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Friday, 26 April 2013

From Today's Papers - 26 Apr 2013
Army shows the way
Counselling needed for cadaver donation

More than 1lakh Indians suffer from end-stage kidney failure every year, but barely 3,000 receive a donour kidney. The figure for cadaver organs donation is abysmally small in India. This is so despite the fact that in 1994 the Transplantation of Human Organs Act was made to provide for the regulation of removal, storage and transplantation of human organs for therapeutic purposes and for the prevention of commercial dealings in human organs. The Act accepted 'brain death' as a definition of death, thus allowing relatives to pledge the cadaver organs for the benefit of a living person through organ transplant.

But according to the Directorate-General of Health Services (DGHS), only 1,000 of the 35,000 transplants, performed after the Act came into force have used organs from cadaver donation. The most serious challenge that this modern and well-meaning Act faces comes from a total lack of counselling of the bereaved families that do not take to organ donation easily due to the superstitions attached to it. But the armed forces have shown the way. A number of retired armed forces volunteers have counselled families for cadaver donation. With over 8000 soldiers and their families who have registered and pledged their organs with the Armed Forces Organ Retrieval and Transplant Authority, it has so far facilitated 44 liver, 70 renal, and three heart transplants, showing the way to save more lives.

Though the Union Health Ministry has an ambitious plan for a National Organ Transplant Programme and has already set up an Organ Retrieval Banking Organisation (ORBO) at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). The ORBO has performed close to a thousand transplants since it was established in 2003. But with no urgency for greater awareness, no more donours are added. Even the medical community is not made aware of its need. If only they were told, a single donated cadaver could yield 37 organs and tissues, giving a new lease of life to as many as seven people.
Understanding the standoff in Ladakh
China’s approach to its core territorial interests has become uncompromising in recent years and is manifesting across the board from a climate of discord in the South China Sea, the dispute with Japan over the East China Sea islands, to the Himalayan dispute with India.
Zorawar Daulet Singh

In the cacophony of media coverage a nuanced portrayal of the Ladakh standoff has fallen by the wayside. Since context is so important, it is worth exploring both the macro and micro causes for such incidents.
The macro-narrative locates the present standoff to China’s stronger periphery control measures that are part of an increasingly sensitive and assertive China across its continental and maritime frontiers. China’s perceptions and its approach to its entire periphery has undergone changes in recent years. The reasons can be attributed mostly to internal political dynamics where the Dengist image of a pragmatic and agreeable China has been trumped by a more assertive self-image of China as a great power. The East Asian geopolitical dynamic, especially the US ‘pivot’ and renewed intra-allied cooperation in the US security network, only reinforces China’s threat perceptions and its assertive posture. This is now an ongoing game as part of the evolving balance of power in the Asia Pacific.

To some extent, locating Chinese frontier activity with India in the context of its evolving worldview makes sense. Yet, the India-China border has a distinct dynamic and Chinese intentions here cannot be simply read off from Beijing’s geostrategic posture toward its eastern seaboard.

Missed opportunities

There have been three opportunities since 1960 in resolving this dispute. Zhou Enlai made an offer to solve the dispute via an east-west swapping of claims during his 1960 visit. India’s reluctance to equate the two sectors would see this offer being rejected. In 1979 Deng Xiaoping made a formal offer for a “package solution” to Foreign Minister Vajpayee during the latter’s visit to Beijing. Once again, the Indian side could not countenance a change in its negotiating position. A third opening came with the April 2005 “Political Parameters and Guiding Principles” Agreement, which indicated that both sides had substantially converged their positions on the overarching principles that would guide a settlement. The 2005 agreement declared that a “package settlement” is the only way forward along with a mutual recognition that this would involve minor territorial adjustments by both sides.

Third time around it was China that would pull back by hardening its diplomatic position and adopting a more vigorous approach to border management via a strengthening of the PLA’s logistical network across the plateau. Partly, these measures have been attributed to China’s perceived insecurity over Tibet though this matters little because the potential spillover effects on India are real.

