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Tuesday, September 1, 2009




2. As we all are aware that the Flu virus is currently thankfully very weak. But the setting up of winter may bring 2nd wave of the virus. 
3. The only medicine effective against the virus is Tamiflu, but unfortunately people are reporting side effects of this medicine too specially on children. The vaccine development in Europe is in advance stage and currently human trials are on. Unfortunately the Indian government is not likely to get it ready earliest before January. The other problem is that the vaccine itself is being considered dangerous by some scientists in Europe.  

4 As per official reports the death toll all over the world is touching 2100 and in India the number of reported cases are now around 4000 and over 100 people have lost the battle to the deadly virus.

5. The WHO is estimating that this virus is likely to stay there for at least two to three years. Worth noting is Mr Azad went on saying that 33% of India is likely to get this virus.

6. Hence its safe to guess that we all are vulnerable to Swine Flu infection. Now the question arises in such a situation what do we do? How do we protect our near dear ones and off course overself too?

7.Since a cure is not there in sight in near future, It is better if we follow the concept of "PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE"

8. So what I recommend is since we all have to face the bullets then its better if we wear a bulletproof jacket.Yes what I mean is, Let us enhance our natural body resistance to fight this pandemic. 

9. Here are certain tips for consideration please:
a) Exercise daily.

b) If possible start doing PRANAYAM for 3-5 mins daily.

c) Eat 4-8 TULSI Leaves daily.

d) Make ADRAK and LASSON essential part of your food. Elders if so desire can take two garlic pills after meals daily. Taking TULSI-ADRAK-KALI MIRCH KHADHA will also naturally build your body resistance.

e) Eating Chayanprash or Bharamrasayan will definitely help us all.

f) Those who frequently get cough cold, can take certain biochemics of homeopathy to naturally build resistance like BC- 5 , BC-6 along with BC-28( 4 tablets each three times a day for elders and 2 tablets three times a day for children). In case of running nose they can take R-6 (10-15 drops at a frequency of 15mins to 2 hours). These medicines can be taken along with other medicines, so please dont think that you cant English medicines. The biochemic combination will certainly benefit anyone who takes it for a long times. R-6 is a medicine for Flu so please consider taking it only when you have running nose. All these medicines are German Medicines.

g) Taking two-three tablets of Cod Liver oil per day will help you too.

10. An early visit to Doctor in case you still develop Swine Flu like symptoms will always be a wise move.     

11. The readers are requested to adopt anyone or a combination of the above recommended preventive measure as per there own wisdom and choice please.


IPS : NDC Nomination

RP Singh, IPS(UP Cadre, 1985 batch), IGP (Admn), CRPF, New Delhi, has been nominated for 50th NDC Course at National Defence College, New Delhi commencing from 4th January, 2010.

Promotion IAS

Four 1985 batch IAS officers Mrs B K Aggarwal,,Shrikant Baldi,S K Bhim Sen Negi and Manisha Nanda have been promoted to the rank of Principal Secretary(HAG, SCALE 67000/- TO 79000/-) in Himachal Pradesh.

G Connect : Govt grants Non Productivity Linked Bonus

Yesterday (28.08.09)  the finance Ministry has issued office Memorandum for the grant of Non-productivity linked Bonus (Ad-hoc Bonus) to all Central Government Employees in Group ‘C’ and ‘D’ cadre and all non-gazetted employees in Group B Cadre.
The maximum amount of Non-productivity Bonus that can be given to an employee has been restricted to Rs.3,500/-
Only those employees who were in service on 31.03.09 and rendered at least six months of continous service during the year 2008-09 will be eligible for payment of the above mentioned bonus.

India : Future Weapons

Cruise missiles," observed Prahalada, director of the Defence Research and Development Laboratory two years ago, "are the present currency of power." Though in smaller denomination now, India is acquiring that currency.

India is thinking of Space-based laser weapons Durga and Kali. Hyperplane Avatar will be a reusable missile launcher

The Brahmos cruise missile programme was perhaps the most hush-hush of India's missile projects. The long-range missile programme Surya is heard of at least through official denials. The reusable missile launcher-cum-hyperplane Avatar, the most ambitious of all projects, is openly talked about. Questions are asked at least in aerospace circles about the 'forgotten' Durga and Kali, though replies are rarely given. Agni-III is a matter of logical conjecture and extension of Agni-II. (The defence minister had claimed last November that "India has the capability to design and develop an ICBM having a range of more than 5,000 km. However, in consonance with the threat perception, no ICBM development project has been undertaken.")

But Brahmos is altogether a new name, though there has been talk about a cruise missile programme for some time. The success of Lakshya and Nishant is said to have given the Aeronautical Development Establishment the expertise to work on the cruise missile. However, till recently ADE authorities were claiming that they were engaged only in 'concept studies', and far from developing or even planning a cruise missile.

The 280 km-range missile, presently configured as an anti-ship weapon, is one of the few supersonic cruise missiles in the world. Ballistic missiles fly in a ballistic trajectory, much like a bullet. Their longer-range versions have to go up into the heavens and face problems when they re-enter the atmosphere. The enemy can also trace their launchers by calculating the ballistic trajectory and destroy them.

A cruise missile, on the other hand, is like an unmanned plane, flying at low altitude. Before launch it is fed information about the terrain over which it has to fly and the missile flies either by comparing the fed-in data with the camera pictures it takes or by constantly identifying its location with the help of global positioning systems.

Over sea, a cruise missile has a definite advantage over a ballistic one. The enemy ship out at sea can hide behind the earth's curvature against a ballistic missile which flies straight. On the contrary, a cruise missile can fly long ranges parallel to the surface and, if needed, a few metres above it. Brahmos's supersonic speed gives the enemy very little reaction time. The Indo-Russian Brahmos is learnt to be the starting point of an ambitious cruise missile programme. Studies have been going on for the last three years at the National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) on the cost-effectiveness of a hypersonic missile (which fly at five or more times the speed of sound). Parallel studies in the US and Europe have concluded that the future belongs to hypersonic missiles. The US is already developing the F-16 into a hypersonic fighter.

