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Monday, 19 September 2011

From Today's Papers - 19 Sep 2011




Net, radio & SMSes: Army takes to tech-savvy route to attract youth

Vijay Mohan/TNS  Chandigarh, September 18 With youngsters hooked on to the Internet and mobile phones, the Army has launched a new-age publicity campaign to reach out to them and project itself as an attractive career option.  Struggling with an acute shortage in its officer cadre, the Army has listed -- besides traditional media like TV, newspapers, magazines and hoardings -- "new" media like Internet, FM channels and mobile phones as means for conveying its message.  Banners, mailers, pop-ups and contextual advertisements would be placed on Internet sites associated with jobs and careers, sports, travel, entertainment, defence and social networking known to be visited by the target groups. Radio talk shows and jingles are being conceptualised for FM channels.  The Additional Directorate General of Recruiting at the Army headquarters has thrown the door open to agencies in the field of advertising and publicity to conceive a new publicity campaign that primarily target male as well as female college students, along with those studying in Class XI and XII, as well as "influencers" like parents and teachers forming a secondary target group.  Leadership challenges, unique quality of life, opportunity for self-development, status, job security, material benefits, working with cutting-edge technology and training for a second career are among attributes that would be emphasised. Such a motivational campaign was last conceived in 2007.  Figures placed in Parliament last month state that the current shortfall of officers in the Army alone is 11,137. At present, the Army has on its roll at present 35,605 male and 1,020 female officers. The Adjutant General, Lt Gen Mukesh Sabhrawal, was quoted recently saying that the shortage was 22-24 per cent.  Though the shortfall, predominant in the junior and middle rungs, has somewhat declined from its peak of close to 14,000 officers a few yeas ago, the situation is still far from comfortable with units and formations running with officers much below the authorised strength.  An internal study done by the Army recently indicated that it would take almost two decades to cover up the shortfall only if the rate of intake is increased and premature retirement is brought down. According to available figures, about 1,500 officers quit prematurely. Intake of candidates at training academies is below sanctioned strength and an estimated 300 vacancies out of an average of 2,000 go unsubscribed in a year.  Several reasons like lucrative careers and a comfortable lifestyle in the civilian arena, declining status of the armed forces personnel, limited promotional avenues, frequent transfers and disruptions have been cited for youth shying away from the armed forces.


India to develop torpedo centre in Kyrgyzstan

New Delhi, September 18 India is planning to develop a facility in Kyrgyzstan to produce state-of-the art torpedoes in order to strengthen its under-water attack capabilities. The Torpedo Testing Centre located at Issyk Kul lake in Karakul province, 250 km away from the capital Bishkek, is considered one of the best locations to launch and recover torpedoes fired during test trials.  "The facility was visited by Defence Minister AK Antony some months ago. An Indian delegation would be visiting Kyrgyzstan soon to make an assessment of investment needed for the project and the terms and conditions for co-developing it," DRDO Chief Controller William Selvamurthy said.  To develop existing infrastructure at the centre, India has proposed to engage local companies with available knowhow in torpedo technology to co-develop the facility.  "India is willing to develop the centre to test all kinds of torpedoes such as heavyweight torpedoes and those having thermal navigation system," Selvamurthy said.  The centre has a network of sensors which can monitor the speed, velocity, homing in and direction of the torpedo once it is fired. This enables scientists to make necessary modifications in the navigation system to make the missiles more accurate and fool proof.  The torpedoes fired in the lake are also recoverable enabling the scientists to make physical verification of its structure for further study.  A torpedo is a self-propelled explosive projectile weapons, launched above or below the water surface, propelled under water towards a target. — PTI


