Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Involve international players too for 

war memorial, PM to Army

PTI [ Updated 28 Jul 2014, 21:04:45 ]
Involve international players too for war memorial, PM to Army

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked the Army to involve international architects and
builders along with domestic players while inviting bids for the construction of a "grand" national war memorial in the national capital.
The instructions to involve international agencies were given by the Prime Minister when he was told by the Army during a briefing that it was planning to invite bids only from domestic architects and builders for the project, highly placed Army sources said here.
The Prime Minister wants to build a "grand" national war memorial and wants the project to come out in the best possible way, they said.
The Modi government had promised in the elections that a national war memorial will be built for all the defence personnel who lost their lives after independence and has allocated a budget of Rs 100 crore for its construction.
Defence Minister Arun Jaitley is scheduled to visit the Prince's Park complex near the India Gate in a day or two along with the Services chiefs to finalize the construction site of the war memorial.
The Minister has already earmarked the Prince's Park site for the construction of a war museum.
The proposal for the war memorial has been hanging fire for several years now with the armed forces and the government gencies disagreeing over the site of the project.
During the UPA regime, the project had faced opposition from the then Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit who claimed that a memorial at the India Gate complex would be an inconvenience for the general public, who flock the site on holidays.

Western Army Commander meets Haryana CM

Lt Gen Philip Campose (right), GOC-in-C Western Command, with Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda in Chandigarh on Tuesday. Tribune Photo
The Western Army Commander Lt General Philip Campose today   Chief Minister  at his residence here. 
General Philip, who is moving to  to take over as Vice Chief of Army Staff, raised issues of mutual interest pertaining to military stations in Haryana during the meeting, an official release said. 
The General thanked the Chief Minister for looking after the interests of the Defence community especially war widows and Army veterans. 
The Chief Minister assured the General that his government would continue to give priority to solving problems of soldiers and appreciated the sacrifices made by the  for the nation, the release said.

India Should Watch Out for Spillover from North Waziristan Operation: Northern Army Commander to NDTV

Kargil:  With reports of some terrorists having moved from North Waziristan after operations by Pakistan there, the Chief of the Northern Army Command Lieutenant General DS Hooda says that India needs to remain vigilant about infiltration and the possible fallout of the operations in North Waziristan.
"We are very closely looking at Pakistani operations which are carrying on in North Waziristan, and whether there is some spillover because there are reports of terrorists from those areas of having moved on from those areas and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir is a neighboring area to that, so whether there is any manifestation of that, and of course the larger Afghan issue," Lieutenant General Hooda told NDTV in an exclusive interview. 
Lieutenant General Hooda was speaking to NDTV on the eve of the 15th Kargil Diwas, an annual ceremony in remembrance of the Indian army soldiers who laid down their lives during the Kargil War with Pakistan in 1999.
The Northern Army Command, that Lieutenant General Hooda leads, is the country's most operationally active command as it looks after the land borders with China and Pakistan. It is also responsible for looking after the Siachen Glacier region, the world's highest battlefield. 
In his response to a question on the army's summer strategy of counter-infiltration, Lieutenant General Hooda said that the army's key challenges would revolve around the ongoing Amarnath trip as well as the elections in Jammu and Kashmir, expected to be held in October. 
"We had to do some re-deployments to make sure that the Amarnath Yatra is successful and similarly as the election comes closer, a little more domination of the areas in the hinterland," Lieutenant General Hooda added.
The Indian Army continues to battle repeated ceasefire violations on the Line of Control from time to time. Last week, the Defence Minister informed Parliament that Pakistan had violated the ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir 19 times since the new BJP-led government came to power.

Army grounds Dhruv copters over checks

The Army has temporarily grounded its Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) fleet pending the completion of precautionary checks after the crash of an Indian Air Force (IAF) Dhruv helicopter in Sitapur district of Uttar Pradesh last week that killed all seven IAF personnel on board, sources confirmed on Tuesday. The Army was utilising the indigenously-built Dhruv helicopters to transport men and supplies from high-altitude areas such as the Siachen glacier.
IAF sources, however, said the IAF had not grounded its own fleet but precautionary checks are in progress.
The Army badly needs new light-utility helicopters to replace its current ageing fleet of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters. The Army is pushing for the completion of the much-delayed global Tender acquisition process for 197 light-utility helicopters. The process was delayed during the term of the previous UPA-2 government after allegations surfaced that a serving Army Brigadier had sought a bribe from a foreign vendor in this acquisition process during the field trials. Speculation is rife that the new BJP-led NDA government could decide soon to go ahead with the deal since the delay in going ahead with the proposed deal has badly hit the modernisation plans of the Army. In fact, a final decision on the proposed deal could soon be taken by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) of the ministry of defence (MoD) that is headed by the defence minister. In the proposed deal, the Army was likely to acquire 133 out of the 197 helicopters with the IAF likely to get the remaining 64.
New light-utility helicopters will also perform crucial functions at high-altitude locations such as the Siachen glacier which include recce, casualty-evacuation, enabling movement of troops and dropping of rations.
During the last year of the term of the previous UPA-2 government, the MoD had then accepted the request of the Army that a probe be conducted into the allegations levelled against the concerned Brigadier before taking a final decision on the proposed deal.
Speculation is also rife that the new government at the Centre could also review the list of Indian and foreign firms that have been blacklisted and examine whether any badly-needed acquisitions have been hit as a result
Fitting tribute to IAF engineer
SAMBALPUR: It was a heroic send-off to departed Indian Air Force (IAF) engineer Debendra Panda on Monday. Debendra was killed in July 25 helicopter crash in Uttar Pradesh.
The body that was brought to Sambalpur on Sunday and taken to his native Kudapali village in Bargarh district, 50 km from here, on Monday. He was cremated on the banks of the Mahanadi there.
Locals paid rich tribute to Debendra while police gave a guard of honour and gun salute as a mark of respect. Debendra was the son of Manabhanjan Panda and Madhavi Panda.
Attabira tahasildar Rebika Bilung and SDPO (Bargarh) S M Raheman were present at the time of cremation.
"It was a sorrowful moment for the villagers, who lost a son of the soil. Everyone mourned the untimely death of the brave officer," Raheman said.
Official sources said his widow Jyoti and six-year-old daughter Siddhi, who were residing with Debendra in Meerut, flew to Bhubaneswar and reached Sambalpur by road late night.
"I do not know how to continue my life without him. I was not expecting him to leave me so early," Jyoti said.
"He was a charming youth. He used to talk to everyone whenever he visited the village. He had promised to come during Puja vacation, but it is sad that his body came," said villager Ananta Mishra.Debendra joined IAF 17 years back after completing Plus II.

