Saturday, October 10, 2009

IESL: Let us be more proactive

Birth of IESL
Two generals were farsighted enough to see through the politicians, and founded Indian Ex-Services League in the early 1960 on the lines of the Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League (RCEL), but down the line subversion crept in. Literally none of the service officer community, either was in the past or is now, aware of the existence of IESL. Strangely no one of the presidents of IESL seems to have taken note of the minimum participation of the officer community in the IESL and considered any possible effort to rectify the deficiency. Perhaps it suited them.

Registered body
IESL is a registered body, registered with Government of India vide letter 2(2)RECGN/IESL/KSB/A/2000 dated 04 Jan 2001 with its head Office at Chanakyapuri, New Delhi. It is registered under a proper Memorandum and the Article of Association. Every State is expected to organize a state level and district level units and get affiliated to the IESL. The affiliated units at state level are duly represented through their President/ General Secretary as representative in the council at Delhi. IESL is also an affiliated member of RCEL UK. The Patrons are the President and the supreme commander of the Indian Defense Forces incumbent is the Grand Patron in Chief and the other three patrons being the three chiefs of staff, during its formation. Subsequently, the Defense Minister assumed patronage as Patron in Chief and Marshal of the Indian Air Force as additional patron. (What a patronage? Soon presume the Defense Secretary also may become a patron, say Deputy Patron in Chief. The president of the IESL is elected from among the State delegates by the State delegates and holds office for a period of three years. The affairs of IESL are under the control of a council of members, duly elected. Membership to IESL is by application routed through the President of State Level unit and is for life. The fees are collected directly by the head office who in turn distributes 30% each to the State and District units. There is some ambiguity on distribution of the shares due to the state and district level units. We have seen that the application directly submitted with the due membership fees have been accepted and membership accorded. But how does a retiring serviceman come to know of IESL? According to the brochure of IESL, the whole country is supposed to be observing Ex-Servicemen Week in the first week of September every year. Is any one aware of it? How strange? Recently the AHQ seems to have sent out a letter to the Commands to take steps to promote membership to IESL, but how sincere has been the response to this instruction, is questionable. Had IESL played a dynamic role precisely with which purpose it was created, we might not have to face the present crisis forcing us to take to the streets, holding ‘rallys, fasts and dharnas’ as the common helpless citizen at times resort to with no specific gain, unless an element of possible destruction of public property or mass scale disturbance of peace is involved.
Maj Gen RN Radhakrishnan (Retd)
Read complete review:

What are the rights of the Ex- Servicemen
Pension Parity, Health Care, Disability Compensation, Education or Vocational Training, Easy Housing/ Loan facilities, Legal rights and other benefits extended to all those who have been honourably discharged from THE INDIAN ARMED FORCES.

According to data complied by ESM Welfare Department under MOD, about 2.6 million are ESM, or 0.022 percent of the civilian population (1.15 billion). This number includes those who served for the duration of their military careers and those who served for only a short time, such as Short Service Commissioned Officers. Given such an insignificant percentage of the population, the government has neglected their rights and systematically failed to provide/ diluted the benefits for these retired servicemen.

The 'light man' and his lantern- The night chowkidar walks
The MOD is primarily responsible for administering the various programs through the Ex Servicemen Welfare Department which is solely staffed by civilians whose dedication to the cause is a suspect. The intended programmes do not impact nor do they reach the lowest rung of retired sepoys. Most of the programmes are Officer centric who only comprise 2% of the total ESM population. The focus is geared to employment generation for all retiring Officers instead of ensuring employment for all sepoys who retire from active service. Security Agency scheme initiated by DGR sucks... only to demean the armed forces in general. All you need is to see the security guards posted as Chowkidars... a combat soldier reduced to a comic figure!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Understanding the Chinese mind

