Monday, December 31, 2012

Former Army Chief VK Singh Gives Clarion Call To Youth For Change, 30th Jan From Patna's Gandhi Maidan--From Where JP Movement Began !!


TheSundayGuardian

Year-Ender-2012 : Duds/Misses : Arihant-Nowhere In Sight, Despite Promises, Worst Handled By MoD/Blot--VK Singh Case

3012_Page_07_CHD by Chindits
3012_Page_07_CHD, a photo by Chindits on Flickr.
TheSundayGuardian

R.I.P. --- 2012 !!!


I had no plans to join any protest march in support of the Delhi gangrape victim, though I believed strongly in the cause, I was a silent, observer from outside and also supported it from my heart. But on Thursday I had just gone to take a look, when I was dragged in and got drawn into the march, which was about to begin from Nizammuddin till India Gate. I was given a banner by one of the woman protesters, who belonged to a women's NGO.

I put aside my press card and plunged into the protests, as I was a journalist later, a woman first and this was my cause also.

I found different types of people, from different walks of life, who had made different groupings inside the large group. Some were first-timers like me, but most women were veterans.

There were more men, than women, shouting slogans, singing songs and playing musical instruments. Delhi police was in full force all around us, completely kitted-up with helmets, shields and batons and later I saw atleast four police pickets set-up on Zakir Hussian Marg, like a Chakravyuh, obviously which no one could break. To ensure non-violence, there was Section 144 imposed that day, after a certain area.

We were approximately 300-400 of us, and the police force was about 800 odd, fully kitted-up , with large vans with water cannons, batons, tear gas and ofcourse Sec 144 , in place.

As I began the march on that stretch of road, shouting slogans, I realised that even as the slogans rage, the internal battles must begin within each of us.

I had a Manipuri woman beside me with brochures on her group-Gun Survivor network , which she was distributing.

All roads leading to India Gate, like Zakir Hussian Marg, Shahjahan, Kasturba Gandhi etc, had been heavily barricaded and picketed by the police. 

I was specially impressed by an old lady who came on a wheel-chair to be part of the protest.

The Mumbai-based cartoonist, Aseem Trivedi, who had been arrested recently on sedition charges, too was part of this protest march on Zakir Hussain Marg.

I spoke to some women about the protest and how they got there. Students were first-timers who spoke of having universal safety for one and all, working women cited the problem in public transport and how unsafe the city had become. NGO workers said this was their job. I also saw middle-aged house-wives form the lower strata of society, along with young daughters holding placards. It appeared that this protest had given them too a platform to voice their everyday problems.

Some were fashionable young girls in designer wear, shouting very passionately. Meanwhile there was a disconnect among the various small groups in the large group, when it came to voicing what they wanted. Everyone looked a little confused when asked by TV channels as to what they wanted. I even heard some women discussing what to answer in front of cameras, arriving at a consensus that they should say something new and not repeat the previous day's comments.

Meanwhile I was very cautious about my wallet in my bag, and looked at it atleast 100 times to make sure all was ok!! 

We reached a little more than half-way short-of India Gate, when we were stopped and made to sit down on the road.

Slogans and songs on musical instruments were on at full blast. Some girls even went and spoke to the police about letting them go ahead, but to no avail.

I wanted to join my colleagues on the other side, but I was stopped. I had to show my press card to get through. Finally I spoke to a DCP for his help to let us on the other side safely as we had  to return to office for work, but not before I had learnt a few things.

Respect for women was not about marches and slogans, but it started right here from us, with us.

Act even if you start small - tell off that male colleague who makes sexist jokes, and stares at your chest. Never tell your sons to stop ''crying like a girl''. Don't let your families have different yardsticks for their daughters-in-law, and different ones for their sons/sons-in-law. Don't be afraid to speak up, and to do it often.

Pics : Abhinandan Mishra

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Health Ministry To Visit R&R Next Month To Inspect For Intestinal Transplant Facility, Clearance To Follow Only After That

DG armed forces medical services (DGAFMS) Air Marshal DP Joshi said that the Government never asked the armed forces for help in the gangrape victim case, adding that intestinal transplant was not a difficult thing, but, "WE at present do not have these facilities here in India."

Delhi-based Research and Referral (R&R) hospital has proposed to the Health Ministry, the setting up of an intestinal transplant centre at R&R, for which the Health Ministry team will visit the hospital in January 2013 to see 3 things--Infrastructure, human reasources and handling of complications, after which the Committee will give its clearance for the facility to be set-up.

Director General Medical Services (Navy) Vice Admiral A C Anand had first written a paper on intestinal transplant and is said to have done the basic ground-work. He said first the infection is to be controlled, only after which the transplant can be thought of. The victim (who later died), was air-lifted to Singapore's Mount Elizabeth hospital for critical healthcare, which is basically controlling the infection.

Anand said once the infection was controlled the patient could live upto a maximum five years without undergoing a transplant, by observing total parentral nutrition programme.

The need for an intestinal transplant centre arose as soldiers on high altitude were facing problems due to blood-supply cut-off to the intestines (vascular thrombosis), thereby causing damage.

A few hospitals in India, like AIIMS and Gangaram have tried this transplant but have not been very successful.

Passing Out Parade Of Air Warriors At AF Station Tambaram

001(2) by Chindits
001(2), a photo by Chindits on Flickr.
Three hundred seventy five (375) Air Warriors were inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF) at a Major Passing out Parade today at the Air Force Station, Tambaram. The Air Warriors went through a rigorous
intensive training before passing out at the two premier institutes o the base namely, Mechanical Training Institute and workshop Training Institute.

Air Commodore IB Singh Sadana, Principal Director Engineering, Air HQNew Delhi reviewed the parade.

B Satheesh Kumar

Thursday, December 27, 2012

INS Tarkash Joins Western Fleet, Mumbai

(64) by Chindits
(64), a photo by Chindits on Flickr.
The Indian Navy got a major fillip to its firepower with the arrival of its latest acquisition INS Tarkash at Mumbai. Built by the Yantar Shipyard, Kalingrad Russia.INS Tarkash was commissioned on 09 Nov by Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command. Tarkash is second of three Project 1135.6 (follow-on Talwar Class) ships ordered by Indian navy, the first being INS Teg, which joined the fleet in June this year. INS Trikand, the third stealth frigate is likely to be delivered by mid-2013.

Commanded by Capt Antony George, an anti-submarine warfare specialist and manned by a crew of 23 officers and 228 sailors, INS Tarkash is armed with an advanced combat suite, comprising an optimal blend of Russian and Indian cutting edge technologies. Her arsenal includes the Brahmos supersonic cruise missiles, surface-to-surface missile (SAM) system, medium range gun, close-in weapon system (CIWS), torpedoes and anti-submarine rockets.

On arrival at the naval dockyard, Mumbai, the ship and her crew were accorded a warm reception. The welcome ceremony was presided over by Rear Admiral AR Karve, Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet and witnessed by senior officers of the western naval command together with families of the ship's crew who turned out in large numbers.

During her maiden return passage, as part of the Navy's maritime diplomatic initiative, the ship made port calls at several ports to strengthen bridges of friendship and international cooperation with the host countries..