Defence Ministry inducts IAF Deputy Chief Air Marshal S B Sinha in HAL board

NEW DELHI: Meeting a long-pending demand of Indian Air Force, the government has inducted one of its senior officer in the board of state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. 
The move to induct IAF Deputy Chief Air Marshal S B Sinha will help the force to have more say in the functioning of country's only aerospace firm and force's largest supplier,Defence Ministry officials told PTI here. 
The IAF, had been demanding for a long time to have its
representatives in the HAL Board of Directors headed
by its Chairman R K Tyag 

The IAF, which is the largest customer of HAL, had been demanding for a long time to have its representatives in the HAL Board of Directors headed by its Chairman R K Tyagi, they said. 
The first meeting of the HAL board with its new member was held recently in which it took a number of decisions such as creating a skill development body, spending more money for research and development activities were taken, they said. 
Almost all the aircraft projects of the IAF including the Su-30 MKI, Light Combat Aircraft Tejas and multirole transport aircraft are with the HAL. 
The IAF and HAL were not on the same page recently over the issue of Pilatus basic trainer aircraft project as the air force favoured imports for meeting it's requirement to train rookie pilots whereas the HAL wanted to develop it indigenously. 
The government is also going ahead with its plans to disinvest 10 per cent stakes from the aerospace PSU with order books worth over 1 lakh crore.
49 years on, employee gets his pension  
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, July 29
An ex-serviceman working with the Punjab Roadways, who put in his papers due to “domestic reasons” before the Reorganisation Act, will get pension from the state of Punjab. The orders by Justice K. Kannan of the Punjab and Haryana High Court came nearly 49 years after he voluntarily resigned from service.
The orders on a petition filed by Kabal Singh nearly 22 years ago are significant as primarily two issues were before the high court in his case — whether he had forfeited his right to pension on the ground that he had voluntarily resigned from service and was the state liable to pay pension.
Kabal Singh was appointed driver in Punjab Roadways in August 1951 after serving in the military from October 1942 to August 1948. He was confirmed on the post, but resigned voluntarily at Ambala on August 24, 1965.
Later, he claimed pension on the basis of a circular issued by Punjab Director, State Transport Department, in January 1985.
It said employees confirmed on November 1, 1955, would be entitled to pension if they “refunded the component of state contribution of interest in contributory provident fund scheme”.
But the claim was denied by the Haryana Roadways as a successor institution after the reorganisation. The only point taken was that he was not entitled to pension since he had resigned from service.
His counsel asserted that the Civil Services Rules applicable to Haryana stated that resignation from service, unless allowed to be withdrawn in public interest or by the appointing authority, entailed forfeiture of past service. But the provision was not applicable to cases where resignation was not with intent to evade punishment but due to domestic reason.
Taking up the matter, Justice Kannan asserted: “I find such an argument to be unacceptable but I will not hold out my objection since that is incidentally the view expressed by the Division Bench in Om Parkash versus Financial Commissioner and Principal Secretary to Government of Haryana and another. I find myself bound by the ruling of the Division Bench and hold that the denial of pension cannot, therefore, be upheld.
“Since the voluntary resignation has taken place before the Act, as per clause 2, the liability shall be on the state of Punjab… The future payments shall also be done by the state of Punjab and the entitlement to refund or apportionment shall be worked out by the state by engaging the appropriate authorities with the state of Haryana”.
Relief, finally
* Kabal Singh, an ex-serviceman, was working with the Punjab Roadways
* He had put in his papers due to "domestic reasons" before the Punjab Reorganisation Act
* The government had contended that the pension could not be given as Kabal Singh had resigned voluntarily
* But, the HC maintained that since the voluntary resignation took place before the Act, as per clause 2, the liability shall be on the state of Punjab.

Ill-fated IAF chopper was serviced a few days before crash

The Indian Air Force's (IAF) ill-fated Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv, which crashed last week in Uttar Pradesh, is said to be repaired and serviced a few days before the incident.
Ministry of Defence sources told dna that the ill-fated chopper is said to have clocked more than 500 flying hours and that it was serviced only a few days before the crash, leaving seven people on-board dead.
The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the manufactures of the 5.5 tonne, have meanwhile retrieved the flight data recorder of the crashed chopper. Though initial reports suggest that the crash could have occurred due to a snag in the engine, a court of inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the exact reason for the crash.A HAL official said the flight data recorder has been brought to Bangalore, to probe what led to the crash."The data from the flight data recorder and the cock pit voice recorder would retrieved and analysed to find out what led to the crash. The finding would be submitted to the court which is carrying out the inquiry," said the official.The IAF has said that the pilots of the helicopter which was airborne from Bareilly to Allahabad, had given a 'May-Day' (emergency) call. Thereafter, the IAF lost contact with the helicopter on radar and radio. This is the seventh time when an ALH Dhruv has crashed, and the second crash to have occurred this year. In February, an ALH Dhruv chopper which was exported to Ecuador had crashed in the South American country killing three people on board.The HAL official said that the inquiry into the Ecuadoran crash is on, and that the preliminarily findings have hinted that it could be due to an error by the pilot. He also added that the inquiry report would be submitted directly to Ecuador and not made public due to non-disclosure agreement between HAL and South America.

Two new Mi-17 helicopters to bolster BSF air wing

New Delhi: Two advanced 'Mi' series choppers are set to provide additional support to the BSF air wing in anti-Naxal and counter-insurgency operations in the country. 
A pair of Mi-17-V5 helicopters is expected to be handed over to the Border Security Force by September-end for deployment in multi-theatre roles in the internal security domain of the country. 

"We would be getting the two advanced Mi choppers by September. The new machines will be part of our air wing, which is tasked with aiding troops in anti-Naxal and counter- insurgency operations," BSF chief DK Pathak said. 
These machines are expected to be initially based at the BSF facility in Delhi and may later be sent to an operational air base in the country, officials said. 
The new Mi-17s (V-5 variant) are part of the first batch of the machines which will be delivered to the country's largest border-guarding force under an eight-chopper package that the force is expected to get as part of the modernisation of its air fleet. 
The new choppers will add to the existing fleet of 11 helicopters which are currently being used to ferry troops and material and in casualty evacuation in Naxal violence affected states. Both Indian Air Force and BSF choppers are part of this fleet. 
These helicopters are advanced versions of the existing fleet of Mi-17s and will be equipped with sophisticated avionics and on-board navigation systems, making them more suitable for both day and night operations.The Mi-17 V-5 helicopters have an on-board weather radar along with state-of-the art autopilot and latest night vision devices, which are not available in the Mi-17s.
BSF is the nodal authority for operating the air wing under the Home Ministry and its ALH 'Dhruv' and Mi-17 choppers are used by all the seven paramilitary forces of the country for various tasks and by the elite counter-terror force NSG for training of commandos and also for travel of VVIPs.

How Google's Mapathon May Have Compromised India's National Security

Detail From Top 10 Mapathon India Winners 
The number one is in Pathankot, which is very near the disputed territory of Kashmir. 

