Friday, October 31, 2014

Grateful Britain recalls valour, sacrifices of Indian soldiers during World War-1
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 30
British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon (2nd from left) at the India Gate war memorial in New Delhi on Thursday
The British Government today thanked the contribution of Indian troops in the World War-I. The valour displayed by Indian soldiers during the war was remembered through black and white images and movie footage of the Imperial War Museum.

UK recognises that it could not have prevailed in the war (July 1914 to November 1918) without the contribution and sacrifice made by many countries. The Indian contribution to the war effort was one of the largest from the Commonwealth.
6 Victoria Cross - the highest military honour of Britain - were awarded to Indian soldiers in WW-I
6 Victoria Cross - the highest military honour of Britain - were awarded to Indian soldiers in WW-I
Today, the UK, working closely with the United Service Institution of India (USI), remembered over 1.1 million Indian servicemen who fought in the war. There were around 70,000 fatalities.
A melange of pictures, displayed at the residence of British High Commissioner Sir James Bevan in New Delhi, today narrated the stories of valour by the Indian Army which had the distinction of having fought in almost all theatres of the war - France and Flanders, alongside the Australian and New Zealand at Gallipoli, Mesopotamia, Palestine and North Africa.
The commemoration began on August 4 with a memorial service at the Glasgow Cathedral for Commonwealth Leaders which coincided with the closing ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. The same day, an event was held at the Symphorien Military Cemetery in Mons Belgium and a candle-lit vigil was organised at Westminster Abbey.
The UK has funded a battlefield guide book which will be available through USI for those families wishing to visit battlefields in France and Flanders. 
Another coffee table book giving a pictorial overview of India and the Great War is available. War Diaries of the India Corps that fought in France and Flanders and these have been digitised and were presented to India.
Regimental War Diaries printed and bound were passed on to the regiments. A total of six Victoria Cross - the highest military honour of Britain - awarded to Indian soldiers and memorials are being prepared for presentation to the Government of India.
Srinagar, October 30
The search operation in the Waderbala forests of Handwara continued for the sixth day today in frontier Kupwara district. Three militants were killed in a gunfight that started in the forest area on Tuesday and continued till yesterday morning. “After two militants were eliminated on Tuesday morning, there has been no exchange of firing. We are combing the dense forest to ensure that no militant is hiding in the forest,” a source said.
Sources said a cordon was, however, being maintained in the vast forest area.
Three Lashkar-e-Toiba militants, believed to be Pakistani nationals, and a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) were killed in the encounter.
The sources said the dense forest was being minutely searched.
Defence sources said the slain militants had sneaked into the Valley last week and an input about their presence was received on Saturday after which a joint operation was launched by Army and the police to nab them.
After 72 hours of combing and search, contact was established with the militants in the forest.

JCO cremated with honours 
Tribune News Service
Mandi, October 30

Naib Subedar Rajesh Kumar Pathania, who was killed in an encounter with militants in Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday, was cremated with full military honours at his native Lakhiar village under Sarkaghat sub-division of the district this evening.

The slain soldier was bid a tearful adieu by his family, relatives and hundreds of people from neighbouring villages who had gathered to witness the last rites of the martyr.
The martyr’s 15-year-old son Saurbh lit the pyre.
Former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, Dharampur MLA Mahender Singh Thakur, Sarkaghat SDM Rohit Rathore, DSP Sanjeev Bhatia and other police and civil officials were present.
Rajesh joined the Army in 1988 and was recently promoted as Junior Commissioner Officer (JCO). The JCO is survived by his wife Nisha (38), daughter Anjali (13), a son, father Roop Chand and mother Leela Devi.
The martyr’s body arrived here in a helicopter this morning and was then taken to his native village by road. A contingent of the Army led by Lt Chetan Prajapati accompanied the martyr.
It’s Anglo-Gorkha war bicentenary today Ajay Ramola
Tribune News Service
Mussoorie, October 30
The bicentennial of any kind is rare in Uttarakhand, since there was little written history of the hill region was during the pre-British times. The word of mouth was the primary form of passing history lessons to the young, before the British arrived and brought their habit of meticulously writing the history of the areas they conquered, written strictly from their own views.
It was on this day exactly 200 years ago, on October 31, 1814, that the Battle of Nalapani Hill began, heralding the Anglo-Gorkha war. According to the Nepali calendar, the battle began on 17th Karthik, 1871.
The Gorkhas’ famous Khalanga Fort on Nalapani Hill was in the present-day Raipur Reserved Forest, north-east of Dehradun city. The 31-day siege of the Gorkha Fort by the army of the East India Company would end in a victory for the British on November 30, 1814. The cost in terms of both British and Gorkha lives was high, with some 740 casualties on the British side and 530 on the Gorkha side. The battle had begun after the British commander, Major-General Robert Rollo Gillespie sent a messenger to the Gorkha commander, General Balbhadra Singh Kunwar, demanding an unconditional, immediate surrender. Since Thapa had only 600 men and the British had 3,500, Gillespie expected a prompt surrender. He was quite wrong. The Gorkhas were ready to fight to the bitter end. That the Gorkhas, though surrounded from all sides, chose to fight on fearlessly with the now-legendary Gorkha ferocity shocked the British.
Gillespie, though astonished by the Gorkhas’ refusal to surrender, did not suffer for long himself. He personally led the first attack on October 31, but was dead in an hour. A Gorkha sharpshooter killed him with a precise long-range rifle shot. There were over 100 British casualties within the first few days of the siege, including dozens of deaths and many more grave injuries. The Gorkhas took losses too, but fewer. Reinforcements were rushed from Saharanpur, then the major British garrison in the region and still a key cantonment for the Indian Army.
Historians agree that the Anglo-Gorkha War that continued until a peace treaty was finally signed by the East India Company and Nepal in late 1815 in Sugauli in Bihar was inevitable. For decades, both the
The British and the Gorkhas had been on aggressive, bloody expansionist paths. The Gorkhas, rampaging westwards from Nepal, had overrun all of present-day Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. They had also conquered Sikkim and parts of Bhutan to the east, and much of the Terai regions of present-day Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
Shantanu Sarkar, a Mussoorie-based environmentalist and history buff, explained: “Britain’s hunger for new territory clashed with the marauding Gorkhas’ expansionism. Tensions had been building up for two decades despite some diplomatic discussions. Both sides were preparing for war on a 1,500-km front from Himachal to Sikkim. War was certain to break out somewhere. Indeed, it broke out right here in the Doon.”
The British prevailed over the Gorkhas after three bloody artillery-supported attacks when the Gorkha water supply finally ran out on November 29. The Gorkha survivors surrendered the next day. Baldhadra Singh Kunwar had escaped at night with his surviving fighters, and eventually joined the army of Maharaja Ranjit Singh as a commander.
Sarkar says, “The most momentous result of the war were that the British were finally able to conquer much of the Himalayas, having been earlier confined to the plains, and feared Gorkha Regiments were created and absorbed into the British Indian Army — So impressed had the British been with the ferocity and courage of the Gorkha soldiers at Nalapani Hill.”
Tribune News Service
Dehradun, October 29
Hailing the recent move of the Central Government to boost the nation’s defence preparedness by approving projects, the Dehradun Ex-Services League has urged the Cabinet to release funds for one-rank, one-pension (OROP) scheme.
In a press release issued here, Brig KG Behl (retd), president of the league, said the Cabinet’s approval for the purchase of essential equipments needed for the defence of the country was a wise move pending for a long time.
“Even though Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced during his recent visit to Siachen that the one-rank, one-pension will be implemented soon. During meetings held with ex-servicemen at various stages it has come out that the government does not have sufficient funds to meet the requirement. Ex-servicemen expect that this doubt will be removed by sanctioning the amount needed so that there is no doubt about its implementation,” he said.
“While the one-rank, one-pension has been sanctioned, it is not possible to implement it unless the anomalies created by the 6th Central Pay Commission (CPC) for equivalence of number of years required to get full pension for a particular rank are decided against 20 years of service where persons have been allowed to retire after 2006. There are a number of officers who have done more than 20 years of service but are not getting full pay as allowed by the 6th CPC. There is still a lot of confusion as to where these officers would be placed and how much they will get in the same rank,” added the retired officer.
Brig Behl (retd) said a high-powered committee having representatives from PCDAs, Defence HQrs, MoD, record offices and retired personnel be constituted immediately. “It will smoothen the process and expedite matters for better implementation of the OROP with complete transparency. Moreover, the 7th CPC too needs a base to start with and implementing of one-rank, one-pension at the earliest will provide it a base,” he added.

1966 batch IAF officers reunite 

Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, October 30
Retired Air Force officers of the 1966 batch dance during their annual get-together “Udaan 2014” in Chandigarh on Thursday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Nostalgia and bonhomie marked the annual reunion of IAF officers of the 1966 batch here today as they shared their old experiences and updated one another on personal and service matters.
Close to a hundred officers and their wives from all parts of the country came down to Chandigarh for a three-day sojourn. Among them were two Air Marshals, former Vice -Chief of Air Staff, Ajit Bhawnani and former Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Command, S Savur.
As part of their programme, the group also visited Amritsar, Bhakra Dam and Kasauli. Among the group were four widows who jointly cut the anniversary cake. Wg Cdr PS Kainth (retd) said that the batch made it a point to hold a reunion every year at different places. Last year, the reunion was held at Bangkok and Sri Lanka was being proposed for the next year.

The batch had comprised over 190 officers from the 96 General Duty (pilot) and 34 and 35 General Duty (navigator) courses. Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh, who was then the Chief of Air Staff, had reviewed the batch’s passing out parade 48 years ago.

Indian Army team wins gold medal at a prestigious event in UK

An team has won the gold medal in the prestigious Cambrian Patrol held in the beating more than 140 participants. 

Exercise Cambrian Patrol is an annual international military patrolling event that makes its participating units cover a 80km course in less than 48 hours while performing numerous types of military exercises placed throughout the rugged Cambrian Mountains and swamp lands of mid-Wales in UK. 

Indian Army team of 8 Garwhal Rifles won Gold Medal in the competition held from October 17-26. 

Cambrian Patrol was first set up more than 40 years ago, by a group of Welsh Territorial Army soldiers who designed the training event to feature long-distance marching across the Cambrian Mountains culminating in firing. 

The aim of the exercise is to test leadership, self-discipline, courage, physical endurance and determination. 

The competition consists of teams of eight men patrolling across some of the most unforgiving terrain. The tests are over two days with no sleep or rest. Some tests which are undergone are - firing of personal weapons, hurdle-crossing, first aid and casualty evacuation, recognition of aircraft vehicles and equipment, artillery target indication, patrol techniques, handling prisoners of war, tactical river/stream crossing, ambush/anti ambush drills among others. 

Many of the teams that enter do not finish, those that do earn one of four distinctions - gold medal, silver medal, bronze medal or passing, a statement by the Army said. 

In the past, the Indian Army team of 4/9 Gorkha Rifles had won the gold medal in 2010.http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/indian-army-team-wins-gold-medal-at-a-prestigious-event-in-uk-114102800902_1.html

PLA troops crossed into India a month ago, says report

  • Staff Reporter
  •  
  • 2014-10-28
  •  
  • 17:07 (GMT+8)
Members of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police. (Internet photo)
Members of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police. (Internet photo)
Photos of Chinese soliders crossing over the Asa-Pila-Maya Army camps into Indian territory were recently taken by villagers in Taksing circle in the disputed Arunachal Pradesh region, according to the New-Dehli-based Deccan Chronicle, in an Oct. 27 report.
Sources from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police said the incursion came to their notice about a month ago. The PLA soldiers returned across the Chinese border after a brief stay. A meeting was held at Kibithu in Anjaw district last week between representatives from China and India but the incursion was not mentioned during the discussion. The movement of Chinese soldiers was noticed by locals living in the Upper Subansiri district of the Taksing region.
Hiwak Chader, a student from Kacha village in Taksing circle told the newpaper that the residents there observed the movement of PLA troops in the Asa-Pila-Maya area around three months ago. He said however, that the government was unaware of it. Photos of the Chinese soldiers were handed over to the army intelligence bureau, the student said. Asa-Pila-Maya was once under Indian control but Chinese forces occupied it after the border conflict of 1962.
Claiming that the villagers of Taksing region are determined to protect their homes against a potential Chinese invasion, Chader said it is time for the Indian government to make a response. The Deccan Chronicle reported on Oct. 28 that nearly 12,000 additional personnel will be inducted into India's Indo-Tibetan Border Police which guard the the 3,488 kilometer-long Sino-Indian border. The PLA soldiers have transgressed the border a total of 334 times as of August this year, according to the newspaper.http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?cid=1101&MainCatID=11&id=20141028000177

India to supply Vietnam with naval vessels amid China disputes



Reuters) - India will soon be supplying naval vessels to Vietnam, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday, the first significant military transfer to Hanoi at a time when it is embroiled in a territorial dispute with China.

