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Sunday, 15 June 2014

From Today's Papers - 15 Jun 2014

 700 cadets pass out from IMA
Tribune News Service

Dehradun, June 14
A total of 700 cadets, including 64 foreign gentleman cadets (FGCs), today passed out from the Indian Military Academy (IMA). A ceremonial passing-out parade of the cadets was held at the drill square in front of the historic Chetwode Hall of the IMA.

The parade was reviewed by the Chief of Nepalese Army Staff, General Gaurav Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana.

The Chief of Nepalese Army Staff advised the cadets to maintain high standards of professionalism during their service.

The training module is not only rigorous, but also challenging in terms of maintaining physical and mental standards, he said.

He congratulated them for joining the one of the noblest professions and says the life of a soldier is not risk-free.

The Reviewing Officer emphasised upon the need to remain updated on contemporary and futuristic strategies, tactics, weapon systems and equipment. He urged them to equip themselves with the required personal, social, psychological and intellectual traits to meet the ever-evolving security challenges of the country.

After the passing-out parade, the cadets were administered oath to the Constitution.

Academy Cadet Adjutant Vishnu Peethambaran received the Sword of Honour award. The gold medal (for the overall order of merit) was presented to BUO Vishal Dahiya. The silver medal was given to SUO Vikas Kalkal, whereas BUO Siddharth Tiwari secured the bronze.

Of the fleet of 636 gentleman cadets (GCs), 385 GCs were from the 134 regular course, 179 from the 117 technical graduate course and 72 were from the 23 technical entry scheme.

UP again No 1, adds 121 officers

Dehradun: The olive green uniform continues to charm the youth of northern states of the country. According to the data released by the IMA on 134 regular and other parallel courses, UP continues with the tradition to send the maximum number of young officers to the Indian defence forces followed by Haryana and Uttarakhand.

Of the total 636 passed-out gentleman cadets, 121 were from UP, 62 from Haryana and 57 from Uttarakhand. Himachal Pradesh has sent 29 young officers and Jammu and Kashmir only 16.

Bihar comes fourth in the list with 40 officers. The national capital, New Delhi registered its presence by sending 37 young officers to the Indian Army. While Chhattisgarh has low representation with just two officers, its parent state, Madhya Pradesh, has fared well by sending 30 officers. — TNS
Use sea power for safer trade: PM to Navy
Modi dedicates largest warship INS Vikramaditya to nation, pitches for self-reliance in defence production
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

On board INS Vikramaditya, June 14
Newly elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to strengthen India's naval power for safe trade through the sea.

Interacting with the top brass of the Navy on board INS Vikramaditya, Modi today suggested building maritime supremacy to ensure economic well-being of the nation, sources said. Around 90 per cent of the Indian trade is done through the sea route. The Navy already has a plan to ensure that trade at critical chokepoints is not disrupted in the Strait of Hormuz or the Strait of Mallaca.

In March 2013, the Defence Ministry was warned by the Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) about Chinese attack submarines making forays into the Indian Ocean close to the Sea Lines of Communication (SLOC) that run close to India's coastline.

It had cited 22 such 'contacts' with the submarines of the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) since March 2012. Elsewhere, sporadic threats by China and its instructions on sailing in the disputed waters of the South China Sea can impact India's trade running into a couple of hundred billion US dollars with ASEAN countries, Japan and Korea.

Interacting with naval top brass, the Prime Minister said building naval infrastructure would be his priority. He said institutional mechanisms would be put in place to judiciously use the services of retired Navy men.

Earlier, speaking to a select group of officers and sailors, Modi suggested developing indigenous capabilities to make the country self-reliant.

The Prime Minister said that the country should export indigenously made weapons to smaller countries. "Smaller countries across the world must be empowered by India," he said. So far, India has eschewed the option of selling its military products such as radars or hand-held rifles to African and other smaller nations.

Modi was on board the 44,500 tonne Russian-built carrier as the warship sailed in the Arabian Sea off the Goa coast this morning. This was his first visit to a military field station since he took over as the Prime Minister. Modi arrived in a helicopter on the warship and witnessed an air power demonstration by Navy planes, including MiG-29K fighter jets and helicopters.

Historic step, says PM

    Modi terms the addition of the warship to the force as a historic step
    Says shed dependence on imported defence equipment
    Interacting with naval top brass, the Prime Minister said building naval infrastructure would be his priority
Truce violations: Army capable of hitting back, says Jaitley
Ehsan Fazili & Majid Jahangir
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, June 14
Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said the Army was competent to respond to ceasefire violations along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir.

Jaitley, on his maiden visit to the state after taking over as the Defence Minister, was accompanied by Army Chief General Bikram Singh. He reviewed the security situation along borders and hinterland. "If Pakistan does not stop ceasefire violations, our forces are competent enough to stop them," Jaitely told reporters here a day after shelling by Pakistani troops in Poonch and Rajouri districts of the Jammu region.

