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Saturday, 15 March 2014

From Today's Papers - 15 Mar 2014

Navy to scour west of Andamans for Malaysian plane
* Investigators hint at foul play
TNS & Agencies
Britain to honour WW-I Indian soldiers
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 14
Indian soldiers who fought World War I (1914-1918) will be honoured by the United Kingdom through a series of events commemorating the 100th anniversary of the battle this year.

The British High Commission, along with the United Service Institution (USI) of India, has planned a series of events. One of the biggest events will be at the British High Commissioner's residence here on October 30. Leading dignitaries and representatives from India, UK and other countries involved in WW-I will be invited.

Said High Commissioner of Britain to India, Sir James Bevan, "One million Indian soldiers fought the war and over 70,000 Indian servicemen died. We intend to honour their memory this year with an important series of events.”

Events will be organised in the UK, India and around the world and will see the participation of representatives from every country whose soldiers took part in the historic war. The tribute will include publication of regimental diaries.

“This will be a commemoration, not a celebration. Our aim is to show respect and gratitude to those who died and to their families and to ensure that today's young people learn the facts and the lessons of that conflict and to promote a common resolve among all nations involved in WW-I to ensure a peaceful and just world for future generations,” the High Commissioner said.

Besides the Indian Army, the Navy also played a significant role in the war. Indians also served in the Army Flying Corps and several won military honours, including the highest military honour, Victoria Cross, an official said.
 Sindhuratna fire: SC to hear PIL
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, March 14
The Supreme Court today agreed to hear a PIL seeking status report on the armed forces’ demands for repair and replacement of obsolete equipment and the Central Government’s response.

The SC Bench said the petition would be taken up on March 28. The petitioners, advocates Subrata Das and N Rajaraman, said the accident was a result of civilian officials’ apathy.
L&T, Bharat Forge, Tatas aim guns on Indian version of Bofors
India's plan to encourage the development of arms and ammunition for the defence forces has encouraged the private sector with domestic defence production companies including Larsen & Toubro (L&T), Bharat Forge and Tata Power SED entering the fray to locally develop the Indian prototype of the 155mm Bofors artillery gun system.

The Indian Army wants to replace the ageing Bofors guns procured in the 1980s but has failed to buy a single howitzer in the past 13 years because an international tender for 155mm/52-calibre guns earlier was aborted over the blacklisting of overseas competitors on charges of corruption.

The companies are eyeing orders worth $4 billion from the Indian Army that wants to replenish its dwindling artillery stocks. The sheer size of the order has pushed these companies into launching their indigenous research and development even without the knowledge whether their technology would be approved for induction by the user.

“We have indigenously developed a prototype of the 155mm gun that has passed several operational tests at our level. This would certainly be offered to the Indian Army after getting necessary certification from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO),” said Baba N Kalyani, chairman of the Kalyani Group. Bharat Forge is part of the Kalyani Group.

“What India lacks is the ability to convert designs into manufactured products. This is where the Kalyani Group comes in. Building an artillery gun system is largely about materials, forgings and manufacturing. Bharat Forge has the capacity to deliver,” he added.

The Kalyani Group has invested about R100 crore on building artillery guns, armoured vehicles and unmanned ground vehicles. Bharat Forge has separately formed a venture with a unit of Elbit Systems to bid for the Indian Army’s contracts including for towed guns, mounted guns and the upgrade of 130mm artillery guns.

“We have already fielded two major systems — one-tracked gun and one-towed gun system,” said MV Kotwal, president (heavy engineering), L&T. With Samsung Techwin, L&T has also developed a desert gun which will be offered to the army as well as explore its potential in other countries. L&T has tested its guns in private
Nepal‚ India army chiefs observe joint military exercise
KATHMANDU: Chief of the Nepal Army General Gaurav Shumsher Rana and Chief of the Indian Army General General Bikram Singh observed a joint military exercise of two armies –Ex-Surya Kiran-VI– in Saljhandi of Rupandehi district.

Director General of Military Training of NA Major General Victor SJB Rana had apprised the army chiefs of the joint exercise.

The military personnel had performed exercises related to disaster management, improvised explosive devices (IED) disposal, bloody traps handling and jungle survival skills.

Speaking on the occasion, General Singh said the Indian Army personnel participating in the joint exercise can learn professionalism, loyalty and competence from the NA, according to a statement issued by the NA Directorate of Public Relations.

General Rana of Nepal Army expressed his happiness over collaboration with the third largest army institution of the world. He hoped such exercises would help in capacity building of the NA personnel.

As many as 200 personnel from NA and 250 from the Indian Army had taken part in the sixth round of the Surya Kiran exercise.

Singh returns home

Meanwhile, Indian Army chief General Bikram Singh returned to India today itself.

General Singh had touched down in Kathmandu yesterday.

NA Lieutenant General Pawan Bahadur Pande saw off Singh at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).
Northern army commander visits Valley
Srinagar, March 14 (IANS) Indian army's northern command chief, Lt.Gen. Sanjiv Chachra Friday visited the Kashmir Valley against the backdrop of recent successful operations resulting in the elimination of many guerrillas this year.

A defence spokesman said that Lt.Gen. Chachra was briefed by Srinager-based Chinar Corps commander, Lt. Gen. Gurmit Singh "on the synergised efforts of the army and the state police which have resulted in elimination of 21 and apprehension of 13 terrorists this year".

"Besides discussion on the overall security situation along the LoC (Line of Control), the army commander was also briefed on rescue and relief operations undertaken by the Chinar Corps for the civilians during the recent heavy snowfall which caused damages and difficulties in the remote areas of the Valley.

"Army commander commended the formation for recent operational success and expressed satisfaction over the preparedness and synergy between the security forces. He also complimented Chinar Corps for extending humanitarian assistance to civilians during the recent spell of snow," the spokesman added.

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