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Wednesday, 12 October 2011

From Today's Papers - 12 Oct 2011







Omar, Chidambaram discuss AFSPA ‘Near normal’ areas may be exempted from Act’s purview

Tribune News Service   P Chidambaram  Omar Abdullah  New Delhi, October 11 Taking a step forward to bring about a positive change in Jammu and Kashmir, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and state Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tonight held discussions over areas of the state that can be taken out of the ambit of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). They also discussed nuances of the proposed final report of the three-member team of interlocutors led by Dileep Padgaonkar.  Emerging from the meeting, Omar Abdullah termed it as “stock taking” and said, “I look forward to the report of interlocutors. There is no apprehension of any law and order issue. I hope positive things come out and are implemented.”  “The state has made certain recommendations on AFSPA. It should be lifted from areas that have reached near normalcy where the Army is not needed….Would want Disturbed Areas Act and AFSPA to go,” Omar Abdullah said. He, however, said, “It cannot be done overnight. It will take some time.”  The recommendations made by the state originate from the observations made by a state-level committee. The committee comprised the state DGP, the Home Secretary, the Corps Commander of 15 Corps, Srinagar, and the Corps Commander of 16-Corps, Nagrota.  The committee has listed out areas “near to normalcy” that can be removed from the list under the Disturbed Areas Act. The final approval will hinge upon the assessment of the Army.  If an area is removed from the list of disturbed areas under the Act, AFSPA will automatically cease to apply to that area. The Act gives the Army powers to detain and, if the situation warrants, eliminate suspected militants while fighting insurgents without any fear of prosecution. The Army, on its part, has made it clear that the troops will not carry out operations in the areas not covered under the AFSPA.


HAL director found dead

Shubhadeep Choudhury Tribune News Service  Bangalore, October 11 Squadron Leader (retd) Baldev Singh, director for corporate planning and marketing at State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), Baldev Singh apparently committed suicide near Nandi Hills, about 50 km from Bangalore.  A passerby found his body hanging from a tree around noon on the way to Nandi Hills. “We then reached the spot and lowered the body from the tree and identified him to be Baldev Singh of HAL from a credit card in his pocket,” Chickballapur rural DSP S. Chelvaraj said.  He is survived by his ailing wife and two sons, Mohit Singh and Nimith Singh. While Mohit lives in Singapore, Nimith is in the US.


PM echoes US fears over safety of nukes in neighbourhood

Tribune News Service  Pak says J&K not integral part of India  Pakistan on Tuesday claimed that Jammu and Kashmir has never been an “integral part” of India and sought a UN-led plebiscite to determine the will of the Kashmiri people, evoking an angry rebuttal by India that termed the remarks as “unwarranted”.  New Delhi, October 11 Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today echoed the fears being expressed internationally over the safety of nuclear arsenal in India’s neighbourhood. Without naming Pakistan, the Prime Minister, while addressing the top military commanders of the three forces here, said, “Nuclear proliferation and nuclear safety are serious threats in our neighbourhood.”  What the PM said was in line with the thinking of the US and its NATO allies. In the recent past, especially in the aftermath of the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, US military officials have reportedly testified before the Congress about the security - or the lack of it - of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. The threat posed by “loose nukes” - nuclear weapons or materials outside the government control - has also been discussed.  As per estimates of international watch agencies, there are some 115 nuclear-tipped weapons in Pakistan. In the past, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had warned that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists due to the prevailing instability in that country.  The PM went on to buttress his arguments saying the international strategic and political environment had changed and India’s future internal and external policies should factor in the deteriorated conditions. Highlighting multiple challenges faced by the country, he said the task of coordinated response to global problems had become more difficult as major powers were “pre-occupied” and India must strengthen its capabilities and “stand on our own feet”.  He said even as India must work with the international community to address global issues, “we must strengthen our own capabilities”.  He went on to list terrorism, Left wing extremism and piracy as major challenges.  “We must, therefore, consolidate our own strategic autonomy and independence of thought and action,” he said. In this age of rapid information flows and explosion of technologies, one of the most important security imperatives was our ability to respond to these challenges quickly and in an integrated fashion, he said.  Speaking on terrorism, he said India had a long history in fighting it, but “today terrorist groups are highly networked, nimble footed and more lethal”. Cyber threats were emerging as a major source of worry. Cyber and information warfare could qualitatively change the concept of a battlefield, he added. He asked the forces to focus more on maritime security, and on securing the coastline, the exclusive economic zone, the island territories and protecting the sea lanes of communication.


PM asks Army, IAF to iron out differences

In what looks like a veiled reprimand to the Army, which is keen on building its own aviation wing rather than depending on the Indian Air Force, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday asked the armed forces to ''optimise the use of scarce resources''through ''long-term planning and creation of common institutions.''  “The government will never fight shy of finding the funds for the modernisation of our forces. At the same time we have to recognise that resources are not unlimited. I would urge upon you to optimise the use of scarce resources, particularly when we build new capacities for meeting emerging threats,” Singh said addressing the combined commander conference here.  The prime minister’s comments come in the backdrop of an ongoing tussle between the IAF and Army on the creation of the Army Aviation Wing. The two services are not leaving any stone unturned to protect their own turf.  Roles demarcated As the Army is keen to have its own helicopter unit comprising new attack helicopters, IAF Chief NAK Browne in the last week stated that a 1986 document — Joint Army and Air Force Instructions — clearly demarcated the role and responsibility of the two services.  “As per the JAAI-1986, the IAF will operate and maintain all helicopters including the light utility and attack helicopters of the Army. But the command and control will be with the Army. In the same manner, the 22 new attack helicopters will also be under the command of the Army but they will be maintained by the IAF,” Brown said.  Deliberating Army Chief V K Singh on Monday told his top commanders that the Army and IAF were deliberating at the highest level on this contentious area, but there would be no going back on the plan of equipping the Army Aviation Wing with latest platforms, which will make the force more agile, responsive and effective.  The prime minister has left to the two sparring services to iron out the differences. “You are the best judges of how this can be done, but advance and long-term planning and creation of common institutions, communication networks and infrastructure are some examples of how this could be achieved,” he said.  Image makeover The prime minister also asked the commanders to spare a thought on the image makeover of the armed forces which was tainted following a series of scandals like Adarsh and Sukhna and the Army chief’s date of birth controversy.  Singh said senior commanders have a special responsibility to inculcate the finest qualities of character, integrity and professionalism among junior officers and men and women because the countrymen “look up to the armed forces as the epitome of honesty, integrity, character and professionalism.”  “We live in an increasingly open society characterised by instant communications and mass media. These impose greater responsibilities on all public institutions of our Republic, including the armed force,” the prime minister added.


