Custom Search Engine - Scans Selected News Sites

Loading

Thursday, 29 November 2012

From Today's Papers - 29 Nov 2012






http://www.tribuneindia.com/2012/20121129/main2.htm
In ’71 PoW case, Centre had opposed plea to move ICJ
Ajay Banerjee/TNS

New Delhi, November 28
Even as the family of Capt Saurabh Kalia has petitioned the Supreme Court seeking directions to the Union Government for moving the International Court of Justice (ICJ), it has come to light that the Centre had opposed a similar move, though in a separate matter, six months ago.

In a case pertaining to 1971 war prisoners, the government had even obtained a stay from the Supreme Court after the Gujarat High Court asked it to move the ICJ. The petition was filed by Lt Gen JS Aurora (retd), who took up the case of Indian Prisoners of War (believed to be 54 in number) languishing in various jails of Pakistan.

Acting on the plea, the HC, in its order on December 23, 2011, had said: “The Union of India shall, within two months, from today approach the ICJ alleging breach of the Simla Agreement (1972) at the instance of Pakistan for not releasing the soldiers”. On May 2, 2012, the apex court stayed the order saying “until further orders, direction of the impugned judgment shall remain stayed”.

Rajeev Chandrasekhar, a Rajya Sabha MP, who has questioned the government in the Kalia case, told the Tribune: “India will not be able approach the ICJ as it has sought to exclude disputes with Commonwealth members and those relating to situations of hostilities, armed conflicts from the purview of the ICJ.”

Chandrasekhar suggests that Pakistan Army must be held accountable as has been the norm since the Nuremberg trials of World War II. The Nazis were tried in the said trials.

“Independent lawyers and I have decided to pursue the case with United Nations Human Rights Council and seek justice for Capt Kalia,” said the MP.

Lt Gen Mohinder Puri, who was the Commander of the 8 Mountain Division (now based at Kumbathang near Kargil) during the 1999 conflict, says: “We cannot resolve this bilaterally with Pakistan. I would favour international intervention”. The torture and death of Capt Saurabh Kalia clearly falls within the purview of contravention of the Geneva Convention on POWs, says Kalia family’s lawyer Arvind Sharma. “Article 3 of the convention - drawn up after WW-II - clearly states that soldiers who have been detained or have laid down arms shall not be subjected to “murder of all kind, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture, humiliating and degrading treatment, passing of sentences, carrying out of executions,” he says.

Article 4 of the conventions classifies the PoWs as “members of the armed forces of a party to the conflict, as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces.” “It clearly means that even members of a resistance movement must be shown respect. Here, Capt Kalia was a member of the Army of the world largest democracy,” says Sharma.

Explaining the delay of 13 years in moving the apex court, Sharma says the family had been petitioning the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Defence. “The Armed Forces Tribunal was approached but it did not have the jurisdiction in such matters,” he said.


http://www.tribuneindia.com/2012/20121129/main4.htm
China ‘not to oppose’ India’s UN seat bid

New Delhi, November 28
China today said it doesn't have a policy to oppose India's claim for permanent seat in the UN Security Council.

“Reforms in UN Security Council is important as there should be more representation from developing countries. We welcome more positive and active role from India in the UN.

“China doesn't have a policy to oppose India to the permanent seat,” said Li Junru, former Vice President, Central Party School of the CPC and member of Standing Committee, National Committee of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

He said China values its neighbour and views it as a partner.

“In China, we have a saying that a neighbour is better than a far-off relative. Of course, some unfortunate incidents took place in the past but we believe we will add a new page in the history of China-India relations which is of over 2000 years of friendly existence,” Li said during a conference on ‘Implication of the change in leadership in People's Republic of China: Internal and External dimensions" organised by Observer Research Foundation’.

A Chinese delegation, led by Li, is visiting India.

The Chinese official said faster growth of India was good for China as it is said that this decade could not be of China without the growth of India.

Zhang Yangseng, secretary general, Academic Committee, National Development and Reform Commission said there was a need to increase trade cooperation between both the countries.

“There is a trade imbalance of $ 27.17 billion between the country. We have to cooperate how we could overcome it,” he said, adding about 20 per cent of anti-dumping lawsuits are against China which needs to be looked into.

