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Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Alok Prasad is being tipped to be Deputy National Security Advisor (NSA).He is 1974 batch IFS officer.

Our dear neighbour !

Mind your Line, pal: Indian and Chinese soldiers at the Sino-Indian border

China is no more our enemy-next-door. ?With it, we are in a game of Yin-Yang

By Kallol Bhattacherjee

So near, yet so far. That is how India-China ties appear to be. This month, a delegation headed by former minister of state for external affairs Rao Inderjit Singh was to land in Beijing to observe fast paced developments there and anti-recession measures. But as reports of People’s Liberation Army soldiers crossing into the Indian territory in Ladakh came in, Singh cancelled the visit. “The soldiers entered Indian territory, painted rocks in red and asked our shepherds to vacate the place,” said P. Stobdan, a critic of Chinese activities.

Despite growing concern, the strategic community in New Delhi is looking at the issue through a distilling film. During the Cabinet Committee on Security meeting on September 8, it was decided to send Chief of Army Staff Gen. Deepak Kapoor to Leh. This was two weeks after the reported incursions in the Chumar sector, east of Leh. According to Ajeet Kumar Sahu, district magistrate of Leh, Chinese helicopters violated Indian airspace last June. Yet, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said before the CCS meeting: “The China border has been the most peaceful among all the boundaries we have had.”

According to Major Gen. (retd.) Ashok K. Mehta, the entire issue of incursion has been blown out of proportion. “Both the sides have their own interpretation of the Line of Actual Control (LoAC); as a result, straying into each other’s territory is not a rarity,” Mehta said. Also, there might be lobbies inside China that are not happy with the economic diplomacy with India and wants to project military strength from time to time.

“The PLA enjoys far greater autonomy than the Indian Army, and some of its actions can be attributed to rogue actions by some ultranationalist commander,” he said. Even the Indian side has transgressed Chinese-defined LoAC a number of times in the past. “But these instances were handled with a simple hand waving,” he said.

The strategic community and South Block, however, are busy making sense of the mind of the PLA. Is China trying to send a message to India that it will not accept current international boundaries? Reading the dragon’s mind is not easy; it appears its actions are always Yin-Yang, a combo of the good and the bad!

This was evident even in early 1990s. Visiting China with President R. Venkataraman, former foreign secretary J.N. Dixit saw similarity of views between China and India, and even praised in his book, My South Block Years, China’s supply of nuclear fuel for Tarapore nuclear reactor. However, China showed its braided nature by testing a nuclear bomb even when Venkataraman was in Shanghai!

China might be playing mixed bag diplomacy with India, but it cannot afford to be a nasty player, as its ties with India have reached the bhai-bhai stage in bilateral trade and global diplomacy. China is now active in the Brazil-Russia-India-China conglomerate. Synergy in trade, too, is huge. Two-wheeler maker Bajaj Auto has begun production of its bikes in China for exports to Nigeria; vehicle maker Mahindra has already got two tractor companies operating there.

According to former governor of Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh Bhishma Narain Singh, China has shown its willingness to negotiate. Singh recalled being presented a crystal globe as a souvenir during his visit to China. “I was delighted to find that the Chinese had not tampered with the Indian map (on the globe),” he said. This was in 2004, before the border talks started between National Security Adviser, M.K. Narayanan, and China’s state councilor, Dai Bingguo.

“China is a cautious player when it comes to India,” Bhishma Narain Singh said. Thus, for China, if the border incursion was the Yin factor, trade is the Yang. But the South Block policy-makers view the scenario differently. Both India and China are in the course of epoch-making changes. So, they will have to sort out problems silently.
The border issue might be purely bilateral, but what bothers the South Block is China’s larger geopolitical plans. Already Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and, lately, Sri Lanka have fallen into the dragon’s orbit. China has also agreed to assist Pakistan in building its first satellite. And its India-policy is made keeping in view its great rival, and India’s new friend, the US.

S.M. Krishna, by maintaining his calm, has proved that India, too, would play the Yin-Yang game. In an Editor’s Guild of India meeting in Delhi, he said: “We have great cooperation with China in trade. But we also have areas of serious concern on boundary issues.” By keeping a visible aggressive military profile in the borders with China, India is signalling the policy of ‘stick’, and by keeping the $51 billion worth bilateral trade in between, it is playing the ‘carrot’ policy. Even in trade, India is keeping up with its ‘illustrious’ neighbour. After the controversy over low quality Chinese products, India banned import of Chinese milk and toys, rattling some nerves in China.

