Saturday, October 30, 2010

Kashmir's Faultlines: Is the Army Demonised?

Kashmir’s faultlines September 29th, 2010
By S.K. Sinha , DC Correspondent
The Kashmir Valley has been burning for three months. Over 100 stone-pelting youth have got killed. Thanks to a governance deficit, both in Srinagar and Delhi, the situation appears out of control.

Zia-ul-Haq Islamised Pakistan and this spread to Kashmir. In 1990 there was ethnic cleansing of over three lakh Kashmiri Pandits and several dozen Hindu temples were destroyed, but the plight of Kashmiri Pandits was glossed over and there was a virtual blackout of information about the vandalising of dozens of temples. In 2007, to appease the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the government took the bizarre decision of providing money for the families of terrorists killed in encounters with security forces. This does not happen elsewhere in India or anywhere else in the world.

To appease the National Conference (NC), the government is now considering its demand for autonomy — the Supreme Court, the Election Commission and the Comptroller and Auditor General would not have any jurisdiction in Kashmir, there would be an elected governor from the state and no Central services, like IAS and IPS. The PDP, under the garb of self-rule, wants dual currency and a joint state legislature with Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) in Kashmir. Perhaps then the “misguided” young boys in terrorist camps in PoK would also be allowed to return. All this will severely undermine India’s sovereignty in Kashmir...

The Army is being constantly demonised for human rights violations when its record is far superior to that of the US Army in Iraq and Afghanistan or the Pakistan Army in Baluchistan and Waziristan. Unlike them, we have never used airstrikes or artillery against militants in Kashmir. The Army has been prompt in action against human rights violators. Over the years, 1,514 cases against the Army were reported of which 1,470 were found to be false. Action was taken against 70 individuals, dismissing them from service and awarding imprisonment from two to 14 years. India has also been humane in dealing with secessionist leaders. Mr Syed Ali Shah Geelani, the veteran secessionist leader, suffering from cancer, was refused a visa by the US for medical treatment because of his terrorist connections. He went to Mumbai where Dr Sameer Kaul, a Kashmiri Pandit, operated on him, treating him with competence. On return to Srinagar, Mr Geelani said India is in illegal occupation of Kashmir and the international community should impose economic sanctions against her.

Gen. Musharraf ordered airstrikes in Baluchistan on the hideout of the veteran leader Akbar Bugti, who was killed. In Kashmir, instead of tough action, periodic troop withdrawals have taken place. Now there is talk of amending or scrapping the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. This brings to mind what Winston Churchill said: “An appeaser is one who feeds the crocodile, hoping that it will eat him last.”

The writ of the state must run in the Valley forthwith and further communalisation checked. Without curbing the freedom of the press, we should ensure that the media does not act as the mouthpiece of the secessionists. The law on sedition must be enforced. Among Kashmiri Muslims, not all are secessionists, but those who are need to be politically isolated from the rest. A political solution acceptable to all should be evolved through dialogue but this must be strictly within the framework of the Indian Constitution.

- The author, a retired lieutenant-general, was Vice-Chief of Army Staff and has served as governor of Assam and Jammu and Kashmir.
Extracted: Kashmir's Faullines: Deccan Chronicle

A Giant Leap into history: Col Verma Jumps 475 ft Tower

Daredevilry: Armyman dives from 475-ft TV tower in Delhi
A giant leap into history
Kalyan Ray, New Delhi, October 29, DHNS:

India witnessed its first BASE jumping here on Friday when an Army Signals officer dived from a 475-ft television tower in west Delhi creating a history.

BASE jumping is a new form of a risky adventure sport in which divers undertake a free fall from tall buildings, antennas, spans (bridge) and earth (cliff). The jump involves using a specialised parachute, manufactured to ensure faster and more reliable opening.

After the successful jump on Friday morning, Lt Col Satyendra Verma said: “It was a thrill — nothing more, nothing less. When you jump, you forget everything. But it involves right preparation, and when preparations are right, nothing will go wrong.”
Read More: Daredevilry: Armyman dives from 475-ft TV tower in Delhi- A giant leap into history

16th Asian Games Portal and Schedule of Events

The Official website of the 16th Asian Games
Indian Contingent at Asian Games 2010- Click here
Asian Games flame visits Zhaoqing
Zhaoqing, famous for the Duan Inkstone, became the 14th city in Guangdong Province to welcome the flame of the 2010 Asian Games on Friday (October 29). Eighty torchbearers took party in the relay.
  • Asiad Torch Relay held in Qingyuan[2010-10-28]
  • 250 Chinese paintings to promote 16th Asian Games[2010-10-28]
  • Tickets of 1st and 2nd stage of Asiad can be received late Oct.[2010-10-28]
  • Asian Games Town under final review before Monday opening[2010-10-28]
  • Draw results of Squash of 16th Asian Games[2010-10-27]
  • Cocachin ready for visits nearby Asian Games Town during Games-time[2010-10-27]
  • Aoti Tennis Centre well on track to welcome tennis players[2010-10-26]
  • Third stage of Asian Games' ticket sale operates steadily[2010-10-25]
  • Draw results of Billiard Sports of 16th Asian Games[2010-10-24]
    Asian Games flame visits Zhaoqing