He stressed there was a need to make investments in each other countries and said India's investment in China was less than $ 100 million while China's was $ 500 million.

Zhang also said that to increase trade relations between the two countries, “We should explore new role model and look for cooperations, strengthen strategic and economic dialogues and its proper time to look at Free Trade Agreement (FTA).”

“India and China are two great developing countries and can work together to open up our markets to achieve a win-win situation,” he said. — PTI


http://www.tribuneindia.com/2012/20121129/main5.htm
HAL tests sprightlier Jaguar
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, November 28
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) successfully carried out the maiden flight test of avionics-upgraded Jaguar aircraft “Darin III” at the HAL airport here today.

“This is a significant moment for the HAL as the upgrade will result in major operational improvement with regard to all-weather air-to-ground, air-to-sea and air-to-air capabilities,” RK Tyagi, chairman, HAL, said after the test.

The upgrade incorporates new state-of-the-art avionics architecture, including mission computer (MC), engine and flight instrument system (EFIS), solid state digital video recording system (SSDVRS), solid state flight data recorder (SSFDR) and additional functions in inertial global positioning system (INGPS), autopilot, radar and RWR (radar warning receiver).

The upgrade also covers navigation, electronic warfare and weapon delivery system with the INGPS using primary and reversionary modes and man-machine interface with two smart multifunction display and head-up display.

The HAL claimed that the upgrade, with re-engining and change over to higher capacity alternators, would make Jaguar one of the most potent aircraft in the arsenal of the IAF with an extended life span.

The total design from system requirement capture, specification preparation, software, hardware, electrical, mechanical design and development has been done indigenously by the HAL at its Mission & Combat

System Research & Design Centre (MCSRDC), while aircraft trial modification has been done by HAL’s Overhaul Division.

The fleet compliance will also be carried out by the HAL. The Software Development Institute of the IAF is the design partner for display software development and Aircraft System Testing Establishment (ASTE) under the leadership of Air Vice-Marshal Raghunath Nambiar has taken care of system specification preparation, data analysis and flight testing along with Flight Test Centre of the HAL.

Avionics upgrade

    Advanced mission computer, engine and flight instrument system, solid state digital video recording system, solid state flight data recorder added
    Inertial global positioning system, autopilot, radar and radar warning receiver upgraded
    Improved navigation, electronic warfare and weapon delivery system provided


http://www.tribuneindia.com/2012/20121129/nation.htm#10
Woman IAF officer commits suicide

Jodhpur, Nov 28
A woman officer in the Indian Air Force (IAF) allegedly committed suicide at her official quarters at the air base here, police said today. Squadron Leader Anandita Das (29), hailing from Kolkata, was found hanging from the ceiling fan at about 3 am by her fighter-pilot husband. Das was a ground duty officer.

Das, a fighter controller, was posted at the Jodhpur Air Force Station and living in the officers' quarters with her husband Squadron Leader V Nair, who flies SU-30 fighters. The couple moved to the IAF base five months ago, IAF sources said.

Defence spokesperson S D Goswami said a Court of Inquiry has been ordered into the incident.

According to police, Das was found hanging from the ceiling fan at her official quarters at about 3 am today by her husband who reported the matter to the officials and the police. No suicide note has been found in the house, police said.

Police said the body has been shifted to Mahatma Gandhi Hospital for postmortem.

“The officer said he found his wife hanging from the ceiling fan in her bedroom. Things will only be cleared after the report of postmortem and interrogation of her husband,” a police officer said.

According to IAF sources, the couple had some arguments before they retired for the night.

Das was commissioned into the service in 2006 and got married to Nair in 2008. — PTI 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Israel-pips-US-in-anti-tank-guided-missile-supply-to-India/articleshow/17407482.cms?
Israel pips US in anti-tank guided missile supply to India
NEW DELHI: Israel has upstaged the US in the ongoing race to bag the huge deal to supply third-generation anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) to the Indian Army, in a project which could well be worth $1 billion eventually.

Defence ministry sources said the plan to go in for the American FGM-148 Javelin ATGMs has "virtually been shelved" because of Washington's reluctance to provide full military knowhow - licensed "transfer of technology (ToT)'' - to allow India to indigenously manufacture the "tank killers'' in large numbers after an initial off-the-shelf purchase.

