Showing posts with label SSB. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SSB. Show all posts

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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Tuesday, 21 April 2015


Today I am gonna describe the syllabus and the books to be used for preparation for your SSB (Services Selection Board) as you need to be well prepared for your SSB interview with the increasing competition

1. Newspapers : Newspapers is the most basic and important thing you need to read during your preparation for SSB.You should cover most importantly the hot events of defence, worldnews, sports, politics , your HOBBY or interest and the topics related to you(anything related to your school, college, your hometown,etc. , if the topic related you, have a good look at it.)As at any point of the interview , the information may come handy.

During your SSB, you will be asked at various points about yourself which will surely include your hobbies and interests.

Now a days , with the advancement in technology , you most probably are using a smartphone , so I am providing a list of newspapers with their links:
a. The Times of India

b.Hindustan Times

c.The Hindu

d. Reuters (For World News)

2. NOVELS: If you are confused about writing your hobbies , start reading some novels and when asked you can tell about it.

3. Defence Books : It is fine not to know about the defence details but you should have a basic knowledge of Indian defence forces (wars,weaponsand other basic stuff) and it would be great if you have interest in it, so start reading some defence related books.
Also if you are a student of Sainik Schools, Military Schools or Army Schools , the officers at SSB will expect you to know about this.

So why not read about Indian Defence Forces and make it your positive point.
 For example : Indian Defence Forces by Capt. Bharat Verma

If you are an AirForce Aspirant , you must know about the latest fighter planes , deals and other aircrafts , same applies to aspirants of Army and Navy.

4.Wikipedia Pages of the Force you want to join (Army, Navy, AirForce)

5. Reasoning and IQ Books: You must read some reasoning and IQ books, to prepare for the screening on day 1.As you would be well aware that , it(screening) is  a knockout stage, so prepare well both verbal and non-verbal.You may also read my article about clearing the Screening Test.

6.SSB Books: Books that are meant to prepare you for SSB are easily available in the market.You can practice the psychological tests in them like the Word Association Test, Picture Perception Test ot Situation Reaction Test.Prepare well for the Psychological Test as it is the most important among the three(GTO and Interview being the other two).

If you have any query , please comment , I will reply you as soon as I can,

Don't forget to subscribe by Email(at top right ), for more.

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Monday, 6 April 2015

Lack of planes grounds National Security Guard's anti-hijack drill

The Black Cat commandos have written to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) seeking help on the issue. They want MHA to put pressure on private airlines to provide them modern aircraft.
While international exclusive airlines are leaving no stone unturned to tackle terror in the skies, India's elite security force, the National Security Guard (NSG), are literally begging for a modern aircraft to carry out anti-hijack drills! These black cat commandos, who would be dispatched at a minute's notice to take on terrorists and save passengers in case of a hijack, have to make do with a smaller, outdated aircraft provided by Air India. Not for them the Boeings and the Airbuses that crowd the skies with billions of fliers daily.

No airlines except Air India and sometimes Jet Airways have come forward to provide their aircraft to this elite security force. The NSG has discussed the matter at high-level meetings with heads of various agencies, but not a single modern aircraft has come their way so far. A source at the NSG said airlines are busy making profits and are not bothered about the safety of fliers. Now, the elite force has approached the Union home ministry to put pressure on airlines to provide it with modern aircraft. NSG commandos have been specially trained to tackle hostage situations in any type of aircraft, but anti-hijack drills are an absolute necessity.

Seeking help

"For almost five years the NSG has been using an old aircraft provided by the Air India which is parked near Gate number 15 of the IGI airport. On rare occasions, Jet Airways provide aircraft for mock drill. The matter has been discussed by NSG top officials in various anti-hijacking committee meetings but to no avail. Now, we have approached the Union Home Ministry to immediately provide us latest and different types of aircraft to carry out antihijack drills," a senior NSG official told MAIL TODAY.

Ads by ZINC

According to an official of another security agency, who is a member in the anti-hijacking committee, every time the NSG, the CISF or other security agencies request airlines to provide aircraft for drills, airlines refuse them immediately without giving a thought to the possible consequence.

The NSG has a plan in place for every aircraft in case there is a hijack. But drills are necessary to hone skills.

