Saturday, April 24, 2010

Reunion and parting are emotional experiences Soldiers endure

The other day, while surfing, the channels my attention got arrested on the scene of the 70s movie VAJETE where the son, Angad (Kunal Kapoor), a flight cadet is leaving for his advance training. The scene has the first class compartment in the back ground with the parents, Shashi Kapoor, the father and Rekha the mother are facing the son. All professionals and masters at emoting. the father, composed with a stoical continence hiding the turmoil inside, the mother has her face depicting the whole gamut, overwhelmed with a plethora of diverse emotions: pride in her son, her affection for him, pain of looming separation also apprehension and uncertainty of the future, while the son is torn between feelings of leaving the parents and the excitement of joining his comrades soon.

The scene then cuts away to the sitting room of the parents in Bombay. Both a bit distraught: as Kapoor hands over a coffee mug to Rekha who breaks down in a flood of tears with the gates of pent-up emotions opening wide. ‘Let me Cry, Let me Cry,’ she wails, between her uncontrolled sobs as Kapoor tries to comfort her unsuccessfully.

The scene did hit some emotional cord deep inside reminding once again that the fate of the servicemen is that they have to leave the loved ones behind more often than not for the frequent calls of duty.

On such occasions, overwhelmed and preoccupied with my own feelings, emotions, excitements and apprehensions, I was only mildly conscious of the turmoil going on inside of those whom I was left behind over and over again many times over a span of 30 years of service in the Army...

Possibly the first time such a situation arose was when I left along with my brother for Lucknow. I do not recall the occasion but I must have been too excited of the prospects ahead of me of joining the university, to notice the feelings or emotions of my parents.

Things started becoming clear and more specific beginning with my receiving call for training at the erstwhile NDA now known as IMA in 1954.

`Today I have sold my son!’ exclaimed my mother with tears in her eyes; a simple, affectionate and loving lady from a village. My father had just signed the bond required before a cadet could report at IMA. The truth of what my mother had said dawned on me now and I realised that one has to pay a heavy price for wearing ‘OG’.

I could only wave half heartedly at my father that day. Unaware as to his feelings at that time and on my way to Kathgodam from Naniatal from where I was to catch the train to Dehradun. He was too busy controlling an incipient riot-like situation on the road down with the ongoing strike by the roadways employees and waved me on to push ahead quickly without stopping.

Every time I left my parents behind to report for duty, I would look back, at the threshold of the house, to notice a melancholy demeanour and a faraway look in my mother’s eyes as if she was trying to discern what lay in future albeit a “matter of fact” demeanour on my father’s as he came to see me off on the bus stand or the railway station as the case may be.

Later another set of those being “left behind” were formed when I met my future wife Rosy. She along with the family had come to see me off at the Dehradun bus stand. As the bus started off towards Saharanpur Rosy was hidden from my eyes but not from my mind. I was in a dream, lost in my thoughts of the short time spent with her, totally bereft of any awareness or knowledge of her feeling at that time; those that I was to learn much later, post her demise, from her jottings in my diary.

The picture of hurt in Jeet’s eyes, Jeet as I called her post marriage, and her pained expression accompanied me all the way back to Pathankot to join duty, when I had to leave immediately after the delivery of our daughter and also later when, like a good soldier, I abandoned my wife of less than two years and the child of nine months or so to join the unit by 29th October 1959 in far away Assam. ‘Abandoned’ was the word she used then and again many times later to remind me of her mental state on being left behind. What she was feeling at that moment of separation, of being torn from the father’s lap, in her child’s mind and limited experience of world is more difficult to describe or visualise.

The sad lament of the engine's whistle more so as heard in summer nights while sleeping on the terrace of our village home, had a lot more to do with both Jeet and me in later life. It would be reminding us night after night of my impending departure, causing so much pain, by the same train till one late night I would leave her behind tearing my-self from the last embrace, words unsaid to answer the call of Army. I can only visualize her feelings at that juncture. However, I was utterly miserable walking in that dark night, each step taking me farther and farther away from her, silent and lost in my own thoughts with no words being exchanged with the person accompanying me to the station to see me off.

The tenure in Armament Research and Development (ARDE) was immensely enjoyable and satisfying and of a settled life. Then I took the risk of changing track once again; changing from a scientist to a soldier once again. I left for the long journey from Poona, in the last week of December 1970, to the far east of India, this time to Kalimpong in West Bengal. By this time the children were of an age that they would have experienced their own feelings on the parting.

These partings and reunions happen off and on at varying intervals during the service career. A fate ordained for those who serve and their families, so others can sleep in peace and in the comfort of the feeling of security, unaware of the traumatic experience at every of one of those frequent partings.
Brig Lakshman Singh (Retd)

IESM Echoes its anguish to Defence Minister on the OROP issue

Shri A.K. Antony
Defence Minister
Dated 23 April 2010

Dear Shri AK Antony
1. We are amazed at your reply in parliament the other day that granting of One Rank One Pension was not possible due to financial, legal and administrative reasons. The financial burden is too inconsequential and legal reasons have been adequately set aside by the courts in many of its recent judgements. As far as the administrative reasons are concerned, this is due to the mental block of the bureaucracy and its agonistic attitude towards the Defence Forces. That such a statement should be made by Defence Minister of India, in Parliament inspite of various SC, HC and AFT judgements to the contrary shows the scant regard the Govt in general and the Defence Ministry in particular has for the judiciary and morale of the Defence Forces. Just to take you back to the rulings given by the various courts, I would like to list a few judgements for your and your advisors perusal who appear to be hell bent to heap injustice upon the Military and not honour the courts judgements in letter and spirit:
(a) SC Judgement of 09 Sep 2009 in the case of Union of India & Maj Gen Vains and Others. The SC ruled that:-
  • No Defence Personal Senior in rank can get less pension than his junior irrespective of the date of retirement.
  • Similarly placed Officers of the same rank are to be given the same pension irrespective of the date of retirement.
    (b) AFT Chandigarh Judgement dated 03 Mar 2010. In the case of union of India and Maj Gen Vains and Others. The AFT ruled that the SC ruling in the case of Maj Gen Vains and others Vs Union of India dated 09 Sep 2009 be applied to the Petitioners for pre 2006 and post 2006 retirees and the judgement be implemented in three months.
    (c) AFT Chandigarh Judgement dated 08 Mar 2010 in the case of Union of India Vs Babu Ram Dhiman and Union of India Vs Sohan Singh The AFT has directed the Union Government:
  • That the state cannot lay down different criteria for grant of pensions to officers, JCOs and Jawans on the basis of cut off date of retirement.
  • No Senior in rank defence person can draw less pension than his junior irrespective of the date of retirement.
  • All pensioners of the same rank and service irrespective of the date of retirement are entitled to same pension.
  • The above directions be implemented within four months.
    (d) SC Judgement dated 08 Mar 2010 in the case of retired Defence Officer Association Vs Union of India. SC has ruled that the anomaly of 4th Pay Commission regarding rank pay which was removed by the Kerala High Court in one case is applicable to all officers who were in service on 1.1.86 and arrears will be paid to them with 6 percent interest. This judgement has for reaching consequences in that the pay and pensions of officers in 5th & 6th Pay Commissions would have to be worked out afresh.
    2. Mr Defence Minster sir, we implore upon you not to take the frustrations of the Defence Forces lightly because any further neglect is likely to have severe ramifications for the Nation at large. The situation as it exists today is reminiscent of the situation prevailing prior to 1962 debacle.
    3. The defence personnel by training and thought are mature, patriotic and therefore, will not ask for any thing which is not their due but if justice is denied to them they will go all out albeit peacefully to get what is rightfully theirs. The humiliations heaped upon the Defence Forces in the last 10 years is leading to lot of frustration and anger and therefore, immediate action to address their grievances is required to be taken by the Govt. We therefore request you the following:-
  • The above judgements of the courts be implemented in letter and spirit immediately and Military Pensions of Pre 2006 Pensioners be fixed accordingly.
  • Separate Pay Commission which has already been accepted by the Govt be set up
    immediately and all anomalies in the Pay and allowance and pensions .etc be transferred to it. The commission may please be given a fixed time frame say one year to resolve all anomalies. Two third members of the commission be from serving and retired Defence Personnel.
  • Military Veterans Commission be set up immediately which should consist of members from the Military Veterans only with all its powers as given to any other commission.
  • The Head of the ESW Department of the Ministry of Defence should be headed by a serving or retired Defence Officer. Besides that at the next level below the Head of the ESW Department, there should be one officer each from the Army, Navy and Airforce– serving or retired. Out of the remaining personnel forming part of the ESW Department, at least 50% should be from the Defence Services– serving or retired.
    4. A serious immediate consideration of the above mentioned issues is requested.
    With kind regards,
    Jai Hind
    Yours Sincerely,
    Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
    Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement
    Copy to:
    Dr. Manmohan Singh, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India
    Smt. Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson UPA & National Advisory Council
    Gen Vijay Kumar Singh, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, ADC, Chief of the Army Staff
    Admiral Nirmal Kumar Verma, PVSM, AVSM, ADC, Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of the Naval Staff
    Air Chief Marshal P V Naik, PVSM, VSM, ADC, Chief of the Air Staff
  • Friday, April 23, 2010

    Why India Loves The IPL

    "The best thing to happen since the Big Bang." *****The New Yavatmal Times
    "Big Fish is the harbinger of a cultural revolution." ***** Wadi Street Journal

    India loves rats. It is the new epicenter of the rat race, the scene for the largest plague since the middle ages, and also one of the only places in the world where rats command divinity. So, it is only natural that when the government was looking for a media event which would numb the collective senses of the populace, and transform them into weak pushovers (rats) waiting to be crushed by the big, red corporate dick (a mousetrap rigged with a lump of cheese), the IPL was born.

