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Saturday, 6 April 2013

From Today's Papers - 06 Apr 2013

Decks cleared for national defence university in Haryana
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 5
Decks have been cleared for the Indian National Defence University (INDU). Defence Minister AK Antony today took administrative decisions to remove the hurdles which were holding back the project. The Kargil Review Committee, under K Subrahmanyam, had recommended setting up of such a university to build a strategic culture in the country.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will lay the foundation stone of the university in the last week of May. INDU will be a fully autonomous institution and will be located on over 200 acres of land at Binola near Gurgaon in Haryana. The university will have a mandate to provide knowledge-based higher education for management of defence of the country keeping its participants abreast of emerging security challenges through scholarly research and training.

Binola has been chosen owing to its proximity to the national capital and availability of land. It is expected that a large number of international officials, students as well as own security leaders, civilian and defence officials would visit the main campus at Binola for courses and training.

The university will be headed by its president, who would be a Lieutenant General rank or equivalent ranks in Navy and IAF officer. The vice-president will be a civilian. As many as 66 per cent of students would be from the armed forces, whereas 33 per cent of students would be drawn from other government agencies, police and civilians. The teaching faculty will comprise both military personnel and civilians in the ratio of 1:1.

N. Korean rhetoric and beyond
China helpless as tension rises
by S. Nihal Singh

While the civil war in Syria continues to occupy the minds of regional and world powers, North Korea’s bellicose rhetoric and the precautionary counter-measures and show of force deployed by the United States and its South Korean ally have raised the temperature considerably. The irony is that China, which is Pyongyang’s sole ally and friend, seems helpless to moderate the actions and trade mark hyperbolic threats of the young leader, Kim Jong-un.

North Korea is hard to read at the best of times, but a threat-a-day tactic adopted by Pyongyang with the sole remaining link between the North and South now being interrupted, the industrial complex on the border, the next phase is troubling. For one thing, the North wants to be recognised as a nuclear weapon power, having exploded its third nuclear device. For another, the third generation of the Kim dynasty wants to seek legitimacy in the eyes of its generals.

Even as the US and the world are discounting the ability of North Korea to strike at objects on the US mainland, the fear is that a miscalculation could set off a chain of events that may prove disastrous. Typically, the North calibrates its threats to a crescendo to seek Western concessions through talks. But Mr Kim Jong-un is raising the temperature so high that he would find it difficult to pipe down without loss of face. On the other hand, the tough response of the new South Korean President, Ms Park Geun-hye, hinges on her having to prove to her countrymen that she is fully capable of protecting Seoul’s interests.

While the world watches anxiously, China is faced with a set of dilemmas. It backed the latest series of UN sanctions against North Korea after Pyongyang’s recent nuclear test infuriating the latter, which was also exercised by the annual exercises being held by US and South Korean troops. Beijing’s central dilemma is that it wants to ward off a possible reunion of the Koreas and at the very least try to prevent a massive exodus of North Koreans into China. Thus, it remains to be determined how far China will enforce the new sanctions it has backed in the United Nations.

In a sense, it seems the tail is wagging the dog because there are no easy answers to Kim Jong-un thumbing his nose at its main benefactor. Does China abandon the North and invite the consequences? Beijing has already disciplined a party theorist for writing in a British newspaper that China should cut its losses by abandoning the young North Korean leader, instead of coddling him. For the present, the Chinese leadership has decided to grin and bear it, instead of inviting the further wrath of the North.

But the Korean crisis faces a larger question for the world powers. A peace treaty between the two Koreas has never been signed and the North has now repudiated the long-held truce, at least rhetorically. The US has demonstrated its muscular support to the South rhetorically and through a display of its fire-power by sending its most potent arsenal in fighter planes all the way from the mainland and by moving other military assets in the seas towards the Korean theatre. The UN Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-moon, himself a South Korean, has sounded his alarm by declaring that the conflict had gone “too far”.