Mock drills

"NSG teams want to carry out mock drills inside different kinds of aircraft, like Boeing's latest aircraft, for the security of the nation. International airlines have these planes but they have their excuses ready. They say they do not have the time to spare a single aircraft for this purpose. All the NSG needs is an hour to carry out the drill every once in a while," a member of the anti-hijacking committee said.

On their part, airlines argue schedules are tightly packed. "It is not possible to spare an aircraft to the NSG as we have pre-decided schedules with every aircraft. If we start sparing planes for mock drills, passengers would be at the receiving hand as they will face inordinate delays," an airline official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told MAIL TODAY.

Every alternate week, NSG commandos perform mock drills inside an outdated aircraft of Air India. There is a senior official to keep check on the performance of every commando of the NSG. Later, this official prepares a report and superior officials analyse it to decide how to enhance performance of the black cats. If only they had a proper plane! The NSG is an elite force set up in 1984 to tackle all forms of terrorism in the country.

The NSG commandos are specially equipped and trained to deal with specific situations and are used only in exceptional situations.

The NSG was modelled on the pattern of the SAS of the UK and GSG-9 of Germany. It is a task-oriented force and has two complementary elements in the form of the Special Action Group (SAG) comprising Army personnel and the Special Ranger Groups (SRG).

Source Indian Army
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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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Saturday, 14 March 2015

Indian Army's ghost Soldier who secures the border , still receives salary from the Indian Army after death

Harbhajan Singh's early demise at the young age of just 26 years is the subject of legends and religious veneration which has become popular folklore among Indian Army regulars (jawans), people back at his village and apparently also soldiers of the Red Army across the border guarding the Indo-Chinese border between Sikkim and Tibet. However, the official version of his death is victim of battle at 14500 feet of the Nathula Pass, Sikkim where there were fierce skirmishes between the Indian and Chinese Red Army during the 1965 Sino-Indian war. He was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra medal for his bravery and martyrdom on September 11, 1967.

According to legend, Harbhajan Singh drowned in a glacier while trying to lead a column of mules carrying supplies to a remote outpost. As the first casualty of the 23rd Punjab Regiment in that war, a manhunt was launched to find him. His remains were found after three days and he was cremated with full military honours. The legend further claims that it was Harbhajan Singh who himself helped the search party to find his body. Still later, through a dream, he instructed one of his colleagues to build and maintain a shrine in his memory.

Some Indian soldiers believe that in the event of a war between India and China, Baba would warn the Indian soldiers at least the three days in advance of any impending attack. During flag meetings between the two nations at Nathula, the Chinese set a chair aside to honour of Harbhajan Singh who has since been known to be saint. Every year on September 11, a jeep departs with his personal belongings to the nearest railway station, New Jalpaiguri, from where it is then sent by train to the village of Kuka, in Kapurthala district in Punjab. While empty berths on any train of the Indian Railways are invariably allocated to any passenger without a confirmed reservation (Reservation against cancellation, RAC, or wait listed) or first come first served basis by the coach attendants, a special reservation for the Baba is actually made for him and left empty for the entire journey to his home town every year with other soldiers travelling along so as to reach him till his home. A small sum of money is also contributed by soldiers posted in Nathula and sent to his mother each month.

Many other stories about him have spread among believers and also through social network posts. While all of these stories often contain elements of supernatural sightings and events, there is very little evidence besides anecdotal tales which cannot be reliably verified or traced to their source. He has been attributed the character traits of a disciplined warrior who was a "stickler for following rules" and is said to have fallen out with comrades in arms because of this reason. Given the deeply held beliefs and the warrior traditions of the culture of his ethnicity (Sikhs), it is highly probable such uncompromising disciplinarian character idealized by the believers may have been projected on to him as further evidence of his saintliness even though there is no confirmed or authentic evidence about it.

