Showing posts with label Defence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Defence. Show all posts

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

UAE sentences Indian man to 10 years for spying

A UAE court has sentenced an Indian expat to 10 years in prison followed by deportation for espionage, local press reported Thursday.

An Abu Dhabi appeals court found an unnamed man guilty of "sharing sensitive information about movements of military ships" with an unspecified country, according to the Gulf News daily.

The United Arab Emirates last year sentenced an Indian citizen to five years in prison for spying for his country, Gulf News reported at the time.

A number of other expatriates have been convicted of espionage in the UAE in recent years, including Pakistanis and Qataris.

Source NewIndianExpress
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Video - Kashmiri cricket club wears Pakistani jersey, sings 'Pak sarzamin shad bad'

New Delhi: A local Kashmiri cricket club has triggered a huge controversy after a video surfaced on the social media showing its players wearing Pakistani cricket team's uniform. The team members also sang the Pakistani national anthem before the start of the match.
As per reports, the match was held at the Wayil grounds in Ganderbal on April 2 – separatists had called for a hartal that day to protest against PM Narendra Modi's visit to Jammu and Kashmir for the Chenani-Nashri tunnel.

The team that wore the Pakistani green is named after Baba Darya Ud Din, a popular saint whose shrine is situated in Ganderbal. Their opponents wore white.

InUth reports that prior to the start of the match, the commentator announced through loudspeakers that Pakistani national anthem would be played before the match as a 'mark of respect'. The report adds that the playground is located next to the local police station.

“We wanted our team to look different and also wanted to show fellow Kashmiris that we haven’t forgotten Kashmir issue, so we found this particular theme as most appropriate and catchy,” InUth quoted a player as saying.

Watch the video:

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Thursday, 14 July 2016

Pakistani Terrorists dressed as women arrested by Indian Army in Kashmir

Indian Army arrested Pakistani terrorists who disguised themselves as women as seen in the picture below in which Indian Army is in action and hold two terrorists in dressed up as woman.

Indian Army is very active in Kashmir and in the light of recent events, it is working even harder to fight the terrorists.

Indian Army Forces carrying out special mission in Kashmir

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Sunday, 10 July 2016

Curfew in Kashmir after the death of rebel leader Burhan Wani

An indefinite curfew has been imposed by the Indian government in Kashmir after the rebel commander Burhan Wani was killed by the Indian forces.Killing Burhan Wani has been said as an achievement for the Indian forces against those opposed to the Indian rule.

The residents of Kashmir area , which includes a number of towns and cities , are told to stay inside their homes by forces present in Kashmir.

Burhan Wani is the chief of operations of Indian Kashmir’s largest rebel group Hizbul Mujahideen.He was killed in fighting on Friday after Indian troops, acting on a tip, cordoned a forested village in the Kokernag area, said police director general K Rajendra.

In his early 20s, Wani had become the face of militancy in Kashmir over the last five years. He was a household name and his video clips and pictures were widely circulated among young people in Kashmir. Unlike the rebel leaders of the early 1990s, Wani did not cover his face in videos widely circulated on phones and the internet.

Insp Genl Syed Javaid Mujtaba Gillani described the killing as the “biggest success against militants” in recent years. As news of his death spread, tens of thousands of people took to the streets in several places in Kashmir, denouncing his death and chanting slogans against Indian rule.

Indian officials, fearing more violent protests in the troubled region, suspended an annual Hindu pilgrimage to a mountain cave which draws about half a million people each year. Officials also suspended mobile phone services in southern parts of Kashmir and blocked mobile internet in the rest of the region to prevent anti-India demonstrators from massing.

Shops, businesses, schools and government offices were shut following the security lockdown and a general strike called by anti-India separatists. Authorities also postponed school and college examinations and suspended rail services.

Muslim-majority Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed in entirety by both. On India’s side, separatist politicians and rebels reject India’s sovereignty over Kashmir and have been fighting for independence or merger with Pakistan since 1989. Separatist leaders asked people to march to southern Tral town for Wani’s funeral on Saturday.

