India, China to hold defence talks as per schedule in Dec
Ashok Tuteja/TNS New Delhi, November 29 The India-China Annual Defence Dialogue (ADD) will be held as scheduled here on December 8-9, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna indicated today. “I think, we expect whatever is in the pipeline will continue,’’ he said on the sidelines of a Passport Officers’ Conference when asked whether the defence dialogue would take place. This sets at rest the speculation that the defence dialogue too might be deferred in view of the postponement of the 15th round of boundary talks between the two countries following differences over the Dalai Lama’s scheduled address tomorrow at a global Buddhist conference. The defence dialogue will be held between Indian Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma and Chinese Deputy Chief of Staff Gen Ma Xiaotian. Krishna also met Indian Ambasssador to China S Jaishankar, who had arrived here last week to prepare the ground for the talks between the Special Representatives of the two countries on the boundary issue. Jaishankar is understood to have briefed the minister in detail on various issues connected with the Sino-Indian ties. “Our ambassador to China was here for regular consultations with the foreign office. He had come prepared to assist the government in the talks to be held between the Special Representatives,’’ Krishna said.
India keeping tabs on Chinese activity along LAC: Antony
Ajay Banerjee/TNS New Delhi, November 29 The growing Chinese aggressiveness and rapid improvement in its infrastructure alongside India has caught the attention of the Members of Parliament. The Defence Ministry, yesterday in its written replies to queries, assured the Lok Sabha that a constant watch was being kept on China using all methods. A constant review was also being carried out of the threat to India. The replies came after MPs, cutting across party lines, questioned China’s infrastructure, on the manner India was keeping a watch on its neighbour and even our own lackadaisical road construction at the front. Each of the questions had more than 30 MPs questioning the ministry. From the region, Navjot Sidhu (BJP) and Partap Bajwa (Congress) were among those who had sent in the questions. In the past month, there has been extensive news reporting, including in The Tribune, about growing Chinese assertiveness along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), especially in the eastern Ladakh sector. The LAC is not delineated and China has been building airfields, roads and watch towers on its side. India had set up sophisticated equipment and stationed its troops, but a lot needs to be done. The ministry today assured, “The government is closely monitoring all developments in our immediate and extended neighbourhood.” It admitted that there was no delineated LAC between India and China. There are a few areas along the border where India and China have different perceptions of LAC. Both sides patrol up to their respective perceptions of LAC due to the perceived differences in alignment of LAC. “Areas along the LAC are kept under constant surveillance by regular patrolling by troops and other means,” the ministry said. Defence Minister AK Antony said, “All developments on the borders are being watched and a review of the threat perception is being done regularly, he added.
Army hospitals may outsource disposal of biomed waste
Tribune News Service Chandigarh, November 29 Faced with increasing maintenance costs and stringent pollution control norms, military hospitals located in peace stations may outsource the disposal of toxic bio-medical waste to local civilian organisations engaged in such activity. Senior Army Medical Corps (AMC) officers familiar with the Guidelines for Management and Handling of Biomedical Waste in the Armed Forces and its current review said many large corporate and government hospitals have already adopted the system of outsourcing bio-medical waste to a centralised disposal agency, reducing their financial and legal liabilities. Waste is collected and processed appropriately till it is transported to the hospital’s ‘kerb site’, from where its safe disposal becomes the responsibility of the concerned agency. “Outsourcing bio-medical waste is being deliberated upon within the services as it may not be practical and prudent to maintain incinerators in each and hospital owing to emerging economic, environmental and legal issues,” an AMC officer said. “Moreover, outsourcing facilities are available in most stations where our larger hospitals are located,” he added. Service medical establishments located in the field, remote areas or highly sensitive areas would not be covered under the scheme. At present, the armed forces have their own in-house system of disposing bio-medical waste. Following the enforcement of the Bio-Medical Waste Management and Handling Rules by the Union government in 1998, the Ministry of Defence nominated the Director General Armed Forces Medical Services as the nodal authority for enforcing and reviewing the rules in all defence establishments. Consequently, detailed guidelines pertaining to the organisational setup for bio-medical waste management, methodology of segregation, collection and handling, transportation and final disposal as well as audit were issued. Entitlement and authorisation of equipment and the requirement of developing in-house capacity for final disposal facilities like incinerator, waste steriliser, microwave and shredder, depending upon the size of the hospital, was also laid out.
