Monday, September 7, 2009

Kaveri jet engine finally poised for first flight

After 20 years in the making, the Kaveri jet engine will finally take to the skies.

In 1989, Dr Mohana Rao, then a junior technician at the Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE), Bangalore, immersed himself in the ambitious Kaveri programme, which was designing a jet engine for the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft. After pushing the Kaveri through two decades of heartbreak and achievement, Dr Rao is now the Director of GTRE. And his baby, the Kaveri engine, is ready to fly.

This week, a fully built Kaveri engine will be transported to a testing facility outside Moscow called the Gromov Flight Research Institute. Here, a giant IL-76 aircraft will have one of its four engines replaced with a Kaveri. Russian and GTRE experts will then evaluate the Kaveri’s performance while the IL-76 flies.

Before the actual flight tests, Russian experts at Moscow’s Central Institute of Aviation Motors will run ground checks on the Kaveri’s performance, in conditions that simulate altitudes up to 15 kilometers (49,200 feet).

Business Standard visited the Kaveri ground test bed at GTRE, Bangalore, where Russian experts are finishing “pre-acceptance checks” on the Kaveri engine that is headed for their facilities in Russia. The giant turbofan engine, suspended from a ceiling bracket, was being revved up gradually. As it roared to a deafening crescendo, engineers monitored the Kaveri’s power output, watching carefully from behind a bullet-proof glass window.

“The Kaveri’s development is complete”, confirmed Dr Mohana Rao, “In ground testing at GTRE it met the performance parameters laid down in 1998. The next step is to confirm that it performs during flight. A 50-person GTRE team will travel with the engine to Moscow and participate in the flight trials over the next 3-4 months.”

India has no facilities for altitude-testing and flight-testing jet engines. GTRE estimates it will take several hundred crore rupees to create such test facilities in India. Meanwhile, each test campaign in Russia costs Rs 50-60 crores.

For the DRDO (GTRE is a DRDO laboratory) even a successful Kaveri flight will be a bittersweet end to one of India’s most savagely criticised development programmes. A measure of success, on the one hand, in an ambitious technological leapfrog to building a modern jet engine, something only a few countries can do. On the other hand, the Kaveri has failed to provide an engine for the Tejas, even after spending Rs 3000 crores.

“The reason was two-fold”, explains Mohana Rao. “The Kaveri turned out 15% heavier than we planned. From the planned 1100 kg, its final weight has gone up to 1265 kg.”

Meanwhile, the Tejas fighter also turned out heavier than planned, demanding a more powerful engine; the Kaveri’s maximum thrust of 65 Kilo Newtons (KN) is simply not enough. The air force has chosen American GE 404-IN engines, which produce 80 KN at full power, to power the first 20 Tejas fighters. And subsequent Tejas will get about 95 KN of thrust from a new-generation engine: the General Electric GE-414 and the Eurojet EJ200 engines are currently being evaluated.

But GTRE is undeterred, having produced a high-tech turbofan jet engine in a country that has never produced even a motorcycle or car engine.

“We need more thrust without increasing the size of the engine”, says Mohana Rao. “That means getting better technologies from a more experienced foreign partner. We have chosen (French aero-engine major) Snecma. The Defence Ministry has approved the tie-up.”

Business Standard has learned that Rolls Royce, and General Electric declined to partner GTRE, apparently unwilling to part with cutting-edge technology. US major, Pratt & Whitney, was willing only to provide consultancy. With only Russia’s NPO Saturn and Snecma in the game, the MoD has opted for Snecma.

More senior ranks for IPS in MP

The cadre strength of IPS officers in Madhya Pradesh is going to increase from 231 to 291.The number of senior duty posts which presently is 126 will go up to 158, in the wake of a recent cadre review. Number of all posts will go up barring the posts of DIGs.

12 new IG posts in RPF

The Railway Board has consented to create 12 posts of IGs. This will result in 12 DIG rank officers of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) to be elevated as IGs. This will cover DIGs of the RPF cadre from batches of 1981 to 1985.

Four Additional Secretaries of the R&AW object promotion and go on leave

There are reports that four Additional Secretaries of the R&AW belonging to 1973,1974 and 1975 batches have proceeded on protest leave against promotion of an officer .They say that seven officers have been superceded.

