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Monday, 26 November 2012

From Today's Papers - 26 Nov 2012

Reducing Tension in the Middle East
By Dr. David Orme-Johnson and Dr. David Leffler
A statement released by the Jewish-American group J Street says: "Military force alone is inadequate as a response to the broader strategic challenge Israel faces. Only a political resolution to the century-old conflict with the Palestinians resulting in two states living side by side can end the conflict" ("For Israel, it's different this time" November 19, 2012).
While we agree with this wise advice, history shows that political resolutions cannot be achieved while tensions remain high. Deep-rooted ethnic and national stresses embedded in the collective consciousness of the region are at the basis of the Israel and Hamas conflict, as in all other conflicts worldwide. Unless these stresses are rooted out, destruction and killing will continue, as they have for millennia.
Now there is hope because a proven technology of consciousness to create peace is available. This novel approach establishes a filter of coherence and order in collective consciousness in the present, which is capable of transforming the flow of negativity from the past into a more harmonious future.
This technology is group practice of an advanced form of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique. Over 600 scientific studies show that TM practice reduces stress in the physiology, mind, and behavior of the individual. Even a small fraction of individuals in the population engaging in its advanced practice has been found to reduce stress in cities, states, nations, and the world, as seen by reduced war deaths, terrorism, and crime and increased cooperation, cultural exchanges, and creativity.
An experiment conducted during the peak of the Israel-Lebanon war in the 1980s found that on days when the numbers of meditators were largest (and also on the subsequent day), levels of conflict were markedly reduced—by about 80 percent overall. Moreover, the quality of life in Israel improved, as indicated by reduced crime, auto accidents, and fires; a rise in the national stock market; and improved national mood. These results were published in Yale University’s Journal of Conflict Resolution (1988, 32:776–812), and were later replicated on seven different occasions over an 821-day period when such groups were formed in Israel, in Lebanon itself, and at locations throughout the Middle East, Europe, and other parts of the world (Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 2005, 17(1):285-338). Subsequent analyses showed that the effects could not be accounted for by social, political, or climatic events at the time (Journal of Scientific Exploration, 2009, 23(2):139-166).
Another notable intervention study conducted in 1993 in Washington, D.C.—then called the “crime capital of the world” because of its high crime rate—found that violent crime declined 23 percent below the predicted level. This outcome, like those in the Middle East studies, was predicted in advance, with research monitored by an external project review board. Temperature, weekend effects, and previous trends in the data failed to account for these changes (Social Indicators Research, 1999, 47: 153-201).
Another study, using data provided by the Rand Corporation, found that global terrorism decreased 72% and international conflict decreased 32% when groups of over 7,000 meditators were in place (Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 2003, 36(1-4): 283-302).
In all, over 50 studies have demonstrated statistically and socially significant effects of this approach to reducing conflict and improving the quality of life in society. Although the causal mechanism is not completely understood, studies have shown that TM practice increases EEG coherence and serotonin levels of other individuals in the environment (International Journal of Neuroscience, 1989, 49(3/4):203-211; Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 2005, 17(1):339-373). Both these biological effects predict reduced stress and increased harmony in individuals, even at a distance from the meditators.
The military in Mozambique used this strategy to end its civil war in the 1990s. Today, many Latin American countries are successfully implementing this approach in military and education settings. In the Middle East, responsible people from any country in any sector of society, public or private, could create peace-keeping groups in the military, in prisons, among retirees, or wherever such groups are practical.
Modern unified field theory supports the perennial philosophy of all major cultural traditions that there exists a transcendental field at the most fundamental level of natural law, which can be directly accessed as the silent transcendental level of the human mind.  Hundreds of studies have shown that experience of transcendental consciousness breaks the chain of conditioned reflexes coming on from past behavior, as seen in reduced addictive behaviors of all kinds, decreased prison recidivism, and reduced behavioral problems in inner-city children.
Are we as nations to go on like rats trapped in a conditioning cage, reacting the same way decade after decade?  Or shall we step out of the cage into the transcendental level of our own consciousness and grow up into enlightened human beings, rather than continuing to resort to destroying and killing?  This is the choice we have right now.
We are not suggesting that politicians drop what they are doing. They would never be able to do so, nor would that be wise. What we are suggesting is that the military of Israel, or any organization, establish such coherence- creating groups to quickly reduce tensions in the Middle East’s collective consciousness. The military is traditionally the most organized aspect of society and by itself could quickly create such a group. The international classic, Sun Tzu’s Art of War, advises that it is better to win without fighting. A proven technology now exists that takes recourse to the most powerful level of natural law to enable the military to succeed—by preventing the birth of an enemy. Its implementation could be a scientific experiment, using objective measures and independent, outside observers. The predicted outcome is accelerated progress towards a just, equitable, lasting peace.
About the Authors:
David Orme-Johnson, Ph.D., is one of the principal researchers in the world on meditation and its effects, having over 100 publications. He has traveled to nearly 60 countries to speak about the research on meditation to scientific conferences, the public, the press, program directors, government officials, members of Congress, parliaments, heads of state, and the United Nations, and he has served as an expert on meditation for two NIH technology assessment conferences.
David Leffler, Ph.D., a United States Air Force veteran, received his doctoral degree in Consciousness-Based Military Defense from The Union Institute & University. He served as an Associate of the Proteus Management Group at the Center for Strategic Leadership, US Army War College. Dr. Leffler has published articles in over 400 locations worldwide about the strategic military advantages of applying the TM technique and its advanced practices. Currently, he is the Executive Director at the Center for Advanced Military Science (CAMS). Dr. Leffler is available as a certified teacher of the TM program at:
13 yrs after dismissal, HC reinstates CISF officer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has set aside the termination order of a former Army captain reemployed with the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) over 13 years after he was dismissed from service on charges of corruption.