Dear Brig Harwant,
The article "understanding the Chinese mind" (click me) is an apt analyses of the Chinese mind and reflects continuity in Chinese civilisation's perspective and their continued sense for history. We lack this foundation totally because our perspectives are based on legacies handed over by outsiders. There is no Indian perspective on a continuum but rather 'safe keeping' of legacies handed over by the British which tend to lead to situational conflicts. Safe keepers do not always make the best perceivers. What we perceive as potential threat could thus have a cause elsewhere obscure to our perspective. Remember had Nehru not behaved as a British sergeant major, the Bandung Conference could have turned out to be differently. The fact is that the Chinese Revolution introduced muscle into the Chinese to re look at their geo strategic nuances just as the British did for theirs at the signing of the Shimla Agreement with their muscle behind them then Nehru however behaved simply as safe keeper for the once British Perspective without either the muscle to back this up or any will to engage in new situations. In fact why Chinese may appear as a potential threat in our thinking is simply because we have not reconciled to the idea that we cannot run a modern nation state on colonial precepts as we learn from second hand thinking, simply through bad book keeping at the foreign office, expect others to be doing the same. Have we ever wondered what our neighbours are thinking about the threat we pose? Say Sri Lanka?, Myanmar, even PAKISTAN? there is a need to be more open in our strategic assessments. We do not have one single friend around in our neighbourhood which is not a good image for a big country like ours! Are we pushing others creating a vacuum and China is filling it ! After all were we not to have sought JK ceasefire in 1948 may be we could have averted the 1962 War and border discomfort that may grow into a conflagration.

As for threat we do not have to point to China alone- our home front is getting better cultivated! Go to any remote village of a Uttarakhand (UK) and you will find nothing but disgust for those in Delhi who are now addressed as 'Indians' a word now coming into usage even in Yamuna Ravines and by ex soldier's! Villages are being vacated as farmers become bankrupt due to failing crops and diminishing returns, no irrigation, no schooling no facilities. Khanduri's roads in UK serve only the tourists and most money is pocketed by Non Garhwalis who operate businesses from Delhi etc. I have travelled across these villages where Sainiksangh is implementing various schemes and not surprised at the state of disaffection and despair- corruption is so rampant and open in Uttarakhand. Speaking to a professor of Srinagar University (UK) and listening to his concerns when I pointed out that farmers are abandoning their land in the North the Chinese will have no trouble in extending a claim line- the professor was blunt that Chinese would at least clear up corruption and bring some order and revive the dead farmer! It time we start examining our own failings seriously.
thank you,
Vice President
Maj Gen APS Chauhan (Retd)

IAF celebrates 77th anniversary

Celebrating Air Force Day... by: Amit Tiwari
Published: Thu, 08 Oct 2009 at 10:10 IST
Ghaziabad. The Indian Air Force has been celebrating its 77th anniversary on Thursday. The Air Force Day celebration begun at Hindon Air Base in Ghaziabad

The Air Force Day celebration of IAF begun with various air display Para Motor and powered Hang Glider performance.

The various aircrafts of IAF displayed stunts during the celebration. The Air Force Day Parade has been marked by fly past of three Mi-17 helicopters in Vic formation trooping the Air Force Ensign at a height of 60 Mtrs and speed of 80 Kmph.

This was followed by a Chakra formation comprising of three Mi-25 and Mi-35 fighter copters. Fighter jets such as Mig 21, Mig 29, Jaguar, Mirage 2000, and Sukhoi 30 Mk1 also displayed their might during the full dress rehearsal.

The IAF also displayed the newly inducted Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) for the first time on Thursday.

A spectacular rifle drill by air warriors was also displayed during the celebration.The 28-member rifle drill team's performance with a motto Drill to Thrill was a treat to the eyes. It is worth mentioning here that the IAF was officially established on October 8, 1932.
IAF celebrates 77th Anniversary
IAF Aircraft

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Indian PM Manmohan Singh combats graft retarding infrastructure projects

Typical Sample: Project overrun by corruption, delays and poor quality construction: Untold and unquantifiable misery to citizens

Corruption retarding India’s growth, says Manmohan Singh Indian PM on Sep 3rd, 2009
The world’s second-fastest-growing economy is being held back by its ‘evil’ nature. Manmohan Singh, the Indian prime minister, has said that corruption is the single greatest threat to the nation’s economic prospects. In a speech given to an anti-corruption corruption in New Delhi, Mr Singh described the damaging effect that bribes, extortion and fraud have on all levels of life in India.