Lines of Actual Control

Despite having formally agreed to the principles the negotiating process got stuck since 2006. Once the bargaining process lost steam, each side shifted its posture toward reasserting claims to their preferred LACs.

Why are there conflicting LACs? In the east, the 1914 Line on which India bases its ground position was never formally demarcated. It was an alignment on a small-scale map. Both sides interpret the 1914 alignment differently creating “a dispute within a dispute.” As former National Security Adviser Narayanan has noted, “In the McMahon Line itself, because of modern cartography…There may be certain amount of changes with regard to the agreement that we may reach.”

In the west, there is no accepted treaty arrangement and China by virtue of geography occupied most of its claim line by 1960 with marginal increments during the war. The 1992 Ministry of Defence’s Official History of 1962 notes that China eliminated “possible launch pads for any offensive against the Aksai Chin highway by eliminating Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO), Chushul and Demchok positions”. Unsurprisingly, these pockets continue to witness intense probing by both sides.

After the April 23 flag meeting it is clear that both sides are engaged in probing up to their preferred LACs. China’s intrusion into DBO is probably a reaction to India’s probing elsewhere, which in turn is a reaction to the Chinese probing somewhere else. As Defence Minister Antony’s told Parliament in 2012, “Indian security forces patrol up to all areas that fall within the Indian perception of the LAC.”

In recent years, both sides have been adhering to the ‘rules’ of the game by avoiding frontal contacts. In other words, each side would transgress into a disputed pocket and withdraw. Yet, the intensity of patrolling and frequent face-to-face encounters probably touched levels where China suggested in December 2010 to establish a political-level device to supplement previous confidence-building agreements. This led to the “Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on Border Affairs” agreed in 2011. In the two meetings held so far an agreement had been reached to avoid tailing of patrols.

China’s concern expressed at the flag meetings about new Indian border outposts being too close to disputed pockets compared to its own more extensive but less threatening infrastructure needs to be contextualised. Forbidding terrain on the Indian side makes the notion of a vertical logistical road-rail network running up from the plains to mountain points impossible. While Indian troops must negotiate treacherous terrain at times, the PLA can simply drive up to selected points.

Hence, India to preserve oversight on the LAC needs limited forward infrastructure to base some troops. China’s flat terrain allows it the luxury of a defence in depth with the lethal option of rapidly concentrating forces in any sector without having its troops deployed close to the LAC. Chinese sensitivity is probably more linked to its Tibetan problem than a genuine threat from India’s border management. But perceptions drive policies and this issue needs mutual reassurance.

Missing forest for trees

At some point intense forward probing can tend to undermine the bigger negotiating picture with both militaries seeking marginal improvements in their LACs. If political oversight from both sides over the operational details is robust then this game can carry on a little longer. While on India’s side political oversight is strong, overzealous tactical behaviour must not be allowed to dictate the strategy of seeking a negotiated settlement.

Paradoxically, the real incentive for intense probing is structurally built into the present negotiating process where each side aspires to put forward its preferred LAC since these cartographic positions will shape the bargaining over the precise nature of territorial adjustments during negotiations. In this sense, the militaries are following the logic of the political negotiating process!

If the present negotiating structure is leading to an endless scramble over legitimating conflicting LACs, can the overall approach be amended? Yes, but this would require political will on both sides to bring both formal claims (Aksai Chin for India, Arunachal for China) and conflicting LACs claims into one single process of negotiations rather than the sequential approach of unilaterally establishing LACs and then bargaining. “Give and take” would involve both swapping the formal claims – Aksai Chin for Arunachal Pradesh – and also simultaneously making mutual adjustments on the ground based on differing LACs. This presumes some strategic trust because it would involve being sensitive to the other side’s security perceptions and tactical requirements.
China strategy: Mackinder vs Mahan

India’s geostrategy is being contested by Mackinder and Mahanian images and some of India’s strategic ambivalence can be traced to the lack of a well-defined geopolitical image to ground a debate on grand strategy. A Mahanian solution to the China challenge is that India can overcome some of its continental disadvantages vis-à-vis China by posing a nuisance to China’s sea lines of communication (SLOCs) or even involving itself in East Asian disputes. The underlying logic stems from the idea of horizontal escalation where asymmetry in one theatre can be sought to overcome by escalating the conflict to a wider geographical domain. In sum, if China pursues adventurism in the mountains, India can respond on the high seas.