'Bangla-China ties not to affect bond with India'
Wed, Nov 30th, 2011 2:10 am BdST New Delhi, Nov 29 (bdnews24.com) – Chief of Army Staff General Mohammed Abdul Mubeen has said that China is just helping Bangladesh in infrastructure development and that Dhaka's ties with Beijing will not affect friendly relation between Bangladesh and India. He said on Tuesday that Bangladesh and China did not have a strategic relation and the relation between the two had nothing to do with Dhaka's ties with New Delhi. The Chief of Army Staff was talking to media persons after reviewing the Passing out Parade of India's premier National Defence Academy near Pune in the country's western state of Maharashtra. Gen Mubeen is currently on a five-day tour to India on an invitation from the chief of the Indian Army Gen V K Singh. He was the third foreigner to take the salute of the newly passed out cadets of the prestigious institution after late Chinese premier Chou En-Lai and former chief of the then Royal Nepal Army Gen P J Thapa. During the visit, Gen Mubeen is scheduled to interact with Indian defence minister A K Antony, national security advisor Shiv Shankar Menon and top officials of the Indian Army and the Ministry of Defence. He will also visit Paratroopers' Training School at Agra in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. He is also likely to visit Indian Army's Eastern Command at Fort Williams in Kolkata. An official statement from the Indian government's Ministry of Defence said that Gen Mubeen would visit important field formations of the Indian Army. "The high-level visits of both Army chiefs in 2008, 2010 and 2011 boosted our military-to-military relations," it read. A spokesman of the Ministry of Defence in New Delhi said that military-to-military cooperation between Bangladesh and Indian armed forces encompassed exchange of high and medium level visits, availing of training courses in each other's training institutions, witnessing of designated exercises by military observers from both sides, exchange of war veterans, United Nations Peacekeeping Operation, sharing experience in disaster management, sports and adventure activities. Gen Mubeen's visit to India is a reciprocation of a similar tour by the chief of the Indian Army last June. He expressed hope that the visits by top military officials to each other's country would foster closer relations between the two neighbours and act as a catalytic tool for the mutual benefit of both. Altogether 302 cadets, including 16 from Bhutan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and the Maldives, graduated from the National Defence Academy of India on Tuesday. They had commenced their training on June 30, 2008. Gen Mubeen, as the reviewing officer of the Passing out Parade, presented medals to the award winners of the autumn term of this year. Chou En-Lai was the chief guest for the NDA's passing out parade in December 1956, and Gen P J Thapa was the chief guest in Nov 2004. The Indian Government said that the visit would further cement India's defence relationship with Bangladesh and add impetus to ongoing defence cooperation. "Maintenance of enhanced military-to-military contacts with Bangladesh by Indian Army is mutually beneficial to the strategic interests of both the neighbours," said the statement.
