Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Longer Than Year-Ender & MoD Annual Report, Worst Defence Minister Antony Gets Annual Confidential Report From Own PR Set-Up, Portions Missing- Scams, Kickback Cover-Ups, Favouritism, Inaction, Inefficiency, Medically Unfit !!

Shri AK Antony as Defence Minister
-A Look Back


New Delhi: 14 Phalguna 1935

Wednesday, 05 March 2014

Introduction

On 26 October 2006, taking the baton from Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Shri AK Antony assumed office as India’s 29th Defence Minister. Taking over when the UPA-1 was halfway through its term, Shri Antony has remained as the Defence Minister for nearly seven and a half years, making him India’s longest serving in the portfolio.

Both in 2006 and then again 2009 when the UPA returned to power for a second term, Shri Antony highlighted his key priorities in the demanding post: ramping up India’s defence preparedness, modernising the armed forces, strengthening security measures and apparatus across the board, including coastal security, fast-tracking infrastructure development in the North East and border areas, improving the lives of service personnel, including their accommodation, ration, food and clothing. And last, but certainly not least, ensuring absolute transparency in the complex defence procurement process.

 After a couple of months’ in-depth briefing at the South Block, Shri Antony had embarked on extensive tours to various Defence establishments. His visits stretched from Siachen in north to Thiruvananthapuram in south, from Tawang in North East to Minicoy in South west. He met with Jawans and officers in difficult terrains and prodded them to share their frank views regarding the difficulties and challenges faced by them. Based on these briefings, interactions and meetings, he relentlessly pursued the process modernization of the Armed Forces and also brought about far reaching changes in the lives of serving and retired military personnel. Some of the changes, e.g., breaching the barriers in the allocation of eggs and fruits to jawans are illustrative of the depth to which Shri Antony delved to bring about pragmatism in military administration.
The coming of age of five long standing projects- the induction of MBT Arjun in Indian Army, the induction of LCA Tejas in IAF, the arrival of INS Vikramaditya for Indian Navy,  significant strides in India’s first indigenous nuclear powered submarine, INS Arihant, which made  substantial progress and achieved ‘criticality’ and successful completion of trials for underwater launched ballistic missile system- BO5, thus, completing the triad for nuclear deterrence, all happened under his stewardship.

Shri Antony also worked steadfastly to create a healthy environment for the participation of the Indian industry-both public and private, in the research, development and manufacturing of defence products.
During this period, the Indian Armed Forces also went for a systematic force projection in the immediate neighbourhood and far off Asian region by engaging many countries through exercises and defence diplomacy.
      
The period also witnessed scaling of new heights by armed forces personnel in fields like sports and adventure activities.  Besides, in a first of its kind experience, the Indian Military under the leadership of Shri Antony, conducted the 4th CISM  Military World Games, an event which is only second to the Olympic Games in size. Over 5000 participants from nearly 100 countries took part in the event. The Games were held at Hyderabad and Mumbai and were conducted in a professional manner with military precision. India received worldwide appreciation for the smooth conduct of the Games.
MODERNISATION, CAPACITY BUILDING AND INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT
Shri Antony has presided over some of the most eventful years in the chequered history of the Indian Armed Forces, adding potent muscle to their capabilities. There have been landmark acquisitions and many more are in the pipeline.

Navy

Amongst the three Forces, the Indian Navy perhaps acquired the maximum number of platforms and systems towards its goal of acquiring a blue water capability.

The Indian Navy finally inducted its second aircraft carrier 44,500 tonne INS Vikramaditya giving a big boost to the Navy’s blue water capabilities. Shri Antony commissioned the carrier at a ceremony held at the Sevmash Shipyard in Severodvinsk, Russia on 16 November 2013. Having undergone extensive refurbishment and refit over the past few years, the Vikramiditya has the ability to carry over 30 aircraft comprising an assortment of MiG 29K/Sea Harrier, Kamov 31, Kamov 28, Sea King, ALH-Dhruv and Chetak helicopters. The MiG 29K swing role fighter is the main offensive platform and provides a quantum jump for the Indian Navy’s maritime strike capability. These fourth generation air superiority fighters provide a significant fillip for the Indian Navy with a range of over 700 nm (extendable to over 1,900 nm with inflight refueling) and an array of weapons including anti-ship missiles, Beyond Visual Range air-to-air missiles, guided bombs and rockets. The carrier has been berthed at the Karwar Naval Base on the Western Coast and awaits its formal induction into the Western Fleet, in the near future.
In August, 2013, a major boost to our nuclear deterrence capability was achieved with the miniaturized nuclear reactor onboard Arihant having achieved criticality.

India’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier IAC-1 (Vikrant) was launched at Cochin Shipyard Limited on August 12, 2013. This is a significant capability demonstration as it has placed India into the group of select countries which can design and build aircraft carriers of around 40,000 tonnes.

Indian Naval Aviation received major fillip with the arrival of the first Boeing P-8I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance and Anti-Submarine Warfare (LRMRASW) aircraft on May 15, 2013.

In line with force accretion that cannot stop, the Indian Navy, the youngest of India’s Armed Forces, also inducted the first fully indigenously assembled Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) at INS Dega, Vishakhapatnam on 06 November. The GSAT-7, a dedicated communication satellite for the Indian Navy, was launched on 30 August last year, providing an enormous, if initial, boost to the Navy’s network centric war-fighting capability based on an indigenous platform.

In total 28 Ships were inducted/acquired during the period under review including 03 Shivalik Class Frigate (Shivalik, Satpura & Sahyadri), 03 Teg Class Frigate (Teg, Trikhand & Tarkash), 02 tankers (Deepak & Shakti),  01 Landing Platform Dock- Jalashwa, 03 Landing Ship Tank Large (Shardul, Kesari & Airavat), 01 Sail Training Ship –Sudarshini, 02 Naval Offshore Patrol Vessels (Saryu & Sunayna), 10 Fast Attack Craft –Trinkat class, 01 Catamaran Hull Survey Ship – Makar and 01 Nuclear submarine- Chakra. Besides, 45 ships are in the pipelines in various shipyards.

In this period, 03 P8I, 06 AJT Hawk, 02 UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) – Heron, 18 Mig 29K and 06 UH3H Helicopters (alongwith Jalashwa) were inducted into the Navy. 

Indian Air Force 

The IAF too was not way behind; the acquisition of C-130J Hercules and C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft marked a new era of strategic military sales from the US. The IAF took a quantum leap with the induction of AWACS-- eye-in-the-sky surveillance aircraft with collaborative technologies from Russia and Israel, in May, 2009. The IAF also acquired the long awaited UK-built AJT Hawk-132 in February, 2008 and inducted the Basic Trainer Aircraft Pilatus PC 7 MK II from Switzerland in May last year, while the Russian made Mi-17-V5 choppers were inducted in February, 2012 and the Boeing Business Jet for VVIP travel in April, 2009. Much ground has been covered during these seven years for the acquisition of the 126 MMRCA fighter jets. In 2007, India and Russia signed a landmark inter-governmental agreement for the joint development and production of the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft and a Multi-role Transport Aircraft.

The IAF has kept pace with contemporary advancement and has continued to modernize its infrastructure in a phased manner.

The IAF is upgrading 6 Advanced Landing Grounds (ALG) in the Eastern Sector (Pasighat, Mechuka, Walong, Tuting, Ziro and Vijaynagar) as well as several helipads in Arunachal Pradesh. This comes after the activation of Western Sector ALGs like Daulat Beg Oldie, Fukche and Nyoma in Eastern  Ladakh.