    Need: There was a void in the system, considering the last big mass mind numbing tactic, known to all as K-serials had begun to wane in popularity. The rats were evolving and slowly realizing that they had already seen the episode they were watching two generations ago, both on screen and off screen! There was a need to plug their evolution, and in stepped Jan-hith Modi, with his eerily evil, satanic rat like looks and his big idea, the IPL.

    How it works: Two different methodologies are adopted by the IPL to effectively drain the mental resources of the nation. We shall classify them as ‘Slow death’ and ‘Fatal Sting’.

    Slow death: This method is fine tuned for maximum reach and to draw people towards ‘Fatal Sting’. The media used is television, the internet and even newspapers. Of all these, TV is the most dangerous kind of exposure, after ‘Fatal Sting’. It is targeted at all stratas of society, under the pretext of ‘complete family entertainment’. Logically, there exists no such thing as ‘complete family entertainment’. People from different generations must think differently and hence, watch different things. The term ‘Complete Family Entertainment’ is thus marketing genius, and by extension, pure bullshit.

    The first point of contact are men returning from their utterly brain dead, ‘could be better performed by a robot’ jobs. These ‘breadwinners’ in dire need of rest and sex, are fed four continuous hours of zero IQ VJs pretending to be cricket pundits, cricket pundits pretending to be VJs, baseball players pretending to be cricketers, 1001 incredibly annoying TV commercials, and lastly, glimpses of skimpily clad white women unachievable by aforementioned ‘breadwinner’ in aforementioned job. The ‘white woman’ glimpses make the man lose all interest in his humble wife, and work harder in his dead end job the next day, so that he may get that ‘off-shore’, or ‘on-site’ project. The wife, meanwhile, gets increasingly frustrated with her eternally tired husband lording over the Television during primetime, and dozing off without any sexual reprisal during the presentation ceremony. She starts voicing her annoyance, resulting in husband putting in more hours at work and watching the IPL at the bar, resulting in even lesser sexual reprisal.

    Slowly but surely, the productive people in our society are overworked, devoid of sex and of time to think things over. And all this happens voluntarily. People become frustrated, brain dead and job happy out of their own will. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

    Fatal Sting: As the name suggests, this is deadlier and quicker than ‘Slow Death’. This occurs when the subject brings it upon himself by buying an overpriced ticket to watch the match, LIVE.

    The conditions at the stadium are simulated like in a Jewish concentration camp, only worse. First, the stadiums are in areas where infrastructure cannot keep up with the maddening crowd, leading to traffic jams; jam packed trains and serpentine queues. Then, the people in queue are made to wait outside endlessly till stampede like situations arise. Then, at breaking point, they are let in, trampling a few. Once in, people are sweating profusely and are thirsty, hungry and angry. They are then mugged of their money by feeding them watery colas, and woody burgers at thrice their usual price. To compensate, loud music is played and white cheerleaders, specks of skin to the spectators, are ordered to dance. This makes 15/16th of the crowd happy and they climb onto their seats to dance and celebrate nothing. They are provided with annoyingly loud horns and chant mindless slogans, all in the name of supporting the home team. They are also egged on by some dick less stadium announcer, and a 3 second soundtrack, which sounds like a dinosaur’s fart, but which results in maniacal celebrations among 15/16ths of the crowd. The other 1/16ths have by now, killed themselves.

    Then, the match starts. More of what has happened already, another stampede during the interval and an inhuman last train/bus/walk home and the average Indian male takes a week to recuperate, and have sex again. But he loves the IPL. And he loves his job. And India loves being the greatest service economy in the world. And Jan-hith Modi loves coming out and waving to the crowd!

    We all love the IPL.
    Why India Loves The IPL

    SCPC: Fourfold pay increases soars corruption levels to dizzy heights

    Medical Council of India President arrested on graft charges
    Press Trust of India, Friday April 23, 2010, New Delhi
    CBI has arrested President of Medical Council of India Ketan Desai and two others for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 2 crore to grant recognition to a medical college in Punjab.

    Desai was arrested late night on Thursday after the CBI conducted searches at his office here following information that he along with his associate Jitender Pal Singh was allegedly demanding a bribe of Rs 2 crore to recognise a college in Punjab, CBI spokesperson Harsh Bahal said on Friday.

    Bahal said that Desai along with Singh and another associate Dr Kanwaljit Singh of Gyan Sagar Medical College in Punjab have been arrested by CBI on corruption charges.

    The spokesperson said that the three were being interrogated and searches were going on at six other places in Delhi and outside.

    The CBI laid a trap after receiving a complaint and caught Singh allegedly with Rs 2 crore which was to be delivered to Desai.

    The agency also conducted raids in Punjab, Delhi and Gujarat to trace Desai's other associates.

    The main objectives of the Medical Council include maintenance of uniform standards of medical education and recommendation for recognition/de-recognition of medical qualifications of medical institutions of India or foreign countries.
    Medical Council of India President arrested on graft charges

    Postal honcho caught taking Rs 2-crore bribe: NOC Scam
    For the first time since Independence, the CBI has caught and arrested a high ranking bureaucrat accepting a bribe of Rs 2 crore. The CBI arrested Manjit Singh Bali, a 1978 batch officer of the Indian Postal Service in Mumbai on Wednesday.

    Bali, one of the ten senior most officers of the service in the country was caught red handed for seeking and accepting a bribe to allow the construction of a post office on a private developer's land.

    "The middle man reached the hotel as did Mr Bali. Our team was waiting and we caught him red handed accepting the Rs 2 crore," said Rishi Raj Singh, Joint Director, CBI.

    "I first approached Bali to get a No Objection Certificate for a post office. He avoided me. Then a few days later I got a call from a person. I was asked for Rs 2 crore for the NOC," said Rita Shah, Former Mumbai Corporator, Complainant.

    Shah, a former city Corporator, had approached Bali on the behalf of a city builder who was willing to give up a part of his land for public use.

    In return, under the city civic laws the builder would be given benefits like permission to build and sell more space.

    The investigators say that Bali wanted a cut on the money the builder would make.

    On raiding Bali's residence the CBI found large amounts of cash that are unaccounted for. So now along with the CBI, the Enforcement Directorate will also investigate Bali to find out if he's used his position for monetary gain in the past as well.
    Postal honcho caught taking Rs 2-crore bribe

    Mockery of the Judiciary
    Desai's involvement in a case in 2001 when he was caught on charges of corruption and asked by the High Court to step down as MCI president. He continued as MCI chief making mockery of the Judiciary for 10 long years!
    Tainted MCI chief Desai owned 10 houses: CBI

    Six years ago Parliamentary Committee recommends implementation of OROP

    Panel seeks one-rank-one-pension for ex-servicemen
    TNN, Aug 19, 2003, 07.33pm IST

    NEW DELHI: Despite the government's earlier refusal to grant one-rank-one-pension to all ex-servicemen, the parliamentary standing committee on defence has once again recommended this measure to remove the "disparity" in pensionary benefits among pensioners of the same rank.

    The committee also urged the government to set up a national commission for ex-servicemen on the lines of similar commissions for minorities and Scheduled Castes and Tribes.

    Declaring that the nation "must repay its debt to the defendants of the motherland", the committee said many old soldiers were now struggling to survive on a paltry pension and asked the government to re-examine the two schemes for the ex-servicemen which had earlier been rejected.

    In its 20th report tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, the committee called for giving ex-servicemen insurance cover till death irrespective of their ranks and reservations for wards of servicemen in professional institutions.
    Panel seeks one-rank-one-pension for ex-servicemen

    NEW DELHI: With the prices of certain essential items such as rice, milk, fruits and vegetables continuing to rule high, food inflation crept up further to 17.65 per cent for the week ended April 10 from 17.22 per cent in the previous week. Fearing that the WPI (Wholesale Price Index)-based overall inflation — ruling at 9.9 per cent in March and well above its fiscal-end projection of 8.5 per cent — may shoot up further on account of the spill-over from food inflation, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday this week hiked the key policy rates to squeeze money supply and get a hold on the price spiral.
    Food inflation creeps up to 17.65 per cent

    Status of OROP
    The GOI is creeping slowly to bridge the Pension gap of ESM. The present inflation and cost of living makes sustenance difficult for about 20 lakh retired Sepoys, NCO's and JCO's. The ESM Welfare organisations manned by civilians are really money spinning agencies who seldom are involved in any welfare activity or assist in the employment of ESM. In fact they humiliate the ESM by employing them as security personnel on meagre wages adorning a comical attire as uniform. The security personnel are a mockery as they have no weapons to defend if attacked by goondas, criminals or terrorists. The rank and status of retired soldiers reduced to a caricature. The ESM Organisations should take up cudgels to fight the system bent on demeaning the soldier.

    ESM for training CRPF and guard UP Statues

    Govt to recruit about 2,000 ex-servicemen
    Press Trust of India / New Delhi April 12, 2010, 16:47 IST
    The government will recruit about 2,000 ex-servicemen specialised in commando and jungle warfare tactics to impart cutting-edge training to CRPF personnel.