DPR/Navy

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Dec 16, 1971 (Vijay Diwas)

DSC04798 by Chindits
DSC04798, a photo by Chindits on Flickr.
Photo : Suman Sharma, Vikram Batra Cadets Mess, Indian Military Academy, Dehradun

Monday, December 24, 2012

Commissioning Of ICGS Mayabunder

Indian Coast Guard Station Mayabunder, the first CG Station in the North Andaman Islands was commissioned by the Defence Secretary, Shri Shashi Kant Sharma, IAS in the presence of Air Marshal P K Roy AVSM, VM, VSM, Commander-in-Chief Andaman & Nicobar Command, Inspector General         VSR Murthy, PTM, TM, Commander Coast Guard Region (A&N) and senior officials from the A&N administration.

The station is a part of ongoing efforts by the Coast Guard to strengthen Maritime and Coastal Security and the assets based at Mayabunder will help augment patrolling along the Northern Group of Islands for safeguarding Indian maritime interests.

Speaking on the occasion, Defence Secretary, Shri Shashi Kant Sharma lauded the efforts of the Indian Coast Guard in maintaining a high state of vigil in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands resulting in apprehension of a large number of poachers and saving of precious human lives during SAR operations. He further said that the implementation of the Coastal Surveillance Network project would be a major milestone in ensuring near gap-free radar surveillance of these Islands.

Air Marshal P K Roy AVSM, VM, VSM, Commander-in-Chief ANC, in his address during the Commissioning Ceremony, stressed the need for maintaining continuous vigil of this strategically important archipelago.  He further stated that the Coast Guard had initiated several far-reaching measures to augment force levels and manpower to meet existing and future maritime challenges.

Coast Guard Station Mayabunder will function under the administrative and operational control of the Commander Coast Guard Region (A&N) through the Commander Coast Guard District Headquarter-9 located at Diglipur. Commandant (JG) Umed Singh has been appointed as the Commanding Officer of the station.

 DPR ICG

Prime Minister’s Statement At 13th India-Russia Annual Summit -- Theek Hai :) !!

Defence Documents signed : 

1. Contract for Delivery of 71 Mi-17V-5 helicopters. An order for procurement of 59 Mi-17 v5 MLH was agreed to in Feb 2010, which was subsequently increased to 71. The current contract is in context of the order.

2. Contract for Delivery of 42 technological kits for SU-30MKI aircraft licensed production. The Protocol-II on licensed manufacturing of additional 42 SU-30MKI aircraft units was signed during Annual Summit 2011. The current contract is a follow up to this Protocol.

Prime Minister’s statement at13th India-Russia Annual Summit

Distinguished Representatives of the Media,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

"It is my great pleasure to welcome His Excellency President Vladimir Putin to India for the 2012 India – Russia Annual Summit. President Putin is a valued friend of India and the original architect of the India-Russia strategic partnership. I conveyed to President Putin our deep appreciation for his long-standing and personal commitment to this partnership.

This morning, we undertook an extensive review of our multi-faceted bilateral cooperation, especially in energy, defence, space, trade and investment, science and technology, education, culture and tourism. The documents signed during this visit will further strengthen the framework for our cooperation.

The development of our nuclear energy programme has been a key pillarof our strategic partnership. Construction of Unit 1 of the Kudankulam NuclearPower Project is now complete, and power generation will commence shortly. India appreciates deeply the support extended by Russian engineers and scientists in this project. We look forward to the completion of Unit 2 next year.

Negotiations for the construction of Units 3 and 4 at Kudankulam have made good progress. We intend to continue implementing the Road map for cooperation in the nuclear energy sector that was signed during President Putin’s visit in 2010 as the then Prime Minister of Russia.

Our energy cooperation also extends to the oil and natural gas sectors. Iconveyed to President Putin India’s interest in deepening cooperation in this area,including through mutual investments and joint projects in third countries.

Russia is a key partner in our efforts to modernize our armed forces and enhance our defence preparedness. A number of joint design, development and production projects are underway in high technology areas. We expressed satisfaction that these projects are progressing well.

I congratulated President Putin on Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization. Russia’s deeper integration into the global economy will present more opportunities for the business communities in both countries. Our bilateral trade has grown by over 30% this year. There is still untapped potential in areas suchas pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, mining, steel, information technology, civil aviation,telecommunications, infrastructure, food processing, innovation and services, which we will work to exploit. We have asked our inter-governmental and business level groups to recommend specific steps for enhancing bilateral trade and investment flows.

Our science and technology cooperation remains robust. President Putin and I welcomed the operationalization of the India-Russia Joint Science and Technology Centres in India and Russia, which can assist the development and commercialization of promising technologies, including in nano-technology, bio-medicine and super-computing. I particularly welcome the agreement on cooperation in using the GLONASS satellite navigation system that has just been signed.

We also discussed regional and global issues, on many of which there is amarked congruence in our approach. Our consultations in international fora, such asthe UN Security Council and BRICS, have deepened during the year. I congratulated President Putin on Russia’s assumption of the Chair of G-20. We look forward toworking closely with Russia in promoting reform of global economic and internationalstructures of governance.

India and Russia share the objective of a stable, united, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan, free from extremism, terrorism and external interference.We reviewed the ongoing developments in Afghanistan, and agreed to work together against threats posed by extremist ideologies and drug trafficking. We also discussed the situation in West Asia, and agreed to continue consultations.

This year marks the sixty-fifth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Russia. We deeply value Russia’s steadfast friendship and support for India, unaffected by global developments. This relationship has a special place in the hearts and minds of Indians and India remains committed to further deepening it.

I once again extend a very warm welcome to President Putin and his delegation, and wish him and the people of Russia the very best for the New Year."

Thank you , Jai Hind

Contract For Technological Kits For 42 Sukhois Among 10 Documents Signed At 13th Indo-Russia Annual Summit

2312_Page_042 by Chindits
2312_Page_042, a photo by Chindits on Flickr.

TheSundayGuardian

Pak Judicial Commission Will Be Able To Cross-Examine

2312_Page_041 by Chindits
2312_Page_041, a photo by Chindits on Flickr.

TheSundayGuardian

Saturday, December 22, 2012

DRDO's Astra ‘Air to Air’ Guided Missile Successfully Flight-Tested

Astra, the ‘Air to Air’ guided missile being developed by DRDO was successfully flight test meeting all the mission parameters, in its full configuration, at 1530 hrs on Saturday, the 22nd December 2012, from the Integrated Test Range – ITR, Odisha. The missile fired from the ground based launcher successfully intercepted the target in mid-air. Lakshya, the indigenously developed Pilotless Target Aircraft was used as the target. Astra is a ‘state of the art’, ‘Beyond the Visual Range’ (BVR) air to air missile being developed for the air force. Some more tests will be carried out from the ground launchers to generate data, which will be followed by launches from various aerial platforms.

The launch was witnessed by Dr. Vijay Kumar Saraswat, Scientific Adviser to Raksha Mantri, Secretary, Deptt of Defence R&D, and DG DRDO; Shri Avinash Chander, Distinguished Scientist & CCR&D (Missiles and Strategic Systems; Shri AK Chakrabarti, Outstanding Scientist and Director DRDL,  , Shri N Prabhakar, Program Director; Shri S.  Venugopal, Project Director; Shri MVKV Prasad, Director, ITR.

DPR

Friday, December 21, 2012

Visit Of Defence Minister Of Thailand

Defence minister of Thailand Air Chief Marshal Sukumpol Suwanatat, who is on a visit to India from 21 to 23 Dec, 2012, was received by Defence Minister A K Antony in New today.