“India needs to stage a complex choreography to keep the Chinese under check while getting the best out of them,” Stobdan said. Let us tell the Chinese to eat carrots with us, but let’s keep the stick ready.

Now Chinese Incursion in Himachal ?

September 23rd, 2009
Anamika Sharma

Shimla : Trackers and locals in Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh have seen movements of Chinese army personnel on Indian soil , sources said on Wednesday.

Acccording to the residents of Kibber village , 456 kms from here (highest village in Himachal Pradesh 4440 M ASL) Chinese soldiers have been seen at Thaltak near Prangla Pass (5600 metre).

" We have no knowledge about the incursion ," J.P.Singh ,Home secretary, Himachal Pradesh said.

Kibber residents requesting anonymity said that some residents and trackers have seen the Chinese soldiers in large numbers on Indian soil. Sources said the trackers and locals have informed the Indian army authorities at Sumdo , located close to Indo -China border.

Security was recently ( second week of September ) strengthened along the international border in Himachal Pradesh's Kinnaur and Lahaul and Spiti districts following reports of Chinese incursions into the Ladakh sector of Jammu and Kashmir.

"Security has been stepped up along the border after the reports of intrusion of Chinese troops in the Ladakh sector . Special police forces have been deployed at the last checkpost at Sumdoh in Spiti subdivision," S.R. Rana , Superintendent of Police (Lahaul and Spiti) said.

Prophecy and India-China war games

Many Christian Nagas have become immune to prophecies and divine revelations. For some it is an embarrassment to be kept at arms length. Contrary to these perceptions, dreams and prophecies are an integral part of our faith as witnessed in the Bible and such negation is a negation of the Holy Spirit which in turn is a negation of the Father and the Son. Prophecies become problematic due to its non-fulfillment many a times leading to general skepticism but Bible clearly says that all prophecies are to be tested first and then accepted.
Dr. N. Kezeinuo in his article “Oh Nagaland Awake, Awake” dated 20th Sept. 2009, The Morung Express, reveals the vision that “two mithuns fought severely for the map of Arunachal Pradesh and big baskets of paddy were totally destroyed”.( by Rev. N. Kikon).
Similarly, Lasau Kath, Kandinu Prayer Centre, Kandinu village revealed to us that on the midnight (12.30 am) of 21st Aug. 2008, he saw a vision where “two mithuns fought severely in a large paddy field”. Accordingly, the Holy Spirit told him that the two mithuns are India and China and that these two nations would go to war in the year 2010. The paddy field is totally destroyed signifying that there will be severe famine in the land.
Coming back to Dr. Kezeinuo’s article, I reproduce two points to ponder over;
1.    North-East will be cut off.
2.    Brahmaputra valley dissected and its eastern half along with hill states given to Nagaland. (by Lt. Rev. Merinthung Mozhui).
This prophecy is not far from the recent semi- official Chinese blog which advocated breaking up of India into many parts. Given the dangerous war games being played between India and China along Arunachal, Ladakh and Sikkim borders, it is very probable that the Chinese want a repeat of 1962- the only difference being that they would keep Arunachal Pradesh this time. It is for nothing that the Indian Army is creating 2 Mountain Divisions in the North-East and moving tanks and warplanes in this part of the country. North-east India since the 50’s have been engulfed in various internal conflicts and there is a longing for peace but if war breaks out between India and China and if India is defeated, it is very probable that the Chinese would want to create an independent Nagaland (“united states of Nagaland”-refer to Dr. Kezeinuo article) to act as a buffer state against future Indian aggressions.
To cut off North-East (Dr. Kezeinuo) would be to cut off the supply route of the Indian Army and this would be the logical 1st step for Chinese strategic planners. The North- East is connected to mainland India through a tiny corrider called chicken’s neck (at places only 16 km wide) near Siliguri. This corridor is easily accessible from Sikkim which would be another vintage point of Chinese attack. Naturally, if the Chinese were to overrun chicken’s neck, the whole of North-East including Indian Army would be encircled and starved, prophecy or no prophecy.
Against such a scenario having humanitarian ramifications, it would be pertinent to throw a few hypothetical questions.
1.    In case of war and the resultant famine, how will the state government respond or what are the resources of the State? Does it have enough foodstocks to last for say, six months? And if not, the contingency measures to be taken? Are its hospitals equipped to handle hundreds if not thousands of potential casualties, both from war and famine? Does it have enough medicines?
2.    In case of war between India and China, what would be the response of the forces of Naga Nationalism? Will it go the Subhash C. Bose way and support the aggressors or will it remain neutral or even support India war efforts?
Way back in 1962, India’s humiliating defeat by the Chinese resulted in mainland Indian backlash against Naga students and other mongoloid North-east students studying in Delhi and elsewhere in India. They were chased and beaten in Indian cities. Such an outrageous incident cannot be ruled out again if Indian casualties were to go up.
Prophecy does not presume to replace the rationality of the state in its governance. But as Christians, we believe prophecy to be one of the many tools available to leaders to make wise and timely decisions for the welfare of the people. In the light of these divine revelations and the gravity of the situation, I guess it would not be too inappropriate to suggests that NBCC should at least organize a day of prayer and fasting all over Nagaland with shops, schools, offices and all activities brought to a grinding halt. Let us not be ashamed to call His name.