Besides being reinstated, Capt Dharambir Singh has been granted 50 per cent wages from retrospect.

He had joined the CISF as an assistant commandant in 1995 after being released from the Army on completion of his Short Service Commission stint.

In 1997, one of his subordinates, a sub-inspector (SI), was caught red-handed while accepting illegal gratification of Rs 10,000 from truck drivers. The SI contended before the inquiry that Dharambir was the ring leader.

The inquiry report concluded that in view of the facts brought out during investigations, it was proved that prima facie Dharambir, the SI, and two other inspectors were involved in illegal gratification/“rangdari” collections at Basanthimatha Post of Area-XII.

In May 1998, the petitioner was posted to the CISF unit at the Food Corporation of India (FCI), where complaints were received alleging collection of illegal gratification by CISF personnel from truck operators carrying foodgrain from FCI depots.

A preliminary inquiry opined that money was being illegally collected and distributed to officers under the petitioner’s patronage.

In October 1998, the CISF authorities put up a note before the Ministry of Home Affairs seeking approval to terminate Dharambir’s services on the grounds that he had become “desperately corrupt” and “unreliable” and that any leniency shown to him would encourage others to indulge in corruption and misconduct.

The petitioner contended that he was terminated without being issued a charge memo. He contended that the termination being stigmatic (i.e. labelling him as a corrupt person) required disciplinary inquiry to be held after issuing a show-cause notice to the petitioner and giving him an opportunity to defend himself.

The court observed that though the petitioner was indicted in two separate inquiries, he was neither served any notice nor issued a charge-sheet. Further, the CISF authorities did not heed the advice of the Home Ministry, which said the services of the petitioner should not be terminated under the provisions invoked.

Case History

    In 1995, Dharambir joins the CISF as an assistant commandant after serving in the Army
    In 1997, an SI is caught accepting bribe of Rs 10,000 from truck drivers; claims Dharambir is the ring leader
    In May 1998, complaints are received of illegal gratification against Dharambir, then posted with the CISF unit at the FCI
    In October 1998, the CISF approaches Ministry of Home Affairs seeking officer's termination
    Dharambir contends he has been terminated without being issued a charge memo; moves court
Old aircraft, security clearances hit remote sensing projects
Vijay Mohan/TNS

Chandigarh, November 25
Underperformance of its minuscule fleet of aircraft and delays in security clearance from the Ministry of Defence and other agencies concerned have resulted in aerial survey projects initiated by the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), overshooting their stipulated time frame by over four years.

The NRSC reportedly has 76 aerial projects under its wings and a detailed audit scrutiny of 36 projects, costing around Rs 46 crore, revealed delays ranging from eight to 54 months, says the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee.

The NRSC, a unit of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), is the sole civilian provider of aerial remote sensing services in the country and these projects are meant for conducting overhead survey of specific areas at certain time intervals which is not possible through satellites.

Satellites or aircraft-based sensors are used for remote sensing to detect and classify topographical features and objects on earth and the NRSC has been using this technique to generate data for a host of ministries for application in disaster management support, mapping natural resources and water availability, biodiversity classification, land use, hydropower site assessment, and preparing various types of maps.

Two Beechcraft airplanes equipped with navigation aids and state-of-the-art sensors like laser detection and ranging, high-resolution digital cameras and aerial magnetometer are being used by the NRSC, but these aircraft are old and prone to technical snags.

To reduce the problems in avionics and inherent delays in sourcing spares that are no longer manufactured, the Department of Space is planning life extension of there aircraft and upgrade them with a modern “full glass cockpit”. Retrofit of one aircraft is in the stage of evaluating price bids.