Jaitley was briefed about the security situation along the LoC, international border, Line of Actual Control (LAC) and the hinterland at the Army's 15 Corps headquarters by General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Northern Command Lt General DS Hooda and GOC of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps Lt Gen Gurmit Singh. Army chief General Bikram Singh was also present during the briefing.

Later, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah called on Jaitley and discussed defence and financial matters concerning the state.

The Chief Minister reiterated the demand for the need to revoke the Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA) from parts of Jammu and Kashmir, which is expected to be taken in the unified headquarters meeting here tomorrow.

"I reiterated the need for partial revocation of AFSPA from the state and reduce the presence of security forces on the ground," Omar Abdullah told The Tribune after the meeting.

Taking stock

    Defence Minister briefed about security situation
    To chair unified headquarters meeting on Sunday. Will also visit forward posts in the Uri sector
    Omar reiterates his demand to revoke AFSPA
Forces Capable of Responding to Ceasefire Violations: Arun Jaitley
Defence Minister Arun Jaitley today said the country's forces are capable of responding to ceasefire violations along the Line of Control by Pakistan.

Mr Jaitley, who arrived here on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, said he will review security related matters with the state government and officers involved in the security grid.

Asked about ceasefire violations, including the one ahead of his visit, the Defence Minister said "our forces are capable of responding to it".

Mr Jaitley was speaking to reporters at the Raj Bhavan, where he will be staying overnight.

Accompanied by Army chief General Bikram Singh, Mr Jaitley arrived here on his maiden visit since assuming charge as Defence Minister last month and is slated to meet Governor N N Vohra and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

Ahead of Mr Jaitley's visit, Pakistan troops had yesterday targeted Indian posts in Poonch sector with heavy weaponry like mortar shells, prompting India to remind it that maintenance of peace on border is a "pre-condition" for normalisation of relations.

Indian troops had retaliated effectively. Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had questioned the timing of the ceasefire violation.

"Is it just a coincidence that the Defence Minister is visiting J&K, for his 1st visit, to review the security situation tomorrow?" Mr Omar tweeted.

The firing came a day after an IED blast in the Tarkundi forward area along the LoC in Poonch in which one jawan was killed and three others injured.

Between end of April and mid-May, 19 incidents of ceasefire violation were reported along the LoC.
Day after firing, Jaitley says 'Army strong enough'

Defence minister Arun Jaitley said on Saturday that the Indian Army was fully equipped and strong enough to deal with ceasefire violations by Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir.

Speaking to mediapersons on his arrival in summer capital Srinagar, Jaitley said: "I have come here to review the overall security situation. I shall be interacting with officials on this during my stay here".

Replying to a question on the ceasefire violations by Pakistan on the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district of Jammu region Friday, when the Pakistani Army used mortars to target Indian positions, the defence minister said: "Our army is strong enough and well-equipped to deal with such violations."

Jaitley was briefed about the security situation on the borders and in the hinterland at the Badami Bagh headquarters of army's 15 Corps by the GOC-in-C Northern Command, Lt. General, DS Hooda and the commanders of the 14, 15 and 16 Corps.

Indian Army chief General Bikram Singh was present during the briefing.  Jaitley is scheduled to meet Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday afternoon.

Governor NN Vohra is to host a dinner for the defence minister in the evening at the Raj Bhavan.  The defence minister is co-chairing a meeting of the unified headquarters here Sunday with the chief minister.

Unified headquarters is the apex security grid in the state comprising the army, paramilitary forces, state and central intelligence agencies, local police and senior officials of the state government.  He is scheduled to visit some forward positions Sunday when he will interact with officers and jawans.
Haryana adds more muscle to Indian Army, leaves Punjab behind
CHANDIGARH: Has Haryana replaced Punjab as the sword arm of the nation? The latest figures of the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun, show that the Jat-land has taken the lead in producing officers, leaving Punjab, once the nursery of the armed forced, far behind.

Of the total 636 gentlemen cadets (GC) who passed out of IMA on Saturday, 62 are from Haryana, second only to Uttar Pradesh.

Despite having just 2.09% of the country's population, Haryana has produced almost 10% officers in the current batch. Even the gold and silver medals have gone to two Haryanvis — Vishal Dahiya and Vikash Kalkal.

The state's growing clout in the Army is reflected in the fact that former army chief VK Singh and the army chief-designate Dalbir Singh Suhag, both belong to Haryana.

Punjab has finished a lowly sixth in the list of states sending officers to the Army this time with just 33 cadets.
In the December 2013 passing out parade, 70 of 617 cadets who passed out from IMA were from Haryana. Uttar Pradesh, which is eight times bigger than Haryana with 16.49% population of the country, has maintained first position with 121 cadets.