DPR

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Prithvi-II Missile Successfully Test-Fired

Army’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC) successfully test-fired the Prithvi-II missile from the DRDO range facility at Chandipur off the Odisha coast today. The entire trajectory of the missile was tracked by a battery of sophisticated radars, telemetry observation stations, electro-optic instruments and naval ships.

The Prithvi-II missile is equipped with advanced high accuracy navigation system and guided by an innovative guidance scheme. The improved Circular Error Probability (CEP) achieved is a testimony to the efficacy of this missile system.

An SFC spokesman said, “the flight conveys our preparedness to meet any eventuality”; The mission “fully validated our operational readiness”. With this launch the Army’s Strategic Forces Command has successfully carried out in operational conditions launches of all the variants of Prithvi and Agni missiles.

DPR

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

'Su-30 MKI Aircraft Fleet Not Been Put Through Any Upgradation Programme', Says Defence Minister In Parliament

This is the statement of Indian Defence Minister, A K Antony in Rajya Sabha today-- 'During the previous Financial Year (FY) 2011-12 and current FY 2012-13 (up to 10.12.2012), one accident involving Su-30 MKI aircraft has taken place on 13.12.2011. No pilot / service personnel or civilian was killed in the accident. Cause of the accident was 'Human Error (Servicing)'.

Su-30 MKI aircraft fleet has not been put through any upgradation programme.'

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in a written reply to Dr. K.P. Ramalingam in Rajya Sabha today.

Quite strange as IAF Chief NAK Browne had said in October this year that the Sukhoi-30MKI upgradation was under discussion with Russia and HAL and it would take place only after stabilisation of fleet.
  
Considering the IAF's existing mainstay heavy-weight Russian fighters, the Sukhoi-30MKI's upgradation, under a 2400 million dollars programme, jointly by both countries, had to begin this year, has been talked/discussed for quite some time now for the past  three years, and today's statement comes as a blow.


Year End Review - Ministry Of Defence 2012

Augmentation of Nation’s defence preparedness by adding new milestones in defence R&D, capacity building in existing and new strategic areas through upgradation and modernization, further strengthening of coastal security initiatives in different areas particularly in air defence and blue water capabilities and a systematic force projection of our armed forces in India’s neighbourhood and far off Asian region by engaging them through exercises and defence diplomacy were the main highlights of the year.

 The year also saw massive welfare measures being undertaken for service personnel and ex-servicemen, scaling of new heights by armed forces personnel in fields like sports and adventure activities.  The achievements of defence scientists in developing different soldier support systems like Suicide Risk Assessment Test, BMP Urban Survival Kit, Armour for Mi 17-IV for helicopters and Heavy Weight Anti-Submarine Electric Torpedo – ‘Varunastra’ also marked the eventful year.

New Weapons Systems to Strengthen Defence Preparedness
AGNI-V – India proudly entered the exclusive club as the sixth country on 19 April 2012, when its Long-range Ballistic Missile took to sky on its maiden flight and reached the pre-designated target point over 5000 km away in the Indian Ocean with remarkable accuracy. The missile which was launched from Wheeler Island off Orissa Coast incorporates many indigenously developed technologies.  These include the composite rocket motor, state-of-the-art avionics, 5th generation ‘On Board Computer’ distributed architecture, highly accurate Ring Laser Gyro-based inertial navigation system (RINS), reliable redundant micro navigation system and the re-entry kit shield that withstands temperature with more than 4000 degree celsius ensuring that avionics function normally by maintaining an inside temperature less than 50 degrees celcius.

AGNI-IV – The 4000 km range nuclear capable ballistic missile Agni-IV was successfully flight tested on 19 Sep 2012.  The long-range missile propelled by composite rocket motor technology was tested for its cool capability.  Launched from road mobile launcher, it reached the predefined target in about 20 minutes.

            With Agni-I, Agni-II, Agni-III and Prithvi P-II surface to surface missile and also its naval version Dhanush already in the arsenal of the Indian Armed Forces, the missile from the production lots were flight tested by the Armed Forces as part of training exercises to ensure defence preparedness. Thus, Agni-I, India’s 700 km range ballistic missile had its flight tests on 13 July and 12 Dec 2012.

The 2000 km range ballistice missile Agni-II and Agni-III with a range of 3000 km were test fired on 09 Aug and 21 Sept 2012 respectively.

The 350 km range surface-to-surface strategic missile Prithvi (P-II) was successfully flight tested on 25 Aug and 04 Oct 2012 from ITR Chandipur, Odisha.  While its naval version Dhanush was test fired from a naval ship off the coast of Balasore, Odisha on 05 Oct 2012.  The tests were like textbook launches meeting all mission objectives and the missiles reached the target points with high accuracy.

Brah-Mos Block III version with advanced guidance algorithm was flight tested on 28 Mar 2012 from ITR Balasore.  The missile flew through the designated 290 kms distance at Mach 2.8 and achieved high precision with steep dive.

BALLISTIC MISSILE DEFENCE (BMD)
DRDO has developed a two-layer Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) capability against missiles with range upto 2000 km class. Both the exo and endo atmospheric interception have been demonstrated with direct hits leading to disintegration of target missile.

The Interceptor Missile AAD launched by the Scientists of DRDO on 23 Nov 2012 from Wheeler’s Island, Odisha, successfully destroyed the incoming Ballistic Missile at an altitude of 15 Kms. The target missile, a modified version of Prithvi, mimicking the enemy’s ballistic missile, was launched from Launch Complex III, Chandipur. Long Range Radar and MFC Radar located far away could detect the Missile from take-off and tracked it through its entire path. The total trajectory of the incoming Missile was continuously estimated by the guidance computer and subsequently the AAD Missile was launched at an appropriate time to counter and kill the ballistic missile.  

In this mission, a special feature of intercepting multiple target with multiple interceptor was demonstrated successfully. The complete Radar Systems, Communication Networks, Launch Computers, Target update Systems and state of the art Avionics have been completely proven in this Mission.

AKASH AIR DEFENCE SYSTEM - Induction and productionisation of Akash, the medium range air defence system with multi-target, multi directional capability is another shining achievement. The production value of Akash missile systems ordered by Army and Air Force is over Rs 23,000 crores. Orders for two Army regiments and six Air Force Squadrons are under execution.

LONG RANGE SURFACE-TO-AIR MISSILE (LRSAM) - Control and Navigation Tests (CNT) for LRSAM, a joint development Programme between DRDO and Israel Aerospace Industry (IAI), to develop an Advanced Naval Air Defence System for Indian Navy) were conducted on 16th and 18th July 2012. All Planned mission objectives were fully met in both the tests. The missiles showed good navigation and control performance. DRDO is the Prime Development Agency and IAI the design authority for supply, installation and final acceptance.

NAG ANTI-TANK MISSILE -  the fire and forget anti-tank missile with top attack capability is another important missile developed by DRDO. Its helicopter mounted version, Helina, underwent 2 successful flights from ground launcher proving full range of the missile.

LIGHT COMBAT AIRCRAFT–NAVY (LCA-Navy) - had its first flight on 27th April 2012 followed by flights during month of Jun/Jul 2012. Initial Operation Clearance of this aircraft is expected by Dec 2014. LCA, country’s first indigenous modern Light Combat Aircraft with four variants (air force, Navy and their trainer versions), is a precision weapon launch platform to carry a range of Air to Air missile, unguided rockets and bombs.  The aircraft is integrated with advanced cockpit, digital avionics and weapons interface, to provide effective point and shoot capability with quick turnaround time.  A Shore based Test facility (SBTF); one of its kind in Asia and third in the world; developed by DRDO at Naval Air Station INS Hansa, Goa is now ready for use. Besides testing of LCA-Navy, the test facility will also be used for training of pilots on LCA - Navy and MiG29K aircraft.

