Custom Search Engine - Scans Selected News Sites


Saturday, 7 February 2015

From Today's Papers - 07 Feb 2015

R-Day parade: CM honours NCC cadets
Tribune News Service

Shimla, February 6
As many as 23 NCC cadets from Himachal Pradesh, who participated in the Republic Day parade in New Delhi, were honoured by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today.

The CM said it was a matter of pride that the Republic Day parade witnessed emergence of NCC girls and boys from Himachal in a big way and created history of sorts.

It was a great honour for the state as cadet Reena Devi from Sanjauli college happened to be Commander of NCC girls contingent on Rajpath along with other participants, including cadets Bhuwenshwari, Praveen Rathour, Sheetal, Mamta Kumari and Saurabh Rohal.

Cadet Baby Sharma was adjudged the best stick orderly besides Rituja Kulkarni won the gold medal commentary during the horse riding competition and during Vice-President’s visit.

Cadet Shivani took part in guard of Honour drill. Cadet Sunita Devi had the honour of commanding the girl’s contingent of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and Orissa in the Prime Minister’s rally on January 28. Besides, Akshay Kumar won a bronze medal in the Naval Shipping Model competition.

The CM said it was due to the contribution of Shimla Group Cadets that resulted in winning the prestigious Republic Day Banner 2015 champion trophy.

The CM lauded the role of Himachali contingents and said all colleges in the state should have the NCC.

The CM also felicitated Whole Time Lady Officer Capt Santosh Kumari (Solan girls battalion) who was in charge of the National Integration and Awareness programme team of and secured first rank at the national-level.
For China, Army Has New Troops. But No Funds.
(Nitin Gokhale is a well-known defence and strategic affairs analyst, author and media trainer.)

India's Mountain Strike Corps, announced with much fanfare in late 2013 to augment the army's strength along the border with China, is in trouble, thanks to a 'sanction' that was not really a sanction under the UPA II government.

According to sequence of events pieced together by this writer after talking to sources in the know, the Manmohan Singh government sanctioned the raising of new Corps -40,000 soldiers-   meant as a deterrent against China along the northern frontier without catering for its funding.

The Corps, which was on the drawing board for some years, apparently acquired a momentum in the summer of 2013 after Chinese PLA troops intruded deep into Indian territory in the Depsang plains of Ladakh and camped there for more than a fortnight, exposing the gaps in India's defences along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

The intrusion crisis was resolved after hectic diplomacy but the political leadership, under pressure of hostile public opinion, sought a remedy from the Army.

Sensing the chance to get the long-standing proposal to strengthen India's defences along the LAC cleared, the then army Chief Gen Bikram Singh personally pushed for creation of the Mountain Strike Corps. The proposal included integral air assets and necessary armoured and artillery elements.

According to the proposal, the new Corps would have 40,000 troops and would cost more than Rs. 64,000 crores to be spent over a seven or eight year period. It was expected that the new Corps would augment India's defence along the LAC stretching from Arunachal Pradesh in the east to Ladakh in northwest.

As the proposal gathered steam, two notes were prepared for the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), India's highest-decision making body on matters of security. One file contained details of the overall concept and justification for raising the Mountain Strike Corps and the other, file sought additional funding, over and above the sanctioned defence budget to equip the new Corps.

In an inexplicable move, the CCS under UPA II gave its approval for raising the Mountain Strike Corps but withheld clearance for additional or specific funding!

It is not clear what assurances were given about funds to be made available at a later stage, but the Army went ahead and 'raised' or announced or inaugurated the Corps at the temporary Head Quarters at Ranchi on January 1, 2014.

A year later, there is no sign of specific funds being earmarked for the Mountain Strike Corps, forcing the Army to 'cannibalise' its war wastage reserves (WWR) --stores that are earmarked for emergencies for sustaining the troops in the event of a war.

According to a report in The Tribune in late December 2014, Army Vice Chief, Lt Gen Philip Campose admitted the use of WWR for equipping the Mountain Strike Corps.

"We are not getting additional budget. A certain amount of about Rs. 5,000 crore has been set aside saying that this is meant for the Mountain Corps. But this is not over and above the budget. So, we need money over and above the budget if we are able to make up all the stores and weapons which we have pulled out from the War Wastage Reserves for the initial raisings," he is supposed to have told Parliament's Standing Committee of Defence.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar was apprised of the serious situation during one of the first briefings he received at Army HQ. He has now reportedly ordered a review of the timelines for raising the new Corps and remedy the situation before it completely depletes the crucial WWR of the Indian Army.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. NDTV is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.
Make in India, Indo-US defence trade pact align perfectly: Phil Shaw

US-based Lockheed Martin has been ranked the world’s number one defence company in terms of revenue, range of high-tech products and worldwide presence. The company plans to establish an operations centre for aviation customers in India and is doing a feasibility study in this respect. In fact, during US President Obama’s recent India visit, the two countries agreed on cooperation deals, including the joint production of drone aircraft and equipment for Lockheed Martin’s C-130 military transport plane. Phil Shaw, chief executive of Lockheed Martin India, in an interview with Huma Siddiqui, outlines the company’s strategy for India. Excerpts:

What do you think of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India initiative?