There also events like discovery of visits to the camps, use of bedclothes and boots that can be found in various social network posts about him. It has also been claimed that the regiment still keeps an empty bed and other items of daily use. Some source suggest that he continues to draw a major's salary every month till date.
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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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Monday, 30 June 2014

Exclusive : Live experiences of an Indian Prisoner of War in Pakistan

 The postmortem revealed that the Pakistan army had tortured their prisoners by burning their bodies with cigarettes, piercing ear-drums with hot rods, puncturing eyes before removing them, breaking most of the teeth and bones, fractures of the skull, cutting the lips, chipping of nose, chopping off limbs and private organs of these soldiers besides inflicting all sorts of physical and mental tortures and finally shooting them dead, as evidenced by the bullet wound to the temple. The postmortem report also confirmed that injuries were inflicted ante-mortem (before death)

Capt. Saurabh Kalia
Saurabh was born on 30 June 1976 at Amritsar, India to Mrs. Vijay and Dr. N.K. Kalia.[3] His schooling took place in the D.A.V Public School Palampur. Saurabh graduated in (B.Sc. Med.) from H. P. Agricultural University, Palampur, Himachal Pradesh in 1997. He excelled at school, securing first Division and winning scholarships throughout his academic career.

In the first two weeks of May 1999, several patrols were conducted in the Kaksar Langpa area of Kargil to check whether the snow had retreated enough for the summer positions to be re-occupied.[5] He was the first Indian army officer to observe and reported large-scale intrusion of Pakistani Army and foreign mercenaries in Indian side of the Line of Control (LoC) at Kargil. He assumed guard of "Bajrang Post" at the height 13,000-14,000 feet to check infiltration in the Kaksar area.[6] On May 15, 1999 Saurabh Kalia along with five soldiers - Sepoys Arjun Ram, Bhanwar Lal Bagaria, Bhika Ram, Moola Ram and Naresh Singh[7] of the 4 Jat Regiment had gone for a routine patrol of the Bajrang Post in the Kaksar sector in the rugged, treeless Ladakh mountains. After a continuous cross fire with Pakistan armed forces from across the LoC, he and his troops ran out of ammunition. They were finally encircled by a platoon of Pakistan rangers and captured alive before any Indian reinforcement could reach for their help. No trace of this entire patrol was left meanwhile Radio Skardu of Pakistan announced that Captain Saurabh Kalia had been captured by the Pakistani troops.[3][8] It was after this that India discovered hundreds of guerrillas had established fortified positions on the peaks of the hills deep inside the Indian side of the Line of control, with sophisticated equipment and supply lines back to Pakistan-controlled Kashmir

My Reminiscences As A Prisoner Of War

BY- Air Marshal K C Cariappa (Retd)

The second, or could it be called the third, Indo-Pak War was now nearly three weeks old, and there were no talks of a cease fire. To us in the field we did not really have a clear picture of how the war was going, or how either the Army or the Air Force was doing, on the ground or in the air. We knew of Air Force casualties more through the grape vine rather than through authentic sources. Our hopes as young fighter pilots were to be detailed for as many operational missions as possible against the enemy. And of course, each of us hoped we would encounter the enemy in the air and to shoot him down.

So it was on 22nd Sep '65 when I was detailed as the leader of what was meant to be a four-aircraft formation of Hunters. We took off at about 0830. Our target was enemy Armour in an area some distance South of Lahore. Once the primary mission was accomplished, we could take on any "targets of opportunity" that we might see. Now, in hindsight it would appear that our mission was not going to be as successful as one might have wished.

At the outset, though four aircraft started their engines, only three taxied out of dispersal. At the take-off point final checks were carried out by the ground crew, rockets were "armed" and the 30mm cannon were made "live". The first few minutes of the mission were over Indian territory, but as always, we were "keyed" up and on the look out for enemy aircraft that might be on a sortie to attack our positions. As always happened, at least where I was concerned, there were butterflies in my stomach. The uncertainty of what awaited us across the border and what enemy opposition we might encounter was at the back of my mind. It was at this point that the pilot of the third aircraft found something seriously amiss with his aircraft and I ordered him to return to Base. And then there were two!

However, once over Pakistan, nothing mattered other than finding the enemy and doing what we could to destroy his armoured formations. We did not see too much by way of enemy activity other than a few dust columns that were kicked up by vehicles that were slow in following the standard dictum of "freezing" in their tracks if enemy air was in the sky. We attacked what little we could see and then decided to return home. On the way back we spotted an enemy target that gave away its position by opening fire on us. We retaliated. Within moments of doing so my aircraft was hit by ground fire.

