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Monday, 13 June 2016

From Today's Papers - 13 Jun 2016

China: ‘Large differences’ over having India in NSG
BEIJING, June 12
China said on Sunday that more talks were needed to build a consensus on which countries can join the main group controlling access to sensitive nuclear technology, after a push by the United States to include India.

China is seen as leading opposition to the US move to include India in the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), but even New Zealand, Turkey, South Africa and Austria oppose Indian membership, according to diplomats.

The NSG aims to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons by restricting the sale of items that can be used to make those arms.

India already enjoys most of the benefits of membership under a 2008 exemption to NSG rules granted to support its nuclear cooperation deal with Washington, even though India has developed atomic weapons and never signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the main global arms control pact.

“Large differences” remain over the issue of non-NPT countries joining the NSG, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in an online statement.

“With regard to what to do on the issue of non-NPT signatories joining (NSG), China consistently supports having ample discussion on this to seek consensus and agreement and come to a unanimous decision,” Hong said.

“The NPT is the political and legal basis for the entire international non-proliferation system,” Hong said, adding that China would support the group in further talks to come to a consensus at an early date.

Opponents argue that granting India membership would undermine efforts to prevent proliferation and also infuriate Pakistan.

A decision on Indian membership is not expected before an NSG plenary meeting in Seoul on June 20, but diplomats have said Washington has been pressuring hold-outs. Most of the hold-outs oppose  admitting a non-NPT state such as India and argue that if it is to be admitted, it should be under criteria that apply equally to all states rather than under a “tailor-made” solution for a US ally. — Reuters

‘Issue not taken up in Vienna’

Beijing: China insisted that there “was no deliberation” on the bid by India and other nations at the Vienna meeting that took place last week. “There was no deliberation on any items related to the accession to the NSG by India or any other countries that are not signatories to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT),” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei said.     

He added that NSG Chair Argentine Ambassador Rafael Mariano Grossi convened an unofficial meeting of the 48-member group on June 9. However, diplomatic sources said earlier that India’s membership was discussed at the meeting and talks had remained inconclusive. PTI

Relevance of Nuclear Suppliers Group

The Nuclear Suppliers Group looks after critical issues relating to the nuclear sector and its members are allowed to trade in and export nuclear technology. The NSG works under the principle of unanimity and even one country’s vote against India will scuttle its bid.
BSF, state police gun down two Pakistani intruders
Another held; 15-kg heroin seized; two Tarn Taran men also arrested
Praful Chander Nagpal

Fazilka, June 12
In a joint operation, personnel of the BSF and the state police today gunned down two Pakistani intruders and seized 15 kg of heroin worth Rs75 crore near the Sivana border observation post in the Fazilka sector.

One of their accomplices, who was injured, has been arrested. The security forces have also arrested two Indian smugglers, Gurdip Singh and Barjinder Singh of Tarn Taran district, who had allegedly come to receive the drug consignment.

Besides 15 kg heroin, one .12 bore rifle, a magazine, 67 live cartridges, two Pakistani pistols, one Pakistani mobile phone and two SIM cards were also seized.

Anil Palliwal, Inspector-General, BSF, Punjab frontier; Eapen PV, DIG, BSF; and Narinder Bhargav, SSP, Fazilka, in a press conference, said following a tip-off, the state police alerted the BSF.

Around 2.30 am today, the BSF ambush party and police officials noticed some movement across the barbed wire fence. The jawans challenged the intruders who opened fire on them. In the retaliatory fire, two intruders were killed, while another Ramzaan (35) of Kasur district in Pakistan was injured. On his arrest, he revealed the identity of the deceased as Soka and Pappa. Ramzaan, who was rushed to the local Civil Hospital, was shifted to Faridkot hospital.

Palliwal said: “The matter needs to be probed as we witnessed cover firing from the other side of the border which was made either by accomplices of the intruders or the Pakistani Rangers as the spot is just opposite the Pakistan observation post across the barbed wire fence.”

It was evident that the intruders had travelled about 100 metres inside the Indian Territory. A plastic pipe was lying near the cobra wire fencing.
Army felicitates 350 war widows, resolves their grievances
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 12
Under an extensive outreach drive, the Dograi Brigade of Indian Army organised a Women Empowerment Conclave at Military Station Khasa near here today.

In the run up to the conclave, special teams contacted all war widows of Amritsar and Tarn Taran districts to proactively resolve their grievances, especially those related to pension, healthcare, land, legal cases and other entitlements to them with minimum delay. During this drive, approximately 861 widows were contacted.

Anupveer Cheema, zonal president, AWWA, Vajra Corps, interacted with the widows and enquired about their problems. On this occasion, more than 350 widows were felicitated by the Army Wives Welfare Association by presenting them with utility items. The chief guest awarded three education scholarships to girl children of the widows.

During the event, a number of stalls from various welfare functionaries and organisations of the Army and civil establishments were set up at the venue to provide solutions under one roof. The representatives of Zila Sainik Welfare Office, Records Office and Veteran Sahayata Kendra held meetings and interviews and addressed the grievances of widows. Non-Governmental Organisations and public sector banks organised special workshops to acquaint the widows of all possible welfare avenues available to them. Job letters to 12 dependents of veterans as packaging supervisors and foremen in industries were also presented on the occasion.Medical and Ex-servicemen Health Contributory Scheme (ECHS) camp with all specialist facilities including medical, surgical, gynecologists, dental, eye and ENT, Lab and dispensary were established. The Army also distributed booklets to the widows containing pension entitlements, welfare schemes and important contact numbers of officials to follow up their concerns in future.