He said that graft meant infrastructure projects were late, over-budget, and often poor quality, while labeling India’s opaque business practices “a fertile breeding ground for the evil of corruption.

“The pervasive corruption in our country tarnishes our image [and it] discourages investors who expect fair treatment and transparent dealings with public authorities,” he said.

The difficult task facing the country’s anti-corruption forces was emphasised when shortly afterwards judges of only two of India’s 29 states agreed to declare their assets, despite having been ordered to do so by India’s supreme court.

“What message are these judges sending out?” asked Anupama Jha, director of the Indian branch of Transparency International, an international corruption watchdog.

“Judges were once greatly respected and now these questions about judicial corruption have lowered their status. It is a sad situation.”

Nevertheless, India has the second-fastest growing economy in the world, after China.

“They would be even faster growing if they were less corrupt,” said Gareth Price, head of the Asia programme at Chatham House, a foreign policy think tank.

“The fastest growing sector of their economy is IT and that is the only sector that is completely outside the government’s control.”

He said that the history of graft in India was the product mainly of three things. “Firstly, the British bureaucratic legacy to the subcontinent. The British created so many rules that anyone could be shut down if, say, a factory inspector found that a bucket of sand was missing, making the place a ‘fire hazard’. So the inspectors would be bribed simply not to shut the place down.

“Secondly, after Independence India had a Soviet-style system of quotas, in which the licences that you received permitting you to produce a quantity of something basically determined how profitable you would be. So the government would be bribed to hand out licences.

“And the third thing is that the tax system is extraordinarily complex and conducive to corruption. Recent attempt to simplify it met with resistance mainly from business who were afraid they’d end up paying more rather than less.”

Mr Price added that graft may have become more of an issue recently due to an increase in conspicuous consumption. “Twenty years ago people in India who had wealth didn’t necessarily flaunt it.

“But over the past ten years you have seen people driving Porsche's around Delhi for the first time. And if you know that someone is a civil servant and is supposed to be on a certain salary but is seen driving a Porsche, corruption becomes more of an issue.”
Corruption retarding India’s growth, says Manmohan Singh Indian PM
The daunting corruption in the State Governments is colossal. Hardly 20% of Project cost is invested in creating State/ National assets, 80% is siphoned off as commissions, bribes, real estate underhand deals with bureaucrats leading to black money flowing to safe havens like the Swiss Banks.

IESM: Strengthening its Mission

Dear and Respected Veterans and Colleagues,
A mission, any mission, be it the freedom struggle, struggle for justice, equality or any worthwhile cause, is a success or a failure depending upon the strength and unity of those who are fighting together. A mission is successful if constructive inputs are given from all corners within the framework of the team. A mission is a failure if negative, destructive comments are made by the team members. A mission or a group or a team can withstand mighty jolts and ambush from the outside if it is strong. At the same time, the mission will be blown away if there is even a slight weakness from within.

Positive and critical criticism is essential for success. I understand that. Feedback, changes and a democratic setup to answer all suggestions/ inquiries/ grievances/ doubts are all a essential ingredients of an organizational setup for accomplishing its goals.

That said, do we not think that there is a time, a place and a way to do this? Or do we believe in sticking our fingers out and pointing it right to the person 'we' think is irresponsible?

My urge to you is this: Please consider this simple thought before sending any email: "Is my email/ article going to strengthen our cause?" Millions of ESM are counting on IESM and its members to bring a smile to their faces and hope in their lives. We cannot afford to let them down. Because if we do, we will never be able to face ourselves in the mirror again. I can still clearly remember the ESM who used to come to Jantar Manter and at the various rallies we had all over India with their problems and challenges and most importantly with hope in their eyes that IESM will help them live a life of dignity and honor.