Sino-India border dispute hots up over use of multilateral institution

Tawang (Arunachal Pradesh), Sep.6 (ANI): A new twist has been introduced into the vexed land border dispute between India and China, with the latter trying to block a 2.9 billion dollar Asian Development Bank (ADB) loan to India on the grounds that part of the loan was destined for water projects in Arunachal Pradesh, the state that includes the disputed area of Tawang.
This is the first time that China has sought to influence the territorial dispute through a multilateral institution.
This move plus aggressive border violations byu China has prompted the Indian Army to deploy extra troops and fighter jets in the area as a counter measures.
According to the New York Times, one former Indian Air Force chief has declared China and not Pakistan as India’s biggest threat.
Perched above 10,000 feet in the icy reaches of the eastern Himalayas, Tawang is the biggest tinderbox in Sino-Indian relations. According to the NYT, in recent months, both countries have stepped up efforts to secure their rights over this rugged patch of land.
It is a conflict rooted in Chinese claims of sovereignty over all of historical Tibet. From India’s point of view, Tawang is an integral part of the country and to safeguard it, a huge Indian military buildup is on. Army trucks have been hauling howitzers along rutted mountain roads. Soldiers drill in muddy fields. Military bases appear every half-mile in the countryside, with watchtowers rising behind concertina wire.
With the border with China just 23 miles away; Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, 316 miles; and Beijing, 2,676 miles, the Indian side is of the view that with the PLA engaged in big deployment at the border, at Bumla, there is a necessity to do the same on its side of the border.
China and India did 52 billion dollars worth of trade last year, but businesspeople say border tensions have been infused with official interference, damping the willingness of Chinese and Indian companies to invest in each other’s countries.
The NYT quotes Ravi Bhoothalingam, a former president of the Oberoi Hotel Group and a member of the Institute of Chinese Studies in New Delhi, as saying: ” Officials start taking more time, scrutinizing things more carefully, and all that means more delays and ultimately more denials. That’s not good for business.”Tawang is a thickly forested area of white stupas and steep, terraced hillsides that is home to the Monpa people, who practice Tibetan Buddhism, speak a language similar to Tibetan and once paid tribute to rulers in Lhasa. The Sixth Dalai Lama was born here in the 17th century.
The Chinese Army occupied Tawang briefly in 1962, during a war with India fought over this and other territories along the 2,521-mile border. More than 3,100 Indian soldiers and 700 Chinese soldiers were killed and thousands wounded in the border war.
In some ways, Tawang has become a proxy battleground, too, between China and the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of the Tibetans, who passed through this valley when he fled into exile in India in 1959.
Last year, the Dalai Lama announced for the first time that Tawang is a part of India, bolstering the India’s territorial claims and infuriating China.
Few, however, expect China to try to annex Tawang by force, but military skirmishes are a real danger, analysts say.
The Indian Army has recorded 270 border violations and nearly 2,300 instances of “aggressive border patrolling” by Chinese soldiers last year.
According to Brahma Chellaney, a professor of strategic studies at the Center for Policy Research, “The India-China frontier has become more ‘hot’ than the India-Pakistan border.”
“The China-India border has got to be one of the most continuously negotiated borders in modern history. That shows how intractable this dispute is,” said M. Taylor Fravel, an associate professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who is a leading expert on China’s borders. (ANI)

Bijapur: Operation Kanchan’ Ends in Tragedy - Body Retrieved from Borewell

Bijapur, Sep 7 (DHNS) : Four-year-old Kanchan’s battle for survival, against all-odds, in a 50-feet borewell, ended here on Sunday morning. Her lifeless, decomposed body was pulled out from the depths of the pit in an operation named after her.  
'Operation Kanchan’, undertaken to rescue Kanchan who had fallen into an open borewell in the afternoon of August 31concluded on Sunday morning. Brought out dead from the borewell, the body of Kanchan, who hails from Devar Nimbaragi village here, was  taken to Chadachan for autopsy and then handed over to her relatives.
The body was in a state of decomposition with only bits of flesh clinging to the skeleton. Kanchan was buried in her village cemetery.
Her relatives had lived these tortuous days between hope and despair. Some of them had  arrived when the operation to retrieve her body concluded. But recovering a decomposed body of a child after days of  hard labour was very painful for the soldiers involved in the rescue operation.