Availability of pilots is also a major issue with the NRSC. The Department of Space admits that all pilots employed by the NRSC had left in 2007 for better avenues elsewhere, leaving it with no option but to look towards the air force for deputing pilots to fly the NRSC missions.

The IAF started by deputing two pilots for a two-year tenure each. Pointing out that the NRSC’s experience with the air force was good and they had been more productive with air force pilots, the Department of Space has taken up a proposal with the IAF to now depute four pilots for a four-year tenure.

About NRSC

    A unit of the Indian Space Research Organisation
    Sole civilian provider of aerial remote sensing services in the country
    Has 76 aerial projects; 36 of these face eight to 54 month delays
    Covers disaster management, mapping natural resources and water availability, biodiversity classification, land use, hydropower site assessment, and topographical mapping
China does it again
India’s tit for tat unavoidable

It is unfortunate that India and China, the two nations considered as the drivers of the coming Asian century, should indulge in any kind of “pinpricking” when they are focused on improving their economic and trade relations despite their unresolved boundary dispute. But it is China which is to blame for creating a situation which can affect the ongoing efforts for promoting an atmosphere conducive to economic growth in the region. The latest case in point is China issuing e-passports to its citizens with a map showing Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin (in Ladakh) as Chinese territory. In 2010, China started issuing stapled visas to Indian visitors from Jammu and Kashmir, which was stopped after strong protests by India. Beijing would also refuse to issue visas to Indians from Arunachal Pradesh intending to visit China by pointlessly claiming that Arunachal was part of China.

This time India rightly reacted swiftly by stamping Chinese visa-seekers with its own version of the map. India has avoided taking up the issue at a higher level, believing that the matter may be settled without much hue and cry over it. This is, no doubt, an enlightened view of the development, as pointed out by External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid. But India had to demonstrate its disagreement with China which it did without waiting for further reaction from Beijing.

However, what has happened may spoil the atmosphere at a time when India and China are going to hold border talks in Beijing in December. Such “pinpricks” cannot serve the larger interests of the two mature nations. China can say that its objectionable map is not India-specific as it also shows the disputed islands in the South China Sea and Taiwan as Chinese territory. Whatever clarification China may offer, India seems to be the targeted country. Depicting the South China Sea as part of China appears to be aimed at telling India that it should not go ahead with the contract it has signed with Vietnam for oil and gas exploration there. The Chinese need to be told very clearly that India cannot tolerate any such adventurous behaviour of Beijing.
Army scuttles Arjun trials to push through Russian T-90 purchase
These new tanks would supplement the 1,657 Russian T-90S, and the 2,414 T-72M tanks already deployed on the Pakistan border
Ajai Shukla / New Delhi Nov 26, 2012, 00:12 IST
Top Army generals are undermining India’s Arjun tank to push through a Rs 10,000-crore order for T-90MS tanks from Russia. Senior defence ministry (MoD) sources told Business Standard that the Arjun trials, proposed for the plains of Punjab, are being scuttled to prevent any high-profile Arjun success from jeopardising the import of more T-90s.

A proposal from the tank directorate for Arjun trials in Punjab has been placed on the back burner after instructions from the Military Operations (MO) Directorate. The powerful MO Directorate, more than any other branch of the Army, deals directly with the Army chief.
At stake here is the Rs 10,000-crore purchase of 354 new T-90MS tanks for six tank regiments for the China border. Business Standard had first reported the raising of these regiments (September 17, “In a first, Indian tank brigades to defend China border”).

In the proposal the government is considering for two tank brigades and a mountain strike corps, the Army has put in the cost of 354 T-90MS tanks.

These new tanks would supplement the 1,657 Russian T-90S, and the 2,414 T-72M tanks already deployed on the Pakistan border. So far, there are just 128 Arjun tanks in service, with an order for another 118 in the pipeline. Contacted for comments, the Army denies the MO Directorate is blocking any trials. Even as the Arjun tank — developed in India by the Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO) — outperforms the T-90 in comparative trials held by the Army, support for Russian tanks inexplicably grows. With the Arjun’s performance established, the Army is now arguing that the 60-tonne Arjun is too heavy for the soft soil of Punjab and J&K; it must therefore be confined to the deserts of Rajasthan. That would mean only 4-6 of the Army’s 65 tank regiments can operate the Arjun tanks.

The DRDO rebuts this logic, as do the tank units that actually operate the Arjun. “The Arjun’s heavier weight is distributed over a larger area because of its larger tracks. Its nominal ground-pressure is lower than the Russian tanks. So, the Arjun can actually move more easily in Punjab,” says S Sundaresh, the DRDO’s Chief Controller of R&D for armoured vehicles.