Promotion : Postal Service Officers of 2001 batch to get into GP of 7600

Indian Postal Service (IPS) officers belonging to the 2001 batch will be elevated to the Junior Administrative Grade (JAG) Grade Pay 7600 on ad hoc basis.

Reports: Govt To Sue Reporters For Inaccurate Story On India-China Border Tension


In a rare and rather unusual development, the ministry of home affairs is moving to take legal action against two reporters of The Times of India, according to The Hindu, the Press Trust of India and The Indian Express.

The offending story—Two ITBP Jawans Injured In China Border Firing—ran on the front page of India’s most read English newspaper on 15 September. The report, by Nirmalya Banerjee in Kolkata and Prabin Kalita in Guwahati, said this was the “first incident where bullets have been fired since the landmark 1996 Sino-India agreement in which both sides pledged not to open fire, no matter what the provocation…,” and attributed the information to “a highly placed intelligence source”. “ITBP officials at its headquarters in New Delhi declined to confirm the incident,” the story said.

A ministry of external affairs spokesperson termed the report “factually incorrect” the same day. TOI carried a clarification the next day on page 17, as part of a package of related stories.

The TOI story was among a stream of reports and analyses in newspapers and television channels over the past month or so, about “Chinese incursions” into Indian territory. “If you’ve tuned into one of the more hawkish Indian television channels or are reading the views of the many experts on India and China, it might seem like the two countries are at each other’s throats,” the BBC noted.

During the past week, the Prime Minister, the national security adviser as well as the highest-ranking general of the Indian Army have made statements to the effect that the reports are exaggerated and there is no unusual activity on the Indo-China border.

It’s unclear what charges, if at all, the government will press against the reporters. According to PTI, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), has filed a complaint with the Delhi Police against the reporters. A spokesperson at the home ministry was unavailable for comment as were other government officials, due to a public holiday.

“We do not give comments on news items as a practice and I have nothing to say on this issue,” wrote Amit Rai, director, legal, at Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd, publisher of The Times of India, responding to an email asking for comment about the story that appeared in The Hindu. A spokesperson for BCCL did not respond to an email requesting comment.

If the matter does go to court, it might reach a stage where a court could ask the reporters to reveal their sources. “If there is a criminal charge against you, you have to defend yourself. You can refuse to reveal your sources, but then you should be prepared to go to jail,” said Prashant Bhushan, a well-known public interest lawyer in the Supreme Court of India.

Bhushan said it was high time the media was held accountable for irresponsible reporting that buys into plants by motivated sections of the society and affects national security or disrupts communal harmony. “A lot of what has been passing for journalism in this country amounts to criminal offense,” Bhushan said. “If an intelligence agency has planted this story, let the source be revealed,” he added.