Rajendra said Wani’s body was handed over to the family but warned that no one would be allowed to march to Tral. “Only locals would be allowed to participate in his funeral,” he said. However, hundreds of protesters came out in several neighbourhoods in southern Kashmir, chanting: “Go India! Go back,” and: “We want freedom.”

Most citizens in the mostly Muslim region have long resented the Indian presence, and support rebel demands for independent or merging with Pakistan. India and Pakistan have fought three wars, two of them over control of Kashmir, since they won independence from British colonialists in 1947. More than 68,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the subsequent Indian military crackdown.

Source Guardian 
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Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Army officer killed in Pakistan firing in J&K’s Kupwara

The JCO was hit by a Pakistani sniper near the LoC in Nowgam sector and later succumbed to injuries.
A Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) of Army was killed on Tuesday in cross-LoC firing by Pakistani troops in Kupwara district of Kashmir.

The JCO was hit by a Pakistani sniper near the LoC in Nowgam sector and later succumbed to injuries, Defense spokesman told The Indian Express. He said Pakistan troops resorted to firing on forward positions in the sector around 1300 hours, violating the ceasefire once again.

The spokesman said the identity of the slain JCO, and other details of the incident will follow in due course. Army has already averted several infiltration bids made from the PoK in North Kashmir especially – Keran, Tanghdar and Nowgam sectors this year. After the incident the troops guarding the Line of Control have been asked to remain extra vigilant while moving around the areas close to LoC.

Source IndianExpress

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Thursday, 6 August 2015

Indian Air Force Sukhois Dominate UK Fighter Jets in Combat Exercises

NEW DELHI:  In some of the most intense international air combat exercises ever featuring the Indian Air Force, IAF pilots flying Sukhoi Su-30 MKI fighters had a resounding 12-0 scoreline in their favour against Royal Air Force Typhoon jets in Within Visual Range (WVR) dogfighting operations.

In subsequent Large Force Exercises (LFE) which featured combined Eurofighter Typhoon and Su-30 formations, the IAF jets were somewhat less successful but consistently held an edge over the Typhoon.

In an exclusive interview, Group Captain Ashu Srivastav, the Contingent Commander in the exercises, told NDTV that the performance of his pilots was "exceptional." According to Group Captain Srivastav, who happens to be the IAF's most experienced Su-30 pilot, his pilots showed "flexibility and adaptability to a new environment and operating conditions and on this benchmark, I would rate them exceptional."

An IAF Sukhoi Su-30 MKI (left) flies alongside RAF's Eurofighter Typhoon.

The 10-day exercises which commenced on July 21 was the fourth edition of the Indo-UK Bilateral exercise called 'Indradhanush'. IAF aircraft and personnel were based out of three Royal Air Force bases: four IAF Su-30 fighters operated out of RAF Coningsby, C-17 and C-130J Hercules transports were positioned at Brize Norton and Garud Commandos of the IAF operated alongside British forces at RAF Honington. The IAF also deployed an Ilyushin IL-78 air to air refuelling tanker at Brize Norton.

The IAF fleet departed India on July 15, with the fighters refuelling twice mid-air ahead of their first pit-stop at Taif in Saudi Arabia (near Jeddah). The formation then proceeded to Athens on July 16, refuelling once before their arrival. After another halt for one night, IAF aircraft flew onto the UK again refuelling once mid-air.

For the Royal Air Force, the chance to train against the Russian-designed Su-30, arguably the finest fourth generation fighter aircraft in the world, is rare. India is the largest international operator of the super-maneuverable fighter and was equally keen to pit the skills of its Top Guns against the RAF's new Eurofighter Typhoon, the mainstay of the RAF's fighter fleet.

The first week of the exercises pitted the Su-30, which NATO calls the Flanker, in a series of aerial dogfight scenarios. First, there were 1 v 1 encounters, where a single jet of each type engaged each other in Within Visual Range (WVR) combat, firing simulated missiles to a range of two miles. The exercises progressed to 2 v 2 engagements with two Eurofighters taking on two Su-30s and 2 v 1 exercises where two Sukhois took on a single Typhoon and vice versa. Notably, in the exercise where a lone Su-30 was engaged by two Typhoons, the IAF jet emerged the victor 'shooting' down both 'enemy' jets.

