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Tuesday, 25 December 2012

From Today's Papers - 25 Dec 2012
CSD sales plummet as staff remain on strike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 24
With the employees of the Canteen Stores Department (CSD) proceeding on an indefinite strike in support of their demands, the sales of goods through its outlets has plummeted with the drop in Chandigarh, Mohali and Chandimandir alone being estimated at Rs 50 lakh per day.

There are five major canteens in the area with two located in the Chandigarh Air Force Station, one at Sector 21, Chandigarh, and one each in Mohali and Chandimandir.

These are staffed by civilian employees hired on a contractual basis. The canteen in Chandimandir, the largest among the five, alone accounts for sales worth about Rs 20 lakh a day, according to office-bearers of the CSD employees union.

With the employees being on strike since December 7, the total drop in sales from these five canteens runs into crores of rupees. There are about 4,500 CSD outlets nationwide with a combined annual turnover of Rs 10,000 crore, out of which a sizable chunk are those whose daily operations are run by civilians.

Most large canteens, located in major military stations and cities where the clientele is heavy, are staffed by civilian employees who do not come under the purview of the Army, Navy or Air Force Act, but are governed by regulations applicable to civilian government employees. The total strength of civilian employees is about 7,200, out of which about 250 are working in the Chandigarh-Mohali-Chandimandir area.

There are also hundreds of small CSD outlets at the unit level that are generally operated by service personnel from the respective unit. While the sales in these unit canteens have not been hit, the pressure on them has increased even though they maintain a limited inventory of items.

A large number of ex-servicemen, who depend upon these canteens for provisions and other necessary commodities, have also been adversely affected.

Employees said that canteens stock a large variety of edible items and commodities which have a limited shelf life and if there is no movement of such goods, there is a risk that these would ‘expire’, thereby adding to the damages.

In a letter sent earlier by the All-India Defence Civilian Canteen Employees Union to the Defence Minister, the employees have demanded that the pay and allowances of the employees working in the CSD retail canteens should be on a par with those working in CSD wholesale outlets.

Further, they are also demanding that the all CSD transactions be brought under the ambit of the Comptroller and Auditor General.

employees’ demands

    The employees have demanded that the pay and allowances of employees working in the CSD retail canteens should be on a par with those working in CSD wholesale outlets
    All CSD transactions be brought under the ambit of the Comptroller and Auditor General
India, Russia ink major defence deals
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

Rs 25,000 cr deals
Two key defence deals worth about Rs 25,000 crores for the supply of 42 new Su-30 MKI combat aircraft and 71 Mi-17V5 helicopters signed.
Negotiations for the construction of Units 3 and 4 at Kudankulam have made good progress. The two countries intend to continue implementing the roadmap for cooperation in the nuclear energy sector.
Under one of the defence contracts said to be worth around Rs 16,000 crore for licence production of 42 Su-30MKIs, Russia will deliver technical kits to HAL to assemble the fighter jets here.
A joint venture for setting up a modern industrial facility for manufacturing of Russian models of helicopters
Agreements also signed in fields such as space, trade and investment, science and technology, education and culture.

change in venue
The venue of the meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Russian President Vladimir Putin was shifted from the Hyderabad House to the Prime Minister’s official residence at 7, Race Course Road
This was done because of the massive protests being held at India Gate, which is close to the Hyderabad House, to demand justice for the 23-year-old woman who was gang-raped in the capital recently
The authorities obviously did not want any inconvenience to be caused to Putin, who was in the capital just for about 14 hours

New Delhi, December 24
Setting aside their differences over civil nuclear cooperation and Russian telecom giant Sistema’s investment, India and Russia today signed two key defence deals worth about Rs 25,000 crore for the supply of 42 new Su-30 MKI combat aircraft and 71 Mi-17V5 helicopters to this country.

The two countries also inked other agreements in fields, such as space, trade and investment, science and technology, education and culture, reinforcing the strong dynamics of their time-tested friendship.