New Air Field in Phalodi:  Bridging the gap in Air Defence in the Western Sector, a new Indian Air Force (IAF) airfield, replete with modern infrastructure has become operational at Phalodi in Rajasthan. The airbase located between Jaisalmer and Jodhpur will straddle the distance between the two airbases. The base is ready to undertake all types of operations of IAF. 
            
In an another significant capability demonstration move by the IAF, a C130J Super Hercules aircraft landed at Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) airstrip located at 16614 feet (5065 meters) in the Aksai Chin area after taking off from its home base at Hindon, on 20 August 2013.. 

New Air Force Station At Thanjavur: The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony dedicated to the nation the New Air Force Station at Thanjavur on 27 May 2013. Thanjavur would strengthen the air defence capabilities of the Indian Air Force in general and the Southern Command, in particular.

SU-30MKI in NE

The Su-30 aircraft was formally inducted at Air Force Station Tezpur on 15 June 2009. SU-30 MKI aircraft was inducted into Air Force Station at Chhabua base in Assam on 01 March 2011 and again at Air Force Station Halwara on 05 September 2012.
Towards enhancing its Air Defence capabilities, the IAF inducted the first Medium Power Radar on 03 Jun 2011.  This state of the art radar would strengthen the air defence in the Surashtara Kutch region as a part of radar upgradation programme.  It forms an important component in the IAF’s plan to achieve network centric operations.  

Army

Mountain Strike Corps

Breaking India’s strategic planning out of the cocoon, Shri Antony’s tenure witnessed the government’s nod for the raising of Army’s first Mountain Strike Corps along the China border in the North East, reflecting the country’s widening strategic horizon. The Strike Corps will provide decisive lighting reaction offensive capabilities. Expected to cost Rs. 65,000 crores, the proposed strike corps is headquartered at Panagarh in West Bengal.

The corps will draw support from IAF fighters operating from renovated bases in the northeast. Sukhoi 30 MkIs have been deployed at bases in Tezpur and Chhabua. In addition, Jorhat, Bagdogra, Hashimara and Mohanbari bases are also being upgraded.

After a gap of 29 years, the Army has also raised two mountain infantry divisions- one under the Rangapahar based 3 Corps in Nagaland and the other, under the Tezpur- based 4 Corps in Assam under the Army’s Eastern Command.

The Army has also added an array of ballistic missile capabilities.
The major acquisitions undertaken by the Army were focused on building new capabilities and making up deficiencies. Modernisation of the mechanized forces is underway to meet the requirements of the future battle field. At the same time indigenous development of combat vehicle platform for the future is also being progressed.

The Corps of Army Air Defence is taking major strides in upgrading its gun and missile systems. The project for automation of Air Defence Command and Reporting system is also progressing. In addition modernization of logistics installations with state-of-the-art warehousing facilities, retrieval and accounting systems is also underway. Army has also enhanced its interactions with DRDO so that planned projects are completed.

Electronic surveillance devices such as unmanned ground sensors, Battle Field Surveillance Radars, Infra Red Sensors, Hand held thermal imagers etc have been introduced to assist in counter terrorism operations. The Army has also developed Network Centric Warfare concept for a digitized battlefield of the future. The Army is adequately prepared to operate in the prevailing NBC environment in the region and these capabilities are regularly reviewed keeping in view the changing threat scenario, as required.
Indian Coast Guard

Since the 2008 Mumbai attacks, in persistent efforts to secure India’s vast coastline, stretching over 7,500 kilometres including our  island territories, the Government has approved the setting up of 14 new Indian Coast Guard Stations, to augment the existing 28. The Indian Coast Guard  commissioned a new generation Offshore Patrol Vessel, ICGS Vishwast, built in India by Goa Shipyard, and the Pollution Control Vessel, ICGS Samudra Prahari, built by the private sector ABG Shipyard in Surat during the last year.     
       
Altogether 79 vessels and boats were commissioned into the Indian Coast Guard during the period under review including two Advance Offshore Patrol Vessels (Sankalp and Samrat), three Offshore Patrol Vessels (Vishwast, Vijit and Vaibhav), two Pollution Control vessels (Samudra Prahari and Samudra Paheredar), four Fast Patrol Vessels (Savitribai Phule, Aadesh, Abheek and Abhinav), 10 Inshore Patrol Vessels (Rani Abbakka, Rajshree, Rajtarang, Rajkiran, Rajkamal, Rajratan, Rajdoot, Rani Avantibai, Rajveer and Rajdhwaj), eight Air Cushion Vehicle (Hovercraft), 21 Interceptor Boats and 20 Interceptor Craft.
In this period 21 Coast Guard Stations were commissioned / activated including Port Blair, Kararatti, Gopalpur, Karwar, Gandhinagar, Minicoy, Mundra, Krishnapatnam, Mayabunder and Pipavav.

ANTI- PIRACY AND COASTAL SECURITY MEASURES

The Indian Navy (IN) is primarily responsible for ensuring the country’s maritime sovereignty and for enabling various use-of-sea activities. This responsibility is discharged by the IN through its four roles – military, diplomatic, constabulary and benign roles. The IN is being increasingly called upon to address issues pertaining to safety, security and stability in the region. Enforcement of international laws, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the Indian Ocean Region is at the forefront of the Navy’s international commitments. The complex maritime security environment in the IOR requires the IN to maintain a high level of operational preparedness at all times.            


Anti-piracy

Commitment to keeping International Sea Lanes of Communications open by sustained deployment of a Indian Navy ship for anti-piracy operations in Gulf of Aden since Oct 2008. Put in place comprehensive and bold Rules of Engagement to enable proactive and effective action against errant pirates. To date IN deployed 37 ships, escorted over 2500 merchant ships of all nationalities, thwarted over 40 piracy attempts, apprehended 120 pirates and rescued over 70 fishermen.  Also participated in all SHADE meetings since 2009 and coordinated anti piracy activities with neighbouring and IOR countries.

Coastal Security

Drawing lessons from 26/11 terrorist attacks on Mumbai in 2008, the Govt. took a number of security measures to close the gaps in India’s vast coastline and strengthen the coastal security apparatus in a planned manner by involving all stakeholders in this endeavour. Under Phase-I of the Coastal Surveillance Network Project installation of 46 radar chain to have a gap free Coastal Surveillance Network (CSN) was envisaged. In the first Phase of the project, the coastal States/UTs were provided with 73 coastal police stations, 97 Check Posts, 58 Out Posts, 30 Barracks, 204 boats, 153 jeeps and 312 motorcycles.

The completion of the phase-I of the project at a cost of Rs. 646 crores on the Indian mainland has taken place. India has already a chain of 36 Coastal Static Radars in place and 10 more in final stages of completion- which would help in identification and monitoring of maritime traffic. 

In the phase-II of CSN which will cost Rs. 1580 crores, we will have another 38 radars chain to cover the rest of the 7,500 Km long coastline. The Indian Coast Guard was delegated to implement the project. For this, the Govt. had signed the contract with the state owned Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) in Sept 2011 at a cost of Rs 602 crores considering the strategic nature of the turnkey project and with an aim to develop indigenous capabilities. Under this scheme, the coastal States/UTs interalia are provided with 131 coastal police stations, 10 Marine Operation Police Centres, 60 jetties, 225 boats of various categories and a lump sum assistance of Rs. 15 lakhs per coastal police station to develop its infrastructure. 

Linking up the National Automatic Identification System Network (AIS) and Vessel Traffic System (VTS) off Gulf of Khambat with the Coastal Security Network would help the security forces in identifying a friend or foe in the Indian waters.