    General Competition Schedule for the 16th Asian Games V1.6

    Abhay Chautala named India's chef-de-mission for Asian Games
    Press Trust Of India
    New Delhi, October 27, 2010
    Indian Boxing Federation President Abhay Singh Chautala on Wednesday was appointed the chef-de-mission of the country's contingent for next month's Asian Games in China. "Mr Abhay Singh Chautala, Vice-President of the Indian Olympic Association and President of the Indian Boxing Federation, will be the Chef-de-Mission of the Indian contingent at the Asian Games," the IOA said in a statement.
    The Asian Games are scheduled to be held from November 12 to 27 in the city of Guangzhou.
    Abhay Chautala named India's chef-de-mission for Asian Games
  • Toll Free Helpline will enable ESM resolve issues

    PIB: Friday, October 29, 2010 15:11 IST
    The National Consumer Helpline (NCH) has recorded 6887 calls during September 2010. The maximum number of calls were received from Delhi followed by Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana and Rajasthan. Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh have recorded an increase in complaints.
    Break-up of calls in respect of top five States is as under:

    Of the total calls/complaints, 18.67% relate to telecom sector. Other sectors/areas on which calls were received include banking (6.65%), insurance (4.10%) and LPG (4.10%).
    As per feedback received from the callers, 329 complaints were resolved.
    Consumers from across the country can access the toll free National Consumer Help Line No. 1800-11-4000 and seek telephonic counseling for consumer related problems faced by them. The Consumer Helpline which was launched in March, 2005 is instrumental in guiding consumers and resolving their problems. MP:SB:CP:helpline (29.10.2010)
    Statistics National Consumer Helpline

    Friday, October 29, 2010

    OROP Pricks Political Parties

    Ref: In response to HKL Anand's letter click here
    Dear Friends,
    You all are well familiar of with Capt Davar, ex Armoured Corps, of the Ex-servicemen Cell of the Congress Party of India.
    You all very kindly advised him what you thought of him.

    Below I reproduce an email from Lt Col HKL Anand, of Signals, again a member of the Ex-servicemen Cell of the Congress Party of India.
    Please do appreciate his hard work in drafting the email below in an appropriate manner.
    Email ID of Lt Col HKL Anand is -
    I am also reproducing statement of by Shree Tewari click here, spokes-peron of Congress Party, which he made during the election campaign in Punjab, in March 2009.
    It should be very clear to you all as to what is the aim of all these Ex-servicemen Cells of various political parties, –
    ये सब एक ही थाली के चट्टे बट्टे हैं
    In service of Indian Military Veterans
    Chander Kamboj.

    Dear Col Anand,
    You have gone to great length and spent considerable time and effort at a riposte' to Gen Satbir's letter.
    I have no intention to match up to your marathon effort, but wish to make two points.
    Your assumption that anyone is transgressing the Chief's turf, is mistaken. Opinions and impressions are always expressed by even veteran cricketers on matters the coach/ captain have responsibility over. A defence veteran's linkage with the services is far more stronger, familial and personal. So, to question the right of a fellow veteran to do things a sect feels strongly about, is not correct on your part. In the context of ESM particularly (say ECHS services), a veteran is actually more knowledgeable about where the shoe pinches. Its a path that's not yet been walked by the serving.
    Your mail reminds me of the fisherman who educated a fellow oarsman that one does not need covers for a crab basket. As soon as a crab tries to climb out, the others reach out and pull him back. We ESM are likely to remain in our baskets, because of this.
    "Dignity" you quote as the reason Pallam Raju feels ESM must not be protesting. He had actually said this on 27 May, during our second rally at India Gate, to which we had countered by asking if by same yardstick he was implying that Mahatma Gandhi and so many of our national leaders were also lacking in dignity, since they have resorted to same? A protest is a legitimate civilian method of protest. At least we were not chucking chappals, a la Parliament/ Legislative assemblies !! OR burning buses.
    Last, although there is ample I differ over, is my (our) request. PBOR is an insulting term to JCOs who are also Officers........though Junior Commissioned. We have made do with Offrs, JCO and OR, which is just ONE letter more than Offrs and PBOR. Even if saving ink was the reason for this cryptic and insulting abbreviation, and irrespective of WHO (you quote many examples why We ourselves are at times responsible for our miseries- I agree), is responsible, let us at least change that. More so, since the civil services (babus if you please), aggressively call even the lowest ranks 'Officers'. Day is not far when a JCO or NCO may be put to disadvantage due to this.
    My recommendation is, cool it Sir, and let us stop pretending that all is well. Chiefs, ESM organization heads like you.............all of us, have a common problem and should rightly be on converging lines. And if you don't agree to some methodology, don't join in. Do your own thing. And let us know, so we may join the effort, rather than be critical and opposing. The last, obviously IS the reason we are where we are.
    With Warm Regards,
    Col RP Chaturvedi,

    Dear All
    What Lt Col Anand has said is the parroted version of the bureaucracy and he, on behalf of bureaucracy, is trying to create a wedge among ESM. If he is so happy with his existing status let him be happy. I am sure his conscience would not permit him to accept the arrears for rank pay and OROP, whenever they come because of the fight of all ESM organisations.
    We would like to see you refusing the arrears!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Col Anand!!!!!!!!!!
    May God bless you.
    Gp Capt VK Gandhi VSM
    Gen Sec IESM

    Base Jump as part of Army Adventure

    Colonel Satyendra Verma of the Army Signal Corps jumped from 450-ft level at the Pitampura TV tower in Delhi in a first such 'legal' jump attempted from a building, bridge or tower in the country. The event was a part of the Army Adventure Cell's celebration to mark 100 years of the Corps of Signals.
    Click Link for Video Clip: Base Jump by Col Verma of Corps of Signals