The announcement came after Modi held talks with his visiting Vietnamese counterpart, Nguyen Tan Dung, during which the two sides agreed to modernize the Vietnamese military as well as raise Indian involvement in Vietnam's energy sector.

Both India and Vietnam have territorial disputes with China - India in the Himalayas and Vietnam in the South China Sea. New Delhi and Hanoi are beefing up defenses even as they ramp up commercial ties with China, the world's second-largesteconomy.

"Our defense cooperation with Vietnam is among our most important," Modi told reporters, adding it will be expanded.

Top of the agenda is the sale of four offshore patrol vessels that Vietnam wants to improve its defenses in the energy rich-South China Sea where it is locked in competing claims with China.

Talks on the naval craft have gathered pace since last month when India announced a $100 million credit line for defense purchases, an Indian government official earlier told Reuters.

"We will quickly operationalise the $100 million Line of Credit that will enable Vietnam to acquire new naval vessels from India," Modi said.

Vietnam wants the craft for surveillance off its coast and around its military bases in the Spratly island chain in the South China Sea where it is building a credible naval deterrent to China with Kilo-class submarines from Russia.

Claims by an increasingly assertive China over most of the South China have set it directly against U.S. allies Vietnam and the Philippines. Brunei, Taiwan and Malaysia also claim parts of the waters.

Beijing's placement of an oil rig in disputed waters earlier this year infuriated Vietnam but the coastguard vessels it dispatched to the platform were each time chased off by larger Chinese boats.

India and Vietnam called for peaceful resolution of the disputes in the region.

"They agreed that freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea/South China Sea should not be impeded and called the parties concerned to exercise restraint, avoid threats or use of force," a joint statement said.

The two sides also signed an agreement under which India's state-run oil exploration arm, ONGC Videsh Ltd, will enhance cooperation with PetroVietnam.

"The agreement underlines Vietnamese invitation to OVL to expand its presence in Vietnam and further consolidate cooperation in exploration and other areas between the two countries in energy sector," the joint statement said.

China has previously criticized India's cooperation with Vietnam in the oil and gas sector, saying its exploration activities off the Vietnam coast are illegal.

On Tuesday, responding to a question on India and Vietnam exploring oil together in the South China Sea, Beijing said it would have no problem so long as it was carried out in waters that were not disputed.

"China has indisputable sovereignty over the Spratly Islands and its adjacent waters. We have no objection to countries who want to carry out legitimate and lawful oil and gas cooperation in waters that we have no dispute over," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said."But if such cooperation harms China’s sovereignty and interests, we will resolutely oppose it."http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/28/us-india-vietnam-idUSKBN0IH0LE20141028

Diver drowns in freak accident in Army golf course


Chennai: A sea diver from the Kasimedu fishing hamlet drowned in a 10-foot deep artificial lake, which is a leisure spot for defence officers at the Indian Army’s Palm Grove golf course located in the Island Grounds on Anna Salai on Tuesday. He was part of the team outsourced by the Army to fix a damaged boat deck, built over floating rafts, which had slipped into the lake in the recent heavy rains.
The deck that was designed to allow officers to lounge on it had submerged partially in the water after its support rafts had moved from their positions in the water. The deceased, Rajendran, 51, was part of an eight-member crew led by Kumar from Kasimedu, hired for Rs 5,000 to put the boat deck back in position over the water.
The body was found stuck under the boat deck at around 5 pm after nearly five hours of search by the fire and rescue team. The diver had reportedly tried to lift the rafts before the deck had been properly secured by ropes. 
The team had planned to lift the damaged deck from the water and put it back in place after draining all the water. The Army officials were reported to have suggested that the logs be secured first, but Rajendran had dived into the water earlier, around 9 am, and started working on lifting the deck of size 20 feet x 8 feet. He was said to be trying to lift the damaged deck on his head, which is when he went down and got stuck under the rafts.
Also, the visibility was very low because of the accumulation of rain water in the lake. 
Kumar and his team began searching for Rajendran on their own and only later were the Army officials alerted. Subsequently, the help of Fire and Rescue services was sought and its personnel reached the spot at around noon. “Around 5 pm we lifted the deck and the raft using a crane and found his body,” fire and rescue team member Sivasankaran said.
“The sea diver, who is accustomed to deep sea diving, seems to have failed to handle the weight of the deck and drowned” the police said. An Army spokesperson said it was a case of accidental death was and being handled by the local police.http://www.deccanchronicle.com/141029/nation-current-affairs/article/diver-drowns-freak-accident-army-golf-course
INDIA & PAKISTAN
Border flare-up

India and Pakistan trade charges as ceasefire violations along the LoC take many lives and affect thousands of families on both sides of the border. By JOHN CHERIAN