Of late, a worrisome trend is the problem of tackling the issue of Private Armed Security Guards on board Commercial ships in international waters as well as territorial waters. The urgent need to regulate these ‘floating armouries’ has assumed significance in the backdrop of two recent incidents close to Indian Coast. A high level meeting on Coastal Security convened at Delhi by the MoD recently decided to take up this issue of Private Armed Security Guards with international fora such as International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

ROADS, BRIDGES AND TUNNELS

The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is executing road works on 444 various roads and maintaining 254 roads. Some of them are Srinagar-Baramula-Uri, Uri-Salamabad-Kaman Post, Srinagar-Kargil-Leh, Leh-Upshi, Nimu-Padam-Darcha, Dhar-Udhampur, Rudraprayag-Gaurikund, Rishikesh- Joshimath-Mana, Rishikesh-Dharasu-Gangotri, Lakhimpur-Akajan, Hayaliang-Changlohgam, Paya-Digaru Road, Orang-Kalaktang- Shikaridanga-Rupa-Tenga, Hunli-Anini and Hnathial-Sangau-Saiha.
In J&K, the government has earmarked 73 roads for construction in Ladakh region along the unresolved 4,056 km long Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China, of which 12 roads have been completed so far.
The BRO is the lifeline to India’s strategically vital northeast, maintaining a road network of 11,672 kms in the remote region. The BRO has also undertaken construction of 75 roads with a total length of more than 6,000 km at a cost of Rs 5,000 crore. Besides this, 7,000 km of roads costing Rs 12,000 crore are under various stages of construction in the north-east.

Basholi Bridge
              The foundation stone laying ceremony for Basholi Bridge was held on 23 May 2011. This 592 m cable stayed bridge will connect Gurdaspur district in Punjab to Doda and Kishtwar region in J&K.  An example of modern technology, this will connect the backward areas.  The present physical progress of the bridge is 55%.

Rohtang Tunnel 
              Foundation stone for construction of 8.8 Km Rohtang Tunnel was laid on 28 Jun 2010. A total of 4086 mtr has been achieved at Rohtang Tunnel.

Zozila tunnel
              Cabinet Committee on economic affairs has approved the construction of 13.95 Km  long tunnel. Land acquisition, environmental clearance and tendering action is in progress. 

Other Tunnels
              The feasibility studies for the preparation of DPR for the construction of Razdhan tunnel of 18 Km length in Jammu & Kashmir and 0.90 Km long Rudraprayag Byepass Tunnel in Uttarakhand are in progress.       
Modernisation of DPSUs and OFB

Over the years, the Department of Defence Production has established wide ranging production facilities for various defence equipment through the Ordnance factories and DPSUs. The products manufactured include arms and ammunition, tanks, armoured vehicles, heavy vehicles, fighter aircraft and helicopters, warships, submarines, missiles, ammunition, electronic equipment, earth moving equipment, special alloys and special purpose steels. The nine DPSUs functioning under the Department of Defence Production are- Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL), Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL), BEML, Bharat Dynamics Ltd. (BDL), Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd. (GRSE), Goa Shipyard Ltd. (GSL), Hindustan Shipyard Ltd. (HSL), Mazagon Dock Ltd. (MDL), Mishra Dhatu Nigam Ltd. (MIDHANI).

Of the above, HSL was transferred from the Ministry of Shipping to the MoD during 2009-2010 for strengthening the naval defence capabilities for manufacture of warships and submarines.

After visits to several DPSUs and interaction with personnel at various levels, Shri Antony took a lot of interest for modernization of the DPSUs in a systematic and planned manner so that their capabilities are upgraded and their product range is widened to not only cater to the requirements of our Services but also to prepare them to be competitive in the global market. Between 2009 and 2013, Rs 3990 crores have been spent to modernize 9 DPSUs, while an additional Rs 6820 crores have been spent for R&D efforts by DPSUs alone. In the 12th Five Year Plan period (2012-2017), the outlay for modernization of DPSUs is Rs 14,726 Crores.

Similarly, modernization of the 39 Ordnance Factories, which are producing and supplying more than 600 types of items to the Armed Forces, has taken place in a significant manner. This has resulted in adoption of new technology, reduction in cost of production, increase in productivity, improved quality and reduction in process of rejection. Between 2007 and 2012, Rs 2953 crores have already been spent for the modernization of the Ordnance Factories. The OFB would be spending  Rs 15705 Crores towards modernization during the 12th Five Year Plan period (2012-2017).

JOINT EXERCISES:

Reflective of the professionalism of Indian Armed Forces, many countries from across the globe have shown eagerness to exercise with the Indian Military.

Army
Indian Army held joint exercises with the Armies of China, the United States, UK, Maldives, Russia and Singapore.
It was for the first time when the Armies of India and China held joint exercise at Kunming in Yunan province of China in 2007. 80 soldiers each from India and China attended this five-day long joint exercise on anti-terrorist operations. In 2008, a Chinese Army Contingent conducted a landmark joint military exercise with the Indian Army codenamed Exercise Hand-in-Hand, at Belgaun, Karnataka, the first on Indian soil. In 2013, the two sides held one more anti-terrorism exercise in Chengdu province of China.

The Indian Army conducted the joint exercise ‘YUDH ABHYAS-09’ with the US Army at Babina near Jhansi in October, towards coordinated peacekeeping and disaster relief operation. A Mechanised Infantry Battalion of Indian Army and 2nd Squadron of 14 CAV of 254 Stryker Brigade Combat Team comprising 325 US troops participated in this exercise. The Indian and Maldivian troops conducted ‘EKUVERIN-09’ exercise in Belgaum.
The Russian and Indian Armies held a joint exercise named  'Indra-13' in October 2013. Held in the semi-desert conditions in Rajasthan's Mahajan Field Firing Range, the combat exercise witnessed the participation of an array of armoured and mechanised forces. 

Navy

The list of countries with whom the Indian navy conducts Bilateral Exercises has grown significantly. From October 2006 to February 2014 altogether 47 exercises were conducted with foreign navies including 10 MALABAR exercises with USA, five Naseem-Al-Bahr exercises with UAE, six KONKAN exercises with UK, seven SIMBEX exercises with Singapore, six VARUNA exercises with France, three INDRA exercises with Russia, three SLINEX exercises with Sri Lanka, three IBSAMAR exercises with South Africa and Brazil and two JIMEX exercises with Japan.

Air Force

The Indian Air Force conducted some major exercises with different countries of the world. These include the multinational Air Exercise, 'Ex - Red Flag 08' at the invitation of United States Air Force (USAF), held at Nellis Air Force Base in the US from 09-23 Aug 08; Exercise ‘Cope India-09’, a five-day joint air exercise between Indian Air Force (IAF) and United States Air Force (USAF) at Air Force Station, Agra - a major transport airbase and one of the largest airbase in Southeast Asia; Exercise eastern bridge 2009 with Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) at Thumrait airbase in Oman, Exercise Eastern Bridge 2011 also with RAFO at Air Force Station, Jamnagar; Exercise Cope India 2009 with the United States Air Force at Agra Air Force Station; Exercise Sindex 2007 with Royal Singapore Air Force at Kalaikunda and Exercise Indradhanush-III 2010 with the Royal Air Force of UK at Kalaikunda. This was the first exercise with the Eurofighter (Typhoon) in India.

In addition, Indian Air Force held two major Fire Power Demonstrations. These are:

Exercise Vayushakti 2010: In a breathtaking display of rapid air power dominance in a representative battlefield area, Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft blasted away targets by day, dusk and night in a fire power demonstration exercise, Vayu Shakti-2010, at Pokharan on February 28. The dusk and night phase display was the first ever by the IAF.