In all dog fighting exercises, IAF Sukhois were able to turn sharply into the extremely agile Typhoons using their thrust-vectored engines to keep the RAF jets locked in their sights. The Su-30's advanced Infrared Search and Track System (IRST), a passive sensor, which cannot be tracked, proved to be a distinct advantage for the IAF's pilots in close-combat maneuvering. Both the IAF and RAF used the full capabilities of their onboard radars, albeit in training mode, which meant that actual radar frequencies used in combat conditions were never exposed for confidentiality reasons. However, the detection ranges of the radars of both aircraft were not curtailed per se. This was air combat as close to the real thing as possible.

The pilots themselves ranged from young Flight Lieutenants to senior Group Captains from either side drawn directly from Typhoon squadrons and the IAF's 2 Squadron, The Winged Arrows, based in Kalaikunda. The idea was for both sides to expose their operational pilots to a modern frontline platform of the same class. Accordingly, the IAF did not deploy any senior pilots serving with its Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment (TACDE).

By the time the exercises shifted to Large Force Engagements (LFE) in the second week, IAF pilots were comfortable operating in British conditions. The Large Force Engagements saw mixed formation scenarios where the IAF operated its jets alongside RAF Typhoons in air battles against fellow Su-30s flying together with other Typhoons.

The Large Force Engagements saw 4 v 4 engagements at beyond visual range and graduated to a massive 8 v 8 engagement featuring 16 aircraft in the skies near Coningsby. IAF pilots shared tactical information with RAF pilots in their formations using radio communications since the IAF's data-link system (which shares critical sensor data with friendly aircraft) was not compatible with the Link 16 system in use with NATO aircraft like the Typhoon.

Asked about the performance of IAF pilots in these Large Force Engagements, Group Captain Srivastav told NDTV his pilots performed "fairly well" though "quantifying [the results] is difficult". It was not unexpected for the IAF to "lose" one or two jets (over all the Large Force Engagements put together) given that the movement of each formation was directed by fighter controllers coordinating an overall air battle. Both sides agreed to simulate their Beyond Visual Range (BVR) Missiles at 25 miles for offensive missions and 22 miles for defensive scenarios.

IAF C-130 and Il-78 jets also participated in the Large Force engagements where they were "defended" by the fighter formations they were flying with against 'enemy' attacks.

The IAF also encountered no serviceability issues with any of its participating jets. All Su-30s were available for the daily exercises which took place over two blocks, one in the morning, the other in the afternoon for a total of eight sorties daily.

Praising the support the IAF received from the RAF, Group Captain Srivastav told NDTV, "The hosts were very good. They were ready to extend exceptional support."

The Large Force Engagements saw 4 v 4 engagements at beyond visual range and graduated to a massive 8 v 8 engagement featuring 16 aircraft in the skies near Coningsby. IAF pilots shared tactical information with RAF pilots in their formations using radio communications since the IAF's data-link system (which shares critical sensor data with friendly aircraft) was not compatible with the Link 16 system in use with NATO aircraft like the Typhoon.

Asked about the performance of IAF pilots in these Large Force Engagements, Group Captain Srivastav told NDTV his pilots performed "fairly well" though "quantifying [the results] is difficult". It was not unexpected for the IAF to "lose" one or two jets (over all the Large Force Engagements put together) given that the movement of each formation was directed by fighter controllers coordinating an overall air battle. Both sides agreed to simulate their Beyond Visual Range (BVR) Missiles at 25 miles for offensive missions and 22 miles for defensive scenarios.

IAF C-130 and Il-78 jets also participated in the Large Force engagements where they were "defended" by the fighter formations they were flying with against 'enemy' attacks.

The IAF also encountered no serviceability issues with any of its participating jets. All Su-30s were available for the daily exercises which took place over two blocks, one in the morning, the other in the afternoon for a total of eight sorties daily.

Praising the support the IAF received from the RAF, Group Captain Srivastav told NDTV, "The hosts were very good. They were ready to extend exceptional support."

Back in India now, the IAF, like the Royal Air Force, is keen to point out that the exercises were a learning and training opportunity, and should not be seen as a battle between the IAF and the RAF, who are close allies and partners. According to Group Captain Srivastav, "It was all about learning from each others experiences and to fine tune our own procedures."