Instead, the Army has already completed extensive trials of the Israeli 'Spike' ATGM, which like Javelin is also a shoulder-launched and fire-and-forget missile, under varied conditions in plains, deserts and mountains. "The staff evaluation is now in progress as the next step in the procurement process,'' said a source.

The Javelin imbroglio has once again rekindled long-held fears in the Indian defence establishment about the US not being a reliable long-term supplier of cutting-edge military technology. India also detests American conditions on "intrusive end-user inspections'' of weapons sold to its armed forces.

The US has notched up military sales worth over $8 billion to India in the last few years, including mega deals for C-130J 'Super Hercules', C-17 Globemaster-III and P-8I maritime patrol aircraft, but they did not involve licensed production in India.

The AGTM project, in contrast, involves ToT since the 1.13-million Army wants to equip all its 356 infantry battalions with the man-portable missiles as an effective counter to Pakistani and Chinese main battle tanks. A bulk of the estimated 2,000 launchers and 24,000 missiles required for this are planned for production by defence PSU Bharat Dynamics (BDL) after getting requisite ToT from the selected foreign vendor.

With General Bikram Singh identifying infantry modernization as a major thrust area, the Army wants to complete the induction of these 2.5-km range advanced ATGMs by the end of the 12th Plan (2017).

At present, infantry units are making do with second-generation Milan (2-km range) and Konkurs (4-km) ATGMs, produced by BDL under licence from French and Russian companies, which are wire-guided and do not have fire-and-forget capabilities.

Overall, the Army has an "authorized holding'' for over 81,000 different kinds of ATGMs, which are critical to stem enemy armoured attacks, but does not have even half of that number in its inventory.

A part of the deficiency will be met by the induction of the long-delayed indigenous third-generation Nag ATGMs, which are vehicle and helicopter-mounted, with a 4-km strike range. The Army has already placed an initial order for 443 Nag missiles and 13 Namicas (Nag missile tracked carriers).

If Israel, the second-largest defence supplier to India after Russia, does indeed stitch up the ATGM project, it will be the third major missile programme between the two countries. They are already collaborating in two surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems, under which deliveries are slated to begin soon.

While the DRDO-Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) project for long-range-SAM to arm Indian warships is worth Rs 2,606 crore, the medium-range-SAM one for IAF is worth Rs 10,076 crore.

From Heron and Searcher UAVs, Harpy and Harop "killer'' drones to Barak anti-missile defence systems and Green Pine radars, Python and Derby air-to-air missiles, Israel notches up military sales to India roughly worth $1 billion every year.

http://www.theindiaexpert.com/haifa-israel-commemorates-the-role-of-soldiers-from-indias-army
Haifa, Israel commemorates the role of soldiers from India’s Army

by Gunjan

The municipality of Haifa, Israel   commemorates the the sacrifices made by soldiers, from India (fighting for the British crown),  many of whom are buried in the cemetery here.  Stories of their valiant efforts in liberating the coastal city during the First World War will be included in the school history curriculum.

“The move is a part of Haifa’s efforts to preserve the city’s history and heritage,” Hedva Almog, deputy Mayor of Haifa said.

Many Indian soldiers sacrificed their lives in this region during the First World War and nearly 900 are cremated or buried in cemeteries across Israel. Almog said that the municipality is planning big centenary celebrations to commemorate the event in 2018, calling upon India to join hands in making it a success. Charge de Affaires at the Indian mission in Tel Aviv, Vani Rao, reacted positively to the request extending support in organizing the Centenary celebrations.

The Indian army commemorates September 23 as Haifa Day, to pay its respects to the two brave Indian Cavalry Regiments that helped liberate the city in 1918 following a dashing cavalry action by the 15th Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade. Residents of the Israeli city also celebrate Haifa Day with a series of cultural programs during the week.


Kargil martyr’s father moves SC
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 27
The father of Captain Saurabh Kalia, who was captured and tortured by the Pakistan Army during the 1999 Kargil conflict, has moved the Supreme Court seeking its direction to the Union Government to raise his son's case in the International Court of Justice.

Retired scientist Dr NK Kalia, who hails from Palampur in Himachal, alleged that his son was captured as a prisoner of war but was killed in a gruesome manner in violation of the Geneva Convention.