Iron Fist – 2013: It was conceived as a visible demonstration of not only the deterrent and joint war fighting capabilities of the IAF but also a reaffirmation of IAF’s commitment to nation building through its more benign and non kinetic capabilities. February 22, 2013 witnessed the Indian Air Force demonstrate its operational capabilities by day, dusk and night at the sprawling facility of the Pokharan Range.

FOREIGN VISITS

To promote defence cooperation with foreign countries, Shri Antony visited the United States, Russia, Germany, China, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, Maldives, Indonesia, Australia, Seychelles, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Kyrghyzstan.

DRDO

When Shri Antony took over as the Defence Minister, there were more brickbats than bouquets in media for DRDO. He brought about structural changes and closely monitored the progress of the organisation in various projects. The result has been quite dramatic as DRDO has started delivering on many fronts and enhancing self- reliance in Defence Systems. It is also designing, developing and producing world class weapon systems and equipment in accordance with the expressed needs and the qualitative requirements specified by the three Services.
DRDO is working in various areas of military technology which include aeronautics, armaments, combat vehicles, electronics, instrumentation engineering systems, missiles, materials, naval systems, advanced computing, simulation and life sciences. DRDO, while striving to meet the Cutting edge weapons technology requirements, provides ample spinoff benefits to the society at large, thereby, contributing to nation building.

Strategic Missile Systems:

Agni 5 the ICBM: India joined the exclusive club of handful of countries having capability to design, develop and launch ICBM (Inter Continental Ballistic Missile) with the maiden launch on  19th April 2012 of highly advanced Agni 5, the latest in the series of nuclear capable strategic missiles. The landmark event gave India a quantum jump in the level of deterrence bringing targets located even more than 5000 km away within its reach fulfilling long cherished dream of former Prime Minister of India, late Smt Indira Gandhi. Its second successful launch on 15 September 2013, demonstrating robustness and reliability of its systems paved way for launch from a canister to provide higher mobility, improved storage and shelf life, even greater reliability and easier maintenance. Agni 5 will be ready for induction by 2015.

Agni 4 the 4000 km range ballistic missile: Agni 4 got ready for induction having completed its development trials with its third successful flight on 20 January 2014.

Agni 3 got inducted to strengthen India’s strategic might and joined Agni 1, Agni 2, Prithvi II & Dhanush (the naval version of Prithvi capable of being launched from ships even under rough sea conditions).

Bo5 the underwater launched ballistic missile system: The missile got clearance for production after a series of successful trials proving reliability of the system. Designed to operate from the indigenous nuclear powered submarine Arihant, it completes the triad for nuclear deterrence and incorporates many novel, breakthrough technologies.

Nirbhay cruise missile: The long range subsonic cruise missile, Nirbhay had its maiden flight on 12 March 2013 proving many critical technologies.

Ballistic Missile Defence system: India joined the elite club of four other nations on 06 December 2007 when under the program AD, an endo-atmospheric interceptor missile hit and destroyed a target missile simulating a ‘hostile’ ballistic missile attacking with speed much greater than a typical bullet; that was the first step towards developing a two-layer Ballistic Missile Defence system. A series of further successful interceptions, mostly, with direct hit (the directional warhead is capable of destroying the target even in proximity), have demonstrated its reliability.

Tactical Missile and Weapon Systems:

Akash SAM Air Defence System: Productionisation and induction of Akash, the medium range air defence system with multi-target, multi directional capability is another shining achievement. The production value of Akash system presently cleared for induction is more than Rs 23,000 crores.

BrahMos supersonic cruise missile: The best and one of its class supersonic cruise missile in operation, with its high speed and precision of attack and practically no possible countermeasures was inducted in large numbers in Army and Navy. It has been designed to be launched from land, air, sea and sub-sea platforms. Its block II version with target discrimination capability and block III version with steep diving capability even at supersonic speeds have now been developed. The air launched version is soon expected to have its maiden launch from Su 30.

Nag and Helina Anti-Tank Missiles: Nag, the third generation Antitank Guided Missile with ‘Fire & Forget’, ‘Day & Night’ and ‘Top Attack capabilities, is in final phase of user trials. Helina, its helicopter launched version having enhanced reached has been developed and is in advanced stage of trials.

Astra Beyond Visual Range air to air missile: India’s first Beyond Visual Range air to air missile Astra designed to operate from Tejas and Su 30 combat aircrafts completed its trials from ground based launchers and airworthiness tests on Su 30. Astra is expected to have its maiden trials from Su 30 aircraft soon.

Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator: In another major technology breakthrough, a Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV) has been developed. Currently undergoing extensive ground based tests.

LRSAM: A long range surface to air missile LRSAM for Navy for protection of Naval vessels being jointly developed is an example of international cooperation, and is undergoing development trails. Its land fired version for Air Force (MRSAM) is also in advanced stage of development.

Pinaka Multi barrel rocket launcher system: Pinaka an area weapon capable of neutralizing nearly 1 sq km area upto more than 35 km away in a short time has entered the operational command of the Indian Army. Pinaka II rocket, with longer range is undergoing trials. Pinaka II have been designed to be fired from the same launcher as Pinaka I.

Indigenous missile technologies:

DRDO has indigenously developed a large number of state of the art sub-systems and technologies in the face of stiff control regimes and technology denials. These technologies make our missiles, especially the strategic missiles unique and include carbon – carbon composites for re-entry heat shield that allow the warhead to remain safe while facing temperatures as high as 4000 degrees Celsius encountered during re-entry, lightweight composite rocket motors, innovative conical rocket motor for third stage, actuators and control surfaces, advanced inertial navigation system, thrust vector control, on-board computers, system of chip (SOC), sensors based on fibre optics, MEMS and many more.

Platforms:

Arihant nuclear powered submarine: Arihant, India’s first indigenous nuclear powered submarine, an example of close cooperation between DRDO Indian Navy and industry came closer to achieving operational capability when its onboard nuclear reactor attained criticality on 10 August 2013. The submarine is currently undergoing extensive checks in  preparation for its seaward trials in a few months from now.

Tejas the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft: Tejas, India’s first indigenously designed developed and led to production 4th Generation-Plus, Light Weight, Multi-role, Supersonic Combat  aircraft got clearance for induction in Air Force with the handing over of the "Release to Service Document" by the Shri Antony to the Chief of Air Staff on 20 December 2013. Tejas, has recorded over 2400 flawless take offs and landings, extensive weapon trials, extreme weather trials, high altitude and sea level trials proving its versatility. Its might was demonstrated during the “Iron Fist”, a fire power demonstration exercise of Indian Air Force in 2013.

LCA Navy: LCA Navy, capable of operating from the short runway of aircraft carrier, had its maiden flight on 27 April 2012 and is undergoing trials for certification.

Arjun -The Indian Main Battle tank:  Two regiments of Main Battle Tank Arjun MkI designed developed and produced indigenously with Indian soldiers environment and terrain, were inducted in the Army. Arjun Mark-II, developed in a record time, with more than 70 improved features such as better mobility, fire power, increased protection, is in final stages of User Trials.

Arjun Catapult Gun: Developed in a very short time the 130 mm (SP) Arjun Catapult Gun System combines the power and versatility of Arjun MBT with the time tested firepower and ruggedness of existing 130 mm gun, the system will considerably enhance fire power of Army.

Unmanned Systems:

Rustom II Medium Altitude Long Endurance UAV: A medium altitude long endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Rustom II, with endurance around 36 hrs and capable of flying upto around 35000 km has been developed and is undergoing taxi trials.

Lakshya II Pilotless Target Aircraft (PTA):  An advanced version of a range of mini and micro UAVs have been developed.

Nishant: Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Nishant developed for Army for surveillance applications was inducted and led to production. Paramilitary forces are also finding it useful for internal security application and CRPF has decided to Nishant induct in numbers.