The pacts were concluded following the 13th annual India-Russia Summit between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Russian President Vladimir Putin during which the two leaders discussed the entire gamut of bilateral ties as well as global developments.

“Russia is a key partner in our efforts to modernise our armed forces and enhance our defence preparedness. A number of joint design, development and production projects are underway in high technology areas. We expressed satisfaction that these projects are progressing well,” Singh said in a statement after the talks with the Russian leader.

He also spoke about the bilateral civil nuclear cooperation amid differences between the two countries over India’s civil nuclear liability law.

Negotiations for the construction of Units 3 and 4 at Kudankulam have made good progress, he noted, adding that the two countries intend to continue implementing the roadmap for cooperation in the nuclear energy sector.

Under one of the defence contracts said to be worth around Rs 16,000 crores for licence production of 42 Su-30 MKIs, Russia will deliver technical kits to the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to assemble the fighter jets here. With this contract, the number of Su-30MKIs in the IAF would go up to 272 in next four-five years with 170 of them already at present in the force. These multi-role frontline aircraft could also be equipped with Indo-Russian joint venture BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles. Under the contract for 71 Mi-17V5 choppers, the IAF would get 59 helicopters from Russia while the remaining would be provided to paramilitary forces.

Another significant pact was for a joint venture between Elcom Systems Private Ltd. and OAO “Vertoleti Rassi” of Russia for setting up a modern industrial facility for manufacturing of Russian models of helicopters (Ka- and Mi- brands). The Joint venture will serve as an industrial base for hi-tech rotorcraft products from Russia to India and shall contribute to the development of the domestic aerospace industry.

The joint statement said the two sides also took note of the progress made in the joint development and production of high technology military equipment and projects such as the fifth-generation fighter aircraft, multi-role transport aircraft and Brahmos supersonic missile. Both sides discussed measures required to ensure expeditious delivery of the aircraft carrier ‘Vikramaditya’ to India. The Russian side assured that the requisite measures would be taken in this regard.

On the trade front, the two countries expressed satisfaction at the substantial increase during 2011 and 2012 in bilateral trade and agreed to enhance efforts to achieve the target of $ 20 billion bilateral trade by 2015.
CRPF constable opens fire at colleagues in Arhanpur camp; 4 jawans killed, one injured
Arhanpur: Four CRPF jawans were killed and one was injured after their colleague opened fire at them in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district.

The shooting occurred last night at the camp of 111 CRPF Battalion when a jawan Deep Kumar Tiwari opened fire on the jawans who were sleeping, Dantewada SP Narendra Khare told PTI.

While three jawans died on the spot, one died while being taken to hospital, Khare said, adding that the injured has been referred to a Jagdalpur hospital.

While the exact cause is being ascertained Khare said the accused was suffering from some "psychological problems".
Delhi gang-rape protests: VK Singh, Baba Ramdev booked for inciting mob and provoking crowd
Former Army chief VK Singh and yoga icon Baba Ramdev have been booked by the Delhi Police for inciting mob and provoking crowd at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi yesterday. Three cases of rioting have also been registered by the police.

Protesters led by Baba Ramdev and General Singh had clashed with the police at Jantar Mantar yesterday afternoon when they were prevented from marching towards India Gate, the epicentre of protests against the gang-rape in a moving bus of 23-year-old Amanat (NOT her real name) in New Delhi on December 16.

After a brief speech at Jantar Mantar, Baba Ramdev along with General Singh and others had started marching towards India Gate but they were stopped by the police.
As soon as Baba Ramdev and General Singh got down from the dais, police had cordoned off the area and the protesters sat at the spot.

However, supporters started marching towards India Gate and tried to break the barricades following which police resorted to use of force. Two persons suffered injuries in the incident.

"Government should set up fast track courts and punish all the rapists. We want death penalty for all the accused," Baba Ramdev had said.
Russia and India's defence ties

(Reuters) - India plans to spend about $100 billion over the next 10 years to upgrade its largely Soviet-era military equipment, as Asia's third-largest economy looks to match its growing economic clout with military power.