The world is waiting in particular to find out how far Mr Kim Jong-un will go in his bizarre muscle-flexing exercise. There must come a point at which the young leader must pipe down or reach over the brink. Even in the days of the Cold War, the then two super powers had a pretty good idea of the intentions of each other. This is, indeed, the first instance in the post-Cold War era in which the world is sailing in uncharted waters. And it primarily depends upon one person to call off a suicidal course that cannot benefit his country.

The ruling junta in North Korea is opaque at the best of times, but what complicates the picture is that with the accession to power of the young Mr Kim on his father’s death, he has to prove his manhood to his generals who provide the military muscle to prop up the regime and convince them that he is in the traditional mould of his father and grandfather. He will presumably need Chinese help to climb down, but for the moment he is cross with Beijing for supporting the new condemnation and sanctions against North Korea in the UN Security Council.

Washington’s problem is that while it does not want to roil the waters in the Far East, with the Syrian civil war raging, it has to declare full support to its South Korean ally while comforting Japanese nerves frayed by developments in Pyongyang. There have been recent military exercises with Japan, apart from continuing exercises with South Korea. Indeed, the mood in Japan under the Liberal Democrat Prime Minister, Mr Shinzo Abe, is more hawkish although the Japanese people are still not in favour of going the whole hog.

The irony is that US President Barack Obama’s declared “pivot” to Asia has been greeted by North Korea with extravagant rhetoric and the unpredictability of it shooting from the hip. With the major powers’ attention fixed on the Middle East (the Indian definition of West Asia is imprecise) and the civil war in Syria, North Korea is a distraction they could well have done without.

Mr Kim Jing-un has certainly grabbed the attention of the world by firing long-range rockets and conducting a further nuclear test. What is unclear is how he climbs down from his hobby horses without losing face in a society mindful of its amour proper, destitute as most of its people are. That remains the unanswered question. The United States has made full preparations for any eventuality but has for the present decided not to take the high-flown rhetoric too seriously. It remains to be seen whether the young North Korean leader has new surprises up his sleeve.

Martyr Hemraj's wife duped of Rs. 10 lakh
Mathura: The wife of soldier Lance Naik Hemraj, who was killed by Pakistani troops near the Line of Control, was duped of Rs. 10 lakh on Friday in the presence of her brother-in-law and a relative near a petrol pump on the outskirts of Kosi town area.

In her complaint, Dharmvati, the widow of Hemraj said that one Amit Kumar, who claimed that he was an Army officer and sent by the Army Headquarters, approached her at her native Shernagar village this morning.

According to the complaint, Amit advised Dharmvati to keep the relief packages provided to her in different banks.
On his advice, she agreed to withdraw Rs. 20 lakh from SBI Chhatta branch.

Accompanied by brother-in-law Bhagwan Singh, her uncle Gajendra Singh and Amit, Dharmvati reached the SBI Chhatta branch.

"Rs. 20 lakh were withdrawn from the bank, out of which a fixed deposit of Rs. 10 lakh was made in the same branch in favour of my daughter Shivani, whereas we planned to deposit the remaining Rs. 10 lakh in a bank in nearby Bukharari village," she told police.

Dharmvati claimed that she was seated on Amit's motorcycle, whereas her brother-in-law and uncle were on another motorcycle.

In the complaint, she mentioned that Rs. 10 lakh were kept in Amit's bag. Thereafter, all four proceeded towards Bukharari village.

"Amit stopped his motorcycle at a petrol pump near Sonu Monu Dhaba at the outskirt of Kosi town, pretending that he needed petrol for his bike," she said.

As Dharmvati got down from the motorcycle, Amit fled with the amount, the complaint alleged.

"The SOG has been asked to look into the case, the CCTV footage of the bank is being examined to arrest the man at the earliest," Senior Superintendent of Police Pradeep Yadav said.