B.G. Verghese, a former editor and a member of the press council, said that it would be foolish for the state to press charges. He added that while a lot of reporting on the border situation has been equally foolish and irresponsible, there were other ways to deal with the situation. “This is a political problem. It’s not wise to seek a legal solution to a political problem.” He suggested that peer pressure works well to restrain media and the government could also complain to professional associations such as the Editors’ Guild or the Press Council of India.

“My suggestion is that a reporter can be asked to reveal to a judge, privately in his chambers and not in the courtroom, what the source is. If the judge is convinced that it is a reliable source and the reporter indeed got the story from there, he or she can then decide to let the matter rest,” Verghese said.

India’s air power just 1/3rd of China: IAF Chief

Zeenews Bureau

Gandhinagar: The Air Chief Marshal PV Naik on Wednesday admitted that India was no match to China when it came to air power.

"Our present aircraft strength is inadequate. Aircraft strength is one third that of China. The Government of India is doing a lot to augment Air Force capability," Naik said.

Interestingly, former Navy chief Suresh Mehta had also, last month, claimed that India is no match to China when it comes to military strength.

He, however, chose to downplay the threat from India’s eastern neighbour amid reported violations of the Indian airspace and territory by Chinese troops.

No imminent threat

Stressing that India must build up its weapons capability to thwart such attempts, Naik said, “There are two ways to look at Chinese incursions. One way is to take up weapons and go to the border. Other way is to build systematic weapons capability to tackle the threat.”

The IAF chief also stressed that there was no imminent threat from the Dragon.

He also refuted reports of violation of airspace along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) by the Chinese. “As far as Air Force is concerned there are no Chinese incursions,” he said.

Adding that the strategy being adopted by the IAF was to ‘play it cool’ for now.

The IAF Chief’s remarks came a day after China's Ambassador to India, Zhang Yan met Home Secretary GK Pillai and tried to clarify the picture over the reported border incursions.

The Chinese Ambassador's meeting came in the wake of repeated assertions by top Indian officials and even the Army Chief that reported incursions in the recent past occurred due to differences in perception of the LAC.

Even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh downplayed the incursions amid reports about Beijing's unhappiness at the way Chinese border transgressions have been reported in the Indian media to conjure up a China threat.

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao had also last week stressed that there was "no significant increase" in incursions across all sections of the over 4,000 km border between the two countries.

"Contrary to the popular perception, the situation along the border has remained peaceful for decades," Rao said.

National Security Adviser MK Narayanan and Army Chief Gen Deepak Kapoor had also cautioned against the media hype and stressed that there was nothing alarming about the reported incursions.

Arunachal Pradesh villages fear Chinese incursion

Guwahati: Even as the rhetoric surrounding Sino-Indian border tension shows signs of subsiding, those living in Arunachal Pradesh close to the border with China continue to live in fear of a possible incursion from the north.

The Hindi-Chini bhai bhai slogan was shattered by the 1962 war and four decades after that incident the neighbours may once again be shaking hands for the cameras. But in Arunachal Pradesh, close to the Sino-Indian border, villagers live in perpetual fear of Chinese incursion.

"The Chinese army might come here. The village is so close to China, our biggest threat is from them," says a woman at Arunachal's Chaglagam village.

Both countries deny incursions that reportedly happened recently in Leh but the news seems to have had an effect in Arunachal, portions of which China claims as its own territory.

"We want the Indian army to move from our village more towards the Chinese border," the woman says.
Development has hardly touched the villages near the border with China and the residents of the area say the border is porous.

"The borders almost merge. It is difficult to demarcate. People do come over," says a man at Halaikrong village.

On October 1, the Indian Army will visit the Chinese on their side as a gesture of friendship. It is a walk that carries with it the hope of the villagers that peace remains in their land.


Pay deails for the month of Sept 09 is likely to be uploaded today by 1800. Dont forget to recheck your 60% details. HAPPY VIEWING.