All the warning lights in my cockpit were illuminated, indicating that many systems and my controls had failed, and also to tell me that my aircraft was on fire. Shrapnel went through my cockpit and I found my controls jammed. My "wing-man" called out on the radio that I was on fire and that I should abandon the aircraft. I acknowledged his transmission and ejected. All I can recall is my boots flying off and within seconds I was on the ground lying in a semi-supine position. Within moments I was surrounded by troops who ordered me to raise my hands in submission, and to stand up. I replied that I could not do so as I was hurting badly, and felt paralysed. The troops were in khaki uniform and for some unknown reason I thought they were Indian. At about that time I could hear artillery opening up and one of the troops said, "Those are your guns firing at us".

I was a Prisoner of War! The time was 0904 because my watch had stopped, presumably on impact with the ground. I was asked who I was and from where I had taken off. As per standard procedures, I rather parrot-like gave my "name, rank and number". It was then that I was asked if I was related to General Cariappa. I feigned a faint because of the pain, or maybe I did pass out. The next thing I knew was that I was lying on a litter in the back of a jeep and was being questioned by a Brigadier. After some first aid I was moved to a rear location, to a place called Luliani were for sometime I was left on the floor awaiting treatment and then as it transpired, evacuation to a hospital. I have no recollections of that journey. When I did come to, I found myself in a hospital bed and in excruciating agony. This was the military hospital in Lahore.

The following day I was taken to the operation theatre and was told the extent of my injuries. I was impressed by the number of doctors who had returned from abroad to be of service to their nation at this juncture in its history. I stayed in hospital for about a week during which time General Musa the Pakistan Army C-in-C visited. He came to see me, knowing by now that I was General Cariappa"s son. He asked if there was anything I wanted. All I could think of was being with the other Indian prisoners of war. From Lahore I was flown to Rawalpindi and kept in the hospital there, and it was during this time that I was visited by President Ayub Khan"s son. Treatment and food in the hospital was good, yet being in solitary confinement I was hankering to be with the other Indians.

This happened soon enough and suddenly one fine morning I was discharged from the MH and moved blindfolded to what turned out to be a prison cell. Here I was given a pair of black armoured corps overalls, and a pair of rubber-soled slippers. It was by now almost mid-Oct with the winter chill beginning to manifest itself. There was one charpoy for furniture and nothing else. I was also given three typical army blankets; one served as the mattress and the other two as a covering. By day the outer wooden doors were closed, I was in darkness with no light penetrating, and by night they were kept open with the single dull electric bulb switched on. If I wanted to use the toilet I would be taken blindfolded to the lavatory about 50 yards away. There the sentry would wait till I was through, and then would escort me back to my cell. It was here that a Major first interrogated me, and it was here that I really experienced the "fear of the unknown" for the first time as a POW. There is no more frightening condition than being in solitary confinement. I was not subjected to "third degree" treatment, but I was told that I had better answer all questions because if I did not, there would be no hesitation in "putting me away"!! I realized then that the standard "rank/name/
number response would not help and so I did "reveal" what I thought to be innocuous information. This lasted over a period of three days. During this ten days I was incarcerated in the cell I was fed thick wholesome "chappatis and dal" twice a day. There would be a mug of sweet "langar" tea at 0700 and again at 1500. "Lights on time " was 1600. A few days later I was told that I would be moving to the main POW camp. I first moved to a transit camp in Rawalpindi itself where I was kept in "solitary" again for two days. It was here that I met a Pakistan Army JCO who, having learned that I was my father"s son, came up to me and said he heard that I was in the Sadr Kothi (he meant the President"s home). I of course denied this.

A train journey to Dargai, throughout which I was blindfolded, to the main POW camp followed. Winston Churchill was supposed to have been billeted here too!!! Meeting with the 38 other Indian prisoners was a momentous occasion for me, who had, for the preceding six weeks been deprived of any form of company. I was the only airman with that group. I learned later that the others were kept in separate enclosures within in the same complex. The next few days were filled with getting to know my mates, and settling into some kind routine. Soon thereafter, I joined the other airmen who were Sqn.Ldrs Sikand and Pilloo Kakar, and Flt Lts Mani Lowe, Lal Sadarangani, MV Singh and Vijay Mayadev. A third compound housed the twelve Sikh officers who had been segregated for political reasons. Our compound had a small forecourt about thirty feet long and some seven feet across. Then the billet that housed us comprised three rooms. One that had our seven charpoys packed closely together, a dry-toilet facility (more of this later) and our dining area. We were given three blankets, and an olive green army pullover was all that we had to protect ourselves from the severe winter chill of the NWFP. As a result by 1700 hours we got into our beds and were regaled by stories and experiences by Siki who seemingly had an endless fund of them. He often had us in splits of laughter!