“An individual cannot move the ICJ, only a country can move the court at the Hague. We have made a prayer asking the apex court to direct the government to move the ICJ," said Arvind Sharma, lawyer of the Kalia family.

Capt Kalia, who was with the 4 Jat Regiment, and soldiers of his patrol were captured alive on May 15, 1999, kept in captivity and tortured. The autopsy said parts of their bodies were burnt with cigarettes stubs, their eyes gouged out, teeth and bones broken and several limbs and private organs chopped off.
Pak must apologise’

The family of Capt Saurabh Kalia (pic) wants India to move the International Court of Justice against Pakistan
Says Kalia was captured as a prisoner of war but was killed in a gruesome manner in violation of the Geneva Convention
The family wants Pakistan to apologise and punish those responsible for Kalia’s torture 

Suicide bigger killer than death in action in Central forces

New Delhi, November 27
Suicide incidents killed more Central security forces' personnel than death while in action in the last four years. "As reported by the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and Assam Rifles, a total of 417 CAPFs and AR personnel committed suicide/killed themselves since 2009 till date, whereas 398 personnel laid their lives in the service of the nation during this period.

During the same period, 49,188 personnel have proceeded on voluntary retirement or resigned, which works out to be about 1.5 per cent of force strength per year," Minister of State for Home RPN Singh told Lok Sabha in a written reply today.

The causative factors, the minister said, in most cases were found to be generally personal and domestic problems such as marital discords, personal enmity, mental illness and depression among others. "In a few cases, the same could be owing to work related stress," he said.

Singh said personnel were proceeding on voluntary retirement and resigning from service mainly due to various personal and domestic reasons including children or family issues, health or illness of self or family, social or family obligations and commitments among others, he said.

The minister also said these personnel will also be given the status of ex-CAPF on the lines of ex-servicemen in order to boost their morale. "Giving status of ex-CAPF personnel to retired personnel of CAPF, which is expected to boost the morale of the existing CAPFs personnel and also expected to provide better identity, community recognition and thus higher esteem and pride in the society to the ex-CAPF personnel," he said.

To another query, he said during 2012 (up to August 31) only 14 youths in Kashmir Valley reportedly joined militant groups. — PTI

Over 417 men killed self

* As reported by the Central Armed Police Forces and Assam Rifles, 417 CAPF and AR personnel committed suicide/killed themselves from 2009 till date

* Only 398 personnel laid down their lives in the service of the nation during this period

* The causative factors in most cases were found to be personal and domestic problems such as marital discords, personal enmity, mental illness and depression

Nearly 4,000 Army soldiers killed in last 12 years: A K Antony
Nearly 4,000 soldiers have been killed in the country after the Kargil operations in 1999 while more than 390 Army troops have committed suicide in the last three years, Lok Sabha was informed today.

In another written reply in Lok Sabha, Defence Minister A K Antony said more than 25,000 Junior Commissioned Officers and jawans have proceeded on pre-mature retirement in the last three years.

"530 soldiers were martyred during Kargil War under operation Vijay. 3,987 soldiers have been killed afterwards during the years 2000-2012," he said.

The Indian Army is deployed in counter-insurgency and counter terrorist operations in Jammu and Kashmir and northeastern states for over two decades. In addition, they are also guarding the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir.

On suicides in the force, Antony said, "A total of 394 Army personnel committed suicide between 2009 up to November 20, this year."

Recently, the suicide by a jawan in an armoured unit in Samba in J-K had led to a face-off between officers and soldiers after which a detailed court of inquiry was ordered.

Antony said in last three years, 25,063 Army personnel have opted for pre-mature retirement.

"However, reasons for seeking premature retirement cannot be attributed to stressful working environment," the Minister said.

As per the figures provided by the Ministry, 7,499 personnel took premature retirement in 2009, 7,249 in 2010 and 10,315 in 2011.

To a query on number of human rights violation cases against Army personnel, Antony said a total of 169 complaints have been received in the last three years of which 162 were found to be false.

He said in 2009, 79 complaints were received from areas including the northeast, Jammu and Kashmir and other states and all of them were found to be false.