This is validated by history, says Lieutenant General (Retired) R M Vohra , who won a Mahavir Chakra in the 1971 war while commanding 4 Horse, a tank regiment equipped with Centurion tanks. He says the 42-tonne Pakistani Patton M-48 tanks got mired in the soft soil of Asal Uttar, in Punjab, while the 51-tonne Centurion moved around that battlefield easily.

The T-90MS, a new, upgraded version of the T-90S that India bought in 2001, is regarded as well suited for the extreme cold of Ladakh, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, where the two new armoured brigades will operate. The Arjun, in contrast, is designed to withstand the heat of the Indian plains, where the T-90S has repeatedly malfunctioned in high temperatures. The T-90S, now being built under license at the Heavy Vehicles Factory , Avadi, near Chennai, have proved less reliable than the Russia-built tanks of the same model that were delivered initially.

“The Army is justified in wanting the T-90MS for the China border. But it is wrong in scuttling the induction of the Arjun in Punjab and J&K. The Arjun must be given a fair chance. How can a Russian tank be given preference over an Indian one?” says a senior armoured corps general who is still in service. The six tank regiments being bought for the China border will be divided between two armoured brigades, one located in Ladakh, and the other one in the north-east. Both sectors have valleys and plateaus in which China could attack with tanks. The new tank formation will safeguard these approaches and also provide a retaliatory capability.
Army to build old age home for retired officials
New Delhi: In a bid to provide support and eliminate loneliness of retired defence personnel, the Indian Army has come up with an ambitious project under which ‘Old Age Home’ will be constructed for them.

The Idea to build Old Age Home came after a survey conducted by the Army reveling that despite having an adequate amount of funds, retired army men are forced to live in reclusion.  

According to the sources in defence headquarters, the first Old Age Home under the pilot project is under construction in Sector-2 in Panchkula and is likely to be completed by 2014. This home will accommodate 36 officers and 24 Junior Commissioned Officers.

Under the proposed scheme, the army officers will have to make financial contribution in Old Age Home, while it will be maintained by the Army. 

In the next phase, it will be built in Lucknow for which army is considering to acquire land near the hospital. According to sources, the Indian Army has planned to build Old Age Homes in those areas where army personnel stay in large number.
Indian Army chief to visit Sri Lanka next month

The Chief of Indian Army General Bikram Singh will visit Sri Lanka next month to hold discussions on further strengthening the bilateral defence ties.

Indian Army Commander is scheduled to visit Colombo in the third week of December and the dates are being finalized by the officials of the two sides, PTI reported.

The Army chief's visit amid the strong opposition from the Tamil Nadu political parties against any defence cooperation with Sri Lanka is aimed at finding ways to enhance cooperation between the two armies in training, military hardware and joint exercises.

The Sri Lankan and Indian armies are also expected to hold a joint Army exercise next year and details of cooperation have been discussed during the visit of Defence Secretary Gotabhaya to New Delhi last month.

Sri Lanka and India have also decided to hold joint naval exercises next year in Indian waters but given the sentiment of Tamil Nadu towards cooperating with Sri Lanka military the Indian Defence ministry has advised its Navy to hold the exercises away from the coasts of four southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka.

However, the Indian government said it will continue to provide training to Sri Lankan defence personnel at India's Defence facilities despite the opposition from the Tamil parties in the state of Tamil Nadu.
State-of-art communication networks needed for defence: Antony
New Delhi, Nov 8 (IANS) Defence Minister A.K. Antony Thursday stressed the need to combine the country's software development skills with indigenous manufacturing to provide state-of-the art communication systems for the armed forces.

"The single biggest challenge facing societies and nations is the vulnerability of communication and network devices to attacks, or threats in the electronic, cyber as well as the physical domain," Antony said in his address at the inaugural session of two-day Defcom India 2012 seminar here.

According to Antony, indigenisation of information, communication, electronics and cyber technologies for the defence forces is required urgently as the tactical communications environment is becoming increasingly dynamic.

"Industry and development organisations have a key role in modernising and indigenising Indian army's tactical communications system (TCS) and network centric operations," Antony said.

The seminar is being jointly organised by the integrated headquarter of the defence ministry, the corps of signals of the army and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Antony added that decision makers in the armed forces should be able to receive reliable and actionable information under all circumstances, which only a robust TCS can deliver.

Corroborating Antony's views, Army Chief General Bikram Singh said there is a need to achieve self-reliance and technical sovereignty in TCS through indigenisation of designs and standards.

"While the transition to the TCS environment will be gradual, it is important that the soldier in the battle space does not have to deal with multiple communication devices," General Singh said.

"The overall aim should be to develop reliable, mobile, high-speed convergence networks that are inter-operable with even legacy systems and function in a joint services environment," he added.

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