Studies in India, not only at NAL but DRDL (the DRDO's missile lab), IIT Mumbai and ADE, are learnt to be running parallel to and not behind the Euro-American ventures. The hyperplane Avatar, the most ambitious of all, is already reaching the end of the conceptual stage and entering the planning stage. The kerosene-fuelled scramjet-powered vehicle is claimed to be much cheaper than the design concepts worked in the US, Germany, the UK and Japan.

The idea is to develop a vehicle that can take off from conventional airfields, collect air in the atmosphere on the way up, liquefy it, separate oxygen and store it on board for subsequent flight beyond the atmosphere. In fact, Air Commodore R. Gopalaswami, former chairman and managing director of Bharat Dynamics, India's missile factory, had once claimed that it can be developed even into a commercial transporter. Incidentally, it was Gopalaswami who suggested the name Avatar.

Avatar is primarily intended as a reusable missile launcher, one which can launch missiles, land back and be loaded again for more missions. The vehicle will be designed to permit at least a hundred re-entries into the atmosphere. The vehicle could also act as a satellite launcher at a hundredth of the present cost of launching satellites. A miniature Avatar, which is also being conceived, would be hardly bigger than a MiG-25 or an F-16.

Meanwhile, there is also talk of developing Nishant into a cruise missile. The present vehicle, an unmanned battlefield surveillance vehicle which can carry a payload of 45 kilos, completing test phase at ADE, is powered by a German Alvisar-801 engine. Nishant's cruise missile potential had been pointed out three years ago by Air Marshal Bharat Kumar in a United Services Institution (USI) research paper: "Nishant holds a lot of promise and provides us a take-off vehicle for potential UCAVs (uninhabited combat aerial vehicles) applications as well as (a) cruise missile programme."

With the limited production of the 200-km Agni-II having already begun, the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme is almost at the end of its fiery run. Indeed, a few of the short-range tactical missiles like Nag, Trishul, Akash, the naval Prithvi (otherwise called Dhanush) and Astra are yet to be fully developed or tested, but it is only a matter of time before they are.

Space-based laser weapons are another frontier technology that the military brass is thinking of. Recently the chiefs of staff committee ordered a feasibility study on them. (Incidentally, the Air Force is already demanding that India set up an aerospace command.) The DRDO, however, had anticipated this and already begun research.

One system that has been talked of in a USI paper by Dr V. Siddhartha, officer on special duty in the secretariat of the scientific adviser to the defence minister, is Durga or directionally unrestricted ray-gun array. Though no details on this are available, it is said to be an Indian version of the US's Star Wars project in which in-coming missiles can be shot down, or burnt down, by laser guns based in space. Still less known is Kali or kinetic attack loitering interceptor, a more advanced version of Durga.

However, all video-game gadgetry presupposes matching advances in space technology, both in launch vehicles and military reconnaissance satellites. Without capable launch vehicles, none of these can be lifted into space. With the recent success of the geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle, the ISRO has acquired heavy-lift capability. Work has already begun on a hypersonic launch vehicle which would be the forerunner to Avatar.

The more recent of the IRS series satellites are said to have limited military reconnaissance capability. The recent military exercises in the Rajasthan desert did make extensive use of IRS pictures, but military demands higher resolution pictures. According to Dr Siddhartha's paper, Satish Dhawan [former ISRO chairman] had talked in 1996 of a national early warning and response system (NEWARS), a space-sensor and communications-based integrated space-ground system meant exclusively for peaceful purposes. Siddhartha superposed on Dhawan's techno-scenario diagram a series of operational military reconnaissance satellites named Sanjaya.

Cruise missiles may be the currency of power today. But the currency of future would be Avatar, Durga and Kali.

Wake Up : Indian Armed Forces

The Chinese 30th ECM (Electronic Countermeasures) Regiment, based near Shanghai, recently received a Y-8 transport, equipped to jam civilian and military communications. The Y-8 is similar to the U.S. C-130, and is used for maritime patrol, electronic warfare and AWACS. China only built about 80 Y-8s over the last 30 years, and sold some to Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Sudan. There is some effort to shift the ECM and AWACs work to Boeing 737s. China has been developing its own AWACS for nine years, ever since the U.S. forced Israel to back off selling China the Phalcon AWACS (which used some American technology). China then bought some AWACS from Russia, while hustling to develop their own. The Chinese Air Force was not happy with its four IL-76 AWACS (A-50s from Russia, converted to use Chinese KJ2000 radar systems) and smaller systems carried in the Chinese made Y-8 aircraft. As a result, the Chinese have been outfitting a Boeing 737-800 airliner as an AWACS aircraft. There may be as many as three of the 737 AWACS. These work much better than the Y-8 or Il-76 versions.
The KJ2000 entered service two years ago. China has had to develop its own phased array radar for it. The Y-8 based KJ2000 carries a flight crew of five and a mission (AWACS) crew of about a dozen. The aircraft can stay airborne for about seven hours per sortie. The KJ2000 radar has a range of about 300 kilometers, and the computer systems are supposed to be able to handle 5-10 fighters at a time, and keep track of several dozen enemy targets.
The 60 ton propeller driven Y8 (which is based on the Russian An-12) and 157 ton Il-76 jet are considered less reliable, and more expensive to maintain, than the twin engine, 79 ton, Boeing 737-800. Chinese airlines (some of them controlled by the Chinese Air Force) have been using the 737-800 since 1999 (a year after this model entered service).
The 30th ECM Regiment has over a dozen electronic warfare aircraft, mostly for collecting transmissions by the electronic equipment of other countries. The U.S., Taiwan and Japan are favorite subjects. The regiment can't gather as much information as it would like, given the unreliability of the Y-8, and other Chinese made aircraft used.