In the first week of November, quite inexplicably, Mani Lowe and I were told to "pack our bags" as we were going "somewhere". Blindfolded, we were put into a van and driven off to a place about two hours South from Dargai and put into two adjacent dank, cold and airless cells, similar to the "lock-up" in our own Air Force Guardrooms. The toilets were about fifty paces of so from our cells, and as was the practice, we would be blindfolded when being taken to and from there. We were not interrogated, and were unable to figure out as to why on earth we were separated from our mates. All we knew is that we were at an air force base because every evening and through the night we would hear the typical, and unmistakable whine of Hercules aircraft starting up, taxiing and taking off. About ten days later we were returned to Dargai, much to our delight, and indeed relief.

The first Red Cross parcels came in on 7th Dec and our lot improved considerably. One packet that thrilled us was that the film star Asha Parekh had sent us dried fruit! Now, we were even provided with a quilt that was paid for from out of the approximately Rs.60.00 that was our entitlement as Prisoners. The arrival of the "goodies" from the Red Cross was an indication that our folks at home knew that we were alive!

Food was always the focus of attention. Breakfast was a boiled egg with three puris and a mug of tea. Lunch and dinner were always, monotonously identical; either lacy, glutinous "lady"s fingers" or well watered turnips to be eaten with chappatis and/or rice. We would be given a mug of tea at about 1500 hours and then we would play quoits for an hour or so. Once a week was the luxury of a hot bath. Dinner would come by 1700 hrs after which Pilloo (Sqn Ldr Kakkar) would read to us from the Bhagavat Gita that we received with our Red Cross parcels. Siki our "master chef" was able to convince our "minders" that we needed mustard oil to keep away the winter dryness from our skins. This then was used as a cooking medium and our dinner was a much more palatable meal with fried onions and some condiments being added. Dessert was usually a biscuit sandwich that had cocoa or melted chocolate providing the filling.

As 31st December approached we agreed that we must do something to celebrate New Year"s Eve. The first pre-requisite for a successful party was "hooch"!!! So, we decided to make some moonshine. The main ingredient would be methylated spirits to be purloined from the nursing orderly"s tray when he came every afternoon to dress MV"s wounds and mine. Our stratagem was to keep him distracted somehow, and for this Siki was particularly successful. Then, I cannot remember what excuse or reason we gave for asking for a pitcher, but we were given one. This was our "still" into which put raisins, the bitter lemon (rind and all, and called for some unknown reason as "mitha" that was provided as dessert and jaggery. We also added a few chappatis for good measure in the belief that the yeast would cause fermentation and therefore provide the desired "kick" to our hooch. The "matka" was then wrapped in a blanked and placed close to the fireplace where we hoped and believed its contents would mature! Came New Year"s Eve, Dec 1965, the evening progressed as usual and we looked forward with eager anticipation to the dinner that Siki had planned. Dinner came at the usual time and then our Chef got down to work. It is now almost 40 years since then, and I don"t remember too well all that we had to eat. But, I do recall the unexpected arrival of the Camp Commandant who turned out to be a very pleasant chap. He wished us and then produced the unbelievableĆ¢¦£128;Ʀ³¯me mutton, or, was it chicken? He left soon thereafter. We then drank our brew that tasted like nothing on earth, enjoyed a veritable repast, and talked late into the night.