A national security strategy that relies on classified maps might not be the best idea

India's Central Bureau of Investigation is questioning an open-source map project sponsored by Google. Google's possible crime: Revealing information about sensitive military installations. Relying on locals to document the area around them, Google's contest may have documented what was known to locals but unavailable on previous maps of India.
India, like most countries engaged in a long and frustrating military stalemate over territory disputed by a nuclear-armed neighbor, wants to keep details about its own military installations out of the public eye. The government's Survey of India is responsible for maps, and that responsibility includes making sure the Open Series Maps, designed for general consumption, don't contain information from the classified Defense Series Maps.
Google's 2013 India Mapathon project came with no such military purpose behind it. Instead, the internet giant provided mapping tools to contest entrants. Top prizes included Samsung Galaxy Note tablets and cash. Notable in the terms of the contest are the specific features Google wanted map makers to label:
The drawing and annotation tools enable an Entrant to draw roads and features that are visible in the imagery, and label these items based on personal knowledge of a region, city, or town. Additionally, Entrant may use it to create points of interest, such as a school, business, or community feature, and to locate and describe points of interest.
The top ten winners of the contest are shown on the home page for Mapathon 2013. Vishal Saini, ranked number one in the contest, mapped the city of Pathankot, in the northern part of Punjab province. Pathankot is the last Indian city on the national highway to the contested state of Jammu and Kashmir, and has come under military attack before. During the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war, while the two countries fought over control of Kashmir, Pakistan bombed the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot and attempted to attack it with paratroopers.
Now, if you look up Pathankot on Google Maps, in addition to the city, there's a large section of land labeled "military area." The Survey of India claims Google didn't ask for permission before launching their map project. Crucially, the Survey of India claims a monopoly on mapping sensitive and restricted areas, and the appearance of places like Pathankot Military Area on an open map undermine that monopoly, and the national security interest behind it.
Pathankot Military Area 

Google under CBI scrutiny over Mapathon 2013; accused of violating Indian laws

New Delhi: CBI has registered a preliminary enquiry (PE) against Internet giant Google over Mapathon 2013, an event organised by the US company, for allegedly violating laws by mapping sensitive areas and defence installations, prohibited by law.The CBI registered the PE based on a complaint filed by Surveyor General of India's office to the Union Home Ministry in which Google was accused of indulging in activities of mapping several areas which were not included in the maps of the country, official sources said here.The Internet giant had not taken permission from Survey of India, country's official mapping agency, before organising a mapping competition in February-March 2013 when they asked citizens to map their neighbourhoods, especially details related to hospitals and restaurants.
Google under CBI scrutiny over Mapathon 2013; accused of violating Indian laws

Google had not taken permission from Survey of India before organising a mapping competition early this year when they asked citizens to map their neighbourhoods.

Alarmed by Mapathon, the Survey of India (SoI), India's national survey and mapping organisation under the Department of Science and Technology, asked the Internet giant to share its details where they found that there were several coordinates having details of sensitive defence installations which are out of the public domain.Highlighting the violations to the Home Ministry, the SoI said only it was mandated to undertake 'Restricted' category surveying and mapping, and no other government or private organisations or individual are authorised to do so.As per the National Map Policy 2005, "the responsibility for producing, maintaining and disseminating the topographic map database of the whole country, which is the foundation of all spatial data, vests with the Survey of India".
Responding to queries, Google India said, "We are in touch with relevant authorities and take national regulations and security very seriously. We are not aware of any privacy issues and have nothing more to share at this point in time."After initial probe by Delhi police, the case was handed to CBI as investigations required access to places across the country and, if need be, questioning of some individuals with the help of FBI as Google is incorporated in the US.
It was alleged that Google India had launched a nationwide contest and people might have passed on maps and other key details of strategic installations located in other cities and states to the US company, the sources added.For SoI, it was clarified that the company never took any permission before undertaking the mapping exercise, and from national security point of view, civil and military Vital Areas, Vital Points (VPs) cannot be shown in the map/data published in public domain.The CBI may be roping in some Army officials in its probe as some of the sensitive installations have allegedly been mapped in its services, the sources said.

Tambaram: A suburb older than Madras itself

Tambaram Sanatorium hospital was opened in 1928. This photograph was taken in 1936. Photo:Archives

It is a little-known fact that the southern suburb of Tambaram is older than Madras itself.
A few centuries before East India Company acquired a small patch of land, now known as Chennai, there were several pockets in its vicinity which flourished, Tambaram being among them.
Chennai’s expansion, fuelled by the establishment of premier institutions and the creation of a railway hub, has bolstered Tambaram’s status as an important nerve centre in the immediate vicinity of the city’s limits.
A number of pockets around Tambaram have managed to retain their old charm, with life moving at an idyllic pace in sheer contrast to the outside world.
“There were only lush green fields all over Tambaram. Living close to the Indian Air Force station, we used to get unlimited pleasure at the sight of aircrafts taking off. We were even allowed to go close to the runway when we were children,” recalls K. Loganathan (55), whose family has lived in Selaiyur for three generations.
For A. Suresh, the best part of his childhood was spending time with friends in the massive vacant spaces of Railway Colony.
“Our generation was very fortunate to be able to get a close look at steam engines. The railway staff was friendly and showed us how the engine worked. We used to play hide and seek in the long rows of goods wagons in the yard,” he says.
Tambaram has had its share of scare factor too. “The area known as ‘maan thoppu’ (mango grove) was much feared, and all the children in its vicinity were told to be home before sunset,” says E. Chandrashekar, another resident.
“Tambaram has its own rightful place in history,” says Johnson Wesley, a teacher, who predicts the suburb will continue to play a pivotal role in the city’s future too

Indian Ships Join Malabar War Game

NEW DELHI: Three Indian warships sailed out of Port Sasebo in Japan and joined a US carrier strike group in the western Pacific Ocean on Monday. They will be part of a maritime warfare manoeuvre in which a nuclear-powered submarine from the US Navy is also participating.
As part of this year’s trilateral Malabar maritime exercise, which involves Japanese naval assets too, the three Indian warships joined the high-end operational exercise that has grown in scope and complexity over the years.
INS Ranvijay, a guided missile destroyer, INS Shivalik, a stealth frigate, and INS Shakti, a fleet tanker, are part of the exercise.
Malabar-2014, as the exercise is called, aims at enhancing multinational maritime relationships and mutual security cooperation, an Indian Navy spokesperson said here.
The shore-based phase of the exercise was over at Port Sasebo in Nagasaki on Saturday,  following which the Indian warships sailed out for the phase of the training that will take place at sea.
The sea phase of the exercise will end on July 30 and vessels from India, US and Japan which are participating will conduct exercises including search and rescue, helicopter cross-deck landings, underway replenishments, gunnery and anti-submarine warfare, visit-board-search-seize operations and liaison officer exchange and embarkation.
“Designed to enhance maritime cooperation among the navies of the participating nations, these exercises further hone individual capacity to conduct operations in a multi-national environment,” the Navy spokesperson said.
Japan has sent two of its naval destroyers along with a P3C Orion surveillance plane and a US-2 amphibious operation sea-plane.