We welcome it. In many ways, it is an extension of what Lockheed Martin is already doing in India — we manufacture some of our components at our JV with Tata Advanced Systems in Hyderabad, and then ship them to the US for integration into the C130J production line. Our experience has been positive and we feel we can manufacture more here should an opportunity present itself and the business case support it.
We support the government’s goal of indigenising the defence industry and the strategy of creating more opportunities for local manufacturing, thereby reducing reliance on imports.

Greater defence manufacturing capability will provide a more competitive environment, benefiting the defence and home ministries. The workforce will acquire skills, helping the development of next-generation technologies.

Defence equipment could, therefore, be manufactured right here in India, providing jobs and tax revenue for the government.

Do Make in India and the Indo-US Defence Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI) go together?

The two align perfectly — promoting co-production of current equipment and co-development of future capabilities in India.

Are you planning to invest in India’s defence sector?

We have already invested in the sector and remain committed to a long-term partnership with India. We are always looking for new opportunities to invest.

Your views on the current FDI cap of 49% for the defence sector.

Lockheed Martin welcomes the higher cap of 49%. The Indian government has indicated that it will consider further relaxation for state-of-the-art technologies, which is also welcome. Each investment decision, though, is considered on its own merits and the business case supporting it will determine the investment amount.

Is Lockheed Martin planning to tie up with ISRO for any mission?

There are no immediate plans to engage with ISRO in upcoming missions. However, Lockheed Martin’s space company monitors the activity in India in this domain, and it would be delighted to engage when an opportunity presents itself. We were extremely impressed by the Indian mission to Mars last year since we were actively involved in a parallel NASA mission. I am certain there will be opportunities to collaborate.

Your company, along with FICCI, is into innovation awards.

The DST-LM IIGP (India Innovation Growth Programme), run jointly by Lockheed Martin and the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, along with our partner FICCI, aims to enhance the development of India’s entrepreneurial economy by accelerating innovative Indian technologies into markets in the US and around the world. It is the only programme of its kind that focuses on teaching and world-class commercialisation strategies. The IIGP has successfully provided innovators a platform to showcase their innovation to the angel investors/VCs/PEs community across India and the globe.

Are you participating in any other programmes in India?

We are actively pursuing navy, army and air force programmes, where we have capabilities to offer. We are also interested in supplying renewable energy generation technologies. For example, we have waste-to-energy and biomass-to-energy technologies that have large application in some parts of India.

We also have an interest in the civil aviation sector where we provide air traffic management, civil engine MRO, airport management IT systems and full motion simulators from Lockheed Martin Commercial Flight Training company.

The company’s commercial flight training provides full-motion Airbus A320 and B737 simulators in Gurgaon.
Pak Army maintaining high level of vigilance along India border: Asif
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Federal Minister for Defence Khawaja Muhammad Asif has said that Pakistan Army is maintaining high level of vigilance and exercising restraint in order to uphold ceasefire and tranquility along the Line of Control (LoC) and Working Boundary.

In his address to the National Assembly which resumed its session in Islamabad on Friday with the Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq in the chair, the defence minister said that firing violations by Indian troops between September and October last year not only resulted into military and civilian casualties but also raised tensions between Pakistan and India particularly along the Working Boundary.

The Indian troops carried out 224 ceasefire violations on the LoC and the Working Boundary in 2014, and their intensity had been more than the previous violations, the prime minister’s adviser on foreign affairs and national security Sartaj Aziz told the Senate in October last year.

Action plan being prepared to improve human rights situations: Rasheed

The Federal Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed told the National Assembly on Friday that the government is preparing an action plan to improve human rights situations in the country in consultation with the relevant stakeholders including provincial governments.

In a written reply, the minister told the House that the legal aid support programme on prohibition of torture through the Bar Councils is also being included in the plan.

Rasheed said that his ministry is launching a project titled “Establishment of Help Line for legal Advice on Human Rights Violations” in the country.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Mail your comments, suggestions and ideas to me

Template created by Rohit Agarwal