AIRBORNE EARLY WARNING AND CONTROL SYSTEM (AEW&C) -  In a landmark event the first EMB-145I  aircraft fully modified for the indigenous Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW&C) landed on Indian soil at CABS (Centre for Airborne Systems, Bangalore, a DRDO laboratory) on 23 Aug 2012.

UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES (UAVs) - There have been significant achievements in the field of UAVs.  NISHANT, with its ground control system has been made ready for the Army after confirmatory trials.  An indigenous Wankel rotary engine has been developed by DRDO jointly with NAL, Bangalore, for powering UAVs like NISHANT. Rotary engine technology, especially suited for such applications, is the first of its kind in India.  Orders for Lakshya II pilotless target aircraft; capable of flying in sea skimming mode and tree top heights; are expected from the Services after successful demonstration to them. Similarly, UAV Rustom-I, a forerunner to Mediun Altitude Long Range (MALE) UAV Rustom-2, had series of successful trials. Indigenously designed  and  developed  RUSTOM-1 underwent series of successful test flights.  This UAV has the potential to be used for military missions like Reconnaissance, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, Target Designation, Communications Relay, Battle Damage Assessment and Signal  Intelligence.  A mini UAV -‘NETRA’, especially suited for Low intensity conflict operations was inducted by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). ‘NETRA’ has four high speed propellers allowing it to take off and land vertically. Similarly a fixed wing mini UAV for low intensity conflict was demonstrated to security forces at various locations for surveillance within the range of 10 kms. It is also useful in reconnaissance over hills.

ELECTRONIC WARFARE - There has been a significant achievement in the Electronic Warfare Area which includes integration and testing of country’s first indigenous active array radar, operationalisation of Combat Information Decision Support System (CIDSS) and development and testing of laser based ordnance Disposal System and advanced Laser Guided Bomb Tester.  The initial development of Indira-1, a short range 2D system has now been extended to high power 3D system like 3D Central Acquisition Radar and Weapon Locating Radar (WLR) based on phased array.  The DRDOs radar warning receivers have been selected to upgrade most of Indian Air Force aircrafts like MiG 21, MiG 29, SU 30MKI, MiG 27 and Jaguars.

MBT ARJUN MK-II - Arjun Mk-II the advanced version of India’s first main battle tank Arjun, commenced its user trials in record time of 2 yrs. The Arjun Mk-II incorporates 89 improvements over the Arjun Mk-I, of which, two regiments are already in service.

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Smerch Rockets - Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a Joint Venture with M/s Rosoboronexport, Russia and M/s Splav “SPA”, Russia to manufacture five versions of Smerch Rockets based on the technology received from Russia. The Smerch Rockets are technologically superior having a range of 70-80- kms. With formation of this Joint Venture, a new Chapter in the Indo-Russian Friendship has commenced.

Joint Venture for Multi-role Transport Aircraft (MTA) - Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), the aerospace major, signed the Preliminary Design Phase (PDP) Contract on 12 October 2012 with the United Aircraft Corporation - Transport Aircraft (UAC-TA), the Russian partner and their JV-Multirole Transport Aircraft Ltd (MTAL) for the Multirole Transport Aircraft (MTA) project as a follow on contract of the General Contract signed between the three parties in May 2012. “With this HAL and UAC-TA will start the preliminary designwork immediately at Moscow.
CAPACITY BUILDING THROUGH INDUCTIONS/ACQUISITIONS

Mi-17 V5 Helicopter Inducted into IAF

Mi-17 V5 helicopter was inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF) on 17 February 2012. This helicopter falls in the category of armed helicopter, with substantial and effective firepower with the latest and more powerful engines that will greatly enhance its payload carriage capability at higher altitudes.

Mi-17 V5,  an upgrade of Mi-17 in the medium-lift category, is equipped with  state-of-the-art avionics and on-board Navigation Systems.  It is a glass cockpit variant; the first of its kind to get inducted into the IAF.  It has onboard weather radar, state of the art autopilot and is compatible with the latest Generation (Gen-III) Night vision Goggles.  With this, the helicopter can undertake all-weather, day and night operations in any kind of terrain. The helicopter is also equipped with a Bambi-Bucket that can be used for fire fighting.  It is also fitted with a powerful winch–a feature useful in the Disaster Relief Operations in restricted areas where landing is not possible.

 INS Chakra


            Indian Navy inducted INS Chakra to its under water fleet on 04th April 2012 at Vishakhapatnam.  Defence Minister Shri AK Antony inducted the submarine into the fleet of Eastern Naval Command.  This four plus generation Russian origin submarine is capable of fulfilling multiple roles and will go a long way in strengthening Navy’s blue water operating capability.

INS Sahyadri


            The third of the follow-on class indigenous stealth frigate was commissioned on 21 July 2012 at Mazagaon Dock Limited, Mumbai by the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony.  Conceived and designed by Indian Navy Design Team this Shivalik class frigate will be mainstay frigate of the Navy in the 21st Century.

INS Teg and Tarkash


            The First and Second of the three Talwar-class stealth frigates constructed at Yantar Shipyard, Kalinigrad Russia were inducted into Indian Navy on 27 April and 09 November 2012 respectively by the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command.  These multi-role stealth frigate with advanced combat suits are fitted with formidable array of weapons and sensors onboard the Ship including the super-sonic BrahMos missile system and advance surface-to-air missile system.

Commissioning of Indian Coast Guard Ship H-187, H-188 and H-189

            To provide a boost to coastal security Indian Coast Guard Ship H-187, the first of the series of twelve Air Cushion Vehicles (ACVs), was commissioned at Okha on 11 June 2012 by Vice Admiral MP Muralidharan, DG Coast Guard.  The 21 meter long ACV (hovercraft) designed and built by Griffen Haverwork Limited (GHL), UK displaces 31 tonnes and can achieve a maximum speed of 45 knots.  The ACV is capable of undertaking multi-farious tasks such as surveillance, interdiction, search and rescue  and responding assistance to small boats / crafts in distress at Sea.

            The second in the series, H-188 was commissioned at Haldia by Inspector General of Coast Guard Shri Rajendra Singh on 20 Nov 2012.

            The third ACV in this series, H-189 was commissioned in Mumbai by Vice Admiral SK Sinha FOC-in-C Western Naval Command.  With the commissioning of H-189, the force level of Indian Coast Guard has gone up to 77 ships and First Attack Boats and with the planned induction the force level would be doubling by 2018.

Commission of Indian Coast Guard Ship ‘Samudra Paheredar’

Indian Coast Guard Ship 'Samudra Paheredar', the second of the series of three Pollution Control Vessels (PCVs) being built by M/s ABG Shipyard, Surat was commissioned by Admiral Nirmal Verma, the then Chief of the Naval Staff in July 2012.

The 95m long indigenous PCV displaces 4300 tonnes and can achieve a maximum speed of 20.5 knots with an endurance of 6500 nautical miles. The ship’s primary role is pollution response at sea and is equipped with the most advanced and sophisticated pollution response and control equipment for mitigating oil spills, which include containment equipment like hi-sprint booms and river booms, recovery devices like skimmers and side sweeping arms. The ship is capable of unhindered oil recovery operations with storage tank capacity of 500 KL in addition to inflatable barges.

