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Thursday, 17 May 2012

From Today's Papers - 17 May 2012






http://www.tribuneindia.com/2012/20120517/main6.htm
China violated LAC 505 times since Jan 2010
Triggered by differing perceptions of disputed line
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 16
Differing perceptions of the disputed Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China has led to a whopping 505 transgressions by Chinese soldiers since January 2010.

Explaining 'transgressions', officials said India and China do not agree on the LAC, hence soldiers on either side patrol up to the point they perceive as the LAC. Soldiers on both sides show a banner asking the other party to withdraw when the LAC is crossed. Despite the underlying tension, the process of withdrawing by both sides keeps a lid on the situation along the tense frontier between the two edgy neighbours.

Today, the matter of transgressions was raised in the Rajya Sabha and the Minister of State for Home Affairs Mullappally Ramachandran said, "There have been 228 reported cases of transgression in 2010, 213 in 2011 and 64 till April this year. It was clarified, "There has been no intrusion along the India-China border. However, there are cases of transgression (by People's Liberation Army, PLA) due to different perception of the LAC." The word 'intrusion' is the official nomenclature to indicate a breach of the sanctity of the border and is different from transgression on LAC, that too on sections which are disputed.

The LAC is 4,057-km-long and traverses areas of Himalayan states, principally in Eastern Ladakh (J&K), parts of Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. Historically, there has never been a demarcated boundary. These are strategically vital portions which are contiguous with Tibet.

New Delhi takes up specific incidents of transgression with the Chinese side through established mechanisms such as hotlines, flag meetings, border personnel meetings and normal diplomatic channels.

The 15th round of Sino-Indian Special Representatives (SR)-level talks was held in New Delhi in January last. Sources said the two sides are at an advanced stage of taking a decision on a joint civil-military mechanism to maintain peace along the LAC.

Despite the transgressions, peace is maintained along the LAC following an agreement thrashed out in April 2005. India and China have worked out what is called a 'banner drill', which helps keep tension under check.

Whenever either side perceives that a transgression has been made across the LAC, soldiers show a 10-feet-wide banner with a slogan painted across to each other. The banner primarily cites the 2005 agreement and says there is a need to back off from the present positions of patrolling.

about transgressions

* India and China do not agree on the LAC, hence soldiers on either side patrol up to the point they perceive as the LAC

* Soldiers on both sides show a banner asking the other party to withdraw when the LAC is crossed (pic)

* The process of withdrawing by both sides keeps a lid on the situation along the tense frontier


http://www.tribuneindia.com/2012/20120517/nation.htm#13
India-made Bofors fares well
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 16
An artillery gun produced within India to replace the Indian Army's inventory of the 155 MM Howitzer supplied by AB Bofors, some 25 years ago, has reportedly performed well at the ongoing trials to test out the weapon in the heat of the deserts. The second round tests will be in winter in the mountains.

The India-made gun has been produced by the Ordnance Factory Board. The gun is presently being tested near Pokhran in Rajasthan and has done well. Source confirmed that yesterday, there were 12 rounds of firing from the gun and tests will continue till Saturday.

The 155 MM, 45 calibre Howitzer produced by the OFB looks similar to the Bofors and can reportedly fire at a distance in excess of 30 km. The accuracy reading will be out after tabulations at the end of trials. "All this delay and shortages of artillery guns could have been avoided had the OFB started work on the gun a year back," said an official.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Army-starts-toll-free-number-for-ex-servicemen-complaints/articleshow/13180811.cms
Army starts toll-free number for ex-servicemen complaints
ROHTAK: The Army has started a toll-free number to address the complaints of ex-servicemen, war widows and their dependents from this year, which has been declared as ex-servicemen welfare year.

The Army chief, General V K Singh, said this on Wednesday while addressing a gathering of ex-servicemen at Palra village of Jhajjar district.

The rally was organized in memory of Victoria Cross winner Capt Umrao Singh, a native of the village.

General Singh said that an ex-servicemen cell has been established, which is operating the toll-free number 1800-1111-6644.

The Army chief avoided interaction with media at the rally.

During his stay at Palra village, he also interacted with ex-servicemen and widows of former Army personnel.

When representatives of ex-servicemen association drew his attention to the pay anomalies, the Army chief said that cases regarding pay anomalies in the recommendations of Sixth Pay Commission had been sent to the defence ministry for consideration.

He said that Army was sensitive towards the needs and welfare of ex-servicemen. Singh also assured that Army was looking into the one-rank-one-pension demand of ex-servicemen sympathetically.


http://zeenews.india.com/news/world/india-can-respond-to-any-misadventure-by-pak_775596.html
'India can respond to any misadventure by Pak'
Pune: India is fully capable of responding to any misadventure by Pakistan despite the west-side neighbour acquiring nuclear weapons, a top Indian Army commander said here Tuesday.

"Since the 1998 nuclear tests, India and Pakistan have been through limited war (Kargil) and a major military crisis (Indian Army exercise 'Operation Parakram'), making clear that the nuclearisation of both the countries has not made conventional war between them an obsolete concept," Lt Gen AK Singh, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Command, said.