Of the 90 complaints in the two subsequent years, 83 were found to be false and seven complaints were pending, he said.

"Five complaints of 2010 and one complaint of 2011 are subjudice and one complaint is under process," he said.

Majority of the complaints have been filed from Jammu and Kashmir and northeastern states where the Army is deployed for counter-terrorism operations.

Ceasefire between India and Pakistan on LOC is nine year old
SRINAGAR: It was a forest conflagration that marked the ninth anniversary of the LoC ceasefire between India and Pakistan. Last night Pakistan army resorted to yet another spell of firing on the Indian positions in Poonch's Krishna Ghati. Though there was not only human loss, the forests which fall in the no man's land between the rival armies caught fire and burst into a conflagration.

Defence sources said the Pakistani gunners fired around six thousand rounds, mostly from heavy machine guns, targeting various Indian positions in the sector. It was raining bullets for around four hours on Sunday night and more than three hours on Monday. The army, sources said, gave calibrated response to the firing from across.

The ceasefire announced on November 26, 2003 was a major achievement of the Atal Behari Vajpayee led NDA regime. This was for the first time since 1990 when guns felt silent on parts of International Border and the Line of Control making the political border between Indian and Pakistani slices of Kashmir and life resumed routine.

Frequent shelling between the rival armies had displaced tens of thousands of people inhabiting areas straddling the LoC. They were living as migrants in the hinterland. The ceasefire stopped casualties of both the armies as migrants returned home after more than a decade. Though both the sides are holding the ceasefire, it does suffer occasional breaches as is happening in Poonch's Krishna Ghati sector.

Regardless of the claims that the rival armies are making, these fire exchange are localized affairs and usually outcome of local provocations. Early this month when Pakistani soldiers opened gunfire from the Haji Peer heights in Uri and killed two civilians, they were, according to local population, retaliating to the construction of new border outposts. Defence sources, however, said they were repairing the critical infrastructure on this of the territory which is a routine prior to winter. Poonch's KD sector is witnessing these spells for a long time now. Earlier, such firing incidents were aimed at offering cover to the intruders to get in but the infiltration is believed to be a low-key affair now.

The ceasefire has helped the army create the fence on this side of the LoC. It has proved a very potent barrier for the militants to crossover. Strengthened with the use of imported censors, the fence is a major preventive infrastructure that requires round the clock upkeep. Now the army is planning to replace the fence by a better, improved and almost permanent structure.

Central government is sending a high level delegation to the state to examine the proposal and make necessary recommendations. The team will have engineers from the Army, Central Public Works Department and National Buildings Construction Corporation and objective is to study the feasibility of erecting an all-weather fence that can withstand snow avalanches and heavy snowfall, the sources said. Almost 80 kms of the existing fence of more than 550 kms is suffering massive damaged during winters either under the weight of snow or by avalanches that are so common to the LoC, especially in north Kashmir. Sources said the team will visit around 40 places.

The ceasefire and the fence have jointly reduced the soldier casualties, nosedived infiltration thus paving way for peace in the valley. Defense minister A K Antony informed Lok Sabha on Monday that around 4000 soldiers were killed in India after the Kargil war in 1999. While 530 were killed during

Kargil operation, 3987 were killed in the following 12 years. It excludes 394 troops who committed suicide in the last three years between 2009 and November 20, 2012.

Nigeria: The Nigerian Defence Academy - a Pioneer Cadet's Memoir
"Thus, I was admitted on January 20, 1964 into the institution where I began my military career and life ambition. Although we the new intake cadets resumed training in January 1964, the institution was only officially inaugurated in March 1964. Thus by dint of history, destiny, divinity or whatever you may call it, I became one of the founding and pioneering cadet intakes into the Nigerian Defence Academy, notably called NDA Course I with admission number 40." He opens today with his admission success story and concludes this two-part book serial with: The Nigerian Armed Forces, Repositioning For A New Status, Nigerian Adoption of the Indian Experiment and The January, 1966 among others.

My Admission into NDA

After the initial training in Nigeria, my counterparts who included the late Major Okhuarobo went to Canada and the late Major Igbinosa went to the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst in the United Kingdom to train and were commissioned. While I waited for resumption - the Nigerian Government had decided to take a very bold step to establish its own military institution that would locally produce officers in Nigeria for the Nigerian] Army, Navy and the Air Force. Such historic milestone gave birth to an establishment called the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) also situated in Kaduna.