    The recruitment of these ex-servicemen, which will begin next month, assumes significance as 76 paramilitary personnel were massacred by Maoists in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada recently, raising questions on the operational strategies of the force.

    Those servicemen, who retired as Sepoy and Havaldar, will be drawn from Army regiments and Corps like infantry, mechanised infantry, armoured, artillery, intelligence and engineering Corps for the purpose.

    In order to ensure that the CRPF personnel get the best training, the government has made it mandatory for these ex-servicemen to be trained in specialised courses like 'Ghatak' commando training, weapons, IED and bomb disposal, dog handling, Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare (CIJW).

    It is also mandatory for these ex-servicemen to have served in insurgency-hit areas and had stints at Army training schools.

    "These men will be deputed to train our personnel at the various counter insurgency and jungle warfare schools in the country which are facing shortage of trainers. It is a fact that a good trainer can only bring out the best in an individual," a senior CRPF officer said.

    The ex-servicemen will be recruited on a contractual basis for five to seven years on a total remuneration of Rs 12,625 plus other incentives.

    Initially 1,950 men will be recruited and the numbers could be enhanced in the future. The all-India recruitment will begin in May and would finish by June after which the ex-servicemen would undergo initial training and briefing before they start the job, the officer said.

    A board of senior CRPF and Home Ministry officials will conduct the "open rally" recruitment for which an applicant should be under 40 years of age. There will not be any criteria for physical and educational background of the ex-service personnel.
    Govt to recruit about 2,000 ex-servicemen

    Retired Colonel to Guard Statues
    Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Friday decided to recruit former servicemen for the protection of statues and monuments without a nod from the ruling Governor B L Joshi and senior government officials.

    Mayawati allegedly decided to go ahead with her plans even without Governor B L Joshi's assent to a bill and ordinance for creation of such a security force.

    Mayawati convened a meeting of the state cabinet on Friday afternoon and took an administrative decision to proceed with raising the new force.

    The force would be headed by a retired army officer of the rank of colonel.

    The cabinet meeting was followed by a press conference, where state Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh gave justification for the government's decision to go ahead without waiting for a word from the governor.
    ESM for protection of Statues

    Thursday, April 22, 2010

    Colonel held with bar girls in Gujarat

    Shiv Aroor, Monday, April 19, 2010
    An army officer was recently caught frolicking at a sleazy rave party at a farmhouse in Ahmedabad district's Sanand area recently. The officer was arrested along with seven bar girls and 21 others at the party.

    Colonel Ritobroto Sengupta was arrested on April 15. He was reportedly caught dancing with bar girls and consuming alcohol at the party, both illegal under the Gujarat laws.

    Confirming the news to Headlines Today, the Army said that the officer's conduct was being probed. He was arrested, questioned and then handed over to army authorities for further action. The officer belongs to the Dhangadhra military station, where he commands an artillery unit.

    The party, which had free-flowing illegal alcohol and seven bar dancers from Mumbai, was allegedly thrown by an Ahmedabad businessman and had several other businessmen in attendance.

    Sources told Headlines Today that the officer was being probed for giving the police a fake name. The police were also investigating the possibility if he provided alcohol at the party. His links with the businessmen in attendance was also being probed.

    Sources said there was also a serving brigadier involved in the party, but he might have given police the slip during the raid. The Army has not confirmed the brigadier's presence at the party.
    Colonel held with bar girls in Guj

    Rito Brato Sengupta, serving as colonel with Indian Army at Dhrangadra base was also among the arrested. He initially told investigator that his name was Rakesh Varma. We have charged him with misguiding investigators.
    Police bust booze party at Sanand farmhouse, 29 held

    Indian Armed Forces: Poineers in computerisation

    To start the computerisation process, a middle level officer of the Corps of Signals, Maj OA Pereira was deputed to undergo a one year computer course at the statistical institute, Calcutta. On his return, the nucleus of a computer cell was formed at the AHQ. Around the same time, a training facility was organised by the Government at Delhi based on a Honeywell mainframe computer system. The scope of such training was, however, limited to fundamentals of computer technology and programming in COBOL with an exposure of FORTRAN. Simultaneously, officers were also sent to US Army School at Fort Monmonth, New Jersey for regular computer courses. Notable amongst these trainees were Lt Col MS Sodhi and Lt Col Harbhajan Singh, later both of them rose to the rank of Lt Gen's as SO in C. Prominent amongst the early computer poineers were Lt Col (Maj Gen) BS Paintal and Maj (Brig) VM Sundaram. They played a leading role in educating and spreading compuer awareness. Subsequently Maj Gen Gopal Das and Maj Gen Ganaga Prasad made significant contribution for the planning and organisation of computer education and training. Brig SVS Chowdhry was also closely associated with the computer education activity, first as a faculty member at MCTE, Mhow and later on in the planning and coordination of computer training during his two tenures at the Army Headquarters.

    Filing frivolous appeals against solidiers by GOI has irked the Law Ministry

    Thursday, April 22, 2010
    When Law Ministry made it clear to others.
    It was expected that these comments by the Hon’ble Supreme Court would haunt us. ‘Don’t treat soldiers like beggars’, the Apex Court had remarked. But did the disparaging remarks have any effect ? The test of the same would be the number of explanations called by senior Defence Ministry functionaries on the issue. But were any questions asked, any corrective measures initiated, any papers floated ? I don’t know. Probably zilch, probably some, time shall tell.

    The auto-pilot mode of some departments and ministries in filing frivolous appeals has irked the Law Ministry no end. Besides some recent directions, the Law Ministry had also shot a missive to all departments and ministries last year in September too. It can be viewed by clicking here. Hopefully the civilian staff of the MoD would realise that sometimes it does not pay to take a purely legalistic view of human issues. After all, we are dealing with humans here, not machines or corporates. Or is it the subsidised liquor or free rations which trouble them ?
    Posted by Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh at 5:21 AM

    Criminals form the virtual IPL cricket team

    IPL’s over-the-top dollars
    Copyright © 2010 Economic Times
    Mammon, it seems, is now the official lord and God of cricket. Or at least this franchisee, premier league form of it, where obscene sums of money fuel the giddy exercises of building team brands, peddling merchandise and inventing rivalries where one couldn’t see any.

    And take the frenetic slam-bang sixes and fours of Twenty20, and phrases like a shot being worth a million dollars acquire a whole new meaning. And it’s Lalit Modi’s IPL brouhaha which seems to be leaving us all agape with its unabashed celebration of lucre and pelf. Here is an arena where two new teams are supposed to be set up, the criteria being having a bank balance of a billion dollars, clauses that speak of team bidders having to pay up a trifling $100 million as a ‘performance deposit’, with teams having a ‘base price’ of $225 million.

    Now, we do all know cricket is big money. In India, more so. But it’s not quite cricket to prise such sums out of a country where others sports house themselves in cowsheds and crumbling infrastructure. Or is some enterprising soul going to now try and convince us that some sort of trickle-down effect from the rich coffers of the IPL/BCCI is going to better things all around? Or are these vast sums more a reflection of what the bosses of the IPL think their scheme deserves? Of a pure, unadulterated drive to squeeze out the last gold coin from the fervour surrounding the game in India?

    But then again, overvaulting ambition does tend to leap right over the horse. It isn’t just the fact that the tender process for the two new teams fell through after the bidders blanched at the hefty conditions. But rather, sooner or later, the Indian follower of the game might just turn away from this contrived soap-saga of commercial brand building. Or maybe not. Quite a few might be bedazzled by this ‘India shining’ story, quite unable to believe we are indulging in sums of money that rival anything on earth, for a sport we play in our local nukkad. But just which version is the real stuff? Again, the two Indias clash, it seems!
    IPL's over the top Dollars

    At the root of the problem lies the fact that it (IPL) is laundering black money, it is a caricature of cricket, let us go back to five-day Tests,” Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI) said raising the issue during zero hour.
    IPL commissioner Lalit Modi, a failed businessman, now owned a private jet, luxury yacht and a fleet of Mercedes and BMW cars.
    MPs: Ban IPL and go back to Tests

    Will the IPL and BCCI money spinners fathom the Indian Divide?
    Depressing view
    Returning back from a seminar on Digital Divide I see a a depressing sight from the window of the train of Humans defecating and Pigs wallowing all in public view. What DIVIDE one would name the spectacle? The divide between those in the cool comfort of the train and those outside and quickly falling behind from view or between the pigs and the Human beings, still facing each other outside.
    Brig Lakshman Singh (Retd)

    Wednesday, April 21, 2010

    Award of Ignou Degree Under Project Gyandeep

    Convocation for Award of IGNOU Degree Under Project Gyandeep
    Wednesday, April 21, 2010 18:9 IST
    Convocation function for award of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) degree to Personnel Below Officer’s Rank (PBOR) of Indian Army was conducted at DRDO Bhawan on 21 Apr 2010. The chief guest of the function was Lieutenant General Mukesh Sabharwal, PVSM,AVSM*,VSM, Adjutant General, Indian Army and Shri VN Rajasekharan Pillai, Vice Chancellor IGNOU, and the Guest of Honour was Lieutenant General VK Chaturvedi, AVSM,SM, Director General (Manpower Planning & Personnel Services). The function was also graced by the presence of Lieutenant General P Mohapatra, AVSM, ADC, Signal Officer-in-Chief & Senior Colonel Commandant, Corps of Signals, Major General SP Kochhar, AVSM, SM,VSM, Additional Director General Personnel Services, and Col Commandant Corps of Signals Brig SK Pillai, VSM, Commandant Community College, 1 Signal Training Centre.