THE ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) between India and Pakistan have been continuing since October 5. The shelling from both sides has already led to the loss of at least 30 civilian lives. Around 30,000 people on both sides have been forced to leave their homes. Farms have been abandoned. These have been described as the worst incidents along the LoC in more than a decade. Both New Delhi and Islamabad have been accusing each other of “unprovoked” firing. Neither side has so far come out with a convincing rationale for the continued firing. Pakistan on previous occasions has used firing as a cover to facilitate the inflow of militants from across the border into Kashmir.
Many Pakistani officials are of the view that domestic Indian politics was the trigger for the latest round of cross-border shelling. They claim that Assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana and the forthcoming one in Jammu and Kashmir are factors influencing the Indian government’s belligerent posture towards their country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi did frequently refer to the Indian Army’s tough response in highly surcharged nationalistic rhetoric during the election campaign. Both Modi and his Cabinet colleagues made it a point to frequently remind Islamabad “that the rules of the game have changed” with the coming of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to power.
It is also no secret that the BJP wants to capture power in Jammu and Kashmir, too. Modi’s tough stance towards Islamabad seems to have evoked a popular response in the Jammu region. As it is, the BJP swept the region in the Lok Sabha elections. It has been reported that Modi did not bother to consult with the Cabinet Committee on Security before giving the green signal to the armed forces to escalate attacks along the LoC. The decision was taken solely in consultation with the hawkish National Security Adviser, Ajit Doval.
After Modi took over, the Indian Army has been given a freer hand in conducting aggressive patrolling along the border. A minor incident along the Line of Actual Control with China was allowed to be magnified when China’s President Xi Jinping visited India in September. The Chinese side did not allow the incident to overshadow the important state visit. All the same, it was evidently not amused at the attempts of the Indian Prime Minister to politicise a routine border incident in order to promote his “tough guy” image.In recent weeks, as the cross-border firing continued, the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister issued strong warnings to Islamabad. Arun Jaitley, who holds the Defence and Finance portfolios, has been warning of a stronger response if the firing continues from the opposite side. He said that India, being a “responsible state”, would never be “an aggressor” but reminded the Pakistani side that the conventional military strength of the Indian armed forces was much stronger. He said that if Pakistan persisted in its “unprovoked” firing, it would feel the “pain of their adventurism”.
The Indian government took its own sweet time to call for “flag talks” between front-line army commanders. Usually, when violations occur along the LoC, the Directors General of Military Operations (DGMOs) from both sides are quick to establish contact and defuse the situation. The hotline between the DGMOs of the two countries has been in place since 1965. In December last year, a call between the Indian and Pakistani DGMOs helped curtail a brief spurt of cross-border firing.
“The message we have been given from the PMO [Prime Minister’s Office] is very precise and clear. The PMO has instructed us to ensure that Pakistan suffers deep and heavy losses,” a Home Ministry official told the Reuters news agency. The agency quoted residents of the area as saying that for every shell Pakistan lobs in, the Indian armed forces retaliate with six. Director General of the Punjab Rangers Maj. Gen. Khan Tahir Javed said at a news briefing in Islamabad that the kind of arms India was using was similar to those that are used in times of war.
Pakistan’s Minister of State for Frontier Regions, Lt Gen. (Retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch, raised the sceptre of a nuclear conflict, which is a great worry for the international community. While blaming India for the cross-border violence, he said that countries possessing nuclear weapons “would not keep it merely in cold storage” but would “use it in time of need”. He hastened to add that the “serious situation” along the LoC should not be an excuse for war.
Pakistan Army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif warned in the third week of October that any aggression against Pakistan would get a “befitting response”. Pakistan’s Defence Minister, Khawaja Mohammad Asif, also told the media that with both India and Pakistan being nuclear weapons states, both sides had a responsibility to act sensibly. In fact, military and strategic analysts have concluded that India frittered away its conventional military advantage by going publicly nuclear in 1998, allowing Pakistan to follow suit. Pakistan since then has the guarantee of assured nuclear parity. A conventional war between the two countries is no longer a rational proposition, with both countries having nuclear weapons.According to some reports, the Indian Army, angered by the improvised explosive devices (IED)-related deaths of some of its personnel on patrol duty last month, responded by targeting Pakistani posts across the LoC. According to these reports, the IEDs were planted on the Indian side of the LoC by Pakistan-based infiltrators. The Pakistani side alleged that the Indian side starting firing on the occasion of Eid-ul-Zuha, when people were in a celebratory mood. It also said that the Indian military actions were taking place at a time when the Pakistan Army was busy trying to quell the insurgency in Waziristan and other tribal areas. To add to Pakistan’s discomfiture, there was a brief military skirmish on its shared border with Iran on October 17. A Pakistani Army officer was among those killed. An Al Qaeda-linked militant group, Jundullah, has been staging terror attacks inside Iran from Pakistani territory for some years now. Another militant group, Jaish al-Adl, also based in Pakistan, had kidnapped five Iranian soldiers in February.
Taking it to the U.N.
Islamabad has been quick to complain to the international community about the continued intense shelling from the Indian side. In comparison, the Indian side is not complaining too much about the ongoing violations. Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to the Pakistan Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, has been communicating with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon regularly these days. During his conversation on October 19, Aziz told the U.N. chief that Pakistan was exercising the “utmost restraint” but remained determined “to thwart any aggression”. The Secretary-General has been calling on both sides to de-escalate and has expressed concerns about the recent escalation in violence. On October 11, Aziz sent a letter to the U.N. chief detailing what he termed as India’s ceasefire violations along the LoC.
Pakistan has used the rising tensions along the LoC to try and once again bring the Kashmir dispute into the international spotlight. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in his September 26 speech at the U.N. General Assembly, dwelt on the Kashmir issue at length, pointing out that it was one of the oldest unresolved conflicts since the formation of the U.N. Aziz, in his letter, said that the international community had a responsibility to implement its own resolutions on Kashmir, including that of allowing Kashmiris the freedom to chart out their own future. Pakistan wants the U.N. Military Observer Group for India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to be further strengthened. India, on the other hand, has virtually suspended cooperation with UNMOGIP, which was set up by a U.N. Security Council Resolution in 1951. India has not approached the U.N. body to visit its side of the disputed border.Aziz also drew the attention of the Secretary-General to India’s decision to abruptly call off the Foreign Secretary-level talks that were scheduled to be held on August 25. The sudden cancellation was a signal of the resolve of the new government in New Delhi to act tough. Pakistani diplomats claim that they have shown the maximum flexibility in dealing with the Modi government. Prime Minister Sharif, who has made improvement of relations with India a key aspect of his foreign policy, accepted Modi’s invitation to his swearing-in ceremony despite misgivings among influential sections of the Pakistani establishment. Pakistani officials say that when Sharif was meeting with Modi, the Indian Foreign Secretary, in her interaction with the media, was busy disparaging Pakistan. The Pakistani side wanted to respond to the allegations in New Delhi itself but was told by Prime Minister Sharif to desist from doing so in the interests of fostering good relations.
The Pakistanis also claim that the Indian government did not give them any prior warning on the cancellation of the Foreign Secretary-level talks. The Pakistan High Commissioner was waiting to receive the separatist leader Yasin Malik when he got an ultimatum from the External Affairs Ministry. Malik was released from house arrest only the previous day by the Indian authorities in Srinagar. The Pakistani side was under the mistaken belief that he was released to facilitate his meeting with the High Commissioner before the start of the Foreign Secretary-level talks. The Pakistani side has called for a speedy renewal of the dialogue process but at the same time it insists that there should not be any preconditions. Islamabad, according to senior diplomats, will keep on talking with all the stakeholders in the Kashmir conflict, including the All Parties Hurriyat Conference. They say that they are waiting for the Indian Prime Minister’s reaction when he will meet his South Asian counterparts, including his Pakistani counterpart, at the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Kathmandu, next month.
And even as the firing across the LoC was continuing unabated, the international community sent a message of sorts to the two nations by the granting of the Nobel Peace Prize to an Indian and a Pakistani. The honour bestowed upon Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai, according to the Nobel Committee’s chairman, Thorbjorn Jagland, was a modest effort to nudge the two countries a little closer. Poverty, illiteracy and extremism are among the main challenges the two countries face. Instead of tackling these, the governments are more focussed on beefing up their military preparedness. Malala has said that she wants the Indian and Pakistani Prime Ministers to be present in Oslo during the prize-giving ceremony. Satyarthi has said that he would like Malala to join hands with him to fight for “peace in our region”. He hailed the Nobel Committee’s decision as “a great statement” in the context of “the present scenario between India and Pakistan”.http://www.frontline.in/the-nation/border-flareup/article6537674.ece?homepage=true
New Delhi, October 29
Almost three years into negotiations over price and work-share arrangement between the Ministry of Defence and French company Dassault Aviation, the French government is positive that the Rafale fighter jet deal will be clinched any time now.
In January 2012, the Indian Air Force selected Dassault Aviation’s Rafale fighter jet out of six global competitors to buy 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA). The planes were tested for 643 parameters before the decision. When the global tender was floated for the MMRCA, the cost was estimated to be around $10 billion.
France’s Ambassador to India Francois Richier today said, “It is a very, very big contract and very complex. From what we have heard from the (Indian) Defence Ministry, we believe it is on the right course.”
When the Narendra Modi government took over in May, Defence Ministry officials had said it would take about three months to wrap up the contract.
Earlier this month, Russian Ambassador Alexander Kadakin claimed that the Rafales “will be swatted like mosquitoes in an August night” by Russia-supplied Chinese combat planes in a war. His French counterpart Richier refused to be drawn into commenting on Kadakin’s remarks.
Under the terms of the global tender, the IAF will acquire 18 of the aircraft in “flyaway” condition. The remaining 108 are planned to be built in Hindustan Aeronautics Limited facilities in Bangalore.Dassault Aviation’s key associate, the SAFRAN conglomerate, today entered into agreements to sponsor research projects at IIT Delhi and the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
Keep watch on Afghan situationTransitional period poses serious threats
Inder Malhotra
British soldiers (left) and US Marines lower the Union Jack and the NATO flag during a handover ceremony at Lashkar Gah in Afghanistan's Helmand province on October 26.
British soldiers (left) and US Marines lower the Union Jack and the NATO flag during a handover ceremony at Lashkar Gah in Afghanistan's Helmand province on October 26. AFP
ON Sunday at a ceremony - not announced in advance for fear of an attack - Britain and the United States handed over to the Afghan government and its security forces two major and adjacent military bases in Helmand province of the country which has seen the worst of fighting during the 13 years of war and where the rebellious Taliban are still in a strong position. Between them the US base named Leatherneck and the British one called Camp Bastion formed the international coalition's regional headquarters and housed 40,000 military personnel and civilian contractors all of whom were flown back home by Monday evening. For Britain it was the end of its combat role in Afghanistan. The British Defence Secretary used the occasion to announce that no British troops would be sent back to Afghanistan ever. For America, the combat role will end in two months. But, under the Afghanistan-US Defence Security Agreement (DSA), around 10,000 American troops will remain in the war-ravaged country up to the end of 2016.
The departing international coalition seems encouraged because it sees the formation of a government of national unity in Afghanistan - after a hotly disputed election -- as a good augury. That would surely so if it lasts. Many are doubtful if it can because the formation of the united government is less voluntary and more America-brokered. President Ashraf Ghani lived in America and worked for the World Bank. His rival, Abdullah Abdullah, has been made the CEO for which there is no provision in the Afghan constitution. Many of his strong supporters, belonging to ethnicities other than Pushtoon, are opposed to this arrangement. Should it break down, Afghanistan would return to armed conflict among warlords. But let us hope that this danger would be averted. But there will still be several other challenges.
For one thing, the Afghan National Army - which, along with the police - numbers 3,50,000, is American-trained, like the Iraqi Army that has virtually collapsed. Could the ANA meet the same fate, especially because it does not have air cover, and is unlikely to get it? Its other equipment is also inadequate. The international community has therefore to do something to ensure the safety of post-US Afghanistan. The Afghan economy is in bad shape. According to the World Bank, the rate of growth of the Afghan GDP plummeted from 14. 4 per cent in 2012 to 3.1 per cent in 2013 and is likely to be 3.5 per cent this year. No wonder President Ghani has rushed to a three-day visit to China where he will meet his opposite number, Xi Jinping, signalling the pivotal role he expects Beijing to play not only in economic reconstruction of Afghanistan but also in a strategic foreign policy aimed at building peace in a region torn by war and conflict for three decades. China does have a stake in peace and stability in Afghanistan where it owns one of the biggest copper mines in the world and is waiting to start operating it. Also Beijing knows that the rebels in its Xinjiang province get much assistance from the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. To this extent India’s and China’s interest is the same. But we have to be watchful about what China actually does there, as we have difficulties with Chinese activities in other neighbouring countries.
Time was when the US used to criticise this country for not helping it to overcome its biggest strategic problem, Afghanistan, by settling all its numerous disputes with Pakistan and letting America leave after settling the Afghan imbroglio. Later, however, Washington welcomed India's “larger footprint” in Afghanistan. For it saw how popular India and Indians were there because this country was concentrating on Afghanistan’s reconstruction and development, building its parliament, university and other institutions and providing electricity to even its remote villages. Altogether, India has invested two billion dollars in Afghanistan. It has also trained Afghan military officers in Delhi, not Kabul.
As for Pakistan the wide world knew that all through his dictatorial rule Gen Pervez Musharraf was “double-crossing” the US and yet he and his successors, operating through the notorious Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), got away with this perfidy. All through these years the then Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, went on protesting publicly not only against Pakistan unleashing on his country its officially sponsored and nurtured terrorists but also for having become a haven for terrorists of all kinds. Neither the US nor Pakistan cared. The bitter truth is from the very beginning Pakistan has treated Afghanistan as its backyard that gave it “strategic depth” against India. After the first Afghan jihad when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan to preserve a government friendly to it, it was Pakistan that organised the Taliban. It has also played host to the Taliban’s icon, Maulana Umar.
Today Pakistan’s main objective is to ensure that after America's full exit Afghanistan is ruled by the Taliban friendly to Islamabad. It might be making sweet noises but its actions are totally opposite. In fact, its determination to keep India out of Afghanistan and virtually rule Afghanistan is much the stronger than before. Indeed, its enmity with India has increased greatly, as its aggressive behaviour along the Line of Control and the international border which the state of Jammu and Kashmir demonstrates.
The United States knows and witnesses all this. But so great is President Barack Obama's need to cut his losses and get out of Afghanistan - the American people are fed up with America's longest war that has cost it heavily in both blood and treasure - that he is prepared to pay any price to Pakistan for the latter's help to enable the US to wash its hands of Afghanistan. This is the source of the greatest trouble and challenge we are going to face fairly soon. I hope our policymakers have noticed that in the list of Pakistani terrorist outfits mentioned in the Modi-Obama joint declaration there is no mention of Taliban.
From the heights of Shimla to the depths of jingoism
F. S. Aijazuddin
Mrs Indira Gandhi and Zulfikar Ali Khan Bhutto signing the Shimla Agreement.
Mrs Indira Gandhi and Zulfikar Ali Khan Bhutto signing the Shimla Agreement.
IT is a small desk, ornate but unexpectedly small. Forty-two years ago, it bore the weight of two hands that signed the 1972 Shimla Agreement. Today, that desk bears the lighter burden of two framed photographs — one of the Indian and Pakistani delegations in congress, and the other of their leaders Mrs Indira Gandhi and Mr Zulfikar Ali Bhutto signing a common document in the pre-dawn of July 3. The desk in Shimla's Raj Bhavan has been made the focal point of a mini-shrine to commemorate the event, just as the Shimla Agreement itself has become the source, the Ganga-dhara of India's attitude to Pakistan vis-à-vis Jammu & Kashmir.
From the heights of that Shimla accord flowed down-stream the Lahore Declaration, signed on July 2, 1999 by prime ministers Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Nawaz Sharif. It reiterated “the determination of both countries to implement the Simla Agreement in letter and spirit.” The letter of the Agreement was public knowledge; its spirit remained amorphous, changing meanings into nuance.
Signing it, both Mrs Gandhi and Mr Bhutto understood that Pakistan had conceded that the Line of Ceasefire had hardened into the Line of Control and that the undertaking to “settle their differences by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations” precluded any reference to third parties, particularly the United Nations. According to P.N. Dhar (Secretary to Mrs Gandhi), “When Mrs Gandhi, after recounting their points of agreement, finally asked Bhutto, “Is this the understanding on which we will proceed?”, he replied: “Absolutely, Aap mujh par bharosa keejiye (Absolutely, you can trust me).”
Each subsequent Indian and Pakistani government has chosen to treat that clause as a malleable Rubik's cube, rotating it to yield different patterns of meaning. The Lahore Declaration has fared no better. Its clause — that both countries “shall intensify their efforts to resolve all issues, including the issue of Jammu and Kashmir” — has given license to numerous interpretations. Some political cynics assert that cross-border sniping is hoping to do just that. The sanctity of all international protocols is underwritten by an enduring commitment to execute them, regardless of change in national governments. It is precisely because Mr Nawaz Sharif was a signatory to the Lahore Declaration (and by association the seminal Shimla Agreement) and because he was involved directly in letter, in body and in spirit, that the Indian government finds his recent speech at the UN General Assembly so discordant. His Advisor Mr Sartaj Aziz went a step further. He contacted the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and asked him to retrieve the dust-laden UN Resolution 47/1948, which called for a plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir. Realists would give this appeal as much a chance of success as the South Korean Mr Ban Ki-moon being able to reunify the two Koreas.
Mr Nawaz Sharif's volte face at the UN took place after his avuncular trip to New Delhi to attend Mr Narendra Modi's swearing-in ceremony. It has been perceived in India as an almost Kargil-style betrayal of the bonhomie generated by his earlier heart-warming gesture. Five months have passed. Much has happened since. Mr Nawaz Sharif has been beleaguered by demands from his opponents at home to resign, while Mr Modi has received an invigorating mandate in the state elections in Maharashtra and in Haryana. In Maharashtra, his BJP won 122 seats out of a total of 288. This was almost three times more than the seats the BJP garnered in 2009. In Haryana, he gained 47 seats out of 90, more than 10 times BJP's paltry four in 2009. Mr Modi is not one to gloat — at least not publicly. He has good reason to, though. Sonia and Rahul Gandhi's Congress has been trounced in both states, dropping in Maharashtra from 82 seats (2009) to 42 now. If worse could be worse, BJP commands a majority in the bulging wallet of India — Mumbai.
Fortified by these results, the BJP can expect to be supported ideologically by Shiv Sena which captured 63 seats, 21 more than Congress. But he that sups with Shiv Sena…. Mr Modi's next steps at diplomacy are of vital significance to Pakistan. Extremists have been heard on Indian television channels demanding that Mr Modi should rescue the “oppressed people of Balochistan and Sindh” from their brutal “masters”. General Musharraf was dismissed by one rabid anchorman as being a “coward” for not answering yet another question about Kargil. And most frighteningly, voices that were once regarded as pro-Pakistan moderates are being denounced now as anti-Indian.
There is a sinister echo of a 1971 jingoism in the air. Saner ears prefer to recall the Shimla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration. They spoke of hope, of a “durable peace and development”, to enable both peoples “to devote their energies for a better future.”
(By arrangement with Dawn)
Cadre officer to head Army Aviation Corps 
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, October 29
The Army Aviation Corps (AAC), a combat support arm, will now be headed by a Lieutenant General belonging to the corps. Earlier, the AAC Director General (DG) at Army Headquarters was a Lieutenant General from another arm, since the senior most AAC, holding the post of Additional DG, could not go beyond the rank of Major General on account of the relatively smaller size of the corps.
Directing the Central Government to move the vacancy of the AAC Director General from the general cadre to the permanent cadre of the AAC “forthwith”, the Armed Forces Tribunal has also ordered that a special selection board be convened preferably before November 15, to consider eligible AAC officers for promotion to the rank of Lieutenant General.
One of the youngest arms of the Army, AAC operates helicopters to provide tactical air support to Army formations, carrying out anti-tank strikes, surveillance, airlift of troops and equipment and casualty evacuation.
Maj Gen PK Bharali, ADG Army Aviation, had moved the Tribunal contending that the Central Government had released 20 new vacancies for Lieutenant Generals in 2008 and the appointment of DG Army Aviation was to be made a cadre appointment. He had staked his claim to the post on account of being the senior-most AAC cadre officer.
AFT orders special board to select Lt Gen
  • AFT directs the Centre to convene a special selection board before November 15 to consider eligible Army Aviation Corps (AAC) officers for promotion to the rank of Lieutenant General
  • Earlier, the AAC Director General (DG) was a Lieutenant General from another arm, since the AAC cadre officer could not go beyond the rank of Major General due to the smaller size of the corps

A 1977 seniority officer, Major General Bharali had pointed out that his name was not considered for promotion to the rank of Lieutenant General by the special selection board held for non-general cadre officers in April 2013 on the grounds that the AAC was a “minor corps.” Consequently to a study undertaken by the Army that showed that the strength of the ACC had reached 650 pilots, the government finally approved the transfer of the vacancy of DG Army Aviation to the permanent cadre of AAC.
He was thereafter considered for promotion in October 2013, but not approved. His name was again omitted from consideration in the board held in April 2014 on the grounds that the post of DG was shown as a general cadre vacancy and not a cadre vacancy.
The Tribunal, in his orders a few days ago, held that the rational of the respondents to determine the cadre strength of the AAC and whether he could be headed by a cadre officer was contradictory and discriminatory in nature. The Tribunal observed that the respondents’ themselves were not sure of figures relating to cadre strength and comparison with other arms and corps and the whole exercise undertaken by them was not based on any cogent reason and was contrary to the decision taken by the government when the post of DG was sanctioned.