How can India deter serious Chinese conventional pressure from being applied on the frontiers? There is no alternative to deterrence capabilities in the continental realm where India’s core interests (territorial integrity in this case) can be threatened. Perhaps, a more systematic way to develop deterrence options is through a two-fold process. First, strengthen India’s frontier tripwires at key pockets across the LAC by enhancing logistics, heavy-lift capabilities and surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to increase the ability to move forces forward toward vulnerable mountain passes. This would raise some costs for China.

Second, rather than escalation in peripheral domains, the ability to vertically and horizontally escalate the levels of violence is an important element of enhancing deterrence. China is logistically capable of amassing a large volume of forces and firepower to any sector at short notice. To deter such a blitzkrieg scenario, India can signal a capability and a doctrine that enables it to respond in a domain that China truly values – its continental heartland.

This implies that India requires stand-off deterrent systems – such as longer-range missiles and greater reach in air power. Some of these capabilities already exist but they have not been directed toward political and deterrence objectives by a central policymaker. Consequently, the services – the Army and the Air Force in this case – have been left to indulge their parochial preferences that preclude a joint land-air doctrine. The Army remains wedded to a manpower-intensive approach to deterrence and the Air Force is content with accumulating ad hoc capabilities without contributing to a stable deterrence posture.

It is puzzling that India is developing out of area expeditionary capabilities without first addressing the heavy lift transport requirements for its core security needs. Perhaps, it was from such a fragmented assessment, that a widely read policy document in 2012 argued to promote asymmetric deterrence by preparing to “trigger an effective insurgency in the areas occupied by Chinese forces” in the event of an invasion!

India should focus more on continental China rather than maritime China, and, it is the balance of power and influence on the Himalayan frontiers that needs constant strategic attention. The Mahanians have been urging India to discard its continental images and envisage a maritime role for India to become a “net security provider” in other regions. The Mahanians in some respects do reflect the wider changes in India’s economic and diplomatic profile that have dispersed Indian interests across the globe. It is true that a globalising India has an economic and cultural footprint in several continents and India’s institutions should reflect this. But it is by no means clear whether the maritime instrument, often projected as a potential guarantor of India’s expanding global interests, should be leading this process. And it is certainly not evident that India should pursue an extra-regional role before having produced a modicum of security and influence in its own region. — ZDS
Army briefs govt on China options
LAC CRISIS: China Study Group prefers diplomatic resolution, wants Army to keep up pressure
Ajay Banerjee/TNS

New Delhi, April 25
As Indian and Chinese troops continued to hold respective ground positions in northern Ladakh, India’s top strategic policy body, the China Study Group, received a list of options from the Army to tackle the current crisis. India has, so far, opted for a diplomatic resolution to the standoff triggered by the April 15 incursion by Chinese troops in the Daulat Beg Oldie sector in Ladakh.

Army Chief General Bikram Singh briefed Defence Minister AK Antony on the matter and discussed the situation with Vice Chief Lt Gen SK Singh who has served in Leh as the 14 Corps Commander and is well versed with the terrain. The China Study Group has been tasked to deal with the matter in consultation with the Prime Minister’s Office and the Defence Ministry. A flag meeting between the two sides could be held tomorrow. Two previous flag-meetings conducted by Brigadier-level officials have been inconclusive.