Naval exercises lead up to high-level US-India visits

In the lead up to this week , for which US Secretary of State, , will be coming to Delhi, the  is even more intense than usual.
On Tuesday, an American nuclear-powered aircraft carrier,, will link up for the final phase of Exercise Malabar in the Western Pacific . This is a sophisticated, weeklong  exercise involving the US and Indian navies and the (), as Japan's pacifist constitution refers to what is actually one of Asia's most powerful navies.
The 18th Malabar exercise, which began last Thursday, is an annual highlight of the US-India naval engagement that was first held in 1992. Since then, it has grown in sophistication, scope and training value. The participation of other regional powers, such as Japan this year, has made Malabar into a statement of India's strategic intent in the Asia-Pacific.
Meanwhile, since July 1, another Indian warship - the frigate, INS Sahyadri - has been participating in a month-long, multinational exercise off Hawaii, organised by the US Pacific Command (PACOM). The Rim of the Pacific 2014 () as the high-profile exercise is called, features 22 navies, including those of the US, China, France and the UK. India is participating for the first time.
Like the inclusion of Japan in Malabar, India's participation in RIMPAC 2014 signals a more assertive Indian approach to the Asia-Pacific. For years, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government dithered over participating in RIMPAC, worrying that Beijing would see this as unfriendly. Even after China's navy decided to participate in RIMPAC 2014, former defence minister, , trod cautiously.
The UPA's caution stemmed partly from 2007, when the participation of 25 warships from India, the US, Japan, Australia and Singapore in Exercise Malabar elicited heated protests from the Left Front and the apparent ire of China.
When the US PACOM commander, Admiral Robert Locklear, visited New Delhi last year to urge, among other things, India's participation in RIMPAC 2014, Antony rebuffed a meeting request. Locklear only got to meet the defence secretary and the air force chief.
Only in its last months in government did Antony clear India's participation in RIMPAC, and Japan's participation in Malabar.
The Indian warships participating in Malabar 2014 include the destroyer, INS Ranvijay; a frigate INS Shivalik and a fleet tanker, INS Shakti.
Japan has fielded two destroyers, the Kurama and Ashigara, a P3C Orion maritime reconnaissance aircraft, and is showing off a US-2 amphibious aircraft that Japanese company, ShinMaywa, hopes to sell the Indian Navy.
The US Navy has sent a Ticonderoga-class destroyer, USS Shiloh; Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, USS John S McCain, and a nuclear-powered attack submarine, USS Columbus. The arrival on Tuesday of USS George Washington will allow the exercise to incorporate a major air dimension.
The first three days of the exercise constituted the "harbour phase", where the three navies tied up joint operating procedures at the Japanese naval base of Sasebo. On Saturday, the warships sailed out to sea and began actually operating together.
The US does more joint military training with India than with any other country. In the "Yudh Abhyas" exercise each year, the two armies train together for "counter-terrorism" missions that are similar to what could some day be a live mission along the India-Pakistan border. The two countries also train jointly for amphibious operations in Exercise Shatrujeet.
The two air forces train together extensively in the "Cope India" and "Cope Thunder" exercises. The IAF participated in 2008 in the highly regarded American "Red Flag" exercise, which is reputed to provide the world's most realistic combat training. The IAF was to participate again in Red Flag 2013, but the exercise was cancelled due to cuts in the US defence budget.
Senior Indian military officers say that US-India exercises like Malabar allow both navies to jointly develop operational doctrines for platforms like the Boeing P8I maritime aircraft, which both are just inducting into service.
The on-going military exercises will be followed by high-level political exchanges, with US Secretary of State John Kerry arriving this week for the fourth US-India Strategic Dialogue, an annual feature of the relationship since 2010. In early August, Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel will visit India. In September, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi travels to the US for the United Nations General Assembly annual meeting, he is likely to have his first meeting with US President Barack Obama.
Parents of Dalbir Singh Suhag at their house in Bisaan village of Jhajjar on Tuesday.
Parents of Dalbir Singh Suhag at their house in Bisaan village of Jhajjar on Tuesday. A Tribune photograph

Bisaan (Jhajjar), July 29
A grand welcome awaits General Dalbir Singh Suhag who will take over the as Chief of the Army staff on July 31 at his native village here.
His proud parents, Ramphal Singh and Ishri Devi, will be leaving for Delhi tomorrow to be at hand to savour the momentous moment when taken on the baton from outgoing army chief General Bikram Singh.
Lt. Gen Dalbir Suhag
Born into a humble background, General Dalbir Suhag, enjoys the love and affection of everyone in this tiny hamlet. And the villagers are pulling out all stops to honour their hero in typical rustic style, Army protocol permitting. All this when a formal date for his visit it yet to be finalised.
Such is the enthusiasm that the villagers have formed a 12-member-committee to chalk out the reception programme after consultations with village elders, ex- servicemen and teachers posted in the village.
Significantly, arrangements for distributing sweets in the village and bursting of firecrackers are underway to celebrate the swearing- in ceremony. We cannot wait to witness the ceremony on TV, the villagers added.
A retired Flying Officer, Rajpal Singh Suhag, head of the felicitation committee, said people from all walks of the life were eagerly waiting for the proud moment when one of their own would take over the reins of the Indian Army. Everyone is in an upbeat mood and contributing in making the moment truly memorable, he added.
“We have planned to accord a rousing reception to Dalbir on his arrival at the village gate and it will be a something befitting his stature as Army Chief, he added.
A meeting of villagers and ex-servicemen was held at the government school in the village on Sunday to discuss the form of celebration and other arrangements for the event.
A group of some villagers would attend the sworn-in ceremony and also meet the General to finalise the date of his reception in the village as per his convenience. They would also invite his family to take part in the celebrations, he added.
Ramphal Singh informed that Dalbir was an alumni of Sainik School, Chittorgarh, and joined the National Defence Academy (NDA) in 1970. My younger son, Dharambir Suhag, and both sons-in-law too are senior officers in the Army.
Reminiscing about the childhood of her son, his mother Ishri Devi said he was a very active child and was very fond of churma (bread kneaded in ghee and sugar) and other home products made from ghee prepared at home. I had always reared high milk yielding buffalos for this purpose, she added.



Lt Gen (Retd) S K Sinha
                        I belong to a vanishing generation which witnessed the dawn of 15 August 1947 from close quarters.  I had a grandstand view of events in Delhi, from a key junior appointment in Military Operations Directorate at South Block, dealing with internal security.  I had to shoulder great responsibility much beyond my ability, knowledge and experience.  The sudden departure of senior and experienced British officers had led to this situation for Indian officers of my generation in the Army.  Before Independence, the Indian Army had over 80 per cent British officers with no Indian in the rank of a General officer, half a dozen Brigadiers and a few Colonels and Lt Cols.