Daksh ROV: A roughed remotely operated vehicle Daksh capable of climbing stairs, fitted with a six axis robotic arm, field usable X-ray unit, video camera, and other systems for detecting and neutralizing IEDs has been developed and inducted by army.

Autonomous Underwater Vehicle: A multi-use Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) has been developed as technology demonstrator proving a wide range of technologies needed. The system as such is useful for surveillance, mapping of ocean floor as well as offensive tasks.

Combat Engineering Systems

Battle Support Platforms: A number of Battlefield support systems including Armoured Amphibious Dozer, Armoured Engineering Recce Vehicle and Tracked Armoured Ambulance have been developed and led to production.

Bridging Systems: A new Modular Bridging System capable of yielding single span of up to 46 m and capable of bearing load up to 70 ton was developed and is undergoing user trials.

Radars and Sensors:

AEW&C (Advanced Early Warning & Control system): India’s indigenously developed Advanced Early Warning & Control system, a force multiplier presently undergoing flight evaluation, is likely to be handed over to the Air Force soon. Three EMB 145l procured were and integrated with indigenous radars and other equipment to realize the AEW&C.

Radars: WLR, an advanced electronically scanned pulse Doppler weapon locating radar; 3D TCR, a 3 dimensional tactical control radar; Bharani, a Low Level Lightweight Radar and ASLESHA, a 3D Low Level Lightweight radar were developed inducted and led to production.

Electronic Warfare systems: Electronic Warfare systems such as SAMYUKTA for Army;  SANGRAHA for Navy and Varuna,  for Navy have been developed and accepted by users.

A series of secure communication systems based on Software Defined Radio, ranging from hand held sets to aircraft and ship based systems have been developed. The compact system is capable of operating on multiple frequency bands, avoiding need for multiple systems.

Night Fighting Sensors:

Multifunction Sight for surveillance and speedy engagement of targets, was accepted for induction.

EON-51: EON-51, an electro-optical fire control system for Navy was inducted.

Holographic Sight: An advanced Holographic Sight facilitating accurate aiming with both eyes open, developed for INSAS rifle has been accepted by Army.

Naval Systems & sensors: VARUNASTRA, a heavy weight torpedo has been developed and is undergoing extensive sea trials. In the area of Naval sensors, very high degree of self-reliance has been achieved with design, development, and induction of sonars meeting needs of Indian Navy. Thus USHUS an Advanced Active-cum-Passive integrated sonar system and HUMSA NG, a new generation hull mounted sonar for ships; were integrated with their respective platforms.

Materials:

Armour Steel: Light armour for Mi 17 helicopter was developed and used.

Steel for Ship building: Indigenous steel for building naval ships was developed with steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) and was certified. More than 30,000 tons of steel has been used including the one for construction of India’s first ever indigenous Aircraft Carrier.

Titanium Sponge: Process for indigenous development of Titanium from ore got a boost with the setting up of Titanium sponge production facility at KMML based on process developed by DRDO. It is a boost for the country’s aeronautical, missile and space programs.

Airborne Engines:

Indigenous engine for UAVs was developed and flight tested.

Life Sciences Systems

DRDO lays great emphasis on the needs of the men behind the machines.

High Altitude Pulmonary Oedema (HAPO) Bag: a portable, lifesaving, first aid kit, for treatment of high altitude pulmonary oedema encountered by soldiers deployed in high altitude areas has been developed, inducted by services and is saving precious human lives.

Submarine Escape Suite: a submarine escape suite designed to allow the sailors to escape from a submarine stuck at depths upto 100 mtr have been designed and accepted by Navy.

Lightweight Helicopter Oxygen System: a light weight helicopter oxygen system for taking care of oxygen requirements in helicopters need to fly in high altitude regions has been developed and accepted.

Computerised Pilot Selection System (CPSS): A new computer based pilot selection system has been designed, developed and led to production for improve process of selection of aircraft pilots for Indian air force. The system is being used by the respective service selection centres.

Defence Production Policy and Defence Procurement Procedure
Defence Production Policy was announced by the Government in 2011, for the first time, with the following objectives, namely, (i) to achieve substantive self-reliance in the design, development and production of equipment/weapon systems/platforms required for defence in as early a time frame as possible; (ii) to create conditions conducive for the private industry to take an active role in this endeavour; and (iii) to enhance the potential of SMEs in indigenization and to broaden the defence R&D base of the country. To achieve the above objectives, a number of policy initiatives have been taken by the Ministry:
(a)   In the revised Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) issued in 2013, the first major change that has been brought in relates to the introduction of the ‘preferred categorisation’ in the following order; Buy(Indian), Buy & Make(Indian), Make(Indian), Buy & Make, Buy(Global). While seeking the approval for Áccord of Necessity (AoN) in a particular category, say, Buy (Global), it will now be necessary to give justification for not considering the other higher preference categories. This is expected to give a stronger impetus to indigenization.
(b)   The procedure for ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’ category introduced in 2009, has been further simplified in the revised DPP-2013 in order to make this a more preferred category. This Category mandates 50 per cent indigenous content. In addition, the simplification of ‘Make Procedure is underway.
(c)   A clear definition of indigenous content has been provided in the new DPP which would not only bring more clarity on the indigenous content required for different categorization, but also enhance the indigenization of defence products in India.
(d)   Raksha Mantri’s Production Committee has been constituted for initiating policies for bridging ‘technological gaps’ and augmenting indigenous defence production capabilities.
(e)   The industry friendly version of the long term technology requirement for armed forces has been published on Ministry of Defence website in the form of TPCR (Technology Perspective & Capability Roadmap). This gives an idea to the industry of the future needs of the Services so as to facilitate enhancement of domestic capability to meet the long term requirement of armed forces.
A Standing Committee has been constituted in the Department of Defence Production to consider all applications received from Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) for grant of Industrial Licenses and FDI Proposals from the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) respectively for the manufacture of arms and armaments and to communicate the recommendation of the Ministry of Defence to the respective  Departments.

OFFSETS
In pursuance of the objectives of fostering an internationally competitive domestic industry,  enhancing the indigenous defence research and development (R&D) capability and  encouraging development of synergistic sectors like civil aerospace and internal security,  the MoD has fine tuned the Defence Offset Guidelines in the last 7 years.
MoD has set up a "Defence Offsets Management Wing" (DOMW) under the Department of Defence Production for monitoring and discharge of offsets in accordance with the relevant offset guidelines and signed offset contracts.
At present, 23 offsets contracts worth $ 4.6 billions are in various stages of execution.

Transparency

But all these achievements hardly add up to how Shri Antony will be remembered in the corridors of South Block. Behind his characteristic unassuming demeanour, there exists a value system which comes down heavily when irregularities are detected in defence deals. He will not stand by any act of omission or commission that will bring the Armed Forces to disrepute or let it tarnish the ideals of the officers, no matter however influential or mighty the accused might be.

During the seven years of his tenure as the Defence Minister, Shri Antony took a slew of measures to not only clean up the procurement process but also to give out a strong signal to both domestic and foreign vendors to not to resort to unfair means to win defence contracts.

Six firms were debarred by the Ministry of Defence in March  2012 following probe by the CBI. The MoD also terminated the 556.26 million Euro AgustaWestland deal for purchase of 12 VVIP helicopters on grounds of breach of the Pre-contract Integrity Pact (PCIP) and the Agreement by AWIL. In 2012, Shri Antony ordered  a CBI probe into allegations of bribery in supply of Tatra trucks for the Army. And in March 2014, Shri Antony gave the green signal for a CBI probe into the allegations of the appointment of an intermediary in the deals concluded between the HAL and the Rolls Royce company of UK, in contravention of the contract rules.