    The Government, vide DOP&T Office Memorandum No 15012/8/82-Estt(D) dated 12 Feb 86 stipulated that matriculate PBOR of Indian Army, who have completed 15 Years of service will be eligible for employment in group ‘C’ & ‘D’ jobs in the Government where graduation is an essential requirement. However, the number of vacancies that come up in Government agencies where the above stipulation can be applied is very less. Most institutions or establishments in the private sector or public domain insist on mark sheet and certificates, provision for which do not exist in the Government Order dated 12 Feb 86. So a need was felt to bridge this gap and empower PBOR of Indian Army by arming them with the requisite diploma / degree based on the ‘in service training’ undergone by the PBOR right through his service career.

    Thus Project GYANDEEP was launched based on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Army and IGNOU on 04 Sep 09. The project was dedicated to the Nation by the Honourable President of India on 19 Nov 2009. The aim of the project is to confer educational certification to PBOR of the Indian Army by according recognition to the “in service” training carried out by individuals during the entire span of their service career. The aim is also to empower all PBOR by arming them with a diploma/degree so as to facilitate a second career post retirement. This programme has the potential to transform the post-retirement life of soldiers by equipping them with a formal qualification and preparing them for competitive job avenues.

    PBOR who wish to register for award of diploma/degree can do so through their respective Regimental Centres, all of which have been registered as Army-IGNOU Community Colleges with IGNOU. These community colleges will function as autonomous institutes in instituting academic, training and administrative responsibilities etc and at any time will not seek affiliation to IGNOU. The community colleges will identify academic programmes to be offered to the community of soldiers for this program on the basis of a need analysis of the local job requirements and opportunities and incorporate these findings into the curriculum, and if so required, take assistance from IGNOU in identifying such academic programmes. The Community colleges will abide by the norms and guidelines defined for the scheme by IGNOU, whereby IGNOU has the sole authority for modifying the terms and conditions of the community college scheme.

    Project Gyan Deep will be a Win-Win-Win Scenario for all Stakeholders
    • Rolls increase by 1.2 Million Students.
    • Service to Soldiers.
    • Turnover in one year– 50,000 soldiers.
    • Increase community colleges & campus.
    • Addition of new courses immediately-study material available.
    • Vast training curriculum recognised & interfaced.
    • Existing Government orders formally interpreted.
    • Welfare measure.
    • Gainfully utilises resources.
    • Meets aspirations.
    • Formal parchment.
    • Helps rehabilitate.
    • Advances education.
    • Degree from reputed National University.
    Project Gyan Deep will thus be a:
    • A small step for each soldier.
    • A giant step for the Indian Army.
    * A great contribution to Higher Education.
    S Om Singh/RPA/DS
    Convocation for Award of Ignou Degree Under Project Gyandeep

    PM for urgent, considered action to root out Naxalism

    Wednesday 21 April, 2010.
    PM Manmohan Singh has pitched for urgent and considered action to root out the problem of Left-wing extremism and asserted that no quarter can be given to those challenging the authority of the Indian state.

    Singling out Left-wing extremism as the gravest internal security threat faced by the nation, he said, “Recent events have underscored the need for urgent and considered action to root out this problem.”

    “No quarter can be given to those who have taken upon themselves to challenge the authority of the Indian state and the fabric of our democratic polity,” he said, inaugurating the Civil Services Day function in New Delhi on Wednesday.

    The Prime Minister’s remarks come in the wake of the worst-ever Maoist attack at Chitangufa in Chhattisgarh on April 6 in which 75 CRPF men and a policeman were killed.

    The Naxalites had also opened fire on five separate CRPF camps in quick succession in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh on Tuesday night.

    Underscoring the fact that Left-wing extremism was flourishing in under-developed areas of the country, Singh asked the civil servants to ensure that no area of the country is denied the benefits of the government’s developmental programmes.

    “But we cannot overlook the fact that many areas in which such extremism flourishes are under-developed and many of the people, mainly poor tribals, who live in these areas have not shared equitably in the fruits of development.

    “It is incumbent upon us to ensure that no area of our country is denied the benefits of our ambitious developmental programmes,” the Prime Minister said.

    He asked them to devise innovative ways and means to harness the tools of information technology and to involve the intended beneficiaries in implementation so that complaints of leakages, corruption and lack of transparency get addressed.

    Singh said that inclusive growth was the centerpiece of the developmental agenda of the UPA and fast economic growth provided the government with the resources to address the problems of poverty, ignorance and disease.

    “Rapid growth will have little meaning, however, unless social and economic inequalities, which still afflict our society, are not eliminated quickly and effectively,” he said.

    The Prime Minister said that despite the global economic slow down, India was able to post a respectable growth of 6.7 percent in 2008-09.

    “The growth rate for 2009-10 is now estimated at 7.2 percent and the forecast for 2010-11 is 8.25 percent,” he said, adding the medium term target set by the government was to return the economy to an annual growth rate of 9 percent. (DD-21.4)
    PM for urgent, considered action to root out Naxalism

    Strategy to tame the Maoists: Do we need systemic changes?

    The massacre at Dantewada is a wake-up call for the entire nation and not just for the police forces that are involved in conducting counter-Maoist operations in Chhattisgarh and other affected states. This is the time for soul-searching, introspection and coming up with a strategy that can effectively deal with this major challenge to the nation.

    The various tactical aspects of the unfortunate incident and the motivations of the Maoists have been well debated. The focus unfortunately is on equipment upgrades, whereas the essential requirement is to change the ethos, training and leadership of the police forces and make them more capable. By focusing on high technology weaponry, we seem to forget the old adage – “it is the man behind the gun and not the gun that matters”. Current weaponry with some technical upgrades is adequate, as in such operation skills are more important than firepower.

    There are six states that are in the grip of militancy. I am intentionally using the word militant (s), as opposed to insurgents or terrorists, for the Maoists are very much part of our polity and have resorted to taking up arms when other methods have not succeeded. They are not in the same category as insurgents and terrorists in J&K and hence need to be treated differently, especially in the case of quantum of force and the manner in which it is applied.

    There has been some talk of deploying the Army to deal with the Maoist militants. This may seem an attractive option, but in actuality it is not. In principle, the Army should not be committed to tackling internal militancy. The Army is meant to fight external aggression, which includes tackling external insurgency. If at all it is to be employed to tackle internal militancy, it should be as the last resort when the police forces of all types have failed. It should also be withdrawn at the earliest opportunity.

    In our country, the instrument of choice for tackling internal militancy and insurgency is the civil police, assisted by the CRPF, which is a component of the Central Police Organisations (CPOs). The police have enormous advantages over the military. They have legitimacy, close knowledge of local conditions, an extensive bank of local intelligence and means of acquiring fresh intelligence, close familiarity with the law and expertise in criminal investigations. Consequently, the use of the state police with the CRPF units superimposed, as at present, needs to continue.

    Over a period of time the country has raised vast numbers of CPO units, but they have unfortunately not been trained well for their primary tasks and there is little bonding among the personnel (including officers) in sub-units and units. The senior hierarchy of the CPOs comprises solely of IPS officers, who have never commanded platoons, companies and battalions. Resultantly, they are unable to appreciate the ground situation and plan operations correctly. As opposed to this, all senior Army officers have risen in rank after serving extensively at the levels of platoons, companies and battalions.

    The major drawbacks of both the state police and the CRPF include the typical police culture of delayed and lethargic responses, lack of adequate training for executing the assigned tasks, lack of competent leadership, lack of some items of technical equipment and not the least their thinking that the Army is always there to take over, as it has done in the past! This attitude needs to be disabused, as it is fraught with a very large number of negatives. The Maoist militancy has not suddenly appeared; it has been a festering concern for decades and yet we have not been able to make these CPO units fit to tackle internal militancy and insurgency. The Central government must take early and active measures to enhance the capabilities of the CPOs while the state governments must do the same for their respective police forces, especially their armed police units.

    For decades now, the Army has repeatedly suggested that both the CPOs and the Army will benefit by lateral induction of trained Army personnel to the CPO units and their headquarters. This has also featured as a strong recommendation by the Sixth Pay Commission. All such recommendations have, however, been summarily rejected by the Home Ministry mainly on account of preserving their turf. Short Service Commissioned Officers, who cannot be retained in the Army after their mandatory service of five years, extendable to 10 in selected cases, are ideal material to be inducted into the CPOs. They are excellent officers, highly competent and well versed in conducting counter-militancy operations.

    Such lateral shifts will give the CPOs ready and well-trained young officers, who with their Army ethos, excellent leadership qualities and professional outlook would change the CPO units from complacent to competent and would make them capable of fighting not just the Maoists but even other insurgents in future.

    There is urgent need to do away with the current compartmentalised existence and take much broader views. Otherwise, we will continue to wallow in the usual copious reports of committees, demands for raising more units, import of sophisticated weapons that are really not needed, the continuing blame-game and so on, but nothing will be done to remove the systemic deficiencies and weaknesses!

    There is also a political aspect that needs to change. The Centre cites the Constitution and says that security is a state subject, thus throwing the ball directly in the state’s court. The states deftly parry with the logic of lack of resources! In some states, the Maoists are even looked at as assets for elections and their violence gets subtly condoned! In addition, when militancy is active in six states, how can each state fight it on its own? Unless there is a joint and concerted attempt simultaneously in all the affected states, nothing is likely to be achieved. The time has come for setting aside the political baggage and getting together for the common cause. Let political expediency be kept aside while the full weight of the nation is used to confront the Maoists.

