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Monday, 29 April 2013

From Today's Papers - 29 Apr 2013






http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130429/main5.htm
Willing to work with India to overcome differences: China

Beijing, April 28
China today took note of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's remarks over PLA's incursion into the Depsang Valley and said that it is willing to work with New Delhi to deal with differences while maintaining peace at borders and forging strategic cooperative partnership.

“We have noted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement,” a statement by the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.

“The two sides have been in communication through the working mechanism for consultation and coordination on boundary affairs, border meetings and diplomatic channels for a solution to the incident in part of the western section of the China-India border,” the statement said.

According to the statement, the reaction was in response to a question over Singh's remarks that Chinese troops incursion into the Depsang Valley in Ladakh can be settled through talks.

The Prime Minister told media in New Delhi yesterday that India does not want to “accentuate” the situation in the wake of the recent Chinese incursion in Ladakh and is working on a plan to resolve it.

“We do have a plan. We do not want to accentuate the situation. We do believe that it is possible to resolve this problem. It is a localised problem. I think the talks are going on,” the Prime Minister said.

China had denied that its People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers had pitched tents in Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) sector in Ladakh amounted to trespass and violation of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

The Chinese statement said, “We stand ready to work together with India to properly deal with differences and maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas in a bid to boost the healthy and stable development of China-India strategic and cooperative partnership.”

It said “while actively developing friendly cooperation in recent years, China and India have committed themselves to settling disputes including the boundary question through peaceful negotiation and preventing the disputes from affecting the development of bilateral relations”.

The two sides are currently trying to resolve the issue through border consultation mechanism inked last year even as External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid is due visit Beijing on May 9, which officials said would be followed by new Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visit to New Delhi. — PTI

What PM had said

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in New Delhi on Saturday that India does not want to “accentuate” the situation in the wake of the recent Chinese incursion in Ladakh and is working on a plan to resolve it

We stand ready to work together with India to properly deal with differences and maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas in a bid to boost the healthy and stable development of China-India strategic and cooperative partnership.
— Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130429/main6.htm
India to push for early deal in N-energy with Russia

Moscow, April 28
India is expected to push for early closure of agreements on nuclear energy, fertilisers, banking and textiles sectors at the inter-governmental commission meeting with Russia here tomorrow.

Early agreements on these issues could pave way for key announcements in December when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would travel to Moscow for his annual meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will co-chair the inter-session meeting of the Indo-Russian Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC) with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin.

Khurshid is also expected to push for a stake for India in the Sakhalin-III oilfields and also make a case for ONGC Videsh Limited for exploring and developing oilfields in Siberia.

Last month, the Cabinet Committee on Security had granted financial clearance for Kudankulam 3&4 at a cost of Rs 20 crore per MW. The Kudankulam 3&4 nuclear power units are of 1,000 MW each and the project cost is estimated at Rs 40,000 crore.

However, officials said Russia feels that the offer was too less considering the liability costs under the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Law.

“Kudankulam 1&2 has been placed in a certain framework based on a timeline during which we have moved forward and will that remain the same for 3&4 or you have to organise it in a different format. Those are the discussions taking place,” Khurshid said.

“But, I don’t think in those discussions there is anything there which can be an impediment but there are certain things that you need to converge on so that finally you come to a mutually accepted format,” he said.

Another key issue on agenda is the ambitious Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project which India is developing in collaboration with Japan. India has asked Russia to look up for investments in the industrial zones coming up along the corridor.

India is also looking for enhancing textiles exports to Russia and the issue is likely to figure in the talks between Khurshid and Rogozin. “My visit is focused entirely on the work we have to do in between the annual summits between the heads of government.

Progress has to be examined, many technical issues need to be flagged,” Khurshid said. — PTI

Paving the way

Early agreements on nuclear energy, fertilisers, banking and textiles sectors will pave way for key announcements in December when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would travel to Moscow for his annual meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130429/nation.htm#7
Put NCTC on hold: House panel
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 28
A parliamentary standing committee has "suggested to the government to keep the decision on setting up a national counter-terrorism centre (NCTC) in abeyance until discussions were held with all states, political parties and a consensus was arrived at on the issue".

The committee has taken note of the objections raised by members and the states. "The matter may be sorted out to the satisfaction of all state governments and UTs and decision may be taken with the consensus of all concerned," the committee said.

The suggestion runs contrary to Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde who wants to put the NCTC in place quickly.

The committee has also told the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to completely abolish the system of orderlies, who serve senior police officers at their homes or offices. The 6th Pay Commission has recommended the same. Orderlies are drawn from within the force and are regular policemen.

The committee headed by senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu has come down heavily on the “orderly system” functional in the police and termed it as “discriminatory and reminiscent of British colonial era”. This effects the morale of the personnel who are trained for security duties, said the panel its report tabled in Parliament on April 25.

