Custom Search Engine - Scans Selected News Sites

Loading

Friday, 20 December 2013

From Today's Papers - 20 Dec 2013




















http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20131220/main7.htm
Backdoor diplomacy bringing India, Pak closer: Aziz
Islamabad, December 19
India-Pakistan relations have "greatly improved" and backdoor diplomacy is helping bring the two sides closer, said Sartaj Aziz, adviser to Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Besides confidence-building measures, a "backdoor diplomacy channel was working to bring both the neighbours closer", Aziz was quoted as saying by The News daily.

He further said there was no "more deterioration in relations and things had greatly improved". Aziz made the remarks during a debate in the senate, the upper house of parliament, yesterday.

Basit is Pak envoy to India
Pakistan on Thursday appointed Abdul Basit as its new High Commissioner to India
Basit, 55, was earlier tipped to take over as Foreign Secretary but the government recently
made several changes in proposed appointments
The government initially zeroed in on Syed Ibne Abbas as the new envoy to New Delhi but changed its mind as officials felt he was too junior for the crucial posting

His remarks came against the backdrop of a downturn in ties over ceasefire violations and fierce exchanges of fire along the Line of Control. Referring to proposed talks with the Taliban, he said the government was pursuing the option of dialogue as a top priority. If it failed, there were other options that would be exercised as a last resort, he said.

For the first time, the civilian and military leadership tried to forge consensus by taking all stakeholders on board, Aziz said. Speaking on foreign policy issues, he said the perception of Afghanistan as a zone of strategic depth for Pakistan was "totally outdated and needed no attention".


http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20131220/nation.htm#10
Tejas set to get clearance for IAF induction today
Shubhadeep Choudhury
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, December 19
The stage is set for the indigenous fighter-bomber LCA (light combat aircraft) Tejas being accorded the initial operational clearance (IOC) on December 20 paving the way for its induction into the IAF.

K Tamilmani, chief executive, CEMILAC (Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification), will hand over the “Release to Service Document” of Tejas to Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne in a function to be held at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) airport here.

The handing-over ceremony will be preceded by a 20-minute flying display. At least two LCAs will take part in the exercise. Defence Minister AK Antony will be the chief guest at the function.

“Tejas is among the few fighter planes in the world that went from the drawing board to the IOC stage without a single incident or accident,” Air Marshal P Rajkumar (retd), who was instrumental in creating the National Flight Test Centre (NFTC) in Bangalore for Tejas trials, said.

The accordance of IOC to Tejas may not lead to IAF pilots immediately flying the LCAs. HAL - the contractor for manufacturing the fighter-bomber jets - is slated to roll out two fully equipped planes by March-April next year. Only then, IAF pilots will be flying the planes. By 2015, the HAL is supposed to roll out eight planes each year. It has an order from the IAF to supply 40 planes initially to replace the IAF’s ageing fleet of MiG 21 and MiG 27 fighter jets.

The LCA version being given the IOC can carry two laser-guided 500 kg bombs, besides missiles for air-to-air and air-to-ground attacks and has a helmet-mounted display system.

The next LCA version, which is supposed to be ready by 2015, will have additional features like “beyond visual range” (BVR) missile-launching capabilities, air-to-air refuelling and 23 mm guns. All this will entail a lot of work on the airframe of the aircraft and a more powerful engine.

“I wrote in my book that from the first flight in 2001 to getting the IOC, it will take 10 years. It has taken 13 years instead of 10. I won’t call it much of a delay. Those familiar with aircraft production knew that it would take time. It is the DRDO scientists who kept setting up optimistic targets,” Rajkumar said.

Himself a MiG 21 pilot, Rajkumar said the LCA Tejas was “much, much superior to the MiG 21”. “I shall call it 65 per cent indigenous. The engine is American and the radar is Israeli. But most of other things, including the mission-control computer, the flight-control computer and the design, are all Indian”, he said.

LCA was earlier given IOC in January 2011. But the then IAF chief Air Chief Marshal PV Naik expressed his reservations about the jet at the IOC function itself, necessitating a second IOC for the jet.


http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20131220/nation.htm#20
 Pinaka rockets test-fired

Balasore (Odisha), Dec 19
India's indigenously developed Pinaka rockets were successfully test-fired from a multi-barrel rocket launcher from a base at Chandipur-on-sea near here today.