Shri Antony was ruthless in dealing with all cases relating to defence land scams. He ordered CBI probe into various cases, the most  prominent one being the alleged irregularity in providing defence land for construction of the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society apartment building, close to the Western Naval Command structures in Mumbai.

He also ordered a CBI probe into alleged irregularities in the sale of military land at the high- security Srinagar airport.

Shri Antony ordered a CBI probe into a land scam in Jodhpur allegedly involving transfer of a 4.84 acre Army plot to a trust belonging to a royal family in 2007 by officials of his Ministry and the Service.

Welfare

Armed Forces Tribunal: A long standing need of the Armed Forces was fulfilled with the constitution of Armed Force Tribunal. AFT came into existence 27 years after the Supreme Court made the observation in 1982 that “the Services personnel must have at least one judicial review” of verdicts handed down by the Court Martial.  AFT is now adjudicating complaints and disputes regarding service matters and appeals arising out of the verdicts of the Courts Martial of the members of the three Services (Army, Navy and Air Force) to provide quicker justice to the members of the Armed Forces of the Union. At present, the Principal Bench at Delhi and Regional Benches at Chennai, Jaipur, Lucknow, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Kochi, Guwahati and Mumbai are functional. The government on 20 February 2014 gave its nod for setting up of two more Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) regional benches in Jabalpur and Srinagar. 

MAP:  The Married Accommodation Project (MAP) was undertaken to provide deficient married accommodation to the Defence Services. This mammoth Project, envisaging construction of nearly 2,00,000 dwelling units, is being undertaken in four phases. 57,000 dwelling units have been completed under Phase – I of the project and another 70,000 dwelling units are being constructed under Phase-II of the project. Phase-III and Phase-IV of the project have been combined and 71,014 dwelling units have been approved for construction. The project will meet substantially the requirement of providing married accommodation to the defence service personnel in different parts of the country including far flung areas. This will improve the living conditions of serving Armed Forces Personnel. 
           
Improvement in Rations:
To achieve a superior satisfaction level among the troops, Shri Antony took a number of initiatives to provide quality rations and introduce new products. 

Scales of Fruit fresh in the daily diet of Jawans has been increased from 230 grams of fruits thrice in week to 230 grams every day.  Earlier eggs were authorized for the troops posted above 9000 feet now two eggs per day have been sanctioned uniformly.  Scale of Meat/ Chicken (Broiler) dressed has been increased from 110 Grams to 180 grams per day.  Special Ration has been authorized to troops deployed above 12000 feet.  Earlier special rations were authorized to troops deployed in the Siachan Glacier only, now it has been authorized to troops across the board deployed anywhere above 12000 feet.  Branded Wheat Atta had been introduced in all commands; it will replace the earlier procedure of grinding Wheat for making Atta.  Procurement of Quality Rice, Dal and Edible Oil from Open Market on pilot project basis has been sanctioned; this will lead to procurement of these items with higher specification from reputed vendors.  Quality Tea with specifications drawn up in consultation with the Tea Board is now being supplied to troops.  Additional items of rations like Lime fresh, Rooh Afza, Tetra Pack Milk and Fruit fresh have been sanctioned for the troops taking part in exercise/collective training in Desert/semi-desert areas of Rajasthan.  Iodised and Vaporised salt has been authorized in placed of common salt and its procurement has been decentralized to commands for procuring from reputed vendors.  Certain items of special rations like Almonds at the rate of 05 gram per day, Tetra Pack Milk at the rate of 500ml thrice in a week, Juice Tetra Pack at the rate of four times a week and Biscuits at the rate of 500 grams per month have been authorised to the troops deployed in counter insurgency operations.  Ready to eat vegetable in retort pouches with longer self-life has been introduced.

Improvements in Clothing
In order to improve quality of clothing which is important for boosting morale of the troops, procurement of cloth and stitching of uniforms has been decentralized to commands for ensuing satisfaction of troops.  Product improvement has been carried out for some other items such Coat Combat, Jersey Pullower, Stocks, Cap, Hand Towel, and Blanket.  Life of a number of clothing items reduced so that the solider gets new items more frequently.  To ensure timely availability of critical stores, an Empowered Committee under MGO has been formed to procure Special Clothing items and Mountaineering Equipment for high altitude areas including  Siachen Glacier.  A similar Empowered Committee for Extreme Cold Clothing and Equipment (ECC&E) has been set for meeting the requirements of items authorized to troops operating in high altitude areas other than Special Clothing.
AV SINGH COMMITTEE REPORT  II
In a major step to improve career mobility, to fulfil aspirations and to achieve combat effectiveness by bringing down age profile of commanding officers, the Government upgraded 1896 posts in the services. 
Popularly known as Phase – II of the Ajay Vikram Singh Committee Report, the proposals resulted in reduction in stagnation. Shri Antony had taken personal interest in the implementation of the proposal and played a crucial role in evolving a consensus among the Services.

ARMED FORCES MEDICAL SERVICE
The AFMS has seen a great transformation in the last seven years.  Every aspect of medicare from human resources, hospital infrastructure, to modernisation of equipment have seen a quantum jump in this period.

The Specialist Pool has been augmented to 2295.  The number of Post Graduate seats has increased to over 400 and these seats are offered to Officers of AFMS, medical officers of friendly foreign countries, medical officers of Para Military Forces, ex-SSC officers and civilian doctors.  These PG courses are offered at AFMS, Pune, AH(R&R), Delhi and other command hospitals including INHS Asvini and CHAF, Bengaluru.  Fou schools of Nursing have been upgraded to College of Nursing at CH(EC), Kolkata, INHS Asvini, Mumbai, CH(CC), Lucknow, AH(R&R), Delhi.  Huge impetus has been given to Para medical training of PBOR with establishment of Institute of Paramedical Sciences at AMC Centre and College, Lucknow.  A large number of Degree and Diploma courses are also being offered at AFMC, CHAF(B) and INHS Asvini for PBOR of the three services so that they obtain civil qualifications for better post retirement employment opportunities.  A large number of  sponsored candidates from friendly foreign countries and Paramedical course.    

Equipment and Supplies:

            The Annual Acquisition Plan has been started during this period with facility to roll over the procurement across the fiscal year.  Through the AAP a cumulative capital budget of 700 crores has been expended in this period leading to procurement of 38 CT Scans, 15 MRIs, 05 PET Scans, 06 Cath Labs, 13 Sleep Labs, 33 Laparoscopic Surgical sets, 02 256 Slice CT Scan.  Plans for installing 3D Echo for Cardiology and Da Vinci Robotic Surgery for Urology Centers is on the anvil.

 The Revenue Budgetary outlay has doubled from 343 crores in 2006-07, to 695 crores in 2013-14 for Annual Revenue Budget.  Likewise ECHS budget has gone up from 182 crores in 2007-08 to 393 crores in 2013-14.

To improve the satisfaction of drug availability the procedures have been streamlined to include only 301 Drugs in the vocabulary and increase in supply through Rate Contract coverage from 49 in 2007-08 to 258 in 2013-14.

Infrastructure:-

            AH(R&R) has added Liver Transplant Centre, Bone Marrow Transplant Center, Cochlear Implant Center, Joint Replacement Center during this period.

Assisted Reproduction Centers, Joint Replacement Centers, Cardio Thoracic Surgical Centers, Renal Transplant Centers have been opened in other places.

The DNA laboratory has been set up at AFMC, Pune at Deptt of Forensic Medicine.  A modern Army Dental Center (R&R) has been set up in this period.