Life carried on unchanging from day to day, when suddenly about the January 10th we received some intelligence that something was afoot. The source of our information was the sweeper who came in every morning to clean our "thunder boxes". He was a Hindu, and therefore it appeared was sympathetic towards us. Given the menial and unpleasant nature of his duties it was not surprising that the guards accompanying him were reluctant to enter the toilets. Siki "cashed" in on this and wrapping his face securely to keep out the obnoxious smells, he would "chat up" the sweeper. It was he who mentioned that in a few days a tailor would come to take our measurements, but he was unsure as to why. He did arrive and within a few days we were outfitted with warm serge trousers and shirts, and even provided new olive-green pullovers. Events now moved fast, so fast that we did not realize we were being prepared for repatriation!!! In fact, I don"t think we knew till the day of departure on 22 Jan 66. We were once again blindfolded, bundled into a vehicle and driven to Peshawar where we emplaned a Fokker F-27 that was going to Delhi to bring back the Pakistan COAS. We crossed the international border at approximately 0905, about the identical time that I was shot down exactly four months earlier.
Thus ended an unforgettable period in our lives. Siki retired as Air Marshal, Pilloo became a Wing Commander but was killed in an HF 24 accident. Lal Sadarangani, Mani Lowe and Vijay Mayadev left the Service as Wg. Cdrs and joined Air India. MV continued in uniform and retired as Air Commodore.
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Sunday, 15 June 2014

A must read for all related to Indian military defence ( army, air force, navy ) ---ssb---Respect the defence forces


See More Greatest story of indian defence. truly unbelievable

"Going through hell... Keep going," said a desk graffiti in one of the classrooms at the National Defence Academy. I am sure it's still there, the etchings deepened by those that came later. Tired fingers trying to find solace in tradition, in the words of a nameless cadet, and the knowledge that those that came before sweated, bled, cried and triumphed the same way.
In many ways, these five words bring out the simple truth of the Indian soldier.
Of the man who left home as a boy, with his fears and insecurities, holding the pain of his lost love or pining for someone, holding dear everything that a teenager holds dear. Wanting to win the world, like every adolescent, but unsure where to start.

Did Indian really rape an entire village in Jammu &Kashmir?

In the military academies they teach you to start with yourself. It's a painful process to tear off one skin and wear another but in the end the soldier comes out a better human being. The uniform stays with you for life, taking on all the grime, mud, blood and sweat - and pride - along the way.

Sadly, nowadays, it's the specks of mud that seem to make all the news. A fake encounter in Kashmir, a woman raped in the northeast, an officer arrested for spying, a frustrated jawan shooting his officers... In a society hungry for titillation, aberrations pass for the truth. Finally, some of us feel, finally, the great Indian soldier has been pulled down from his pedestal. Finally, we see him for what he is - a common man, no better or stronger or nobler than you or me.

Is it so? Nothing could be farther from the truth.

The only thing true here is that yes, the soldier is an ordinary man. An ordinary man who has made extraordinary sacrifices, shown courage above and beyond the call of duty, gone farther than he thought he could, and had the courage to stand up every time the call came to be counted.

How many of us can claim to have done that in our plush airconditioned offices, day after day?

A soldier's courage is tested not just when he is in an encounter or when called to rescue someone from floodwaters. He is put to test every single day. The prize for passing this daily performance review? Not a superlative raise or a six-digit performance incentive. He simply retains the honour of wearing his uniform for another day.

It takes extraordinary courage and pain to survive a single day of training in the academies or even the "routine life" in a regiment. A sacrifice that very few have the courage to make.

To have an idea of how tough it is to get into the olive green uniform, here is a simple equation. For the IIT-JEE - for many the be-all-and-end-all of entrance examinations - about 1.5 lakh candidates vie for 3,000 IIT seats. And for NDA, the same number competes for just 320 seats. Do the maths.

This is not to say that the NDA "rangruts" are brighter (heck, the really studious ones get plenty more front rolls and back rolls to bring them on the same level as the rest . It's just that they are one of a kind.A very special kind who know, when they sign up at age 17-18, that they are binding themselves to a life of immense hardship, silent sacrifices, incompatible pay, separation from families - but the satisfaction that their spine will always be ramrod straight. Ordinary boys like Arun Khetrapal, Sandeep Unnikishnan, Manoj Pandey, Yogender Singh Yadav, Nirmaljit Singh Shaikhon and Vijayant Thapar who turned into legends. (Can't recognize most of the names? Tell you later.)