At the end of the day, though, for the IAF, these exercises were about gauging the skill levels of its own pilots and the aircraft they operate. For the IAF, these exercises came as positive news on where they stand against some of the best of the West.

Source NDTV
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Sunday, 21 June 2015

A must read mindblowing and inspiring story related to MARCOS The Marine Commandos of India

I cut my leg off and ordered: 'Now go and bury it.'.........

 Major General Ian Cardozo was a young major in the 5 Gorkha Rifles in the 1971 war with Pakistan. In a swift military offensive, India defeated Pakistan within 13 days, liberated a region and led to the creation of Bangladesh.

A must read related to defence forces : Respect

 In the war, the then Major Cardozo stepped on a landmine and had to cut off his badly wounded leg with his own khukri.

 Yet, through sheer will power and determination, he did not let his disability come in the way of his duty as a soldier and went on to become the first disabled officer in the Indian Army to command an infantry battalion and a brigade.

 A brief interview with him..

 Tell us about your wound.

 At that time, I was still not wounded.

 There was a BSF commander who got panicky when he saw all these fellows (prisoners) and asked: "Please send someone here.' I told the CO that I would go. I did not know that I was walking on a minefield. I stepped on a mine and my leg blew off.

 A Bangladeshi saw this happening, he picked me up and took me to the battalion headquarters. They were feeling bad. I told the doctor, 'Give me some morphine.' They had no#8800 it had been destroyed during the operations. 'Do you have any Pethidine?' 'No'

 I told him: 'Could you cut this off?'

 He said: 'I don't have any instrument.'

 I asked my batman: 'Where is my khukri?'

 He said: 'Here it is, Sir.'

 I told him: 'Cut it off.'

 He answered in Gorkhali: 'Sir, I can't do it.'

 I told him: 'Give it to me.' I cut my leg off and ordered: 'Now go and bury it.'

 You tell people that you are embarrassed to tell the story because it was nothing at all. What was your first thought?

 My first thought was for her (pointing to his wife, Priscilla). I thought, 'What a stupid thing happened to me. It was beyond my control, it just happened.'

 Then the doctor came and tied it up. My CO also came: 'Ian, you are very lucky, we have captured a Pakistani surgeon. He will operate on you.'

 'Nothing doing, Sir, I don't want to be operated by a Pakistani doctor. Just get me back to India,' I answered.

 By that time Dhaka had fallen and there was no chopper available.

 I then told the CO: 'Two conditions.' He immediately said: 'You are not in position to put conditions.'

 I told him: 'OK, two requests. One, I don't want Pakistani blood.'

 He retorted: 'You are a fool.' I said: 'I am prepared to die a fool. My second request, Sir, I want you to be present when they operate on me.' The CO asked: 'Why?' I answered: 'You know why.' (There had been cases of torture). So, he agreed.

 Anyway, the Pakistani surgeon did a good job. His name was Major Mohamed Basheer. I have never been able to say, 'Thank you.' I owe him a thank you, but it is not easy (to find someone in Pakistan].

 What did you feel when you cut your own leg?

 People are giving more credit than I do. Actually I just felt deeply embarrassed because my leg was in a terrible state. I did not want to look at it and others to look at it. I wanted to get rid of it. Nobody wanted to do it, so I did it.

 You have said that you always dream that you have two legs.

 Yes, in my dreams, I have two legs, no artificial leg.

 How did you manage to get a promotion after being disabled?

 One has to accept that the army puts a great amount of emphasis on physical fitness. One has to be fit to be a commander at any level.

 From my side, I felt that the doctors were unfair to me to say that I could not perform as well as anybody else.

 With my wooden leg, I was determined to prove to the army as well as to the world in general, that a person with a wooden leg could do as well, if not better, than a two-legged person. I resolved to keep myself physically fit.

 I woke early morning, did some exercises and went for a run. I did the battle physical test. I had a problem with the officer in charge of the test who refused to allow me to pass the test. He said he would not let me go through that test because a year earlier someone physically unfit had gone through the test and died.