As part of capability development of the Armed Forces, the AFMS has been sanctioned a total of seven Field Hospital, three border static hospitals, and two peripheral hospitals in Gopalpur and Hissar.  More units for AFMS have been sanctioned for the support of Mountain Strike Corps as part of capability development in North and North East, which will be raised from June 2014 through December of 2015 for which Cabinet sanction has been obtained.

Modernization of Ambulances has been undertaken with trials for medium ambulances completed.  679 4x4 medium ambulances and 149 4x2 medium ambulances are slated for procurement through Capital Procurement.  497 4x4 Medium ambulances are slated for Revenue procurement.  30 Cardiac/Critical Car Vans each have been procured for Army (TATA Winger) and Air Force as well.

            New Hospital Buildings : A case for renovation of 46 AFMS hospitals is at advanced stage for Cabinet sanction.  Progress has taken place in providing new KSP for 3 Zonal Hospitals, for INHS Asvini, CHAFB, and foundation stone laid for CH(SC) R&R at Pune.  A 200 bedded CTVS centre at AH(R&R) has come up with latest equipment and modern facility which will be the apex cardiac centre for the Armed Forces.

In 2008, Government also gave its approval for restructuring of 117 posts in selected ranks in the Army Medical Corps (AMC), Dental Medical Corps (ADC) and Army Medical Corps (Non-Technical) {AMC(NT)}. Out of total 117 posts, 100 upgraded in AMC. These include three at Lt Gen and equivalent rank, 15 of Major General and equivalent rank, 82 of Brigadier and equivalent rank.

INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTION TOWARDS ECHS
            In 2008 itself, the Government scrapped the individual’s contribution towards Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) being run for ex-servicemen, war-widows and soldiers disabled in action. To provide equitable treatment to all eligible ex-Servicemen and their dependents under the ECHS and to enhance the scheme’s coverage, the Government also approved Establishment of 199 new polyclinics including 17 mobile medical facilities and 15 new regional centres.

MONETARY GRANT TO GALLANTRY AWARD WINNERS
In a significant step that brought cheers to the Gallantry Award winners of both pre and post Independence period, the Government approved substantial increase in the monetary allowance to personnel of the Armed Forces, who had won laurels in the line of duty.

HIGH ALTITUDE ALLOWANCE/GRANT OF ONE ADDITIONAL RAIL WARRANT
The government also granted enhanced rates of High Altitude (Uncongenial Climate) Allowance to troops deployed in more difficult, hazardous and isolated areas above 14,000 ft within the existing High Altitude (Uncongenial Climate) Areas at the rate of Rs. 5,600 per month for Officers and Rs. 3,734 per month for Other Ranks (Ors) with a view to rationalize the High Altitude Allowance.  The enhanced allowance is 80% of Siachen allowance and is comparable to Siachen allowance in proportion to the physical hardships being faced by the Armed Force Personnel.
Besides, the Government also provided grant of one additional free rail warrant every year to all ranks of Armed Forces serving in field/high altitude/counter insurgency/counter terrorism operational areas to travel to and from their duty station and Hometown/Selected Place of Residence.
LTC/HTC
            Government also removed the restriction of 1450 kms on availing Leave Travel Concession and make all Service Personnel eligible to undertake leave journey to their choice station without any restriction on distance.
RENTAL IN J&K
            In 2008, the Government gave a big hike in rentals for the land hired or requisitioned by the Armed Forces in Jammu & Kashmir. The hike is in the range of 2.1 to 5 times for various categories of land. The revised rate structure came into effect retrospectively from 16 February 2008. The measures taken at the initiative of the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony, provided succour to the people of the State who got a realistic payment for their land.
ARMY VACATED ALL GOVT BUILDINGS IN KASHMIR
            Keeping public convenience in mind, government vacated all government buildings earlier occupied by the troops. The buildings, which remained vacant, were occupied by the troops in the past to thwart any attempt by the militants to damage them. Now the things have changed and process have been started to hand over the buildings to the Government for the use of public. 
CANTONMENT BOARDS ELECTIONS
Consequent upon enactment of the Cantonments Act, 2006 and notification of the Cantonment Electoral Rules, 2007, elections to 58 out of 62 Cantonment Boards were held during June to September, 2008 and elections for the remaining 4 Cantonment Boards were held during 2009-10 due to various reasons including stay by Courts, insufficient nominations, close proximity to election for State Legislature etc.

PERMANENT COMMISSION FOR WOMEN
In a path breaking development, the Government has granted Permanent Commission, prospectively to Short Service Commission Officers, both men and women in branches and cadres of the three services, which do not entail direct combat or possibility of physical contact with enemy. The longstanding proposal received the approval of Defence Minister Shri AK Antony on 26 September 2008. The branches where permanent commission was granted include Judge Advocate General, Army Education Corps and its corresponding branches in Navy and Air Force, Accounts branch of the Air Force and Naval Constructor of the Navy.
Ex-Servicemen’s Welfare

Pension Schemes

One Rank One Pension (OROP)

 In a landmark decision, the government has accepted the One rank-one pension (OROP) scheme in principle and has decided to implement it from 01 Apr 2014.

Under it, uniform pension will be paid to the Armed 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 will be automatically passed on to the past pensioners.

This implies bridging the gap between the rate of pension of the current pensioners and the past pensioners, and also future enhancements in the rate of pension to be automatically passed on to the past pensioners.

Family pensioners and disability pensioners would be included in the scheme.

In the run up to the acceptance of the OROP principle, the government, in three stages, improved the pensions of ex-servicemen- in 2006, 2010 and 2012.

Enhancement of Family Pension

In 2012, the government decided to step up the pension of pre- 1.1.2006 family pensioners(Commissioned Officers, Honorary Commissioned Officers, JCOs/ORs based on the minimum of the fitment table instead of the minimum of the Pay Band.
The government also decided to establish 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. This brought about significant relief to lakhs of families of ex-Servicemen.

The family pensioners were also given the benefit of enhanced pension which  benefitted  each family pensioner by Rs 242 to Rs 2500 per month depending upon their existing pension.

Dual Family Pension - Dual family pension was allowed in the present and future cases where the pensioner drew, was 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.
The government also granted an ex-gratia of Rs. 9 lakhs w.e.f. April 1, 2011  to invalided out Armed Forces Personnel with 100 percent disability. For lesser disability between 20 percent to 99 percent this amount was reduced proportionately. Grant of family pension to childless widow of Armed Forces personnel including both officers and PBORs who died prior to January 1, 2006, which was discontinued on her remarriage, was restored retrospectively from the same date subject to certain conditions.
Nearly 23.5 lakh ex-servicemen, their families and 13.5 lakh serving personnel are beneficiaries of the above-mentioned schemes.

ECHS: The Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) aims to provide quality mediate to Ex-Servicemen pensions and their dependents through a network of ECHS polyclinics, service medical facilities an civil empanelled/Govt Hospitals spread across the country. It has made phenomenal progress over the last seven years. 
The Government had initially sanctioned Central Organisation, ECHS, 13 Regional Centres and 227 Polyclinics. This was expanded in October, 2010 with 15 more Regional Centres and 199 additional polyclinics. Out of 426 polyclinics, 379 have been operationalised as on date. The endeavour is to make the remainder 47 polyclinics functional at the earliest.

New Educational and Training Institutes

INDU: The Prime Minster Dr Manmohan Singh laid the foundation stone for Indian National Defence University (INDU), a fully autonomous institution, located on over 200 acres of land at Binola on 23 May 2013. This long awaited university will be instituted by an Act of Parliament with the President of India as the Visitor and Defence Minister as the Chancellor. It will be governed by its own norms and will promote coordination and interaction between Armed Forces’ & non-Armed Forces’ institutions / establishments in the country.  It will focus on higher education in defence studies, defence management and defence science & technology.  The University will offer post graduate studies and doctoral / post doctoral research. 