The options given by the Army include using the military aggressively. The CSG has so far opted to resolve the matter through diplomatic means while using the Army to keep up the pressure. The troops along the eastern and northern Ladakh have been put on alert. Indian agencies believe that the current move by the Chinese was “a well-thought out plan which was supposedly cleared at the highest level.” It isn’t a localised action by some ‘aggressive’ commander, they feel.

One of the options would be to block the supply routes to the Chinese tent. On an average, a trooper consumes one kg ration per day at this altitude. The Chinese are believed to be 37-38 in number and are in the tent since April 15. There supplies will have to replenished. The Indian side says there has been no replenishment so far. Army’s long-term plan includes having more posts along the LAC. The Chinese, so far, have not altered its tent troop strength, once they do it, other options would be considered, said sources.

The CSG, headed by the National Security Adviser, has the Cabinet Secretary, the Secretaries of Defence, Home and External Affairs as members. It also has the Vice Chief of the Indian Army in it. The Intelligence Bureau and the RAW chiefs can be asked to pitch in.

Army deployment in the North (LEH)

    14 Corps Leh
    3 Infantry Division
    8 Mountain Division
    Artillery Brigade

Dragon power

Extensive road and rail network, including the Golma-Lhasa rail link across Tibet, can facilitate swift movement of Chinese troops

The border tussle

    The current standoff is a result of Chinese intrusion in the Daulat Beg Oldie sector
    Chinese troops have entered 8-10 km inside the Indian territory and pitched a tent east of the Raki Nullah. The tent has 37-38 Chinese troops with sniffer dogs
    Around 800-1,000 m away, on the other side of the nullah, is the Indian Army tent. The tents on either side are being used as a staging ground from where a small group of 12-15 troops are dispatched, in rotation, to the third location which is the actual face-off site
    At this spot, the gun-toting troops are in an eyeball-to- eyeball position. The troops are 100m apart across the dry Raki Nullah. Both sides have been showing banners to each other asking the other side to withdraw as per the April 2005 pact
Delhi, Beijing for quick resolution of standoff
Ashok Tuteja/TNS

New Delhi, April 25
India and China today appeared eager to amicably resolve the situation arising from the Chinese incursion in Ladakh ahead of External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid visits Beijing on May 9.

Official sources said the two countries were closely in touch through various diplomatic channels and an attempt was being to put the border standoff behind them as quickly as possible.

Sources said China has raised some concerns with India in recent months regarding the LAC and New Delhi was trying to address these. Sources did not identify China’s concerns but Beijing, of late, has complained about India ramping up its border infrastructure after neglecting it for long.

New Delhi says it has raised concerns regarding increased Chinese activity on the border and frequent incursions by People’s Liberation Army. India has recorded more than 600 ‘transgressions’ along the unresolved LAC over the last three years.

Sources said the border issue between the two countries was expected to figure prominently during talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and new Chinese Premier Li Keqiang when the latter visits New Delhi on May 20. “Surely, the Chinese would not like their Premier’s visit to take place in a negative atmosphere...the whole purpose of the visit would be defeated,” they said.

Khurshid, meanwhile, confirmed that he would be visiting China on May 9 to do the groundwork for Li’s visit. He was confident that the latest row would be resolved.

Noting that there was a working mechanism between the two countries to deal with such issues, the Foreign Minister said: “Let us allow that mechanism to find its solution, and repeatedly it has found (resolution). We believe that it should be able to do it again.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying also made positive noises while asserting that its troops have not caused any ‘provocation’ by violating the LAC.
We didn't provoke border tension, says adamant China
Beijing: Sticking to its stand that Chinese troops have not caused any "provocation" by violating the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, China today said the incident will not affect bilateral ties or disrupt peace at the borders as both sides are trying to resolve it in a friendly manner.

"I do not agree with your allegation that it is the Chinese side that has caused the provocation between the border troops" Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying replying to questions about the intrusion of Chinese troops at the Depsang Valley in Ladakh.

"China's troops have never crossed the (LAC) line. China and India are neighbours and the boundary is not demarcated yet.
"It is inevitable for problems to prop up in border areas. When there is a problem it should be resolved through friendly consultations though existing mechanisms and channels", she said.

