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Monday, 11 May 2015

From Today's Papers - 11 May 2015

Govt to monitor shipping in South China Sea
Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 10
The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has okayed a plan to virtually keep an eye on shipping in the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea, an act that is clearly aimed at monitoring the Chinese shipping of oil and gas, without saying so.

The CCS, which is headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved a plan to collate shipping information from 24 countries located as far and wide as those on African East Coast that is the Indian Ocean to the South China Sea, where five countries are locked in bitter territorial dispute with China. Beijing is not one of the countries on the 24-country grouping.

Navy Chief Admiral Robin Dhowan in an interview to The Tribune said: “We have the CCS approval to go ahead for collating white shipping (non-military shipping) information. We will go country by country to have greater transparency of what all (ships) passes through these waters.”

Sources said ground-based, airborne and space-based monitoring systems in these countries will pick up information about all ships but will share only the data of merchant shipping.

On being asked if China has protested the new 24-country maritime information sharing, the Admiral said: “I don’t think there is any reason for that. It’s not an alliance. It is not against any country nor is it a grouping of countries.”

“We look at our maritime interests. We are only working where our interest and where the information is of some use to us. The IOR (Indian Ocean Region) is in the primary area of interest,” the Admiral said while terming the Indian Ocean as the “centre of gravity” for the maritime world. Around 66 per cent of all oil, 50 per cent of all container traffic and 33 per cent of all cargo traffic passes through these waters.

Questioned if the 24-country information sharing was aimed at controlling the “mouth” of the strategically vital Straits Mallaca (which connects the Indian Ocean with the South China and the Pacific Ocean beyond), the Admiral said: “Mallaca is an important choke point. It is related to freedom of navigation and these are global commons to ensure free trade of oil and trade. 80 per cent of trade and oil in the IOR is extra regional. Any disruption of oil or trade will impact the global economy.”

An assessment by the US Energy Information Administration says nearly 15.2 million barrels of crude oil are shipped across the Mallaca everyday, of which China is the destination for 4.2 million barrels. Another 4.2 trillion cubic feet of liquefied natural gas passes through the Strait every year, of which 54 per cent is headed to Japan.
My view on ammo crunch was ignored: Gen VK_ Singh
Parvesh Sharma

Tribune News Service

Jind, May 10
Reacting to a CAG report on critical shortfall of ammunition reserves in India, Union Minister of Statistics and Programme Implementation General VK Singh (retd) today said he had revealed the same fact during his tenure as the Army Chief.

“I had said the same thing during my tenure as the Army Chief but I do not know why I was not taken seriously at that time. Now the CAG has confirmed it,” said General VK Singh while interacting with The Tribune at Rajiv Gandhi College in Uchana, which is owned by the family of Union Minister for Rural Development Chaudhary Birender Singh.

The former Army Chief, who was in the college along with Birender to attend its annual convocation, said the Defence Ministry had a strong system to deal with such situations and he was hopeful that the officers concerned would handle it in the best possible way. “I am open to giving suggestions if anyone needs my help,” General VK Singh said.

A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked Maoists to embrace humanity, General VK Singh reiterated his stand against deployment of the Army in Maoist-affected areas.

“In Maoist-hit areas, we are not facing threat from any outside forces but our own men have strayed away. Deployment of the Army against our own men would send a wrong signal. Our local police forces are capable of tackling such challenges,” he said.

Birender said former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda did not have the right to start his Jan Sampark Abhiyan from Kandela (Jind) on May 31. “He deliberately ignored Jind district for 10 years when he was the CM and shifted all development to Rohtak and other districts of the state. Hooda should start his abhiyan from Rohtak or other districts,” he said.

“All things will be clear in Parliament about the Land Acquisition Bill tomorrow,” Birender said when asked about opposition to the Bill.
Pak Taliban releases video of missile
Islamabad, May 10
Pakistani Taliban today released a video showing its militants with a surface-to-air missile which it claimed was used to bring down an army helicopter in the PoK that killed seven people including two ambassadors.
A video released by a jihadist media forum shows at least four masked militants with the surface-to-air missile (SAM-7 B) allegedly used in hitting the Mi-17 that crashed in Naltar valley of Gilgit-Baltisitan in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
In a written message in Urdu just at the start of the video, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed that the chopper was turning due to which the missile hit the tail rotor of the helicopter so it did not get destroyed fully in the air.
The message claimed that the missile was fired from a distance of 3 kilometers to down the helicopter on Friday. The Russian SAM-7 Model or SAM-7 B can hit a target up to a distance of 3 km.
The SITE Intelligence Group, a US-based website that monitors extremist groups, also put video on its website. "God willing, we will carry out (more) such attacks," a Taliban statement said today.
The Taliban had claimed responsibility for the downing of the chopper and said premier Nawaz Sharif was their target. — PTI
Why Defence Ministry may fund railways projects worth almost Rs 1.4 lakh crore near India-China bord

11th Infantry Brigade was defending Walong under numerous handicaps. There being no road beyond Tezu which is 230 km south. There was a severe shortage of artillery, rations, ammunition, winter clothing and defence stores at Walong.

This inscription at a war memorial in Arunachal Pradesh's sleepy town of Walong explains why the Indian Army was forced to retreat from the eastern-most locations along the McMahon Line during the 1962 India-China war. Over five decades later, con ..

Catching up with the Dragon
As ET Magazine has learnt, the defence ministry may fund four railway projects in the areas bordering India and China totalling a railway line of about 1,400 km that may cost up to Rs 1.4 lakh crore if a simple calculation of Rs 80 crore to Rs 100 crore per km of railway construction in hilly terrain is factored in. The costs may go up depending on the number of tunnels on the route, something that will ..

China's hyperactive infrastructure building on their side of the border has forced India to take corrective steps on its own hills.

For example, Arunachal Pradesh, the largest among the eight Northeastern states, and a state that borders Bhutan (160 km), China (1,080 km) and Myanmar (440 km), has less than 15 km of railway lines till date.

So, it's not surprising that three out of four proposed rail projects, which are likely to be funded by the mi ..

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Need for synergised approach for success of 'Make in India' in defence: Lt Gen Campose
Greater Noida: Vice Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Philip Campose has emphasised the need for a `synergised approach` to ensure the success of the `Make In India` initiative in the defence sector.

Inaugurated a seminar titled `Make in India Made Easy: Opportunities and Challenges in Defence Sector` at the Army Institute of Management Technology (AIMT) here, Lt. Gen. Campose said that around 60 percent of India`s defence procurement requirements are met by imports.

"In the defence sector alone, India is expected to invest over USD 250 billion in the next seven to eight years," he said.

The seminar also included a review of equipment, with the display including gear procured from Special Financial Power`s of the Army Commander`s Fund, product improvements and products under development by DRDO and Department of Indigenisation.

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