 I told him I was fit, but he answered that he would arrest me if I do the test. I told him: 'You can put me under arrest only after I commit the offense. So let me do the test and you can arrest me after.'

 So I did the test and left seven officers with two legs behind me. The officer was a good man, he said, putting his arm around my shoulder: 'Well done, Sir, good job.'

 I later went to the vice-chief and asked him, what else should I do? He said: 'Come with me to J&K.'

 He came by helicopter to a place at 6,000 feet. I climbed from the road to the helipad. When he arrived, he asked me: 'How did you come here?' thinking I had used my contacts to fly with a chopper. I told him: 'Sir, I climbed from the road.'

 He was surprised: 'You can climb!' I told him: 'What I can or can't do is the minds of my senior officers.'

 He said 'Alright' and put up my case to the army chief (General T N Raina) who asked me to accompany him to Ladakh. I walked in mountains in snow and ice. General Raina saw this and when he returned to Delhi, he asked for my file and wrote: 'Yes, give him a battalion and to all other officers who are not taking shelter behind their wounds.'

 For me, it only meant that one has to do what is required by one's job. I was the first disabled officer to be approved to command a battalion.

 The same thing happened when I was to take command of a brigade. The bureaucracy said: 'No, you can't command a brigade.' I wrote to the army chief that I had proven that I could command a battalion; there was no reason why I should be demoted in a staff job.

 The chief said: 'Why do you harass this man, give him the command of a brigade.'

 Later three disabled officers became army commanders. One even became vice-chief: he had earlier had both his legs amputated.

 What would you tell the youth of this country?

 I have many things to say: You have only one life to live, live it to the full.

 You have 24 hours in a day: Pack it up.

 The other thing is 'Never give up.'

 If you believe in something, do it in a right way at the right time.

 I must say I had always the support of my wife for whatever I did in my life.

Source Rediff
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Tuesday, 9 June 2015

India Fights Back : How Indian Army killed the insurgents by entering Myanmar in retaliation to the 18 Indian Soldiers killed

Bold action: Indian Army goes into Myanmar, takes down militants involved in Manipur attack in which 18 Indian Army soldiers were killed

Following the attack on our security personnel on 04 Jun 2015 in Chandel, Manipur, Indian Army has been on a high alert. In the course of the last few days, credible and specific intelligence was received about further attacks that were being planned within our territory. These attacks were to be carried out by some of the groups involved in earlier attacks on our security personnel and their allies.

In view of the imminent threat, an immediate response based on intelligence, operations were conducted to counter these planned assaults. Early this morning, the Indian Army engaged two separate groups of insurgents along the Indo-Myanmar border at two locations, along the Nagaland and Manipur borders. Significant casualties have been inflicted on them. As a consequence, threats to our civilian population and security forces were averted.

Indian Army is in communication with the Myanmar authorities on this matter. There is a history of close cooperation between our two militaries. We look forward to working with them to combat such terrorism.
While ensuring peace and tranquility along the border and in the border states, any threat to our security, safety and national integrity will meet a firm response. ‪#‎NEOPs‬ ‪#‎IndianArmy‬
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Thursday, 19 March 2015

Sainik Schools and Shortage of Officers in the Indian Army

Sainik School Ghorakhal's Main Admin Block, it is by far the best Sainik School by far its entries to the National Defence Academy and other defence academies
An officer and a gentleman.

Sainik Schools are one of our best experiments with regimental learning. They have produced sterling candidates – both soldiers and citizens. In a time of growing shortage of officers in the armed forces, why are we so short of such schools?

Just 86 cadets joined the Indian Military Academy at Dehradun in 2008 against a course strength of 250. And, instead of 300 applicants, just 192 turned up at the National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla, at Pune. Defence Minister AK Antony has admitted that the shortage of officers in the Army is around 11,500. In the Navy, the shortage is 1606. The number of vacancies in the Air Force is 1342.

There is an element of irony to the figures of shortage of officers that has been put out by the Ministry of Defence for some years now. The irony is that the shortage has only widened after the deficit was acknowledged. And for those who still don’t get the import of these figures, put it this way: the army has only a little more than half of the officers it needs.