To give you an idea, one of them ran cross-country with a fractured leg - yes, a fractured leg - at the NDA just so he wouldn't let his squadron down. I refuse to believe that the boys who show such spirit, conviction and courage at such a young age would go about killing women and children. It is easier to believe that the sun goes around the earth.These soldiers do not ask for any favours. Just some understanding. Every officer I know is almost embarrassed to talk about his "heroism". "It's no big deal," they say. That's what they signed up for. A Paramvir Chakra winner, for instance, went home to nurse half a dozen bullet wounds, told his mother "Ek medal mila, Ma," and forgot to mention that he had singlehandedly captured a Pakistani position. Her mother knew only when his village heard it on the radio and mobbed his hut.

Let us not make generalizations out of aberrations. The Indian soldier comes from a family like yours and mine. He is a part of society and is subject to the same pulls and pressures. Inflation pinches him, he has his own domestic problems, has elderly parents to look after, and is worried about the education of his child. He has his own insecurities and worries. And like every segment of society, there are a few rotten apples. There is no denying that. But just ask yourself how many such cases have you a heard of in the last decade? A handful? Out of the millions who donned the uniform in this time.The dirty ones are hauled up and thrown out faster than you pick a fly out of your soup. Justice in the forces is swift, certain and ruthless. Armchair judgments, they don't need. (
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Tuesday, 6 May 2014


In this post I would like to emphasize on the ways to handle questions asked by the interviewing officer.First of all I would like to tell you about the important factors of the interview.
Important Factors of the Interview

The two important factors which play an important role in the selection of the candidate in interview are the candidate's knowledge and power of expression.In a group or a gathering  the person who does the talking in a convincing manner dominates.Similarly at the interview , the candidate who is able to speak fluently and express himself clearly, will score high marks.At the same time,a candidate cannot talk well unless he has good knowledge to generate ideas on a variety of topics.The interview as already pointed out will not be a mere cross examination of the candidate,like questions and answers in school classroom.The questions will be open ended .While answering the question the candidate should take the lead and cover as much as the relevant ground as possible.In other words, simply saying 'yes' or 'no' to a question will not suffice and the suffice and the candidate must logically and forcefully substantiate his views with valid arguments.Both the UPSC and SSB interviews lay much emphasis on  the qualities of leadership and not merely on academic or textual knowledge.The candidate should , therefore , know what the various qualities of leadership are , and how they could be highlighted by him during the interview.
No matter how deep is his knowledge or how high his other leadership qualities, the candidate cannot impress the Board unless he can talk well, interestingly and forcefully during the interview.While giving answers, he should bring out such of his activitiesor experiences,which show up traits of leadership in him.
His words should be audible to the IO.He must speak slowly,laying emphasison his words where necessary.He should not sound monotonous by speaking in even pitch or in a dragging or mumbling voice.You must raise your voice where emphasis is required.Instead, his words should have life.You can practice in front of mirror for speaking skills (power of expression ).This increases your confidence.The greatest tip to show your confidence is eye to eye contact with the IO(also applicable to all officers to whom you interact with.)Saying this is easy , but practically it is tough to look in eyes, as you tend to lose your confidence doing this, so simply look in the fore head. It will seem as if you are looking in the eyes of the IO(Or any other officer) and you will be looked upon as a confident candidate.  
There is no need to hurry.You should be deliberately slow so that you could be clearly heard and understood.People who speak very fast often do not pronounce words fully.
If the question is not clear to you , then simply ask the interviewer to repeat it.All you have to say is:
1."I beg your pardon , Sir"
2."Could you please repeat the question"
3.:Sorry Sir, I do not precisely follow the question.May I request you to repeat the question, please"
Since the interview is not a mere questions and answer session , the candidate should converse actively and try to give comprehensively answers. Let us consider some illustrations.
Question:Where do you come from?
Answer: Lohaghat
Better Answer: If you live in  a big city , then saying e.g. I live in Mumbai, is ok, but remember not to give one word answers.If you live in a small town or village, then then giving some details about the place would be a good idea , e.g. I live at Lohaghat which is a small town in Uttarakhand.
Always remember your answers will give rise to other questions, so be alert to speak only of that which you know well.Don't be casual in your answers, answer with full attention and prepare for some expected questions which I will deal in my next post.
If you found this article useful, kindly comment, share , like, +1 or follow us.

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