Army seeks dates from Dhoni, Bindra for conferring Lt Col rank

The Army has asked Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and ace shooter Abhinav Bindra to make themselves available at the "earliest possible date" so that they could be conferred with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the force. "We are looking forward to conduct the piping of both the gentlemen this month only. We have requested them to be present for this ceremony at earliest possible date," a Territorial Army official said on Tuesday.  Following the decision by the Territorial Army to grant honorary commissions to both the sportsmen, Dhoni attended its Raising Day function here on October 9.  "He interacted with Army Chief General V K Singh while attending the Raising Day function and expressed his happiness for being selected for the coveted rank of a Lt Colonel in the Territorial Army," the official said.  Dhoni, who captained the Indian team to victory in the recently held ICC World Cup and the 2007 T-20 World Cup, has been selected for the honorary commission for his performance in the game.  Bindra would be donning the military uniform for his rare achievement of being the only Indian ever to win an Olympic gold medal.  As honorary Lt Colonels, the two athletes would be able to wear the Olive Green uniform on officials occasions, ceremonial functions and training activities conducted by the Territorial Army.  Earlier, the force had granted the honorary ranks of Lt Col to cricketer Kapil Dev and south Indian actor Mohan Lal.


Defence ministry may clear port projects at Chudamani, Inchudi

The Ministry of defence is likely to give its nod to two non-major ports in Orissa proposed at Chudamani in Bhadrak district and Inchudi in Balasore district.  The Orissa government is hopeful of getting the go-ahead of the ministry at a crucial meeting scheduled to be held in New Delhi on Friday.

"All hurdles to the port projects proposed at Chudamani and Inchudi appear to have been cleared. We hope to get the green signal for these two ports at a meeting convened by the defence ministry on Friday”, a top official of the state commerce & transport department told Business Standard.  The ministry, however, is averse to setting up of any port at Chandipur, the site of Indian Army's Integrated Test Range (ITR), he said.  The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) had objected to construction of a port at Chudamani by Essel Mining and Industries Limited, an Aditya Birla Group company, on the ground that the site was close to the missile testing centre at Wheeler Island in Bhadrak district and the ITR at Chandipur in Balasore district.  The state government had, however, argued that port project and the activities of DRDO can go hand in hand.  The Orissa government had inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Essel Mining and Industries Ltd on October 22, 2009 for setting up of a port at Chudamani with a projected capacity of 10 million tonnes of cargo traffic per annum by 2012.  Prior to signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Essel Mining Industries, the state government had roped in Indian Institute of Technology- Chennai for conducting a techno-feasibility report on the location.  Besides Chudamani, the defence ministry had also objected to setting up of ports at Bahabalpur, Chandipur and Inchudi. The ministry was of the view that no port should come up between the mouth of Subarnarekha and Dhamara rivers.


CM Badal asks Defence Ministry to change Army recruitment quota

So that residents of Punjab are not denied an opportunity to serve in the Armed Forces, Punjab Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal today asked the Ministry of Defence, to immediately change its criterion of population based recruitment quota.  Stating that the people of Punjab had a rich legacy in the Indian Military since its inception, Badal while addressing a state level rally of ex-servicemen here after laying a foundation stone of Sainik Sadan and its Bhumi Pujan, said that he had already taken this issue with the the Central Government several times at different forums.  He said that he has taken up the issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and also with the Union Defence Minister A K Antony recently in a meeting at New Delhi and demanded that these parameters should be done away with and that the selection in defence forces should be only allowed on the basis of abilities and capabilities of the aspirants.  Ads by Google Alpari (UK) Forex Traders  Free Trial Account With Alpari (UK)  Trade & Be Rewarded Every Time! Life Cover - L I C  Get 1Crore security @ Rs.818* pm  & Save Your Family From Any Mishapwww.PolicyBazaar.comHDFC Vacancies Oct 2011  7500+ P.O. Job Openings in Oct  Upload Resume.Apply to HDFC Now!  He said, “Our defence personnel have inherited the indomitable spirit for self-sacrifice from our great Gurus. The SAD-BJP government is committed for the overall welfare of the ex-servicemen and we were indebted to them for their outstanding contribution to defend national security.”  On the occasion, the Chief Minister laid the foundation stone of `Sainik Sadan` to be built over an area of 1.77 acres at a cost of Rs 4 crore, here in Phase-X, which would be completed in 18 months. He also awarded cash prizes to seven ex-servicemen, one of them posthumously, amounting Rs 42.5 lakh beside giving away three appointment letters for Government jobs to next of kin of those killed in army operations.

The CM further said that to motivate the state’s youth to join the Defence service by setting Maharaja Ranjit Singh Preparatory Institute for Military Training at Mohali, which had been made functional and the first batch was being imparted training.



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