Thus, I was admitted on January 20, 1964 into the institution where I began my military career and life ambition. Although we the new intake cadets resumed training in January 1964, the institution was only officially inaugurated in March 1964. Thus by dint of history, destiny, divinity or whatever you may call it, I became one of the founding and pioneering cadet intakes into the Nigerian Defence Academy, notably called NDA Course I with admission number 40.

The Armed Forces of Nigeria

By the Berlin conference agreement of 1884, the whole of Africa was partitioned and shared among some powerful expansionist European nations. Great Britain's share included the landmass that is now called Nigeria. This came into being in 1861 when Beecroft took over Lagos after an armed expedition from Fernado Po. In turn, all other kingdoms and their kings like Nana of Itsekiri, Jaja of Opopo, Oba Ovonramwen of Benin, the Etsu Nupe, Usman Danfodio, the Sultan of Sokoto, the Alafin of Oyo, etc. were subdued and their kingdoms annexed to form the Northern and Southern protectorates of Nigeria. The North and South were eventually amalgamated in 1914 to give birth to the political and geographical entity of Nigeria as a nation.

The subduing of the various monarchs of region to give up their economic, cultural, spiritual and physical powers in order to accept foreign political powers and colonial rule was an up-hill task, achievable only through the use of organized cohesive force. This phenomenon crystallized into the need for maintaining a standing Army to enforce the successful colonization and amalgamation of the new nation. For the realization of such a mission, the British Government organized a quasi task force in Nigeria made up of armed troops that were just strong enough to enforce the King of England's authority, presence and be able to subdue any belligerency.

It promoted trade missions under the name of United African Company with organized and maintained administrative echelon, under the headship of Lord Fredrick Lugard. His role was to run the bureaucracy for policy implementation and above all, protect the team of Christian evangelists whose primary task included influencing the values of the natives in order to make them malleable enough for easy governance at minimum force and cost.

With the increasing awareness and exposure from the 1st and 2nd World Wars and above all, Western education, there were soaring and restive demands for a better standard of living and participatory governance. The result was several reforms culminating in the attainment of self-rule in 1956 and Independence in 1960.

By the new status, Nigeria automatically qualified and became a member of the United Nations Organization in the same year of Independence. The country progressed to achieve a republican status in 1963 and also became a founding member of the Organization of African Unity that was equally founded in 1963.

Repositioning for a New Status

Nigeria's new status as an independent nation meant new demands on her political, economic, social, cultural, and above all, security handlings. Prior to Independence as earlier noted, the Nigerian Army was created to meet the colonial masters' needs, which was why the training and tradition were hundred percent British in content and orientation. To ensure and maintain such status quo, all the key positions were held by British citizens. Although the basic military training was done in Nigeria, the institution was completely modeled after the British pattern and manned by British military personnel while only two to three vacancies were created in British institutions to train Nigerians as officers.

For Nigeria to meet her new security responsibility, she needed larger military forces that could sufficiently police and defend her vast territory. Thus, the Army was enlarged from the only existing one and a half Infantry Brigades inherited from the British in 1963 to one Infantry Division, In addition, the Nigerian Marine Service was restructured and equipped to form the Nigerian Navy, which has the role of securing the about 1,000 kilometre length of Nigeria's coastal waters. Also a modern Air Force was in 1963 established with the role of protecting Nigeria's vast Air space of about Nine Hundred and thirty thousand square kilometres in surface area.

The efficiency of any armed force depends mainly on the quality of its training institutions and the calibre of the officers. The British Royal Military Academy Sandhurst is amongst the oldest military institutions in the world for the training of officers.

Truly, it was a privilege to have Nigerians train there. But the maximum vacancies of five in a course intake of two years duration were grossly insufficient for her new Armed Forces. Notable peculiarity was that, the British military institution was largely tailored to the British requirements and orientation only. It was to allow elbowroom for other nations that a department had to be created in 1875 at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst for the education and training of foreigners; especially to meet the needs of the Royal Indian Army. Such arrangement enabled a large cadre of Indian military manpower to be trained under an Indian setting.

