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Monday, 14 April 2014

From Today's Papers - 14 Apr 2014















http://www.tribuneindia.com/2014/20140414/nation.htm#4
New Delhi, April 13
Breaking the male bastion in the five decade-old Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), the government has approved recruitment of young women as 'combat officers' in the second largest border guarding force.

The women officers, after induction, will have an opportunity to serve in far-flung border locations of the force which secures 'open' and important Indian frontiers with Nepal and Bhutan. Young women up to the age of 25 years will be recruited as direct entry officers in the rank of assistant commandants (ACs) and according to sources in the Union Home Ministry, the force will have the trained women officers on ground by late 2015.
Till now, women could only don the combat uniform in the officer cadre in three other central security forces, the Central Reserve Police Force, Central Industrial Security Force and the Border Security Force. However, women will still not be inducted as officers in the third border guarding force of the country - the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force - deployed along the China border.
The SSB, in 2007, was the first to recruit women in junior ranks of constables but since then, the contingents were being commanded by male officers and hence a desire was felt to have women officers in the force. — PTI





http://www.tribuneindia.com/2014/20140413/main1.htm
Chhattisgarh again: 14 killed as Maoists step up terror campaign
7 EC men among dead in back-to-back attacks in Bijapur & Bastar dists

Raipur, April 12
Seven members of a polling team and five CRPF personnel were among 14 killed as Maoists struck twice today in less than an hour, blowing up a bus and an ambulance in Bijapur and Bastar districts of Chhattisgarh.

Ten persons, including five paramilitary personnel, were also injured in the two incidents. Maoists attacked the polling team near a Bijapur village at 11 am when it was returning after voting in the region, leaving seven polling personnel dead and five injured, said Additional Director General of Police (Naxal Operation) RK Vij. Polling was held in the Maoist-affected Bastar constituency on April 10.

When the election team reached near a pond in Ketulnar village, Maoists triggered a landmine blast and opened indiscriminate firing, he said.

"Six polling personnel were killed on the spot while another succumbed to his injuries at a local hospital," the ADG said.

After preliminary treatment at a local hospital, the injured polling officials were airlifted and admitted to a private hospital in Raipur for further treatment, he said.

The rebels fled deeper into the forest after security personnel launched a retaliatory attack. Reinforcements were rushed soon and the victims were retrieved from the dense forest, he said.

Less than an hour later and about 100 km away, the Maoists blew up an ambulance carrying CRPF personnel at Kamanar village under Darbha police station, leaving five securitymen and the ambulance driver dead. A paramedic technician of the ambulance died later in a local hospital, the ADG said.

Besides, five paramilitary personnel were also injured in the incident, Vij said, adding they were airlifted to Raipur and are undergoing treatment at the private hospital. The personnel belonged to CRPF’s 80th battalion and were heading towards Jagdalpur district headquarter after a security operation in the region for the movement of polling teams. Some of them took lift in the ambulance ahead of Kamnar. Maoists were apparently keeping a watch on the movement of the security forces following which they targeted the vehicle, he said. — PTI

Twin strikes in gap of an hour

    The Maoists targeted a polling team returning in a bus near Ketulnar village in Bijapur at 11 am. When the election team reached near a pond in Ketulnar village, the Maoists triggered a landmine blast and opened indiscriminate firing
    Six polling personnel were killed on the spot while another succumbed to injuries at a local hospital, said the police
    Less than an hour later and about 100 km away, the Maoists blew up an ambulance carrying CRPF personnel at Kamanar village in Bastar, leaving five securitymen and the ambulance driver dead on the spot.
    A paramedic technician of the ambulance later died in a hospital, the ADG said



http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/india-successfully-conducts-maiden-night-test-of-agni-missile-507504
India successfully conducts maiden night test of Agni missile
Balasore, Odisha:  India tonight successfully conducted maiden night test of its indigenously developed nuclear-capable Agni-I ballistic missile with strike range of 700 km from a test range off Odisha coast as part of a user trial by the Army.

The surface-to-surface, single-stage missile, powered by solid propellants, was test-fired from a mobile launcher at 2310 hours from launch pad-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Wheeler Island, about 100 km from here, Defence sources said.