It took the last General of the Indian Army to put things in acute perspective when he hinted at conscription as one of the means to make up for the shortfall. As was expected, in a country that is quickly embarrassed by notions of patriotism, howls of protest from our well heeled intelligentsia and civil society greeted the good general for such a blasphemy – us, to have to serve our motherland in combat ! – what could be worse fate for a well educated citizen, they seemed to complain.

Be that as it may, the episode did serve to ferment a lot of debate on the reasons for this phenomenon and the methods that could be employed to stem the rot, so to say, or induce a greater interest in this youth-bulging nation to join the forces. Even as the debate for a solution rages and perambulates from proposing higher wages to shorter tenures and from faster promotions to better media promotion of the forces as a career choice, or setting up more short service commissions or enlarging the ambit of the NCC, what is being left out is what looks like a good idea going to seed. Outside of token financial help, nobody is looking towards the Sainik Schools as a solution.

This article argues for a revitalization of the Sainik Schools as a realistic, practical and efficacious solution to the paucity we are now faced with on the following grounds: The Sainik Schools are an established mechanism for feeding trained recruits to the forces. There is established success of the model. Their national spread serves to provide equal representation in the forces of various regions across the country. It costs relatively little to run them and they are a running model. They provide lasting all-round development of students since they take students from class VI onwards and condition them in a residential school format. They provide a passport to advancement to students from rural and backward areas which would otherwise take three generations to make the shift. They produce a higher caliber individual with a definite nationalist orientation. Sainik Schools alumni are greater achievers in almost every field, even outside the forces.

As thing stand, almost 15% of recruits in the National Defence Academy are from Sainik Schools. The trend of children of soldiers following their fathers into the professions is by all accounts on the wane, and with the urban phenomenon almost entirely at odds with the values and norms of soldierly life, the catchment for such recruits has naturally moved to the hinterland, where these schools are not just vehicles of upward social mobility but a passport to financial security. It is here that most Sainik Schools were envisioned and it here that they are playing a dramatic role in transforming the community including those who are serving their country in other capacities outside of the forces.

Sociologically and strategically, one student from the local Sainik School carries an ambassadorial influence of the values he has been taught, to the entire village or community he belongs to. He serves as an inspiration to the next generation and continues the tradition and links that these schools foster in such areas and continue to feed the defence forces. This essential and critical mechanism is being ignored at the expense of fallacious and wasteful spending on mainline media campaigns trying to convince urban lads in the English medium to give up their cushy lives and move to the treacherous landscapes of war. On the other hand, if merely a percentage of the student strength of such Sainik Schools move into officer ranks, the deficit will be more than compensated and an iterating mechanism will ensure that there would never be a shortfall in future.

There are opinions of every shade on such matters everywhere and even though the Comptroller Auditor General of India critically noted in one of its audits that less than 4% of the target set for induction of such recruits in the military colleges was met in the five years from 1989 to 1993, the fact is that with an overall strength of close to 13,000 students in 24 schools today, even as low a success rate as just 3% from Sainik Schools would more than make up the seats available at IMA or the NDA.

The Sainik Schools are more cost effective than other schools, private or funded by Government of the same caliber. The Comptroller Auditor General of India pointed out that the Central Government incurred an expenditure of approximately Rs 1.40 lakhs per student in seven years of schooling in the Sainik Schools. The annual overhead of 22 Sainik Schools in 2008 was reported to be in the region of Rs. 80 crores or effectively less than 0.1 percent of the defence budget [basis: FY 2007-2008 Budget Rs 96,000 crores – report by MP Anil Kumar]* This figure seems almost paltry in the context of the importance of such schools and is a modest sum considering each Sainik School is spread across a few hundred acres and has approximately 600 students. The Defence Ministry has reportedly said the schools were expected to be financially self-sufficient. These residential schools have no source of steady income apart from the student fee that ranges between Rs 50,000 and Rs 60,000 per child annually, depending on the campus.

It would be not just suicidal but patently catastrophic if the Sainik Schools were left to their own devices for shortage of funds or vision or both. The Standing Committee on Defence chaired by Congress MP Satpal Maharaj in its report has emphasized that the Sainik Schools were facing various problems which included financial support from the state governments. There is debate on whether central funds should replace state responsibility and vice versa. Whatever the way out – and this is no reason to delay a decision – it is clear that this government has a double responsibility to ensure the revitalization of the sainik schools by expanding the network and investing financially in them.