Defence projects in the fast track

It is heartening that the indecision and drift that characterised the erstwhile UPA regime in regard to matters of defence acquisitions has been replaced by a new sense of urgency under the present Modi dispensation.
So thoroughly was the UPA exposed for non-performance and corruption and so low was its credibility in the later years of the Manmohan Singh regime that vital defence purchases were kept on the backburner as defence preparedness suffered.
Now, when at a single meeting of the high-powered Defence Acquisitions Council defence deals worth Rs 80,000 crore are cleared, there is all-round surprise. If this government pulls it off without controversies, it would be a great achievement.
The bulk of the money earmarked is for the Navy that is in dire need of up-gradation and capability enhancement. It is happy augury that the government has decided to make indigenously the six submarines which account for Rs 50,000 crore worth of committed expenditure. Ensuring strict quality control and blocking corruption would be challenges that the decision-makers would have to grapple with. The submarines will be Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) capable that will enable them to stay underwater for longer than conventional submarines besides having enhanced stealth features. They will have the capacity to be equipped with land attack cruise missiles.
 The other major acquisition cleared was the purchase of 8,356 Anti Tank Guided Missile of Israel worth Rs 3,200 crore rather than the US’ Javelin missile for the Indian Army. The Army will also purchase 321 launchers for the missile. In the past, any deal with Israel was frowned upon since the West Asian Muslim-majority bloc used to breathe down our neck and the Congress party was unduly concerned about keeping the minority Muslims in good humour for electoral gains.
The Modi government, on the other hand, is not into minority appeasement.
For over five decades, India has been largely dependent on Russia for its military preparedness. But the warmth and vibrancy in the time-tested and very cordial Indo-Russian ties is somewhat evaporating. India’s growing clout in the international community and the fast changing geopolitical matrix has goaded New Delhi to further cement its relationship with Washington and other Western nations, which are willing to offer what Moscow is increasingly failing to deliver — high precision sophisticated weaponry at relative cost. The delay in transforming the modified Kiev-class aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov into the INS Vikramadtiya and its exceeded cost has badly hurt Russia’s reputation.
Russia’s recent offer to sell Mi-35 attack helicopters to India’s arch-rival Pakistan has further dealt a major blow to Indo-Russian ties.
The series of crashes involving mostly Russia-made MiG 21 and MiG 29 fighter jets, a slew of kickback allegations, and procurement delays have marred government’s efforts to upgrade India’s armed forces. There is a growing urgency in India to upgrade its Soviet-era military weaponry to counter China, which has forced it to look beyond Russia.
Another big factor, which has compelled New Delhi to weigh more options is the willingness shown by the Western countries to offer the latest technical know-how along with the clause to co-develop and manufacture hi-tech defence equipments in India to which Moscow never agreed until recently.
The Central government’s decision to fast-track defence projects has come not a day too soon. The Chinese have moved well ahead of India in terms of the country’s defensive and even offensive capability. It is now time for India to play catch-up.
While it is laudable for India to develop indigenous technology and expertise, import substitution in the field of defence cannot be at the cost of quality.
China’s biggest hike in military spending in three years, with its defence budget set to cross $ 130 billion in the current year, should make countries like India sit up.  While Chinese officials said the increase was in keeping with the size of China’s growing economy and in line with what most countries spend in terms of percentage of GDP, the 12.2 per cent hike is huge indeed. China’s spending now dwarfs that of countries in the region, and is second only to the United States, which spends more than $ 600 billion on defence. Chinese military analysts explained the defence hike as a response to China’s challenges in the region, such as on-going territorial differences with Japan over East China Sea islands, and recent disputes in the South China Sea. But it would be foolhardy to ignore that Chinese hegemonism could be a threat to India as well.
Though India announced a 10 per cent hike in military spending during the interim budget last year, India’s effective defence spending in dollar terms actually fell. Besides, while the country is in dire need of modernisation of the armed forces and the augmentation of military equipment, then UPA Defence Minister A.K. Antony seemed oblivious to the need to shore up our defences.
What else can one make of the manner in which he caved in last year to the Finance Ministry diktat to cut spending by Rs 10,000 crore in the capital acquisitions for the Army, Navy and Indian Air Force, on the pretext of the economic situation being grim. The UPA government at the Centre was guilty of having jeopardised national interest by failing to upgrade and modernise vital Indian military equipment.
There is a yawning gap in the conventional capabilities between China and India and this asymmetry is increasing by the day. Continued neglect of the modernisation of Indian armed forces and delayed acquisitions during the last 10 years of the UPA rule made the challenge bigger. It is this that the NDA government is grappling with as a legacy of the UPA misrule.http://freepressjournal.in/defence-projects-in-the-fast-track/

Felicitation of Asian Games Medalists of Army by General Dalbir Singh, Coas on 29 Oct 2014

Felicitation of Asian Games Medalists of Army by General Dalbir Singh, Coas on 29 Oct 2014
70 sportspersons from represented the country in 2014 at Incheon, South Korea. Gen Dalbir Singh, COAS felicitated the awardees in South Block for their commendable performance which contributed towards 11(02 Gold, 01 Silver and 08 Bronze Medals).

The eighteen medalists were :-
- Nb Sub Jitu Rai, Gold and Team Bronze Medal in Shooting.
- Nb Sub Sandeep Kumar, GoldMedalin Archery.
- Sub Maj Vijay Kumar, Sub Pemba Tamang and Sub GurpreetSingh, TeamSilver Medal in Shooting.
- Nb Sub Chain Singh,Bronze Medal in shooting.
- HavArokia Rajiv and Hav Naveen Kumar, Bronze Medals in Athletics.
- Hav Satish Kumar, Bronze Medal in Boxing.
- HavDushyant, Bronze Medal in Rowing.
- HavSawarn Singh Bronze Medal in Rowing.
- Nb Sub Devinder Singh, Nb Sub Kapil Sharma, HavManinder Singh, Nb Sub Md Azad, Nb Sub Robin PU, Sub Maj Bajarang Lal Takhar and Nb Sub Ranjit Singh, Team Bronze Medal in Rowing.

The COAS interacted with the awardees and felicitated them with COAS Commendation Cards and cash incentives. He expressed confidence that the sportsmen would continue excelling in their fields and bring laurels to the country in the Olympic Games in 2016. The COAS stressed on the need of focused preparation and hard work towards the same. He congratulated the Mission Olympic Wing at Army Headquarters for successfully pursuing their goals and coerced them to attain greater heights.

Currently around 500 young potential sportsmen are undergoing extensive training at the five Mission Olympic Nodes under the Mission Olympic Programme of the Army.The Nodes are Army Sports Institute, Pune; Army Marksmanship Unit, Mhow; Army Rowing Node, Pune; Army Yachting Node, Mumbai and Army Equestrian Node, Meerut which have State of Art world class training infrastructure and have employed some International Coaches and Sports Specialists training the sportsmen in the various disciplines around the year. The main focus is in the sports of Archery, Boxing, Shooting, Weightlifting, Wrestling and Rowing.          
Col Rohan Anand, SM
PRO (Army)

Why I'm unconvinced by Shobhaa De's 'Army Wife story'


Dear Ms Shobhaa De,
Please do not ‘use’ the Army Wife to make your point.While I reciprocate your fine sentiments towards our soldiers, your recent narrative of the proud fauji wife is a little abrasive, for it appears fraudulent. Like a good story teller you have managed to convey what your co-passenger, the proud fauji wife, may have said or felt during that flight. It is a shame, however, that the sceptical reader in me has won over the proud Army wife. Your account of this ‘chance encounter’ does not read genuine at all, but a clever literary ploy in the service of pathos. If not, I would love to meet this lady who feels “reassured and confident” at the prospect of an escalation of conflict at the border. 
As the joke goes in the army, the wives always occupy a rank higher than the officers. Ignoring the mischief inherent, let me focus on the sombre aspect of this joke. The wives have it way harder in the army than their husbands in uniform. It is not easy to commit oneself to a man whose call of duty comes first, always and every time. Nor is it an easy decision to relinquish one’s own professional aspirations to be able to match with the husband’s oft romanticised nomadic vocation. Many of us do it, some do not, and either way the decision comes with heavy emotional baggage. An army wife’s life hangs in a delicate balance which can be easily disturbed by external factors. The angst of being ‘ignored’ is best understood by their wives, as the armed forces personnel struggle to get their voices heard in the policy debates in our country.  
More importantly, nobody understands the horrors of war better than the army wives. Your proud fauji wife nursed her wounded husband back to health and yet is enthusiastic about retaliatory action? In my limited tenure as one, I have a contrary understanding of armed conflict. The army wives and their children pray for peace and not war. They also display the rare courage of empathising with other soldiers even if they happen to be on the other side of the border. They understand the pain of the ‘other’ army wife as well. Even your army wife was happy at having the wounded husband home for rest and recoup. Will escalation not snatch soldiers away from their families, sometimes never to come back again?
While it is good to have faith in a democratically elected government and a Prime Minister making the right kind of noises, the kind of jingoism your piece exudes is unconvincingly projected upon the army wife. You seem to have mixed up your concern for the rights and welfare of soldiers and war mongering. India needs a motivated and alert army considering its geopolitical realities. However, such motivation hardly comes from the possibility of a large-scale armed conflict. Enough casualties have been incurred by the Indian armed forces in counter-insurgency ops and due to non-enemy action injuries in difficult terrains to hanker after a full blown war. The motivation, instead, comes from the assurance that the soldiers will not be deprived of their rightfully earned pension, compensation and above all, their dignity and honour.    
You talk about ‘stories of valour and faith’ - they abound in the armed forces. Some get media traction before fading away from collective consciousness, while others get buried untold. Your stories of valour seem a bit unrealistic. The tinker-tailor-soldier-spy quality of our Military Intelligence guy’s adventures brought a cynical smile to many of my soldier friends. Let me point out a technical inaccuracy: once wounded, military personnel are rule bound to report at the nearest Military Hospital and not go home. 
It is the dream of every self-respecting soldier to be in the middle of “action.” However, most army wives pray that their husbands’ adventures are limited to patrolling and camping in the hills. The other story of two little girls pleading to be killed conjured up an image of the medieval practice of Jauhar. I sincerely hope that these stories are not concoctions, because they read like exaggerations. If your co-passenger indeed narrated these incidents, we would surely like to know more. The vagueness surrounding the narration is a clear giveaway. Throwing keywords like militants, guns, bullets and valour while discussing a “proud army wife” is but a form of emotional blackmail, a desperate pleading to get alms of attention. Hobnobbing with Bollywood on an almost daily basis may have led you to believe that Main Hoon Na-esque patriotism and valour on steroids works. Perhaps it does, but only at the Box Office.  
All governments ought to treat their soldiers with a sense of respect and justice. In a democratic country, soldiers obey what the political class decides. Even at the cost of their lives and bad PR. Prudence lies in making policy and decisions that equip the soldiers better in their negotiations: both at the battlefield and beyond. Treating them like food for cannon, or private goons with no strings attached for the sake of an aggressive stance in foreign policy is unethical and foolhardy. While I’m with you in lauding Prime Minister Modi for thanking the soldiers, I refuse to believe that there is anything dishonourable or as you say “chilling” in “duck(ing) the enemy’s bullets” if it translates into peace. I’m sure both of us know our Gandhi and his “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.” Yours,Another proud Army Wife http://www.dnaindia.com/analysis/standpoint-why-i-m-unconvinced-by-shobhaa-de-s-army-wife-story-2030509

Need a structured war history of Indian soldiers: Jaitley

Union Defence Minister Arun Jaitley with Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag honoured Param Vir Chakra to Subedar Yogender Singh Yadav at the 50th Anniversary of 1965 War Celebration in New Delhi on Thursday | PTI