            The ship is installed with modern Integrated Platform Management System and Power Management System, which makes it unique for unmanned machinery operations. It is also fitted with Dynamic Positioning System for fire fighting and pollution response operations and an infra-red surveillance system for night surveillance.

Commissioning of First Inshore Patrol Vessel (IPV) ‘Rani Abbakka’

The Indian Coast Guard Ship Rani Abbakka, the 1st of a series of five Inshore Patrol Vessel (IPV) built at M/s HSL, was commissioned at Visakhapatnam by the then Minister of State for Defence Dr. MM Pallam Raju, on 20 Jan 2012.

The 50 meter indigenous IPV displaces 300 tonnes and can achieve a maximum speed of 31.5 Knots with an endurance of 1500 nautical miles. The special features of the ship include an Integrated Bridge System (IBS), Machinery Control System (IMCS), and an indigenously built Gun Mount with Fire Control System. The ship is designed to carry one Rigid Inflatable Boat and two Geminis for Search and Rescue, Law Enforcement and Maritime Patrol.

Commissioning Of ICGS ‘Dahanu’

            Coast Guard Station Dahanu, the third Coast Guard station in Maharashtra, was commissioned by Vice Admiral MP Muralidharan, Director General Indian Coast Guard at Dahanu on 22 March 2012.

The station is part of ongoing efforts by the Coast Guard to strengthen coastal security along the Indian coastline. The station at Dahanu will help augment patrolling along the north Maharshtra coast and prevent illicit activity such as infiltration and smuggling.

Commissioning  Of ICGS Krishnapatnam

Coast Guard Station Krishnapatnam, the third Coast Guard Station in Andhra Pradesh, was commissioned in Andhra Pradesh by Dr MM Pallam Raju, the then Raksha Rajya Mantri on June 18, 2012.

 The establishment of a Station at Krishnapatnam is part of the ongoing efforts by the Coast Guard to strengthen coastal security in the coastal states of the nation.

Commissionig of Coast Guard Station Karaikal

Coast Guard Station Karaikal, the fifth CG station on the Puducherry - Tamil Nadu coastline was commissioned by Vice Admiral MP Muralidharan, Director General Indian Coast Guard at Karaikal  on 25 July 2012.

The station is part of ongoing efforts by the Coast Guard to strengthen coastal security along the Indian coastline.  The station at Karaikal will help augment patrolling along the east coast and prevent illicit activities such as infiltration, smuggling and illegal fishing.

Commissioning of Naval Base INS ‘Dweep Rakshak’ and ‘BAAZ‘

            Naval base INS ‘Dweep Rakshak’ was commissioned in Lakshadweep Islands and INS ‘Baaz’ was commissioned in Andaman Islands (Campbell Bay) in 2012.  Commissioning of these full fledged naval bases was another milestone in the commitment of Indian Navy in maintaining effective coastal surveillance and defence capability.  The positioning of radar stations and other surveillance measures will add positive control over movement of Ships and intelligence gathering.
COASTAL SECURITY INITIATIVES
Inauguration of  Static  Sensors Project in Mumbai and Porbandar

            With the inauguration of the Static Sensors Project of Coastal Surveillance Network by the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony on 25 Aug 2012, the coastal security mechanism got a big boost.  Shri Antony said that the patching up of National Automatic Identification System Network (AIS) and Vessel Traffic System (VTS) of Gulf of Khambat, along with the Coastal Security Network, will help us in identifying a friend or foe in our waters.

Under Phase I of Coastal Surveillance Network, Coastal Static Sensors will be put up at 46 locations. Out of these, the mainland radars are expected to be operationalised later this year, while those on the island territories will become operational next year.

Kerala Cluster of Coastal Radar Network Commissioned

The Remote Operating Station (ROS) of the coastal surveillance sensor chain of Kerala cluster was inaugurated by Vice Admiral MP Muralidharan, Director General Indian Coast Guard at the Coast Guard District Headquarters No 4 Fort Kochi on 15 Sept 2012.    Speaking on the occasion, Vice Admiral Muralidharan highlighted the efforts of BEL the agency who executed the project, Department of  Lighthouses and Light Ships , MTNL, BSNL, and ISRO in seeing the project through.

In Kerala, the feed and data from the four coastal surveillance radars at Mount Dilli in Ezhimala, Ponnani, Vypin and Kollam will be available at the ROS Fort Kochi.  Two more additional sensors will be installed at Alapuzha and Azhikode in the phase two of the project.

Step towards Eastern Coast Sensitisation

Minister of State for Defence Shri Jitendra Singh inaugurated the Chain of Static Sensor at Vishakhapatnam on 23 Nov 2012, which will provide real time surveillance cover up to 25 nautical miles along the coast line. Post 26/11 terrorist attacks  in   Mumbai,   the   emergent   need   to   strengthen   coastal   security   was

recognized by the Government and on recommendation made by the Group of Ministers, Indian Coast Guard was delegated to implement the project. With the inauguration of Eastern clusters at Vishakhapatnam, the phase-I of implementation of CSN at mainland is completed.
EXERCISES / INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
·        Exercise YUDH ABHYAS is part of joint exercises between the Indian and United States Armies since 2005, agreed upon under the New Framework of India-US Defence Relationship. Commencing at the platoon level, the exercise graduated to a command post (CPX) and field training exercise (FTX).

The seventh edition of Yudh Abhyas commenced on 05 March 12 in two locations under the South Western Command. The US Army contingent is from the US Army Pacific (USARPAC), part of their Pacific Command (PACOM). The Command Post Exercise has an engineer brigade headquarters with its planners from both sides, while the Field Training Exercise comprises troops of 2nd Squadron 14th US Cavalry Regiment from 25th Infantry Division, Hawaii, along with a platoon of Strykers, and a similar sized Indian Army contingent of mechanized infantry.

·        Navies of India and Japan conducted routine passage exercises ‘PASSEX’ during the visit of Japanese ships to Indian ports this year.

·        INS Sudarshini sets sail for ASEAN Sailing Expedition from Kochi on 13 Sept 2012.  This expedition was organised to celebrate India’s warm ties with the countries of Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).  Admiral DK Joshi flagged off the six months voyage, a unique collaborative venture of Ministry of Defence and Ministry of External Affairs.  The voyage commemorates 20 years of dialogue partnerships.  During the course of voyage, 12,000 nautical expedition of INS Sudarshini will visit 13 ports in nine countries in South East Asia.

·        The 15 nation Naval Exercise ‘MILAN-2012’, a biennial congregation of Littoral Navies of the Asia-Pacific region, hosted by the Indian Navy, commenced at Port Blair, in Andaman and Nicobar islands, on 01 February 2012.  It significantly contributed in strengthening cooperation among the Navies of 14 countries including Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

·         ‘Theatre Level Readiness and Operational Exercise (TROPEX)’ was held on 07-08 February 2012 at Vishakhapatnam by Eastern Naval Command.  Defence Minister Shri AK Antony, who inaugurated the exercise, spent two days with the Indian Navy and he was given a glimpse of the expansive scope and scale of the Indian Navy’s annual exercise.

