Indian Defence Minister Krishna Menon yesterday threatened that the ceasefire agreement in Kashmir would exist no longer ifPakistanbartered away “India’s legal rights over Azad Kashmir” toChina. Mr Menon, who was addressing a public meeting at Sapru House, saidIndiahas “never abjured the use of force” though it has promised not to take the initiative to change the present position inKashmirby force in spite of her “legal and moral right over the territory”.
Let there be no illusion, he added, that the Indian Army would strike where and when necessary ifPakistancommits aggression againstKashmir. Mr Menon alleged that the Security Council was committing a violation of the United Nations Charter inasmuch as the Kashmir issue was concerned, and added thatIndiawould not accept any resolution of the Security Council if it tried to questionIndia’s sovereignty overKashmir.
He also criticised theUnited States,BritainandGhanawhich, he said, had supportedPakistanin calling a meeting of the Security Council to discuss theKashmirproblem. Mr Menon bluntly changed earlier Indian offers for negotiations withPakistan, and saidIndiawould negotiate only when it was recognised that accession ofJammu and KashmirtoIndiawas final and irrevocable and thatPakistanwas not on equal status withIndiaas it was an “aggressor”.
Mr Menon went a step further and saidIndiawould never accept the division of Kashmir which included not onlyKashmir, but also Hunza and Gilgit. The ruler ofJammu and Kashmir, who was the rightful authority in 1947, had acceded toIndia, he claimed.
BSNL, MTNL SIGN JOINT PACT WITH INDIAN AIR FORCE
NEW DELHI: The Indian Air Force has signed an agreement with telecom PSUs BSNL and MTNL under which the two players would provide a host of services at concessional rates while IAF would give space for installation of towers and equipment.
“The objective is to enable BSNL and MTNL to provide IAF full gamut of telecom services, including basic telephony, mobile telephony, broadband services, internet services and leased lines, MPLS-VPN and VSAT services, on concessional tariff,” BSNL said in a statement.
With the agreement coming into effect, the two public sector units will get “Most Preferred Service Provider” by Indian Air Force and provide space to them for installation of telecom towers and other telecom equipment, it said.
Telecom services will include CUG facility on mobile phones and value added services on mobile and landline phones, optic fiber connectivity as per IAF requirements, it added.
“System integration solution will also be explored among telcos and Indian Air Force,”the statement said.
The joint agreement with IAF is also a step towards synchronising their businesses as the Department of Telecommunications is examining the feasibility of merging telecom PSUs ITI and MTNL with BSNL in line.
The Board for Reconstruction of Public Sector Enterprises has recommended that state-run BSNL, which operates in 20 circles, should merge its counterpart MTNL, which has operation on two metros, and telecom equipment manufacturer ITI with itself — a move that will help turnaround the loss-making telecom giant.
While government is working on the process to merging these PSU, both BSNL and MTNL have started synergising their operations.
MAHINDRA GIPPSAERO COMPLETES FIRST FLIGHT OF ITS NEW AIRCRAFT, THE GA10
MUMBAI: Mahindra GippsAero, the Australian aircraft manufacturer and subsidiary of Mahindra & Mahindra has completed the first flight of its new aircraft, the GA10.
The aircraft, which is the first single turbo-prop developed inAustralia, is a 10 seat, multi role aircraft based on the GA8 eight seat utility aircraft. The first flight took place at GippsAero’s home base atLatrobeRegionalAirportin easternVictoriathis month.
The GA10, powered by a Rolls Royce 250 turbo prop engine, will suit a wide range of applications from passenger and freight work to air survey and surveillance roles.
“The successful test flight of the GA 10 represents another milestone for Mahindra Aerospace after the launch of the NM5 in September last year and placesIndiaon the global aviation map.
Powered by a Rolls Royce 250 turbo prop engine, the GA 10 fits a unique niche in the market and will suit a wide range of applications from passenger and freight work to air survey and surveillance roles and operators will view the GA 10 as a commercially viable, multi role aircraft with the advantage of turbo prop technology. We plan to introduce the GA 10 inIndiasoon as well,” said Hemant Luthra, president, Mahindra Systech.