Can we let those men and women down? Can we really? I urge the entire "net-savvy" ESM community to get together once again and make the necessary changes to IESM but in a dignified, respectable and democratic way. Let us work towards unity.
Thank you.
Yours truly,
Kameshwar Pandey
Sub Maj Hony Lt (Veteran)

ESM have a common thread that outweighs all other distractions
Initially we thought our IES Movement could do it all but soon realized we were limited based on our available time, energy and the simple fact that we are a group made up of volunteers.

We ESM have one common thread that will outweigh all others and that is, our desire to help veterans. Helping veterans also means educating the public about the detrimental affects of Pension Disparity, veteran’s health issues and governmental policies averse to Veteran welfare.

Like all ESM organizations a few members will have their disagreements/ fall-outs and will need to find the common thread that will hold them together. If they wish counseling there are many senior Generals like Vijay Oberoi to help but we can’t force it on them. Unity will come with finding that commonality in which they can all agree. It’s up to all of us.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

War in Afganistan

Who's Running the Afghanistan War, Anyway? By Mark Thompson / Washington Tuesday, Oct. 06, 2009

War in Afghanistan seems to be going the Vietnam War way. Too many arm chair experts in Washington DC are trying to interfere in the strategy and even tactics of fighting in Afghanistan.

Stop and go method, troop level debates, undue rules of engagement, political agenda, next Presidential elections, all are reminiscent of Vietnam War.

In the bargain, the US is conveying an impression of being indecisive, lacking courage to get to grips with the war and accept casualties and finish off the war in Afghanistan on a winning note.

The Pathan is a willy fighter but he is no super human. Hari Singh Nalwa, Maharaja Ranjit Singh's famous general, subdued Afghanistan. And for a century at least, afghan women would use his name to quieten the crying children!!!

The only way is to increase the troop levels, use all the sophisticated bombs, rockets and wweaponryand defeat the Taliban right and square, at the earliest. Half way measures will not do. And for that the US and NATO will have to be prepared to accept casualties. War is not a business deal where we haggle over prices and delivery etc.

And once on a winning note, the US should not repeat the mistake of the situation arising when the Soviets pulled out from Afghanistan, of leaving too soon. They have to stay put and ensure that Afghanistan is governed efficiently and has the required security apparatus. Some military assets like air power may have to stay put for long haul!!

In addition, Pakistan has to be kept under control to ensure that they do not upset the apple cart by surreptitiously helping the Taliban/ Al Qaeda.

Lt Gen Harbhajan Singh (Retd)

ECHS: Veteran Volunteers to enhance services

1. As you are aware, we have been constantly striving to improve ECHS services with the aim of becoming the Finest Healthcare system in India. This is not an easy task. It would involve a collective heave from all the ECHS stakeholders. Everyone in the Armed Forces would one day be a user of ECHS facilities. In bringing it up, therefore, we really help ourselves.
2. During the ECHS seminar held at HQ Western Command on 16 Jul 09, it was felt that Armed Forces need to work in partnership with ex-servicemen. The cases of substantial improvement in services at the polyclinics in partnership with ex-servicemen were also highlighted.
3. Responding to our request, the IESM- an organization of ex- servicemen, has volunteered to render assistance in this regard. The organization has formed an ‘ECHS Division’ of volunteer veterans, to provide a user interface with ECHS, to enable improved services.
4. While efforts are on to identify volunteers pan-India, a list of those who would represent ESM presently, is given here Click Me
5. You are requested to interact with them and strive to improve elements that can be. It is emphasized that a great degree of initiative and improvisation may be needed. And above all, this development should be viewed as teamwork rather than interference.
(A K Roy)
Col, Dir,(Ops&Coord)

Function to honour our Param Veers on 26 Aug 2009

Dear Chander,
Could you kindly circulate this programme to all.
Netaji Subhash Bose- INA Trust organises such functions on a regular basis. This function was originally planned for 13 Aug 2009 but had to be postponed due to unavoidable circumstances.