"The trial was successful and all mission objectives were met," Ravi Kumar Gupta, spokesman of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), told PTI over phone.

The sophisticated missile was test-fired by the specially formed Strategic Force Command (SFC) of the Indian Army as part of a user trial, ITR Director M V K V Prasad said.

It was for the first time that Agni-1 missile was launched during night. The SFC of the Army decided to conduct the test during night keeping in mind its requirement and need for preparedness to meet any eventuality, DRDO spokesman said.

The night trial of the missile had to be postponed twice earlier February 18 and 19 last.

The DRDO-developed medium-range ballistic missile from the production lot was launched as part of a regular training exercise by the armed forces, sources said.

The Agni-I missile has a specialised navigation system which ensures it reaches the target with a high degree of accuracy and precision, he said.

Weighing 12 tonnes, the 15-metre-long, Agni-I, which can carry payloads up to 1,000 kg, has already been inducted into the Indian Army.

Agni-I was developed by advanced systems laboratory, the premier missile development laboratory of the DRDO in collaboration with Defence Research Development Laboratory and Research Centre Imarat and integrated by Bharat Dynamics Limited, Hyderabad.

The last trial of the sophisticated Agni-I missile was successfully carried out by the SFC on November 8, 2013 from the same base.


http://www.newstrackindia.com/newsdetails/2014/04/11/224--Army-chief-on-two-day-Kashmir-visit-.html
Army chief on two-day Kashmir visit
Jammu, April 11 (IANS) Indian army chief, Gen. Bikram Singh, Friday arrived in Jammu and Kashmir on a two-day visit to review the overall security situation on the border and hinterlands, a defence spokesman said.

Gen. Singh arrived at the northern command headquarters in Udhampur town of Jammu region Friday and was received there by the commander, Lt.Gen. Sanjiv Chachra.

"The army commander briefed the COAS (chief of army staff) on the overall situation in the command. The COAS was also briefed about the relief operations undertaken army for the general public during the recent heavy snowfall in remote areas of the (Kashmir) Valley," said the spokesman.

He said the visit came against the backdrop of several successful counter terrorist operations by the army during the last few months.

The army chief interacted with senior commanders and also discussed issues pertaining to the welfare of troops and ex-servicemen.

"The COAS complimented officers and men of Dhruva command for extending humanitarian assistance to the general public," the spokesman said.

Gen. Bikram Singh is scheduled to return to Delhi Saturday.


http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140410/DEFREG03/304100032/Pakistan-Procurement-Decisions-Face-East-West
Pakistan Procurement Decisions Face East And West
ISLAMABAD — Pakistan faces potential conflict on two fronts that calls for different types of equipment, but funding issues restrict its choices.

Counterinsurgency equipment to fight the Taliban is needed, but Pakistan must remain mindful of Indian acquisitions. Though on balance analysts say Pakistan has reasonable deterrent capabilities, the outcome of the Indian general election could raise tensions.

Despite some improvement, Pakistan’s economy remains beleaguered.

Consequently, a senior defense official told Defense News that Pakistan’s procurement efforts are split between counterterrorism and general capacity building, with the former being prioritized.

“Today our priorities are those capacity-building efforts where our counterterrorism operations are involved. The others are either on hold or on go-slow because we cannot have everything on the same priority,” he said.

In terms of building capabilities, gifted or cut-price surplus equipment, such as additional Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates and F-16 fighter jets, have helped Pakistan maintain a fair level of conventional capability.

Major deals also have been undertaken, such as the F-22P frigate deal with China, which was done on a technology- transfer basis.

As a result, analyst Usman Shabbir of the Pakistan Military Consortium think tank said the military is reasonably well equipped, with counterinsurgency equipment “trickling in” and “training and tactics that are now taught as part of a standard syllabus.”

While wary of India, Shabbir said “larger items, like towed and [self propelled] artillery, induction of new tanks and upgrade of old ones” allow Pakistan breathing space vis-a-vis India.

Former Australian defense attache to Islamabad, Brian Cloughley, concurred, but partly because of to India’s failings, which would tell in a new Indo-Pak conflict.

