sainik Board, Antony said, “I had written to chief ministers to provide more avenues of employment for ex-servicemen. You must devise ways and means to open up more fields of economic activity where the rich and practical experience of ex-servicemen can best be utilized. I urge all state governments to take steps to ensure that the provision for reservation in jobs for ex-servicemen provide tangible employment opportunities on the ground.” He called upon the public and private sector to provide maximum opportunities for ex-servicemen. “I strongly appeal to CMs to extend full cooperation by filling up vacant posts in Rajya and Zila Sainik Boards. On its part, the Centre has enhanced contribution to office expenditure and salaries at Rajya and Zila Sainik Boards,” he said. Reiterating the commitment to setting up 199 more polyclinics in the country, he called upon states to provide land at the earliest. The city stands to get two polyclinics.  Free training to enter Army, police force  In an example of ex-servicemen passing on skills to the younger generation, city based Trishakti Foundation, in collaboration with Karad-based Vijay Diwas and Shikshan Prasarak Mandal, has started training youngsters intending to join the Army and Police forces. The training, imparted free, will continue for years to come, said Colonel (retd) Sambhaji Patil, president of the Foundation. In the first camp at Karad, 70 boys and 19 girls were trained in general awareness and confidence building. Physical fitness training through yoga and other exercises was given.  “What was striking was that three of the boys immediately attempted for the recruitment to the Army. The 45-day training is our gesture to motivate youngsters to join the Armed forces and police,” said Patil.







Defence lab set to protect Army

Jodhpur: The Defence Laboratory situated in Jodhpur has come up with equipments to protect the army from any kind of nuclear, organic and chemical attack.  The laboratory at Jodhpur is the only lab in the country to make equipments to deal with such attacks. Speaking to media on Monday Director of the lab Dr Narendra Kumar said the lab was established on May 16, 1959. The further said the lab has contributed mainly to the defence system in India.  The scientists at the lab have invented nuclear recce vehicle that detains nuclear, chemical and organic radiations and protects the people inside the vehicle, Dr Kumar added. He also said the lab has been carrying research work towards finding better facilities for the army men.  Cool clothes for Army Jawans  After years of research, the scientists have invented cool coats and caps for the Jawans. The clothes were tried last week in Rajasthan.  Water purifying equipment  The lab has also invented a water purifying equipment that will purify the worst of water. Water contaminated with nuclear, chemical or organic attacks will also be purified in a matter of few minutes with the water equipment.




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