    Indian Army Desperate to Modernise

    THE HINDU, OCTOBER 27, 2010
    Indian Army-Desperate to re-order and modernise
    Rahul Bedi
    A large number of military officers concur that the Indian army, with an inordinately high teeth-to-tail ratio, faces a serious crisis of confidence.
    An alarming rise in the number of Indian military officers charged with corruption, senior ranks quitting due to frustrating service conditions, and increasing instances of ‘fragging' in which disgruntled soldiers shoot dead their seniors, are severely damaging the image of the country's defence forces.
    Few want to join the once-favoured military with the shortage of officers in the army never having fallen below 11,000 for over a decade against a sanctioned strength of 46,615 personnel. The navy and the air force too face officer shortage but it is not as severe as in the 1.2 million strong army.
    Senior defence officials cite expanding employment opportunities as the reason behind the shortage. But serving and retired officers say this is only part of the cause. The Services too have to take responsibility for lowering the military's image and overall standing in the country's order of precedence and preference, they point out.
    “Standards and values have changed for the worse and the army is not impervious to the overall environment,” admits a retired Lieutenant General. Like the rest of society, India's military too is in the turbulent and unsettling throes of transition, he adds.
    Serving army officers say the ‘rot' in service ethics has been steadily creeping into the Services. Till the 1980s, military officers were considered upright men, respected in society and eagerly sought after by parents as suitable match for their daughters. Retired military men talk nostalgically of the days when a mere note from the commanding officer on behalf of a jawan to the local authorities back in his village carried weight.
    Those were the times when the esprit d' corps in the apolitical service was strong and invitations to riotous, albeit swinging, regimental officers' messes were much sought after. Salaries were low but the lifestyle was lavish in what was largely a gentleman's army.
    Many officers were, in reality, eager boys trapped inside adult bodies seeking to indulge in passions like shikar, riding, polo and outdoor living and danger at state expense as expansive colonial traditions made military service not only respectable but attractive. From Independence till the third war with Pakistan in 1971, there was ample opportunity for such expansiveness.
    And it was adequately vindicated, except for the disastrous 1962 war with China in which India came off badly. But in this instance, it was widely acknowledged that it was the political and not the military establishment that forced ignominy upon the country.
    The flamboyance, bravery and tactical brilliance of all ranks in the three wars with Pakistan are well recorded and the subject of study in combat institutions around the world. It is rarely acknowledged even at home that in 1971, the Indian army single-handedly achieved what even the United States with all its mite and technical wizardry has not managed since World War II — it liberated a nation.
    Politics was rarely, if at all, discussed by officers who, if passed over for promotion, retired gracefully, confident of their status in society. Promotions, the bane of the Services today, were merit-based and, by and large, fair with undeserving candidates, adhering to the Peter Principle and rarely ever crossing their limits of incompetence.
    Army chiefs and senior commanders brooked no political interference in operational matters and were listened to with respect by the establishment. Asked by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to move into East Pakistan — later Bangladesh — in early 1971, General Sam Manekshaw — later Field Marshal — firmly told her that it would take at least 10 months before his force would be ready for combat.
    “That” he declared, referring to Indira Gandhi's scheme of launching operations earlier “would present me with problems far more complex than what had been the bane of the German general staff for more than 50 years across two world wars. It would be unwise to rely on diplomatic assurances that the Chinese would not react in support of Pakistan. We must wait for the snow to block the northern passes.” Indira Gandhi listened and Bangladesh came into being in December that year.
    In short, the olive green uniform enjoyed an exalted status it was soon to lose. Its professionalism and apolitical stance began to slowly unravel after the Third Pay Commission in the late 1970s when officer ranks were diluted, ostensibly to enhance career prospects, but their responsibilities reduced in inverse proportion to their promotions.
    Periodic cadre reviews further led to a lopsided rank structure creating a situation where Lieutenant Generals among the seniormost army officers, and their equivalents in the navy and the air force, discharged duties previously performed by middle-ranking Colonels and half-colonels and similar ranks in the other two services.
    Currently there are over 900 Brigadiers, some 290 Major Generals and 85-odd Lieutenant Generals, roughly around a third of who were replaced every two-three years due to retirement, promotion and other reasons.
    Pressure on promotions in the pyramid-like structure also meant that most served between 12-18 months in these higher ranks leaving them little time to effect any meaningful change in the overall command and control structure.
    The cadre re-assessment was the moment for which politicians and civil servants had long been waiting. Having always looked upon the military with suspicion after independence and gazing nervously at Pakistan's experience, they were simply waiting for an opportunity to gain ascendancy over the Services.
    Incidentally, this inherent misgiving and fear of the military persists, adversely manifesting itself in the non-appointment of a Chief of Defence staff, despite ministerial commissions and review and parliamentary committees stressing the need for such an officer in a nuclear weapon state and for an expanding military power with possible out-of-area responsibilities.
    Sadly, many senior officers actively contributed to this negative state of affairs by seeking political and bureaucratic patronage for career enhancement whilst in service and for lucrative sinecures after retirement. Consequently, over years the military's standing deteriorated, reaching the unbelievable stage where it was selectively included in the “security loop.”
    The Service chiefs, for instance, were told about the multiple 1998 Shakti tests at Pokhran just hours before they occurred; and that too as insurance against any “adverse reaction” from neighbouring Pakistan. In the intervening period thereafter, the military has been dealt a limited hand in maintaining India's strategic deterrence.
    In another shocker, the military, particularly the army, was also unaware of India's cache of chemical weapons stored at various Defence Research and Development Organisation laboratories across the country that were destroyed under the global Chemicals Weapon Convention some years ago.
    In conclusion, a large number of military officers concur that India's Mughal-like army, with an inordinately high teeth-to-tail ratio, faces a serious crisis of confidence which simply refuses to abate even as it is increasingly employed not only in counter-insurgency operations, flood and drought relief but also to battle mosquitoes threatening the Commonwealth Games athletes' village.
    For, besides struggling against the slew of corruption charges, lopsided promotions and un-equitable pensions, the military also faces ad hoc equipping policies determined and dominated by ill-informed politicians and civil servants, as it grapples desperately to reorder and modernise itself within a nuclear weapon state. But that, as they say, is a far longer and complex saga.
    (Rahul Bedi is New Delhi-based defence analyst.)
    Indian Army-Desperate to re-order and modernise