The rescue operation was one of the longest in the State undertaken to rescue children fallen into open bore wells. 
The body could be recovered after six complete days. It was the first time that the soldiers of the Maratha Light Infantry, of the Indian Army from Secunderabad, a team of experts from Hatti Gold Mines, the fire brigade  and the police and hundreds of villagers were involved in the operation.

The  work of the rescue  team suffered  setbacks due to intermittent rains. The toughest problem the teams encountered was the hard rock layer. It  was not possible to undertake a   big blast as it would have hit the bore well. The soldiers preferred to use smaller blasts to ensure the safety of the child.
Kanchan’s mother is in confinement as she had given birth to a male child just three days before the incident.  The woman refused to eat and went unconscious  often.  
Even though an order has been passed to close all unused bore wells, the district administration has failed in implementing it.
District in-charge Minister Govind Karjol said that from now onwards obtaining permission from competent authority would be made compulsory before drilling  bore wells so that necessary steps can be taken to close it in the event of the bore well becoming dysfunctional.
*  August 31: 12.30 pm: Kanchan falls into borewell;
4.30 pm: JCBs sent to the spot; operation begins
*  September 1: Soldiers from Maratha Light Infantry, and Military Engineering Service, Secunderabad, arrive. Rains, rocks hamper progress
*  September 2: Arrival of a team of experts from the Hutti Gold Mines. Heavy excavators, explosives used.
*  September 3: Operation progresses, no luck
*  September 4: Team succeeds in digging a 50-foot trench; foul smell emanating from the borewell
*  September 5: Team tries to dig a tunnel, but  rain and rocks hamper work
*  September 6: Kanchan’s body brought out of borewell

Bhutan to take action on Indian rebel camps

NEW DELHI // Six years after Bhutan’s army cleared Indian separatist rebels from its territory with the help of the Indian army, the two countries are planning a similar operation against the same groups, which have regained their bases in the Himalayan kingdom, according to regional security experts.

Militant separatists have been operating in north-east India’s Assam and West Bengal states for decades, and have long taken advantage of the 699km-long unguarded border between India and Bhutan, building bases in the kingdom’s forests. At least two major Assamese separatist groups are known to be operating from bases in Bhutan’s jungles, the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB).

Last month, the Indian home minister, P Chidambaram, during talks with the king of Bhutan, Jigme KN Wangchuck, on a three-day visit to the country, raised concerns about the re-entrenchment of Assamese and other north-eastern rebel groups in Bhutan.

“I sensitised the Bhutan government [on the Indian rebel camps] and the king has assured [he will] take suitable action,” Mr Chidambaram told reporters.

Although he did not give details on any forthcoming action, counter-insurgency experts believe a Bhutanese military operation to dislodge the rebels is imminent.

“Since Bhutan has agreed to take action, we can now expect a 2003-like operation, with India’s logistical and other support. Nothing less than a widespread and tough Bhutanese army crackdown, with active co-operation from the Indian army, can succeed to flush them out of Bhutan,” said Nani Gopal Mahanta, coordinator of Peace and Conflict Studies at Gauhati University in Guwahati, Assam’s largest city.

An Indian army major, who is engaged in counter-insurgency operations in Assam and is not allowed to speak to the media, said Bhutan would surely comply with New Delhi’s request and use its army to flush out the rebels, as it had done in 2003.

The separatist militants originally fled across the border in the early 1990s after Indian security forces launched the decade-long Operation Rhino to crush the Assamese nationalists. Many guerrillas decamped to southern Bhutan and remote areas of Bangladesh, to regroup and to plan attacks.

Others found sanctuary in Bhutan when Sheikh Hasina, during her first term as Bangladesh’s prime minister in the late 1990s, ordered the army at the behest of New Delhi to clear Indian rebel bases from her country’s remote border regions.

Pressure from New Delhi finally resulted in Bhutan’s Operation All Clear, in which forces led by the Royal Bhutan Army in 2003 smashed the rebel camps and drove more than 3,000 insurgents into India.