It has asked the Ministry of Home Affairs to issue a mandatory direction to all police heads not to use any security personnel or police personnel for duties other than their mandated work. Police personnel were made to work at the residences of senior officers of the forces for domestic purposes and refusal by some lower rank personnel resulted into their service problems, said the committee.

The 6th Pay Commission had recommended abolition of the orderly system and the suggestion had been forwarded to authorities concerned, said the panel. The Home Secretary had assured the committee to look into this issue on priority basis.

The Naidu-led committee gave realistic option saying, if it is necessary, then posts of cooks, drivers, attendants should be sanctioned separately.

Raj reminder

    The committee headed by senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu has come down heavily on the “orderly system” functional in the police and termed it as “discriminatory and reminiscent of British colonial era”
    This effects the morale of the personnel who are trained for security duties, said the panel its report tabled in Parliament on April 25
    It has asked the Ministry of Home Affairs to issue a mandatory direction to all police heads not to use any security personnel or police personnel for duties other than their mandated work


http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130429/nation.htm#12
Panel against conversion of SSB units for disaster management
Vijay Mohan/TNS

Chandigarh, April 28
While bringing out the inadequacy in the strength of the of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to deal with large-scale emergency situations, a key parliamentary committee has advised the Centre against converting two battalions of the Sashashtra Seema Bal (SSB) for disaster management role to enhance the capability of the NDRF.

The Parliamentary Committee on Home Affairs has observed that converting the SSB battalions would not be the right approach as it would affect the functioning of the SSB. The panel has asked the government to explore other sources for raising additional battalions for the NDRF.

The SSB, a border guarding force under the Ministry of Home Affairs, is responsible for the management of the borders with Nepal and Bhutan. The force is also undergoing expansion and reorganisation with additional battalions and sector headquarters being raised. It has a posted strength 49,734 personnel against the sanctioned strength of 65,594 personnel.

According to sources, a draft Cabinet note has been prepared by the NDRF for conversion of the two SSB battalions. This will raise the number of NDRF battalions to 12. At present, the force has 10 battalions with three each from the Central Reserve Police Force and the Border Security Force and two each from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force and the Central Industrial Security Force. These are located at strategic places across the country.

The committee had observed that 10 battalions of a specialised force like the NDRF were inadequate for a vast country like India which is vulnerable to natural and man-made disasters.

The NDRF functions under the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). All its battalions are being equipped and trained to handle natural disasters, while four of them are specialised in combating nuclear, biological and chemical disasters. With a sanctioned strength of 1,150 personnel, each NDRF battalion will have 18 self-contained specialist search and rescue teams of 45 personnel each, including engineers, technicians, electricians, dog squads and medical staff and paramedics.

The panel stressed that states and union territories raise their own respective specialist disaster response forces and train and equip them adequately and that the NDMA should play a pivotal role in this regard. This, the committee observed, need to be prioritised in view of the weak disaster management preparedness of the country.

What the panel says

    The Parliamentary Committee on Home Affairs has observed that 10 battalions of a specialised force like the NDRF were inadequate for a vast country like India which is vulnerable to natural and man-made disasters
    A draft Cabinet note has been prepared by the NDRF for conversion of two SSB battalions, which will raise the number of NDRF battalions to 12
    The panel has observed that converting the SSB battalions into NDRF units would affect the functioning of the SSB


http://www.terminalx.org/2013/04/major-reshuffle-likely-in-indian-army.html
Major reshuffle likely in Indian Army
NEW DELHI (PTI): A major reshuffle is expected in the top Army brass with several new appointments being made in key formations, including the Udhampur-based Northern Command of the force.

Present western Army commander Lt Gen Sanjiv Chachra has been recommended to be shifted to head the Northern Command to succeed Lt Gen KT Parnaik, who is retiring on June 30, officials said.

Lt Gen Chachra is expected to be replaced by Lt Gen Philip Campose, who is currently heading the perspective planning (PP) directorate at the Army headquarters here.

Present Director General (IT) Lt Gen Sanjeev Madhok is expected to be elevated as the chief of Army's Shimla-based Training Command, the officials said.

Central Army commander Lt Gen Anil Chait is expected to be shifted to head the tri-services integrated defence services headquarters in Delhi while he is expected to be succeeded by Lt Gen Rajan Bakshi, they said.

Bakshi is presently heading the Leh-based 14 Corps. The defence ministry has given its approval to the new appointments and has forwarded the proposal for final clearance by the appointments committee of the Cabinet.



http://newindianexpress.com/thesundaystandard/Indian-Army-pitches-again-for-operational-control-over-ITBP/2013/04/28/article1564738.ece
Indian Army pitches again for operational control over ITBP
The Chinese incursion across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh has stoked an old rift between the Defence Ministry and the Ministry of Home Affairs over the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) guarding the 650-km LAC with China along Jammu and Kashmir.