He was delivering the Gen BC Joshi Memorial lecture at the Pune University MBA (PUMBA) campus.

Speaking on "Prespective on war in 21st century", Lt Gen Singh said, "Acqusition of nuclear weapon by Pakistan has not altered the strategic balance in the subcontinent and it has not been able to neutralise India's conventional war fighting superiority."

"Notwithstanding the nuclear deterrence in place, there is adequate strategic space for India to respond to a Pakistani misadventure, which might arise out of its miscalculated confidence," he asserted.

Lt Gen Singh pointed out that nuclear capability may limit the objective, scope and intensity of war and despite views to the contrary, the nuclear threshold would not be as fragile and low as was made out by many strategists and academicians.

"The biggest concern for nation states is the acquisition of weapons of mass Destruction (WMD) by non-state actors (extremist groups). How will the dynamics of deterrence, coercion and escalatory control work against non-state actors? It is a nightmare scenario and remains a very real threat," he said.

Lt Gen Singh said that in order to be effective against non-state players, deterrence, coercion and escalatory control must rely on international protocols to prevent proliferation through sanctions and other tough measures.

"Most important of all, international cooperation is needed among intelligence agencies to detect moves by identified non-state actors to acquire WMD, so that timely counter-action can be initiated."

"Future wars will be hybrid and conventional forces the world over will have to constantly adapt and evolve to face new challenges," the commander said.

http://www.indiandefence.com/india-test-akash-surface-to-air-missile-defence-system-week-1363/
India to test Akash surface-to-air missile defence system this week
According to the Indian armed forces, the Akash surface-to-air missile will be tested this Sunday, from the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur, Orissa.
The missile, which was first inducted in to the Indian Armed Forces in 2008, underwent several tests later, as technical issues and flaws were discovered later. During the test, which is estimated to take place this Sunday, a Pilot-less Target Aircraft (PTA) will be intercepted and destroyed by the missile launched from a wheeled platform.

The Akash missile is capable of destroying aircrafts which are 20 miles away, with altitude up to 60,000 feet. The missile can be fitted with nuclear warheads and is capable of carrying a conventional warhead of up to 60 kg. The missile was developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and jointly manufactured by the Bharat Electronics Limited and the Bharat Dynamics Limited. The development of the missile was done as a part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). There are two versions of the Akash missile available, one each for the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Army.

The Akash missiles are supported by indigenously developed passive phased array radar "Rajendra". The radar was also developed by the DRDO. The Rajendra is a multifunction radar, capable of tracking as many as 64 targets and controlling up to 12 missiles simultaneously. Indian defence experts have drawn comparisons for the Akash missile system with the American MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile system. Indians claim that similar to the MIM-104, the Akash is capable of neutralizing aerial targets such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), fighter jets, cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles.

Ravi Kumar Gupta, senior DRDO official dismissed the fears about the technical snags in Akash, saying that all the recent tests of the missile have been successful. He said that the latest test will help the armed forces to analyse the effectiveness and capability of the missile. The Indian Army, which is conducting the missile test this week, plans to induct two Akash regiments (containing approximately two thousand missiles) to replace its antiquated Russian 2K12 Kub (SA-6) missiles.

The IAF is planning to induct a total of 1,000 Akash missiles in 8 squadrons, which will increase its defence capabilities. According to Indian officials, the The Isayev S-125 Pechora surface-to-air missile, which the IAF is currently using, will be phased out in favour of the Akash missile. The induction of the missiles is estimated to cost the Indian Armed Forces some 233 billion.

http://zeenews.india.com/news/haryana/pay-anomalies-concerning-ex-servicemen-sent-to-def-min_775737.html
'Pay anomalies concerning ex-servicemen sent to Def Min'
hajjar: Army Chief General VK Singh on Wednesday said that the anomalies concerning the ex-servicemen which emerged after implementation of the sixth pay commission recommendations have been sent to the Defence Ministry for their quick redressal.

The issue of One Rank-One Pension is under consideration of the Government, General Singh said this addressing an ex-servicemen rally held at village Palda in this district.

General Singh said that the government is sensitive to the needs of the retired soldiers.

He said that it is the duty of the Army to take care of the dignity and welfare of ex-servicemen, war widows and their family members.

Recently, General Singh had addressed a gathering of ex-servicemen in Haryana's Gurgaon where he had said that after the sixth pay commission, 46 anomalies were discovered which were causing losses to the ex-servicemen and had been put before the government.

Addressing the rally here, General Singh said that ex-servicemen are the legacy of our country and the fame of the Indian Army is only because of their efforts.

He said that such rallies are being organised all over the country and the aim of such rallies is to redress their grievances and to take care of their health and meet their needs.

The General said that keeping in view the welfare and honour of ex-servicemen, war widows and their families, the year 2012 has been declared as the year of Ex-Servicemen Welfare.

He said that under this initiative, for the redressal of their grievances an ex-servicemen cell has been set up and it is headed by a retired brigadier level officer.

Now, the ex-servicemen could register their complaints on the tollfree number 1800-111-6644 of the cell, he said, adding, they could also enquire about the redressal by calling on the same number.