    The need of the hour is to quickly set up two sets of structures, one for addressing the genuine concerns of the Maoists and the other for the conduct of police operations. The former is the concern of each state government and to varying extent it is already being done, but the latter needs a well-thought-out centralised structure under an overall force headquarters, headed by a DGP-level officer. This headquarters, while maintaining liaison and coordination with each state government, must have autonomy to plan and conduct all counter-militant operations in the entire Maoist-affected areas. The staff must report only to the Force Commander and not to their parent organisations, as is the current practice.

    All counter-militancy operations are of a long duration, but if the structures are correct and adequate attention is paid to removing systemic deficiencies, it would be possible to address both the amelioration of the concerns of the Maoists and the violence unleashed by them.
    The writer is a former Vice-Chief of the Army Staff.
    Strategy to tame the Maoists: Need for systemic changes by Lt-Gen Vijay Oberoi (retd)

    Nightmare 2012: Chinese Special Forces cut off Siliguri corridor

    The article Nightmare 2012: Chinese Special Forces cut off Siliguri corridor: click here is relevant though not entirely.

    India must learn from its history, as pointed out in the article. India was subjugated for centuries as its rulers neglected its armies. Also Indian rulers were not united. Today, though India is one Nation but there are too many political parties and some even amicable towards the Chinese and few towards Pakistan as well!!

    India's Polity and leaders are just not attuned towards National Security. The Bibles of our diplomats do not seem to have any content on Power projection. Our bureaucrats are the biggest road block in our Defence Forces getting modernised and having the weaponry to fight a successful war.

    Every department, may it be Finance, Defence, External Affairs or Home Affairs is busy enlarging its turf. The top leadership is unable to provide required vision and coordinate the National Security effort successfully against internal and external threats.

    No amount of money, DGP will be of use, in case India loses its freedom to act. The Chinese are already in Nepal in a big way. They do not have to paradrop forces in Siliguri Corridor!!

    IESL should start a campaign to high light India's National Security neglect. May God be with Bharat.
    Lt Gen Harbhajan Singh (Retd)

    Dear Chander,
    A very thought provoking article " NIGHTMARE 2012 : CHINESE ......." by Bharat Verma, published in Defence Review ( extracted from SIFY home page , dated 20 .04.2010), is appended below for circulation, if deemed appropriate. Please do read the Cautionary Note at the end of the article.

    2. Following comments of the Author (extracted from the article) are worth noting by all of us and in turn should be highlighted by bringing it to the notice of our Netas & Defence heirarchy--
    " From times immemorial this attracted hordes of invaders from Central Asia. Delhi Durbar was unable to defend itself as it neglected its military. Time and again, the rulers in Delhi were subjugated, as their incompetence in wielding the military was pathological." Once again India is generating vast wealth. Once again it refuses to defend it! Despite historical lessons of defeat at the hands of marauding armies, Delhi Durbar’s incompetence and ignorance in equipping the excellent military machine inherited from the British is again on display." ...
    Bhupal Singh, Veteran
    unmasking China by Bharat Verma IDR Vol 24.3

    A sadistic genii at work to deny Armed Forces of its lawful rights


    The grief and hurt at losing a pure and a great soul still persists, in you at a very personal level, and in the nation substantially even if remotely. At the time of the loss we could not fathom then the reason and purpose but the Divine hand has surreptitiously and in a hidden way slowly started revealing His grand design.

    Unbelievable as it may seem I inexplicably vision you as another Mother Theresa sent here from a far away land to tackle and reduce the kaleidoscopic miseries of India. I am very much older than you and elder to all your cabinet. I therefore take the liberty to send you my blessings in your endeavours.

    In recent months the happiness and cheerfulness I see on your face after decades of sorrow and grief truly reveal my faith in the Divine. I therefore write this to you.

    The nation today is pursuing the path of self destruction. The lackadaisical slow and tardy judicial system has created a law of the jungle pattern of governance. This is fully being exploited by the corrupt politician, the non accountable bureaucracy and the criminal.

    Surprisingly and regrettably and in full awareness of the numerous cracks in our fragile national structure, we have in recent years even started demoralizing our prime saviour, the nation’s military power.

    In recent months the Supreme Court has passed a number of adverse judgments castigating the Government. It even went to the extent of mentioning ‘Don’t treat Army men like beggars’. One needs to identify the sadistic genii whose constant design it has been to deny the Armed Forces their lawful rights. They have time and again appealed against every favourable judgment received by the Armed Forces from the high courts, and taken it up to the Supreme Court and thereafter suffer embarrassment. They by so doing have shamed the government on numerous occasions during the last 6 months at being castigated by the highest court of the land. This attitude has been causing unending avoidable agony to the servicemen and merits serious investigation, correction and punishment of the mala fide decision makers in such serious matters. The veterans have endlessly been so humiliated.

    The nation’s leaders appear to have completely forgotten that their armed forces are their prime and exclusive instrument that upholds a nation’s sovereignty and should therefore constantly receive their sympathy and succor. Our leaders unquestionably appear to have become a prey to the cunningly mischievous ploy being employed that keeping the armed forces down in their pays, promotions and their correct precedence’s, was the best ways to prevent an army take over. You probably are not aware of what Katauliya advised King Chandragupta on soldiers and soldiering two centuries ago. Please read it. It speaks wisdom and in volumes.

    It baffles one to observe that an apolitical Supreme Commander declined to repeatedly meet delegations of eminent and decorated veterans who so very respectfully and peacefully came personally to bring their grievances to the notice of their apolitical Supreme Commander.

    In total disbelief and after being unjustly humiliated, they handed over in grief, their family heirlooms, 30,000 medals of courage and valour, to a junior official of H.E. the Supreme Commander for safe custody. On the last occasion they decided not to be humiliated any further and declined to hand over the additional thousands of medals they had brought, preferring to take them back.

    This was the height of indignity inflicted upon the most valourous national elite of the past six decades who decade after decade had done the nation proud by their selflessness and devotion to their motherland, brought laurels to it in the 1949 J&K war, in the 1965 and of course the 1971 wars with Pakistan; suppressed a number of police mutinies, and came unhesitatingly in aid of civil power to camouflage the grievous and multiple inadequacies of bureaucratic and political governance. They not only upheld India’s security but also ensured that political leaders continued their pursuits from air conditioned sanctuaries and in safety.

    As an anguished citizen it is my business to bring to your notice the fact that the umbilical chord between the veteran and the serving soldier is as strong if not stronger as that of mother and child. The trespass upon one is liable to have a deep impact upon the other and has the latent potential of undesirable consequences.

    It is my hope that the your capable officials who undertake the sieving of citizen’s views before putting up the ‘true facts’ to our decision making top most leaders do not suppress the core of my message and just highlight its peripheral husk.

    I am enclosing self explanatory thoughts of a humble but a proud citizen which shall startle you, so please go through these even at risk of being enlightened about the likelihood of the shroud of shame that the nation may soon be coerced to wear as a stigma of its incompetence.

    I am sending copies of this letter to the Prime Minister, the Finance Minister, the Home Minister, the Defence Minister, the Foreign Minister and the Chiefs of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force.

    With kindest regards and God bless.
    Yours Sincerely
    Maj Gen(Retd)

    Shrimati Sonia Gandhi, Congress President. 10 Janpath, New Delhi 110001
    Copy to
    The Honorable Prime Minister of India, New Delhi 110001
    The Honorable Finance Minister of India, New Delhi 110011.
    The Honorable Home Minister, New Delhi 110011.
    The Honorable Defence Minister, New Delhi 110011.
    The Honorable Foreign Minister, New Delhi 110011.
    The Honorable Chief of the Army Staff, New Delhi 110011.
    The Honorable Chief of the Naval Staff, New Delhi 110011.
    The Honorable Chief of the Air Staff, New Delhi 110011.

    Tuesday, April 20, 2010

    India's next generation defence scam is "Offset Procedure"

    Tuesday, 20 April 2010
    To get an idea of the money at stake here, a recently released CII-KPMG report estimates that India will buy foreign weaponry worth some US $100 billion (Rs 4,50,000 crores) over the next 12 years. Going by this extremely conservative estimate (actual figures could be 50% higher), Indian defence companies will have to anchor at least US $30 billion (Rs 1,35,000 crores) in offsets business by 2022. That averages out to about Rs 11,000 crores every year.

    So how will the skulduggery be structured? Let’s look at a hypothetical offsets tie-up between a hypothetical foreign company --- let’s call it Shipping, Communications and Munitions International, or SCAM International --- and an equally hypothetical small Indian company called 15% Partners. Each year, SCAM International will hand the MoD an offsets compliance certificate, along with a copy of an invoice from 15% Partners, as proof that goods worth US $100 million were manufactured and shipped by the Indian company. Actually, the goods were worth only US $35 million, but both companies had quietly agreed that 15% Partners would hold the excess amount on behalf of SCAM International. The Indian company is entitled to a fee of --- you guessed it --- 15% for its services. That means 15% Partners now has effective custody of US $50 million on behalf of SCAM International.