IAF pilot training hit by grounding of mishap-prone HPT-32s

New Delhi: Dealing a blow to IAF's training of rookie fighter pilots, the Air Force Academy near Hyderabad has grounded the HPT-32 basic trainer aircraft after a crash on July 31 this year and is forced to train them on Kiran Mk II aircraft that they fly after passing out.
"With the HPT-32s not flying, we are now forced to train our pilots on the Kiran Mk II trainers, which the cadets get to fly after passing out from the AFA in their second phase of training," IAF officials said here today. Two instructor pilots were killed when the trainer aircraft crashed near Hyderabad in the crash and the engine of the HPT-32 has been facing problems in the recent past.
The HPT-32 trainers have a take-off speed of around 200 kilometres per hour whereas the Kirans fly at speeds above 500 km per hour.
"The IAF is taking an extra bit of precaution while training the cadets, who have till now trained on the basic trainers as they will now have to experience twice the speed at which they are used to flying," they said.
Before IAF inducted the British-made 'Hawk' Advanced Jet Trainers (AJTs) in early 2008 it had faced a similar situation when its pilots graduated to supersonic MiG-21s after flying sub-sonic Kiran Mk-II aircraft in absence of an AJT.
As per IAF's fighter training programme, the pilots would first train on basic trainers such as the HPT-32 followed by the Intermediate Jet Trainers and Advanced jet Trainers in that order before joining the operational squadrons to fly front-line fighter aircraft.

India: China yet to respond

Aug. 31: India was waiting for China’s response to a proposal for early clarification and confirmation of the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The absence of a mutually agreed Line of Actual Control was proving to be a handicap for dealing with the issue of repeated transgressions by Chinese patrols and aircraft into Indian territory.
New Delhi attributed the Chinese transgressions to the differences in perception of the Line of Actual Control. New Delhi forwarded the proposal and Beijing’s Chinese response was awaited, the source said.
India and China have established a standard mechanism to deal with transgressions. Both sides hold regular flag meetings, border personnel meetings, and also raise it through diplomatic channels.
In the event of a face-off, there were standard procedures for both sides to follow.
Also, there was the 2005 protocol to avoid confrontation along the frontier.
The source said that peace and tranquillity has been maintained in the frontier areas for over three decades, which was no mean achievement.
India and China have held 13 rounds of talks at the level of special representatives for resolving the border dispute.

Stay focused on space, carefully

Augest.31 : Chandrayaan-I is dead. However, scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation, whose big budgets are beyond the usual audit umbrella and whose projects remain way above the comprehension of most people, including the babus who run the Indian administration, insist that the moon mission itself is alive and kicking. And that Chandrayaan-II will take off as planned around 2011-12 along with a lander-rover, which is quite similar to the lunar vehicles used by America’s Apollo missions before Neil Armstrong became the first man to land on the moon over 40 years ago. C-II will use its rover to pick up the moonstones for on-site analysis of the lunar surface and transmit the data to its earth station, the Indian Deep Space Network (ISDN), at Byalalu village near Bengaluru. It will not come back, but C-III — scheduled around 2015 — will return with samples of the lunar surface.
Independent of these Chandrayaan missions will be the manned trips into space. The first manned mission will orbit the earth five or six times before returning for a sea-splash sometime in 2015 or a year later. The training of astronauts will soon begin in Bengaluru, and if all goes well India’s maiden manned moon trip will take place in 2020. If all these claims are meant to combat the gloom in Isro after it lost Chandrayaan-I 14 months early, against its projected two-year life around the moon, it must also be remembered that India is the only country which has performed the hugely complicated manoeuvring of the spacecraft from earth orbit to lunar orbit in the first attempt itself. The Russians had lost a few spaceships in this most critical operation. Another significant gain is that C-I, before its premature demise, managed to map most of the hitherto unvisited polar part, commonly known as the dark side of the moon. The data it sent to Byalalu will greatly help the Indian exploration for water on the moon. Just the other day, Isro announced it had teamed up with Nasa to study possibilities of lunar water in this patch of the moon.
The most common question that pops up whenever a space mission fails is whether the nation was right to spend all those millions on "over-ambitious" adventures and if these had any relevance, specially when contrasted with the acute poverty still prevalent in India. Isro’s scientists have repeatedly spelt out how their work benefits the ordinary India in a variety of ways — forecasting weather for the farmer, spotting marine fishing zones and other natural resources, tele-medicine facilities for rural people, forest management, distance education and, of course, the revolution in telecommunications. The Internet, now such an integral part of our daily lives, and increasingly even in remoter areas, had its genesis in the US Apollo missions of the 1960s, when the American space programme for the first time used computer-aided data transfer and communication across the skies.
Having said all this, one cannot avoid a word or two of caution. The scientific community must introspect deeply on the reasons behind C-I’s death, so that valuable lessons are learnt on how to make future missions not only less vulnerable but also more productive. True, India’s space odysseys have been far cheaper than those undertaken by other countries, but that’s no reason to get complacent. While India can legitimately take pride that its space programme is zooming at par with those of other space nations, we must never lose sight of the fact that India is also the poorest among these countries. The ongoing debate among our nuclear and defence scientists on whether Pokhran-II in May 1998 was a success or failure only goes to show how our wider scientific community has remained a mystery, at times even unto itself.

Pakistan & US: So what’s new?