                           After the Great Calcutta Killings of August 1946, communal violence with increasing intensity spread all over North India.   This reached a crescendo after 3 June 1947, when Partition was announced.  Mass migration of minorities from both Pakistan and India commenced.  Millions got killed and millions uprooted.  The civil administration in Delhi and Punjab had collapsed.  The Army became the mainstay of the Government to restore order.  The departing Viceroy Lord Wavell in his farewell address on 21 March 1947 had said, “I believe the stability of the Indian Army may perhaps be the deciding factor in the future of India.”  Lakhs of Muslim refugees had concentrated in Delhi.  They were living in make shift refugee camps in the then open space between Red Fort and Yamuna as also between Purana Qilla and the river.  These camps had to be protected from marauding mobs.  These hapless refugees used to be put in jam packed special trains with some sitting on the roof of  compartments.  The Army had to provide escorts for the refugee trains going to Pakistan.  All normal passenger and goods movement in Punjab were suspended to provide rolling stock for refugee movement.  Providing protection of miles long foot columns of refugees trudging to Pakistan was almost an impossible task.  Chaos and violence reigned all over.  In Delhi Army officers had to be in uniform armed with pistols all the time.  We got food packed in Girls Colleges by girl volunteer students for minority refugee foot columns in Pakistan.  These were picked up by the Army and dropped over these moving columns in Pakistan.  Our Military Evacuation Organisation at Lahore arranged for evacuation of non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan by road and in Air Force planes returning after food drops.  The Army established a staging tented camp for 5 lakh non Muslim refugees from Pakistan at Kurukshetra.  The civil administration dispersed them to areas in Punjab and outside.  They were allotted places vacated by Muslim refugees who had left for Pakistan.  All these were gigantic tasks and we had to work round the clock.  It was indeed an irony that British officers could travel all over Delhi and Punjab unarmed as there was no threat of their being attacked, while Indian officers, both Muslims and non-Muslims, had to remain armed with their pistols all the time.  We had a division worth of troops deployed in and around Delhi.

                          I may mention an incident of those times to show how disturbed the situation was in Delhi.  One afternoon, I was in the Operations Room when Mr Dundas, the Defence Secretary came in looking agitated.  A senior ICS officer, he had opted to go as Defence Secretary in Pakistan.  He said that a mob of shouting Hindus and Sikhs with mashals in their hands was assembling near the hutments with the intention of burning the documents, office equipment, furniture etc packed and stacked to be sent to Pakistan.  General Lentaign, our Director asked me to pick up  two or three armed Defence Security soldiers at the gate below and disperse the mob.  He also said that he  would imstruct Delhi  to send a mobile armed patrol to the spot.  I rushed to the hutments as instructed.  Dundas accompanied me.  On reaching the spot I got my men to fire warning shots in the air and the mob dispersed.  Soon a mobile patrol also arrived and we positioned an armed picket there.  Much later, those hutments were demolished.  The Sena Bhavan has come up at that site.
                              On midnight 14/15 August I heard Jawaharlal Nehru’s soul stirring Tryst with Destiny speech in the Parliament on the radio.  India had at last become free.  I was overwhelmed with emotion.   The much cherished Dawn had arrived.
                             In the morning I saw the Union Jack was no longer flying over North Block, South Block and the Parliament House.  I was thrilled to see our National Flag proudly fluttering in their place.   A ceremonial parade was to be held near India Gate.  We  cordoned the whole area and tight security arrangements were made.  Large crowds assembled on both sides of Kingsway (now Raj Path).  Mountbatten and Nehru dove in State in the Viceroy’s open horse carriage escorted by the Viceroy’s Bodyguard.  The jubilant crowd was shouting Pandit Nehru Ki Jai, Pandit Mountbatten Ki Jai.  Mountbatten and Nehru mounted the saluting dais.  The over enthusiastic crowd broke the cordon and began milling all round the troops formed up for the parade and near the saluting dais.    The Parade could not be held.  The Band played the National Anthem and gun salute firing in the distance could be heard.  Mountbatten and Nehru jointly unfurled the national flag.  Mountbatten is reported to have remarked that this was the best military parade he had seen!

                            By middle October 1947 the situation was limping back to near normal when a storm broke out in Kashmir.  Pakistan Army invaded Kashmir with Maj Gen Akbar Khan commanding the invading forces.  They comprised a mix of Pakistan Army personnel in civilian clothes and tribal raiders.   In three days the Pakistan Forces were in Baramulla after overrunning the heroic resistance put up by Maharaja’s small army.  The Maharaja and the civil administration abandoned Srinagar and fled to Jammu.  Srinagar was without any defence. The Maharaja acceded to India on 26 October.  We received orders late that afternoon to rescue Srinagar.  On 27 October only six Dakotas were available.  From next day some forty private airlines Dakotas with European pilots were be mobilised for us..  I recall landing at Srinagar grass airfield with only 300 troops on 27 October 1947, when the enemy at Baramulla was 10,000 strong.  They were indulging in rapine and plunder of the most brutal manner.  This gave us time to feverishly build up of our military strength in Srinagar.  The forty Dakotas were now each doing two sorties a day from Safdarganj airport to Srinagar.   I saw a rare wave of patriotism and determination in all ranks of the Army to give of our best, no matter the odds and difficulties.   We were for the first time fighting a war for Independent India under Indian military leadership in the field.  We ultimately decisively defeated the enemy in the battle of Shelatang on the outskirts of Srinagar on 7 November 1947 and cleared Srinagar Valley despite all odds.

                          I have mentioned all these details to highlight the conditions of unprecedented violence and chaos we faced in the wake of the great Dawn of our Independence and after.  Winston Churchill had said, “India is merely a geographical expression.  It is no more a single country than the Equator.”  Prophets of Gloom maintained that India being a multi lingual, multi ethnic and multi religious behemoth will not be able to hold together.  They were proved wrong.   India not only held together but turned out to be the only successful democracy in the Third World on the three continents of Asia, Africa and Latin America.  John Fester Galbraith the US Ambassador to India referred to Indian democracy as a functioning anarchy.

                             The two decades of the Nehru era followed by a few months of Lal Bahadur Shastri at the helm, were a glorious era for India despite the unfortunate Himalayan debacle of 1962 in the closing years of Nehru’s life, being a big setback.  Our national honour was soon vindicated in 1965 and in 1967 Artillery duel started by China in Sikkim, the latter had a bitter experience.  Despite military and economic weakness during the Nehru era, India emerged  a major international power on the basis of her moral strength .  Our political leaders at the Centre and in States were very capable men of impeccable integrity, who had made great personal sacrifice during the freedom struggle. .