Another peculiarity of the historic British Military Academy is that since Great Britain has a very long history of secondary and tertiary education facilities, the military institutions had enough reserves of highly educated and qualified citizens to draw from in its selection and recruitment of officer cadets; meaning that further academic education had never been the focus in the British Military institutions and in the training curriculum of British officers.

Whereas, up to the seventies, secondary and tertiary educational institutions in Nigeria were few and the preserve of the privileged or extra ordinarily talented ones; which means that the few adequately and suitably available educated Nigerians were in high demand in other sectors or endeavours. For a Nigerian to fully benefit from the British military officers training, he must have had the opportunity for continuous higher educational studies. This made the British military institutions most inadequate for Nigeria's requirements.

In a bid to produce enough officers to fill the vacancies created by departing British officers who were serving in the Nigerian Army, Nigerians were sent to be trained as officers in the United States of America, India, Canada, Pakistan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Australia etc. The development brought the huge problems of un-unified training standards and compromised quality in officer-ship with the attendant danger of undue complex and problems of harmonization.

There was a case where some other ranks of the Nigerian Army were sent to a certain foreign country in the quest for training additional officers. Unfortunately, the Nigerians were commissioned as officers after only 16 weeks leadership training. Whereas some other Nigerians attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst for two years, the Ethiopian Military Academy for four years, the Indian Defence Academy for four years etc. to train and receive commission as second lieutenants compared to those who did the leadership course for only sixteen weeks. There were yet some Nigerians who were trained and commissioned also as second lieutenants after doing only two to six months in British, Indian or other training institutions which were only set up to give crash training and commission to the host country's citizens who had received either a university or other tertiary educational qualifications.

It is true that the military principles of war are universal... But in view of the peculiarity of each country in terms of climate, terrain, weaponry, level of technology, financial constraints, ideology and the types of war that could be fought, each nation has to develop its own doctrine. ... For example, for Nigeria to have the Armed Forces that is Nigerian in doctrine, regimentation, weaponry and facilities for the production of the proper kind of officers, it had to have its own officers' training institution. The usual tradition in some countries has been for each of the services or arms to establish its own school. For instance, the British has the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, the Royal Naval Academy in Dartmouth, and the Royal Air Force Academy in Cromwell.

The British arrangement has the advantage of concentration of efforts in particularizing the officers' training. But it has the disadvantage of triplication of costs and lacking in depth in general service knowledge required for the promotion of esprit de corps and common doctrine that can enhance joint operations.

However, many other Nations had decided to use their military academies as unifying centres by establishing one institution to train their Armed Services officers. Chiefly, amongst such countries is India, which established just one unified National Defence Academy where all eligible Indian citizens are admitted as cadets and trained together but respectively commissioned into the Army, Navy and the Air Force.

The Indian experiment has survived the test of time for many decades; judging by the very high standard of discipline and quality of the Indian Armed Forces performances in war and peace. The Indians have also succeeded in perfecting and exporting the defence joint officers training system to many countries, including Nigeria.

The Nigerian Adoption

Nigeria and India have a lot in common having graduated through the same British colonial rule to attain political independence. To sustain their new independent status, the new born countries had to rationalize their scarce resources to meet their competing priorities which included building indigenous and requisite armed forces that is able, efficient and disciplined enough to secure and guarantee the lasting peace required for national development.

Nigeria being in search of sustainable and affordable democracy, set up a committee to study and recommend a unified system for the training and commissioning of officers into the Nigerian Armed Forces. It is gratifying that a defence academy development committee wisely recommended the Indian experiment which gave birth to the Nigerian Defence Academy in January 1964.

In order to make sure that the aim and objectives were successfully planned and executed, the Indians who originated the system were invited by the Nigerian government to establish the proposed Nigerian Defence Academy. This resulted in the arrival in Kaduna, with the history of being a military citadel, a team of eight Indian military experts to engineer and start the institution on 20th January 1964. Also, Malam S.S. Waniko, the Chairman of the Nigerian government committee on the planning and establishment of the Nigerian Defence Academy was appointed the first Director of Academics in the NDA for the purpose of successful implementation of the project.