Since the break-up of the Soviet Union, India, one of the world's largest arms importers, has shifted towards buying from the West as Russian products were plagued by delivery delays, maintenance problems and a lack of spare parts.

But Russia remains one of its India's main suppliers and on Monday, during a visit by President Vladimir Putin, agreed to sell India dozens of Russian military helicopters and kits for the assembly of Sukhoi jets.

The following are details of current Russian weapon platforms and possible future contracts with India:


The air force relies heavily on Soviet-era Mikoyan MiG fighters, sometimes dubbed "flying coffins" in India for their high crash rates, as well as Antonov and Ilyushin transport aircraft and OPK Oboronprom's GKROSO.UL Mil helicopters.

The most formidable aircraft in India's fleet is United Aircraft Corp's (UNAC.MM) Sukhoi Su-30MKI multi-role fighter. More than 150 are in service and the total is due to rise to 272 by 2019. On Monday, Russia agreed to supply kits worth $1.6 billion to assemble the last 42 of these.

India is also developing a stealth fighter with Russia. It will start taking delivery of about 140 such planes after 2020, down from an earlier estimate of 200.

But this year the Mil Moscow Helicopter plant, a unit of Oboronprom, lost bids for about 15 heavy-lift helicopters and 22 combat helicopters to Boeing Co (BA.N), in deals totaling $2.4 billion.

Russia also lost out to Europe's EADS (EAD.PA) in a $1 billion contract to supply aerial refuelling planes, while the Russian Mig-35 lost out to France's Dassault (DAST.PA) as the preferred bidder in a $15 billion deal for 126 new combat jets.

However, advanced versions of the Mil Mi-17 medium-lift helicopters, called Mi-17 V-5, are being bought in deals totaling $1.3 billion for 71 units.


Russia has delayed delivery of the trouble-plagued aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, to be renamed INS Vikramaditya, by at least a year to the fourth quarter of 2013 in a blow to India's efforts to build up its navy as China expands its maritime reach.

India is also building two aircraft carriers of its own with Russian technical assistance. The first is expected to be taken into service in 2017.

India has about 15 submarines in service, of which 11 are of Soviet/Russian origin, including an Akula Class nuclear-powered submarine. It also operates a large number of Soviet-era warships. It is currently procuring a new batch of Talwar Class stealth frigates, designed to be hard to detect, from Russia.

The navy plans to equip its carriers with about 45 Russian MiG-29 combat jets and Kamov anti-submarine helicopters. Its ageing fleet of Russian Tupolev maritime reconnaissance aircraft will be replaced by the Boeing P-8.

The navy also plans to introduce around 60 utility helicopters. Oboronprom's Kamov unit is in the running for the contract against firms from Europe and the United States.


The army has more than 5,000 tanks and infantry fighting vehicles of Soviet and East European origin in its fleet, including the T-72 and T-55 tanks. It plans to introduce about 250 locally built main battle tanks and more than 2,000 Russian T-90 tanks by 2020.

One of Russia's biggest exports to India's army, police and paramilitary forces is the Kalashnikov assault rifle and its numerous modern-day versions.

The army chose EADS's (EAD.PA) Eurocopter AS 500 for an order of 197 helicopters worth around $550 million in 2007. The deal was later scrapped due to allegations of unfair field trails and the bidding re-opened. The contenders are Eurocopter and Kamov, and a decision is expected soon.
Indian Army Chief's Presence at SLMA Commissioning Parade Provides Moral Boost to New Officers

Sri Lanka Military Academy (SLMA) at the garrison town of Diyatalawa, which has hitherto produced a fine assortment of quality officers of high-standards as the country's premier seat of Army learning for Officer Cadets since its historical founding, had the rare honour of welcoming India's Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Bikram Singh PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, ADC on Saturday (22) as the Chief Guest for the year-end Passing out Parade (PoP), the most glittering and proud spectacle of the SLMA.