But there are more options available that just that : public private partnership in an area of such national importance is the first option that should be consulted. There is no dearth of funds, particularly in education. With the kind of subsidy the government provides these schools, at last another 24 could come up within a year if the sector was opened to private partnership.

Finally, a test of the fundamental duty of a member of parliament towards his constituency should be if he or she has been successful in establishing a Sainik School in his or her constituency. An MP receives Rs 2 Crores each year under the MPLAD scheme. What could be more productive, or essential or vital or developmental in nature than to invest this as seed money for the setting up of a Sainik School in the constituency. It is not a novel idea or unheard of. Noted journalist and MP Arun Shourie has pledged Rs. 11 crore from his MP Local Area Development Fund (MPLAD) to the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur for developing a separate and well-equipped building for Environmental Sciences and Environmental Engineering. The same could be done for Sainik Schools by all MPs by apportioning some funds for a Sainik School in their areas.

General Bikram Singh

The thrust of this article or argument remains that the Sainik School model must be seen to be bigger than its presumed role and in the perspective of its aim as producing a citizen of high caliber. The Defence Ministry stated in December 1995 that a study group constituted in 1986 had recommended that the aim of Sainik Schools should be to impart education to children with a view to enabling them to take up a career in the Defence Services and also positions of responsibility in other spheres of public life.

The Sainik School is complimentary with nationhood and patriotism. It moulds the young into a citizen in the context of the state. Krishna Menon’s vision for the Sainik Schools is stated to have been the necessity to broad base recruitment in the country for military careers. But let us not underestimate the penetrative wisdom of the man, for in doing so he knew that a new cadre of nationalists would be carved.

And it worked. So while this is my tribute to a good idea, and the few good men it spawned, I look forward to responses from those of you who share this view, or sentiment.

Source Facebook
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Friday, 12 September 2014

You CAN , only if you BELIEVE

“I don’t like using the term ‘physically challenged’. I’d like to think that human beings are capable of doing anything that they want, if only they can train their minds well enough.” - Retired Indian Army Major Devender Pal Singh, India’s first marathon amputee runner.

Major Devender Pal Singh was initially "declared dead" in an army hospital in July 1999 after a Pakistani mortar exploded just a meter away from him during the Kargil War. Fortunately, an anesthetist took a look at his condition and mercifully managed to revive him, only to be told three days later that his right leg would be amputated below his knee because gangrene had set in.

If all this would have broken another person, it only helped strengthen Devender’s will to live. “I saw this as a chance to find out how a person who does not have the full use of limbs, goes through life. I would never get another chance to learn, and I wanted to make the best use of it,” says Devender.

Known as the “Indian blade runner,” he's been running marathons for 16 years now and he wishes to make a mark in international tournaments, such as the Paralympics.

His story exemplifies to the fullest all that is good about the human spirit—a bullish grit and determination, a capability to never give up and always keep going, no matter what, delving into the extraordinary recesses of willpower.

Source: sportsillustratedblog
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Friday, 5 September 2014

The incredible story of how Col. Narendra Kumar secured the Siachen Glacier for India.

See how a handicapped officer shocked the world
In the army, they knew him as ‘Bull’ Kumar, awed as his mates were by the strength of his thick, muscular neck. Col Narendra Kumar earned this sobriquet at the National Defence Academy, then in Dehradun, during the first boxing match he fought. His rival was a senior cadet, S.F. Rodrigues, who went on to become the chief of army staff. Col Kumar lost the bout, but the ‘Bull’ epithet stuck.

Since then, Col Kumar has done everything in his long military career to justify the name his colleagues gave him. Like the bull, he loves a challenge, sniffs it even before others can see it, and goes at it in a single-minded pursuit, indifferent to consequences, full tilt, tail up. It was these qualities of his that ensured the Siachen glacier became an integral part of India.