    Army in a dilemma: Genuine marriage or a ploy to quit the Army

    Date : Oct 27th, 2010
    Major Yogesh Chandra Madhav Sayankar is set to exchange wedding vows with an Indian-origin American girl on December 10, but the marriage will only take place only if his employer — Indian Army — “expeditiously” deals with his application, the Bombay High Court has said.

    An armyman needs permission if he wants to marry a foreign citizen. Sayankar had moved the High Court, as permission from the army was not forthcoming after he applied in March. But due to complexity of his case, and army rules, even a sympathetic division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Dhananjay Chandrachud could do little.

    The court disposed of his case, saying that army should treat his original application seeking permission to marry as an application seeking permission to quit the service, and decide it “preferably” within six weeks.

    According to rules, an armyman can marry a foreign citizen, provided the spouse undertakes to become Indian citizen.But in Sayankar’s case, his fiance Shruti is not ready to give up her US citizenship.Army, on the other hand, was not ready to relax its rules.

    “These rules concern national security,” pleaded its lawyer, advocate Gauri Godse.Sayankar’s application to army in March sought permission to marry, as well as to quit the service as his fiance was not ready to give up her US citizenship.

    But the army’s lawyer said that even permission to quit the service prematurely — after six years’ service — cannot be granted automatically under the rule he had relied on. ”What if after being released from service he doesn’t marry her? This is back-door way of exiting army,” she said.

    But judges then pointed out another rule that allows a serviceman to seek premature retirement on the ground that he/she is going to marry a foreign citizen. But in such a case, if allowed to quit, he/she can be asked to pay the expenses incurred on army training.

    Sayankar’s lawyer said that he was ready to pay up. The judges then disposed of the petition, asking army to treat his March application under this provision. The judges also said that army “will consider”, while deciding on his resignation, that his fiance was born in India, to Indian parents, and went to the US only following her father’s death in an accident.
    No relief for Major who is set to marry US girl

    RTI Logo & Portal Launched

    PIB: Thursday, October 28, 2010
    The Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Shri Prithviraj Chavan launched the Logo on RTI and the RTI portal today in the presence of Shri. A N. Tiwari, Chief Information Commission and Shri. Shantanu Consul, Secretary, DoPT.

    It is a simple and iconic logo depicting a sheet of paper with information on it, and the public authority – providing the information. This represents people’s empowerment through transfer and accountability in Governance. The logo’s shape and structure make it easy to remember, recall and replicate with minimal distortion.

    In the last five years the RTI regime has heralded a regime of transparency and accountability and strengthened the democratic structure of the country. Success stories of citizens using the RTI Act abound. The Act has achieved great success in empowering the citizens of India. However it was felt that the core values of the RTI regime – Empowerment, Transparency and Accountability- need to be given a shape in the form of a logo. The logo would be displayed at all public authorities and will be used in various communications related to RTI.

    The Right to Information Portal – A Gateway on RTI – was also formally launched on this occasion. The portal is one stop knowledge bank for information seekers, information providers, trainers, Information Commissions, students and academicians. It provides for a digital library, discussion fora, e- newsletter and a blog. Latest judgments of the High Courts and Information Commissions; reports, articles, guides, manuals, handbooks for various stakeholders; online certificate course are also available on this portal. There is facility for stakeholders to interact through dedicated and open discussion forum and register as resource persons. The web URL for the Portal is
    RTI Logo & Portal Launched
    RTI Portal

    Bureaucrats confuse the RM: MOD doubts ownership of Defence Land

    The Hindu NEW DELHI, October 29, 2010
    Defence Minister A.K. Antony has directed the Army and the Navy to ascertain facts about the ownership rights of the land of the Adarsh Housing Society in Mumbai and whether, at any time, the plot was a defence land.

    Concerned about the developments in the wake of an alleged scam, the Minister asked the two Services to inform whether the high-rise structure that has come on the land in Colaba area casts a shadow on national security, sources in the Ministry said.

    On Monday, Mr. Antony said the Ministry was seized of the issue and examining the report seriously. The sources, said the decision was taken after a meeting on the issue.

    Replies from the Army and the Navy, would form the basis on the kind of action the Ministry could take, the sources said adding that if necessary investigations could be outsourced.