With the completion of this first flight, the GippsAero engineering team will subject the prototype to an intensive programme of static and flight tests to gain a CASA Type Certificate for the GA10. The new type will be available for customer delivery in the first half of 2013, the company said.
PROGRESS IN MTA DEVELOPMENT
On the joint development of Multi-Role Transport Aircraft (MTA). This is what the Defence Ministry has to say –
“The review of the Multi-role Transport Aircraft (MTA) programme by the Government is an ongoing process. After signing of the Inter-Governmental Agreement in November, 2007 for Design, Development and Production of MTA, Government’s approval was conveyed for signing the Share Holders Agreement between HAL and Russian partners on 30th August, 2010. The same was signed on 9th September, 2010. The Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association was signed on 25th November, 2010. For implementing the “” ‘programme a Joint Venture company has been incorporated between Indian and Russian partners on 50:50 funding basis in December, 2010. The investment for the programme has been worked out to be 771m USD at 2012 Price Level. The CEO of the joint venture has also since been appointed for implementation of the programme.”
FEROZEPUR: JCOS AND JAWANS OF INDIAN ARMY AWARDED CERTIFICATES FOR TECHNICAL COURSES
FEROZEPUR: Junior Commissioned Officers and Jawans of the Indian Army were awarded certificates for different courses at a certification ceremony organized at Women Empowerment Centre (WEC) at Ferozepur.
The ceremony was designed to spearheading the movement of Women Empowerment in Ferozepur for wives of Army Jawans with Neeru Sharma, Chairperson Golden Arrow Family Welfare organization who successfully incorporated various courses for the JCOs and Jawans in affiliation withGovernmentPolytechnicCollege, Ferozepur being run at the Golden Arrow Women Empowerment Centre.
Being an instinctive and innate quality inherent in most women, the response was overwhelming as everyone wanted to do something to better their economic condition.
The ceremony was a culmination of the pilot courses by distributing the certificates, attended by Dr Balkar Singh Vice Principal and Sudhir Kumar, the Senior lecturer of Government Polytechnic College, Ferozepur. In all 85 certificates for courses affiliated with by polytechnic and 90 certificates for courses at WEC were awarded to Junior Commissioned Officers and Jawans.
Women Empowerment Centre (WEC) at Ferozepur has two wings i.e. Empowerment Wing and Vocational Training Wing which offer wide range of courses viz computers. English speaking & personality development, NTT, self grooming and beautician, embroidery, dress designing, hobbies and cooking thereby empowering the women.
IAF TO GO WITH HONEYWELL ENGINE FOR JAGUAR?
On April 11,India’s Parliamentary consultative committee on defence visited HAL’s Engine Division hangars inBangaloreas part of an introduction to the company’s facilities, current work and future plans. On display for the visiting group, which includes members ofIndia’s Parliament, was a mock-up Honeywell F125 IN turbofan, under the section “Future Engine Programmes”. The F125 IN, as you know, is on offer as a replacement engine for the IAF’s Jaguar deep penetration strike aircraft fleet.
Last year, the Indian government scrapped the Jaguar re-engine effort after Rolls-Royce pulled out, leaving a single-vendor situation — an unviable position in competitive contracting. While HAL has been known to jump the gun before, it is possible that the government is negotiating a foreign military sales (FMS) contract for the new Honeywell engines, and sidestepping another competition. Last year, the IAF had ruled out the proposition of an engine upgrade (which is what Rolls-Royce’s offer effectively was), leaving only Honeywell in the reckoning. I’ll get more details on this.
PAKISTAN DISTRESSED BY INDIAN THREATS : THE DAWN
Pakistanfeels concerned and distressed over the current race between the big Powers for being the first to give the latest military equipment toIndia, which is boostingIndia’s aggressive designs. “We cannot but feel distressed and concerned over this situation which is fast developing and which poses a serious threat toPakistan’s security,” a Foreign Office spokesman said yesterday.
He was asked to comment on Indian Defence Minister Krishna Menon’s latest statement regarding Kashmir in the course of which he had said that “Indiahad never abjured the use of force”. This and other similar threats earlier held out by Messrs Nehru and Sanjiva Reddy “are not idle threats”, the spokesman said.