Sep 01 : Notwithstanding Islamabad’s only-to-be-expected denials, the United States government under President Barack Obama is now complaining that the anti-ship Harpoon missiles supplied to Pakistan as military assistance in the late 1980s have been illegally converted into land-based strike systems whose target can be India. Similar is the story with the P-3C maritime surveillance aircraft which can now be mobilised from the sea by the Pakistan Navy for on-land missile targeting of India. Washington has earlier acknowledged that military hardware support given to Islamabad to fight the Al Qaeda and Taliban more recently have also been seized upon to be used against India. There is little that is new about such complaints, however. Also, such grousing has never come in the way of the abiding US-Pakistan relationship, which has at no time been placed under such scrutiny by Washington as to amount to a change in dynamics in bilateral ties of the two countries — one a leading democracy, the other, ironically, a leading military dictatorship for the most part, which has become a problem for the world in more ways than one.
From the time that Pakistan came into being, its rulers have assiduously wooed the United States for military assistance and financial aid. Washington responded richly as Karachi, the then Pakistani capital, showed an eager willingness to be a part of the US-led ideological and military alliance against the erstwhile Soviet Union. The weapons received under that anti-Communist scheme were unfailingly turned against India. Indeed, Pakistan’s basic reason to be part of the American-led Central Treaty Organisation (Cento) was to acquire weapons for use against India in the guise of holding a flank against global Communism. In their day the Jawaharlal Nehru and the Indira Gandhi governments in this country made it a point to bring to Washington’s notice the games its protégé was playing. But these were invariably overlooked because India was a leader of the nonaligned bloc that gave Washington no political comfort. That was then. But the basic storyline appears to have changed little, although India and America now seek a long-term bilateral relationship with one another that can be a force for good in the world. A month ago, reacting to the Obama administration’s plan of infusing massive military aid into Pakistan, external affairs minister S.M. Krishna had cautioned Washington that this would be cleverly sought to be used against India. There are no signs that Washington heard.
What the US has to keep in mind, however, is that its so-called AfPak strategy is likely to appear thinner than it is already if weapons received by Pakistan to clear the tribal areas of international and local terrorist elements nurtured by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence are diverted to other uses. Further, the AfPak strategy, which has several layers, can hardly be seen as a coherent whole if any anxieties are caused to India on account of prejudicial Pakistani actions. The Obama administration has asked Congress to approve a $7.5-billion aid package for Pakistan to be disbursed over the next five years. Some of this is meant to assuage hostile feelings among the people of Pakistan on account of American drones targeting terrorist leaders inside Pakistani territory, an act that detracts from Pakistani sovereignty. The US Congress, however, cannot but be concerned about the uses to which American aid is put by Pakistan. To what extent would US legislators like to test the new impetus in US-India relations is also a question to be kept in view.

Isro: Mission to Mars between 2013 & 2015

Panaji, Aug. 31: Unfazed by the abrupt end to India’ maiden unmanned moon odyssey Chandrayaan-I, Isro on Monday said the country’s mission to Mars is planned to be launched sometime between 2013 and 2015, asserting it is very much on the "agenda".
"We have given a call for proposal to different scientific communities. Depending on the type of experiments they propose, we will be able to plan the mission," G. Madhavan Nair, the chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) said.
The mission is at a conceptual stage and will be taken up after Chandrayaan-2, Mr Nair said.
"Mars is very much in our agenda ... It will be a challenge for us and we will chalk out a programme soon," he said.
"You cannot plan a mission on Mars just like that. Only once in two years, we get the opportunity," said Mr Nair, who is in Goa in connection with the eighth international conference on low cost planetary missions.
Mr Nair said the odyssey to Mars will be cost-effective like Chandrayaan I, which was pegged at $100 million and classified as one of the low cost missions.
India is known for implementing cost effective missions, he said.

Competition to supply planes to India sets up fierce bidding war

The Indian Air Force began flight trials last week of the six combat jets competing for a $12-billion contract to supply New Delhi with up to 186 multi-role advanced fighters.
Competition is fierce to grab what is one of the largest arms deals to surface in the post-Cold War era.
And, as always seems to be the case with arms deals and especially those involving India, the project is already mired in scandal and controversy.
The focus of much speculation is the departure from India in July of Douglas A. Hartwick, a former American diplomat and ambassador, who was the representative in India for the United States' arms manufacturing giant Lockheed Martin.
Lockheed officials insist Hartwick's departure was simply in line with a planned and regular rotation of staff. But officials in India's Ministry of Defence have leaked an altogether more enticing story of Hartwick scuttling to the airport "having barely enough time to pack" after it was discovered that Lockheed had obtained two folders of secret Indian defence documents setting out the country's long-term arms buying plans.
How this allegedly came to light is almost farcical. Apparently in January the two files were accidentally put on the desk of an employee at Lockheed's headquarters in Maryland who was unfamiliar with the Indian advanced fighter competition.
He read the title "Government of India, Ministry of Defence," and as a good, honest soul returned them to the government in New Delhi.
Lockheed officials deny obtaining secret documents or that India demanded Hartwick's removal. And for the moment it appears that attempts by other competitors to have Lockheed barred from the competition have not been successful.
Indeed, the current test timetable calls for Lockheed's upgraded F-16 fighter-bomber equipped with radar that allows for simultaneous attacks on ground and air threats, to go through evaluation after the first on the list, Boeing's F/A-18 Super Hornet.
The other competitors are the JAS-39 built by Sweden's Saab Gripen, Russia's MIG-35, the fourth generation Eurofighter Typhoon, and the Rafale made by the French company Dassault.
The multi-role combat aircraft purchase program is part of a massive modernization of the Indian armed forces that has seen New Delhi spend about $30 billion in the last 10 years.
This is aimed primarily at countering a similarly massive military modernization program in China and the evident determination of the Beijing government to be able to project power around Asia and beyond.
In July, India began trials of its first indigenous nuclear-powered attack submarine which is part of a $3-billion program to build five such vessels.
And work continues, though painfully slowly, on refitting a second-hand Russian Kiev-class aircraft carrier which India bought in 2004, but which won't be operational before 2012 at the earliest.
Lethargy, red tape and corruption are the hallmarks of the Indian government's arms purchasing departments. In May the head of the Ordnance Factory Board, Sudipta Ghosh, was arrested on graft charges. Seven arms companies, including some from Israel, Poland and Singapore, with which he allegedly had unsavoury dealings have been banned from further defence contracts with India.
There are not yet any allegations of bribery in the advanced combat plane program, but these are still early days.
And the pushing, shoving and high-sticking among the six competing companies is already entertaining enough.
The French company Dassault Aviation, for example, tried to get Lockheed Martin disqualified in retaliation for disinformation allegedly put out by the American company.
A few weeks ago there were erroneous reports that Dassault had been eliminated from the competition for not fulfilling some of the technical requirements. Dassault blames Lockheed for spreading this rumour.
And Moscow is reported to be exerting all kinds of pressure on New Delhi. Russia is the traditional supplier of high-tech weaponry to India and is miffed that New Delhi is now establishing actively friendly relations with Washington and Europe.
Moscow is apparently using its influence to stall the completion of India's only foreign military base at Ayni in Tajikistan. This base is intended as a deterrent against Pakistan, India's regional rival, and is a useful spot from which to observe China's activities in Central Asia.
Russia is also said to be going slow and upping the costs of converting the old Kiev-class aircraft carrier in the hope this will persuade New Delhi to buy the MIG-35s.
But with so few big-ticket arms deals on offer these days, India feels firmly in the driver's seat and is demanding large technology transfers from all competitors as well as requiring the winning company to invest in India's domestic arms industry.