The function (Civic Reception for Param Veers of India) will now be held at FICCI Auditorium , Tansen Marg, New Delhi from 10-45 hrs to 13-00 Hrs on 26 Oct 2009. Three Param Veers in person, NOK of two Param Veers, One AC-1 from IAF and one Mahavir from the Navy will be honoured by a selected panel of eminent members of Delhi's Civil Society. Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh, DFC and several serving and former chiefs are also participating. A copy of the programme is as below.

We will be grateful if all those who wish to attend the functions could give me their email, Postal address and Tel No so that invitations can be sent. Those who have done so earlier need not repeat the effort.
Brig RS Chhikara (Retd)
Gen Secretary

PROGRAMME FOR 26 October 2009
From/To/Event/By/ Time in minutes
10-45 to 11-20 Arrival and Tea
11-20 to 11-22 Bouquets & Lapel pins. Trust Ladies. 2
11-22 to 11-24 Lighting Lamp. Persons on Dais. 2
11-24 to 11-27 Vande Mataram. AIR Team. 3
11-27 to 11-32 Welcome Address. Trust Chairman. 5
11-32 to 11-37 Thematic Prelude. Dr Amit Mitra. 5
11-37 to 11-47 Valedictory Address. Chief Guest. 10
11-47 to 12-01 Stories of valour. 2 Awardees. 14
12-01 to 12-05 Saare Jahan Se Achcha. Song AIR Team. 4
12-05 to 12-19 Stories of valour. 2 Awardees. 14
12-19 to 12-23 Kadam Kadam Barhae Ja. Song AIR Team. 4
12-23 to 12-37 Stories of valour. 2 Awardees.14
12-37 to 12-41 Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo. Song AIR Team. 4
12-41 to 12-46 Address. Marshal of the Air Force. 5
12-46 to 12-51 Address. CM Haryana. 5
12-51 to 12-56 Address. CM Delhi. 5
12-56 to 13-00 Vote of Thanks. Gen Secy. 4
Total Time: 90 minutes

Beware! Phising, Spamming, Spoofing and Virus attacks

Tuesday, October 06, 2009
No mails for refunds issued from income tax department
18:14 IST
Information has been received from several quarters that people are receiving electronic mails informing them of their income-tax refunds and seeking their credit card details. The e-mail is sent from the following or similar mailing addresses: or

It is clarified that the Income Tax Department does not send e-mails regarding refunds and does not seek any information regarding credit cards of taxpayers. Taxpayers are, therefore, cautioned that they should not respond to such mails and if they do so it would be at their risk and responsibility.

No mails for refunds issued from income tax department

Is Arunachal Pradesh a Monarchy?

Arunachal Pradesh in the far Eastern corner of India is in the news these days as the Chinese are laying claim to it and the Indian Government is in a flurry!!

Just look at the pathetic state of development; very limited medical and educational facilities, minimum roads etc etc. And an almost illiterate Chief Minister having 4 wives!! (Obviously the Tribal Law permits this). Getting rich by the day!! click me for the main blog post

During 1962 War, there were any number of rumors that the Chinese had infiltrated spies, who were working in border Roads Organization and opened tea stall near Army units.

With this kind of development in the State, the Chinese will not find it difficult to subvert the population.

The Indian politicians and Babudom have neglected the East for decades. It is only the Army which has been a stabilizing factor and made the Indian presence felt.

God help Bharat!!!
Lt Gen Harbhajan Singh (Retd)
Obama Veering Towards Neutrality on Arunachal Pradesh?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

IESL: Improved Pension for Jawans

Subject: Improved Pension (ONE RANK ONE PENSION) for underprivileged Veterans
Dear Veterans (Brig) Kamboj,
Government of India is likely to issue orders for improved pension for Underprivileged veterans (so called included in the term PBORs what we all hate). However this organization has faxed the following reminder to Defence Minister with copy to S Harbans Singh, Director Pension, Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare, Ministry of Defence, GOI. Please note, this has nothing to do with ONE RANK ONE PENSION. If you stand by the Underprivileged Veterans, please paste this on your blog 'Report my Signal' for the information of Veterans.
Veteran Prabhjot singh Chhatwal PLS Retd.