New Delhi: Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday tasked Army chief Gen. Dalbir Singh with preparing a structured history of all the wars that India Army has fought.
Jaitley said that there is a need today to have a structured history of the contribution of Indian soldiers, both in book and the digital format.
"That is something which has been missing. I've just requested the army chief," Jaitley said at the commemoration ceremony of India's contribution to World War I, which was organised here by the British High Commission.
Noting that scholarly work is required in this regard, Jaitley said at the event, "The United Service Institution of India has said they have a lot of material on some recent wars... So, I don't see why that can't be done."
He added that the government was in the process of finalising the plan for the setting up of a war memorial, particularly for those who have been martyred or made great contribution post 1947.The Defence Minister, earlier, expressed a similar view at the 'Smarananjali' programme organised here on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Indo-Pak war.
"I have started having this feeling that the history of these wars, its compendium, is made available so that future generations can know about it," Jaitley said.
The 'Smarananjali' programme was organised to pay tributes to those soldiers who died in the line of duty while defending the country in the 1965 war.
Singer Kavita Krishnamurthy Subramaniam, Suresh Wadkar and violinist L Subramanian were among those who performed at the event.
The Army chief, Air Force Chief Arup Raha and Navy Chief Admiral RK Dhowan were also present during the programme.
Recalling that the 1965 war took place during his school days, Jaitley said that the names of Lt. Col. Ardeshir Burzorji Tarapore and Hawaldar Abdul Hamid had become household names. "None can forget their sacrifices," he said.
The 1965 war event was organised by Doordarshan. It was conceptualised in the form of a lyrical tribute by artistes to the martyrs.
The Defence Minister also honoured Capt. Bana Singh and Subedar Yogendra Singh Yadav (both recipients of Param Vir Chakra) at the function.
"Respecting them (soldiers) is, in a way, fulfilling the responsibility of national duty. Ingratitude is considered a sin. The country is one today because of the sacrifices of the soldiers," he said.
Jaitley also praised the efforts of the soldiers during natural calamities in Uttarakhand last year and in Jammu and Kashmir this year.
Meanwhile, at the British High Commission function, UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said that Indian soldiers had distinguished themselves in every theatre of war with more than 9,000 of them winning gallantry medals, including six Victoria Cross recipients.
"Such heroism must be recognised," he said.
Britain had entered the war on August 4, 1914. Over 1.1 million Indian servicemen fought in WWI and there were around 70,000 fatalities.
The UK has funded a battlefield guidebook which will be available through USI for those families wishing to visit the France and Flanders battlefields.
It has also funded, in conjunction with USI, a coffee table book giving a pictorial overview of India and the Great War, besides digitising the War Diaries of the India Corps that fought in France and Flanders. These were presented to the Indian government.
Memorials for the six Victoria Cross winners were also presented to the Government of India.
World War I, which started on July 28, 1914, and finished on November 11, 1918, involved all of the world's great powers. It saw 70 million combatants in action of which, more that 9 million were killed.http://zeenews.india.com/news/india/need-a-structured-war-history-of-indian-soldiers-jaitley_1491842.html

IAF Recruitment 2014: Apply for Group X Posts

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has published a recruitment notification against various posts under Groups X and Y. All eligible and interested candidates need to apply before November 6, 2014. The job details asre given below:
Names of Posts
  • Group ‘X’ (Technical)
  • Group ‘Y’ {Automobile Technician, GTI and IAF(P)}
Pay Scale
  • For the first post: Rs 24,900/-
  • For the second post: Rs 20,500/-
Eligibility
Age Limit: Candidates applying for the above mentioned posts should be born between February 1, 1995 to June 30, 1998 (both days inclusive) so far the minimum age limit is concerned; while the maximum age limit on enrolment is 21 years.
Educational Qualification: Applicants should have passed 12th standardalong with Diploma or its equivalent qualification from a recognized university. For post-wise qualification one may refer to the recruitment advertisement.
Selection Process
Original Certificates, Mark Sheets and other required documents like NCC ‘A’, ‘B’ or ‘C’ certificate, Son of Air Force personnel certificate (SOAFP), Domicile certificate etc. would be scrutinized and verified at the examination venue prior to commencement of Written Test to ascertain the prima-facie eligibility. Detailed verification would be carried out in respect of candidates who pass Written Test later. Candidature of those who do not meet the laid down educational criteria is liable to be rejected even after written test after detailed verification of original documents.
How to apply
All eligible and interested candidates need to attend the Recruitment Rally along with relevant testimonials (as mentioned in detailed advertisement) at the following address:
1 AIRMEN SELECTION CENTRE,
48 MANSFIELD ROAD,
AMBALA CANTT (HARYANA) – 133001.
Candidates may click here to get the official advertisement of this recruitment. Click here to access the official website of Indian Air Force (IAF).http://www.prepsure.com/news/iaf-recruitment-group-x-post-recruitment-2014/

Navy kick starts Navy Week celebrations

PTI [ Updated 28 Oct 2014, 18:37:56 ]
Navy kick starts Navy Week celebrations
New Delhi: The Indian Navy today kick started its Navy Week celebrations with a blood donation camp apart from a series of planned activities, including a two-hour performance by the naval band in Connaught Place here next month.
“The need for the blood is always there. When we started this initiative in 2011, we were able to garner 100 units which increased to 200 and 260 the next two years. Today, we have set a target of 400 units,” Commodore Vijesh Garg, Commanding Officer, INS India and Station Commander of the force in Delhi area, said.
Besides the blood donation camp, a dental camp was also set up at INS India. Both civilians and service personnel donated blood.
Giving details, Commodore Garg said the Naval band would be playing marshal and bollywood music on November 15 in Connaught Place.
“It is open to the public. Everyone, from children to the aged, are welcome to come see and hear the band playing,” the officer said.
The Navy Week is an annual naval event, which provides an opportunity to civilians for a close interaction with the Navy.
The Navy Day is celebrated on December 4 to commemorate the courageous attack on the Karachi harbour during the Indo-Pak conflict on December 4, 1971 by the Indian Naval Missile Boats as well as to pay reverence to the martyrs of that war.http://www.indiatvnews.com/news/india/navy-kick-starts-navy-week-celebrations-43634.html

CHINESE SUBMARINE FLEET MAKES FIRST KNOWN TRIP TO INDIAN OCEAN


China’s submarine fleet made its first known trip into the Indian Ocean, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal
A Chinese attack submarine passed through the Straits of Malacca between Malaysia and Indonesia with sightings near Sri Lanka and the Persian Gulf. It’s the latest report of the significant steps forward the Chinese navy has taken in advancing its submarine fleet. 
Earlier this year, a U.S. Navy report estimated that the Chinese navy has nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarines able to launch strikes against the United States from the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
The Chinese navy has ambitious plans over the next 15 years to rapidly advance its fleet of surface ships and submarines as well as maritime weapons and sensors, according to a report by the Office of Naval Intelligence.
Earlier this year, ONI issued an assessment on the Chinese navy as part of testimony to the U.S.
China Economic and Security Review. ONI leaders found that China’s navy has evolved from a littoral force to one that is capable of meeting a wide range of missions to include being “increasingly capable of striking targets hundreds of miles from the Chinese mainland.”
The Chinese navy has 77 surface combatants, more than 60 submarines, 55 amphibious ships and about 85 missile-equipped small ships, according to the report first published by the U.S. Naval Institute.http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2014/10/30/Chinese-Submarine-Fleet-Makes-First-Known-Trip-to-Indian-Ocean

Relearning Anti-Submarine Warfare


Welcome back to history, mariners of the world! Your post-Cold War holiday from history is drawing to a close—if it hasn’t expired already. Last week’s imbroglio between the Swedish Navy and an apparent Russian submarine in the Stockholm archipelago was only the most recent reminder of certain verities about combat at sea.
To name one, hunting submarines is hard—today as for the past century. It takes golly-gee hardware to detect, track, and target submersibles plying the deep. It takes plentiful anti-submarine craft to search the enormous volumes of water where subs may lurk. And, most of all, anti-submarine warfare takes patient, resolute, technically savvy hunters to employ this high-tech gear to good effect.
Success is hardly a foregone conclusion, even when a fleet surmounts such benchmarks. American military people tend to think of the Cold War in triumphal terms. But during the late Cold War—when Western fleets stood at the apogee of their supremacy over Warsaw Pact foes—U.S. Navy wargames involving undersea warfare typically started out the same way: the game administrators let U.S. Navy ASW units find the adversary boat. Their quarry then dove beneath the waves, there to be tracked—or not—by American aircraft, surface warships, or nuclear-powered attack boats that had a fix on the enemy’s original position.
That hostile boats would obediently let themselves be caught on the surface constituted quite an assumption, even in those halcyon days. It’s yet more suspect today, after a quarter-century of technological advances and cultural atrophy. No longer is it a given, for instance, that diesel submarines have to surface frequently, exposing themselves to radar detection. Many diesel submarines now sport “air-independent propulsion” that lets them stay in the deeps for long intervals rather than come up to periscope depth to snorkel. No Soviet boat enjoyed such marvels. And modern boats benefit not just from AIP but from better acoustic properties—quieting, in other words—and an array of other innovations.
Meanwhile, ASW skills have decayed among navies grown obsessed with projecting power shore. In the early 1990s, U.S. Navy directives bearing titles such as From the Sea instructed seamen to turn their attention ashore. That sent a powerful bureaucratic signal. With the Soviet Navy rusting at its moorings, it appeared, no one could contest American rule of the sea. Why bother practicing to fight nonexistent foes? Instead the navy busied itself exploiting its seemingly everlasting command of the sea. Disciplines such as ASW, surface warfare, and mine warfare fell into disuse.
New aspirants to undersea prowess understand all this, of course. China has centered its new-and-improved PLA Navy mainly on diesel-electric attack boats, importing some and building its own, while also experimenting with nukes. Russia has fielded new classes of nuclear-propelled boats. To guard their interests—against China in particular—smaller Asian powers have taken to constructing or importing undersea flotillas of their own. Japan deploys some of the most impressive diesel boats in the world. Vietnam has taken delivery of Russian-built Kilos, while more are on the way. Taiwan wants to build submarines at indigenous shipyards. Indonesia and Bangladesh recently voiced interest in purchasing boats abroad. India and Australia are trying to get their submarine programs on track. And on and on.
How should the U.S. Navy cope with submarine proliferation in the Pacific and Indian oceans, its primary theaters of endeavor? American seafarers appear confident in the kit installed aboard ASW vessels and patrol planes—sensors, processors, and the like. Whether the human factor is up to the challenge is another question. Cultures are resilient but can be broken. Ordering a navy not to concentrate on the central function of navies—winning sea command—could fracture one in a hurry. Reversing cultural decay—restoring, or remaking, the culture of a naval service—demands leadership from on high as well as from the middle ranks.
In short, the naval establishment needs to send a countervailing signal, overriding the one it sent back in the early 1990s. You’d think resuscitating the ASW culture in the U.S. Navy would be a simple matter. After all, Admiral Jon Greenert, the chief of naval operations or America’s top uniformed naval officer, is a submariner himself. Why not just give the order to restore ASW to its former prominence? But think about it. …From the Sea appeared in 1992, making that a convenient year to date the navy’s turn from war at sea to power projection ashore. That’s fully twenty-two years—meaning ASW has been a subsidiary function for a generation now.
That means a generation’s worth of naval officers and enlisted technical specialists entered the service and ascended the ranks during an age when ASW was an afterthought. Nor did the surface navy in particular do itself any favors around 2000, when it shut down junior-officer training for several years. Newly commissioned officers were issued stacks of CDs and told to learn such skills as ASW while also doing their shipboard—i.e., full-time—jobs. Thankfully, the surface community partially corrected this practice some years back, restoring some classroom training. But several years’ worth of officers have reached or are approaching mid-career—the time when they form the backbone of any crew—without that foundational training. One hopes the DIY training took.
So it remains to be seen who will spearhead the revolution in ASW tactics, techniques, and procedures. Doubtless today’s crews can bombard land targets with aplomb, or police the sea, or render humanitarian or disaster aid. That’s what they’re trained to do and have done all their careers. But have they learned the reflexes and habits of mind needed to prosecute elusive submarines in densely populated waters? That’s another matter.
This is not a slam. This wouldn’t be the first time misbegotten doctrine or strategy instilled counterproductive habits in seafarers. For instance, the interwar U.S. Navy taught a generation of submarine skippers to seek safety in the depths upon sighting an enemy surface task force. Subs were thought to stand little chance against destroyers and other sub hunters. The best they could do was hide. Fine. After Pearl Harbor, though, the chief of naval operations ordered SUBPAC, the Pacific Fleet submarine force, to sink not Imperial Japanese Navy men-of-war but tankers, freighters, and tankers—unarmed or lightly armed ships that ferried raw materials and finished goods hither and yon among the islands and territories comprising the Japanese Empire.
You’d think torpedoing largely defenseless vessels would be easy. Yet many SUBPAC captains found it impossible to jettison their cautious ways and go on the attack. To break this culture of reticence, the Pacific Fleet leadership instituted policies that culled out timid captains remorselessly in favor of youth and derring-do. Skippers who produced few results after two patrols found themselves canned—and replaced by others given a chance to show they could produce. A swift turnabout in attitudes ensued.
SUBPAC boats’ lethality improved as the culture changed. The wreckage of Japanese ships strewn across the Pacific seafloor attests to it. One hopes today’s cultural revolution won’t demand measures that ruthless. Still, the navy may again find itself compelled to speed up cultural change through expedients resembling those deployed seven decades ago. Some candid self-assessment is a must. If last week’s Russian adventure spurs introspection, it will have done our navy a favor. Admitting you have a problem is the first step toward finding a solution.
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2014/10/30/Chinese-Submarine-Fleet-Makes-First-Known-Trip-to-Indian-Ocean