    The Minister is keen that the two Services expedite the replies considering that the winter session of Parliament is scheduled to start on November 9. The government anticipates that the issue would figure in the coming session. At the same time, the Ministry is conscious that an earlier response in 2003 did not reflect the correct picture and this time it wants to make sure that the replies from the Army and the Navy get a closer examination.
    Mumbai land ‘scam': Antony wants facts ascertained

    Ashok Chavan's Mother in Law in the fray?
    Mumbai: How did a plot of land in Mumbai set aside for war widows and veterans morph into a 31-storey building with flats for politicians, bureaucrats and former army chiefs?
    A trio of inquiries - by the Army, the CBI and the Environment Ministry - is trying to uncover that mystery. The high rise - the Adarsh Society - has been built in prime property in Colaba in Mumbai. Its flats were sold at a fraction of market prices for this part of the city.
    The CBI is now examining who signed off on environmental and other clearances...
    Read more at:
    NDTV: Adarsh society flat for Ashok Chavan's mother-in-law?

    OROP: Political Promise or a Prank

    Dear Chander,
    I was scrolling through old e-mails and I noticed the e-mail of Lokesh Batra, circulated through RMS e-mail 225/2009 of 16 Mar 2009, in which Lokesh had appended the news item published Punjab Newsline on 14 Mar 2009, wherein Tiwari ( Congress spokesperson ) had stated his views about OROP. I am reproducing it as below. The views of Tiwari ( Congress spokes person ) expressed in this e-mail are at variance with his views expressed during the debate on TV channel. This may be brought to the notice of Tiwari as well as others as deemed appropriate and Tiwari asked to clarify his stand.
    With regards,
    Bhupal Singh, Veteran

    Tewari advocates one rank one pension for ex servicemen
    Punjab Newsline Network
    Saturday, 14 March 2009
    LUDHIANA: The national spokesperson of the All India Congress Committee, Manish Tewari has advocated the one rank one pension scheme for the ex servicemen across the country.

    In a statement issued here Saturday, Tewari said, he and his party were working out a comprehensive package for the ex servicemen with one rank one pension as the main focus. He said, although the one rank one pension scheme had been implemented till 1986, it is being extended to include all the exservicemen.

    Referring to some reports claiming that he was not in favour of one rank one pension, Tewari clarified that these were absolutely false and baseless. He asserted, “the issue of my opposition to the one rank one pension does not arise as me and my party have always held the view that all the exservicemen should be governed by this policy”.

    Tewari promised that once the Congress government is formed at the centre after the general elections, implementation of one rank one pension scheme would be his top priority as he believed that this was quite a justified demand.
    Tewari advocates one rank one pension for ex servicemen

    Thursday, October 28, 2010

    Defence Veterans Vision – 2025 Their Role in Nation Building and National Security

    Seminar on “Defence Veterans Vision – 2025 Their Role in Nation Building and National Security”
    Dear all,
    1. Further to our email dt 25 Oct 2010.
    2. We are happy to inform you that the Bust of Late Field Marshal K M Cariappa OBE was installed in the premises of the IESL HQs on 22nd Oct 2010. It was unveiled by Hon’ble Raksha Rajya Mantri, Dr. M M Pallam Raju in the presence of Senior Veterans from all the three Services.
    3. Following the inauguration, a Seminar on “Defence Veterans Vision – 2025 Their Role in Nation Building and National Security” was conducted in the presence of RRM. Some of the critical concerns of Defence Veterans community was included in his welcome address by Brig R K S Gulia, President, IESL.
    4. Col H N Handa gave a presentation on “Issues pertaining to Disabled Soldiers (including Long & Short term). “Problems pertaining to Family Pension” was also covered during the Seminar. This was followed by a Presentation by Lt Gen B S Pawar, PVSM, AVSM on “Role of Military Veterans in Nation Building”.
    5. After the Presentations, an interactive session was held with Hon’ble Raksha Rajya Mantri, where the following important points were discussed:-
  • Insensitivity/ unresponsiveness of Deptt. on projection by ESM.
  • Regional President of IESL should be member of KSB, with State/UT League Presidents as RSBs, ZSBs.
  • Periodical structured meeting not being held.
  • Deptt. be staffed by ESM/Servicemen.
  • Till date no consolidated compendium on pension policy matters has been complied.
  • MOD compulsive litigant in ESM cases-tendency be avoided.
  • Pension matters of Widows, reservists and disparity.
  • ESM not being given enhanced pension by banks.
  • Pension of Majors and Maj Gens.
  • Coastal line security to Ex-Servicemen- other Maritime duties connected with EEZs.
  • Employment in Border Road Projects.
    6. In his concluding remarks, the RRM congratulated IESL for the meaningful discussions on critical concerns affecting the Defence Veterans and promised to get the above points analysed on priority. He emphasized that Defence Veterans are considered as valuable assets of the Nation and are treated with respect. He advised Defence Veterans community to maintain dignity as ex-soldiers and maintain ethos. Their concerns will always be addressed on high priority by all functionaries.
    With regards!
    Col Akhil Sharma
    Gen Secy

    Suggestion: The veteran vision for 2025 and its mission needs to be broadcast to the nation at large.
  • IESL: Military Veterans Vision 2025- Nation Building

    Visionary Field Marshal Kodandera "Kipper" Madappa Cariappa OBE

    Seminar Conducted at IESL on 22 Oct 2010
    click here for earlier blog post
    Dear Veterans,
    Seminar on Military Veterans Vision-2025, was held in IESL auditorium as planned on 22nd Oct 2010. The Hon’ble Raksha Rajya Mantri was present throughout for more than three hours. It was a very interesting and useful interaction by large number of Senior Veterans with RRM in Q&A forum. Each one was very happy about the complete event of interaction. Details are being forwarded separately. Copy of Welcome addressed by the President IESL is attached. Before inauguration of Seminar the Hon’ble RRM had unveiled the bust of late Field Marshal K M Cariappa, OBE.
    With warm regards!
    Gen Secretary