"We believe this incident can also be handled and will not affect the peace and stability of the border areas as well as the normal development of China and India relations", she said.

Urging the media to be patient, she said, "We also believe that the two sides continue to solve the issue in a friendly manner and we will not let the issue affect border peace and security and normal development of China-India relations".

"We hope relevant media can keep patience and create favourable conditions for the two countries to solve this issue through friendly consultations", she said.

The spokesperson said the situation on the Sino-Indian border is peaceful and stable.

"Just want to tell you that the current situation in the border area is peaceful and stable. Both China and India have the willingness to solve the dispute through peaceful negotiations and consultations.

"In the past three days I have repeatedly stressed China's point and now I would like to reiterate that Chinese troops have always acted in strict compliance to relevant treaty and protocol between the two countries regarding the protection of security of the areas around the LAC", she said.

China is committed to peace and security of the border areas as well as the negotiated settlement of the boundary issue left over from history, she said.

Asked about reports that the Chinese troops were insisting on Indian army to remove certain fortifications in that area, she said "since I am not in the frontier, so I do not know the latest development of the situation...Both China and India have the willingness to solve the dispute through peaceful negotiations and consultations".

She acknowledged that the two countries are holding talks through existing mechanisms.

"The two countries had set up the consultation mechanism last year and have maintained simultaneous communication over relevant issues", she said.
How India's handling Chinese incursion at Ladakh
The Indian Army chief General Bikram Singh has briefed Defence Minister AK Antony on the Chinese incursion at Ladakh. The General reviewed the situation yesterday with senior commanders in Jammu and Kashmir. 

China has rejected India's accusations that a platoon of its soldiers entered Indian territory on April 15 to set up camp in the Depsang valley, while Chinese helicopters provided cover by entering Indian airspace.   Two flag meetings between military commanders from both sides have not ended the deadlock.  A third session is expected tomorrow.

Despite the tension at the disputed border, the worst in years, Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid has confirmed he will visit China on May 9.
The Indian army has told the government that it has not detected a build-up on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Unmanned aerial vehicles have been deployed to track the Chinese army's activities near Daulat Beg Oldie, where India established a landing strip during the 1962 war. At 5,100 meters (16,700 feet), the strip is one of the world's highest. It was reopened in 2008.

Two flag meetings of army commanders from both sides have not accomplished a breakthrough. At the second of those meetings, held yesterday, China reiterated that its camp is not located on the Indian side of the disputed border and said its soldiers would not withdraw.

"I believe we have a mutual interest and we should not destroy years of contribution we have put together," Mr Khurshid said today.

His trip to China is part of scheduled preparations for a visit by the newly installed Chinese Premier Li Keqiang who is expected in New Delhi on May 20 for his first overseas trip.
Parliamentary panel members want details on incursion from Defence Ministry, Army
 As the stand-off with China continued, BJP members of a Parliamentary Committee have demanded that officials of the Defence Ministry and the Army be called before it to get a clear picture of the situation and on how the government is handling it.

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Prakash Javadekar, members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence, have written to Chairman Raj Babbar, seeking summoning of the officials to the meeting slated for tomorrow.

In the joint letter, they have said that the situation in Ladakh is "very serious" and the Defence Ministry and the Army should be asked to explain what is happening in the Daulat Beg Oldi area where Chinese troops have entered and are camping.

The two members wanted this to be added as "urgent matter" to the agenda of the meeting.

Naqvi said they wanted the officials of the Defence Ministry and the Army to be called as the nation is concerned over the developments in Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir.

He said the picture was not clear about the situation there and the Committee should be told about the developments.

Chinese troops have entered about 10 kms inside Indian territory and are refusing to leave even after two flag meetings were held.