Ghost assault Navy dismisses claims of beating fishermen, but orders inquiry

Rajkot The Indian Navy has ordered an inquiry into last week’s incident some 90 nautical miles south off the Diu coast where 40 men onboard six fishing vessels were beaten up and their fishing licences and IDs were seized allegedly by personnel of the Offshore Defence Advisory Group (ODAG). Some of the injured fishermen had to be admitted to hospitals.
The ODAG comprising personnel from the Navy, Coast Guard and the intelligence units were patrolling the area on a tug owned by public sector undertaking Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC).
Madhulika Burman, in-charge corporate communication ONGC (Mumbai) said Samudrika-lll was leased to ODAG.
Elsewhere, Group Captain M G Mehta, the Defence spokesperson for Gujarat said: “It is not a Defence vessel. There is no question of the involvement of Navy staff.”
Senior Navy officers in Gujarat said they have, however, ordered an inquiry to check on ONGC’s claims. “An inquiry will be set up. But the Navy needs to find out whether the incident comes under the jurisdiction of Gujarat or Mumbai, and if on that particular day Samudrika-III was hired by the Navy, and also about the crew,” said an officer.
Meanwhile, the injured fishermen are yet to hear anything about the confiscated documents. The men who beat them up had issued signed certificates on plain pieces of papers stating that the Navy had carried out the investigation and had confiscated the papers.
Even as the possibility of the fishermen having unknowingly strayed into the ONGC oilfield area is being discussed, there has been no word on why they were beaten up, and by whom. There is no clarity as to who issued them the signed receipts on behalf of the Navy, if the naval staff were not onboard the ONGC vessel.
Most of the fishermen sustained severe bruises on the thighs, shoulders, arms, abdomen, besides internal injuries. One of them, Darti Raja, the tandel (captain) of Tirupatinath said he was clubbed. He has lost his hearing and suspects having sustained skull injuries.
The fishermen said they were roughed up so badly that they could not sail back after the incident. They drifted on the high seas for three days before finally reaching Diu on September 19. Kanji Chudasma, the tandel of Kamryog said: “On September 14, Samudrika-III apprehended a Veraval-based boat. They sent the boat back to us. One by one the boats were called and the fishermen summoned onboard Samudrika-III. They beat us up with wooden sticks. Each fisherman received 30-35 wounds,” said Kanji.
The crew of Tirupatinath was the first to be called to Samudrika-III, followed by Ishwarkrupa, Karmyog and other boats.
“We saw five men on deck. We don’t know if there were more inside. All of them were in causal wear. No one was in uniform,” said Kanji.
The fishermen, who submitted a memorandum in this regard to the Diu Collector on Tuesday, said, “We were told that our documents will be sent back to our homes by post. But, nothing has arrived yet.”

‘Dubious’ documents
The six certificates issued on plain paper to the fishermen says: This is to certify that during inspection/investigation of my fishing vessel carried out by the Indian Navy on 14/9/09, no item was confiscated/ damaged/taken by the investigating authorities. All papers were checked and returned to the master of the fishing boat. There are no complaints of any nature of investigation carried out. 

The handwriting below it says: Following documents are taken by the Indian Navy in the oilfield area.
1) ID card-6; 2) Fishing License-1
3) Boat documents-1
The right hand corner of the certificate bears the signature of the boat master along with the date, while the countersign doesn’t bear the name or rank of the Navy officer. 

Navy Chief, PC discuss coast security

 Asian Age Correspondent
New Delhi
Sept. 22: Even as Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma met home minister P. Chidambaram on Tuesday to discuss matters pertaining to coastal security, the high-level CCS met here on Tuesday.
While the issues that were discussed by the CCS were not known, India’s security establishment is seized of the importance of urgent acquisitions for the armed forces, such as more ships and radars.

Is all well on the India-China border?

WHAT IS going on on the northern borders of India? The Government of India says that all is well and no news is good news. China says that their troops have not intruded into the Indian territory as alleged by the Indian Media. The Indian Army Chief had announced that he would visit the borders to see the situation himself. Next morning he was advised to cancel his tour of the China borders lest the military situation assumes serious proportions. No noticeable movement of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) on their side of the border. So it all boils down to a scenario where one may say that something is cooking somewhere there.

Let us view the Indian scenario first. Nyoma- that is the name of a non-descript place in eastern ladakh where an airstrip existed since 1962 war. Now the Indian Air Force has upgraded it and big transport planes are landing there. Moreover, it has been officially designated as the Transport Base of the indian Air Force in Ladakh. It is being prepared to handle heavy air traffic of big transport planes, as and when a need arises.