No information on joint China-Pakistan army exercise: Antony
New Delhi: Defence Minister AK Antony on Monday said India has no information on a China-Pakistan joint military exercise held close to the Indian border recently. In a written reply to questions in the Lok Sabha, Antony's answer to a query whether a joint military exercise of Pakistani and Chinese armies was being carried out merely 25 km away from the border with Jaisalmer area of Rajasthan was an emphatic "no". "No, there is no information regarding such an exercise being carried out," he said, but admitted that India and Pakistan have an agreement in place to issue each other prior notice of any joint military exercise within the radius of 50 to 75 km along their border. No information on joint China-Pakistan army exercise: Antony Media reports in the recent past, including from Chinese official media, have indicated that Chinese army personnel had carried out a counter-terrorism exercise with Pakistan Army personnel in Jhelum in Pakistan's Punjab province in the middle of November. (Watch CNN-IBN live on your iPad. IBN7 and IBN Lokmat too. Download the IBNLive for iPad app. It's free. Click here to download now)
NDA toppers from defence backgrounds, but first-generation officers
PUNE: The three toppers from the National Defence Academy's (NDA) autumn term 2011 -- cadets Deepak Awasthi, Deependra Kheechee and Amit Kandwal -- have much in common. They will be the first in their families to be commissioned as officers in the armed forces after their year-long stint with the respective training academies, they will represent families with a tradition of serving the nation and all three have excellent academic records. On Monday, a deep sense of pride shone in the eyes of their parents and family members who were at the defence academy to share their achievement. Awasthi is from Kanpur, Kheechee comes from Jodhpur and Kandwal is from Kotdwar in Uttaranchal. "I am proud of my son," said Rajesh Kumar Awasthi, a retired subedar from the Corps of Signals. His son was adjudged the overall best cadet. Deepak topped the computer science stream with an 8.1 final grade percentage average (FGPA) which reflects the sum total of a cadet's performance in academics and training. "I was a consistent topper in my stream," he said. The inspiration to take up a career in the armed forces came from his father. But Deepak wants to be a fighter pilot unlike his father who was in the army. "I have always wanted to fly. It does not matter whether or not it is the army, as far as I am in the defence forces," he said. He joined the NDA after standard XII at the Uttar Pradesh Sainik School in Kanpur. "After being in the boarding school for long, I was used to the regimental life at military training institutes," he said, adding that the initial days at the NDA were tough. "But, I was able to adjust with life in the academy and the latter part was particularly good," he said. In March, Deepak joined a three-member NDA team to participate in an international competition on 'The laws of armed conflicts' in Italy. "I came fourth," he said. Squadron cadet captain Deependra Singh Kheechee, who topped the arts stream with an 8.08 FGPA, wants to be an army infantry officer. "I will join the Indian Military Academy at Dehradun," said Deependra. His great-grandfather was a soldier in the British Indian army and fought World War I, while his grandfather, Narpat Singh, was with the 14 Rajput regiment that fought the 1971 Indo-Pak war. "I was motivated by my grandfather to join the armed forces. I also found this career adventurous and challenging," said Deependra, who went to St Paul's School in Jodhpur. "I took the call on joining the NDA when I was studying for standard XII," he added. "The three years at the academy has helped me become a better person with a better attitude. Now, I have a definite goal," said Deependra. His father, Gaje Singh, who is with the Rajasthan forest department, and elder sister, Kirti, who is studying for her MBA at the National Law University, were at the convocation. Science stream topper battalion cadet adjutant Amit Kumar Kandwal is the son of retired army havildar, Ansuyaprasad Kandwal, who was with the Pioneer Corps in Bangalore for 26 years. "My grandfather, Suresh Kumar Kandwal, was personnel below officers' rank with the 4th Garhwal Rifles. He motivated me to join the armed forces," said Amit, who had the highest 7.52 FGPA in the science stream. "I am living my grandfather's dream," said Amit, who quit studies at the G B Pant Engineering College at Pauri, to join the NDA. He wants to join the navigation cadre in the navy. But before that, he will join the Indian Naval Academy, Cochin for his training. "At NDA, I learned never to give up and keep trying," he said.
House panel to be invited for war games in Thar on Dec 2
NEW DELHI: The defence ministry has shot down the Army's plans to showcase its ongoing massive combat Sudarshan Shakti exercise in Rajasthan to young MPs, including AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi and his cousin Varun Gandhi of the BJP. Instead, the plan is to invite members of the parliamentary standing committee on defence to witness the war games, which has about 50,000 troops, 300 tanks and 250 artillery guns, apart from fighters, spy drones and attack helicopters amassed in the Thar desert. While the standing committee members are likely to witness the desert maneuvers on December 2, President Pratibha Patil and defence minister A K Antony, among others, are slated to get a first-hand look at the Army's combat potential on December 5. The Army was planning to invite the young MPs as the "potential leaders of the future'' to witness the war games. But it was not aware that there "was a laid down procedure'' for such an invite, with sanction also being required by the Lok Sabha Speaker. 'Sudarshan Shakti', as reported earlier, is testing swift mobilization and multiple blitzkrieg thrusts across the border in keeping with the Army's ongoing "transformation" to consolidate its strike capabilities as well as streamline operational logistics. Pakistan's brandishing of tactical nuclear missiles as a riposte to India's "Cold Start" doctrine has not deterred the Indian Army from conducting such exercises to sharpen its "pro-active" war strategy.