New commanders for Southern Command of Indian Navy and Air force

Kochi (Kerala), Aug 31(ANI): The southern commands of the Indian Navy and Air Force based in Kerala were assigned new commanding heads on Monday.
Vice Admiral KN Sushil took over as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Naval Command (SNC) from Vice Admiral SK Damle at a ceremonial parade held at the naval base in Kochi.
Commissioned into the Indian Navy in 1973, Admiral KN Sushil joined the submarine arm in 1976 and has served on both the Vela class and the Shishumar class submarines.
Air Marshal Sumit Mukerjee will be the new Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Southern Air Command and will assume charge on September 1, 2009.
Prior to this, Air Marshal Mukerjee was the Air Officer-in-Charge Personnel at Air Headquarters in New Delhi.
He is the only pilot in the history of IAF to have commanded units with the Mig-21, Mig-23U, Mig-25, Mig-27 and Mig-29 aircraft.
Air Marshal Sumit Mukerjee was commissioned into the fighter stream of the IAF on January 22, 1972. (ANI)

Navy war exercise from today in Netrani Island

Karwar: The Indian Navy will carry out war exercise from September 1 to September 7 and again from September 15 to September 21 at Netrani Hill (Pigeon Island) near Bhatkal.

Navy ships and aircraft will participate in the exercise.

The Commandant of Karwar Naval Base has requested people and fishermen to stay away from the area.

The entry of people and boats within five nautical mile radius of Pigeon Island is banned, a press release from the Indian Navy said.

General Deepak Kapoor is New Chairman COSC

Admiral Sureesh Mehta, Navy Chief handed over the baton of Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee to Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor at South Block, New Delhi.

General Deepak Kapoor, the new Chairman of the COSC was commissioned in the Indian Army in Jun 1967 and has held important Staff and Command appointments during his illustrious career. The General Officer has taken active part in 1971 Bangladesh operations.

He commanded a brigade in the Line of Control in Jammu and KashmIr, a division as part of a strike corps during OP PARAKRAM and a corps on the Indo-China border. On promotion as Army Commander, he commanded the Army Training Command at Shimla. Thereafter, he commanded the Northern Command from 05 Sep 2005 to 31 Dec 2006.

The General officer has also represented the country as the Chief Operations Officer for all United Nations Forces deployed in Somalia from 1994 to 1995.

The General officer took over as the Chief of Army Staff on 30 Sep 07. Since then he has focused on the modernisation of the Army in pursuit of the aim of making it one of the finest Armies in the world.

The General was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal in Jan 1996, Sena Medal in Jan 1998, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in Jan 2006 and Param Vishisht Seva Medal in Jan 2007,

Army tanks battle night-blindness

DELHI: A majority of Army tanks continue to grope in the dark, stricken as they are with an acute case of night blindness, in yet another example of the Indian defence establishment’s sheer inability to take timely decisions in tune with strategic concerns.

Army’s long-standing objective to equip its mechanized forces, including the over 1,600 T-72 tanks which form the backbone of the country’s armoured might, with advanced night-fighting capabilities is still a long distance away from fruition, say sources. For instance, Army’s case for acquiring 700 TISAS (thermal imaging stand alone systems) and 418 TIFACS (thermal fire control systems) for its T-72 fleet at a cost of around Rs 1,150 crore is still hanging fire at the commercial negotiations stage.

This when the ‘‘acceptance of necessity’’ for the TISAS equipment was approved as far back as in March 2001. ‘‘The capability to conduct effective operations to hit the enemy after sunset is crucial,’’ said a source.

‘‘But the TISAS case has been stuck for a long time, resulting in continued inadequacy of night-fighting capability of the armoured corps,’’ he added. Similarly, the infantry too continues to grapple with only second-generation thermal imaging (TI) systems when actually third-generation ones in large numbers are required to conduct operations after sunset.

The defence ministry, on its part, says the contracts for TISAS and TIFCS for the T-72 fleet are ‘‘likely to concluded’’ within the 2009-2010 fiscal. One of the main reasons for the long delay has been the failure of defence PSU Bharat Electronics Ltd to resolve technology transfer issues with the foreign supplier.

The Army did get 300 Israeli TISAS for its T-72 tanks in 2001, which were followed by 3,860 image intensifier-based night-vision devices. But the experience with them has been uneven, with even the integration of some of these thermal equipment with fire control systems running into problems.

Even the 310 T-90S main-battle tanks (MBTs) imported from Russia, for over Rs 3,625 crore under a February 2001 contract, have faced problems with their French Catherine TI cameras.

Not being ‘‘adequately tropicalised’’, the Catherine TI cameras have often malfunctioned in the extreme heat of the Rajasthan deserts at temperatures of 55-60 degree Celsius. Incidentally, Army’s requirement for 1,781 MBTs to replace the older T-55 and T-72 tanks is going to be met through the progressive induction of 1,657 T-90S tanks and 124 of the indigenous Arjuns.

In November 2007, India signed another Rs 4,900 crore deal with Russia to import 347 T-90S tanks. The Avadi Heavy Vehicles Factory factory, in turn, is slated to manufacture an additional 1,000 T-90S tanks under licence.

Indian Army flouting guidelines on sexual harassment?