"Six rounds of Pinaka rockets were successfully tested from the proof and experimental establishment at Chandipur," defence sources said. — PTI


http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20131220/nation.htm#21
 Indian, Afghan forces train for counter-terror ops
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 19
To strengthen its military ties with Afghanistan, India is now conducting a joint training between the Special Forces of the Indian Army and Afghan National Army at Jodhpur.

The joint training, the focus of which is counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism, will culminate on December 29.

The aim of the training is to promote lasting military relationship between the two countries through jointness and mutual exchange of ‘special operations tactics’, primarily in a 'sub-conventional scenario'.

Lt Gen Ashok Singh, GOC-in-C, Southern Command, viewed the conduct of the training at Jodhpur today and interacted with the participants. He also witnessed various operational exercises executed jointly by the forces of the two nations.


http://www.firstpost.com/india/army-politics-why-india-needs-a-collegium-to-appoint-its-generals-1297003.html
Army politics: Why India needs a collegium to appoint its generals

Militaries of a country are always expected to be prim, proper, disciplined, firm and always on top of the job in no matter what circumstances they operate. When it comes to the top echelons of the armed forces, they have even more responsibility as they are looked up to by numerous men and officers for inspiration under their command and the country in general. Sadly, the Indian Army today is gripped by issues which are largely clerical and should not have occurred at all. Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff Lt Gen Ravi Dastane, who has knocked the doors of the Armed Forces Tribunal recently seeking quashing of the appointments of two of his colleagues Eastern Army Commander Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag and then Western Army Commander Lt Gen Sanjiv Chachra, is not the first one to take this course.