                            Indira Gandhi became a great war leader.  Defying the US and China, the two powerful patrons of Pakistan, she inflicted a crushing defeat on Pakistan in the Bangladesh War of 1971.  This was India’s finest hour.  India had not won such a glorious and decisive victory in the past millennium and more.  However, she was responsible for decline in moral values in public life and undermining democracy.  She once remarked that her father was a saint who had strayed into politics, implying that values did not matter with her.  She also once remarked that corruption was an international phenomenon.  This virtually gave license to this evil in public life.  The maladies of rampant corruption and dynastic rule reached mind boggling dimensions during UPA- 2 regime.  Churchill’s remarks about India like Equator not being a country was proved wrong after Independence, but now his very derogatory remarks about Indian political leaders with very few exceptions, started having a ring of truth.  He had said, “Power will go into the hands of rascals, rogues, freebooters; all Indian leaders will be of low caliber and men of straw.  They will have sweet tongue and silly hearts.  They will fight among themselves for power and India will be lost to political squabbles.”   By 2014 the common man in India was totally disillusioned, disgusted with rampant corruption at all levels and in every sphere eating into the vitals of the Nation.  He was groaning under rising prices for long.  We had a failing economy with little hope of things improving.  On top of all this, the country had been reduced to being a feudal democracy with dynastic rule.  Arrogance of power and poor leadership of the rulers and their lackeys had promoted what Mahatma Gandhi once called, slave mentality in the administration.  There was also a paralysis of governance.  Narendra Modi with a reputation of impeccable integrity and dedication having a record of providing good  governance in his State swept the polls with his mass appeal through his unmatchable oratory that swayed the masses.  A tsunami struck the Grand Old Party which wasreduced to a pitiable 44 members in the Lok Sabha. The aura of the Dynasty was in shatters.  Giving a call for “Congress Mukt Bharat” Narendra Modi has come to power with a thumping majority.  The dimensions of his huge victory were perhaps not anticipated by him, his party, his opponents or any political analyst. 
                             I have lived to see a Second Dawn.  The dawn of 15 August 47 was drenched in communal violence and chaos all round.  I was then a small cog in the wheel of the establishment.  On 26 May 2014, as a bystander I avidly saw the new Dawn on the TV.   The unique swearing in ceremony of Narendra Modi and his Council of Ministers was an unprecedented world event.  Heads of State of adjacent countries attended the function including the Prime Minister of Pakistan with whom we have been on cold war punctuated by three hot wars and continuing low intensity conflict.  Over 4000 eminent personalities of the country in different walks of life were at the function.   15 August 1947 heralded the dawn of freedom from foreign rule after several centuries.   26 May 2014 has generated much hope and enthusiasm for the future, emerging from a long era of despair and darkness.  

                              Modi’s path breaking foreign policy initiatives towards neighbouring countries are welcome development and so has his reaching out to countries in the East, up to Japan and South Korea. This should break China’s String of Pearl Strategy.  He interacted with much aplomb at the Heads of State meeting at BRICS  in Brazil at which it was decided to set up BRICS Development Bank.   Foreign powers including the US have been too keen to invite Modi.  Things have come a long way from the time the US had denied visa to him.  After addressing the UN General Assembly in September, he will be visiting Washington on the invitation of President Obama.  All this augurs well for the future.

                             In the past few weeks welcome initiatives have been taken to meet India’s gigantic problems for her billion population.  Funds have been allotted for 24x7 electricity in every house Swatch Bharat programme, Namami Ganga clean Ganga project, infrastructure development and so on.  Measures have been taken to provide decisive and effective governance.  The Chalta Hai approach among the bureaucracy at the Centre has been changed to a disciplined and dedicated approach, abandoning lethargy.   The old environment and style of working appears to have changed overnight.

                            Modi’s inclusive development agenda as against the divisive secularism of the previous regime provides a breath of fresh air.  So far, all the initiatives taken by him   hold great hope for the coming of Achche Din.  As an old army veteran it gives me great satisfaction to see efforts to remove the UPA Government’s neglect of national security and of the military.   Allocation of funds to procure modern weapons, doubling military strength on the Northern border, infrastructure development in that area, settling people in vacant land space near the border, increasing FDI to 49 per cent in defence production,  promoting indigenous defence industry with private sector participation and so on.  Private sector has been asked to produce light transport aircraft replacing AVROs, 32 light utility helicopters and small combat naval vessels.  No doubt we need to develop cordial relations and mutually beneficial economic ties with our neighbours but this should be from a position of military strength.

                            The long pestering personnel problem of one rank one pension has been suitably addressed. One thousand crores has been allocated for this in the current budget.   The bureaucracy has been directed to ensure military participation in decision making.  Service Chiefs have will now have periodic direct access to the Prime Minister as in Western democracies.  It is significant that after a long time the practice of the Prime Minister giving a farewell dinner to a retiring Army Chief has been revived.  This raises hope of the long awaited appointment of CDS like in all democracies, will become a reality in the near future.   Yet another consideration shown for the military is to allot 100 crores  for a National War Memorial round the India Gate complex New Delhi.  For political and bureaucratic resons this project initiated over six decades ago had been hanging fire.  Funds for these projects have been allotted.  Work on them are likely to start soon.

                            We have a large aspirational young generation among our people who are in a hurry to receive the benefits of better life.  The promises held out must be fulfilled soon.  The burning issue of rising prices which affects all must be tackled at top priority and. so should improving the quality of life for the people and reducing/removing unemployment.   Narendra Modi does not have the magic wand of Ali Baba to overnight bring down food prices and provide other promised facilities.  Yet every effort should be made to show tangible improvements within a short time frame.  Electoral promises have to be delivered.  

                              Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.  We as a nation perhaps have a weakness for sycophancy because of having been ruled by foreigners for a millennium in medieval and early modern period.  Mahatma Gandhi had called this slave mentality.  Girilal Jain the Editor of Times of India had rightly said that Sycophants have destroyed Empires and Emperors.  The UPA Government became a victim of sycophancy of its courtiers.  Modi Government must guard against this pitfall.

                               I conclude with full confidence that various measures being taken by the new Government holds much promise of its delivering on its election promises.  Hopefully,  the second dawn that I have the good fortune to see, would usher a glorious future providing India a rightful place in the comity of Nations and she becoming a leading world power.
 Bluetooth device in locket, microphone in pen, aspiring soldiers try innovative ways to crack entrance exam
KOLKATA: Blue tooth devices hidden inside a 'taweez' (religious locket worn on the arm) or stitched into vests and a microphone hidden inside a pen. In a state where jobs are hard to come by, aspiring soldiers are certainly adopting innovative ways to crack the entrance examination that will ensure a secure life. 

On Sunday, four candidates appearing for the Common Entrance Examination (CEE) for entry into various categories of the Indian Army at Barrackpore and Behrampore were nabbed when trying to enter the examination centres with these contraptions. The number of youngsters who appeared for the CEE from the districts of Murshidabad, Birbhum, Burdwan, Nadia, North 24-Parganas, Hooghly, Bankura and Purulia was 850. 