·        Indian and Indonesian Armies participated in the ‘Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare Training Drill’ in March 2012. Training together to counter the scourge of insurgency in various contemporary scenarios including jungle warfare, the operational part of the first-ever platoon-level joint training exercise – EX GARUDA SHAKTI – of the armies of India and Indonesia, concluded successfully at the Indian Army's elite 'Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School’ (CIJWS), Vairengte in Mizoram.

·        Exercise ‘Shoor Veer’ is based on the integrated theatre battle concept
under South Western Army Command with the elite Strike Corps in the lead,
supported by Chetak Corps and all other relevant elements of South Western
Army. 

The Army and IAF has tested new battle fighting concepts and
doctrines during the exercise with real time pictures of the battle zone
provided to a centralized command and control centre from fighter jets,
unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and attack helicopters, waging war in
network centric environment and massed tank drills backed by long range
artillery guns. 

More than 300 combat vehicles including main battle tank
T-90, T-72, long range 150mm artillery guns, multi barrel rockets and about
60000 troops has taken part in this massive major exercise in Rajasthan. 

A major highlight of the joint exercise was the integrated air-land
war-fighting machinery and the synergy between the Indian Army and IAF.

·        Indian Air Force (IAF) conducted Exercise ‘PRALAY’ in the North East on 29 February 2012.

IMPORTANT VISITS PROMOTING DEFENCE COOPERATION
·        The twelfth meeting of the India-Russia Inter-governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC) was held on 10 October 2012.   In a joint India-Russia press conferene held in New Delhi by the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony and Russian counterpart Mr. AE Serdyukov endorsed the Protocols of the meetings of the Working Group on Shipbuilding, Aviation and Land Systems, (WGSALS) and the Working Group on Military Technical Cooperation (WG-MTC) which were held in New Delhi on 27-28 August, 2012 and 30-31 August, 2012 respectively.

·        The US Secretary of Defence Mr. Leon Panetta was on a visit to India 05-07 June, 2012. Mr. Panetta met the Defence Minister Mr. AK Antony in New Delhi on 06 June 2012.  Mr. Panetta was accompanied by a ten member delegation, including the US Ambassador to India and other senior officers from the US Department of Defence.  During the delegation level talks, both sides exchanged views on the security situation in South Asia, West Asia and the Asia-Pacific and on various global security challenges, including in the area of cyber security.

·        Indo-China delegation level talks on defence cooperation held in New Delhi on 04th September 2012.  The two Defence Ministers had an extensive exchange of views on defence and military exchanges and cooperation between the two countries. They also discussed the regional security situation and international issues of common interest and concern. Both Ministers agreed that expanding bilateral cooperation between the Defence Ministries and Armed Forces of India and China helps enhance mutual trust, deepens friendship and promotes comprehensive development of the India-China Strategic and Cooperative Partnership for Peace and Prosperity. The two Defence Ministers agreed to work together to enhance mutual trust in the security field and continue to maintain peace and tranquility in the India-China border areas.

Chinese Defence Minister Gen Liang Guanglie also visited the National Defence College (NDC) on 05 Sep 12.  This is the first time since its inception in 1960 that such a high level military delegation from China visited the College.

·        Defence Minister Shri AK Antony inaugurated the 8th Heads of Asian Coast Guards Meeting (HACGAM) in New Delhi on 03 Oct 2012. HACGAM is an apex level forum facilitating congregation of all the major Coast Guard Agencies of Asian region. This initiative was developed initially in 2004 to discuss cooperation among the member organizations to combat piracy in the region.  However, the scope of discussions has been expanded to include law enforcement, maritime security, disaster prevention and relief and capacity building.  Presently, there are more than 20 member organizations from 17 countries that are part of the initiative.

·        Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services of Myanmar Gen Min Aung Hlaing visited India in August 2012 and called on the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony.

·        The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony addressed the 11th Asia Security Summit, also known as ‘Shangri La Dialogue’, in Singapore in June 2012. Shri Antony said the international community must ‘remain sensitive to the problems of smaller nations and ensure that their rights, as equal members of the global community, are not overlooked or compromised’. He said the spirit of cooperation among international community shown in anti-piracy measures can be extended to ‘de-conflict contentious maritime issues’.

·        Minister of Defence of Singapore Dr. Ng Eng Hen visited India in November 2012 and met the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony. During the delegation level talks, it was agreed to further enhance the bilateral defence relationship in the mutual interest of both countries as it would contribute to regional peace and stability. Both sides also agreed that the on-going interactions between the defence establishments of the two countries, including through regular joint military training and exercises, had been useful.  They also agreed to continue such interactions in future.

·        The first meeting of the India-Saudi Arabia Joint Committee on Defence Cooperation was held in New Delhi on 10 Sep 2012. The 11-member Saudi delegation was headed by Maj Gen Suleiman Saleh Al-Khalifa, Chief of the Armed Forces Operations of Saudi Arabia. The Indian delegation was headed by Joint Secretary, Ministry of Defence. The Joint Committee was mandated to formulate a programme to develop areas of cooperation between the defence establishments of both countries. During the meeting both sides expressed their interest in further enhancing defence exchanges and interactions between their armed forces.

·        Vice Admiral Axel Schimpf, Chief of Naval Staff, Germany visited India in February 2012. Defence Secretary level talks between India and Germany to expand defence co-operation were also held in June 2012.

·        Defence Minister of Spain called on the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in New Delhi on 26 Oct 2012.

·        Defence Minister of Brazil Mr. Celso Amorim visited India on 06 Feb 2012 and held one-to-one talk with the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony.

·        Defence Minister Mr AK Antony laid foundation stone of maritime training academy of Maldives during his visit to Maldives in September 2012. Continuing with his dialogue on defence cooperation with the top leadership of Maldives, he called on the President  Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik in Male.

·        Defence Minister of Republic of Korea Mr. Kim Kwan Jin visited India and held the delegation level talks with his Indian counterpart Shri AK Antony on 30 Nov 2012 on the matters of bilateral interests.

·        A high level delegation led by Rear Admiral AARA Dias, the Director General Sri Lanka Coast Guard (SLCG), who was on a visit to India from 26-30 Aug 2012, held a High Level Meeting, with the Indian delegation led by Vice Admiral MP Muralidharan, Director General Indian Coast Guard in New Delhi in August 2012.  The visit was in continuation of the various efforts by the governments of the two countries towards cooperation between the ICG and SLCG and pursuance of the discussions on maritime issues of mutual concerns to formulate a cooperative approach.

·        General Haruhiko Kataoka, Chief of Staff, Japan Air Self Defence Force was on a three day goodwill visit to India from 19-21 Nov 12.  The visit assumed special significance in the light of improving military cooperation between the two countries in consonance with India’s growing relationship with Japan.

·        The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) and Chairman Chief of Staff Committee (COSC) was on a four day Defence Cooperation visit to the Union of Myanmar from 26-29 November 2012. The CAS led a five member Composite Defence Delegation team comprising of senior officers of the three services.

·        Vice Admiral Zahir Uddin Ahmed, Chief of Naval Staff, Bangladesh Navy visited India from 08-10 July 2012.  He was given a Guard of Honour on 09th July.  Later he met the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma and discussed matters on mutual interests.

·        BNS (Bangladesh Naval Ship) Bangabandhu entered Kochi on 2nd November. The modern frigate and veritably the Flag Ship of Bangladesh Navy was on en route to Doha to participate in Exercise Ferocious Falcon. A host of professional and social interactions were scheduled between India and Bangladesh Navies on the occasion which included sports fixtures and mutual visits. Mr Tariq Ahmad Karim, the High Commissioner of Bangladesh to India also flew in to Kochi to welcome BNS Bangabandhu.

