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Tuesday, 28 August 2012

From Today's Papers - 28 Aug 2012





http://www.tribuneindia.com/2012/20120828/edit.htm#1
Unmanned cadres
IAS, IPS intake has to match the need

There is more than 25 per cent shortage of officers in both the IAS and IPS cadres. In a country where a large part of the population is supported by social welfare schemes, and governments function in politically unstable environments, it is the bureaucracy that keeps the wheels turning. There has been a particular spurt in the requirement of officers during the two tenures of the UPA government, which has launched nationwide programmes for employment and education guarantee. The growing economy and population raise their own demand for administration and distribution of resources, and the disturbed global security scenario and social tensions arising from the increasing gap in income levels is adding to the pressure on the police.

The intake of administrative as well as police cadres has been increased to meet the requirement. Yet, given the accumulated shortage, it may be years before the numbers become sufficient. Probably it is time the government did some innovative thinking on personnel and recruitment policies. There are many officers leaving mid-career for more lucrative offers in the private sector. Job mobility today is a given. Unfortunately, the system provides for government employees to leave, but not join at the middle or top level. The government and the UPSC could possibly consider ways of taking in people with proven performance in the private sector, at least for certain specialised jobs, as in health, infrastructure, or education. The intake at the lowest level is not being increased suddenly beyond a certain level to avoid promotion and posting issues at a later stage. This could be addressed to some extent by doing what the Army does: Hire more at the lower level for a short duration. They would, in any case, find good jobs elsewhere after the experience.

There is also a need to audit how the states are utilising the existing officers. Despite the shortage, many IAS and IPS officers have been posted on non-cadre posts while state officials have been given cadre posts. This is a waste of the available talent that has a high maintenance cost. Intervention of the Central government may be required to restore order in this regard, for optimisation is the key when you are short of resources.

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/amarnath-yatris-pushed-to-kashmir-to-boost-armys-morale-geelani/1/214773.html
Amarnath yatris pushed to Kashmir to boost Army's morale: Geelani

Hardline Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani sees a plot behind the increasing number of pilgrims visiting the holy Amarnath cave.

Geelani on Sunday accused New Delhi of sending yatris to the holy cave of Amarnath Shrine in Kashmir to "consolidate occupation of Jammu and Kashmir and boost the morale of Indian Army."

"In 90s some hundred yatris would come for yatra. Now this year 6.30 lakh yatris visited the Shri Amarnath shrine. The Supreme Court wants to have a road constructed up to the shrine. The BJP has recently said that it would raise infrastructure around and enroute the shrine. Congress plans are not different. They want to convey to us that we are here and we are not going to leave Jammu and Kashmir," Geelani said addressing a conference at his residence in Srinagar.

It is the first time the hardline separatist leader has spoken against construction of road up to the cave. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, moderate separatist leader, was first to speak against the construction of the road.

Geelani said yatris are being pushed to Kashmir to overawe Kashmiris.

On July 13, the Supreme Court expressed shock over deaths of yatris during trekking to the holy cave of Amarnath located 3888 metres above sea level and took suo moto cognizance of the case.

The Apex Court said, "Government cannot escape its obligation to provide minimum essential facilities including roads as an approach to the holy cave. They are expected to equip their forces posted in and around the cave so as to have complete human dignity for the persons working there as well as for the pilgrims to the holy cave."

This year 86 yatris died enroute to holy cave. The Court constituted a Special High Powered Committee (SHPC) headed by Governor of J&K, who is also the Chairman of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB). The SHPC has to visit the site, examine various issues and submit its report to the Supreme Court.

The state government on August 20 said that the Apex Court has not issued directions for construction of the road.

"The state government will not approve any such measure," minister for finance Abdul Rahim Rather and the minister for health Sham Lal Sharma said after the separatists criticised any move to construct the road.

In 2008 massive protests broke out in Kashmir against transfer of forest land to the SASB.

Geelani criticised, what he called the heavy influx of Bihari labourers to the Valley and said it was being done by design. "One day they would be provided citizenship of the state. The government is doing all this to change the demography of Jammu and Kashmir," he said.


http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/tamil-nadu/article3829003.ece
Stop training Sri Lankan Army officials: Karunanidhi
DMK president M. Karunanidhi on Monday took exception to the training being given to two Sri Lankan Army officials in the Defence Staff Services College, Wellington, and urged the Union government to put an end to the practice.

In a statement here, Mr. Karunanidhi said though the DMK had submitted the resolutions adopted at the Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO) conference to the Prime Minister, urging India not to provide training to Sri Lankan Army personnel, the practice was continuing.