"Though Dharmvati was asked to inform the police about any major financial transaction she makes in the bank for the safety of amount, she did not do so," SSP Yadav added.

On March 25, an attempt to fraudulently withdraw Rs. 60 lakh, of the relief amount given to her, was made at a bank in Palwal district of Haryana.

A person in Palwal submitted two cheques of Rs. 30 lakh each at a SBI branch to withdraw the money from the account of Dharmvati.

Lance Hemraj was killed and beheaded by Pakistani troops near the Line of Control in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir on January 8.

The Evolution of Indian Army's ICT Infrastructure

Communications are critical for all military operations. During the world war era, Armies used to rely on primitive systems and even send messages using pigeons to deliver important orders. Modern Armies use high-tech satellite systems, ultra high bandwidth optical fiber cables, radio based mobile adhoc networks and cognitive radio technology to make sure that all personnel in the battlefield are aware of the battle situation and function as a cohesive whole. Communications have become the greatest battle winning factor after soldiers and weapon systems. Under the netcentric doctrine being followed by most modern Armies, communications are perceived as the most important combat power enhancement factor.

Communications Technologies in Defense
The world has witnessed a strange role reversal as far as the relationship between Defence Forces and Communication Technology Providers is concerned. In the fifties and sixties, Defense was the most important and perhaps the largest user of communications. Communications technologies were developed keeping in mind Defence requirements. The Internet started out as the DARPANET in the US which was later adapted for civilian usage. Similarly the CDMA cellular technology was originally developed for Defence forces to avoid interception and jamming by enemy Electronic Warfare agencies. However, in the nineties, explosive growth in the sheer volume of civilian communications led to a new business model and thus the information revolution. This made service providers as the prime focus of the communications industry. In an intense,market driven economy, Defense requirements have today taken a backseat. Defense forces, all over the world are being increasingly forced to look towards Commercial-off the-Shelf (COTS) technologies to fulfill their requirements. While this is a winning situation for the industry, which is now able to service both the commercial and Defense sectors using similar technologies, this has often led to long delays in short listing of technologies for Defense usage and delayed fructification of important Defense projects. The Indian Army's communication network infrastructure is looked after by the Corps of Signals. In the last two decades, the ICT infrastructure within the Army has undergone a paradigm shift mimicking the telecom growth in the country. The Army boasts of its own secure national converged network called the Army One Network. While details of the network are not widely known, this network is fault tolerant to meet military specifications and includes redundancy and recovery mechanisms for automatic traffic re-routing. The Army also operates its own cellular network in J&K providing carrier grade cellular facilities to soldiers involved in counter insurgency operations. The Army's satellite nodes are spread throughout the length and breadth of the country and provide communication facilitiesin remote and difficult areas like the Siachen glacier. The Army is also developing several hundred kilometers of optical fiber cabling to provide high bandwidth communications to support the exponential growth of communication traffic.The Directorate General of Information Systems(DGIS) develops applications for the Army.

The DGIS provides IT and ITES verticals, starting from software applications which manage the clothing requirements of Army jawans till complex decision support systems. The DGIS has equipped Army units and formations with necessary IT resources to usher in Army wide

automation and assist operational information gathering and exploitation. Though nascent in implementation, almost all systems which will host Army wide information systems are in the pipeline as per a sound roadmap.