Naval Officer's Wife Moves HC against Illegal Detention

KOCHI: The wife of the Navy official who is allegedly detained by the Navy and is undergoing compulsory medical treatment has moved the Kerala High Court against the illegal detention.
The petitioner Aarti Sahu submitted that the forceful treatment and cancellation of leave of her husband Sunil Kumar Sahu is illegal. Considering the submission, the court referred the matter to a Division Bench dealing with habeas corpus cases.
According to the petitioner, Sunil Kumar currently deployed at the INS Kattabomman, Tirunelveli, was transferred from Karwar to Tirunelveli in 2013. While working there he came across the organised corrupt practices of other employees and he submitted a written complaint to the Chief Vigilance Officer of the Navy.
The complaint submitted against the other employees had irritated higher officials and he was summoned by the Commanding Officer of the INS Kattabomman. The Commanding Officer threatened to admit him in the hospital as a mental patient. On October 22, Sunil Kumar was called to the office and on entering the office his mobile phone was snatched and a chargesheet ead out. Further he was arrested and put in the Naval lock-up. Thereafter a medical officer of the Navy was called to the lock-up and a referral note was made referring Sunil to INHS Sanjivani (Naval Hospital), Kochi. Being a person in custody escorted by two guards, he was treated like a criminal in the wee hours. He was taken to Kochi by car escorted by four Navy men. Thereafter he was compulsorily admitted in the hospital and is continuing the treatment.
The Navy had initially granted him leave from October 27. Now the leave has been cancelled by the commandant for the alleged observation, the petitioner submitted. She further submitted that her husband is in no need of medical treatment as a psychiatric patient. The Commandant had instigated this trap to harass him  by char, the petition stated.http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/kochi/Naval-Officers-Wife-Moves-HC-against-Illegal-Detention/2014/10/30/article2499650.ece

Cyclone Nilofar: Rains in Oman; Pak seals coast; India deploys reserves

Storm is expected to weaken as it makes landfall in the next 24 hours

Latest: Rain drenched parts of Oman yesterday as Cyclone Nilofar veered off the coastline to take its fury in the direction of Pakistan and India, with waves in the deep sea reaching as high as 35 feet.

Parts of Masirah Island, Quriyat, Al Sharqiyah experienced heavy rainfall and thunderstorms in the early morning hours, with the skies clearing long enough for a rainbow to welcome residents.


Pakistan disaster management team issues emergency checklist

Minor flooding was also reported in parts of Oman, as wadis overflowed with rainwater, even as the might of the Grade Two storm kicked up speeds that reached 175kmph, reaching 390km off the coast of Masirah Island, before veering northeast to move away from mainland.

Oman’s Met department has stated rains will continue through Thursday, also enveloping Muscat.
A man rides on a horse past a grounded fishing boat as people take pictures while visiting Karachi's Clifton beach October 28, 2014.  According to local media, Pakistan authorities closed coastal belt due to the tropical cyclone Nilofar which has gained further strength as it continue to move inwards. (REUTERS)
Pakistan shuts coastal belt

The coastal belt of Sindh has been closed until November 2 as Section 144 has been imposed as a precautionary measure for Cyclone Nilofar, even as authorities state the wrath of the storm will lessen by the time it reaches Pakistan.

The law has been imposed on the coastal belt of Karachi, Thatta, Sajawal and Badin.

Karachi Commissioner Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui has appealed to the public to stay indoors when rains hit the coastline. He has also requested individuals to remain in schools, colleges or offices when the storm hit.

The Pakistan Navy, Maritime Security Agency and Coast Guard have also be asked to arrange the immediate return of fishermen from sea.
People visit Karachi beach to watch high tide following Cyclone Nilofer on Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014 in Pakistan. According to the country's meteorological office, the sea conditions along Pakistan's coast would be rough to very rough from Wednesday to Friday. (AP)
The commissioner directed departments concerned to ensure strict implementation of Section 144, banning bathing and swimming in the sea as well as making beach safety arrangements more effective.

Meanwhile, Thatta Deputy Commissioner Agha Shahnawaz Babar has also enforced emergency in the coastal areas.

In its last update on Wednesday evening, Pakistan’s Met Department had positioned the ‘Very Severe Tropical Cyclone Nilofar’ about 800 km in southwest of Karachi and 680 km south of Gawadar.

It stated: “The Cyclone would continue to move in the same direction (towards adjoining coastal areas of Lower Sindh and Indian Gujarat) with a speed of 14kmph in next 24 hours.
“At present the estimated central pressure of Cyclone is 996 hPa [hectopascal] and the average sustained wind speed around is 90-100 knots up to 110 knots. The cyclone would start weakening on Thursday afternoon and is very likely to cross the adjoining coastal areas of Lower Sindh and Indian Gujarat as a cyclonic storm or depression with a wind speed of 70-80kmph, gusting to 100kmph on Friday night.”
A Pakistani lifeguard sits on a deserted beach in Karachi, Pakistan, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014. The authorities in Pakistan closed a coastal belt due to the approaching tropical cyclone Nilofar which is likely to hit the country’s coastal areas on Wednesday. (AP)
The met office further stated that widespread rain and thundershowers, with isolated heavy to very heavy rainfalls is expected in Lower Sindh, including Karachi and coastal areas of Balochistan on Thursday and Friday.

India readies emergency crew


In wake of Cyclone Nilofar, the district administration in Kutch (Gujarat) has launched evacuating procedures for the 30,000 people living near the shore-line, across 123 villages, official sources were quoted in the press.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) of India issued a bulletin stating that it has deployed rescue and rehabilitation teams at various locations as Cyclone Nilofar barrels towards the coastline of Gujarat.

In an earlier statement, the government committee said: “The National Disaster Response Force is fully geared up for rescue operations in the wake of cyclonic storm ‘Nilofar’ in Arabian Sea along Gujarat coast.”
Pakistani fishermen boats are called back from sea following a warning by authorities of Cyclone Nilofer’s possible impact on Pakistan coastal areas, Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014 in Pakistan. According to the country's meteorological office, the sea conditions along Pakistan's coast would be rough to very rough from Wednesday to Friday. (AP)

The NDRF said that three battalions situated at Vadodara (Gujarat), Pune (Maharashtra) and Bathinda (Punjab) have been alerted for the same. Apart from this, seven rescue and relief teams are pre-positioned at Gandhidham, Dwarka, Porbandar, Veeraval, Rajkot and two teams at Bhuj in Gujarat.

Nine other NDRF teams are on standby, while boats with flood rescue equipment are also being sent to meet challenges, the release added.
Rain, 175kmph winds hit Oman
As Oman, Pakistan and India track the progress of Cyclone Nilofar across the Arabian Sea, the intensity of the storm system has worsened with wind speeds now notching up to 200kmph, according to authorities.
The ‘Very Severe Tropical Cyclone’ as it is now being categorised, has been notched up to a Grade Two weather system by Oman’s Meteorology Department, as its trajectory separates the centre of the storm to the nearest point on the coast by a mere 243 nautical miles or 450km.
The US Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Centre places this as Oman’s Masirah Island, adding that the banding of the centre of the storm has increased further over the past 24 hours "to a defined 12 nautical mile [22.2km] eye... while the initial intensity has been increased to 115 knots [213kmph]".
Wind speeds are averaging up to nearly 175kmph according to Oman’s Met office, a significant increase over the past 24 hours, with the country advising all boats to return to the coast.
Oman maintains its earlier projection that Cyclone Nilofar will not make landfall in the country, but rather re-curve northeast and make its way towards Pakistan and India over the next 12 hours.
Members of  Pakistan's coast guard patrol on a Karachi beach, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014 in Pakistan. Authorities in Pakistan closed a coastal belt due to the approaching tropical cyclone Nilofar which is likely to hit the country’s coastal areas on Wednesday. (AP)

Rains lash Oman
Storm clouds covered parts of the country, even as heavy rainfall, high winds and rough seas barrelled near the Oman coastline.
In a statement, the Met office said: “Latest weather charts indicate that the tropical Cyclone Nilofar over central Arabian Sea is still persisting and its surface wind around the story is estimated to be between 85 and 95 knots; the cyclone centre is about 510km from Oman southeast coasts.”
The statement further said: “Latest satellite pictures and numerical weather charts indicate that the cyclone will start moving in a north-easterly direction, away from Oman’s coasts and head towards Pakistan and India’s coasts.”
Seas are expected to remain very rough along the Arabian Sea and Oman Sea coasts, with moderate to heavy rain in Al Wusta and South Sharqiya and strong winds until Thursday.
The office stated earlier: “The cyclone is likely to move northwest on Tuesday and Wednesday; the centre of the cyclone is expected be between 350km to 450km from Oman’s Arabian Sea coasts at the closest.
Appeals have been made to fishermen and others to avoid venturing to the sea along the coasts of Oman.
Several residents of Oman told Emirates 24|7 that they are stocking up on emergency supplies even though the trajectory makes it unlikely that the wrath of Cyclone Nilofar will impact the mainland.
Meanwhile, the UAE’s National Center for Meterology and Seismology has confirmed the country will not be directly impacted by the cyclone.
In a statement, a spokesperson stated: “There will be no direct impact of Cyclone Nilofar on the UAE, but the country could expect accelerated winds on Wednesday and Thursday reaching up to 25 knots.
“There could also be distinct cloud cover on those days, with a possible chance of the weather pattern giving rise to convective clouds that could bring rainfall to Al Hajjar mountains and the eastern coastline of UAE.”
However, such is not the case for Pakistan and India over the next few days.
Disaster management committee readies Pakistan
Pakistan’s Met department has placed the cyclone 1,120km southwest of Karachi and 1,010km south of the port of Gawadar.
In a statement, the country’s Met office said: “The Cyclone is likely to move northward in next 24 hours with a speed of 5kmph. It would re-curve northeastwards (towards adjoining coastal areas of Lower Sindh and Indian Gujarat) on Wednesday.
“At present, the estimated central pressure of Cyclone is 990 hPa [Hectopascals or the standard for measuring barometric pressure] and the average sustained wind speed around is 90-100, gusting up to 110 Knots [203kmph].”
The country is bracing itself for thunderstorms and very heavy rainfall in Lower Sindh, including Karachi, the coastal areas of Balochistan from Wednesday evening to Friday.
The storm surge will be accompanied by strong gusty winds.
The Met office added: “Fishermen of Sindh and Balochistan are advised not to venture out to open sea from Wednesday to Friday. The fishermen who are already in the open sea are advised to return to coastal areas before Wednesday.”
Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority has issued a checklist to ensure emergency procedures are in place over the next 48 hours, which include precautionary evacuations to higher grounds of people living in coastal areas / low lying areas near the coast or residing in huts, refraining people from swimming in the sea, warning and forecasts be issued to people, ships, ports etc. and rescue agencies be placed on alert in the likely areas of impact.
Arrangements for relief camps in respective areas are also being made functional, while emergency Operation Centres will be made operational till the termination of cyclone.
India deploys rescue teams
India, which was hit by Cyclone HudHud earlier this month, is bracing for another weather pattern to hit the country over the next few days.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) of India issued a bulletin stating that it has deployed rescue and rehabilitation teams at various locations as Cyclone Nilofar barrels towards the coastline of Gujarat.
In a statement, the government committee further said: “The National Disaster Response Force is fully geared up for rescue operations in the wake of cyclonic storm ‘Nilofar’ in Arabian Sea along Gujarat coast.”
The NDRF said that three battalions situated at Vadodara (Gujarat), Pune (Maharashtra) and Bathinda (Punjab) have been alerted for the same. Apart from this, seven rescue and relief teams are pre-positioned at Gandhidham, Dwarka, Porbandar, Veeraval, Rajkot and two teams at Bhuj in Gujarat.
Nine other NDRF teams are on standby, while boats with flood rescue equipment are also being sent to meet challenges, the release added.
The Indian Met Department’s update has placed the storm 1,080km southwest of Naliya, Gujarat adding: “It has intensified further and will move northwest during the next 12 hours and then gradually curve northeast and cross north Gujarat and adjoining Pakistan coast around Naliya by November 1 forenoon.
“However, as the system would come closer to Gujarat coast, it would weaken and the cross the coast as a cyclonic storm.”
Under the influence of this system, the Met office is forecasting rainfall at most places on the belt, with isolated heavy to very heavy falls along the coastal districts of Saurashtra and Kutch from October 31, late evening.
Heavy rains have already hit parts of Goa and isolated places over Konkan, South Interior Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
The heavy rainfall will continue in Tamil Nadu and Kerala over the next 48 hours.
Squally wind speeds will reach 45-55kmph gusting to 65kmph along and off Gujarat coast from October 31 evening and would reach 80-90kmph, gusting to 100kmph at time of landfall. 
A marine warning is also in place off the coast of Gujarat coast with rough to very rough seas from October 31 and would become high from the morning of November 1.
The country is bracing for minor damage to power and communication lines due to uprooting of trees and breaking of tree branches, while coastal hutment dwellers are being moved to safer places.
Meanwhile, those travelling over the next 48 hours to and from the Gulf to Oman, India and Pakistan are advised to check with their airlines for a possible change in schedule due to the storm.
Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and Indian carrier Spicejet have said they are monitoring the situation.
EARLIER REPORTS
550km from Oman; Pakistan, India get ready
The might of Cyclone Nilofar has gained momentum as it barrels down towards Oman, with a mere 550km or 320 nautical miles separating the centre of the storm to the nearest point on the coast, according to the country’s Met Department.
The US Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Centre places this as Oman’s Masirah Island, adding that the centre of the storm is currently ‘a 10 nautical mile [18.5km] cloud-filled eye and deep connective feeder bands wrapped tight into the well-defined low level center’.
Wind speeds are averaging at 80 knots or nearly 150kmph, with Oman issuing a marine warning, advising all boats to return to the coast.
The current trajectory of Nilofar is critical for the country over the next 10 hours as the deep depression – upgraded to a ‘very severe cyclonic storm’ – moves northwest before it is expected to re-curve northeast and make its way towards Pakistan and India.
Oman: The Oman Meteorology Department has reiterated the cyclone is not likely to make landfall, even though high winds, rainfall and rough seas are forecast over the next 24 hours.