“India should put and end to it and hold talks with the Sri Lankan government about military training and the attack on Tamil fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy,” he added.

Mr.Karunanidhi said the Scout movement in all schools in Tamil Nadu was completely paralysed as the AIADMK government had not formally made any announcement for the appointment of president, commissioner and patron.

Tension near Sam Manekshaw Bridge

Special Correspondent from Udhagamandalam writes:

With opposition mounting to the participation of two Sri Lankan defence officers in the annual course for officer students from India and other countries, tension prevailed near the Sam Manekshaw Bridge at Wellington on Monday.

Activists overpowered

Though the bridge, which led to the Wellington cantonment, had been barricaded by the police and was out of bounds for demonstrators, some activists of the Naam Tamilar Katchi tried to force their way in. But they were overpowered by police personnel. Demonstrators, including 76 activists and four women of the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam, were arrested.

Keywords: Sri Lankan Army, Sri Lankan defence training, Jayalalithaa, India-Sri Lanka ties, Sri Lankan Tamils issue, Karunanidhi, Sri Lankan training

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Gen-Liangs-visit-hopes-to-rekindle-India-China-defence-ties/articleshow/15857419.cms
Gen Liang's visit hopes to rekindle India, China defence ties
NEW DELHI: India and China aim to put their fledgling defence relationship back on track, with stepped-up military exchanges, confidence-building measures and another "hand-in-hand" bilateral army exercise next year, when Chinese defence minister General Liang Guanglie visits here next week.

This is the highest-level visit by a Chinese defence official to India in the last seven years, even though the 71-year-old Gen Liang is likely to step aside in the planned leadership transition in the Communist Party of China slated for October-November. "With China itself requesting the visit, it's a significant step towards repairing the cracks in bilateral defence ties," said an official.

India is rolling out the red carpet for the delegation headed by Gen Liang for the visit, which will begin from Mumbai on September 2 and culminate in talks with defence minister A K Antony here on September 5.

The first two hand-in-hand exercises, at Kunming (China) in 2007 and Belgaum (Karnataka) in 2008, were seen as a major CBM between the world's largest and second-largest armies despite being largely symbolic in nature with just over 100 soldiers participating from each side.

But the third edition got derailed due to hiccups in bilateral ties. India froze all bilateral defence exchanges after China denied a proper visa to the then Northern Army commander Lt-General B S Jaswal in July, 2010 on the ground that he was commanding forces in the "disputed and sensitive" region of Jammu & Kashmir.

There has been a thaw since then, with the two sides exchanging some middle-rung defence delegations even though China continues to refuse visas to Indian military personnel from Arunachal Pradesh.

Moreover, Chinese troops continue to needle Indian forces all along the unresolved 4,057-km Line of Actual Control (LAC), having notched up as many as 550 "transgressions" into Indian territory since January, 2010.

Now, the two sides hope the new bilateral boundary coordination mechanism, which became operational earlier this year after being inked at the 15th round of border talks between national security advisor Shivshankar Menon and his Chinese counterpart Dai Bingguo, will help prevent border face-offs.

There is also the move to shift the proposed border personnel meeting (BPM) mechanism at Lipulekh in the middle sector to the nearby Mana Pass, which allows easier access to both sides, to follow the ones operational at Nathu La, Bumla, Spanggur and Kibithu-Damai.

India, of course, remains concerned at China's massive build-up of military infrastructure all along the LAC, with five airbases, an extensive rail network and over 58,000-km of roads, as well as the series of combat exercises being conducted by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) in the high-altitude Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. PLA has been regularly testing its Sukhoi-27UBK, Sukhoi-30MKK and J-10 fighters as well as rapid reaction forces and airborne corps in Tibet over the last two-three years.


http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/cbi-registers-case-against-officials-of-defence-ministry-army-in-tatra-deal/articleshow/15827364.cms
CBI registers case against officials of Defence Ministry, Army in Tatra deal
NEW DELHI: CBI has registered a case against the owners of a UK-based company and officials of Defence Ministry and army to inquire into alleged irregularities committed in procurement of Tatra trucks for the Indian Army, government told the Lok Sabha today.

"The matter is under investigation by CBI. It has also registered a regular case against one of the owners and unknown persons of a UK-based company, unknown officials of a DPSU and unknown officers of Defence Ministry and Indian Army," Defence Minister A K Antony said in a written reply.

Defence Ministry had purchased 6477 Tatra Trucks between 1987-1988 to 2010-2011.

In reply to a question on action against officials found guilty for corruption, he said, "Whenever a complaint is received from CBI, CVC, other departments and general public etc, it is examined in the Ministry and if necessary, advice of CVC is sought on initiation of disciplinary proceedings."