While visiting the stalls of Health Camp, Pension Adalat, Sena Kalyan Awas Sanstha, Sena Samuhik Bima Yojna organised at the venue of the rally, he said, ex-servicemen should take full advantage of these facilities.

Gen Singh also honoured the war widows during the rally.

The rally here was organised by the Army under the aegis of Hissar Military Station. Nearly 12,000 ex-servicemen of five districts participated and benefitted from this event.

Lieutenant General Gyan Bhushan, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Sapta Shakti Command and Lieutenant Gen Ashok Singh, General Officer Commanding, 1 Corp were among those present during the occasion.

The Army Chief also said that under this initiative, for the redressal of their grievances an ex-servicemen cell has been set up and it is headed by a retired brigadier level officer.

Now, the ex-servicemen could register their complaints on the toll free number 1800-111-6644 of the cell, Gen Singh said, adding, they could also enquire about the redressal by calling on the same number.

While visiting the stalls of Health Camp, Pension Adalat, Sena Kalyan Awas Sanstha, Sena Samuhik Bima Yojna organised at the venue of the rally, he said, ex-servicemen should take full advantage of these facilities.

Gen Singh also honoured the war widows during the rally.

The rally here was organised by the Army under the aegis of Hissar Military Station. Nearly 12,000 ex-servicemen of five districts participated and benefited from this event.

Lieutenant General Gyan Bhushan, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Sapta Shakti Command and Lieutenant Gen Ashok Singh, General Officer Commanding, 1 Corp were among those present during the occasion.

http://zeenews.india.com/news/nation/no-proposal-to-induct-women-in-combat-duties-govt_775704.html
No proposal to induct women in combat duties: Govt
New Delhi: As many as 781 women have joined the armed forces as officers since 2010, but there is no Services' proposal to induct females in combat duties including as fighter pilots in the Indian Air Force (IAF), the government told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

In a written reply, Defence Minister AK Antony tabled a report on number of women who have joined the Army, Navy and IAF since 2010.

"Women are recruited in the armed forces within the overall authorised strength of the officers' cadre. There is no specified sanctioned strength for women officers," he told the House.

While the Army inducted 343 female officers since 2010, the Navy and theIAF enrolled 129 and 309 women, respectively. This excludes the women officers who joined the Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS).

On whether the government proposes to induct women in combat roles, he said, "Induction of women in combat duties has not been recommended by the studies carried out by Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff (HQ IDS) in 2006 and High Level Tri-Services Committee in 2011."

For allowing Permanent Commission (PC) to women in some select branches of the armed forces, the Defence Ministry has laid down a framework after considering a comprehensive policy paper prepared by the armed forces in November last year.

The policy was framed keeping in view the role and responsibilities of the armed forces in defending the nation and protecting the territorial integrity of the country, Antony told the Upper House.

"Women Short Service Commissioned Officers (SSCO) will be eligible for consideration for grant of PC along with men SSCOs in specific branches in the three Services such as Judge Advocate General (JAG) and Army Education Corps (AEC) of the Army and their corresponding branches in the Navy and the Air Force," he said.

In Navy, Permanent Commission is allowed to women as officers in Naval Constructor branch, while IAF inducts them similarly in its Accounts Branch.

http://www.firstpost.com/india/should-army-chief-keep-his-distance-from-anna-ramdev-310691.html
Should Army chief keep his distance from Anna, Ramdev?
General VK Singh retires on 31 May and with it will end one of the more controversial terms of an Indian Army chief. And while the theories vary on what he will do next, ranging from joining politics to pursuing his Ph.D studies, the president of the Indian Ex-servicemen Movement believes he should stay away from Team Anna and Baba Ramdev's movement, at least until he's retired.

Pointing out that the Army chief hadn't shown as much interest in addressing rallies of ex-servicemen throughout his tenure, Lt General (retired) Raj Kadyan has said in an interview in the Indian Express that the timing of the General's rallies gives the impression that he has been doing it since he withdrew his petition from the Supreme Court over the age row.

Should the General stay away from social activists? PTI

"Also if you see the timing and locations of the rallies, he has done one in Gurgaon and another one is planned in Jhajjar. All this gives the impression that the aim of these contact programmes is not only the welfare of ex-servicemen," Kadyan said.

General VK Singh is addressing a rally of ex-servicemen in Jhajjar today.

The former army official has also said that the Army chief should distance himself from social activists like Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev.

"Ramdev and Anna are doing a good job in the fight against corruption but to be associated [with them] while in uniform is not on par with the ethics of the Army," he said, adding that General Singh needs to publicly discourage such rallies.

The statements aren't unfounded. A few days back Anna Hazare has extended an invitation to the General to join their campaign against corruption and black money.

This comes around a week after the General's brother-in-law held a rally in Delhi protesting against the government's decision not to extend the Army chief's tenure. The rally had activists from the Team Anna and Baba Ramdev movements also supporting it and extending their support to the Army chief.

A Firstpost columnist had pointed out how the General may be contemplating a career in politics or activism after his retirement. While the avenues may be open to the Army chief, who has been seen as a victim of the system by many, the bigger question is should he?

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