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Sunday, 17 January 2016

From Today's Papers - 17 Jan 2016

Will no longer put up with terror: Parrikar
Jaipur, January 16
India’s capacity to put up with terrorism has reached its limit and “we will do something”, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Saturday in reference to the attack on Pathankot air force station that killed seven security personnel.

“The country’s capacity for tolerance is over. As defence minister, my tolerance capacity is over. We will do something,” Parrikar said in response to a question about the January 2 terrorist attack in Pathankot.

He said the government knew what was required to be done.

“I am not saying we will do this or that. But this should not happen, we cannot tolerate it, it is enough,” said the minister.

Following the attack on the Pathankot air force station which is suspected to be carried out by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammad, Parrikar had said on Monday that any “individual or organisation” harming the country “should also receive the pain of such activities” and “how, when and where should be your choice”.

Responding to the Pathankot attack, security forces were able to kill all six attackers. They were believed to be Pakistani nationals who had sneaked into Punjab.

The government says it has provided “actionable evidence” to Pakistan to act against those who masterminded the Pathankot attack. — IANS
Defense officials visit Pathankot air base
Ravi Dhaliwal

Tribune New Service

Pathankot, January 16
Senior officials of the Ministry of Defense visited the air force station today and took cognisance of the innumerable gaps in the security of the base, including the all important 11- foot high perimeter wall.

Six militants had entered the base in the wee hours of January 2 and started firing from the outskirts of the technical area which houses the hangars of a fighter squadron, helicopters and other equipment.

The number of officials was kept a secret and the media was also not informed of the visit. The perimeter wall caught the attention of the officials as on January 1 the terrorists had entered the airbase from the western periphery wall where a clump of eucalyptus trees tower over the 11-foot high wall. The rear wall is near Akalgarh gurdwara and is also adjacent to the point from where the militants are suspected to have infiltrated into the complex.

Six Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists were gunned down by the security forces after a four-day gun battle. Seven Indian security personnel also lost their lives.

The ease with which the terrorists penetrated the base carrying a huge cache of weapons has raised several questions on the safety and security of the air base.

After the inspection, a senior MoD official signalled that the IAF staff, including senior officers, may face action over the security lapse.

Ministry officials, however, confirmed that no insider was involved in the terror attack. Earlier, officers investigating the case had found that three fence floodlights at the base were pointing upwards while every other light there was in the right direction.

An MES employee was questioned on this count.
Story of Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat, whose valour impressed even the Chinese commanders
Army day is observed on January 15 every year, to mark the anniversary of Lieutenant General K.M. Carriappa taking over as the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army in 1949, from the last British officer. The Indian army originated from the East India Army, which then later became British India Army. Known around the world for its bravery, our Army has fought many a battle, and was the largest volunteer army in World War II.

Defence institutions ride on tales of bravery from their past, but, most often, it is the historical acts of individual officers that plant the seeds of pride and inspiration in young soldiers for posterity.
So, on Army Day, it is only fitting to remind our readers of the story of Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat, MVC. a soldier whose valour was celebrated even by his enemies.

Rifleman Jaswant Singh is considered the hero of Sino-India Warin 1962. According to a local legend,he single-handedly fought the Chinese army for three days. It was the last phase of the war in November 1962, and due to a lack of resources, his company was asked to fall back. But, Jaswant Singh remained at his post. With the help of two local girls, Sela and Nura, Jaswant Singh set up weapons at three different spots and fired them non-stop for three days. Thinking a big contingent was firing at them, the Chinese Army stayed put.

As the time passed, the Chinese Army grew frustrated, as they knew no way to counter the purported attack of the Indian Army. They finally caught the man who was providing food to Jaswant and the two girls and interrogated him. The man spilled the beans. The Chinese then surrounded Jaswant Singh from all sides. Nura was captured and Sela died in a grenade burst. Jaswant Singh, realising he was about to be captured, shot himself.

The Chinese forces cutoff Jaswant Singh’s head and took it back to China as a war souvenir. After the war was over, the commander of the Chinese forces, impressed by the late Jaswant Singh’s show of bravery, returned his head along with a brass bust made of the soldier. It is now installed at the site of the battle. He was posthumously awarded Maha Vir Chakra for his bravery. Jaswant Singh’s display of valour, and his love for his nation has proved to be a great source of inspiration to Indian soldiers since.

Today, we also revisit a conversation we had with a few army officers and aspirants awhile ago:
BrahMos is a ‘brahmastra for Indian armed forces,’ says noted scientist
Noted scientist and honorary professor at ISRO Bengaluru Sivathanu Pillai said the missile is a war winner
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Noted scientist and honorary professor at ISRO Bengaluru Sivathanu Pillai on Saturday called ‘BrahMos’- the Indo-Russian supersonic cruise missile, a “brahmastra for Indian Armed forces” and “a war winner” on Saturday. Known as the ‘Father of BrahMos’, Pillai was speaking at the 12th convocation of the Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology (DAIICT) at Gandhinagar that saw 379 students, including 8 Ph. D scholars receive their degrees at the convocation ceremony.

On being quizzed on the need for more missiles like ‘BrahMos’ in light of India-Pakistan’s current political situation, Pillai said, “Today if you look at BrahMos, it is the only supersonic cruise missile operational in the whole world. No other country has ventured to have supersonic system in the armed forces. We have ‘BrahMos’ operational in the navy in the naval fleet, we have the army on the land force and very soon it will be with the airforce. So when we have the tri-service operation of the Brahmos, it is going to be a war winner. As you have seen in the Gulf War, the major victory of the Gulf War was the deployment of Tomahawk missiles by the Allied forces to destroy the enemy’s assets first so that way we have got a very good weapon available to give victory to India.”

Calling India self-sufficient in space technology, the noted scientist averred that going by the demand from the world over, the next move for India should be to market its space technology. “So we are going for more number of launches in a year using the PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) and the trend is to go for “smaller satellites”. The navigation and the remote sensing satellites are becoming very small and they want to have interconnectivity and more revisit time. Whereas the communication satellites are going bigger and bigger, so to suit the trend the space research program will adapt itself so that we will be able to serve the nation and also we get sizable market from the world,” he added.

Speaking to students, Pillai spoke about the need for a rehaul in India’s education system and creation of innovation in ICT education and start-ups and knowledge system powerhouse to unleash India’s knowledge potential.

He said, “Startup and entrepreneurship has become a very important components of the education. I have seen in the IITs and institutions like the IICT the major component of the education is turning towards how we can mould the youngsters to entrepreneurs. That’s a big turning point in our education system which is going to make things different…In India if you see…unlike American and other countries where research has been given more important component of education, in India that has not picked up well. But our country needs that change, research should become more present-age of the education system than the teaching part.”
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