Naval Academy, Ezhimala: Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala was inaugurated by the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on 08 January 2009. Located in Kannur district of Kerala, this Academy is not only the premier officer training establishment of the Indian Navy, but also is the largest Naval Academy in Asia. All officers inducted into the Indian Navy under various schemes undergo basic training at this Academy.

New OTA: OTA Gaya raised in July 2011 is the third pre-commissioned Training (PCT) academy of the Indian Army with a planned training capacity of 750 cadets. The aim of the academy is to train Gentlemen Cadets to become part of a professionally competent commissioned officer corps of the Indian Army. The first batch of 149 trainee officers underwent training in the Academy during the period July 2011 to June 2012 and first passing out parade was conducted on 08 June 2012.
                                                           
NIRDESH: National Institute for Research and Development in Defence Shipbuilding (NIRDESH). institute is set up as an autonomous society under the aegis of the Ministry of Defence, Department of Defence Production. The foundation stone was laid on 4th January, 2011 at Chaliyam, Kozhikode, Kerala. Raksha Mantri heads the Board of Governors as the President, with representatives from the MoD, Indian Navy, Coast Guard and CMDs of Defence Public Sector Shipyards as members. NIRDESH has initiated the process of appointing the Consultant for preparation of Master Plan and Detailed Project Reports. Presently one building is functional at the NIRDESH site. NIRDESH is already functioning. 


ICG Academy:  The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony laid the Foundation stone for Indian Coast Guard Academy at Azhikkal in Kannur district of Kerala on 28 May 2011. The academy is capable of training 650 trainees and is also catering for the training needs of personnel from Navy, BSF (Water Wing), Marine Police and friendly foreign countries as part of international cooperation.

Cantonments Land Records
There are 62 Cantonments in India. The administration of these Cantonments is governed by the provisons of the Cantonments Act, 2006. Election to 62 Cantonments Boards were held between 2008 and 2010 under provisions of the Cantonments Act, 2006 and the Cantonment Electoral Rules 2007.

As a measure to improve the land management aspects, two projects on (a) scanning, digitization and microfilming of land records; and (b) survey, demarcation and verification of defence lands were sanctioned in February 2011 and the implementation of the Projects have been started in September 2011. Till 31.12.2013, scanning and digitization of records of 45 field offices out of 99 offices have been completed. In the remaining offices, about 60% scanning work has been completed. The project is progressing as per schedule.

Defence Budget
Trends of Defence Expenditure since 2006

Defence Expenditure has risen steadily each year. Of course, growth in some years has been higher than others. 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 saw growth of 35% and 24% respectively in the revenue segment to account for impact of implementation of the Sixth CPC recommendations. However, the capital budget has also seen growth in excess of 20% during 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 in this period.

The average growth has been 12.58% (overall), 13.20% in respect of revenue and 12.02% for capital. The budget has more than doubled since 2006. The utilization of the budget has always been above 99% of the Revised Estimates.

The capital-revenue ratio has been maintained at around 40%.

In the period  2006-2013, against an allocation of Rs 3,57,541 Crores in RE on Capital Head, the actual expenditure was Rs 3,63, 775 Crores representing nearly 102% utilization of the budgeted amount. Even in the current Financial Year (2013-2014), the MoD is poised to utilize the full allocation which was a far cry a few years ago.


Aid to Civil authorities

On numerous occasions, the Armed Forces were called upon to undertake missions to provide aid to civil authorities. The Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard, BRO and other organisations under the MoD rose to the occasions and received accolades for their self-less service. The contribution of the Services in the  rescue and relief  operations in some of the disasters are given below.

Uttarakhand and Himachal Floods
The unprecedented magnitude of destruction caused by flash floods in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh in June 2013 called for an immediate and large scale rescue and relief effort. The Army, IAF, Navy, BRO and the AFMS responded to the enormous challenge with speed, resolve and fortitude. The IAF undertook 3702 sorties, air- lifted 895 tonnes of relief material and 24, 260 civilians. This has been the largest heli-borne relief effort of its kind ever undertaken by the IAF, utilising upto 45 helicopters at one time.

The Army deployed 8000 troops with 150 special forces personnel.
A massive road rehabilitation programme has been taken up by BRO in the entire Uttarakhand area and Himachal Pradesh after a flash flood ravaged both the states.  All resources of BRO in the state were immediately deployed for restoration of communication.  Initially, the focus was evacuation of stranded pilgrims and assisting rescue operations.  Road connectivity was provided including modified bridges to such locations that enabled relief operations on fast track as also moving out of stranded pilgrims. By 20 Jun 2013, approximately 680 km out of the 800 km damaged roads were opened for traffic. This included all major towns like Rishikesh, Dharashu, Uttarkashi, Srinagar, Rudraprayag, Karnaprayag, Tanakpur and Pithoragarh. This initial connectivity provided by BRO was very crucial in the initial days of rescue and rehabilitation.
 During this extensive humanitarian operation, an Indian Air Force MI-17 V5 helicopter crashed during a rescue flight. In this tragic accident, 20 people including five IAF personnel lost their lives.

Odisha Cyclone

Our Armed Forces’ laudable role and conduct of operations to minimise the effects of cyclone ‘Phailin’, which struck the Odisha & Andhra Coast in the fateful evening of 12th October also came for universal praise and commendation from all quarters.

              Sikkim Earthquake: BRO was put to test while addressing natural disaster and it has responded as it always does.  The road to Gangtok was opened in 20 hours as against the expected 6 weeks thereby enabling induction and making relief operations so much effective.  This display of synergy and initiative won wide acclaim. The Army and the IAF synergized their efforts to reach out to the people in remote hilly areas of the state.

              Kosi River Floods
              The three Services also rendered yeoman’s assistance during the Bihar floods in August  2008,  providing rescue and relief in areas devastated by an overflowing Kosi river. About 25,000 people were evacuated every day as army rushed 37 columns, the navy deployed boats and divers while the Indian Air Force airdropped medicines and food to the marooned people.
             
Flood Relief RX-Kurnool in North Karnataka from 29 Sep 2009: Many relief missions were carried out during seven-day ordeal. The IAF saved 47 lives that would have surely perished and a total of 1,200,000 kgs of relief material including water, food and medicines were dropped to the victims who  were in dire need. 

Rescue Operation During Leh Flood:The IAF continued with rescue and relief operations in flash flood-hit Leh-Ladakh. The IAF flew an IL-76 transport aircraft, two Cheetah and one MI-17 helicopters on 15 Aug 2010, airlifting nearly 26 tons relief materials and 20 people. The Air Force has undertaken 226 sorties, airlifting over 302 tons relief materials and equipment and flying 818 passengers.

IAF IL-76 brings home 181 Indians from Libya: An IAF IL-76 airlifted 181 Indians those evacuated from Libya and brought to Alexandria and flew them back home on 10 Mar 2011.

Humanitarian aid mission to Philippines: In a display of solidarity with the citizens of Hurricane ravaged Philippines, Government of India on 14 Nov 2013 despatched relief package comprising of medicines, hygiene and chemicals, tentage, blankets, tarpaulins and ready to eat meals ex Armed Forces stocks by an Indian Air Force C-130 aircraft to Mactan.

·         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 won 2 Gold, 1 team Gold and 1 team Silver in the Shooting events while another shooter Sub Vijay Kumar won 1 Gold, 2 team Gold and 1 Silver medals in the Commonwealth Games 2010.
·         The Services Football team lifted the coveted Santosh Trophy title in 2012, for only the second time in more than five decades. The last time they had won the trophy was in 1961.
·         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.
Sitanshu Kar/

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