South Block mandarins are reiterating their old demand for the 50,000 strong ITBP to be placed under the operational control of the 11.3-lakh strong Indian Army, on the lines of the Assam Rifles that guards the India-Myanmar border.

In Ladakh, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA)  troopers, with two sniffer dogs, had sneaked into the Indian side of the LAC on April 15, unnoticed by ITBP soldiers. They also pitched four tents at Debsang Bulge in the area. The ITBP got to know only 24 hours later, primarily because they are not permanently posted at those locations, and are on patrol only as frequently as possible. It also does not go up to the entire Indian side of the LAC, as much as the Chinese do till theirs, because of the norms set by the China Study Group, a high-level committee with secretaries of Defence, Home and External Affairs apart from the Indian Army Vice Chief as members.

“The projection, for the ITBP to be under Army’s operational control, has been made several times in the past, but hasn’t met with a positive response from the Home Ministry,” says a Brigadier of the Indian Army. The LAC is “undemarcated” and there are high possibilities of incursions by Chinese troopers, according to Defence Ministry officials. The last three years, till 2012, had witnessed over 600 incidents of PLA transgressions. Besides, the ITBP doesn’t have the expertise to handle confrontations of the kind being witnessed. “In such circumstances, the Army needs to join forces with the ITBP, as the Ladakh Scouts have done this time,” they noted. The ITBP officers refused to comment.

Since its raising in October 1962 in the aftermath of the bitter Sino-India war that left New Delhi humiliated, the 53 battalions of ITBP have been entrusted with the responsibility of manning around 3,500 km of the 4,057-km of LAC with China. From Karakoram in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir to Jachep La in Arunachal Pradesh, ITBP mans outposts on the LAC along the Himalayas bordering Tibet and Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Sikkim at altitudes ranging from 9,000 feet to 18,600 feet stretching.

The Indian Army guards only just over 500 km of the LAC, particularly in the North East region. While the Leh-based 14 Corps defends Ladakh against Chinese misadventures, the eastern sector is handled by the Tezpur-based 4 Corps and Dimapur-based 3 Corps. A Lieutenant General of the Army heads the Assam Rifles and its battalions are commanded by Army colonels.

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/1827786/report-sushilkumar-shinde-expects-flag-officers-meet-to-resolve-chinese-incursion-issue
Sushilkumar Shinde expects Flag Officers meet to resolve Chinese incursion issue
Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Saturday said that the incursion by the Chinese troops in the Ladakh region in Jammu and Kashmir would be decided during the Flag Officers meeting of both the armies.

"I have personally been to that area and it is a 'no- man's land', but it is also a disputed area. Our people sometimes go there and so do theirs. So, this is the third round of flag meeting by officers that will happen," he told mediapersons here.

The Home Minister was on a visit to Daman to formally inaugurate a police-training centre.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today lashed out at the Congress-led UPA Government for inaction on this issue.

BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said India could not be seen as a weak and vulnerable country.

"It has been officially accepted by the Indian authorities that the Chinese have camped 19 kilometres on the Indian soil, they have pitched up their tents. The Bharatiya Janata Party would like to know would the Indian Government only react if they use steel and mortars to build up a post there, is it that time that the Indian Government would react," said Rudy.

"The Government of India should retaliate in its own form and same action should be taken and we cannot be seen to be a lame duck government, a weak government, a government incapable of deciding and acting," he added, while talking to the media at a press conference in the national capital.

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has said India does not want to accentuate the situation in the wake of the recent Chinese incursion in Ladakh.

"We do have a plan. We do not want to accentuate the situation. We do believe that it is possible to resolve this problem. It is a localised problem. The talks are going on," said Dr. Singh.

Defence Minister A.K. Antony yesterday said that negotiations and consultations are on at various levels to find a peaceful solution to the Chinese incursion issue in Ladakh.

"Negotiations and consultations are going on at various levels to find out a peaceful solution to Chinese incursion issue," he told mediapersons outside the Parliament in New Delhi.

Chief of Army Staff, General Bikram Singh, had earlier briefed the Defence Minister on the Chinese incursion in Ladakh and the situation along the border.

The Indian Army has given its inputs to the Government and the National Security Advisor headed China Study Group, which is handling the present situation in Ladakh.

India had earlier on Tuesday asked China to maintain the status-quo on the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

On April 15, a Platoon-strength contingent of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) entered the Indian territory in Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) sector in eastern Ladakh and erected a tented post, setting the stage for a face-off with Indian troops.

Daulat Beg Oldi, which is located in northernmost Ladakh, is a historic camp site. It is located on an ancient trade route connecting Ladakh to Yarkand in Xinjiang, China.


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