"The issue of incursion by China in Ladakh area is a serious issue. But the government is not taking it that seriously. People are angry (over the situation at the border)," Javadekar said.
Army chief briefs Antony on Chinese incursion
New Delhi, April 25 (IANS) The Chinese incursion in Ladakh featured prominently during a meeting here Thursday between Defence Minister A.K. Antony and Indian Army chief Gen. Bikram Singh, informed sources said.

Various options were discussed during the meeting, the sources said, even as they termed the incursion a "technicality" that would be dealt with the local commanders on the ground.

The meeting comes a day after Gen. Bikram Singh returned from a visit to the Northern Command headquarters at Nagrota, near Jammu, where he met the army commander, Lt. Gen. K.T. Parnaik, and other senior officers.

The sources said the army had also given its inputs to the China Study Group that is monitoring the situation in the Depsang area in Ladakh, where Chinese troops had April 15 set up a post inside Indian territory, about 10 km from the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de-facto border between the two countries.

Headed by National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon, the China Study Group includes the secretaries of the defence, external affairs and home ministries.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said Thursday he would visit China May 9 as previously scheduled and expressed confidence that the current stand-off on the LAC would be resolved.

"I am going on May 9," Khurshid told reporters when asked about his proposed visit to China.

Khurshid said there was a working mechanism between the two countries to deal with such issues and expressed confidence that New Delhi and Beijing would be able to resolve the row following the incursion by Chinese troops in the Depsang area in Ladakh.

"Let us allow that mechanism to find its solution, and repeatedly it has found (resolution). We have good reasons to believe that it should be able to do it again," he told reporters.

On Wednesday, Defence Minister A.K. Antony said talks were on with China at various levels to resolve the stand-off.

"Our government will take every step to protect the national interest and the country's security. Negotiations are going on at various levels to resolve the issue," Antony had told reporters.

Indian and Chinese military commanders had Tuesday held a second flag meeting to resolve the stand-off over incursion by Chinese troops into the Indian side of the LAC in Ladakh.

India has asked China to maintain the status quo that existed before the intrusion.

Khurshid's trip comes ahead Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's visit to India in the third week of May.

A spokesperson for China's Foreign Ministry has reiterated that China's border troops have "strictly observed relevant agreements between China and India".

Responding to a journalist's question on the issue, Hua Chunying told a daily press briefing in Beijing: "The Chinese side has confined activities to within the Chinese border and never trespassed across the line."

She said that China and India had already established a consultation and coordination mechanism on border issues, adding that "the communication channels are open."

The maintenance of peace along the border is the consensus between China and India and complies with both their interests, Hua said.
Equip Indian armed forces with state of art equipments: Jitendra Singh
New Delhi, Apr. 25 (ANI): Minister of State for Defence Jitendra Singh on Thursday said that there is a need to change the approach from 'acquiring technology' to 'development of technology' in order to achieve desired level of indigenization, and added that the aim should be to equip the Indian armed forces with state of art equipments to bring them at par with the world leaders.

Singh, who inaugurating a two-day seminar on Night Fighting Capability here, addressed a galaxy of senior officials from armed forces, production agencies, industry from India and abroad and scientists from DRDO and academia.

Appreciating the strides made in indigenous design and development and production of equipment to enhance night fighting capabilities, Singh emphasized on self-reliance in the field of instrumentation and to reduce the import content to a minimum.

He also emphasized the need of greater synergy among different stakeholders in the process of development i.e. DRDO, public sector and private industry.

Stressing on the need to further improve indigenous capabilities in this area, he said, "we are facing incursions from across the land borders and there is need to have early warning systems to handle such situations more effectively.

A monograph on EO/IR technologies brought out by IRDE, Dehradun was released by the Minister of State for Defence on this occasion.

Trekking the development of night vision devices by DRDO from its earliest days, Dr. V K Saraswat, Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister, Secretary Deptt. of Defence RandD and DG DRDO highlighted the achievements of DRDO in the field of electro-optics.

He also mentioned about the development of 'Thermal Imaging based commander's sight for T-72 and T-90 tanks as well as BMPs, thus removing the night blindness of these Armoured Fighting Vehicles.