Some of the displaced rebels trickled back into Bangladesh and Myanmar, while others surrendered to Indian authorities.

While half a dozen separatist groups fight the Indian state for Assamese independence – and each other for control of the movement – the ULFA is considered the deadliest, having carried out more than a dozen terror attacks in north-east India over the past eight years. Indian authorities also suspect the group was behind 13 synchronised blasts in Assam last October 30, which killed more than 80 people.

Established in 1979, the ULFA seeks a separate homeland for ethnic Assamese and demands non-indigenous Hindi-speaking immigrants to leave the state. The ULFA’s core demand is a “sovereign, independent Assam”. It has agreed to give up arms if the union government meets this demand.

Over the past two years, both Myanmar and Bangladesh have stepped up operations to drive ULFA fighters out of their territory, leaving Bhutan as their last refuge, giving Indian authorities hope that the long-running insurgency may be losing force.

“Recently, with Burma and Bangladesh turning hostile, at least to some extent, some of the rebel groups have chosen Bhutan again as a safer base. If a tough action is mounted and the rebels are forced to flee Bhutan, we could see an increase in the number of rebels surrendering to India,” said Suresh Yadav, a battalion commander of India’s Border Security Force in West Bengal.

Quoting unnamed Indian intelligence sources, The Times of India last month reported that the ULFA and NDFB had been joined in their camps in southern Bhutan by the Communist Party of Bhutan (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist), which poses a growing threat to the kingdom.

Pointing to a December incident in which Bhutanese Maoists ambushed an army patrol in south Bhutan, killing four of the forest guards, Bhutanese officials recently reported that the Indian rebel groups were preparing Bhutanese Maoists and other rebel groups for anti-state violence in Bhutan.

“[Bhutanese] anti-national groups like the Maoists, Bhutan Tiger Force and the Revolutionary Youth of Bhutan are receiving guerrilla, sabotage and other military training from the ULFA and Bodo militants,” said Bhutan’s joint secretary of the law and order bureau, Karma T Namgyal, adding that his country would act against the Indian rebels.

Indian military intelligence sources also told The Times of India that, in the planned operation, Indian forces, as they did in 2003, would stand guard on the Indian side of the border, while the Bhutanese army closed in on the rebels.

RPF tells security forces to leave Manipur

Imphal, September 06, 2009: The proscribed Revolutionary People's Front (RPF) � a political body of the PLA � has told the 'Indian Army' to leave Manipur while stating that the outfit wants them to return alive to their near and love ones at their respective places.

Stating that the nature of war in Manipur is political one, a statement issued by the RPF's department of publicity chief, GM Changjou asserted that the war waged in Manipur is a liberation war of the deprived and suppressed people.

It asserted that the RPF,its armed wing, the PLA, and the people neither wanted nor claimed even a pin-head size of 'Indian land'.

The RPF statement pointed out that it is natural that there would be a winner as well as a loser in a war.

It reminded that the 'security forces' have more concerns for their families.

They counted their fingers when they would be granted a leave in a year.

This is the weakness of the security forces.

The statement claimed that cadres of the outfit are imbued with a sense of patriotism.It is the characteristic of a war that both the opponents are pitching to defeat each others.

But the intricacy of a war happens when it comes to the question of valuing and respecting the International laws.

GM Changjou claimed that the RPF has so far shown and maintained respect to the International laws.

The enemy has known this stance of the outfit and they tried to take advantage of it.

It pointed out that there have been several instances wherein the 'Indian soldiers' resorted to committing atrocities to civilians and robbing the chastity and modesty of womenfolk.

Stating that the RPF/PLA did not want the security forces' dirty linen to be washed and rotted in the virgin land of mother Manipur, the statement urged them to leave Manipur safely for their respective places, where their kin are eagerly waiting for their safe return.

It tells the 'Indian army' to leave the state when there is still time.

Further, the RPF statement claimed that some casualties might have been suffered by the 34AR personnel in an encounter with the 253 A Coy of the PLA that took place in Ukhrul district on September 5 around 3.30pm.It asserted that the outfit did not suffer any casualty.

Changing climate new adversary of India's armed forces

New Delhi: A warmer world that threatens to change the battlefield and impact the capability of the military on land, sea and air is the new adversary of the Indian armed forces which are worried that the seriousness of the issue is yet to register at the government level.

