Custom Search Engine - Scans Selected News Sites


Sunday, 17 November 2013

From Today's Papers - 17 Nov 2013

INS Vikramaditya inducted into Navy

Severodvinsk (Russia), November 16
The much-awaited $2.3 billion aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya, was today inducted into the Indian Navy in a strategic boost to India's maritime warfare capabilities.

The 44,500-tonne warship was commissioned into the Navy at the Sevmash Shipyard in this northern Arctic port at a handing over ceremony attended by Defence Minister AK Antony, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin and senior government and naval officials of the two countries.

The Russian flag on the vessel was lowered and the flag of the Indian Navy was raised in its place. In a traditional Indian ritual, a coconut was broken against the ship's side. The commissioning papers were signed by deputy director of Russia’s arms exporter Rosoboronexport, Igor Sevastyanov and ship’s captain Suraj Berry, Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency reported. The carrier will be escorted to India on a near two-month voyage. — PTI

Will take 2 months to reach India

    The 44,500-tonne INS Vikramaditya was commissioned in the presence of Defence Minister AK Antony and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin
    The warship was first scheduled to be delivered in 2008, but the deadline was repeatedly postponed
    The carrier will now be escorted on a two-month voyage by a group of warships to its base at Karwar in India.
 2 jawans dismissed for ‘clashing’ with officers
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
Over three years after an altercation between officers and jawans of an armoured regiment based in Punjab, two jawans have been dismissed by a summary court martial and awarded four-month imprisonment for their alleged acts of indiscipline.

The dismissal comes even as proceedings against several other personnel of the regiment, including officers, are under way. A Captain from the unit, Aishwarya Saxena, is facing trial by a general court martial, while other officers, JCOs and jawans are facing administrative action or summary trials.

The incident took place in 45 Cavalry at Tibri, near Gurdaspur, on May 29, 2010. One of the jawans, Lance Dafadar MR Abhilash, was allegedly thrashed by Capt Saxena and another officer, Capt R Ganguly, and forcibly taken away from the unit premises in a car. The jawan had been faring poorly in morning PT, resulting in a spat between the two, which later blew up.

Later, when the agitated unit personnel were ordered to assemble in the ground by Commanding Officer Col Sumeet Puri, and the officers and the jawan involved were asked to apologise and settle the matter, some jawans expressed dissatisfaction over the way the matter was handled. After the CO left, some jawans allegedly “charged” towards four officers present there, who in their subsequent statements said they were hit.

A court of inquiry, presided over by Brig AK Thakur, Commander of an artillery brigade, blamed the commanding officer for not taking effective steps to handle the situation and attempting to conceal the incident from the higher authorities. He has been awarded a severe displeasure. The two officers were blamed for ill-treating and beating a jawan which led to the altercation.

The JCOs were blamed for failing to exercise due command and control over troops who “behaved in an unruly and undisciplined manner” resulting in the use of criminal force by them on two captains and two lieutenants. Charges of misdemeanour and making false statements before the court of inquiry have been levelled against some of them. Some of the JCOs involved in the incident have since retired and Section 123 of the Army Act was invoked to recall them for disciplinary proceedings.
National security vs tourism
The valley is up in arms against the extension of lease to Tosa Maidan firing range to the Indian Army. Protesters want Tosa Maidan to be used as a tourist destination instead of a firing range and want the areas to be demilitaries. But TIMES NOW has accessed a letter of Ministry of Defence that explains the strategic importance of the range and falls on a traditional infiltration route.
Into deep waters

INS Vikramaditya's induction is an important step towards the geostrategic imperative of establishing the Indian Navy's blue-water capabilities.

The commissioning of the INS Vikramaditya at the Sevmash shipyard in Russia today is being described as a game-changer in naval circles. It is a much-needed emphasis on a strategic reality that does not always receive the focus it deserves. The Indian Army — not surprisingly given the country’s neighbours to the north and west — commands the lion’s share of the public and media attention as well as the defence budget; 49 per cent in 2013-14. The air force’s profile has been increasing steadily with big-ticket procurement deals; it’s accounted for 28 per cent of the budget. But it’s a truism that the expression of a country’s geostrategic influence occurs primarily via its navy. The US, for instance, plays the dominant role it does in the Middle East, South East Asia and elsewhere because of the immense force-projection capabilities its navy affords it. Its 11 carrier battle groups are at the heart of these capabilities.

Given various factors — India’s rising international profile, its dependence on energy imports, its Look East policy, China’s growing naval capabilities, and above all, its central position in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) — the Indian Navy plays a particularly prominent role in its national security and strategic calculus. Forty per cent of the world’s offshore oil production comes from the Indian Ocean, after all. More, two-thirds of the world’s oil shipments, one-third of its bulk cargo and half of the container traffic transit over its sea-lanes and choke points.