Let us move to the eastern sector of the Northern border. The area is geographically called Arunachal Pradesh. In the 1962 war, it was called Nefa - North East frontier Agency. We Indians had lost that war and most of our casualties were in this sector. By the way, China claims entire Arunachal Pradesh as its own territory. China already has forcibly taken over 8,000 square kilometres of the Indian territory in Ladakh to construct a road from Xinjiang to Tibet. Moreover, Pakistan has ceded a large chunk of former Indian territory to china in the Karakoram area of Jammu and Kashmir. The hunger of china for the Indian land is unsatiated.

In Arunachal Pradesh, the local residents have reported that the movement of Indian Army trucks in the recent days is rather unprecedented. In a quick reaction and to calm the ruffled feathers of the Chinese, an Army spokesman said that there was nothing unusual in the movement of Indian troops to the borders beyond Tawang. It is a part of the winter exercise to test the alertness of the army formations there.

We may recall that the government and people of China are busy in preparing for major celebrations to commemorate the establishment of communist take over of entire China 60 years ago on October 1, 1949. The 60th anniversay is indeed a major landmark. The Chinese would not like any unpleasant incident to take place that might spoil the big party in Beijing. China has, therefore, no intention to provoke any border skirmish, what to say of waging a localised war.

The ultra right nationalist elements in India say that the Indian government comprises cowards and they are downplaying the Chinese intrusuions into the Indian territory. All said and done, all is not well on the India-China border and the need of the hour is to keep a constant vigil lest the unfortunate defeat of 1962 visits the napping government again. The people are wide awake and so is the media. So, we do see that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Hand-in-Hand drill with China loses touch

New Delhi, Sept. 22: India and China are not going to be “Hand in Hand” this winter, abandoning the joint army drill of that name that is easily the biggest confidence-building measure between the two countries.
“We have not held any meetings to plan out the drill,” a senior army officer who would normally be involved in the liaisoning told The Telegraph today. “It is unlikely that there will be an episode of the exercise this year when our soldiers would have been expected to visit China since they were here last year.”
This season, there has been a flurry of reports — some confirmed officially — on repeated transgressions along the India-China border and the symbolism of the joint army exercise normally scheduled in December was expected to send out the message that the two sides were keeping the peace. India and China signed a memorandum of understanding in 2006 expressing their mutual desire to hold joint military exercises and institutionalise a “strategic dialogue”.
“Exercise Hand-in-Hand”, a joint training operation began in December 2007 when 103 soldiers of the Indian Army’s 15 Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry landed in Kunming, in China’s Yunnan province, for an eight-day drill. It was followed-up in December 2008 when a contingent of 130 from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, were received at the commando school in Belgaum, Karnataka, for drills with the 8 Maratha Light Infantry.
Both armies had agreed that the exercise — called a “joint training operation” —would be held every year. But after just two episodes, it looks like it has floundered.
When the first drill was held in December 2007, the world’s militaries took notice of the symbolism of two armies, that had gone to war in 1962, practising together. Soldiers of the companies involved struck a short-lived but warm friendship when they drank, danced, sang and, of course, attacked a mock enemy in a war game that ended with much fire and smoke in the Yangmei mountains close to Kunming.
A senior defence ministry official here said one of the reasons for not holding the drill this year was the austerity drive of the Centre. “It costs a lot of money to requisition an Indian Air Force aircraft and fly the soldiers to Kunming with all their equipment and sustain them,” he said.
In other words, the defence establishment in Delhi has concluded that the symbolism of the joint army drill is not worth it. The official points to the navy drills to make the point that military-to-military relations will continue. Indian warships made port calls in Qingdao and a Chinese PLA Navy warship visited Kochi in August. But a joint exercise of the two airforces, proposed in 2006, has not taken off.
“There seems to be a non-seriousness about the military drills,” agrees Shrikant Kondapalli, China-India border disputes expert with the Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis. The scenarios for the wargames were highly unreal — for example, in December 2007 soldiers of the two armies were jointly targeting a terrorist group that had supposed wedged itself near a trading post on the international border.
China is India’s largest trading partner. But the unsettled disputes along the 3,500-km-long border irritate the bilateral relationship that threatened to go into a tailspin this month after the Indian army chief, General Deepak Kapoor, confirmed that there were intrusions, including a helicopter landing, by the Chinese military in disputed territory.
Subsequently, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, national security adviser M.K. Narayanan and General Kapoor said the tensions were not worrisome and a senior home ministry official even threatened to prosecute two journalists for writing a report — vehemently denied — that there was firing across the border in July.
“The symbolism (of a joint training operation) in this background is of value,” says Kondapalli. “But I think the two sides have concluded that even if the exercise is not held, it will not impact on bilateral relations.”