"While global warming will have common effect of more pressure on the logistics and increased wear and tear of weapons, it will also have force-specific impact. The government needs to involve armed forces in studying its reasons and impact," a senior armed forces official told IANS, requesting anonymity.

The Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau which have large-scale military presence are among the areas most susceptible to climate change effects. The rapid melting of glaciers in the region would call for new deployment plans for the Indian Army manning the Siachen Glacier.

"Demilitarisation of the Siachen Glacier is out of question; so, its accelerated meltdown will call for coming out with a new deployment plan," said a senior Indian Army official, wishing to remain unnamed as he was not authorised to speak to the media.

The Indian and Pakistani forces have been standing eyeball to eyeball since 1984 at the Siachen Glacier, the world's highest battlefield at 22,000 feet, where guns have been silent since a ceasefire in 2003.

Occupying the 76-km-long glacier, which has been melting faster due to global warming, is a huge logistic exercise and the changing climate will only increase the pressure on logistics.

According to a recent study "Security Implications of Climate Change for India" published by think tank Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), artillery gun platforms in the high altitude region that have become ice pillars would melt rapidly, making redeployment "a necessary but demanding task".

"Unexpected melting (in the Himalayan region) would make troop movements extremely dangerous and the dumping zones and (makeshift) helipads may crumble with rapid snowmelt," the report says.

"Besides triggering flash floods and a slew of disasters downstream, the melting would also result in severing of communication lines," the army official added.

The Indian Navy is also concerned about the way changed climate patterns will shape the Indian Ocean region, creating issues of maritime boundaries, exclusive economic zone, port operations, shallow water operations for submarines and naval tactics.

"Climate change will alter the battlefields with rising water level submerging low-lying islands, the change in water temperature of a place affecting the sea flora and fauna and also affecting the deployment tactics for submarines," said a senior official of the Indian Navy.

"The melting of snow in the Arctic Ocean may benefit China by giving them access to the Pacific Ocean and to warm ports," he added.

The Indian and Chinese navies have been trying to outdo each other for greater influence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), which is of utmost strategic importance to them for security of energy supplies. Climate change will also change the dynamics of the IOR.

"Take the example of the Maldives, a low-lying small island ecosystem. It is vulnerable to climate change and may be submerged due to rising sea level. Given the friendly bilateral relations between India and the Maldives, in all likelihood India will have to absorb many of the displaced Maldivians," the official added.

Military aviation will also be affected by the change in climate patterns as the performance of the aerial platforms and munitions varies with weather conditions.

Weather support is critical for all aerial operations, reconnaissance, para-dropping missions, transport operations, search and rescue and combating. Climate change is predicted to increase the severity and frequency of extreme weather events such as storms, which will have their effect on aviation.

1 in 3 hand grenades is a dud: Defence survey

NAGPUR: Imagine a scenario in which an Indian soldier's life and the life of his mates depends on a grenade — may be the last one with the jawan — to stop an advancing enemy. He takes the pin out and lobs it. But, instead of hearing an explosion, the jawans are met with a hail of bullets.

Unthinkable? Think again. A recent official survey of weaponry being used by soldiers guarding our borders reveals that about 30% of hand grenades used by jawans don't explode — which means an alarming one in three is a dud. The survey, carried out by weapons experts from the Army and defence organisations, is based on interviews with jawans posted in border areas.

Sources with access to the survey report did not share the exact figures and causes of failure citing secrecy involved with defence projects, but preliminary investigations have shown that it's not unusual for detonators used in the grenades to surpass their shelf life by the time they reach the hands of a soldier in a conflict zone.

It's the detonator that separately triggers the blast in the grenade. The grenade, a crucial weapon in a soldier's armoury, is often used as the last resort to thwart the enemy in close quarter battle. Grenades supplied to the Army are made by ordnance factories under Indian State Ordnance Factory Board.

"Soldiers said the grenades often go blind — meaning they don't explode in purely technical terms — putting them in a precarious situation," said a source. Defence experts and ex-servicemen say this is an old problem that has never been properly addressed.