IESL/13/2009- Dated: 5 Oct.2009
Shri AK Antony,
Minister for Defence ,
Government of India ,
South Block, Sena Bhawan,
New Delhi-110 011

Sub: Post– Sixth CPC Demands of Veterans
Respected Sir,
The veterans, all over India, were, in fact, highly elated on your announcement in regard to the payment of all arrears, in respect of sixth CPC to Veterans(ex-servicemen) before Diwali.
This organization takes liberty to remind, your good-self, that the orders regarding your Government's much publicized announcement, One Rank One Pension for PBORs (Veterans below the Commissioned Ranks) has not been issued yet. As such, how can they expect their arrears of One Rank One Pension before Diwali?
Is it a clerical delay or otherwise? But, Sir, it will not be out of place mention that if the same is delayed, credit for doing good things will be taken by your adversaries. The Veterans are thinking to celebrate BLACK DIWALI if they are not given One Rank One Pension before Diwali.

Now, it is up to your government, what it wants to do. But we, on our part, would wish to remind you to do the needful at the earliest and garner the well wishes from the veterans for your government.
With a hope for an early action,
(Veteran Prabhjot Singh Chhatwal PLS Retd.)
Copy to:
S.Harbans Singh,Director, Deptt. of Sainik Welfare, Ministry of Defence, Govt of India, Sena Bhawan, New Delhi- for information please.

Is Arunachal Pradesh a Monarchy?

Arunachal Pradesh a state in contrast- a plum pudding on the platter for the Chinese
Only politicians make hay in this land of rising sun that is inhabited by about 11 lakh people of 20 major tribes spread over 83743 square kilometer area and divided into 16 districts.

The frontier hill state has the poorest surface communication network, health facilities, education infrastructure in the country. The state has only 16 district hospitals but no referral hospital and no medical college even 37 years after attaining statehood. It has only nine community health centre (CHCs) against the requirement of 176 as per official figures.

The literacy rate is only 44.24 while 33.47 per cent people are living below poverty line against national average of 26.10 per cent.

But that doesn't deter politicians from getting richer and richer after every election. For instance, the incumbent Congress Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, who has been elected unopposed for the three consecutive times from Mukto LAC in bordering Tawang district, has emerged the richest politician in the state since he became Chief Minister after 2004 Assembly election.

The Hindu: Sushanta Talukdar: 05 oct 2009
ITANAGAR: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu has lawfully declared that he and his four wives possess movable and immovable assets worth more than Rs. 21 crore.

Of these, the bank deposits of Mr. Khandu and his wives account for Rs. 18.10 crore. He also has financial instruments worth Rs. 1 crore.

Among the immovable assets, the Chief Minister possesses a 300-square meter plot at Gurgaon DLF Phase II. Its official market value is Rs. 37.50 lakh. A building erected on this plot has been valued at Rs. 37.50 lakh. Mr. Khandu also owns immovable property at Itanagar and Tawang, with their market value being Rs. 71 lakh.

Mr. Khandu has disclosed his assets in his affidavit filed with the Election Commission for the October 13 Assembly polls. He has been declared elected unopposed for a record third time from his Mukto constituency in Tawang district that borders China and is a strong contender for the top post this time too. His educational qualification as disclosed in the affidavit is Class VIII in Bhoti language. A comparison with Mr. Khandu’s assets and liabilities disclosed in his affidavit filed for the 2004 Assembly polls shows his assets have increased by more than five times.

His fourth marriage also happened during this five-year term. According to the 2004 affidavit, the total movable and immovable assets of Mr. Khandu and his first three wives was Rs 4.19 crore. As on September 21 this year, Mr. Khandu has Rs.15 crore in bank deposit, while his first wife Leki Zangmu has Rs. 10 lakh, second wife Rinchin Drema Rs. 1 crore, and third wife Nima Zangmu and fourth wife Karma Yotun Rs. 1 crore each.