Mentioning about the progress made by IRDE in this critical area, he gave the example of recently developed Integrated Multi Functional Sight that weighs within 3.5 kg, as compared to the 1st generation devices of similar nature that used to weigh around 55 kg.

Emphasizing the need to strengthen manufacturing infrastructure in the country, he stated that the country had to gear up to produce the advanced Thermal Detectors indigenously, "Our biggest weakness is the availability of infrared imaging detector fabrication facilities.

Delivering the keynote address, Lt. Gen. SK Singh, Vice Chief of Army Staff briefed about the army acquisition plans for the next decade and expected DRDO to match the expectations of the armed forces. The partnership of private industry could be crucial, he emphasized. The Services today are looking for innovative technological solutions to stay ahead of their adversaries.

Anil Kumar, CMD, BEL in his address put forth the industry perspective. He assured that BEL centres are always ready to support the indigenisation efforts of the country and will deliver the quality instruments in time to the armed forces.

The seminar aimed at familiarizing Armed forces with the capabilities of DRDO in this field and understand their present and future requirements is attended by senior officers from the Armed Forces, the Ordnance factories, public sector giants like Bharat Electronics and private sector partners.

Eight foreign firms from countries France, Belgium, Greece, Israel, Netherlands and USA also participated and exhibited their products.

Convener Avnish Kumar, Scientist "G" informed that the two day seminar was being attended by nearly 350 delegates including about 100 from services, 46 from public sector, 40 from Indian industries, 31 foreign delegates and delegates from various government and DRDO labs.

An exhibition of the night Vision equipments developed by DRDO and led to production by BEL, Ordinance factories and private partners was also organized. A variety of thermal Imagers covering wide range of applications for Army, Navy and Air force.

EOFCS for navy, HHTI with LRF, Commander's TI sights for T-72, T-90 and BMP, Commander's Panoramic sight for MBT, Holographic sight and Light-weight Laser Target Designator were the main equipment exhibited by IRDE.

The seminar is organized by the Dehradun-based DRDO lab 'Instruments Research and Development Establishment (IRDE)'. (ANI)
India, China face-off escalates: Army contemplating military options Beijing: With China not budging from its stand, Indian Army has briefed the Government about various military options that can be exercised to deal with the situation arising out of the intrusion in Ladakh.

The Army has given its inputs on the incursion by Chinese troops to the National Security Advisor-headed China Study Group which includes the Secretaries of the Ministries of Defence, Home and External Affairs, government sources said.

Meanwhile, ignoring India's demand to revert to a status-quo in Depsang Valley, China on Wednesday firmly stuck to its stand that its troops have not violated the Line of Actual
Control (LAC) ‘by a step’ in the Ladakh region.
"I want to reiterate here that the Chinese border troops have been acting in strict compliance with the bilateral agreements and conducting normal patrol on the Chinese side of the LAC. They have never crossed the line by a step", Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing.  

"The two sides should abide by their consensus which is in the interest of both. The two sides should work together to properly resolve border issues with in the framework of existing mechanisms and create favourable conditions for the bilateral relations", she said.

Chinese copters violate Indian airspace

Earlier, there were reports that two Chinese military helicopters violated Indian airspace at Chumar, several hundred kms southeast of Leh, adding to the prevailing tension.

The Chinese choppers entered the Indian airspace on April 21 and hovered over the area for quite sometime and returned after dropping some food cans, cigarette packets and notes
written in their local language, official sources said on Wednesday.

This is the first time, after the controversy broke, that China has acknowledged that the issue is being discussed between the two countries.

Meanwhile, Indian Army had rushed its troops from the 5 Ladakh Scouts battalion to the DBO area and they are camping there. The force is also considering the option of dispatching additional troops if the need arises.

On April 15, a platoon-strength contingent of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) had come 10 km inside the Indian territory in Burthe in the DBO sector on the night of
April 15 and established a tented post there.

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