Former deputy commandant of NDA, Major General (retired) BS Grewal says Haryanavis Chief of Nepal Army, general Gaurav Shumsher Rana took the salute from the officers during their passing out parade at Dehradun, following which the cadets were commissioned in different corps of the army on the rank of lieutenant.

Vishnu Peethambaran, who hails from Ernakulam district, has won the coveted Sword of Honour presented to the best all-round cadet at Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun.
US looking to bolster Indian defence with Apache helicopters and Javelin missiles
New Delhi:  US is looking forward to transferring a number ground breaking defence technology to India as part of its Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI).
As per the ongoing discussions, Indian Army could soon be equipped with state of the art weapons like Javelin missiles, artillery pieces, unmanned aerial vehicles and attack helicopters.

The deals are under various stages of the process and would include rights to co-produce and co-develop.

The process of DTTI was initiated under UPA regime by former National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon.

In addition, US would be focussing on transfer of science and technology.

India is one of the biggest arms importers in the world. Questions have been raised over India's inability to indigenously fulfil its defence needs.

Indo-US defence ties gained momentum after former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signed the much talked about Civil Nuclear deal with US in 2005. The agreement opened the doors for increased Indo-US Defence Corporation.

In less than a decade, Indo-US joint defence trade increased by billions of dollars from measly USD 100 million in the past.

Nothing better illustrates this than the fact that, at the height of the Khobragade affair, India, far from seeking to impose any costs on America, awarded it yet another mega-contract — a $1.01-billion deal for supply of six additional C-130J military transport aircraft.

In September, Singh signed a commitment to purchase USD 5 billion worth of defence technology from US, during his September visit to the White House.

In the past seven years, Indo-US defence trade has quadrupled from USD 25 billion in 2006 to USD 100 billion in 2013.
Jointness: Single Point Defence Agenda For Modi Government – Analysis
The absolute majority of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government led by Mr Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha elections for the first time in many decades has raised expectations particularly in the field of defence and security.

The BJP is known to follow a more robust defence policy and given parliamentary mass will have greater degree of freedom to implement programmes of choice. There are a number of suggestions that have been put forth of what the government should do to enhance India’s defence preparedness.

These range from making up hollowness in basic necessities for war fighting such as ammunition and night fighting aids to induction of state of the art military equipment, indigenization, public private partnership, enhancement in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and meeting aspirations of ex-servicemen. The list is endless. So what is one issue on which the Modi government should earmark as a Key Result Area (KRA) in the field of defence and security?

This can be unequivocally stated as JOINTNESS to bring the three armed forces under one umbrella effectively integrating silos functioning separately. A joint force is a model fourth generation structure fielded by advanced militaries as the United States, UK and France with Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) rapidly following by establishing Military Area Commands in place of Military Regions.

Indian Armed Forces today are woefully short of integration much less jointness. Thus while the three services HQs are nominally Integrated HQs of Ministry of Defence Army, Navy and Air Force as the case may be, the single joint HQs, HQ Integrated Defence Staff (HQ IDS) remains stunted with functions restricted to coordination of disaster management. Services continue to operate their own schools of instructions, conduct exercises and prepare for war under the respective Chiefs.

At the theater level where maximum coordination is essential, there is frequent interaction but level of jointness achieved is an unknown factor. More over sheer difference in location of HQs militates against jointness. For instance HQs Eastern Command of the Indian Army and the Air Force responsible for the all important China border are located in Kolkata and Shillong respectively.

While it is frequently argued that there has been excellent synergy during operations with surfeit examples quoted of 1971 War in Bangladesh and the 1999 Kargil operations, these were mainly third generation wars fought with legacy tactics under atypical circumstances that are unlikely to be obtained on the battlefield today. More over synergy of resources with the networked enabled warfare doctrine being practiced by the armed forces to achieve maximum effect can be achieved only through jointness.

Given stiff resistance to jointness amongst the services, it is well established that jointness is achieved either through an Act of Parliament or the bitter experience of systems dysfunction in war.

The United States armed forces undertook the process of jointness through legislation known as the Goldwater–Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986. Today US fields the most modern armed forces in history where capacity building has been a function of joint thinking leading to success in two major conventional wars Iraq 1991 and 2003 the jury is still out on the long counter insurgency campaigns that followed. Other modern armed forces as France recognized significance of jointness after the experiences in Gulf War 1991.

Jointness can achieve economy and efficiency through synergy of resources, it will overcome the budgetary constraints that are inevitable in the armed forces in the future, more importantly it will also come through an act of parliament.

With a majority in the Lok Sabha and proactive approach to defence as well as development an Act to integrate command structure of the armed forces to bring in synergy could be the most important KRA for the Modi government.

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