Replying to a question on import of defence equipment, the Minister said, "Defence equipments have been imported from various countries including Russia, USA, Israel, France, United Kingdom, Germany, Poland, Singapore etc. The imports cover various types of weapon system and platforms."

Antony also told the House that for 2012-13, Rs 67,672.24 crore has been allocated to the armed forces for capital acquisition.

Antony also denied any proposal to link the Army Hospitals with the private ones. Antony was asked "whether it is proposed to link Army hospitals with private hospitals to provide efficient service to defence personnel."

On demands of One Rank One Pension by the ex-servicemen, he said, "government has constituted a committee in July 2012, headed by Cabinet Secretary for looking into pay and pension related issues of relevance to Defence service personnel and ex-servicemen."

On lateral induction of defence personnel in para-military forces, Central Police Organisation and other organiations, he said, "The issue has been deliberated at various levels and by different committees. However, no common view could be evolved on the issue in view of complexities involved."

So far as induction of ex-servicemen in CPMF etc is concerned, provision already exists for the same, he said.

http://www.indiablooms.com/NewsDetailsPage/2012/newsDetails270812u.php
No withdrawal of troops from Siachen: Antony
New Delhi, Aug 27 (IBNS) Defence Minister AK Antony on Monday said there has been no decision to withdraw troops from Siachen Glacier.

"Any deployment / redeployment of troops in the area is contingent upon the threat perception, ground situation and other operational aspects," said Antony in Lok Sabha.

"A composite package of welfare measures for soldiers deployed on the Siachen glaciers, inter-alia, comprises - Siachen allowance, provision of Separated Family Accommodation anywhere in India, free warrant to travel hometown twice in a year, special ration and food developed by DRDO, evacuation by helicopter during medical emergencies," he said.

Antony said: "A total number of 846 Armed forces personnel have made supreme sacrifices on the Siachen glaciers since 1984."

"The death during the course of duties on Siachen glaciers is treated as `battle casualties` and enhanced compensation is paid to the next of the kin which includes-enhanced ex-gratia of Rs.20 lakhs, liberalized family pension equal to emoluments last drawn, Death-cum-Retirement-Gratuity, compensation from Army Group Insurance Scheme and ex-gratia lump sum compensation from the Central Government.

"Apart from the above, liberal contributions are also made from different funds, such as - Army officers benevolent fund, Army wives welfare association fund and Army central welfare fund. The family members of the deceased soldiers are also entitled for education concession card and air travel concession card," said the minister.

During the 13th Round of Siachen Talks between the Defence Secretaries of India and Pakistan held in Pakistan from June 11-12, both delegations reaffirmed their resolve to make serious, sustained and result oriented efforts for seeking an amicable resolution of Siachen.

"It was agreed to continue the dialogue on Siachen in keeping with the desire of the leaders of both the countries for early resolution of all outstanding issues," said Antony.

The talks on Sir Creek issues between Surveyor General on India and Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Defence of Pakistan were held in New Delhi on June 18-19.

"The two sides discussed the land boundary in the Sir Creek area and also delimitation of International Maritime Boundary between India and Pakistan. They reiterated their desire to find an amicable solution of the Sir Creek issue through sustained and result oriented dialogue," he said.

The Siachen Glacier is located in the eastern Karakoram range in the Himalayas, just east of the Line of Control between India and Pakistan and sees permanent military presence in the region at a height of over 6,000 metres (20,000 ft).

India's successful Operation Meghdoot in 1984 led to controlling the Siachen Glacier from Pakistan and forced the Pakistanis to retreat west of the Saltoro Ridge. Pakistan controls the glacial valleys immediately west of the Saltoro Ridge.

Pakistan wants India to revert to the pre-1972 troop positions as agreed in the Simla Agreement, while India wants it to accept the 110-km-long Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL), which passes through the Soltoro Ridge and Siachen Glacier.

The two countries, who have fought three wars since independence, were close to a solution on Siachen as well as the maritime boundary at the Sir Creek estuary in 2008 before India called off the talks demanding quantifiable action against the 26/11 accused who continue to roam free in Pakistan.

With talks resuming last year, there is hope that it could pave the way towards the dispute over Kashmir, which is at their heart of the over-six-decade hostility and help mitigate the deep mistrust that roils the ties between the two neighbours.

Pakistan's army chief General Ashfaq Kayani in April called for the demilitarisation of the Siachen Glacier, following a tour of the site of an avalanche that buried 129 Pakistani soldiers in April near the border with India.

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