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Tuesday, 1 January 2013

From Today's Papers - 01 Jan 2013
DRDO chief gets 2011 Aryabhatta Award
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, December 31
DRDO chief VK Saraswat has been chosen by the Astronautical Society of India (ASI) for the Aryabhatta Award for 2011 while AE Muthunayagam, former secretary, Department of Ocean Development, and former director, Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been selected for the prestigious award for 2010.

The ASI, which was set up in 1990 for promotion of astronautics and space in the country through dissemination of knowledge and information related to the subject, has today announced the names of the awardees under different categories for 2010 and 2011.
No New Year parties for armed forces
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 31
The Army, the Indian Air Force and the Navy have cancelled their respective New Year celebrations to express solidarity with the sombre national mood following the death of 23-year-old gang-rape victim.

The New Year parties of the forces are a big draw in the national capital, big cities like Mumbai and even the smaller cantonment towns. Army Headquarters issued an advisory to all the commands to cancel the New Year celebrations.

Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh and his wife Bubbles Singh will visit patients at the Army Research and Referral Hospital here and Base Hospital on the New Year. The Navy has cancelled all functions, said officials, adding that all the commands have been informed of the decision. IAF officials said the main function was scheduled at the auditorium in New Delhi that has been cancelled and a message has been sent to all the commands.

Several state governments, hotels, clubs and business houses have either cancelled or toned down the celebrations.

Prez says no to celebrations

President Pranab Mukherjee has decided not to take part in New Year celebrations or receive greetings in person.
VK Singh supports death penalty for rapists
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 31
Former Army Chief General VK Singh (retd) held the ruling as well as Opposition parties equally responsible for the lawlessness in Delhi and elsewhere in the country.

He said that political parties were not serious about calling a special session of Parliament to discuss the recent gang rape of a 23-year-old physiotherapist and to formulate a strict law to discourage people from committing such crimes.

Gen VK Singh (retd) said, “I support the protesters who are demanding death penalty for rapists and a strict law to deal with such cases. Their demands are justified. They are demanding security for their mothers and sisters. The government should take them seriously.”

On the kind of punishment, he seeks for rapists, Gen VK Singh (retd) said, “Even death penalty is not sufficient punishment for such crimes."
No new year bashes for defence ministry, armed forces
Against the backdrop of the death of the Delhi [ Images ] gang-rape victim, the Union defence ministry and the three armed forces have decided against holding new year parties.

Defence ministry and the three services have decided against organising their new year bashes. As usual, Defence Minister A K Antony will have a quiet new year this time, ministry officials said in New Delhi.

In view of the gang-rape incident, Antony had not even accepted birthday wishes from anyone on December 28.

The Army has issued advisories to all formations that they should not organise new year parties, army officials said.

Army chief Gen Bikram Singh and his wife Bubbles Singh will visit patients in Army Research and Referral Hospital in New Delhi and Base Hospital on the first day of the new year and distribute sweets.

The Navy and the Indian Air Force have also told their formations not to organise any bashes this year in view of the demise of the gang-rape victim.

Amid outpouring of anger and grief in the country, the body of the 23-year-old victim was flown to the national capital from Singapore early Sunday morning and cremated within hours.
Sri Lankan Defense Secretary offers training to Indian army in counter-insurgency warfare
Dec 31, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Defense and Urban Development Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has offered to help to train Indian army personnel in counter-insurgency warfare.

Secretary Rajapaksa has made this offer when the Indian Army Chief General Bikram Singh, who visited the island recently, called on the Defense Secretary at his Ministry on December 20.

"When I met Gen Bikram Singh, I renewed our offer to train Indian forces in counter-insurgency," Rajapaksa has told Indian newspaper Indian Express.

He has said that the two armies have designed courses in this field and have offered them to other countries facing terrorism.

"It is now up to the Indian army chief to decide," Secretary Rajapaksa has said.

The Defense Secretary has noted that the two countries had good relations with the Indian armed forces even during times of political turmoil in India.

He has explained that the training to Indian military personnel could include attending courses and/or participating in joint exercises, but joint exercises were more likely.

"Such exercises are already taking place. These will be continued and improved," he has told the Express.

During discussions with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa General Singh assured India's full commitment to Sri Lanka's security and expressed that the Indian government and the military are committed to further strengthening cooperation between the two countries.

The Indian Army Chief while pledging all possible assistance to further improvement of training slots to Sri Lanka Army in various training programs has indicated that Indian Army can also benefit from Sri Lanka's experience.

"With significant experience on both sides, we have a lot to learn from each other and we look forward to reinforcing our cooperation in the military domain further," he said during discussions with his Sri Lankan counterpart Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya.

Discussions also have explored possibilities of launching one-to-one correspondence between service regiments of the respective armies as measures to further broaden the spectrum of military interests, benefiting both sides.
Army to get 3G anti-tank missiles to match China
In a bid to match China, the Indian Army is scouting for third-generation Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGM) worth over `5,000 crore for its infantry and mechanised units.

The ATGM is an effective weapon in terrains where there are threats from enemy tanks and the Army’s initial requirement is about 2,000 launchers and 24,000 missiles to arm its 356 infantry units.

China already possesses ‘Green Arrow’ and ‘Red Arrow’ ATGMs. Pakistan, though, has only second-generation missiles such as the Baktar Shikan, said to be based on a Chinese missile, and the French Eryx.

“This procurement will be completed by the end of the 12th plan period in 2017,” Army sources told Express here. Though the Army is authorised to hold over 81,000 ATGMs of different ranges that are key to stopping the progress of enemy’s armoured vehicles and tanks during battles, it is said to have only half of that quantity at present, making this procurement critical.

It has now tried out the shoulder-fired Israeli ‘Spike’ missiles in the field and the ‘staff evaluation’ of the trial report is underway. India tested the 2.5-km-range Israeli system despite the US offering its FGM-148 Javelin missiles.

The Israeli offer is said to be ahead in the race due to their readiness to share its technology with the Indian government-owned missile manufacturer, the Hyderabad-based Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), to produce them domestically to meet the Army’s future needs. The US is willing to sell the missile to India, but not to share the technology.

At present, the Army has French two-km-range Milan missiles and Russian four-km Konkurs missiles, both second generation ATGMS. Both are Semi Automatic Command Line of Sight wire-guided missiles that require the soldier to sight the target and guide the weapon, which affects accuracy.

“Now, the Army wants to graduate to third-generation missiles that can lock on to the target once the soldier sights it through the weapon system,” an Army officer said.

“Once the infantry units are equipped with the third-generation ATGMs, we will also equip the 50-odd Mechanised Infantry units with the selected weapon system,” he said.

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