Did Vajpayee govt sleep for a year over intelligence alert on Kargil?
New Delhi, Nov 28 (ANI): Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had knowledge about infiltration from the neighbouring country in 1998, but his government did not pay attention to intelligence reports on the Pakistan Army's intrusions in Kargil in 1999, according to an army think tank. The study titled 'Perils of Prediction, Indian Intelligence and the Kargil Crisis', said the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) had also warned in its October 1998 assessment that the Pakistan Army might launch "a limited swift offensive with possible support of alliance partners (reference to mercenaries).
The Intelligence Bureau (IB) had also sent a secret note to the then Prime Minister Vajpayee on Pakistani logistics building across the Kargil. The Indian Army's think-tank Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS) made these revelations in an internal study it undertook on Indian intelligence and the Kargil crisis. It rejects the charge on the Indian security establishment failing to detect or predict the Pakistani invasion because of a lack of proper intelligence and a turf war between security agencies. "What went wrong, was not lack of intelligence, but the lack of coordination, assessment and predicting in specific terms in which way the attack will be enacted," says the classified study. The study shows that the Indian intelligence agency had accurately assessed Pakistani intentions prior to the Kargil crises and as early as in 1998, a year prior to detection of the intrusions. As many as 43 reports were produced between June 1998 and May 1999 by three intelligence agencies-the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Military Intelligence (MI). The Indian border guards stationed in Kargil also generated two other reports. The study says the analysis, origins and destinations of these reports is quite revealing: Army intelligence produced 22 reports, none of which were shared with any civilian agencies, including the JIC. RAW generated 11 reports and IB produced 10 reports, of which three were distributed widely. On June 2, 1998, the IB had dispatched a note to the Prime Minister, containing details about Pakistani logistics building efforts along the LoC in the areas opposite to Kargil. The note was personally signed by then IB chief, meaning the contents were extra-sensitive requiring attention from the highest political level. Again in the winter of 1998-99, both RAW and IB had predicted an escalation of the mercenary infiltration, with the thrust in the direction of Kargil. In its October 1998 threat assessment, RAW had even warned that Pakistan the Army might launch "a limited swift offensive with possible support of alliance partners-a reference to mercenaries." "But credible reports suggest that RAW was informally pressured to retreat from the alarming projections it had made in October 1998, as Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee was preparing to undertake a peace journey to Lahore," the study says. It says it was after the nuclearisation of South Asia that four Pakistani Generals, including then Army Chief General Pervez Musharraf, had drawn up plans for an incursions into the Indian Kashmir, code named Operation Badr. The paper believes that reconnaissance for Operation Badr had begun in November 1998, when Pakistan troops had probed Indian defence lines in Kargil. "Unmanned aerial vehicles were used to verify the laxity of Indian border security. Actual Movement of troops into Indian territory began late February 1999," says the paper. The paper concludes that more than the lack of intelligence, the lack of coordination, assessment and turf-war between various security agencies was taking toll on the Indian security system. (ANI)
Army regiments get coveted colours