The Indian Army goes by the Army Act while probing allegations of sexual abuse. But in the process it may be blatantly overlooking guidelines issued by the Supreme Court on sexual harassment at workplace, say activists.
"We do not go by the Supreme Court's guidelines. The army officers first come under the Army Act and we take serious note of sexual allegations," a senior Indian Army official told IANS requesting anonymity.
Former judge advocate general of Indian Army Maj. Gen. Neelendra Kumar said: "The army has a standing policy that every case of serious nature invariably goes to the military court. The Supreme Court guidelines are not applicable as we have the Army Act."
The apex court had issued guidelines for conducting inquiries into cases of sexual harassment at workplace in an August 1997 judgment and these are meant to be applicable in the absence of any specific legislation.
"In the absence of legislation to provide for guarantee against sexual harassment and abuse, particularly at workplace, the Supreme Court has laid down guidelines and norms for due observance at all workplaces or other institutions in India, until legislation is enacted for the purpose," K.P.S. Satheesh, chairman of NGO The Guardian Foundation, told IANS.
The Army Act 1950, which was formulated for men when women had not been inducted into the forces, does not have specific provisions dealing with cases of sexual abuse. The allegations are generally clubbed with "unbecoming conduct" on the part of officers.
"The army's argument that its personnel are under the Army Act cannot be accepted since the act was meant only for men. So in the absence of any specific rules, procedures or norms in the Army Act for solving sexual harassment at workplace, the apex court guidelines are very well applicable to the army as well," Satheesh said.
According to Defence Minister A.K. Antony, during the last five years, 11 cases of sexual harassment have been reported in the armed forces, where the strength of women officers remains minuscule.
Currently, 5,137 women officers serve in the armed forces. They include 4,101 in the army, 784 in the air force and 252 in the navy.
A recent example is the case of Captain Poonam Kaur of the Army Supply Corps (ASC). In July 2008, she alleged that three officers of her unit had mentally and sexually harassed her and confined her illegally when she resisted their advances.
The army then constituted a court of inquiry whereby all three officers denied the allegations and she was found guilty on at least 20 counts, including levelling false charges against her senior officers.
The apex court has succinctly laid down that any inquiry team investigating a sexual harassment case should be headed by a woman, more than half the members should be women and there should be third party participation in the inquiry like that of a non-profit organisation.
However, the inquiry into Kaur's allegations was presided over by Brigadier R.P. Attri of the army's Western Command headquarters. Among the three members of the inquiry, only one was female and there was no representative from an NGO in the panel.
The Guardian Foundation has moved an application on the army in the National Commission for Women against "violation of guidelines and norms prescribed by the Supreme Court while dealing with cases of sexual harassment at workplace".

F-16IN Super Vipers in Bangalore for trials

BANGALORE: Three F-16IN Super Vipers, tailored to suit the requirements of the Indian Air Force, will fly into Bangalore on Tuesday for flight evaluation trials.
From the stables of aerospace giant Lockheed Martin, the three fighters, which have been leased by the American company from the United Arab Emirates, are one of the six contenders vying for the IAF’s medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) deal, worth over $10 billion.
The single-engine, fourth generation multi-role F-16 operates in the air forces of 25 nations. It is the largest Western fighter programme, with over 4,400 aircraft being built. It is the second of the MMRCA contenders to fly in here trials. In mid-August two F-18 Super Hornets, the other American contender, were here for the same purpose.
In an obvious reference to Pakistan already possessing F-16s and whether it will be prudent for India to acquire the same aircraft, a Lockheed Martin spokesman told The Hindu that this version was “unique, with no other like it in the world.”
According to Jack Giese, Senior Communications Manager, Lockheed Martin, the company has incorporated into the aircraft a number of advanced features, including the electronically scanned array radar and a unique electronic warfare suite that was requested by the IAF.

Govt taking serious note of airspace violation:Singhvi


New Delhi: Congress today said that the government has taken a serious note of the violation of Indian airspace by a Chinese helicopter, saying the mechanism for registering complaint has been invoked.

"The government of India is taking a serious view... Nobody takes it lightly," party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi told reporters here. He said, "at the highest level, there is a mechanism established. The mechanism for registering a complaint had been invoked earlier when it happened".

Singhvi said that the complaint has been registered with the Chinese government as New Delhi was not taking the matter lightly.The Chinese helicopter had entered the Indian airspace on June 21 this year and is reported to have air-dropped canned food at Chumar, northeast of Leh in Jammu and Kashmir.

General Kapoor confirms Chinese intrusion in Ladakh

New Delhi: Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor on Monday admitted that there has been Chinese incursion in Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir.

"There has been one intrusion of the Chinese helicopter some time back," General Deepak Kapoor said.

"The number of intrusions that has taken place so far in 2009 are almost the same that happened last year along both north and south banks (of Pangonglake). They taken up at regular border meets," General Kapoor added.

Two Chinese helicopters reportedly violated the Indian air space recently in Ladakh. According to reports, the helicopters air-dropped some canned food in a barren land at Chumar, northeast of Leh, along the border on June 21.

The MI series helicopters were reported by residents living along the Pangong lake.

The Chinese People's Liberation Army has been crossing over into the Indian side in this region quite frequently with August reporting the maximum number of incursions. According to reports, the Chinese Army had made 223 intrusions last year.