Col (retd) RSN Singh of 'India Defence Review' says the figure of 30% duds is stupefying. Singh, who retired from the Infantry six months ago, says, ‘‘A soldier normally carries four grenades in a counter-insurgency operation. Even a single dud can prove disastrous as it would leave the soldier vulnerable. Such duds can shake a soldier’s confidence.’’

Defence expert Col (retd) U S Rathore says India still uses World War-II vintage hand grenades. He says there are chances that the detonators are susceptible to chemical degradation and adds that terrorists have far superior Belgian grenades that explode in 2.5 seconds compared to the four seconds it takes for the Indian grenades.

India may have made an indigenous nuclear submarine. But it appears its defence establishment is yet to make a fail-proof grenade. Incidentally, a grenade can be propelled through rifles or an under-barrel grenade launcher (UBGL). But the Insas rifles used by the army don’t have launchers for grenades; soldiers have to carry the old 7.62mm rifles for that.

Saddled with Insas, Army wants new AK-47s

NAGPUR: The indigenous 5.56x45mm Insas (Indian National Small Arms System) rifle has been the standard assault weapon for the Indian Army since the late 1990s. However, the jawans using it in counter-insurgency operations find it ineffective.

As part of the new Army doctrine, the gun is meant to incapacitate the enemy, rather than kill. Insas has a smaller calibre, which means it has less power. This is because — and it’s the official view — injuring an enemy can lead to enemy soldiers getting engaged in tending the wounded, thus yielding a tactical battlefield advantage.

The technocrats who interacted with soldiers in the forward areas were told that this theory does not work with terrorists who, apart from attacking in small numbers, are never bothered about evacuating their injured. Hence, the soldiers say, they want to shoot to kill, rather than maim.

The soldiers also spoke about practical difficulties in using Insas. It’s accurate but not as rugged as the AK-47 used by terrorists, they say. Also, its sling often snaps while firing, making it fall during manoeuvres. The sling also obstructs the rifle’s sight. But most of all, the size of the sling never took into account the bullet proof jacket worn by jawans. As a result, it falls short and is uncomfortable to hold. This hampers quick reaction. Insas also does not have a rapid fire feature; it shoots only three rounds in a single burst.

‘‘The barrel overheats with continuous firing. The magazine cracks even on falling, which is common during action. Oil spillage while firing is also major trouble,’’ said a source quoting soldiers. ‘‘Zeroing (adjusting the sight for aim) has to be done each time the rifle is opened to clean or for any other reason. Lack of proper zeroing hampers the working of night vision device,’’ said the same source.

The total additional weight — around 40 kg with bulletproof jacket and signalling equipment — that a soldier carries is also a matter of concern, as is the colour of the rifle: they want it in brown which offers better camouflaging. On the positive side, Insas’s transparent magazine helps soldiers keep a count of bullets.

Former director general of infantry, Lt General Shanker Prasad, said Insas is antiquated and the Infantry needs a modern rifle. The Army has repeatedly asked for new assault weapons, but nothing has moved. It’s learnt that forces are now expecting new indigenously developed AK-47 rifle said to be an improvement on the original.

IIT teachers' body rejects HRD solution on pay package

NEW DELHI: The All-India IIT Teachers’ Federation, in a meeting on Sunday, has prepared a rejoinder to the representation given by the HRD ministry (MHRD) to the IIT directors on the matter of pay hike on September 2.

In a day-long meeting at IIT Delhi, attended by the faculty representatives of all IITs, except IIT Guwahati, it was decided that the MHRD representation, which reportedly managed to make the directors happy, actually had some ‘misleading’ facts.

The faculty representatives have also decided to give 10 more days to the MHRD to organize their meeting with union HRD minister Kapil Sibal and respond to the memorandum submitted by them on August 24. Prof S S Murthy, president, Faculty Forum IIT Delhi, said, ‘‘We have resolved that our meeting with the minister should be organized within the next 10 days.

Since the memorandum on pay hike was submitted by us on behalf of 3,000 faculty members, the ministry should respond directly to the faculty.’’ He added, ‘‘We will decide on furthering our protests if the ministry doesn’t hold the meeting within 10 days.’’

