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Monday, 20 April 2015

From Today's Papers - 20 Apr 2015

DRDO’s explosive detector to plug security gaps
Vijay Mohan

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
A new portable explosive detection device developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) can help plug in vital gaps in security at places facing a high-threat perception.

“Preemptor”, the hand-held device can detect solid as well as liquid explosives from a stand-off distance of 5 metres. It has undergone evaluation trials with the paramilitary forces.

Experts say liquid explosives are harder to detect than conventional solid explosives and require specialised equipment. This issue is now being addressed by security agencies and appropriate equipment is being installed at sensitive places such as airports and other high-profile establishments.

Designed by DRDO’s Laser Science and Technology Center (LASTEC), Preemptor is claimed to be the first-of-its-kind device in terms of its software used for online analysis and identification of targeted material in stand-off mode. It provides audio alarms as well as text information simultaneously.

DRDO scientists say it can detect different types of explosives such as TNT, TATP, DNT, RDX and HMX within 10-12 seconds and the system has potential application in screening unattended explosive devices, liquid explosive in bottles and other explosive material in the form of powder, pills or pellets.
Army looks to make SSC jobs more lucrative
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 19

The top brass of the Indian Army will hold a meeting to make Short Service Commission (SSC) jobs more lucrative for the youth and retain the existing officers in the three armed forces.

The Army commanders’ conference starts in New Delhi tomorrow and the SSC issue will be one of key topics under discussion. A team of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is also scheduled to participate in fine-tuning the concept.

The move is aimed at reducing the existing ratio of permanent commissioned officers vis-à-vis the SSC. The SSC officers retire after 14 years of service and leave the forces when they are about 35-37 years of age.

Lieutenant Colonel, Commander and Wing Commander are the highest ranks in the Army, Navy and the IAF, respectively, for SSC officers.

The MoD is looking at two plans: The first is a one-time payout to be worked out in two stages — one for those who leave after 10 years of service and second for those who leave after 14 years of service.

The second benefit is to allow full-paid leave to study further on professional courses and seek jobs as SSC officers retire very early.

The leave can be for a year or two and will be counted towards the period of 14 years of service. This study leave will allowed to only those who opt to serve after 10 years.
Centre planning second rung of defence along 202 kilometre long International Border
Jammu: The Centre is planning to create a second rung of defence along 202-kilometres long International Border (IB) in the region as many terrorists have managed to successfully infiltrate through Samba and create havoc in neighbouring areas.

After recent terror attacks in March on a police station and an army camp located in Samba, a high-level team of Home Ministry and state officials toured the entire IB, stretching from Samba to Akhnoor, official sources said. Beyond Akhnoor, the Line of Control starts upto Kupwara in Kashmir region.

The teams observed that Border Security Force (BSF) was stationed at the border but without a proper back up from either police or army as the second line of defence.

Army's Yol-based IX Corps has some camps located in the area but they are mainly used for training purposes and hence not geared up for countering the terror strikes.

The national highway and railway track connecting the state to the rest of the country also passes through Samba and hence it was decided to create a second line of defence along the entire stretch of international border, the sources said.

The second tier of defence will have personnel drawn from para-military forces as well as from the state police and it will provide back up for the BSF which has not been able to plug gaps along the international border especially the Samba area, the sources said.

The second tier would be manning the gaps of Chap and Tarnah nallahs which have been frequently used by terrorists to come to the national highway from where they used to hijack or take lift from passing vehicles to reach Samba town.

They will also barricade the roads to monitor entry and exit of vehicles, the sources said.

There have been five successful attempts by terrorists especially from banned Lashker-e-Toiba militants who entered into the Jammu region from this area and create havoc on civilians, army as well as police stations.

Nearly a dozen police personnel and civilians, besides a Lt Colonel of Army have been killed in these attacks. The latest terror strike was on March 20 in which five persons including two policemen were killed.

This area has also witnessed exchange of fire between BSF and Pakistani Rangers in which villagers from both sides had to suffer. 

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