The heroic story of Col Kumar dates to 1978, when he took a major expedition to the inhospitable glacier. This was six years before India launched Operation Meghdoot to thwart Pakistan’s designs on the Siachen glacier. No doubt, he knew the mountains well, commissioned as he had been into the Kumaon Regiment and consequently having spent the better part of his military career surrounded by troops born and bred in the rugged hills of Kumaon. Yet glaciers aren’t just stunningly beautiful mountainscape: they can numb, daze and kill you. Col Kumar, posted as the commandant of the army’s High Altitude Warfare School (HAWS) in Gulmarg then, knew he was heading into uncharted territory. “This was the first major expedition into the unknown,” he says, reminiscing about it in his flat in Delhi. “We had some reports that the Americans were showing Siachen as part of Pakistan in their adventure maps.”

What Kumar and his team planned was to reach the glacier’s snout, its lowest point, where the ice melts into water, and then trek up the 77 km of treacherous crevasses, mountains, passes and snow-covered peaks to reach the source. The colonel knew the stakes were high, that this mission could decide the future of India’s strategic outreach and establish a critical wedge between Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir and the swathe of Indian territory the Chinese had occupied in the aftermath of 1962. “Our equipment wasn’t the best, we didn’t have any maps,” he recalls. “We were going in blind and all we had was a rough idea of the peaks which had been named by the British decades ago.”

Bound to each other by thick ropes, trekking across the harsh terrain for weeks on end, Col Kumar became the first Indian to climb the Sia Kangri peak, which offers a majestic view of the Siachen glacier. But there was also a surprise awaiting the team—a Japanese mountain expedition facilitated by the Pakistan military had a presence there. After a “sit-rep” (situational report) was dispatched to the army headquarters, the team went from peak to peak, staying ahead of snow avalanches to chart the area.

Bull Kumar led other expeditions till 1984, losing four toes to frostbite. His sacrifice wasn’t to go waste.

Cut to 1984: intelligence information convinced the army headquarters that the Pakistanis were planning to militarily occupy Siachen and the heights of the nearby Saltoro ridge. There was evidence: in the autumn of 1983, a team from the Indian army’s elite Ladakh Scouts had sighted a Pakistani special forces unit from the ssg in the Siachen area. This prompted the area army headquarters to immediately draw up plans for a major operation in the summer of 1984. The fourth battalion of the Kumaon Regiment was assembled and equipped for Operation Meghdoot, which had as its bulwark Kumar’s maps, films and his knowledge of the area.

On April 13, 1984, Operation Meghdoot finally got under way. Air force choppers, their engines clattering in protest at being pushed to the limits of technological possibility at incredible heights, began to drop soldiers at Bilafond La which is today part of the Siachen Base Camp. For the first time in history, India had stamped its claim on the Siachen glacier. The sturdy Kumaonis then trekked up the glacier to secure the two major passes—the Sia La and Gyong La—even as the Pakistanis were scrambling their troops into the region. The Kumaonis moved up the Saltoro ridge, overlooking the approach from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, and Sia Kangri to establish posts that would give India the command of the glacier. With hands veritably frozen around their 7.62 mm rifles, Indian troops battled the elements to establish a military foothold in what would become the world’s highest battlefield.

“At times, you face impossible choices on the glacier. We always moved in pairs, bound to each other by rope. At one point, my buddy fell into a crevasse. For 45 minutes, I grappled with the idea of dying with him or cutting him loose and saving my life or to hang with him till the cold killed us both. I am glad that I never cut the rope.” In those 45 minutes, the buddy crawled up, the duo living to continue their foray from peak to peak.

To the west of the glacier were hostile Pakistani troops; on the east and to the north stood the Chinese. Had Col Kumar been given a clearance, he’d perhaps have climbed the K2 peak in the Karakoram ranges as well. But to reach K2, he’d have had to traverse the Shaksgam valley, which the Pakistanis had illegally ceded to China. So, India halted its advance on reaching the northernmost tip of the Siachen glacier, settling in on its frozen waste.

As Indian troops established more posts, a key base on the glacier was named Kumar Base: perhaps the only living Indian army officer to enjoy this singular honour. India’s claim to Siachen was confirmed. But the “refrigerated combat” against the elements and Pakistan had only just begun.

Source - Facebook Page of Indian Army
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