A sum of Rs. 25 lakh is the cash Mr. Khandu has in hand, and his four wives Rs. 21 lakh. In 2004, Mr. Khandu had a total bank deposit of Rs. 2 crore and Rs. 5 lakh in hand.

As per the 2009 affidavit, the Chief Minister owns no vehicle, but his first wife has a Santro, second wife a Santro and a Scorpio, third wife a Santro and a Scorpio while the fourth wife has a Scorpio. Mr. Khandu has seven tolas of gold jewels valued at Rs.1.26 lakh; his first wife also possesses an equal amount of gold. The second, third and fourth wives have eight tolas of gold worth Rs 1.44 lakh each.
Khandu, wives own assets worth over Rs. 21 crore

Can the Governor, Ex- Army Chief impact improvement or will he tread the CM's footsteps?
Indian Army joins Chinese military in their national day celebrations
Prime Minister campaigns in poll-bound Arunachal Pradesh
A picture of contrast around Arunachal polls

Monday, October 5, 2009

Why India is Clueless about China

A prosperous, militarily strong China cannot but be a threat to its neighbours, especially if there are no constraints on the exercise of Chinese power, notes Brahma Chellaney, professor of strategic studies at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. The latest round of the unending and fruitless India-China talks on territorial disputes was a fresh reminder of the eroding utility of this process. It is approaching nearly three decades since China and India began these negotiations.

In not hiding its intent to further redraw the Himalayan frontiers, Beijing only helps highlight the futility of the ongoing process of political negotiations. After all, the territorial status quo can be changed not through political talks but by further military conquest.

Yet, paradoxically, the political process remains important for Beijing to provide the fa├žade of engagement behind which to seek India’s containment.

Keeping India engaged in endless talks is a key Chinese objective so that Beijing can continue its work on changing the Himalayan balance decisively in its favour through a greater build-up of military power and logistical capabilities.

That is why China has sought to shield the negotiating process from the perceptible hardening of its stance towards New Delhi and the vituperative attacks against India in its State-run media. Add to the picture the aggressive patrolling of the Himalayan frontier by the People’s Liberation Army and the growing Chinese incursions across the line of control.

Let’s be clear: Chinese negotiating tactics have shifted markedly over the decades. Beijing originally floated the swap idea — giving up its claims in India’s northeast in return for Indian acceptance of the Chinese control over a part of Ladakh — to legalise its occupation of Aksai Chin. It then sang the mantra of putting the territorial disputes on the backburner so that the two countries could concentrate on building close, mutually beneficial relations.

But in more recent years, in keeping with its rising strength, China has escalated border tensions and military incursions while assertively laying claim to Arunachal Pradesh.

According to a recent report in Ming Pao, a Hong Kong newspaper with close ties to the establishment in Beijing, China is seeking ‘just’ 28 per cent of Arunachal. That means an area nearly the size of Taiwan.

In that light, can the Sino-Indian border talks be kept going indefinitely? Consider two important facts:

First, the present border negotiations have been going on continuously since 1981, making them already the longest and the most-barren process between any two countries in modern history. The record includes eight rounds of senior-level talks between 1981 and 1987, 14 Joint Working Group meetings between 1988 and 2002, and 13 rounds of talks between the designated Special Representatives since 2003.

It seems the only progress in this process is that India’s choice of words in public is now the same as China’s. ‘Both countries have agreed to seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement of this issue,’ Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna told Parliament on July 31. ‘The matter, of course, is complex and requires time and lots of patience.’

It was as if the Chinese foreign minister was speaking. Isn’t it odd for India — the country at the receiving end of growing Chinese bellicosity — to plead for more time and patience after nearly three decades of negotiations?