The Met office said in a statement: “Most numerical weather predication models still forecast the cyclone to approach Al Wustah and Southern Al Sharqiah coasts without landfall.”

The office further stated: “The cyclone is likely to move northwest on Tuesday and Wednesday; the centre of the cyclone is expected to be between 350km to 450km from Oman’s Arabian Sea coast at the closest. Moderate to heavy rains likely over the governorates of Al Wusta and southern Al Sharqiya.”

The Met office also issued a marine warning, citing the Arabian Sea and the Oman Sea are expected to be 'very rough'.

It added: “The Public Authority for Civil Aviation appeals to fishermen and sea to goers to avoid venturing to the sea along the coast of Oman.”
Pakistan: Pakistan’s Met department has placed the cyclone 1,120km southwest of Karachi and 1,030km south of the port of Gawadar.

In a statement, the Met office said: “The cyclone would continue to move in northwest direction today [Tuesday] with a speed of 6kmph and is expected to re-curve northeastwards (towards adjoining coastal areas of Lower Sindh and Indian Gujarat) on Wednesday.

“At present the estimated central pressure of the cyclone is 990 hPa [Hectopascals or the standard for measuring barometric pressure] and the average sustained wind speed around is 90-100, gusting up to 110 Knots [203kmph].”
The country is bracing itself for thunderstorms and very heavy rainfall in Lower Sindh, including Karachi, the coastal areas of Balochistan from Wednesday evening to Friday.
The storm surge will be accompanied by strong gusty winds.
India: The Indian Met Department’s morning update has placed the storm 1,110km southwest of Naliya, Gujarat, adding: “It would move northwest during the next 12 hours and then gradually curve northeast and cross north Gujarat and adjoining Pakistan coast around Naliya by November 1 forenoon.

“However, as the system would come closer to Gujarat coast, it would weaken and the cross the coast as a cyclonic storm.”
Under the influence of this system, the Met office forecasts rainfall at most places on the belt, with isolated heavy to very heavy falls along the coastal districts of Saurashtra and Kutch from October 31, late evening.
Squally wind speeds will reach 45-55kmph gusting to 65kmph along and off Gujarat coast from October 31 evening and would reach 80-90kmph, gusting to 100kmph at time of landfall.
Airlines: Those travelling over the next 48 hours to and from the Gulf to Oman, India and Pakistan are advised to check with their airlines for a possible change in schedule due to the storm. Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and Indian carrier Spicejet have stated they are monitoring the situation.
October 28, AM
UAE residents planning to head to Oman over the next two days may need to alter their travel schedule as Cyclone Nilofar looms 880km off the coast of Salalah, bringing high winds and rainfall to Masirah Island and Duqm.

The US Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) has placed the cyclone 406 Nautical Miles off the coast of Masirah Island, with the Indian Meteorological Department upgrading the deep depression to a ‘Very Severe Cyclonic Storm’ as it reaches off the coast of Oman with wind speeds of 150kmph.

The UAE’s National Center of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) has reiterated Cyclone Nilofar will not impact the country, but could bring ‘accelerated winds’ up to 25 knots on Wednesday and Thursday.

Meanwhile, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and Spicejet have stated they are monitoring the situation. However, no flights have been affected as yet to Oman, India and Pakistan.

In a statement, an Etihad spokesperson said: “Etihad Airways continues to monitor the progress of Cyclone Nilofar and will modify our flight routings to circumnavigate the area if required.”

A spokesperson with NCMS told Emirates 24|7: “There will be no direct impact of Cyclone Nilofar on the UAE, but the country could expect accelerated winds on Wednesday and Thursday reaching up to 25 knots.

“There could also be distinct cloud cover on those days, with a possible chance of the weather pattern giving rise to convective clouds that could bring rainfall to Al Hajjar mountains and the eastern coastline of UAE.” 


The weather pattern could temporarily see a drop in temperatures between 2-3 degrees Celsius.

The spokesperson stated that a marine warning has also been issued for the Arabian Gulf and the Oman Sea.

“We are issuing a warning for rough seas for those days, with waves reaching up to seven feet in wake of the deep depression that will change to a ‘Very Severe Cyclone’ over the next few hours.”

However, the NCMS has stated following the Cyclone Nilofar’s current trajectory, it is unlikely to make landfall in mainland Oman.

In a statement issued late Monday, NCMS added: “Through the current weather maps and satellite images of synthetic plus meteorological reports from the competent regional centres, the tropical storm is currently stationed at latitude 14.8 north, longitude 62.0 east, as is currently 875km off the Omani coast, with surface wind speed and estimated about his position between 100-110kmph.”

Oman braces for rainfall 


Oman’s Met office has forecast fresh winds and rainfall in Al Wusta, Dhofar and Al Sharqiyah on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Muscat is expected to receive isolated showers by the afternoon due to the formation of convective clouds over Al Hajjar mountains.

The country has also issued a marine warning, with waves expected to reach up to 13 feet in the Oman Sea.

Several residents in the country are stocking up on food, water and petrol in preparation of a possible impact to the mainland.

Abdul Kalam, a resident of Qurum, said: “A lot of our neighbours are stocking up on water and canned food. It’s just taking extra precautions. None of us have forgotten Cyclone Gonu.”

Cyclone Gonu hit the coast of Oman in June 2007, resulting in extensive damage to property and hundreds being evacuated from coastal areas.

Pakistan


Pakistan’s Met office has also issued a marine warning, in effect from Wednesday until Friday, with all coastal operations to cease as Cyclone Nilofar’s trajectory sees it spin Northeast by October 30.

In a statement, the Met office added: “Tropical Cyclone (Nilofar) in the Arabian Sea has intensified into a Severe Tropical Cyclone with an intensity of T3.5. 

“The cyclone is likely to move further west-northwest ward (towards Oman Coast) with a speed of 8kmph during next 24-36 hours, then it would re-curve northeastward (towards adjoining coastal areas of Lower Sindh and Indian Gujarat).”

Under the influence of this cyclone, widespread thundershowers with isolated heavy rainfall, accompanied by strong gusty winds, are expected in Lower Sindh, including Karachi and Coastal Areas of Balochistan during Wednesday (night) to Friday.

The sea conditions along Pakistan coast would be rough to very rough from Wednesday evening to Friday.

The statement added: “Fishermen of Sindh and Balochistan are advised not to venture in open sea from Wednesday to Friday. 

“The fishermen who are already in the open sea are advised to return to coastal areas before Wednesday.”

India

According to the Indian Met Department’s late evening Monday bulletin: “The very severe cyclonic storm, Nilofar would move initially north-northwest during next 24 hours and then re-curve northeast and cross north Gujarat and adjoining Pakistan coast around Naliya by October 31 morning.

“However, as the system would come closer to Gujarat coast, it would weaken and cross the coast as a severe cyclonic storm.”

India’s Met office has also issued an alert for the coastal districts of Saurashtra and Kutch from the morning of October 30, with rainfall at most places with isolated heavy to very heavy showers.

Squally windspeeds reaching 45-55kmph gusting to 65kmph would commence along and off Gujarat coast from October 30 morning and would intensify to 100-110kmph gusting to 125kmph at the time of landfall.

The statement added: “Sea condition along and off Gujarat coast will be rough to very rough from October 30 morning and would become very high from afternoon.”

The Met office is estimating extensive damage to huts with thatched roofs. Minor damage to power and communication lines due to uprooting of large avenue trees and flooding of escape routes.

Fishermen out at sea along and off Gujarat coast have been asked to return to coast, with a total suspension of fishing operations. Meanwhile, coastal hutment dwellers are to be moved to safer places. People in affected areas have been warned to remain indoors around landfall time.
Indian soldiers prevent Chinese troops from constructing road in Arunachal
NEW DELHI: Arunachal Pradesh, much like eastern Ladakh, continues to be a major flashpoint between India and China, with Indian troops recently blocking attempts by the People's Liberation Army soldiers to once again construct a road in the Asaphila region.

While the Asaphila incident did not lead to a prolonged military face-off, unlike the serious ones at Chumar and Demchok in eastern Ladakh last month, it's an indication of the continuing shadow-boxing between the two countries all along the 4,057-km long Line of Actual Control.

Both armies undertake regular patrols to lay claim to "8-10 disputed areas" like Asaphila, a remote 100 sq km area along the LAC in Upper Subansiri division of Arunachal, as well as the so-called "Fish Tail-I and II" areas in Chaglagam sector, which take their name from the shape the LAC takes in the region.

Sources said the PLA's "heightened activity" was been witnessed in Asaphila region for some months now. "The PLA troops, with vehicles and other equipment, then tried to build a road till Point 2445. They were then stopped from doing so by our soldiers," said a source.


READ ALSO: India to double border outposts, use drones in Arunachal Pradesh


No compromise with China on country's territorial interests, NSA Ajit Doval says 


The last Indian military outpost in the region is at Taksing, which is on the eastern edge of Asaphila, while the PLA bases too are located 40-50-km away. "Soldiers from both sides undertake aggressive patrolling of 7-8 days' duration. Some lead to face-offs, which are quite common in the region," said the source.


(File photo of Indo-China border at Bumla in Arunachal Pradesh.)

Incidentally, as part of the military confidence-building measures being progressively implemented between the world's largest and second-largest armies, a fourth BPM (border personnel meeting) point also became operational at Kibithu in Anjaw district of Arunachal last week.

"It was brigadier-level meet at Kibithu on October 23. The BPM mechanism provides for regular consultations and interactions between the two armies, which helps in defusing face-offs," said the source. The first three BPM points are at Chushul (Ladakh), Nathu La (Sikkim) and Bum La (Tawang, Arunachal), while another one is being discussed at Lipulekh Pass (Uttarakhand)-Qiang.

Interestingly, as was first reported by TOI, the Indian Army and PLA are also slated to hold their fourth "Hand-in-Hand'' (HiH) counter-terrorism exercise in Pune from November 16 to 27. The first three editions of the HiH exercises were held at Kunming (China) in 2007, Belgaum in 2008 and Miaoergang (China) in 2013. Though largely symbolic in nature, with just about 120 troops from each side taking part, the exercises are also considered an important CBM.


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Double DA for 3 ex-defence officers, lokayukta alerted

By Chetan R, Bangalore Mirror Bureau
Three top ranking retired armed forces commissioned officers - a wing commander, a lieutenant colonel, and a major - currently occupying the posts of joint director and deputy directors with state's sainik welfare and resettlement department, are accused of drawing dearness allowance or relief from two sources, the state government as well as the defence forces, since several years.

A complaint was filed by Raju N R, a military veteran, on October 20 with the Lokayukta on the irregularity, which is said to have caused the state exchequer a loss of several lakhs. The officials concerned are Wg Cdr (rtd) Eshwar Kodolli, Maj (rtd) Shivaji M Tukkar and Lt Col (rtd) Geetha M Shetty.

Kodolli is currently serving as joint director (i/c), Tukkar is deputy director (Bagalkot and Koppal), and Shetty, deputy director (Shimoga and Davangere). The allegations levelled against them include giving false declaration to the pension disbursing authorities of armed forces to get dearness relief on their defence pension. Once employed by state government (where they draw salary with DA), they are not entitled to DA on defence pension.