Sacked sepoy, “working for ISI,” held

Shoumojit Banerjee

Secret papers on troop deployment in J&K found in his possession

— Photo: Ranjeet Kumar 
Big catch: Alleged ISI agent and dismissed sepoy Sudhanshu Sudhakar who was arrested in Patna on Tuesday.

PATNA: A dismissed Indian sepoy, alleged to be working for Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, was arrested by the Patna police and the Special Task Force on Monday night after secret documents on troop deployments in Jammu and Kashmir and near the Electronics and Mechanical Engineering Unit in Secunderabad were found in his possession.
Sudhanshu Sudhakar was picked up from the Kankarbagh area following a tip-off from the IB and other intelligence agencies. The police said Sudhakar was also supplying information on missiles to an ISI module.
Booked under OSA

Describing the arrest as a “big catch,” ADG (headquarters) Neelmani said he was booked under the Official Secrets Act.
The police have recovered from Sudhakar a mobile phone, five SIM cards and a SIM card with a Nepal number, along with the receipt of a Kutch-based hotel.
Senior Superintendent of Police Vineet Vinayak said information was extracted from Sudhakar during interrogation. “He was residing at Sitamarhi in Bihar and was on his way to Kathmandu to pass on secrets pertaining to the movement of the Indian Army along the borders to a contact.” Earlier, he had gone to Kathmandu thrice for rendezvousing with a Kathmandu-based ISI member. He was here to collect information about the ordnance factory at Rajgir in Nalanda district, Mr. Vinayak said.

Sibal: we are not interfering with the autonomy of IITs

Anita Joshua

NEW DELHI: Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal on Tuesday questioned the rationale of IIT faculty protesting like “trade unionists” against their revised pay scales.
“Pained” at their decision to observe a token fast on Thursday, he said the Ministry was in no way trying to interfere with the autonomy of the Indian Institutes of Technology as was made out by the faculty.
In a point-to-point rebuttal of the issues they raised, Mr. Sibal wanted to know how the provision for a Ph.D with first class at the preceding degree for the posts of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Professor could be seen as an attempt to dilute merit or autonomy. Further, this was a recommendation made by the Fifth Central Pay Commission.
As for the decision to set aside 10 per cent recruitments in a year at the Assistant Professor level on contract for Ph.Ds from the IITs, Mr. Sibal said this was part of the government’s effort to retain some of the IIT products within the system.
Given the opposition to the move, he pointed out that individual IITs were free to write to their boards for relaxation of this provision if they could not meet the 10 per cent requirement.
Referring to the IIT faculty comparing their pay scales with that of university and college teachers and those in certain government departments such as Atomic Energy, the Ministry’s contention is that they were picking and choosing only aspects that suited their argument.
“The fact is that an IIT faculty member can become an Associate Professor within six years, while under the University Grants Commission scales, this transition takes double the time,” Mr. Sibal said.
Defending the 40 per cent cap on the post of Professors at the grade of Rs.12,000 per month, he said a new pay band had been created for senior professors. The cap was much higher for the IITs than UGC institutions, where 10 per cent of the sanctioned posts of professor were placed in the senior grade. At the National Institutes of Technology, the cap was at 20 per cent, and the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences had a 25 per cent cap on the senior professor grade.
Borrowing a line from the All-India IIT Faculty Federation that the “issue is not just about a higher pay scale,” Mr. Sibal said: “I am happy that for them, salary is not the issue.” Drawing attention to their earnings from consultancies, he described their salary as the “icing on the cake,” adding the actual teaching time was kept very low in the IITs to facilitate research and consultancy work.
Open to discussing the issue with the faculty, Mr. Sibal also held out the hope for introducing a Performance-Related Incentive Scheme soon. “We have asked them to submit their proposals,” he said.