Going State of the Art

As in the commercial world, the Army is also now witnessing the network-application "meltdown" with applications driving network growth and network capacity in turn leading to increase in application complexity. Accordingly, today the Indian Army is on the verge of replacing a large number of existing ICT systems with the state - of - the - art. The Army's' old workhorse network is called the Army Radio Engineered Network (AREN). This indigenously conceived system for the field formations was launched more than three decades ago and is on the verge of being replaced by the Tactical Communication System (TCS). TCS, valued at more than `10,000 Crores is India's first "Make" program. Government owned Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) in the public sector will join the race for prototype development with a Ministry selected Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) Company. Led by L&T, the SPV includes Tata Power SED and HCL Infosystems Limited. It is the first-ever program wherein three major private sector companies have formed a consortium together to provide indigenous solution for strategically important acquisition of the Army. As is the trend worldwide, TCS is envisaged to have a large percentage of COTS technologies, albeit customized and hardened for usage by the Army in the tactical battlefield. It is envisaged to use state of the art technologies like mobile adhoc networks and emerging 3G/4G cellular technologies. As a paradigm switch, TCS would link the forward most soldier to the high capacity national networks and carry critical voice, video and data for the digitized battlefield of the future. The Army is also set to transform its backbone network called Army Static Switched Communication Network (ASCON). ASCON was evolved to integrate the telecommunication infrastructure of the hinterland with the tactical communication networks. It is a digital, fully automated,secure, reliable communication system based on microwave radio, optical fiber cable and satellite equipment. Value added Services such as fax, telex, data transfer were also available to defence users on this network. Currently the existing ASCON network is being expanded and undergoing a technology upgrade. Simultaneously, BSNL is developing a Pan India backbone that shall be fully owned by the Army. Called project NFS (Network for Spectrum) the OFC network will be laid over 60,000 km to provide connectivity for 129 Army, 162 Air Force and 33 Naval stations. It is being built by BSNL in lieu of the commercial mobile spectrum vacated by the Defence services.

Expanding Network

The Army is also planning to expand its integral cellular network to ther parts of the country in a phased manner. Priority is being decided for the rollout of the ext generation cellular networks of the Army. The network will be expanded into areas of the northern and eastern parts of the country in the next few years. While adding critical tworking and infrastructure capabilities, the Army is constantly upgrading its cyber posture. Recently, the Army unveiled plans to complement ICT with Electronics and Cyber apabilities. Labeled ICTEC, (Information Communication Technologies Electronics and Cyber), the new paradigm envisages to integrate electronic warfare and cyber aspects with information and communication architecture from the ground up achieving full spectrum dominance. The recently concluded DEFCOM seminar deliberated on these aspects. The Indian Army is set to trail blaze along the information pathway as it transforms into a netcentric force. As it develops new capabilities, the Army is ensuring that its personnel are fully trained to handle the challenges of next generation information warfare. At the Military College of Telecommunications

"As it develops new capabilities, the Army is ensuring that its personnel are fully

trained to handle the challenges of the information war looming on the horizon"

Engineering, located at Mhow, near Indore in Madhya Pradesh, the Corps of Signals trains its information warriors in next generation warfare amidst global standards. Specializing in network control operations, network planning, electronic warfare and cyber security, personnel are being trained in specialized technical fields. The Army which trains its own engineers at the diploma, graduate, post graduate and doctorate levels is ensuring that its key personnel are fully prepared to meet the challenges in de

Indian Army Might Replace the Maruti Gypsy With a Tata, Mahindra or Nissan Model
The Indian army announced it plans to replace its aging Maruti Gypsy 4×4 models.

The army has already invited prototypes of SUVs from Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra Limited and Nissan, as possible replacements for the dated Maruti Gypsy 4×4 models. After it will evaluate all prototypes on all the technical grounds, the army will invite price quotes from the automakers.

According to anonymous sources Tata has offered the army a model based on its Safari Storme platform, while Mahindra came with a prototype based on the flagship Scorpio SUV. Nissan, who also plans to become the Indian army’s new customer, offered a model developed on its X-Trail premium SUV platform.

The army will begin replacing its MAruti Gypsy models in a phased manner beginning with 2017, investing Rs. 3,000 crore for a 30,000 SUV fleet. Currently, the army has a fleet of 27,000 Maruti Gypsy vehicles. One of the main requirements made by the army is that the new model should fall in the 800 kg category, an increase from the 500 kg of Maruti Gypsy. The models should also be fitted with an 120 bhp or more diesel engine, and be Bharat Stage III and IV compliant.

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