Keeping these factors in mind, a brief look at a map should make the advantage India’s position in the IOR gives it, apparent — presuming commensurate naval capabilities. The military build-up of the Andaman and Nicobar islands, for instance, gives India a vital geostrategic edge — in Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma’s words — when it comes to the Malacca Strait. South of the archipelago, the Strait is a chokepoint for global trade; about a quarter of the world’s traded goods pass through it, including some 77 per cent of China’s oil imports. In a larger context, a powerful navy provides New Delhi with one of the most potent tools in its toolbox to implement foreign policy objectives to the east and the west, both.

India’s Look East policy, for instance, must pivot on its navy if it is to be fleshed out. Trade and economic ties are well and good, but South East Asian nations have been increasingly looking to India for a naval presence in the region that will help counter Chinese influence. And while it would be foolish for New Delhi to allow itself to be used blatantly as a counterweight, a signal of latent capability would be appropriate given Beijing’s growing naval clout and its interest in expanding its IOR footprint.

China is not the only factor, of course. If India is to establish itself as an IOR heavyweight, it must display the intent and ability to provide public goods as the US navy does now — from combating piracy in the Gulf of Aden to protecting global shipping lanes and providing humanitarian assistance in the event of natural disasters.  INS Vikramaditya is a step in the right direction — but as 2011 CAG report highlighting delays and massive cost overruns in various key naval modernisation programs shows, much remains to be done despite the navy’s share of the defence budget being raised to 18 per cent. New Delhi began a necessary process in the early 1990s when it realised the importance of a blue water navy. Now, it must take the process forward.
Army B-School offers better managers
KOLKATA: "Do you want MBAs or disciplined and level headed MBAs who wouldn't jump from one job to another?" This is what Lt Gen AK Choudhary, GOC, Bengal Area and chairman of Army Institute of Management, Kolkata (AIM-K), asked captains of the industry recently. He wanted to encourage them to send more head-hunters to AIM-K for campus interviews and the efforts bore fruit. This year, AIM-K achieved 100% placement.

"I have tried to bring about some change in the institute ever since I took over as the chairman. On one hand, I started meeting students and spoke to them on the need to work hard so that they may meet industry demands. On the other hand, I spoke to industry heads and told them that our B-School students are disciplined as most of them are from military backgrounds. Moreover, the institute is run by the Army. Most students have watched their parents lead disciplined lives. They are extremely down to earth as they have watched their parents work hard," Gen Choudhary said.

The general made it clear that AIM-K students are much more dedicated and would not hop from one job to another under normal circumstances as they have seen their fathers serve the military throughout their working lives. A major concern for industry today is the high turnover, particularly among the MBAs.

Apart from Kolkata, there is another AIM in Delhi.

The institute in Kolkata enrolls 120 students for the two-year MBA course among which 20% seats are for children of civilians. According to Maj Gen (retd) Dr S C Jain, director of AIM-K, 43 companies participated in the final placement programme and 49 for summer placements. Among those who participated were TCS, ICICI Securities, Metal Junction, Asian Paints, Berger Paints, HCL, HDFC Assets, Mcleod Russel and Tata Hitachi.

"We have done very well this year and I believe that the companies are very happy with the managers they got from here," the director said.

According to the GOC, a unique feature of AIM-K is the facilities that students receive, though the fees are not high as other institutes. "Leave alone academic facilities, we include them in our Army family as soon as they join. Recently, a student from a civilian background was seriously injured when a tree fell on him during a storm. Within minutes, he was rushed to the Command Hospital and provided emergency care. Had this not happened, the student may not have survived," he said.
Militants ambush Army convoy in Kupwara
Five soldiers were injured when suspected militants ambushed an Army convoy at Drugmulla, 90 km from here, on the Kupwara-Srinagar Road on Saturday. Official sources said the militants opened fire at the convoy at Dhobi Mohalla, minutes after it had left a transit camp at Drugmulla for Handwara. One soldier sustained gunshot injuries and four others were injured as one of the targeted buses skidded off the road and rammed into a tree, with the driver losing control of the vehicle. The militants, however, fled following an effective response from the quick reaction team.
 Residents told The Hindu over telephone that four “Kashmiri-looking militants” fired bursts of AK-47 gunfire before vanishing into a forest. Police and Army personnel carried out a search operation at Drugmulla, Chayelpati, Dogermohalla and Waterkhani villages. However, they could not get any clue to the identity or whereabouts of the militants.Two bags, containing eatables and clothes, were seized along with a rifle grenade, which was neutralised by a bomb squad.

Inspector General of Police Abdul Gani Mir said: “The militants have escaped. But we are very much on the job.” He told The Hindu that the militants were on the run. He said 130-150 militants were currently active in the Kashmir Valley. “There could be also some sleeper cells.”

Meanwhile, Hizbul Mujahideen spokesperson Baleeg-ud-din told some local news agencies on the phone that militants of his organisation attacked the convoy. Later, another caller, Sami-ul-Haq, claimed that his ‘Al-Shuhada Brigade’ had launched the attack. While threatening that such attacks would continue, he claimed that cadres of his outfit had confronted a constable and snatched away his gun in Anantnag on Friday.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Mail your comments, suggestions and ideas to me

Template created by Rohit Agarwal