    Welcome Address
    1. It is my proud privilege to extend a hearty and warm welcome to our Hon’ble Raksha Rajya Mantri Dr M M Pallam Raju to the Seminar on “Military Veterans Vision-2025, Their Role in nation Building and National Security”. The Seminar will also deliberate on certain vital issues particularly concerning Veer Naaris and Disabled Soldiers. Dr M M Pallam Raju needs no introduction. The fraternity of Military Veterans has a strong proponent of its cause in Dr M M Pallam Raju as witnessed lately. The Hon’ble Raksha Rajya Mantri lent his unstinting support to most of our demands during and post Sixth Central Pay Commission. We are indeed grateful to you, Sir (glancing at RRM) to have spared your valuable time from a otherwise tightly packed schedule to unveil the bust of late Field Marshal K M Cariappa, OBE, and also to interact with Military Veterans at Indian Ex-Services League (IESL). I also extend a warm welcome to our distinguished speakers who so willingly consented to talk on the subject proposed to them and the delegates representing various states and union territories who have arrived to participate in the Seminar. I am particularly thankful to Gen Shankar Roy Choudhury who on my request made it all the way from Calcutta on a short notice.
    2. The League came into being in 1964 by amalgamating All India Ex-services Federation and the Indian Ex-Services Association headed by late Field Marshal K M Cariappa, OBE and late Gen K S Thimayya, DSO respectively. The League is the premier Inter Services Organisation representing the entire community of Ex-Servicemen in the country. It is the only recognised body of Veterans endowed with the apex status by Seventh Lok Sabha through its special resolution passed in 1982. The League is mandated to articulate the grievances of its 3.3 million strong veterans at various levels through its affiliated Ex-Services Leagues at all the states and Union Territories of the country. A few of the multifarious activities undertaken by the League include disbursement of distress grant to the veterans in dire state, education stipends to deserving wards of Ex-Servicemen and RCEL grant including medical grant to WW-II Veterans and Widows not getting pension. The League had disbursed an amount of approximately Rs 200 lacs under various heads during last year. The IESL is affiliated to similar Veterans Organisations of the world like Britain, Canada, Russia, France, Singapore, Australia and World War Veterans Body.

    3. The Military Veterans have large number of issues which need to be addressed. The Ex-Servicemen Welfare Deptt created by the Govt has fallen totally short of expectations. It has been staffed by those who have no clue about problems being faced by Veterans and Widows. The deptt is totally insensitive to their projections. MOD has been filing appeals against each and every decision of Hon’ble Courts going in favour of Ex-Servicemen Community. Regrettably there is a perceived feeling that the Govt is indifferent to towards Military Veterans. Sir, I am optimistic with you and Hon’ble RM Sh A K Antony being there at the helm of affairs, we should expect a fair deal and reversal of this negative perception.

    Will Defence Ministry take over Scam- Hit Mumbai Military Complex?

    Click here to read how an RTI activist blew lid off Colaba Military Land scam
    Economic Times 27 Oct, 2010, 04.14AM IST, Josy Joseph,TNN Defence min may take over scam-hit Mumbai complex

    NEW DELHI: Stung by the embarrassing scam in which retired military brass connived with Maharashtra bureaucrats and politicians to corner a prized piece of property in Mumbai's tony Colaba — all in the name of Kargil war widows — the defence ministry and the army chiefs have decided to come down like a ton of bricks and are considering invoking the Defence of India Rules (DIR) to take over the property and call in the CBI to probe the scandal.

    These two options have been considered at the highest level in meetings between the defence ministry and the army brass where the Adarsh housing society scam, whose lid was blown off by TOI on Monday, was discussed at length. There are indications that the army brass is veering around to a takeover of the 31-storey complex and put it to military use. The promoters would, however, be reimbursed their cost.

    Sources said the army headquarters has already recommended a CBI inquiry into the scam. The recommendation came in response to a query from defence minister A K Antony. "Since we do not have the legal standing to inquire into the conduct of the state government departments, we believe the CBI must look into how the entire manipulation happened and the guilty must be punished," a source said to explain the army's unusual readiness to be probed by an outside agency.

    The recourse to DIR rules will mark an unprecedented step. Framed by the British to deal with challenges to their Empire, the rules have seldom been used since the Emergency in 1975. It is ironical that the rule is being dusted off to deal with a scam allegedly involving leaders of armed forces, politicians and bureaucrats who connived to misappropriate the land they got the army to release for war widows.

    But DIR is seen as justified given the enormity of the embarrassment and the fact that the armed forces, normally zealous in guarding their turf, are okay with the idea of a CBI probe because, apart from retired military officers, several others are involved in the land grab, including officers of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority and Brihanmumbai Muncipal Corporation .

    Sources said Antony has made it clear that the scam will not be swept under the carpet. On his instructions, the MoD has sought the army's response to the disclosure by TOI. The army headquarters has quite a task on its hand. The officials dealing with the issue have to reckon with the fact that the beneficiaries of the scam include two of its former chiefs, one former vice chief, one southern army commander and at least four officers who headed the MG & G Area (Maharashtra, Gujarat & Goa) in recent times.