Bravo Lima crash remains a mystery Army team returns empty-handed

Even after four decades, the air crash mystery of Antonov-12 aircraft - Bravo Lima - of the Indian Air Force’s 25 Squadron remains unsolved as the 22-member Army expedition-Punaruthan-IV- returned “empty-handed”. The expedition failed to retrieve the mortal remains of 98 Army personnel and the black box of the aircraft. The failure has once again belied the Army’s hope to ascertain the exact cause of the mishap that took place at the height of 20,500 ft on February 7, 1968.
Dogra scouts team led by Major Vasudevan returned “empty-handed” in the third week of August. They were not able to retrieve anything from the 2-km wide wreckage site of upper South Dhaga glacier located at the height 20,500 ft in the Chandrabhaga (CB) -13 and Chandrabhagan (CB) -14 peaks.
The Army continues to be haunted by the crash mystery as “it has failed to sooth wounds of the kin of the ill-fated 98 Army personnel, including four army officers and six crew members from IAF and an officer from DRDO.
The recent expedition has exposed gaping holes as the Army “did not take clues from climbers from the Atal Bihari Institute of Mountaineering and Adventure Sports (ABVIMAS), Manali. It was the 45-member ABVIMAS expedition that had spotted the wreckage site in August 2003. In fact, a previous ABVIMAS expedition had spotted wreckage site way back in August 1987 and reported the same to the Defense Ministry but no expedition was launched then, say ABVIMAS climbers.
ID Sharma, an instructor at ABVIMAS, says the expedition had brought back documents from the coat of a jawan, later identified as Beli Ram, from the wreckage site in August 2003. “We saw burnt caps, pieces of uniform, wings of plane and torn tyres scattered over about 2 km wide glaciated area at the base of CB-13 peak,” they said.

Security to be beefed up at waterfronts

The Northern Command is procuring 20 patrol boats and life jackets to step up security in riverine areas, high-altitude lakes and other waterfronts along the border in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Northern Command had floated tenders for the purchase of 20 high-speed patrol boats with bulletproof screens and 200 polyfoam life jackets for the purpose, a senior Army official said yesterday.
"These boats will be used for high-altitude lakes like Pangong on the Sino-India border and other areas for security of water fronts and training," the official said.
There are various riverine and waterfronts in the state, which include Pangong Lake, Tso Morari, Sindh, Jehlum, Chenab, Tawi and many other smaller lakes along the Indo-Pak and Sino-India borders in the state.
The could ferry eight fully armed soldiers during patrolling, he said, adding that these boats could take load up to 1000 kg and sail at a speed above 25 knots.
The Army is also procuring nearly 200 life jackets for soldiers to guard the water fronts, undertake operations and training in patrol boats, the official said. The jackets would enable a fully equipped soldier to float (maximum weight up to 100kg) continuously for at least 18 hours.

New Navy chief lists out priorities

Admiral Nirmal Verma took over as the Chief of Navy Staff from Admiral Sureesh Mehta today. On the first day in office, he laid out his priority as “sustaining the growth of the Navy with due attention to indigenisation”.
He said the acquisition of aircraft carrier Vikramaditya (Gorshkov), new long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft P8I and under-construction Scorpene submarines was of utmost priority.
Talking about indigenisation, he highlighted the need to closely monitor development and production to ensure induction within planned time frame. Alternatives must be processed concurrently to ensure there was no void in combat capability, he said.
The Navy training was also being realigned to ensure that the technology-intensive force was manned correctly, he said.
He is the 20th CNS of Independent India and the 18th Indian to take command of the Indian Navy.
The change of command ceremonies included a function organised by the principal staff officers and other senior staff officers of the Navy to bid adieu to Admiral Sureesh Mehta.
Admiral Nirmal Verma is a specialist in communication and electronic warfare. He has an amalgamation of Indian and global experience.

Gen Loomba is DG military intelligence

Lt Gen RK Loomba today took over as the Director General of Military Intelligence. Posted with the 3 Corps prior to this, Lt Gen Loomba replaces Lt Gen DS Bartwal, who has superannuated.
An alumni of National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, Gen Loomba was commissioned into the Army in June 1970 in the Skinner’s Horse.
He has commanded the Deccan Horse and has varied experience in all types of terrain on almost all fronts in the country. He has held numerous important appointments at various levels.

India, Namibia sign defence, N-pacts

India and Namibia today signed key accords for cooperation in the field of defence and peaceful uses of nuclear energy, among other things.
New Delhi also announced its decision to offer to Namibia Lines of Credit of $100 million dollars over the next five years to be used in projects and supplies of products from India.
Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba, who is on a state visit to India, held talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other Indian leaders here today.
The two leaders discussed a wide range of issues, including bilateral ties as well as international developments.
Apart from the accords for cooperation in defence and energy field, the two countries inked MOUs/agreements on cooperation in the field of geology and mineral resources; establishing a Pan-African e-Network; and on waiver of visas for diplomatic and official passports.
Significance is being attached to the agreement on nuclear energy. After the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) allowed trade in nuclear technology and fuel with India, New Delhi has been looking for new sources to tap nuclear energy to meet its increasing electricity needs.
But with limited domestic uranium reserves, India has been looking abroad to get assured supplies. It has already signed an agreement with Kazakhstan.
After signing of the bilateral agreements, the Prime Minister said India was committed to help Namibia in all spheres. The Namibian President said he was fully satisfied with the talks that he had with the Indian leader.
Both countries were committed to the Non-Aligned Movement and wanted continuation of reform process of the United Nations, particularly democratisation of United Nations Security Council.
The Indian side expressed its deep appreciation to Namibia for its consistent support to India’s candidature for a permanent seat on an expanded Security Council, and for its support to New Delhi’s bid candidature for a non-permanent seat for 2011-12.

China darings under Army scrutiny

ew Delhi, August 31
Recent developments in China and Pakistan -- India’s two uncomfortable neighbours -- dominated the day as the Indian armed forces underwent a change of guard at the top this morning.
Chief of Navy Staff Admiral Sureesh Mehta on superannuation handed over charge to Admiral Nirmal Verma while General Deepak Kapoor took over as the new Chairman of Chief of Staff Committee (COSC).
Notably, the senior-most of the chiefs of the three services is appointed as COSC. Until today, Admiral Mehta was the COSC, who looks after the operational matters of the tri-services issues.
Outgoing Navy Chief Sureesh Mehta today said Pakistan's illegal modification of US-supplied anti-ship Harpoon missiles to strike land-based targets was against "India's interest". “This has nothing to do with self-defence (of Pakistan). It is against India's interest… This shows the danger of proliferation and we have been telling this from time to time,” Mehta said while addressing mediapersons.
Mehta's comments came in response to questions on New York Times report that Pakistan had illegally modified the Harpoon missile, enabling it to strike land-based targets, which could be a potential threat. Pakistan, however, rejected the charge. Mehta's assessment was shared by Admiral Verma, who said this was one reason why government had been expressing concern over a period of time about the transfers that were going on to "our neighbour".
Admiral Verma said the Navy's endeavour would be to ensure nobody came within the striking distance of India and launch such missiles.
General Deepak Kapoor confirmed the intrusions by Chinese choppers in eastern Ladakh, but said they were largely inadvertent. "There have been several violations and one incursion by a Chinese helicopter in the past few months. It could have happened due to a navigational error, but that does not justify it. It was taken up at the border personnel meet,” Kapoor told reporters after taking over as the COSC.