    Within the MoD there is disquiet; many bureaucrats fear that offset scams will have the potential to end promising careers. But there is little expectation that Defence Minister Antony, with his unblemished record of policy paralysis, will allow clarity to creep in unnoticed. And so bureaucrats are passing the buck. The Department of Defence and the Department of Defence Production are each trying to make the other responsible for offsets, hoping that, when the music stops, they will not be holding the parcel.
    Posted by Broadsword at 06:28
    Read full Potential of SCAM:
    India’s next big scam…by Ajai Shukla: Business Standard, 20th Apr 10

    Soldiers from the Indian Army and U.S. Marines board amphibious assault vehicles for joint training

    Image: 090801-N-0327S-005.jpg The amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18) click here

    Description: Soldiers from the Indian Army and U.S. Marines wait to board amphibious assault vehicles.

    100414-N-6199O-094 PACIFIC OCEAN (April 14, 2010) Soldiers from the Indian Army and U.S. Marines wait to board amphibious assault vehicles in the well deck of the amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18) during a joint exercise off the coast of San Diego. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Gabriel Owens/Released) click here

    Blacklisted STK prepares Indian Field Howitzer- 2000 trials

    New Delhi: With artillery having killed more soldiers during the last century than any other battlefield weapon, the decade-plus delay in equipping the Indian Army with modern artillery guns is widely considered a major procurement lapse. The stop-start-stop process of buying 1,580 towed guns for the Indian Army will effectively restart on Monday when a C-130 Hercules aircraft lands in New Delhi, carrying a 155-millimetre artillery gun for trials this summer.

    This gun, the Indian Field Howitzer-2000 (IFH-2000), developed by Singapore Technologies Kinetics, or STK, is competing for the Indian tender with British company BAE Systems' FH-77B-05, a derivative of the controversial and respected Bofors gun. The lower-profile IFH2000 is the world's first 155mm 52-calibre howitzer, which the Singapore Armed Forces have used for over a decade.

    A 52-calibre howitzer fires heavier shells than older, 39-calibre and 45-calibre guns, inflicting greater punishment on the target. The Indian tender for towed guns specifies that only 52-calibre guns will be evaluated.

    Trials for procuring 155 mm, 52-calibre towed guns began in summer 2002, when the Ministry of Defence (MoD) began evaluating three guns from BAE Systems; Israeli firm, Soltam; and South African company, Denel. Five rounds of trials, conducted in 2002; 2003; 2004; and 2006; reached no conclusion. Denel was blacklisted for corruption in September 2005; the other two guns did not meet the army's standards.

    The trials remain dogged by controversy even after a fresh tender was issued in 2008. Last year, one of the two contenders, STK, was unofficially blacklisted for corruption after the arrest of former Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) chief Sudipta Ghosh. But CBI investigations have made no apparent headway in the past year; not even acharge-sheet has been filed against Sudipta Ghosh. Now, STK has been asked to field its gun for trials.

    STK plans to start preparing for the impending trials by practising firing at the Pokhran ranges using Indian ammunition and a crack gun crew of seven former Indian Army artillerymen, recruited by STK's Indian partner, Punj Lloyd Ltd.

    The BAE Systems gun, too, is in India, having been brought for the Defence Expo in February and for trials scheduled immediately after that. But those trials were postponed when the IFH2000 was damaged in Singapore while being loaded into an aircraft for despatch to India.

    "Punj Lloyd is STK's Indian partner for the 155 mm gun," explains Patrick Choy, STK's international marketing chief. "STK will rely on them for logistics and engineering support during the trials; and if STK is awarded the contract, we will manufacture a substantial part of the gun at Punj Lloyd's facilities near Gwalior." STK's rival in this tender, BAE Systems, has a similar arrangement with its Indian partner, Mahindra & Mahindra. These two companies have formed an Indian joint venture, Defence Land Systems, with Rs 100 crore equity held on a 7426 per cent basis between Mahindra & Mahindra and BAE Systems.

    At stake in the forthcoming trials is an order, worth $1.8 billion (about Rs 8,000 crore), for the outright supply of 400 towed guns; and the licensed production in India of another 1,180 guns. If the MoD imposes even the minimum offset requirement of 30 per cent, that would translate into $540 million (about Rs 2,400 crore) worth of manufacture within India.

    STK and BAE Systems are also vying for a $700-million (over Rs 3,100 crore) contract for 140 ultralight howitzers (ULHs) for Indian mountain divisions.

    Two more artillery purchases are simultaneously in the works: A $800 million (Rs 3,500 crore) order for 100 medium guns, mounted in tracked vehicles, for self-propelled (SP) medium regiments that go into battle with India's strike corps. Another $900 million (Rs 4,000 crore) will buy 180 vehiclemounted guns for more SP regiments.

    The stakes are high for everyone involved. For BAE Systems, this is an opportunity to bury the stigma of the Bofors scandal; for STK, this is a golden opening into the lucrative Indian market; and for the Indian Army, desperately short of artillery firepower, this is a chance to fill a gaping operational void.
    Source: Business Standard
    Singapore gun arrives; stage set for artillery trials

    NCC a solution to manpower shortage in forces: Parliamentary panel

    Thursday, April 15, 2010, 17:57 IST
    New Delhi: With the Army, Navy and Air Force hard-pressed over shortage of officers, a Parliamentary panel today suggested increasing the intake of NCC cadets in the three defence services as a plausible solution to their manpower problem.

    While the Army faces a shortage of 11,456 officers, the Navy and the Air Force suffer a gap of 1,439 and 1,343 officers, respectively.

    "The Committee finds that there is an urgent need to give more attention to the National Cadet Corps (NCC), whose main objective is to groom the youth into disciplined and patriotic citizens...NCC training would definitely help the three services in solving the problem of shortage of officers," the Parliamentary Committee on Defence said in its latest reported tabled in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

    The Army has a sanctioned strength of 46,614 in the officer cadre, while the existing strength is 35,158 officers. The Navy's sanctioned strength of officers is 9,293 and existing strength 7,854. In the IAF, the sanctioned officer cadre strength is 12,183 and borne strength is 10,840.

    The Defence Ministry had informed the committee that it took steps to address the manpower shortage in the three services which included sustained image projection and publicity campaign, participation in career fairs, advertisements in print and electronic media, counselling and motivational talks in schools, colleges and NCC camps.

    The panel felt these steps were in the right direction, but a desired focus on the NCC cadets was not being given.

    "The committee is of the firm view that there is an urgent need to enrol more schools and colleges, both government and private, for NCC," it said, recommending that the Ministry undertake a survey to know the percentage of NCC students who have actually joined the three services.

    The training institutions of the three armed forces -- the National Defence Academy, the Indian Military Academy, the Naval Academy and the Air Force Academy -- have a percentage of seats reserved for NCC 'C' certificate holders and the allotted seats are usually super-subscribed, as NCC cadets join the academies from the general quota also.

    Noting that the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations has had a positive impact by making the armed forces as an attractive career option for the youth, the panel also recommended that the Ministry should consider recruiting retired officers for supervisory jobs, an area where the three services were finding it difficult to get the requisite manpower. PTI
    NCC a solution to manpower shortage in forces: Par panel

    India as a Market: A Times Group Presentation

    Esteemed Friends,
    Here is a very comprehensive presentation on India click here. Worth seeing, sharing and STORING for reference.
    Best wishes.
    Lt Gen Harbhajan Singh (Retd)

    Presentation on India - Times Group
    India and China
    Engines of growth China and India continue to expand with positive implications for the global economy. Significantly, while China and India complement each other in many ways, they also compete with each other in many areas. As India's Finance Minister rightly said, "India has often been compared with China...I invite comparison with China."

  • Rating agency Standard & poor (S&P) has included 8 Indian companies in its annual 'Global Challengers List' of 300 firms, while only 4 Chinese firms were included in the list.
  • India has ousted Taiwan from the second place in the Asia-Pacific private equity rankings with PE deals worth US$ 2,433 million in the first half of 2007, according to Thomson Financial. China has been ranked fifth with deals worth US$ 678.7 million.
  • Indian companies account for 10.5 per cent of the total syndicated loans by BRIC nations, with borrowings of about US$ 8.28 billion till June 2007. This is higher than China's 7.9 per cent or over US$ 6 billion.
  • More than 100 Chinese pharmaceutical manufacturers have lined up major India expansion plans via joint ventures, strategic alliances, research collaborations and wholly-owned subsidiaries.
  • China's automobiles market is double that of India, India leads in terms of exports: China's auto exports -- 340,000 units in 2006 -- were less than half of India's total vehicle export tally of 970,620 units (including two and three wheelers).
  • India and China have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) allowing oil and gas companies of the two countries to engage in mutually beneficial cooperation in acquiring hydrocarbon assets in third world countries without undercutting each other.
  • The Asia-Pacific region is set for a technology boom with China and India leading the pack in terms of information technology: China is expected to account for 32 per cent of the region's technology market in 2007, India makes up 23 per cent, according to International Data Corp.
  • India and China have emerged as the preferred destinations for global retail majors increasingly looking to spread their businesses across the world according to a report titled, '2007 Global Powers of Retailing' by international consultancy firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.
  • India and China's jewellery market will grow to equal the US market by 2015: in the global scenario, China has 8.9 per cent market share and India 8.3 per cent.
  • Driven by high trading volumes for equities and good presence of global banking and financial services firms, Mumbai has secured a place in the world's top ten financial flow hubs list, beating Hong Kong and Beijing in China, according to a survey compiled by Mastercard Worldwide.
  • Despite massive Government support and huge visibility on the global arena, China's software offshoring market has not taken off as expected and still has a long way to become a potential alternative to India, technology research firm Forrester said in a report released in May 2007.
  • GSM operators in India serve 300 per cent more subscribers per mega hertz (MHz) than operators in China, a criterion that reflects growth of a telecom network. Using the same benchmark period of 12 years of existence, Indian GSM operators served 3.36 million subscribers per Mhz by December 2006, while China had served 0.85 million subscribers by December 1999. China had introduced mobile services seven years before India.
  • India topped the global chart for total amount raised through American depository receipts (ADRs) beating China and Taiwan. In 2006, India raised funds worth US$ 2.09 billion while China collected US$ 2.18 billion and Taiwan US$ 1.47 billion through this route.
    India as a Market: The Times Group slideshow presentation
  • Monday, April 19, 2010

    Corps of Signals celebrate centenary

    Rajeev Khanna Tribune News Service Nainital, April 18
    As the sun set in the mountains amid fast blowing winds on Saturday evening, the Central Support Signal Unit’s sport complex came alive with an exhilarating performance by the No. 1 Pipes and Drums Band of the Corps of Signals. The performance was part of the centenary celebrations of the corps coming into existence.