"The examinations were held at the Murshidabad College of Engineering and Technology and the Barrackpore Military Station. In keeping with the motto of 'Transparency, Rectitude and Fairness', there was strict vigil and anti-touting measures were adopted. A thorough check of the candidates before they entered the examination halls resulted in the four being nabbed. Two were apprehended at Behrampore and the remaining at Barrackpore," an officer said. 

The two candidates at Behrampore had blue tooth devices neatly stitched inside their vests and microphones hidden inside pens. At Barrackpore, the blue tooth devices were hidden inside 'Taweez' worn by two candidates on their arms. The cell-phones were hidden inside their undergarments. According to the officer, this is the first time such technology has been adopted to crack CEE. 

While addressing the candidates thereafter, Brigadier S S Prasad, deputy director general, recruitment, explained how touts exploit those looking for jobs and end up extracting money from them. He also told the candidates about the measures taken to ensure secrecy during evaluation of answer sheets.

Army commander greets Kashmiris on Eid

Lt Gen DS Hooda, who heads the Northern Command, conveyed his best wishes and heartfelt greetings to the people on the auspicious occasion, a statement from the Army said.
He said Eid-ul-Fitr, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, "brings with it unity, happiness and a feeling of brotherhood and this was the path to peace and progress in the state".
Is India Ready for the Next Kargil? 
Written by: Pathikrit Payne

New Delhi, July 29: The 15th anniversary of India's victory over Pakistan Army in the Kargil War was celebrated with much fervor and passion across many parts of India. Even as India's Defence Minister paid floral tributes to the martyrs and announced that the Government is in the process of finalizing a place for the construction of an iconic National War Memorial, one lingering question that should be given due importance is whether India has finally seen the back of the Kargil kind of saga. The lingering questions.... Can one completely rule out the possibility of another Kargil War? Is it necessary that the next Kargil would happen in Kargil? Is India prepared enough to make sure that the toll of the next Kargil War would not be that high and that it would be nipped in the bud? Can one entirely rule out the possibility of the next Kargil type siege being orchestrated from within the country by external elements? Fact of the matter is that no one can rule out any of the possibilities. On the positive side Over the last fifteen years, strength and arsenal of Indian Armed Forces have been increased considerably. The Indian Air Force now have around 190 frontline Su-30 MKI aircrafts and a whole new array of modern helicopters like new generation Mi-17 medium lift helicopters and Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopters,, Indian Navy has added a large number of patrol ships, destroyers and frigates to its fleet while the Indian Army has tried to contain the void created by complete lack of acquisition of the new artilleries with induction of Smerch and Pinaka type Multiple Rocket Launch Systems (MRLS). Likewise Indian Army and Air Force now has a sizeable fleet of drones which keep constant vigil on vulnerable areas of borders in addition to support from satellite imaging. Meanwhile India has worked hard to reduce the mobilization period of its army to a mere 48 hours which is a commendable achievement and worked well master its Cold Start Doctrine. India is also augmenting the strength of the army with addition of a whole new Mountin strike Corps with 90,000 soldiers at a cost of a whopping Rs 65,000 crore. On the flip side... Yet one cannot at the same time deny that there are also major issues that continue to plague the Indian Armed Forces including gargantuan delay in acquisition of many critical equipment including light utility helicopters, combat aircrafts of the MMRCA category, critical artilleries which have not been inducted for decades and even something as basic as new generation infantry assault rifles. On the flip side there are also issues related to India's War Wastage Reserve (WWR) or the amount of ammunition it has to fight a war. Reports in media earlier this year indicated that India's WWR has reduced to less than half of what ideally it should be ( with the Army not even having enough ammunition reserve to even fight a war for 20 days even when it ideally should have ammunition to fight 40 days of intense war to the least. The loopholes, the lacunae and the threats in East and South While one cannot deny the fact that the entire grid along the Line of Control with Pakistan has been considerably strengthened, the incident of 26/11 as well as the increasing intransigence of the Chinese Army along India's eastern borders raise issues about how the shape and location of the next Kargil War would be. The incident of 26/11 vindicated that what was presumed to be an impregnable sea border has now proved to be permeable. Even though efforts are being made to considerably augment the capacity of Indian Coast Guard, loopholes do remain and that cannot be ignored. In the same league, Southern India which was always considered to be out of bound of radical terror groups, is now witnessing real time threat from terror groups from inside as well as from neighboring Sri Lanka and especially Maldives which has evolved as a dangerous hub of radical extremism. Also, there are serious apprehensions of the existence of several sleeper cells of Laskhkar and other terror groups in India which are manned by Pakistani nationals living in disguise here. A volatile Pakistan continues to be a major nemesis The situation across the border in Pakistan continues to be extremely grave with on one side Tehreek e Taliban's assault in Karachi and their near stranglehold on the Sindh province is a real cause of worry for India. Given the demonstration of firepower and audacious attacks they executed on Pakistani Airports and military bases, it would be naïve to presume that they would never set their eyes on India. The ISIS factor and the threat of radical jihad in India Likewise, the sudden resurgence of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, termed as the deadliest terror organization of the world today, is also a major threat to India. Their influence, one should remember, is not just restricted to Middle East only. Recent reports about a large number of Indian Muslim youths having already either gone to Iraq to fight for ISIS ( or are planning to go, comes as a portentous news for the secular fabric of India's multicultural society. Already it is a known fact that India is in the scheme of things of ISIS so far as their sinister global ambition is concerned. Reports have also emerged about an alleged letter written by Maulana Syed Salman Hussaini Nadvi of the Darul Uloom Nadwa, Lucknow ( wherein it was alleged that he has sought help from the Saudi Government to help him fund the creation of a 5 lakh strong Jihadi force in India to fight for ISIS. Whether this allegation is authentic or not is subject to scrutiny but one cannot deny the fact that a certain proportion of support does exist in India for ISIS and its success in establishing Caliphate in Middle East. Combining this with the existing threat from SIMI, Indian Mujahideen as well as cross border terror organizations, one has to keep in mind that both the recurrence of a Kargil type incident or a 26/11 kind of a siege is extremely possible but the dimension of either need not be same as their previous occurrence. The appalling condition of Indian Police- Is it prepared to take on threats from inside? Reality is that India's Army, BSF or the naval forces are still better prepared to deal with an assault from across the border, but the condition of the internal security forces and especially the state level police forces is grim. There are serious doubts about their ability to provide a credible first line of defense if any major eventuality erupt from inside. Nearly six years after the happening of the 26/11 incident, ground realities so far as the ill preparedness of India's police forces have not changed much. Further, one cannot also deny the Maoist factor and the possibility of them resorting to major strike leading to a major siege of cities, either on their own or in alliance with other forces inimical to India. The issue of links between Maoists and ISI is not an alien one. It is therefore critical for India to have a new architecture of national security by combining the external and internal security threats and develop a holistic approach towards dealing with the next Kargil or 26/11. The next Kargil War need not happen in Kargil Given the worsening security situation both inside the country and in the immediate and distant neighborhood, the issue of the happening of the next Kargil or 26/11 is perhaps not a question of if but when. Developing a credible deterrence therefore is the only way out. The next Kargil War need not happen in Kargil just as the next 26/11 may not necessarily happen in Mumbai. India needs to be prepared for all kinds of eventualities.

