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Saturday, 17 October 2015

From Today's Papers - 17 Oct 2015

N-deal with Pak unlikely: US
Islamabad’s nuclear arsenal’s safety to feature in Obama-Sharif talks
Washington, October 16
The prospect of a civil nuclear deal with Pakistan being talked about in the public domain is quite unlikely, the White House has said, but acknowledged that the US is in talks with Islamabad on issues related to nuclear safety and security.

“I know there’s been a lot of public speculation about this (a civilian nuclear deal with Pakistan). In asking the same question to a lot of our folks here who are working on this issue, I would not be overly excited about the prospects of reaching the kind of agreement that is being speculated about publicly,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at his daily news conference yesterday.

“Pakistan’s Prime Minister will be here next week to meet with the President, and I’m wondering if you can confirm for us that the US is, in fact, serious about trying to work out a civilian nuclear deal with Pakistan and whether this is something that will come up in the meeting,” he was asked by a White House reporter.

At this point, the US has been engaged with Pakistan as well as the rest of the international community, on issues related to nuclear safety and security, Earnest said.

“We continue to have confidence that the government of Pakistan is well aware of the range of potential threats to its nuclear arsenal, and we continue to be confident that Pakistan has a professional and dedicated security force that understands the importance and the high priority that the world places on nuclear security,” he said in response to a question.

“The expectation that we have is that a deal like the one that’s been discussed publicly is not something that’s likely to come to fruition next week. But the United States and Pakistan are regularly engaged in a dialogue about the importance of nuclear security,” Earnest said. “I would anticipate that that dialogue would include conversations between the leaders of our two countries,” he said. — PTI
Nirbhay cruise missile fails midway
Bhubaneswar, October 16
India’s indigenous surface-to-surface cruise missile Nirbhay nose-dived midway after it test fired in Odisha on Friday. Defence Research and Development Organisation sources said the missile was launched from the Chandipur Integrated Test Range in Balasore district at 11.38 am.

Although the takeoff was successful amid repeated disruptions of countdown, the missile missed the target after 11 minutes of launch. The missile had a range of 750-1,000 km. But it nose-dived after covering 128 km in the Bay of Bengal. — IANS
Make in India to be self-sufficient in defence sector: Parrikar

Bengaluru, Oct 16: Making weapons and platforms for the armed forces in India would enable the defence sector become self-sufficient, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Friday. "When we make in India major weapons and platforms for the armed forces, we become independent and self sufficient, with spin-offs in civil and commercial sectors," Parrikar said at a seminar held in the memory of late former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam here.

Noting that technologies and products developed by the defence research organisations were benefitting the economy by way of investments and job creation, Parrikar urged the stakeholders to focus on research for innovation and self-reliance in meeting the needs of the three services - army, air force and navy. "Our government's 'Make in India' thrust has strategic benefits as it saves foreign exchange, develops skill sets and trained manpower, besides contributing to the economy," Parrikar said in the inaugural address on the two-day seminar on "Developing and sustaining vibrant R&D for aerospace and defence sectors", organized by the Society of Indian Aerospace Technologies and Industries. Recalling Kalam's contribution to the country's defence and aerospace sectors for over five decades, Parrkiar said the people's president had built a scientific temperament and inspired thousand of students across the country to take up science as a career when there was a mad rush to become IT engineers. "Kalam struck a chord with young minds, created interest in science and research through talks, presentations and discussions. He not only prevented brain drain, but also influenced the diaspora to reverse the trend and make it brain gain," he said. Bharat Dynamics Ltd chairman Udaya Bhaskar, Indian Space Research Organisation's satellite director M. Annadurai and Bharat Electronics Ltd chairman S.K. Sharma also addressed the gathering.
SC trumps Defence Ministry; India’s only female gallantry awardee to continue service
New Delhi: A day ahead of her discharge from the armed forces, the Supreme Court on Thursday offered much-wanted respite to Lt Colonel Mitali Madhumita, by ruling that she will continue to serve in the forces.

The only woman honoured by Indian army with a gallantry award, Madhumita's tenure in was struck by indecision after the Ministry of Defence moved the Supreme Court against an Armed Forces Tribunal order granting her permanent commission.

According to a Hindustan Times report, Lt Colonel Madhumita, an SSC officer, had earlier declined the permanent commission that was offered to her.

But after completing her deputation in Afghanistan, Mitali requested that she be given another chance and that she be inducted in the permanent commission.

She appealed to the Armed Forces Tribunal in March 2014 after the Ministry of Defence refused to entertain her application, following which the tribunal directed the Ministry to give her a chance.

An appeal was filed in Supreme Court by government, challenging the decision by AFT on the grounds that her application was late and that it came after the selection commission for her batch was convened. “She is such an educated, qualified and courageous officer. The only gallantry award winner, she will be an asset to the Army. And if she wants to work and is ready to go for any posting anywhere, let her work,” a bench of TS Thakur and Kurien Joseph were quoted as saying. The court also said that she would continue to serve until it took a decision on giving her permanent commission.

Madhumita was awarded the Sena Medal in 2012 for tackling and managing the suicide attacks at the Indian embassy in Kabul in 2010 while serving in Afghanistan.

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