The competition between the big Powers for having the distinction of being the first to give the latest equipment and aircraft toIndia“is bound to alter materially the military balance againstPakistan, to increase instability in the region, and will add to the nervousness of smaller neighbouring countries”.
It is presumed in knowledgeable quarters thatPakistanmust have conveyed its views on this race to such of her allies as are in it. In this context it may be noted thatIndiais already quietly developing nuclear capability.
It is apparent that behind the façade of an imminent showdown withChina,Indiais securing arms and equipment and aircraft in pursuance of its aggressive designs againstPakistan.
LAND ACQUISITION FOR THE INDIAN NATIONAL DEFENCE UNIVERSITY STARTED
India’s first and only defence university, approved by the union cabinet in 2010, will take about seven years to come up and the land acquisition process at Binola in Gurgaon district of Haryana has begun, parliament was informed on Monday.
Defence Minister A.K. Antony, in a written reply to questions from Lok Sabha members, said the Indian National Defence University (INDU) was accorded “in principle” approval by the union cabinet on May 13, 2010, and it will be set up at Binola. For this, the Haryana government has already issued notification to acquire land.
“It is projected that the establishment of INDU and its constituents will be spread over seven years,” he said.
In INDU, it has been proposed to conduct courses of varying duration on subjects ranging from strategic studies, war gaming and simulation, neighbourhood studies, counter insurgency and counter terrorism, Chinese studies, evaluation of strategic thought, international security issues, maritime security studies, Eurasian studies, South East Asian studies, material acquisition, joint logistics, and national security strategy in peace and war.
The government has engaged Educational Consultants of India Limited (EdCIL), a public sector enterprise under the human resource development ministry, for the preparation of a detailed project report, the layout plan, and draft act and statutes for setting up the university,Antonysaid.
“An estimated expenditure of Rs.295 crore (at the rate of 2010) for setting up the university and Rs.162 crore (at current rate) for the acquisition of land is likely to be incurred,” he added.
V.K SINGH CHARTS OUT PATH FOR SUCCESSOR, TALKS ABOUT LEFT WING EXTREMISM
Army chief General V.K. Singh, who retires at the end of May 2012, gave enough indication that his successor Lieutenant General Bikram Singh would inherit the responsibility of overcomingIndia’s security challenges, especially from Left wing extremism.
Sources said that during his interaction with officers of the South Western Command (SWC), the move to withdraw the army from Jammu and Kashmir also came up for discussion.
During his farewell visit to the headquarters of the SWC in Jaipur on Monday, General Singh elaborated the strategic aspects of the internal and external security environment and emphasised the efforts required to respond to security challenges, especially left wing extremism, according to army spokesperson Colonel S.D. Goswami.
What his successor will also deal with is upgradation of the armed forces, including the task of induction of state of art equipment – both on time and in adequate quantity.
“Transformation and modernization of the armed forces, including induction of state of the art equipment, overcoming hollowness and development of network centricity is mandatory to enhance the threshold of our operational readiness,” he asserted. He also reiterated that “collectively we must attain pinnacles of excellence with multi-faceted progression and imbibe fine moral values, which are lifelines of the Indian Army”.
The general was accompanied by his wife Bharti Singh. They were received at the Jaipur helipad by Lt Gen Gyan Bhushan, GOC-in-C South Western Command and his wife Anju Bhushan.
During his farewell visit, the chief interacted with all officers of Sapta Shakti Command and complimented them on professionalism exhibited during various exercises. He stressed upon military traditions, ethos, value system and the importance to remain committed and well focused to discharge onerous responsibilities, while preparing for all contingencies.
He endorsed that veterans are “our extended family” and it was a sacred duty to look after them. He complimented Sapta Shakti Command for taking numerous initiatives towards the welfare of ex-servicemen.
Bharti Singh, president of the Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA), met the families of Sapta Shakti Command. She thanked them for their wholehearted support towards the implementation of all welfare schemes through AWWA and impressed upon all families to lead happy and progressive lives in an enriching and conducive environment.