The event was inaugurated by Lieutenant General JS Cheema, General Officer Commanding, Vajra Corps while Major General Nav K Khanduri, General Officer Commanding, Panther Division, was also present on the occasion.
Army to involve industry in its long-term plans

Design Bureau will be set up for project approval

On the lines of the Navy’s design bureau which has been successful in indigenising warship design, the Army is attempting a major reworking of weapons design and procurement by incorporating academia and industry in its long-term perspective plans. This will be done under the soon to be set up Army Design Bureau (ADB) the formal approval for which is in the final stages.

“The idea is to bring together academic institutions and the industry to develop indigenous knowhow. Knowledge and ideas are with academia, while industry has the resources. The interactions are meant to identify a series of projects which can be taken under the ADB, a senior Army officer said.

In order to identify joint development projects in critical areas, Lt. Gen. Subrata Saha, Deputy Chief of Army-Planning & Systems is currently holding a series of interactions with the academic institutions and industry across the country and sharing the Army’s long-term requirements.

Some 4-5 teams have been set up which are working on few prototypes and the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), Mumbai and Kharagpur are set to join the effort.

“We are willing to share our long-term perspective plans to the extent possible so various stakeholders are aware of our requirements and the Army is involved in the design and development from the preliminary stage,” the officer added.
Small arms, UAVs

Some of the priority areas the Army is looking at include small arms, smart munitions, communication and electronic warfare systems and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), both surveillance and combat.

The Army, which has been traditionally reluctant to engage with the industry, is now opening up with the government’s emphasis on ‘Make in India’.

While the idea is welcome, there is need for policy clarity on how these projects will work within the larger Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) which guides all defence procurements. In fact, DPP 2016 has created a new category, indigenous Design Development and Manufacturing, which will be the preferred procurement route for procurement.

Keywords: National security, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, UAV
Jammu: Militant hideout busted in Rajouri
The bust was the result of a joint operation by the Army and the police in the Lakharwali forests
A militant hideout has been busted and large cache of arms and ammunition were recovered by the security forces in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir, an army official said.

Based on specific information, a joint search operation was launched by the Army and police in the Lakharwali forests of the Tahanamandi area of the district on June 11 and found the hideout, a defence spokesperson said.

One AK 47 rifle with two magazines, 115 rounds of 762mm, one Chinese Pistol with one magazine and four rounds, four Chinese Grenades and four Under-Barrel Grenade Launchers (UBGLs) have been recovered, he said.

Grenades and UBGL shells were destroyed on the spot, he added.
French Defence major ‘Thales’ eyes Indian UAV market
Thales said it intends to become the European leader across the entire UAV sector with a complete offering of unmanned systems ranging from micro-UAS to tactical UAVs.
French defence major Thales is eyeing the multi-billion dollar Indian UAV market as it aims to increase its presence here by also dipping into the small and medium scale defence industry. Thales is confident that its new mini UAV Spy’Ranger, being built with a French mid-tier company ‘Aviation Design’, will find inroads into the Indian market.

Though still under development phase, the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) weighs around 15 kgs and is claimed to have a range of about 30 kms with an endurance of three hours.

“It is difficult not to see India as a potential market,” Pascal Secretin, Production Line Manager of the Unmanned Aerial Systems at Thales, said here when asked if Thales was looking at India as a potential market.

The spy ranger is apt for contact intelligence, reconnaissance among others, he said.
Thales even demonstrated the UAV before a group of journalists showcasing its abilities. However, the UAV, which transmits video in HD quality, could not clearly zoom in on people for longer duration, something which Secretin said is being worked on and will be finished by this year end.

Designed to be carried by one person, the UAV is made up of carbon fiber and can be assembled and dismantled within minutes.

“Even the ramp for take off is made with carbon fiber which makes it easy to carry and be deployed within minutes,” Secretin said.

Thales said it intends to become the European leader across the entire UAV sector with a complete offering of unmanned systems ranging from micro-UAS to tactical UAVs.
Meanwhile, Thales said, it is also looking at increasing its cooperation with the Indian small and medium scale industry.

Alain Monjaux, who heads the Thales’ programmes with small and medium scale industry said the group supports a huge network of SMEs and mid-size companies in France.

“On average, 75 per cent of our purchases in France (worth 1.7 billion Euro) are made with around 4,000 small/medium and mid-size suppliers (0.75 billion Euro with SMEs and 1 billion Euro with mid-tier firms),” he said.

Monjaux said that Thales, which has tied up with some of the small and medium scale defence firms in India, is looking at increasing its presence as and when fresh orders come.

In India’s UAV market, military application accounts for majority of the revenue share.
India presently owns Israel’s Searcher I, II and Heron UAVs, DRDO’s Rustom series besides Nishant long range UAVs.

India is also likely to purchase the US’ most successful medium range UAV Predator XP and plans to jointly manufacture Raven mini UAV.

The Army has plans to equip all infantry and mechanised battalions with a new squad of mini-UAVs. This is likely to be a ‘Make in India’ project where the primary company will be an Indian one which will have to tie up with foreign firms.

The Indian Army, Air Force and Navy propose to buy tactical UAVs, high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) UAVs, vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) UAVs, and medium- altitude, long-endurance (MALE) UAVs.

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