    All of them own apartments in the complex. The grim mood in the headquarters coupled with Antony's resolve indicates that the current leadership may not flinch from taking tough measures to repair the damage to military image.

    The navy has its own share of embarrassment, with a former navy chief, a former chief of the western naval command and another senior admiral featuring among the flat owners in the housing society.
    Defence Ministry may take over scam-hit Mumbai complex

  • Housing Complex meant for welfare of Kargil war widows, veterans and service personnel hijacked by chain of manipulators
  • India more corrupt than ever- Transparency International

    Commentary: All Defence Estate Officers are linked to MOD Bureaucrats who are tasked to surreptitiously palm off defence lands to Criminal Politicians and Fake real estate promoters. This is happening for the last 60 years and most scams are buried under the carpet. The NOC tutorial is being applied and spreading all the time...! The Military is made a scapegoat by the scheming Bureaucrats- White Shepards leading the Black Sheep!
  • IESM: Canteen facilities for Hony Rank Officers

    Dear Colleagues,
    The recent reduction in the grocery and liquor quota of the Hony rank officers had disturbed the ESM community, particularly those affected. I wrote to the QMG and also established telephone contact. I have been informed that they would discuss the issue in the ongoing Army Commanders conference and are likely to annul the reduction.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    प्रिय साथियों,
    मानद रैंक के अधिकारियों की किराना और शराब कोटा में हाल में कमी ईएसएम समुदाय परेशान था, विशेष रूप से प्रभावित होते हैं. मैं QMG के लिए लिखा था और यह भी टेलीफोन से संपर्क स्थापित किया. मुझे बताया गया है कि वे चल रहे सेना के कमांडरों के सम्मेलन में इस मुद्दे पर चर्चा करने और कमी रद्द होने की संभावना हो जाएगा.
    सबसे अच्छा संबंध है,
    लेफ्टिनेंट (अवकाश प्राप्त) राज कादयान जनरल, पीवीएसएम, एवीएसएम, वीएसएम
    अध्यक्ष IESM

    Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    Bureaucrats team up with Army Generals in the Mumbai Military Estate Scam

    Govt bent rules to allot flats to ex-Army chiefs?
    NDTV Correspondent, Updated: October 26, 2010 21:41 IST

    Mumbai: Did two former Army chiefs fight their way into a high-rise in Mumbai, Adarsh Society, originally meant for war widows and veterans?

    NDTV has learnt that neither General NC Vij nor General Deepak Kapoor fulfill a key criteria, that they should have lived in Maharashtra for 15 years, which is also the reason why the then Mumbai collector had rejected their application for a flat in 2008.

    Yet they persisted and finally got a clearance from the state government in 2009. The reasoning: recognition of their service to the nation.

    While the allotments were strictly legal, the question is should the government have bent the rules?

    Reacting to our report, General NC Vij told NDTV, "I got the allotment in 2009, five years after I retired. So where is the question of forcing my way through? I wrote to the chief minister and he was kind to waive the 15 year domicile criteria."

    As the controversies widen, the promoter of the Adarsh Society furnished papers to show they had all the clearances.

    "This society was never meant for only for war widows. It is a general society and all members have been approved by the state government," said Brigadier (retired) MM Wanchu, President, Adarsh Housing Society.

    Yet the allotments show a clear conflict of interest. Relatives of several officers involved in clearances for the project got flats there.

    Seema Vyas, the wife of Mumbai collector Pradeep Vyas has a flat. He was the officer who approved flat allotments.

    Former Mumbai collector IA Kundan who scrutinised the allotments also later got a flat.

    Kanishq Phatak, the son of former municipal commissioner Jairaj Phatak has a flat. His father later allowed the six floor building to be extended to 31 floors.

    The officers we contacted either refused to comment or said the flats allotted to their families were cleared by other officers, but as more dirt emerges on this controversial society, it's sticking not just to the military but also the bureaucracy.
    For NDTV Updates, follow us on Twitter or join us on Facebook
    Story first published: October 26, 2010 21:33 IST
    Read more at: Govt bent rules to allot flats to ex-Army chiefs

    Tuesday, October 26, 2010

    Letter to TOI Editor on Supreme Court Ruling

    The Editor The Times of India New Delhi
    Even as thanking you for the one-column news "Defence Secy must spend 10 days in high altitude" (The Times of India, October 19, p. 13) on the anguish expressed by the Supreme Court regarding the apathy on the part of the Government towards the sufferings undergone and injustices heaped on the Armed Forces personnel, one cannot help pointing out that you have not only played down the news by the type of the heading and the space provided but also omitted, inter alia, the following very significant observations made by the Supreme Court Bench:
    (1) "... Your bureaucrats are not bothered ... people in the army are returning medals in thousands and some have even burnt their artificial limbs in protest. They get a feeling now that these bureaucrats do not hear them ..."
    (2) "If this was a proposal for the bureaucrats, it would soon be implemented. We do don't expect the bureaucrats to support this proposal... We need to deal with them (armed forces) separately as a distinct class."

    This of course is just one instance among an unending list of acts of omission and commission on the part of The Times of India (TOI) under your stewardship with regard to the material carried in the newspaper on matters of national/ Armed Forces importance.

    Yet, there is no dearth of news on wags and windbags, wannabes and wasps, wimps and wenches. How impressive! What an array of achievements on the part of a "National" paper!