·        Admiral Jonathan Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations, US Navy visited India on 23 April 2012 and held talks with the then Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma on matters of bilateral interests.
SEMINARS / WORKSHOPS / CONFERENCES

·        Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh addressed the Combined Commanders’ Conference in New Delhi on 11 October 2012 which was attended amongst others by Finance Minister Mr. P. Chidambaram and Minister of External Affairs Mr. SM Krishna.  In the beginning Defence Minister Shri AK Antony introduced the top level Commanders’ of the three Services to the Prime Minister.

·        Unified Commanders’ Conference commenced in New Delhi on 24 April 2012.  Inaugurating the Conference Defence Minister Shri AK Antony urged all commanders to ensure that the fast track procurement of equipment and upgradation of infrastructure is followed in letter and spirit.

      Shri Antony told the top brass of Armed Forces that while modernization remains the topmost priority of the Government and to achieve the same a mechanism has been put in place to fast track procurement of equipment and upgradation of infrastructure. He appealed the top commanders’ to be honest and upright while fast tracking important acquisitions for the defence forces.

·        ‘DefExpo India 2012’, the 7th international Exhibition on Land, Naval and Internal Security Systems, commenced on 29 March 2012 at New Delhi. The four-day event was inaugurated by the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony. The largest ever Defence Exposition in Asia showcased India’s emergence as an attractive destination for investment in the Defence Sector and provided a platform for alliances and joint ventures in the Defence Industry.

      A total of 567 companies from 32 countries displayed weapon systems for the Army, Navy and Internal Security. Major participants were from Russia, France and Israel besides Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Poland, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, South Africa, Turkey, USA and UK.

·        Fourteenth Asian Security Conference organized by the Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA) was inaugurated by the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in New Delhi on 13 February 2012.

·        Global Hypoxia Summit & the  4th International Conference on Chronic Hypoxia was inaugurated by the then Minister of state for Defence Dr M.M. Pallam Raju in New Delhi on 09 Aug 2012. Addressing the gathering he said High Altitude hypoxia research is important for our country because we are constrained to deploy considerable number of soldiers in the high altitude areas.

·        Defence Minister Shri AK Antony addressed a Workshop on Nanotechnology in New Delhi on 01 Oct 2012 organised by the DRDO.  Shri Antony said that India has proved its strong capabilities and efficiency in the fields of information technology and biotechnology and DRDO must make all-out efforts to bring about a convergence of nanotechnology with information technology and biotechnology.

·        Defence Minister Shri AK Antony inaugurated a two-day International Seminar and Exposition ‘Defcom India-2012’ in New Delhi on 08 Nov 2012. The Defcom-2012 was organized jointly by the Integrated HQ of Ministry of Defence (Army), Corp of Defence Signals and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

SECURITY ISSUE / POLICY PROCEDURES
·        Defence Minister Shri AK Antony convened a meeting of all stakeholders on coastal security in New Delhi on 08 Oct 2012 and reviewed the various steps taken to enhance coastal security network in the country and progress achieved so far in different fields. Presiding a high-level meeting, Shri Antony said that there must be a time bound action plan to complete all pending decisions at the earliest.

·        The revised Defence Offset Guidelines (DOG) were approved by Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) at its meeting held on 23rd July, 2012 and shall be applicable w.e.f. 1st August, 2012.

·        A Meeting was taken by the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony on Defence Operational Preparedness on 02 Jul 2012 where three Service Chiefs and Defence Secretary were also present.

·        The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony gave his ‘in principle’ approval to a three-fold hike in the delegation of financial powers to Service Headquarters – from the

current Rs.50 crores to Rs.150 crores on 28 May 2012 to accelerate the process of procurement for the Armed Forces.

·        The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony announced a number of decisions taken by the Centre for infrastructure development and for creation of job opportunities in Arunachal Pradesh while inaugurating the five- day long  celebration of the completion of 25 years of statehood of Arunachal Pradesh at a function in Itanagar in February 2012. Shri Antony announced that the Ministry of Defence has cleared the raising of 2nd Battalion of Arunachal Scouts.

·        India-UK defence consultation group meeting was held in New Delhi on 08 Feb 2012.

·        Ministry of Defence debarred six firms from business dealings for a term of ten years on 05 Mar 2012.

·        A Decision was taken by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) to purchase M-777 guns for the Indian Army on 11 May 2012.

WELFARE MEASURES OF SERVICEMEN / EX-SERVICEMEN

·        Defence Minister Shri AK Antony chaired the meeting of the Consultative Committee attached to his Ministry on 18 Dec 2012 in New Delhi and took note of latest progress in different welfare measures for ex-servicemen.

Government has widened the scope of Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) and established more polyclinics and regional health centres. In 2010, 199 polyclinics were sanctioned by the Government out of which 99 polyclinics have become functional and 100 polyclinics are under various stages of operationalization. The scheme is presently been implemented to 326 functional polyclinics.  At present, the scheme has over 41 lakh beneficiaries including 13 lakh ex-servicemen and over 28 lakh dependents.

·        The Government has also taken up special measures to accelerate the Married Accommodation Project (MAP). Under the project, a total of nearly two lakh dwelling units are being constructed in four phases at an estimated cost of over Rs. 17, 000 crores. Presently, 54, 000 dwelling units have been constructed out of a total of 58, 000 dwelling units under Phase-I of the project. Phase-II of the project involving the construction of 70, 000 dwelling units has also begun. Phase-Ill and Phase-IV of MAP have been merged so that the work on the remaining 71, 000 dwelling units of MAP Phase III and Phase IV can be expedited.

·        The Union Cabinet has approved the recommendations of the Committee headed by Cabinet Secretary for benefits to ex-servicemen on four issues.   The financial implications of the improvements made as per the Cabinet decision on the four items are broadly estimated at Rs.2300 crore per annum.

One Rank One Pension - On One Rank One Pension, the demand of the Defence Forces and Ex-Servicemen Associations is that uniform pension be paid to the Defence Forces personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service irrespective of their date of retirement and any future enhancement in the rates of pension be automatically passed on to the past pensioners.  On this issue the following was approved by the Cabinet :

(i)      Bridging of the gap in the pension of pre 1.1.06 and post 1.1.06 JCO/OR retirees by determining the pension of pre 1.1.06 retirees on the basis of notional maximum for ranks and groups across the three Services as in the case of post 1.1.06 retirees.  In addition, the weightage of qualifying service in the ranks of Sepoys, Naik and Havaldar would be increased by two years for both pre and post 1.1.06 retirees.

(ii)        The pension of pre 1.1.06 Commissioned Officer pensioners would be stepped up with reference to the minimum of fitment table for the ranks instead of the minimum of pay band.

