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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Voluntary retirement by pilots of IAF


Around 101 pilots of IAF have applied for grant of Premature Retirement during the last one year. The broad reasons furnished by the applicants for grant of premature Retirement are Supersession, Lack of Career Progression, Medical/compassionate grounds etc. Such applications are considered on a case to case basis in accordance with extant Government policy and service exigencies. Concerted efforts are taken by the Indian Air Force to carry out a proactive publicity campaign to reach the target group across the country, such as (i) participation in career fairs and exhibitions to enhance one-to-one interaction; (ii) advertisement in print and electronic media including recruitment and career related articles; (iii) motivational lectures in schools/colleges; (iv) distribution of publicity material to target group; (v) visuals/signages at vantage points all over the country at strategic locations. The Short Service Commission for Flying branch has been modified to make men also eligible for induction in this branch. The implementation of the recommendations of VIth Central Pay Commission will also go a long way in attracting youth.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in written reply to Smt Jaya Bachchan in Rajya Sabha today.

Not for glory, not for gold



A decade after guns boomed in Kargil, the top brass speak about whether things have changed for our men in uniform and what the future holds

It has been 10 years since the Indo-Pak Kargil war, which took place in 1999. Today, in 2009, as the year and decade rolls to a close, a number of experts analyse Indian defence and security.


Major General Seru Thapliyal (retired) was Brigadier at the Army headquarters in 1999 when Kargil happened. He was in charge of, what is called, perspective planning of the Kargil war.

Thapliyal believes that the government has failed to implement the suggestions of the Kargil Review Committ-ee (KRC).

He says, "A lack of implementation of the KRC report and lack of follow-up action has made the situation
worse than Kargil."

Roll on: When Bofors guns rolled into Kargil


1 Intelligence was a total failure in the Kargil war. The review committee had suggested that the intelligence
be made more accountable, but it was hardly taken into consideration.

26/11 is a recent example of that intelligence failure.

2 The committee suggested we have ground censors in frozen areas like Siachen. This has yet to be implemented.

No artillery guns have been purchased since 1987. Bofors was the last. Artillery is the backbone of the Army.

The review committee suggested that a Chief of Defense be appointed. That has still not been taken care of.

This is because politicians feel that doing so will make the defence forces more powerful and they might seize power one day.

Air Force

20th Air Chief Marshal Shashindra Pal Tyagi retired in 2007. His take is...


1 The number of fighter jets has gone down since Kargil, as we have grounded MIG 23s and MIG 25s, but have not purchased more jets. More  fighters and air defence are the basic requirements right now.

We have bought Sukhoi 30s and Hawk's trainers, but we need more to strengthen the Air Force.

We have grounded the basic trainer HPT 32, so we are short of trainers too. Improved since Kargil

1 Air-to-air refuelling aircraft available, training modules designed and introduced in a timely manner. The air defence radar, training syllabi and courses have been updated; flight safety records have also improved.

The Indian Air Force has held joint exercises with the US and European powers.

Since Kargil, the Air Force has been involved in disaster relief operations like post-Tsunami operations in Sri Lanka. The Air Force also played a major role in disaster relief within the country.

Tyagi signs off, saying, "One thing that the IAF can assure Indians is that the country is safe in the hands of the IAF."

Navy Manohar Nambiar, spokesperson, Indian Navy, says it has been a mixed bag for the Navy. 


1 Lots of international exposure for the Navy as a result of joint exercises with the naval forces of the US, UK, France, Germany and Russia.

There has been an introduction of marine front line ships, which is a positive development.

The number of war ships is more or less the same, but we are expecting Admiral Gorkshov (the biggest warship of the Indian Navy) from Russia in the coming years.

The Indian Navy has been operational in the anti-piracy drive in the Gulf of Aden.

Indian Military ready to fight China and Pakistan at the same time


Shimla-based Indian Army Training Command, headed by Lt-General A S Lamba is getting ready for something Indian Military never was ready before. Indian Air Force, Navy, and Army is ready to face Pakistan and China at the same time.

India’s 1.13-million strong Military is now panning to handle two major war fronts at the same time. India considers Pakistan and China as part of the same camp. India knows the next war will be between India and “Pakistan +China.” India will get indirect support from America and Russia, but Indian Military will have to fight the two war at the same time.

Indian Military has been training for the mini giant war against two nuclear powered nations at the same time. China has used Pakistan for a long time to keep India busy. Now time has come for India to recognize a massive threat from China and Pakistan at the same time.

Indian Army chief General Deepak Kapoor emphasizes that India is ready for a “the successful firming-up of the cold start strategy (to be able to go to war promptly) in the multiple fronts against multiple different militias at the same time.”

The plan is a full thrust assault into multiple anomies at the same time with massive Air Force superiority. If attacked by Pakistan and china at the same time, India will launch self-contained and highly-mobile `battle groups'', with Russian-origin T-90S tanks and upgraded T-72 M1 tanks at their core, adequately backed by far superior air cover and artillery fire assaults, for rapid thrusts into enemy territory within 96 hours.

India plans to end the war decisively within the first 96 hours forcing the other sides into a fast submission of ceasefire.

People’s Liberation Army is aware of the capacities of Indian Army and Air Force. It will be exactly opposite of 1962 war. That is why they are busy building massive infrastructure in the Indian border areas especially in Aksai Chin and Tibet.

he real war in that scenario will be between India and China while Pakistan will be used by China to create adequate disturbance for Indian Military.

That is the reason why Lt-General A S Lamba of Indian Army is so keen a massive thrust into Rawalpindi to quiet Pakistanis within 48 hours of the start of assault.