The day's itinerary of the visiting India's Army Chief this morning commenced soon after he drove past the Guard Turnout, presented in his honour at the main archway to the SLMA in accordance with military traditions and directly took part in a special remembrance service at the SLMA war memorial in the premises.

Before he walked to the War Memorial, the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, together with the Commandant SLMA Brigadier Priyantha Jayasundara welcomed the visiting Indian Army Chief to the SLMA precincts.

Paying his respect and saluting, the visiting Indian Army Chief laid a floral wreath at the memorial as a tribute to the memory of fallen War Heroes.

Precisely at 9.00 a.m. as the Chief Guest was entering, Army bands with their rhythmic beats and associated formalities heralded the inauguration of the most central segment of the commissioning ceremony where 157 Cadet Officers of the Intakes 74, 74B, 75 A, 52 (V) and 2 Lady Intakes were to receive their commissioning swords from the day's distinguished guest.

The Chief Guest, at the invitation of the SLMA Commandant afterwards amidst cheers and greetings awarded the prestigious swords to those 157 Cadet Officers, symbolizing commissioning of those officers before receiving the salute from them in a colourful parade in the company of his Sri Lankan counterpart, Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya.

Participation of the lady cadet officers in the parade added elegance and colour to the event as a large gathering of invitees looked on. The Parade Commander was Major K.A.M.P Karunaratne of Sri Lanka Armoured Corps (SLAC).

Battalion Under Officer, Officer Cadet, U.L.M Silva of the Intake 74 and Platoon Under officer, Officer Cadet, W.B.C.D Wijepala of the Intake 74B were honoured with award of the Sword of Honour for the Best Overall Performance.

Minutes after the main highlight in the commissioning ceremony was over, the visiting Indian Army Chief added eternal memories to the SLMA premises by planting a tree sapling in the compound at the invitation of the SLMA Commandant before the stage was made set for unforgettable group photos of those new officers with the Chief Guest on the occasion.

Exchange of mementos and placement of signatures during these sessions attached further significance.

At the final lap of the day's PoP ceremony, General Singh once again as the Chief Guest was to attend the much-awaited and etiquette-rich 'Commissioning Dinner' tradition that has been very much recognized and popular in the corridors of the SLMA since the times of the colonial masters.

A large gathering of diplomats, senior officers, distinguished invitees, parents and well-wishers witnessed the day's main highlights.

General Bikram Singh is bids farewell to Sri Lanka Sunday (23) morning.

General Bikram Singh, India's Chief of Army Staff, arrived in Sri Lanka Wednesday (19) afternoon on a five-day goodwill tour with a five-member delegation at the invitation of his Sri Lankan host, Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, Commander of the Army.
Arundhati Roy: Indian Army using rape as weapon in Occupied Kashmir

by Kashmir Media Service

New Delhi, December 24 (KMS): Prominent Indian writer and human rights activist, Arundhati Roy has said that Indian army and police are using rape as a weapon against people in Kashmir and parts of India like Manipur.

Arundhati Roy in a media interview in New Delhi while commenting on the issue of the recent Delhi rape incident said that when rape was used as a means of domination by the Upper Caste of the Hindus or by army and police in India, it always went unpunished.

She said that rape was legitimately used as the Indian laws protected the culprits when they did it. Arundhati Roy questioned as to why the Indians did not demand death punishment for the perpetrators of such crimes in occupied Kashmir.

The veteran Kashmiri Hurriyet leader, Syed Ali Gilani in a statement in New Delhi while denouncing the incident criticised the Indian people’s silence over numerous such happenings in Kashmir. He referred to the tragedies of Kunan-Poshpora, Chanapora and Shopian and said that the culprits in these cases were identified but even though were not punished.

And in Srinagar, Jamaat-e-Islami and APHC leader, Zafar Akbar Butt in separate statements raised concern over double standards adopted by Indian civil society towards the people especially rape victims in the territory.

A majority of Kashmiri youth using Facebook and other social network websites expressed surprise that the entire India was demanding execution of Delhi rapists, but the troops involved in the gory incident of Kunan Poshpora in the occupied territory were protected by the system.

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