Murthy said the representation given to the directors had aberrations in the calculation of emoluments and hence, a rebuttal had been prepared. ‘‘Some of our members could access the MHRD representation. They identified some misleading points in it. Some total emoluments were calculated wrongly,’’ Murthy said. He also added that the ministry should not have compared the pay scales of DRDO and UGC with that of IIT faculty.

Kargil toll could have been lower but for DRDO

Former army chief V.P. Malik, who led the army during the 1999 Kargil war, has said casualties in the conflict could have been reduced had the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) “not come in the way” of acquiring weapon-locating radars.
“We had one or two incidents particularly on the weapon locating radar. If the DRDO had not come in the way we would have got them before the Kargil war and that would have definitely reduced our casualties,” he told CNN-IBN.
Asked whether DRDO was “slight boastful” in claims over developing weapons, Malik said: “Well, that has been our (armed forces’) experience over the development of weapons and equipment the DRDO has delivered or not delivered.”
On whether A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, during his stint as the director-general of the DRDO, overestimated the country’s capacity and ability, Malik just said: “I do not want to go more into that.”
Clear air on N-test
Amid claims by some scientists that Pokhran-II in 1998 was not a complete success, Malik said the armed forces were “affected” by doubts over its efficacy and need to be “reassured” by the nuclear establishment on the exact yield of the atomic tests.
Malik also said the statement by Kalam rubbishing the claims of his colleague and defence scientist Dr K. Santhanam, was “unconvincing”.
Santhanam said the tests were a fizzle, which were rejected by Kalam, who said Pokhran-II was a complete success.
“They (armed forces) need to be reassured about the weapon system they use and about the planning of what kind of the yield they have when they hit the target,” Malik said.
The former army chief  dubbed as shocking the recent comments of Santhanam, questioning the yield of the thermonuclear device tested on May 11, 1998.
“Yes, it affects the armed forces. Particularly, because, when they plan the task given to them then they have to know what kind of yield that each nuclear weapon has,” said  Malik, stressing that it was important to remove the doubts.

China intrudes again, we do it too, says India

Chinese troops entered nearly 1.5 kilometres into Indian territory in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir on July 31. Intruding Chinese soldiers painted boulders and rocks with red spray paint, writing the word ‘China’ in Cantonese, official sources said on Sunday.
The Ministry of Defence, however, sought to play down the reported border violation, saying such incidents take place “quite frequently” due to differences in perception regarding the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The Chinese Embassy in New Delhi expressed surprise at media reports of the incursions. A press official from the embassy described the reports as "groundless and something which had not happened in either July or at any other time.”
“We are committed to seek a fair and mutually acceptable solution through a peaceful and friendly negotiation," the embassy official said.
A defence ministry official, who did not want to be named, said, “This (incursion) is not a major issue. Incursions or violations of airspace happen from both sides due to differences in perception over the LAC. 
“Painting the boulders and rocks or leaving behind empty cigarette packets or juice cans are the telltale signs left by intruding troops,” he said.
There are intrusions from the Indian side as well. “This is due to the absence of a well defined border. We also go up to the LAC as we perceive it to be,” the official said.
There is no mutually agreed LAC between the two countries. India had proposed an early clarification on the issue but a response from the Chinese side is awaited.

China troops enter India, 'mark' territory

Leh: Chinese troops entered the international border in Ladakh and painted "China” on boulders and rocks in Indian territory, Indian border patrol reportedly found on July 3.

Chinese troops entered nearly 1.5 km into Indian territory near Mount Gya, which is recognised as international border by both countries, PTI said while quoting unnamed defence sources.

The 22,420-ft Mount Gya is located at the tri-junction of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir, Spiti in Himachal Pradesh, and Tibet.

Its boundary was marked during the British era and is regarded as international border by the two countries. The red marking were found as deep as 1.5 to 1.7 km of the Indian territory.

An Army spokesperson declined to comment on the alleged incursions, but the Government probably wants to downplay the issue as three Generals are currently visiting Beijing and Lhasa under an exchange programme.

A week ago it was reported that Chinese helicopters came into Indian air space along the Line of Actual Control in Chumar region of Jammu and Kashmir in June.

An Army spokesperson had then said: "there was a report of a helicopter flying in the area south of Chumar, where India and China have differences in perception on the Line of Actual Control. It was reported by grazers."