Second, the authoritative People’s Daily — the Communist Party mouthpiece that reflects official thinking — made it clear in a June 11, 2009 editorial: ‘China won’t make any compromises in its border disputes with India.’ That reflects the Chinese position in the negotiations. But when Beijing is advertising its uncompromising stance, doesn’t New Delhi get the message?
Why India is Clueless about China

Arunachal Pradesh attained its statehood on 20th February 1987. It is situated in the North-Eastern part of India with 83743 sq. kms area and has a long international border with Bhutan to the west (160 km), China to the north and north-east (1,080 km) and Myanmar to the east (440 km). It stretches from snow-capped mountains in the north to the plains of Brahmaputra valley in the south. Arunachal is the largest state area-wise in the north-east region, even larger than Assam which is the most populous.

It is situated between latitude 26° 30' N and 29° 30 ' N and longitude 91° 30' E and 97° 30' E. Itanagar is the capital of Arunachal Pradesh and located at an altitude of 530 meters above MSL. It is named after Itafort meaning fort of bricks built in 14th century A.D.
Arunachal Tourism

2 million under five Indian children die every year: Report

Despite India's economic prosperity, nearly two million children under the age of five, die every year in the country, the highest number anywhere in the world, a media report said on Sunday.

More than half of them die the month after birth and 400,000 in their first 24 hours, The Observer said based on a report by an international NGO 'Save the Children'. Even in the national capital, Delhi, where an estimated 20 per cent of people live in slums, the infant mortality rate was reported to have doubled in a year, it said.

"The difference between rich and poor is huge. In a city like Delhi it is more stark because we have got state-of-the-art hospitals and women giving birth under flyovers. The health services have failed to deliver," Shireen Miller, Head policy and advocacy of the NGO in India said.

The report also revealed that the poor are disproportionately affected and accused the country of failing to provide adequate healthcare for the impoverished majority of one billion people.

Malnutrition, neonatal diseases, diarrhoea and pneumonia were identified as the major causes of death. "For many poor parents and their children, seeking medical help is a luxury and health services are often too far away," Miller said

The report said nearly nine million children die worldwide every year before the age of five. India has the highest number of deaths, with China on the fifth place.
2 million under five Indian children die every year: Report

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Science Exibition on Wheels, 55 locations traversing 18,000 Kms

Indian Railways in the education mode
The Phase-III of the 'Science Express' which was inaugurated by Chairman, Railway Board Shri S. S. Khurana on 2 October 2009 at Gandhinagar will travel to 55 locations, mostly not covered earlier, covering about 18,000 kms in seven months of its journey. It is covering the entire length and breadth of the country. At each of the locations, it would halt for 3-5 days, during which students and general public would visit the exhibition. The 55 locations will include Ahmedabad, Aurangabad, Madgaon, Hubli, Bangalore Cantt. Mysore, Calicut, Thirvanthapuram, Salem Town, Balasur, Dimapur, Darbhanga, Chhapra, Amethi, Jammu Tawi, Kapurthala, Delhi Cantt, Agra Cantt, Jhansi and Ujain.

The sparking white, fully air conditioned train has 16-coaches. The exhibition, with more than 300 large-format visual images, over 150 video clips and multimedia exhibits, deals extensively with cutting-edge research and technology. In the 12 exhibition coaches, most of exhibits have been developed by the max Planck Society, Germany noble laureate powerhouse while some exhibits are indigenous. Through these, the visitors explore wide areas in science in a fascinating manner and delve into the mysteries of our world, groundbreaking discoveries, emerging issues, cutting-edge science and future-oriented technologies. The exhibits explain our universe – how it all began, glimpses of space, black holes, galaxies, on the way to the Big Bang, our home in the cosmos, Spaceship Earth, simpler cold atoms, ultra short light, biotechnology, building blocks of life from 'gene to organism', the world of senses, architecture of the mind, renewable energy, technologies and energy sources for future, nanocosmos, bio-engineering, genetics, cell biology, computer applications in medicine and global challenges.

There is dedicated coach on 'Climate Change – Cause, Effect and Mitigation', sponsored by HSBC as an initiative of the 'Earth Sciences Forum'. Exhibits on 'Energy Conservation' from PCRA and poster on 'Nutrition' from Nestle are the new attractions in this Phase.
‘Science Express’ train will travel to 55 locations & cover 18000 kilometres in seven months


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