NEW DELHI: Admiral Nirmal Verma, an expert in communication and electronic warfare, on Monday took over as the country's new Navy chief. He is the 20th chief of Navy staff and succeeds Admiral Sureesh Mehta. Immediately after taking over, Verma emphasised the importance of maintaining high maritime domain awareness, synergising the weapon-sensor grid and ensuring seamless connectivity over a networked force. He stated that the training of the Navy is also being realigned to man the technology intensive force. Admiral Verma's nearly four decades of experience includes his sea tenures commanding Leander class frigate INS Udaygiri, Kashin class destroyer INS Ranvir and the aircraft carrier INS Viraat. He has commanded the Naval Academy at Goa, and has been the head of the naval training team at the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington. Outlining his priorities, he stated that his emphasis would be on consolidating and sustaining the growth of the Navy with due attention to indigenisation. He cited the acquisition of the aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, rechristened INS Vikramaditya, the new long range maritime reconnaissance aircraft P-8I and the Scorpene submarine as being of utmost priority. In another important appointment in the armed forces on Monday, Lt Gen RK Loomba was appointed as the new Director General Military Intelligence. Prior to his new assignment, Loomba was General Officer Commanding, 3 Corps. He takes over from Lt Gen D S Bartwal.

NEW DELHI: Admiral Nirmal Verma, an expert in communication and electronic warfare, on Monday took over as the country's new Navy chief. He is the 20th chief of Navy staff and succeeds Admiral Sureesh Mehta.

Immediately after taking over, Verma emphasised the importance of maintaining high maritime domain awareness, synergising the weapon-sensor grid and ensuring seamless connectivity over a networked force. He stated that the training of the Navy is also being realigned to man the technology intensive force.

Admiral Verma's nearly four decades of experience includes his sea tenures commanding Leander class frigate INS Udaygiri, Kashin class destroyer INS Ranvir and the aircraft carrier INS Viraat. He has commanded the Naval Academy at Goa, and has been the head of the naval training team at the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington.

Outlining his priorities, he stated that his emphasis would be on consolidating and sustaining the growth of the Navy with due attention to indigenisation. He cited the acquisition of the aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, rechristened INS Vikramaditya, the new long range maritime reconnaissance aircraft P-8I and the Scorpene submarine as being of utmost priority.

In another important appointment in the armed forces on Monday, Lt Gen RK Loomba was appointed as the new Director General Military Intelligence. Prior to his new assignment, Loomba was General Officer Commanding, 3 Corps. He takes over from Lt Gen D S Bartwal.

India wary as Pakistan pushes for lend-lease plan for arms with US

NEW DELHI: Can Pakistan persuade the US to revive its famous World War II "lend-lease" programme to assist Pakistan's army access sophisticated weaponry?

According to sources, the beleaguered Pakistan president Asif Zardari is looking for ways to make himself more attractive to an increasingly hostile and powerful army, which he apparently believes is out to oust him from his position.

India has alerted the US to a move by Zardari's business cronies and some lobbyists to ask the Pentagon to sanction a unique "lend-lease" facility for military equipment for Pakistan army. This would be quite apart from the counter-insurgency equipment that the US already gives to Pakistan, which includes helicopters, night vision goggles etc.

In the backdrop of recent US reports that Pakistan is diverting US military aid to target India, the new attempts are significant, sources said.

The last time the US did a "lend-lease" programme, it was World War II and it supplied the UK, China, France and even Soviet Union with "war materials" between 1941 and 1945. The UK repaid the last of its debts on this score only by 2006.

For a US willing to "reward" Pakistan for a good job done, this could be tempting. If the US agrees — though there are no signs yet that it might — it would be unprecedented, said diplomatic sources, monitoring developments between US and Pakistan, but India would have serious concerns.

India has asked the US to monitor military aid to Pakistan, particularly since Pakistan has used US counter-terror aid to buy conventional military equipment against India.

Between 2002 and 2008, these include P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft, about 5,250 TOW anti-armour missiles, six AN/TPS-77 surveillance radars, six C-130E transport aircraft and 20 AH-1F Cobra attack helicopters, as well as F-16 armaments including AMRAAM air-to-air missiles and 2,000-pound bombs, Harpoon anti-ship missiles and Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, among other things.

The reason for the new arms wishlist from the US is rooted in the grime of Pakistani domestic politics. For the past few months, there appears to have been a campaign to cut out Zardari from the Pakistani political scene. PPP politicians have gone on record to express fears of a "minus-one" policy being worked out — to remove Zardari from office by focusing on his corrupt ways and and endemic corruption in the government.

Fauzia Wahab, Zardari's aide and PPP spokesperson, was quoted as saying, "The objective behind the campaign, launched by different elements, political and others, is to target and malign one man to get him dislodged... It was after our in-house, in-depth discussions, participated in by the President, that we reached a consensus that a premeditated move was underway to manage the exit of Zardari," she said.

While the political party has officially rallied around the president, and prime minister Gilani too appears to have resisted temptation, the move has prompted Zardari to look at options to make himself more attractive to the army.

And presumably the best way of feeding the beast is by being a facilitator for arms supplies from Pakistan's most willing supplier, the US. Helped by his lobbyists and business cronies in the US, Zardari, said sources in Washington, is planning to ask Washington to "lend" sophisticated military equipment. The only intended target is India.