The Nigeria Defence Academy is born

By an act of parliament in 1963, the Nigerian Defence Academy was legally born. The institution immediately came into existence when a team of officers, men and academicians were commissioned on 2nd January 1964 by Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the then Prime Minister of Nigeria, to establish a Defence Academy that would recruit, train and supply the requisite quality regular combatant officers for the Nigerian Armed Forces.

The January 1966 Coup D'etat

I LIVED in the last room of the third block nearest to the Non-Commission Officers quarters and others who were instructors and staff of the NDA. The sound of vehicles and the unusual movements from the above quarters woke me up from sleep. I looked at my watch and it was about twelve midnight. I looked at the Academy time table and there was no official exercise scheduled for us. Thus, I discountenanced the movements and went back to bed.

But I heard gun shots. Then I remembered that I had overheard someone saying that the NMTC was going to be on a night exercise codenamed 'Operation Damisa' on the 16th of January 1966. I then questioned why the Academy authority had not deemed it fit to involve the cadets as observers. I was still enjoying the continuous sounds of the mortar and other supporting weapons staccato when I slept off.

I woke up next morning to put myself and things together to start the day's activities when the news came that there had been a military coup

The military coup was later authenticated in a radio broadcast of Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu, who was the Commandant of the NMTC that planned and executed the coup, which was the first military coup in Nigeria... There was apprehension since the broadcast was from Kaduna. What was the situation in Lagos which was the seat of the Federal Government?

4000 troopers killed in last 12 years: Antony
New Delhi, Nov 26: About 4,000 Indian army men have been killed in India after the Kargil war in 1999 while more than 390 troopers committed suicide in the last three years, Lok Sabha was informed Monday.
"530 army men were killed during Kargil War under Operation Vijay. 3,987 troopers have been killed afterwards during the years 2000-2012," Antony said in a written reply in Lok Sabha.

Indian Army is deployed in counter-militancy operations in Jammu and Kashmir and northeastern States for over two decades. Besides, they are also guarding the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir.
On suicides, Antony said, " 394 Army men have committed suicide between 2009 up to November 20, this year."
Recently, the suicide by a trooper in an armoured unit in Samba in J&K had led to a face-off between officers and men after which a detailed Court of Inquiry (CoI) was ordered.
Antony said during last three years, 25063 Junior Commissioned Officers and men have opted for pre-mature retirement. “However, reasons for seeking premature retirement cannot be attributed to stressful working environment," he said.
As per the figures provided by the Ministry, 7,499 army men took premature retirement in 2009, 7249 in 2010 and 10315 in 2011.
Referring to human rights violation cases against army men, Defence Minister said 169 complaints have been received in the last three years of which 162 were found to be false.
“In 2009, 79 complaints were received from areas including the Northeast, Jammu and Kashmir and other States and all of them were found to be false. Of the 90 complaints in two subsequent years, 83 were found to be false and seven complaints were pending,” he said.
He said five complaints of 2010 and one complaint of 2011 are subjudice and one complaint is under process.
“Majority of the complaints have been filed from Jammu and Kashmir and Northeastern States, where Army is deployed for counter-militancy operations,” he added.
Meanwhile, in a written reply to a question whether Army's Leh-based 14 Corps had reported about mysterious UFOs flying over the India-China border during the last three years, Antony said there is no conclusive proof of UFOs flying over the India-China border.
“The Government of India is monitoring all developments in the neighbourhood which could have a bearing on national security. Required measures have been initiated through development of infrastructure and operational capabilities to achieve desired levels of defence preparedness to safeguard the sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of India."
To a separate question on situation in Jammu and Kashmir, he said it has stabilised due to persistent pro-active anti-militancy operations carried out by the government.
About return and rehabilitation of migrant Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley, Antony said, "A comprehensive package of Rs 1618.14 crore was announced by Prime Minister in 2008.”
He said the money has been spent on housing, transit and accommodation. “The government acts as facilitator for making facilities available to migrants for their permanent rehabilitation in the Valley.”
He also provided details of civilians and militants killed in J&K during last three years. “While 13 civilians were killed between 2009 and October 2012, 58 militants were killed during the corresponding period last year. The highest number of 245 militants were killed in 2009”.


No comments:

Post a Comment

 

Mail your comments, suggestions and ideas to me

Template created by Rohit Agarwal