India’s biggest advantage is the its software capabilities in integrating signal intelligence with ground intelligence. India will use algorithmic seek and scan technology to counter the Chinese threats in the North and possible Pakistani nuclear threat in the West.

India is focused on integrating its Navy, Army and Air Force into an integrated command and Control system completely controlled and dominated by the superior software algorithms that can prove deadly in the war front.

Feud at the top in army


A full-fledged row has broken out in the military establishment between the two top generals of the Indian Army: the chief, General Deepak Kapoor, and his putative successor and the Eastern Command boss, Lt General V.K. Singh.
The row is the latest in a series of tensions that have been building up between the army chief and the eastern army commander who is the senior-most lieutenant general.
The latest round has been triggered by a court of inquiry convened by the eastern army commander who is based in Fort William in Calcutta. It has asked for the sacking of Kapoor’s principal staff officer (PSO) and military secretary, Lt Gen. Avadhesh Prakash, who may be forced to make a premature exit.
The chief has made an abortive attempt to defend his key aide. Kapoor told defence minister A.K. Antony that Lt Gen. Singh was taking an “undue interest” in the case.
The court of inquiry, presided over by Tezpur-based 4 Corps commander Lt Gen. K.T. Parnaik, had forwarded its findings to Lt Gen. Singh. Based on the findings and on consultations with the judge advocate general in his command, the eastern army commander recommended the “termination of services” of Lt Gen. Prakash because of his alleged involvement in a land scam in north Bengal.

The defence minister, who zealously guards his Mr Clean reputation, summoned the army chief on Christmas Eve and wanted Lt Gen. Prakash to be eased out. Gen. Kapoor demurred and defended his aide but Antony was not convinced. A source said the minister ‘cold-shouldered’ the army chief the next day when Gen. Kapoor met him to convey his Christmas greetings
Even as the report of the court of inquiry was being “studied and analysed”, another probe from the central command brought out “the involvement without blaming” of the military secretary in awarding a Rs 1.7-crore contract to a north Bengal-based realtor, Dilip Aggarwal.
A senior defence ministry source has given The Telegraph an account of the build-up and where the stand-off is now headed.
While this is at its nuts and bolts a narrative on corruption in the military and politics over promotions, it is above all indicative of a serious communication gap between army headquarters and the Eastern Command, a fully operational authority whose area of responsibility covers the maximum length of international borders (with China, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar). Its components are also actively involved in counter-insurgency.
After the report of the court of inquiry was hand-delivered from Calcutta at 9.30 on the morning of December 23, Wednesday, army chief Kapoor was summoned for an unscheduled meeting by Antony in his first-floor corner office in South Block that overlooks the expanse of India Gate and Boat Club lawns.

The Fort William boss had convened a court of inquiry that indicted Lt Gen. Prakash in the land case. Gen. Kapoor feels the eastern commander does not have the authority to summon the army chief’s principal staff officer. Lt Gen. V.K. Singh, whose age is caught in a discrepancy, was bypassed earlier for the post of vice-chief
The office is large enough to make the slightly built defence minister seem even more diminutive.
General Kapoor in his winter staff-duty olive green uniform with the gleaming four stars of his rank on his epaulettes marched from his chamber on the same floor to the corner office. He was ushered in and asked to sit across the polished mahogany desk from Antony.
The meeting in the afternoon of December 24 after Antony had flown back from Hyderabad lasted 40 minutes. The defence minister had seen the adverse media coverage over the military secretary.
The discussion was on the Eastern Command’s recommendation to “terminate the services” of Prakash over the alleged Rs 300-crore land scam in north Bengal.
Antony sought a summary of the investigation and the recommendations. He is believed to have suggested that the military secretary be prevailed upon to put in his papers to avoid further embarrassment to his ministry and the army. This should be done quickly because Lt Gen. Prakash is in any case due to retire at the end of January.
Gen. Kapoor, according to The Telegraph’s source, demurred and defended his PSO. He is understood to have explained to the defence minister that:
The Eastern Command under Lt Gen. Singh, who was the convening authority of the court of inquiry that has indicted the military secretary, has taken an “undue interest” in investigating Lt Gen. Prakash. The military secretary was called as a witness to the court and the eastern commander does not have authority to investigate him or recommend action against one of the eight principal staff officers to the chief in Army Headquarters in New Delhi.
It may be wiser, the chief is said to have suggested at first, to allow the military secretary to go quietly into retirement, in about a month’s time. Although Lt Gen. Prakash is due to retire on January 31, proceedings can continue even if he retires.
The army chief suggested that the recommendation to “terminate the services” — in other words, cashier or sack the military secretary — should be toned down to “administrative action” that could involve cutting his benefits but will not drape an officer with such a long career in ignominy.
Defence minister Antony, who takes pride in his Mr Clean image, was not convinced. He conveyed that Lt Gen. Prakash should be persuaded to put in his papers if he does not do so volun- tarily.
The following day, December 25, Gen. Kapoor visited the defence minister at his residence, ostensibly to wish him on Christmas. Staff at the defence minister’s residence expected the meeting to last about 30 minutes or so. But it ended after 10 minutes. “Cold-shouldered,” a staffer said.
What had happened was this: during the time of the first unscheduled meeting, the defence minister was apparently not well briefed on the second investigation in Lucknow by a major general.
That investigation indicted seven officers, including a major general, in the Ranikhet Kumaon Regimental Centre land scam. Military secretary Lt Gen. Prakash is the colonel commandant of the Kumaon Regiment (published by The Telegraph on December 26). It was a double whammy for the army chief and his principal aide.


As many as 126 Indian Revenue Service (Income Tax) officers have been granted non-functional up gradation in the higher administrative grade (67000+).