"Defence services officers are selected for re-employment in the Karnataka state department of sainik welfare & resettlement (DSWR), and so, state government employees," Raju told Bangalore Mirror. "Every retired defence services officer is required to render an annual certificate to the Defence Pension Disbursing Authority (PDA) for drawing defence pension. In this certificate, they declare that they are, or are not, re-employed in a government job. Based upon their declaration, the PDA pays DA on their defence pension. The PDA has no means to check the veracity of this declaration, and the defence services officer is honour-bound to make a truthful declaration. A false declaration for personal gain is an act of moral turpitude, which attracts disciplinary action."

Tukkar has been re-employed with the department of sainik welfare and resettlement since Nov 9, 2009, Shetty since June 13, 2011 and Kodolli since October 20, 2011, as per records available with Raju. But they have continued to draw DR - which is currently 100% on the pension - and DA, Raju said. This despite an armed forces tribunal order in June 2013 in a similar case pertaining to two other officers - Maj (rtd) R S Vishwanath and Col (rtd) CM Uthaiah - to refund the Dearness Relief drawn for the period of their re-employment.

Rationalization of casualty Pensionary Awards for the Armed Forces Officers and Personnel below Officer Rank (PBOR) invalided out from service prior to 1.1.1996: Extension of benefit of broad banding of percentage of disability/ war injuryRationalization of casualty Pensionary Awards for the Armed Forces Officers and Personnel below Officer Rank (PBOR) invalided out from service prior to 1.1.1996: Extension of benefit of broad banding of percentage of disability/ war injury.


No 12(16)/2009/D(Pen/Policy)
Government of India
Ministry of Defence 
Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare

New Delhi, the 15th September, 2014

To,
The Chief of Army Staff
The Chief of Naval Staff
The Chief of Air Staff
Subject:Rationalization of casualty Pensionary Awards for the Armed Forces Officers and Personnel below Officer Rank (PBOR) invalided out from service prior to 1.1.1996: Extension of benefit of broad banding of percentage of disability/ war injury.



Sir,
The undersigned is directed to refer to the provisions stipulated in Para 7.2 of this Ministry’s letter No 1(2)/97/D(Pen-C) dated 31.1.2001 through which the concept of broad banding of percentage of disability/ war injury was introduced in respect of those Armed Forces Officers and Personnel below Officer Rank who were invalided out of service on or after 1.1.1996 on account of disability / war injury accepted as attributable to or aggravated by Military Service. The said provision for determining extent of disability / war injury was also extended to pre – 1.1.1996 invalided out cases from 1.7.2009 vide this Ministry’s letter No 10 (01)/D(Pen/Policy)2009/Vol II dated 19.1.2010 provided that the Armed Forcespersonnel were in receipt of disability element/ war injury element for disability more than 20% as on 1.7.2009.

2. Consequent upon receipt of reference from various Pensioners’ Associations for extending the provisions regarding broad banding of percentage of disability to such pre – 1.1.1996 Armed Forces pensioners from 1.1.1996 itself, the matter has been suitably examined in this Ministry. In partial modification of this Ministry’s above said letter dated 19th January 2010, the President is now pleased to decide that with effect from 1.1.1996, the benefit of broad banding of percentage of disability / war injury shall be allowed to Armed Forces Officers and PBOR pensioners who were invalided out of service prior to 1.1.1996 and were in receipt of disability element/ war injury element as on 1.1.1996. In such cases where the pensioner was not in receipt of disability element as on 1.1.1996 but became entitled at a later stage due to reassessment of disability more than 20%, this benefit shall be allowed from the same date. Similarly, in those cases where the pensioners were in receipt of disability element/ war injury element as on 1.1.1996 but the same was discontinued at a later stage due to reassessment of disability as less than 20%, the disability element/ war injury element shall be discontinued from the later date as hithertofore. However, in those pre-1.1.1996 cases where the disability element / war injury element was not allowed for disability being accepted as less than 20% at initial stage or subsequent stage on reassessment of disability, the same will continue to be disallowed and such cases will not be re-opened.

3. The disability element/ war injury element of pension in all such cases shall be recomputed accordingly under these orders by the Pension Sanctioning Authorities (PSAs) concerned for regulating payment under this Ministry’s letters No. PC 1{2}/97/D(Pen-C) dated 16.5.2001, No 16(6)/2008(1)/D(Pen/Policy) dated 4.5.2009 and letter No. 17(4)/2008(1)/ D(Pen/Policy)/Vol-V dated 15.2.2011. For this purpose, each affected Armed Forces pensioner who were invalided out of service prior to 1.1.1996 and were in receipt of disability element/ war injury element on 1.1.1996 or thereafter, shall submit an application in the format enclosed as Annexure to this letter to the PSAs concerned through their Pension Disbursing Agencies and Record Offices in the case of PBOR and through Pension Disbursing Agencies in the case of Commissioned Officers to PSAs concerned for revision of disability element/ war injury element. PSAs may, however, also identify the affected cases from the corrigendum PPOs issued by them based on the application received in terms of this Ministry’s above said letter dated 19.1.2010, and for issue of corrigendum PPO.

4. If a pensioner, to whom benefit accrues under the provisions of this letter, had already died on or after 1.1.1996 but before date of issue of this letter, the application for revision shall be submitted by the family pensioners or by his heir, as the case may be. Payment of LTA shall, however, be regulated as per the extant Government orders on the subject matter.

5. All other terms and conditions for grant / revision of disability element/ war injury element of pension in respect of Armed Force pensioners invalided out of service prior to 1.1.1996, which are not affected by the provisions of this letter, will remain unchanged.

6. This issues with the concurrence of Finance Division of this Ministry vide their ID No PC to 10(22)/2009/Fin/Pen dated 19/08/2014.

Hindi version will follow.

Yours faithfully

( Chanan Ram Saini )
Deputy Secretary (Pension)

--
PCDA Circular No. 529 - Rationalization of casualty Pensionary Awards for the Armed Forces Officers and Personnel below Officer Rank (PBOR) invalided out from service prior to 1.1.1996: Extension of benefit of broad banding of percentage of disability/ war injury.


OFFICE OF THE PR. CONTROLLER OF DEFENCE ACCOUNTS (PENSIONS)
DRAUPADI GHAT, ALLAHABAD- 211014

IMPORTANT CIRCULAR
REGISTERED
Circular No. 529 
Dated: 13.10.2014
Subject: Rationalization of casualty Pensionary Awards for the Armed Forces Officers and Personnel below Officer Rank (PBOR) invalided out from service prior to 1.1.1996: Extension of benefit of broad banding of percentage of disability/ war injury.

Reference: GOI, MOD letter No. 12(16)/2009/D(Pen/Policy) dated 15.09.2014
 
 and this office Circular No. 429 dated 04.03.2010.



A copy of the Government of India, Ministry of Defence letter No. 12(16)/2009/D(Pen/Policy) dated 15/09/2014 isenclosed herewith for information and necessary action.
BACK GROUND
2. Consequent upon issue of letter No.1 (2)/97/D (Pen-C) dated 31.01.2001 the benefit of Broad Banding i.e. Rounding of Disability, 50% (for disability less than 50%) and 75% (for disability from 50% to 75%) and 100% (for disability from 76% to 100%) provision has been made for those pensioners who have been invalided out from the service on medical ground attributable to or aggravated by military service on or after 01.01.1996. The demand of this benefit for Pre-96 Defence pensioners was pending with the Govt. which had been considered by Cabinet Secretary Committee and recommended for extension of this benefit toArmed Forces Officers and PBORS who were invalided out of service prior to 01.01.1996 and were in receipt of disability/ war injury pension as on 01.07.2009. The Govt. had accepted the above said recommendations and issued order vide MOD letter No. 10(01)/D(Pen/Policy)/2009/Vol-ll dated 19.01.2010.

NEW PROVISION IN BROAD BANDING
3. Now in partial modification of above said GOI, MOD letter dated 19.01.2010, the Government vide MOD letter No. 12(16)/2009/D(Pen/Policy) dated 15.09.2014 has allowed the benefit of broad banding of percentage of disability/ war injury w.e.f. 01.01.1996 to Armed Forces Officers and PBOR pensioners who were invalided out of service prior to 1.1.1996 and were in receipt of disability element/ war injury element as on 1.1.1996. In such cases, where the pensioner was not in receipt of disability element as on 1.1.1996 but became entitled at a later stage due to reassessment of disability more than 20%, this benefit shall also be allowed from the same date i.e. from the date of reassessment.

AFFECTED CASES
. With effect from 01.01.1996, the concept of broad banding of percentage of disability/ war injury, as provided in Para 7.2 of MOD letter dated 31.01.2001 quoted above, shall be extended to Armed Forces Officers and PBOR who were invalided out of service prior to 01.01.1996 and are in receipt of disability/ war injury pensions as on 01.01.1996. In such cases where the pensioner was not in receipt of disability element as on 01.01.1996, but became entitled at later stage due to re-assessment of disability more than 20%, this benefit shall be allowed from the same date i.e. from the date of reassessment. 

5. Further, as per above GOI MOD letter, those cases where the pensioners were in receipt of disability element/ war injury element as on 1.1.1996 but the same was discontinued at a later stage due to reassessment of disability as less than 20%, the disability element/ war injury element shall be discontinued from the later date as hithertofore. However, in those Pre 1.1.1996 cases where the disability element/ war injury element was not allowed for disability being accepted as less than 20% at initial stage or subsequent stage on reassessment of disability, the same will continue to be disallowed and such cases will not be re-opened.

APPLICATION TO BE SUBMITTED6. For this purpose, each affected Armed Forces pensioner who were invalided out of service prior to 1.1.1996 and were in receipt of disability element/ war injury element on 1.1.1996 or thereafter, shall submit an application in the format enclosed as Annexureto this letter to the PSAs concerned through their Pension Disbursing Agencies and Record Offices thereof in the case of PBOR and through Pension Disbursing Agencies in the case of Commissioned Officers to PSAs concerned for revision of disability element/ war injury element.

7. For the grant of LTA of deceased invalided out of service prior to 01.01.1996 and who were in receipt of disability element/ war injury element as on 01.01.1996 or thereafter, a certificate is to be submitted by the Family Pensioner/ his heir in the format enclosed as CERTIFICATE FOR THE PAYMENT OF LTA to this circular. However, the Part-II & Part-III of ANNEXURE will also be filled up with CERTIFICATE FOR THE PAYMENT OF LTA.

ACTION  ON THE PART OF THE PDA

Pension Disbursing Authorities are requested that the affected cases of disability/war injury element where Armed ForcesOfficers and PBOR who were invalided out from service prior 01.01.1996 and were in receipt of disability element/ war injury element as on 1.1.1996 may be reviewed and application obtained in triplicate from them may be endorsed and submitted to the concerned Record Office in the cases of PBOR and directly to the PSA in the cases of Commissioned Officer so that the necessary Corr. PPO for Broad Banding may be issued by the PSA concerned.

9. If a pensioner, to whom benefit accrues under the provisions of this letter, had already died on or after 01.01.1996 but before date of issue of this letter (i.e. 15.09.2014), the application for revision shall be submitted by the family pensioners or by his/ her heir, as the case may be. Payment of LTA shall, however, be regulated as per the extant Government orders on the subject matter. 

10. PDA to ensure that format enclosed in cases for ‘CERTIFICATE FOR THE PAYMENT OF LTA’ is properly filled along with Part-ll of Annexure and the same is verified by them.
ROs are requested that on receipt of the ANNEXURE for Broad Banding from the individual or CERTIFICATE FOR THE PAYMENT OF LTA from the family pensioner/ his/her heir duly filled by the PDAs the same may please be forwarded to concerned PSAs duly verified along with completed LPC-Cum-Data Sheet, photo copy of original and latest D/ DE PPOs for issue of necessary Corr PPO. The following documents may invariably be forwarded along with the claim- 

(i) CTC of Sheet Rolls’ page indicating clause of discharge. 
(ii) Discharge Part-ll order showing the clause of discharge and where Part-II order is not available, a certificate, certifying that the individual had been invalided out/ deemed to be invalided out duly showing the clause of discharge.
(iii) A certificate to the effect may also be enclosed that “no claim on this account has earlier been initiated” to avoid recurrence of double PPO for the same claim.

12. ROs are also requested to review all such cases where Broad Banding benefit has already been notified by concerned Pension Sanctioning Authorities wef 01.07.2009 and where disability was assessed as for life before 01.01.1996.

A list of such cases indicating individual’s details i.e. Name, Regt. Number, Original PPO Number, Corrigendum (Broad Banding) PPO No. and Current PDA details may be forwarded to concerned PSA for further necessary action. 

13. This may please be given wide publicity.

14. This circular has been uploaded on PCDA (P) websitewww.pcdapension.nic.in for dissemination across the Defence pensioners and PDAs.

sd/-
(A.K. NIGAM)
Asstt. Controller (P)
Gts/Tech/05/LXXII Dated: 13.10.2014