Enhancement of Family Pension –

(i)  The pension of pre - 1.1.2006 family pensioners(Commissioned Officers, Honorary Commissioned Officers, JCOs/ORs ) be stepped up based on the minimum of the fitment table instead of the minimum of the Pay Band;

(ii)  Establishing linkage of the family pension with the pension of JCOs/ORs, in those cases where the death takes place after the retirement of the JCO/OR since such a JCO/OR drew a pension based on the maximum of the pay scales, 60% of the pension applicable to JCO/OR pensioners would be granted to the family pensioner in case of normal family pension calculated a 30% of last pay drawn. Accordingly, based on the rank, group and length of service of the deceased JCO/OR pensioner, his pension would first be determined on notional basis. In cases where death of JCO/OR took place after retirement, the family pensioners in receipt of normal family pension would become entitled to 60% of the said pension determined on notional basis and those in receipt of enhanced family pension will be entitled to 100% of this pension. Similar entitlements would be determined in the case of Special Family Pension; and

(ii) family pensioner of the JCO/OR would be granted pension arrived at on the basis of the family pension worked out as per the formulation at (i) above or the pension on the basis of stepping up with reference to the minimum of the fitment table, whichever is beneficial. Further, the linkage of family pension with retiring pensionbe applied in the case of post 1.1.2006 family pensioners of JCOs/ORs also.

Dual Family Pension - Dual family pension would be allowed in the present and future cases where the pensioner drew, is drawing or may draw pension for military service as well as for civil employment.

Family pension to mentally / physically challenged children of armed forces personnel on marriage - Grant of family pension to mentally/physically challenged children who drew, are drawing or may draw family pension would continue even after their marriage.

·        Defence Food Technological Research Laboratory (DFRL) under DRDO, by using a set of cold shock dehydration technologies, has developed a ready to eat packaged food ‘Aahaar’ having shelf life of more than a year without compromising the nutrition and taste.  Besides providing a ready to eat food, these products are eminently suitable for use during long journeys, nutritional feeding, mass catering programmes and other similar civilian applications.

·        Bio-digester toilets were launched by DRDO in a tie-up with FICCI in June this year at Dhamra, Odisha. An evolved technology to treat biological wastes of soldiers serving in high altitudes of Ladakh and Siachen, is set to radically alter the rural sanitation and decomposition woes of fecal wastes in the plains across the country.

·        Indian Air Force (IAF) has opened a Directorate of Air Veterans for retired air personnel on 04 Oct 2012.

·        Indian Navy’s first executive IT cadre launched in July 2012.

·        To reduce the incidents of suicide and fragging in armed forces, Defence Institute of Psychological Research (DIPR) under DRDO has developed a suicide risk management test to help identify security personnel at risk so that preventive measures can be taken in advance.  DIPR has already handed over this to the Army.  The laboratory has also planned a comprehensive soldier fitness programme resilience building to generate awareness towards well-being among troops.
SCALING NEW HEIGHTS IN SPORTS AND ADVENTUROUS ACTIVITIES

·        Four air warriors of IAF ‘Delphinus’  became the first services team in the world to swim the English Channel on 26 June 2012 by safely and successfully crossing the channel in 12 hours 14 minutes.  They became the fastest Asian team to swim English Channel in its category.

·        Subedar Major Vijay Kumar brought glory and laurels to Indian Army as well as to the Country by winning a Silver Medal at the London Olympics in 25 meter pistol shooting event.  Olympic silver medalist Vijay Kumar was subsequently promoted as Subedar Major and given a cash award of Rs.30 lakh by the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony.

·        49 naval sportsmen represented the country at various international sports events during the year and have won three Gold, two Silver and five bronze medals.

·        Chief Petty Officer Omkar Singh of the Navy shooting team has been bestowed the Arjuna Award for sporting Excellence for the year 2012.

·        Indian Army Women’s Everest Expedition-2012 put four women officers on the summit of Mt. Everest.  They achieved this feat on 25 May 2012.
REACHING OUT TO PEOPLE IN DISTRESS

·        IAF evacuated 171 persons and distributed 4600 kg of relief material during its Relief and Rescue Operation in flashflood hit Uttarakhand.

·        Army synergizes rescue efforts to save precious lives in Cloud burst hit Rudraprayag District of Uttrakhand.

Joint flood relief operations by the Armed Forces in Arunachal and Assam were carried out from 20 to 28 September 2012. 

CHANGE OF GUARDS

Change of Guards in nation’s land and naval forces as well as consequent crucial changes in the top command levels in these two services had definitely a bearing on the shape of things to come in the Armed Forces.

General Bikram Singh took over as the 25th Chief of the Army Staff in place of General VK Singh on 31 May 2012, who retired after the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s decision of agreeing to Govt’s stand of General’s Date of Birth as 31 May 1950.

The Navy also saw Vice Admiral DK Joshi assuming the charge of Chief of Naval Staff on 31 Aug 2012 after the superannuation of the outgoing Admiral Nirmal Verma.

DPR

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Presentation Of Presidential Standards To 25 & 33 Squadrons Of IAF

006 by Chindits
006, a photo by Chindits on Flickr.
The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee Presented the prestigious Presidential Standards to two of the IAFs Squadrons 25 Squadron and 33 Squadron, in an impressive ceremonial parade held at Air Force
Station Sulur, here Today.
 
Located in South Western Sector, 25 Squadron Called “THE HIMALAYAN EAGLES”, was formed on 01 Mar 1963 at Chandigarh. With a motto SATVADHINA HI SIDDHAYA i.e EXCELLENCE THROUGH DELIGENCE it has been the lifeline of troops stationed in the Northern region for over five decades, in peace as well as in war. During the 1965 and 1971 Indo Pak conflicts and Kargil operations the squadron played a vital role.

33 Squadron was formed on 09 Jan 1963 with two Caribou aircraft with motto SHRAMO DADATI SIDDIM meaning THROUGH HARD WORK COMES GLORY’ The squadron participated in operations in both 1965 and 1971 Indo Pak conflict. It also has the distinction of spearheading the largest ever formation in the history of the IAF during the Tangail operations in 1971.

In 1986 the squadron was reequipped with AN-32, which has over the years proven to be the work horse of the IAF. The squadron flew extensively during the IAF’s Tsunami rescue and relief operations. Based at Sulur, the squadron maintains an effective air bridge to the far flung island territories of Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep.

The standards are awarded to Operational Units while colours are awarded to non flying formations. IAF Operational Squadrons become eligible for award of Presidential Standards after completion of 18 years.

B Satheesh Kumar

Monday, December 17, 2012

President To Present Standards to Himalayan Eagles & Soaring Storks(IAF's 25 & 33 Sqns) At AFS Sulur Tomorrow !!

PRANAB_1_1154783g by Chindits
PRANAB_1_1154783g, a photo by Chindits on Flickr.
On Dec 18, 2012, at airforce station Sulur, near Coimbatore (TN), President Pranab Mukherjee to present standards to these two AN-32 squadrons.

25 Sqn is Himalayan Eagles and 33 Sqn is called Soaring Storks.

IAF Cancels All Postings Of Personnel, Till Op Livewire, To War-Game 2-Front First Time !!

Page5Story(1) by Chindits
Page5Story(1), a photo by Chindits on Flickr.
TheSundayGuardian

Rehman Malik's India Visit Creates Flutter, Leaves Unapologetic !!

Page3Story by Chindits
Page3Story, a photo by Chindits on Flickr.
TheSundayGuardian

Defence Minister, All Three Chiefs Pay Homage On Vijay Diwas At Amar Jawan Jyoti

1S2W0075 by Chindits
1S2W0075, a photo by Chindits on Flickr.


Defence Minister Sh A K Antony And Three Services Chief, Chief Of Army Staff Gen Bikram Singh, Chief Of Naval Staff Admiral Dk Joshi And Chief Of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Nak Browne Paid Homage To The Martyrs Of 1971 War At Amar Jawan Jyoti, New Delhi On Sunday Dec 16, 2012

DPR