    The band came up with one melodious tune after the other in perfect synchronisation. The ambiance of the mountains all around added to the charm of the event in which Army officers, jawans, their families and several civilian dignitaries had their appetite for good music satiated.

    The performance began with all-time popular military tunes and the bagpipers and the drummers went on to play several popular tunes from Bollywood drawing a thunderous applause every time. The performers were led by Naib Subedar SA Kumbhar.

    The No.1 Band of the corps has an interesting history. It was in 1918 when eight buglers from Corps of Sappers and Miners were selected to form the band.

    Since some of the buglers could play pipes, they were used for playing the instrument from 1921 to 1926.

    The band was originally known as Shehnai Band. It was formally set up in 1927, but the establishment effectively came into being only in 1940.
    Corps of Signals celebrate centenary

    Dehradun: Ex-servicemen stage dharna

    Ex-servicemen hold a protest at the Gandhi Park in Dehradun on Sunday. A Tribune photograph

    Ex-servicemen stage dharna
    Tribune News Service
    Dehradun, April 18
    Members of the Uttarakhand Porav Sainik Evam Ardh Sainik Sangthan held a sit-in at the Gandhi Park here today. The members were protesting against the irregularities committed at the Uttarakhand Poorav Sainik Kalyan Nigam (a government of Uttarakhand undertaking).

    Later they submitted a memorandum addressed to the Chief Minister seeking action against the Managing Director of the undertaking.

    President of the organisation Ganga Singh Rawat said they had even raised the issue with Union State Minister for Labour and Employment Harish Rawat.

    He alleged that the organisation was working against the interest of the ex-servicemen.
    Ex-servicemen stage dharna

    Governor Margaret Alva presents a draft to Vineeta Bisht, wife of commando Gajender Singh Bisht who died in the Mumbai terrorist attack in Dehradun on Sunday. A Tribune photograph

    Martyr’s widow gets Rs 1,80,500
    Tribune News Service
    Dehradun, April 18
    Margaret Alva, Governor, today handed over a draft of Rs 1,80,500 to Vineeta Bisht, widow of NSG commando Gajender Singh Bisht who lost his life in the terrorist attack of Mumbai 26/11.

    A Maharashtra-based newspaper, as a gesture of compensation and support, gave the honorarium to the widow of the deceased. Alva also consoled the family of the martyr and remembered the sacrifice made by the Bisht family. Senior journalist SP Tiwari, Manjul Tiwari, VK Sharma and DK Joshi were also present to pay homage
    Martyr’s widow gets Rs 1,80,500

    Cyber Security: Anthony to Armed Forces

    Defence Minister A.K. Antony interacts with the media after attending the Unified Commanders Conference in New Delhi on Friday. New Delhi, April 16, 2010 Prepare to counter cyber attacks: Antony to Armed Forces PTI

    In the wake of reports of hackers stealing vital data from Indian defence and diplomatic computer networks, Defence Minister A.K. Antony on Friday asked the Armed Forces to coordinate closely with other cyber security agencies to prepare a crisis management action plan against cyber terrorism.

    The minister noted that cyberspace had emerged as an important medium for information sharing, but at the same time the existing technology was susceptible to misuse by anti-social and anti-national elements.

    “Of late, extraordinary and unprecedented cyber crimes have taken place across the globe, exposing gap holes in cyber security systems,” Mr. Antony told the Armed Forces Unified Commanders’ Conference here.

    “Although Defence Services at all levels have taken steps to counter cyber threat through stringent implementation of cyber security policy, there is still a requirement to ensure that all loopholes are suitably plugged. A few recent cases are reminders of our own vulnerabilities,” he said.

    Close interaction with national agencies like Computer and Emergency Response Team (CERT), NTRO, Home and IT Ministries to prepare a crisis management action plan for countering cyber attacks and cyber terrorism is essential, he said inaugurating the conference.

    Minister of State for Defence M.M. Pallam Raju, Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman and IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik, Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma, Army Chief General V.K. Singh, Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar and Chief of Integrated Staff Committee Air Marshal S.C. Mukul were also present on the occasion.

    Expressing happiness over the progress made to improve ties among armed forces in various spheres, Mr. Antony said increasing involvement of Integrated Defence Service headquarters in defence issues, the functioning of Andaman and Nicobar Command and the progress of Strategic Forces Command were a few examples of the success of the inter-operability concept.

    He said the future of optimal military power lay in joint operations.

    “Towards this end, the first-ever Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan for 2012-27 is nearing completion under the aegis of IDS headquarters,” he said.

    Referring to the use of large-scale energy resources in the armed forces and availability of alternative sources of energy, Mr. Antony called upon the top brass to bring about strict energy conservation discipline.

    Regarding the armed forces modernisation, Mr. Antony assured the commanders that there would never be a paucity of funds.

    However, he asked them to control the revenue expenditure by adopting various mechanisms such as increased use of technology, integration of the three Services, adopting joint training and procedures, and uniform inventories.

    The Defence Minister said there also exists considerable scope for improving the quality and efficacy of defence expenditure through increased private sector engagement, import substitution and indigenisation, improvement in procedures and practices and better project management within the parameters of the government’s policies.
    Unified Commanders Conference in New Delhi on Friday: The Hindu

    Indian Army unattractive career for the youth?

    Indian Army- an unattractive career for the youth?

    Major problems
  • The Indian Army is grappling with an acute shortage of officers. Despite the recession, it has been unable to attract more talent and contain their outflow. The army’s sanctioned strength is 46,615 officers, but it has been facing a shortage of 11,238.In 2008, the army was able to take in 1,500 officers – but over 1,800 left the force. The army now faces a shortage of 11,238 officers.
  • India’s army, the world’s fourth largest, is failing to attract enough youngsters with “officer-like qualities” for its 1.13-million strong Army. The authorized strength of Indian Air Force is 12,136, whereas the Indian Navy has an authorized strength of 8,797 officers. Indian Army is facing a massive exodus from its ranks, with more and more officers opting for premature retirement. The problem was aggravated when about 3,000 officers sought premature retirement in the last three years. Most of them moved to the lucrative corporate sector. Inability to retain the trained personnel is a major issue.

    Minor prolems
  • Today’s knowledge-based youth seeks not just superior salaries, but the freedom to retain mobility in the career market.
  • Poor service conditions and the other compensatory packages too make career in Army an unattractive one.

    Innovative strategies to improve talent scouting for army officer positions
  • Today, there is no freedom of mobility in the job market for an army officer. The exit policies are archaic and the officers are akin more to a bonded labour, than a government functionary. The bogey of national security has allowed the military to get away with blatantly illegal and unethical exit policies for its soldiers for a long time. The long-term damage of an exit- barrier ending up as an entry-barrier has not even been considered by the military.
  • The armed forces need to view their splendidly trained officers as national assets rather than bonded labour. It needs to be understood that once a young man weighing various job options knows that he is free to leave the army whenever he wants to, he might well be attracted to getting trained and groomed as a leader in a military institution, if only in the realistic hope that it might enable him to get a better job in the market than he would get after doing simple graduation/post graduation from a university elsewhere. If he chooses to leave after training, the Army should be happy that it has created a quality national asset who will prove his worth somewhere else. That limited, insulated mentality has to be shed to internalize and accept this thought. Though some might leave immediately after training, many will choose to serve as officers for varying lengths of time
  • Presently, cadets passing out from the NDA get a graduation degree. They have to undergo further training in the training institutes of respective services before they become officers, but their academic qualification remains graduation. This additional training period plus an additional year or so of distance education after commissioning should enable all officers to get a post graduate degree in some disciplines. This will not only help increase their self esteem but also equip them to get better jobs and even pursue further studies should they choose to at any time.
  • The SSC acts as the support cadre to the regular cadre, which is twice its strength. A new proposal seeks to reverse the proportion. According to an internal report the shortfall of 11,000 army officers would be bridged in 20 years. The proposal is to take two short service officers for every permanently commissioned officer. This will help make up the shortfall in due course without affecting the promotion aspects caused by the pyramidal structure of the army. The army has sought to make SSC more lucrative by increasing the number of serving years from five to 10.
  • Another proposal is to give them a two-year study leave at the end of their service to help them find a better second career option.
  • Another probable reason for the Armed Forces not getting the right type of youth for their officer cadre is that youth from rural background and less developed states like UP and Bihar are not able to qualify in the selection process it being very scientific and tough. Instead of waiting for end product in these areas, the Armed Forces may identify the potential candidates when the students are in Eighth standard through the medium of National Cadet Corps and then groom them to come up to the right standards. These young minds should be taken to various remote areas where Army is deployed on adventure trips and made to see for themselves how the love for the country and adventure makes the adrenaline flow faster in the blood stream. Here, NCC can play a stellar role.
  • Remove stagnation at the middle level and thus improve promotion opportunities of the officers, close to that of civil and police services; After entering the army, an entry level officer must wait up to 10 years before donning the flashes of a lieutenant-colonel. Improve opportunities for officers and men to be able to spend more time with their families; re-establish social status and warrant of precedence of the armed force officers at the centre and state levels; compensate adequately the increased level of personal risk and hardships in the field areas; bridge salary and compensation gap between the private sector and government services, to the extent possible.
  • The Armed Forces will have to emulate the big IT companies and set up their own training academies— take the relatively rougher diamonds and polish them in-house. In other words, instead of trying to look for people with “officer-like qualities”, the Armed Forces will need to create them.
    Posted by Nimmy on April 12, 2010
    Read the full dicussion:
    Indian Army -an unattractive career for the youth?
  • IPL Cricket sports show of shady sleaze

    IPL misusing Indian passion for cricket, says Yechury by Staff Reporter The Hindu

    It has nothing to do with the game; actually being used as a backdrop for shady ventures. Seeks probe into source of IPL funds and where they were going. Actual role of media as the Fourth Estate relegated to the backseat.