Controlling the seas India must thwart Chinese designs

WITH China seeking to establish its hegemony over all waterways in Asia, it should cause no surprise that it is on a collision course with India, which is an emerging power in the region. The Chinese warning to India to desist from entering into deals with Vietnamese firms exploring oil and gas in the disputed South China Sea is indicative of the Chinese intentions to put this country on the back foot. The Chinese strategy apparently is to try and browbeat India into submission. Any show of weakness by New Delhi would not only reinforce China's total sway over the countries in the region but also hold out India as a country that is in awe of China. The statement by a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman in response to reports that ONGC Videsh Limited is planning to explore two offshore oil blocks that are in Vietnamese territorial waters under the Convention on the Law of the Sea, is terse and unambiguous. He said China enjoyed "indisputable sovereignty" over the South China Sea and its islands and "we are opposed to any country engaged in oil and gas exploration and development activities in waters under China's jurisdiction."  Significantly, hours after China's warning, India's External Affairs Ministry spokesman said while alluding to the ONGC's "major joint venture" that India is intensifying energy cooperation with Vietnam. With Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna in Hanoi to chair a joint commission meeting on trade, economy, science and technology cooperation with his Vietnamese counterpart, the ministry must have duly weighed the strong Chinese position on this issue. It is equally significant that recently India had responded to the Chinese objection to its proposed oil and gas exploration in Vietnamese waters with a strongly-worded letter to China asking it to stop its activities in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, including some infrastructure projects. The signal was clear that India would not cave in.  While it is good that India has asserted itself strongly, it would be imprudent to escalate matters to a point of no return. The process of dialogue with China must continue and while sticking to its stand on Indo-Vietnamese cooperation, areas of convergence with China must be built upon. This is indeed an acid test for Indian diplomacy.


5 IAF planes pressed into service for Sikkim quake relief   Read more at:

New Delhi:  Five Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft have been pressed into service for relief operations in quake-hit Sikkim where at least two persons died in the tremors.    Two persons were killed and 33 received minor injuries in Sikkim as an earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter Scale with its epicentre on Sikkim-Nepal border shook northeast and the northern parts of the country this evening.    Of the five aircraft being pressed into service, two C-130J Hercules aircraft have been deployed from Hindon to Bagdogra airbase, while two AN-32 aircraft along with another Avro aircraft have been sent for the earthquake relief operations in Sikkim, an Indian Air Force spokesperson said.    The spokesperson added that helicopters, if required, could be sent from Eastern Air Command areas for the relief operations.    A government spokesman, however, said while one aircraft is being pressed into service from Palam to Bagdogra and one from Kolkata to Bagdogra, along with personnel of the National Disaster Rescue Force (NDRF) and equipment, for the relief operations.    From Bagdogra airbase, the spokesman added, the NDRF would go by road which is being facilitated by the Border Security Force (BSF) and the West Bengal Government.  Meanwhile, two teams of the National Disaster Response Force - five each from Delhi and Kolkata - are being sent to assist in the relief and rescue operations, R K Srivastava, Joint Secretary, Disaster Management, in the Home Ministry said.  ''Two teams of the National Disaster Response Force - five each from Delhi and Kolkata - are being sent to assist in the relief and rescue operations,'' R K Srivastava, Joint Secretary, Disaster Management, in the Home Ministry said.   Read more at:


Quake hits army bunkers, soldiers injured

NEW DELHI: The earthquake Sunday damaged some Indian Army bunkers in eastern Sikkim near Nathu-La pass along the India-China border and left many soldiers injured, said sources.  Helicopters were deployed to evacuate the soldiers, said sources adding that on-ground army installations were intact. The required soldier strength in the sensitive area was in place, they said.  The 6.8-magnitude quake of around two minutes followed by after-shocks rocked the region and caused the damage to the bunkers. According to sources, rescue work was getting affected because of land slides in the area as a result of torrential rains in the past two days.  Army contingents in small teams have been deployed in rescue missions across Sikkim to provide humanitarian assistance. Army units comprising medical teams, engineer detachments as also personnel for relief and rescue operation have been pressed into service, said sources.

Indian Army trying to curb touts

BELGAUM: Deputy Director General of Zonal Recruitment (Bangalore) Brigadier MM Gupta has asked youths not to depend on touts for joining the Indian Army.  Speaking to reporters here at a recruitment rally which took place here on Saturday, he claimed that the Indian Army is taking measures to avoid the menace of touts by using its intelligence. However, awareness among candidates is key in reducing the menace of middlemen and curbing illegal practices in recruitment, he added.  Colonel Sanjay Dhavan said that biometric system has been adopted in the recruitment rally.� A common entrance examination will be held on October 30 at Army Recruiting Office in Belgaum.�


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