PATIALA: It was a historic moment for the Army on Sunday, when the supreme commander of the armed forces and President of India Pratibha Patil presented colours to its five tank regiments at Patiala in an impressive ceremony. It is the second occasion in the history of Independent India that so many regiments were conferred with the colours, which are presented for exceptional role played by these regiments during war and peacetime. A formation of 132 T-90 tanks, with their engines roaring, guns on stabilizer systems and holding their newly acquired colours presented salute to their supreme commander. The five regiments presented colours were 70 Armoured, 73 Armoured, 74 Armoured, 5 Armoured and 6 Lancers. Out of these regiments, 70 Armoured Regiment had participated in the 1971 war. All these regiments have offered more than 25 years of dedicated service to the nation. Colours were received by Col M K Sirohi who is commandant of 70 Regiment, Col Sunil Dala of 73 Regiment, Col Atul Suri of 74 regiment, Col Mohit Wadhwa of 5 Regiment and Col Ranjan Keron of 6 Lancers. In the presence of four religious teachers -- representing various faiths Hindus, Christians, Muslims and Sikhs -- a short prayer was held following which the President presented the colours to the commandants of the respective units. Speaking on the occasion, Patil congratulated the units for the rare honour. She said that the honour bestowed upon them carries additional responsibilities. The President also reviewed the parade before the colour presentation ceremony. Chief of Army Staff General V K Singh, Army commander of Western command Lt General, S R Ghosh and a host of other senior serving officers, as well as retired veterans and all ranks, also witnessed the historic moment. Box: What they denote? Colours or Nishans, also known as Dhwajas/Patakas, are a source of pride for any regiment and various traditions have taken shape around them. In the Indian context, these have their roots in history since Vedas and Puranas where an individual sign of a king or emperor were carried by the armies. These Dhwajas were protected at any cost. Loss of the Dhwaja to another army was considered a defeat. Acceptance of colour or nishan of another ruler was taken as accepting the supremacy of that king. Significance of colours With East India Company coming under the control of the English, the regiments in India started carrying colours of the British Crown. After Independence these colours were discontinued and placed at Chetwood Hall of Indian Military Academy at Dehradun. Later, they became the colours of the President of Republic of India. Cavalry regiments from whom these five regiments owe their traditions carried the Guidons, which were last paraded in 1936. Post-Independence only colours are awarded.
President to witness Indian Army exercise
President Pratibha Patil will Dec 5 witness the Indian Army’s massive war games in progress in Rajasthan desert close to the international border with Pakistan. The exercise, Sudarshan Shakti, being held under the aegis of the Pune-based Southern Command, has over 50,000 troops and over 200 battle tanks such as T-90s, T-72s, Arjun and infantry combat vehicles such as BMPs participating in the exercise, in association with the Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter jets, transport aircraft and helicopters. ‘Exercise Sudarshan Shakti will be witnessed by the President Pratibha Patil, the supreme commander of armed forces, on Dec 5. She will be accompanied by Defence Minister A.K. Antony and Indian Army chief General V.K. Singh,’ army spokesperson Veerendra Singh said. ‘This exercise will be a trend-setter for the Integrated Theatre Concept,’ he added. The transformation that will be tried out will make the army ‘more agile, versatile, lethal and a networked force’. ‘In the exercise, we will be trying out new structures, strategies, and test beds of an integrated, seamless air-land battle,’ he added.
Indian Army and Forest Dept summon each other
Jaipur: Soon after the accused army men skipped the interrogation by not appearing before forest officials, the inquiry into Chinkara killing case has reached a logjam after Army and Forest Department summoned each other. Earlier a team of forest officials had recovered the uncooked meat and remains of the endangered animal from the army unit on Friday. The army officials had initially claimed to have procured the chinkara from locals, however, the forest officials said that investigations are also being held to identify if the accused had hunted the chinkaras. According to the District forest officer BR Bhadu said that the accused five army personnel’s Gopi Lal, BR Nath, N Sarkar, Pardesi and DR Naidu, were summoned on Sunday for interrogation but they did not show up. Another summon has been set up for today to set up an inquiry on the fast track. Meanwhile, locals alleged that the armymen are trying to frame some villagers in the Chinkara killing case. Meanwhile, locals alleged that the armymen are trying to frame some villagers in the Chinkara killing case. Sources said army men are saving their own skin by claiming that they had purchased meat from villagers.