Militaries of a country are always expected to be prim, proper, disciplined, firm and always on top of the job in no matter what circumstances they operate. When it comes to the top echelons of the armed forces, they have even more responsibility as they are looked up to by numerous men and officers for inspiration under their command and the country in general. Sadly, the Indian Army today is gripped by issues which are largely clerical and should not have occurred at all. Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff Lt Gen Ravi Dastane, who has knocked the doors of the Armed Forces Tribunal recently seeking quashing of the appointments of two of his colleagues Eastern Army Commander Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag and then Western Army Commander Lt Gen Sanjiv Chachra, is not the first one to take this course. Think about this soldier. PTI Think about this soldier. PTI Before him, retired General VK Singh was the first to take the route of Statutory Complaint and later on appeal at the Supreme Court when this whole age dispute occurred. This sudden spurt of dissatisfaction and disappointment among the generals is certainly not a healthy sign within the army. What is more serious is that this would quietly make a wrong impression of his superiors on the man who is currently braving the crazy winter in Siachen or waiting for another Chinese intrusion in Arunachal Pradesh. That soldier on the border is unaware of all office politics and succession wars within his organisation. His duty is to smartly shout 'Jai Hind Saab' and wait for the enemy ignoring his own safety. Taking cue from the way judges are appointed or for that matter the Lokpal is going to be appointed, it is high time that India consider a collegium consisting of military, strategic, diplomatic, legal and political experts to appoint officers at the level of Army Commanders. This may sound astounding to many for the fear that there would be delay and red-tapism might sneak into the process, but there is a counter argument. As of now the military is already caught in the trap of bureaucrats who call the shots in South Block. Until a file traverses every nook and corner of the power corridor, a small sanction is impossible to seek no matter how urgent the need is. Since we have already scaled the pinnacle of red-tapism, this collegium system would allow much more transparency. Only condition is that the collegium must reach a decision within a stipulated time and must put on public domain why a certain general was appointed. Defence analyst Ajai Shukla in an article in The Business Standard on 8 July 2013, Stop 'Mandalising' the military examined in depth the skewed promotion policy that the army employs. "Unlike other organisations, the army has no clear-cut promotion manual where selection criteria are written in stone"—Shukla wrote in his piece. This has clearly resulted in affecting the effectiveness of the army as a combat unit in a multitude of challenging environments. It is expected that the top decision-making posts should be occupied by the best of the brains but in reality it is not the case. "Now pro rata promotion is creeping in. When pro rata was introduced for brigadier rank a decade ago, the policy letter promised a review of the policy later. Today, with no review having been done, a fresh policy letter seeks to extend pro rata to major general rank. The defence ministry can veto this policy, but has chosen to enjoy the spectacle. It has endorsed the army chief's sidelining of the army commander who steadfastly opposed pro rata. The central army commander, Lieutenant General Anil Chait, who has been kicked upstairs, can only watch powerlessly from the backwaters of the Integrated Defence Staff"—Shukla said in his piece. When the infamous age row of former Army Chief Gen (Retd) VK Singh had crept in, there was a huge talk of a possible succession row in the army. What is this succession row all about? Are the military chiefs running a kingdom where there journey to the top is simply guranteed and not decided on merit? "There is no line of succession in the army. Please stop thinking about it," General VK Singh had said on 25 May 2012 when asked to comment on allegations that he was trying to affect the line of succession in the force by issuing a show cause notice to Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag, who could be army chief in two years. Lt Gen Suhag had got the show cause notice for an alleged botched up intelligence operation in Assam's Jorhat. Lt Gen Suhag was then the III Corps commander at Rangapahar in Nagaland's Dimapur. In fact, because of this show cause notice Lt Gen Suhag automatically came under a discipline and vigilance ban which delayed his elevation as Eastern Army Commander. He could take charge of the Command only after General Bikram Singh vacated the ban. During that interim period, Lt Gen Dastane was eligible for becoming an Army Commander on but was not made one. If this argument stands out, Lt Gen Dastane would technically become Lt Gen Suhag's senior, who is slated to take over as Army Chief in August. Merry-go-round with the top military posts is not an acceptable situation and this keeps on happening. From fear of a military coup to fondness or disliking of a certain individual, the highest military postings is like a Bollywood script not filmed yet. Former Chief of Army Staff, General VK Singh in his autobiography Courage and Conviction writes thus: "It is no secret that people around Nehru exploited his paranoia of a military coup and started chipping away at the army in an evolving civil-military relationship. The appointment of Baldev Singh as India's first Defence Minister—a man known for his political 'fix it' rather than any military acumen—set the tone for the future. Had Nehru had his way, Field Marshal Cariappa would never have the chief. Subsequently, Thimayya's popularity as an individual would give Prime Minister Nehru more nightmares than the Chinese on the border. When the attack did come in October 1962, the Indian Army was engaged in 'Op Amar' where they were building houses while our ordnance factoties were making coffee percolators. "Thorat, Prem Bhagat, SK Sinha—they were all dumped by the wayside. Indira Gandhi not only inherited the leadership of the country from her father, she too never stopped looking over the shoulder". It may be easy to ignore what the General wrote as mere rumblings against the Congress. But the truth is that India suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Chinese in 1962 because of a series of ill-informed decisions and blatant disregard of the military chain of command while taking key decisions. The disaster in the name of Operation Bluestar in 1984, which saw 83 Indian soldiers dead and 220 wounded in a single night, was result of a similar brushing aside the chain of command by the top political executive of the country. India needs to plug these massive loopholes in it military on a war footing or else if there is a war in reality we would be found severely wanting. Scary, ain't it?



http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/indian-and-afghan-army-conduct-joint-exercises-113121900668_1.html
Indian and Afghan Army conduct joint exercises
The Indian Army and Afghan National Army carried out various operational exercises as part of their joint training here today.

Southern Army Commander Lt Gen Ashok Singh surveyed the exercises between the two armies, defence spokesperson S D Goswami said.

The joint training being conducted for the last few days is aimed at promoting military relationship between the two countries through mutual exchange of special operational tactics, primarily in a 'Sub Conventional Scenerio', he said.

Focus of the training, which will culminate on December 29, is on counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations, with special emphasis on operations in 'Built up Areas and Rural Areas' in a realistic functional environment, the spokesman said.


http://zeenews.india.com/news/nation/indian-afghan-army-conduct-joint-exercises_897963.html
Indian, Afghan Army conduct joint exercises
Jodhpur: The Indian Army and Afghan National Army carried out various operational exercises as part of their joint training here on Thursday.

Southern Army Commander Lt Gen Ashok Singh surveyed the exercises between the two armies, defence spokesperson S D Goswami said.

The joint training being conducted for the last few days is aimed at promoting military relationship between the two countries through mutual exchange of special operational tactics, primarily in a 'Sub Conventional Scenerio', he said.

Focus of the training, which will culminate on December 29, is on counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations, with special emphasis on operations in 'Built up Areas and Rural Areas' in a realistic functional environment, the spokesman said.

No comments:

Post a Comment

 

Mail your comments, suggestions and ideas to me

Template created by Rohit Agarwal