    ALAPPUZHA: Communist Party of India (Marxist) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury on Sunday said the Indian Premier League (IPL) had nothing to do with cricket and that it was misusing the Indian passion for cricket.

    Inaugurating a symposium on ‘EMS and the Media,' held in connection with the birth centenary of the former Chief Minister, E.M.S. Namboodiripad, here on Sunday, Mr. Yechury said the IPL was actually being used as a backdrop for shady ventures that ran into thousands of crores of rupees. The source of IPL funds and where they were going had to be probed thoroughly, he said.

    Crucial role
    With the media too playing a crucial role in the mounting of the IPL spectacle, it was essential to find the source of such money, particularly at a time when the common man was finding it tough to find food and to tackle rising prices.

    On Union Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor's alleged involvement in the controversy, Mr. Yechury said Mr. Tharoor, if he genuinely had Kerala's interests at heart, should have fought for the Kochi Metro Rail project or for rectifying the below poverty line (BPL)-above poverty line (APL) categorisation imbroglio in the State.

    Earlier, terming EMS a master communicator who was never afraid of controversies and even generated them to mobilise people on various issues, Mr. Yechury said there was no person like him in contemporary Indian politics.

    Power of media
    EMS believed in the power of the media to mould people's consciousness and to elevate people's thoughts. He was the staunchest defender of freedom of expression and the media. However, the post-EMS era was witnessing a distortion of responsibility of the media to make the judiciary, executive and legislature accountable and to raise issues that they ignored. This was mainly happening through globalisation-fuelled trends for maximisation of profits, he said.

    Lucrative institution
    With the media turning into a lucrative institution and trends like commercialisation and paid news setting in, the actual role of being the Fourth Estate was relegated to the backseat. Cautioning against agenda-driven media attempts to manufacture people's consent, Mr. Yechury said this was dangerous because people were deprived of their right to know the truth. Parliamentary democracy would be undermined and democracy itself would be restricted to the rich.

    Calling for the media too to be part of the solution, which had to be evolved through discussions with the people and the political process, he said the right form of regulation of media too had to be evolved through debate.
    IPL misusing Indian passion for cricket, says Yechury

    Tehelka Scoop of the Money Spinners
    Mr Big Deal: Financial whiz, cut-throat tycoon, or failed scion with a point to prove? Lalit Modi is making the cricket world both rave and rant. Rahul Bhatia digs out his turf

    BJP scores a sixer
    Senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi told reporters in Kolkata, "The Centre should investigate the entire IPL issue but before that, Tharoor should resign. If he does not resign, he should be sacked."

    The BJP leader said the IPL scam had demonstrated how political leaders and businessmen were manipulating the bids by cricket teams.

    "This is a serious issue which involves ministers and officials. At a time when the country was facing price rise, Maoist problem and terror threat, they are busy converting IPL into an agency for looting public money. Tharoor is a small fry. There are many other players. A correct picture should be presented before the people," Joshi said.

    Indian legal tangle a blast from the past

    Why should the 50% of military recruits be given a special weightage? Should not all entrants into the DSS (Deputy Superintending Surveyor) be treated alike without being afforded a handicap in the race? We see no difficulty in upholding this weightage, once we accept the reality that the military portion of the Survey is a compelling factor for national defence. We hold, on a study of the materials already adverted to, that sans they army engineers the Survey of India will become a functional failure in discharging its paramount duties in times of war and in spells of peace, defence spreads beyond hot war or cold war and sustains the sense of security by a state of ever readiness. There is enough literature to establish that the work done by the army wing of the Survey is far too important to be played with and such work is best done by that wing. The military recruits, as has been already observed, are commissioned officers with 3 to 6 years of service. They have a certain salary scale and period of service when they are baptised into the Survey of India. Giving due weight to these factors, Rule 5 lays down the criteria for seniority as between the military sector of recruits and the civilian counter-parts. What needs to be appreciated is that for the very efficiency of the Survey of India, a substantial army element is structurally essential. Army engineers are invited into this Service not because this department historically belonged to the Defence Forces but because it cannot minister to one of the major objectives of its creation if it does not have engineers with military training, aptitude, courage, discipline and dare-devilry in hours of crisis. The necessity of the Survey, not opportunity to the armymen, has determined the need to attract and, therefore, to allot a quota in the upper echelons, viz., Class I, for military engineers. This, in turn, has desiderated the offer of reasonable terms and conditions for army men to join the Survey of India. The military engineers belong to the Corps of Engineers. They are commissioned officers with service of 3 to 6 years before coming into the Survey which needs, not raw engineers, but men with some experience. They have prospects and scales of pay in the Defence Department. Why should they look at the Survey if on entry they are to lose their commissioned service and begin the rat race with civilian freshers? Why should they suffer pay cut by walking into the Survey of India? It is, therefore, fairly intelligible and basically equitable to allow military engineers credit for commissioned service and protection of already earned higher salaries. The reasoning is simple. The functional compulsions of the Survey of India require army engineers to be inducted, say half its Class I strength. These engineering officers have to possess some years of experience. How, then, can they be attracted into the Survey except by assuring them what they were enjoying in their existing service, viz., credit for the years under commission in reckoning seniority and fitment of their salary at a point in the scale of Class I officers so that, by way of personal pay or otherwise, a cut may be obviated. This is not discrimination or favoured treatment but justice to those whom, of necessity, you want and must, therefore, pay what they were being paid in the Army and give service credit for the years on commission because you need men with specified years of commissioned service. To equate them with unequal civilian freshers is precisely the Procrustean exercise which is unconstitutional equality anathematised by Article 14."
    Posted by Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh at 4:54 AM 16 comments

    False statements are made by the Union of India by misleading their own counsel and then unethical appeals are filed if the case still goes against the Govt. The observations of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Urban Improvement Trust Bikaner Vs Mohan Lal on 30 October 2009 were apt :

    “It is a matter of concern that such frivolous and unjust litigation by governments and statutory authorities are on the increase. Statutory Authorities exist to discharge statutory functions in public interest. They should be responsible litigants. They cannot raise frivolous and unjust objections, nor act in a callous and highhanded manner. They cannot behave like some private litigants with profiteering motives. Nor can they resort to unjust enrichment. They are expected to show remorse or regret when their officers act negligently or in an overbearing manner. When glaring wrong acts by their officers are brought to their notice, for which there is no explanation or excuse, the least that is expected is restitution/restoration to the extent possible with appropriate compensation. Their harsh attitude in regard to genuine grievances of the public and their indulgence in unwarranted litigation requires to be corrected. This Court has repeatedly expressed the view that the governments and statutory authorities should be model or ideal litigants and should not put forth false, frivolous, vexatious, technical (but unjust) contentions to obstruct the path of justice”

    Even way back in 1973, the Hon’ble Supreme Court had this to say in Dilbagh Jarry Vs UOI while quoting the Kerala High Court :

    “The State, under our Constitution, undertakes economic activities in a vast and widening public sector and inevitably gets involved in disputes with private individuals. But it must be remembered that the State is no ordinary party trying to win a case against one of its own citizens by hook or by crook; for the State’s interest is to meet honest claims, vindicate a substantial defence and never to score a technical point or overreach a weaker party to avoid a just liability or secure an unfair advantage, simply because legal devices provide such an opportunity. The State is a virtuous litigant and looks with unconcern on immoral forensic successes so that if on the merits the case is weak, government shows a willingness to settle the dispute regardless of prestige and other lesser motivations which move private parties to fight in court. The lay-out on litigation costs and executive time by the State and its agencies is so staggering these days because of the large amount of litigation in which it is involved that a positive and wholesome policy of cutting back on the volume of law suits by the twin methods of not being tempted into forensic show-downs where a reasonable adjustment is feasible and ever offering to extinguish a pending proceeding on just terms, giving the legal mentors of government some initiative and authority in this behalf. I am not indulging in any judicial homily but only echoing the dynamic national policy on State litigation evolved at a Conference of Law Ministers of India way back in 1957.”

    That was 1973, this is 2010, but sadly, the story remains the same. Mr Moily, are you there???
    Posted by Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh


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