Army Chief Flags Slow Arms Procurement

NEW DELHI: General Bikram Singh, who retires as Army chief on Thursday, has flagged the slow pace of military acquisitions that would hamper the Army’s bid to remain relevant in a technology-driven character of future wars.
In his message ahead of his retirement after 26 months helming the 11.3 lakh-strong Army, General Singh said he had stressed certain key areas to focus on when he took over as Army chief in June 2012.
He said these had been the foundation of his comprehensive approach to building an army which “remains a potent, responsive, accountable and relevant instrument of national power”.
In the message posted on the Army’s official website, the General said, “Maintaining and enhancing the operational readiness to enable effective fulfillment of our constitutional obligations was my single most important goal.”
Another major challenge faced by him was force modernisation and capability development. “Technology had changed the nature and character of the future wars and we need to induct modern capabilities to remain relevant,” he said.
“To overcome the slow progress in pursuing acquisitions projects, we have attempted to refine procedures and make them more effective. I have no doubts that the results will begin to unfold in a time bound manner and will be there for all to see,” he said.
Noting that he would be handing over the reins of the Army to General Suhag, the outgoing Army chief said he had no doubt that his successor “will lead our beloved Indian Army to even higher pinnacles of glory”.
General Suhag, a Gorkha Rifles officer, will assume charge on Friday.
“I have undertaken this journey, not alone, but as one of the many soldiers in uniform, who with utter disregard to personal comforts and safety, constantly strive to fulfil their duties with unflinching commitment to uphold the confidence and faith reposed in them by the nation,” he said.
Jammu, July 29
The Army’s Chushul Brigade under the aegis of the Trishul Division today organised an ex-servicemen rally at Tangtse village in Leh district.
The rally was organised with an aim to reach out to the veterans, widows and their dependents residing in treacherous and rugged areas of the eastern Ladakh region, said a Defence spokesperson.
The rally provided a single platform for resolving various issues of ex-servicemen regarding their pension, healthcare, banking and other welfare schemes.
Various helpdesks including those of Zila Sainik Welfare office, DPDO and State Bank of India and information boards were established to educate the ex-servicemen and address their grievances.
During the rally a medical and dental checkup camp was also organised in which many veterans and their dependents were rendered medical assistance and provided free medicines, the spokesperson said.
During the rally, Brigadier JKS Virk, Commander of the Chushul Brigade, interacted with the veterans and their dependents and assured every possible help from the Army.
WASHINGTON, DC: An Indian American physician who runs a medical company in the New York City area, and is well-known in social circles of the community, Dr. Anurita Kapur, has alleged that she was raped by the former Military Attache to India’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York and senior Indian Army officer Colonel Manoj Tiwari at the premises of the mission, last year.
Dr. Anurita Kapur
Dr. Anurita Kapur
Kapur, who runs the Livingston Medical Groups (LMG), a nationwide firm that offers over 21 medical services to physicians, has claimed in a press release – and which we have reproduced in its entirety below without editing it and is put up on the LMG website too – that she was sedated, attacked and raped viciously by Tiwari in his office.According to the allegations by Kapur, no action has been taken by either the Mission or the Indian government in the matter and American authorities are investigating the matter. There is no mention of a police report being lodged. Tiwari, according to the allegations, left for India last year and since then has been promoted to Brigadier.The press release issued by Dr. Kapur in its entirety is 

DAY OF THE FAITHFUL: Muslims offer prayers on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr at Jama Masjid in New Delhi on Tuesday. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui

A gesture of love: Girls and children (right) embrace each other after offering prayers on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr at a mosque in Jalandhar on Tuesday. Tribune photos: Malkiat Singh

PRAYING MASSES: Cops stand guard as devotees offer prayers at the historical Mosque Kharudin on Eid ul-Fitr in Amritsar on Tuesday. Photo: RK SONI
Add caption

Sharing happiness: BSF Deputy Inspector General MF Farooqui (second from left) gives a gift to Pakistani Ranger Wing Commander Asher Khan on Eid at the Attari-Wagah Joint Check post near Amritsar on Tuesday. Photo: Vishal Kumar
Vehicles stuck on a flooded road during heavy rains in Valsad district on Tuesday. PT

This Week in Health Tips

Another week has passed and more health tips collected to pass on to you! Here are the best of this week's received health tips. Read closely, share important information with family and friends, and take these tips to heart!

Easy and Creative Kitchen Solutions! 

We've collected for you a number of easy but creative storage, serving and cooking solutions that will upgrade your kitchen experience!

smart kitchen solutions
Peel the onion to much thinner stripes, using a peeler...

smart kitchen solutions
 Instead of wasting tomato puree, freeze it in a aluminum container and spread the required amount every time you need a bit to cook with.

smart kitchen solutions
Instead of transferring stuffing to a pastry bag with a spoon - and get messy, place the pastry bag in a glass and pour the contents in.

smart kitchen solutions
Cut the top of an apple, remove the contents and fill it with caramel or almond sauce and serve as a dip.

smart kitchen solutions

OR after removing the top part of an apple and its contents, you can pour in apple cider, to serve with a cinnamon stick and slices of lemon. 

smart kitchen solutions
Remove the top of a strawberry, remove the contents and fill it with cheese. You can spread biscuit crumbs on top and voila - a mini cheese and strawberry cake. 

smart kitchen solutions
Bake chocolate chip cookies in the shape of a flower. For that, use the rear side of a baking pan.

smart kitchen solutions
Freeze chopped green onion in a plastic bottle, so every time you need a small amount to cook with, you can 'pour' green onions out of the bottle.

smart kitchen solutions

In an ice tray, freeze raspberries, blueberries, pineapple, grapes etc. Every time you want to serve a refreshing glass of water, add a juicy ice cube with added flavor.

smart kitchen solutions
Fill a balloon up to the wanted size, dip its end in melted chocolate and place on a tray covered in baking paper. Put the tray in the fridge to cool. When the chocolate hardens, blow up the balloon and there you have it - chocolate serving bowls.

smart kitchen solutions
Put cuttings of herbs such as parsley, cilantro, rosemary, mint, basil etc. in an ice tray, add olive oil and freeze. Next time you cook, you can use these instant flavor enhancers.

smart kitchen solutions
 Make spaghetti and sausages in a creative way. Stick the spaghetti sticks in the sausages and cook them both in hot water.

smart kitchen solutions
Fill an ice tray with melted chocolate and pace a strawberry in the middle of each square. When the chocolate hardens, take out the tray and serve a great chocolate and strawberry desert.

smart kitchen solutions
Insert some chocolate chips to the center of a raspberry, to add surprising flavors!

smart kitchen solutions
It's always charming to have shaped watermelons