“If the war were to remain conventional it is entirely likely that Pakistan could achieve major successes on the ground. India’s artillery is totally inadequate for any conflict, and its tanks, although numerous, are by no means as effective as most of those of Pakistan. The Indian Army has severe problems,” he said.

“In the air, the picture is very different from what it was a decade ago, with Indian Air Force numbers being much reduced. The IAF could not establish air superiority over the battlefield to the degree of yesteryear,” he added.

However, he said the forthcoming Indian election could change matters and also hamper efforts to deal with the Taliban.

“There is one problem for Pakistan in the temptation to move military priorities from the eastern border, and that is [Narendra] Modi, the likely next Indian prime minister, and a dedicated Hindu ultra-nationalist. Nobody knows yet what his military planning might be, but given his public statements so far, it would be unwise to imagine that he is greatly in favor of rapprochement with Pakistan,” he said.

Mansoor Ahmed, lecturer at the Department of Defence and Strategic Studies at Islamabad’s Quaid-i-Azam University, said that despite Indian acquisition failures, the “conventional asymmetry with India is growing, both in quantitative and qualitative terms.”

Consequently, Pakistan increasingly relies on its non-conventional deterrent and a lower nuclear threshold. As the world’s largest arms importer, “India’s exponential increase in its overall conventional military capabilities,” which appear to be Pakistan-specific, coupled with “deployment patterns and doctrines such as Cold Start,” means Pakistan must keep pace with India, he said.

Pakistan must proceed with its modernization of existing conventional and non-conventional/strategic systems “including reliance on battlefield nuclear weapons, designed to buttress conventional forces.”

This latter point has driven Pakistan to diversify its strategic missile forces and increase plutonium production to help establish a triad-based nuclear deterrent.

Regardless of the Taliban threat Ahmed said the Indo-Pak rivalry will remain the pressing security issue.

“Pakistan’s internal security situation undoubtedly presents an existential threat to the state, but other nations have successfully managed to overcome such situations, which are not enduring, while the India Pakistan rivalry is manifestly enduring,” he said


http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-144378-Indias-defence-establishment-opposed-Manmohan-Siachen-initiative
India’s defence establishment opposed Manmohan Siachen initiative
KARACHI: India’s defenece establishment opposed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s desire to turn Siachen into “a mountain of peace” , Times of India quoted PM's ex media adviser Sanjaya Baru as saying.

 According to report, Mr Singh was very keen for the initiative after his 2005 visit of Siachen but then Indian army chief JJ Singh, defence minister A.K Anthony and Pranab Mukherjee opposed his him.

The India paper published excerpt from Baru’s newly launched book "The Accidental Prime Minister" in which he said: "I was never sure whether Antony's hawkish stance was because he genuinely disagreed with the Siachen initiative or whether he was merely toeing a Nehru-Gandhi family line that would not allow Dr Singh to be the one finally normalizing relations with Pakistan.

 After all, the Kashmir problem had its roots in Nehru's policies ... I felt Sonia would want to wait till Rahul became PM so that he could claim credit,” However, the ex-India army chief had rejected his remarks.


http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/Chinese-Army-Delegation-to-Visit-India/2014/04/12/article2163862.ece#.U0n_vqLQ7kc

Chinese Army Delegation to Visit India



An eight-member delegation of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army headed by its Deputy Chief of General Staff Lt Gen Qi Jiangua will be on a two-day visit to India on April 22 and 23, as part of the two nations’ bid to ramp up military ties. The Chinese delegation will be in Delhi, where it would meet Defence Minister A K Antony and Army chief General Bikram Singh, Defence Ministry officials said here on Friday.

The visit is part of the efforts by the two sides to increase their delegation visits to each other’s national capital for interaction among the armed forces’ top brass, part of decisions taken during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Beijing in October last.

The delegation, under Qi, will essentially hold the first-ever talks with the Indian Army’s Director General of Military Operation which too was agreed upon during Manmohan Singh’s Beijing visit, officials said. India and China had signed the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement in October 2013 aimed at maintaining peace along the Line of Actual Control.

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