    Why do you do such things, Dear Mr. Editor? What indeed is the compulsion to repeatedly ignore/ twist/ garble news and events pertaining to the Armed Forces of India? Surely not the space.

    Please pull up your socks, Sir--and do it fast. Before you manage to make your newspaper too famous for your comfort!!

    TAILPIECE: With reference to the write-up "Kashmir bargain--Should India trade the Valley for a permanent UN Security Council seat?" by one Mr. Jug Suraiya (TOI, October 20), a friend here has asked: "Should TOI trade Jug Suraiya for someone who is more sensitive and responsive to the interests and aspirations of this country and its people?" I do not really know.

    Warm regards. And, please do have a nice productive working week ahead, Sir, in the discharge of the job you have set your heart on.
    SC Kapoor
    Wing Commander (Retd)

    IESM: CGDA Pension Adalat on 28 Oct at Alwar

    Dear All
    A delegation of IESM met CGDA Shri Nand Kishor on 25 Oct 2010 at 1530h. Many points pertaining to difficulty in pension calculations, pension disbursement were discussed. The details of the discussion will be issued shortly.
    However it has been confirmed by the CGDA that they have been regularly holding pension adalats to solve problems of ex-servicemen on the spot. So CGDA has held 100 pension adalats and have helped many ex-servicemen. Last adalat was held at Bangalore on 30/31 Aug 2010.
    It is for the information of all that the next Pension Adalat of CGDA will be held at Army Public School Alwar on 28 and 29 Oct 2010. The adalat will assemble at 1000h onwards on both days.
    All the exservicemen/widows living in and around alwar can take help of CGDA staff in finding a solution to their pension problems. It is important to take following documents with you for getting on the spot solution from the CGDA staff. Representative from the Banks will also be available in the Adalat.
  • Original PPO
  • Pension/ discharge book of the veteran.
  • Some document to confirm your address.
  • Some document to confirm your date of birth, like driving licence, election id card, Identity card issued by services, identity card issued by soldier sainik board or any document supporting and giving your date of birth.
    In case of widows same documents must be carried to the adalat.
    All are requested to take advantage of the adalat and solve your problems.
    Gp Capt VK Gandhi VSM
    Gen Sec IESM
  • Mumbai Military Estate Scam Shames Sukhna

    Man sets up land grab from army
    Samar Halarnkar and Rahul Singh, Hindustan Times
    New Delhi/ Mumbai, October 26, 2010

    A retired junior defence estates officer once probed for corruption coordinated the takeover of a south Mumbai army park that is now a 31-storey super-luxury building on one of Asia’s costliest swathes of real estate — cleared on the fake condition it would be a six-storey structure housing war veterans and widows.

    India’s defence ministry is now struggling with a request from its Western naval commander to investigate the repeated subversion of various laws that eventually allowed Ramchandra Sonelal Thakur to become general secretary of the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society within the bounds of the Colaba Military Station in south Mumbai’s Cuffe Parade, where flats sell for Rs 50,000 to Rs 80,000 per sq ft.

    The flats, including the land, cost the society and its members Rs 26 crore. The market value is anywhere between Rs 500 to Rs 800 crore. The society got an occupation certificate last week.

    “There is very big money, and very powerful people involved,” said a highly placed source in the defence ministry, refusing to be quoted given the sensitivity of the case. “Frankly, it is going to be very difficult to probe the complaint (made earlier this year by the admiral heading the Western Naval Command in Mumbai), but we are perusing it.”

    Once a lush 6,490 sq m of about 100 trees called the Khukri Eco Park (named after an Indian frigate sunk during the 1971 war), the owner’s list in Adarsh now includes a former naval chief, two former army chiefs — among a host of other senior officers — top Maharashtra bureaucrats, members of Parliament and Thakur, who retired this year from the defence estates department.

    In 2003, thakur was being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation for the illegal transfer of defence land in Nagpur.

    Investigations by the Hindustan Times — which has a list of beneficiaries; fake, past and present — reveal a pattern to this ownership: A collective manipulation of laws that led Thakur’s Adarsh deal to be cleared in stages since 2003 by Congress chief ministers, Sushilkumar Shinde and Vilasrao Deshmukh (both now Union ministers), the then army commander, Maharashtra and Goa Sub Area, Maj Gen T N Kaul, and a host of Maharashtra government bureaucrats, including Managing Director of the Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) and former Mumbai municipal commission Jairaj Phatak.

    "I don't remember the case," said Deshmukh, union minister for heavy industry. Shinde could not be reached for comment. Defence Minister A K Antony said the government was “examining the matter seriously”.

    Contacted in Nagpur, Adarsh society’s Thakur said “those who failed to get flats” were now complaining, including, he implied, Vice Admiral Sanjiv Bhasin, chief of the Western Naval Command.

    “Khatte angoor kaun khaya (who’s eaten sour grapes)?” asked Thakur with a laugh. “He (Admiral Bhasin) should know why he has complained. We told so many people, sorry, you cannot be accommodated.”

    "Do you expect me to respond to that statement?" said Admiral Bhasin. He said had been writing to "all authorities concerned for the past six-seven months" to get the clearances revoked. "No one is aware of who the members are. We wrote to the registrar of properties,” said Bhasin, who regards the towering building as a threat to security and naval air operations. “The registrar told us to approach the society. The society did not respond for a month and said the list was being finalised by the government of Maharashtra."

    Bhasin said he then requested the Chief Secretary to withhold an occupation certificate until the names are made public. "We want to do a scrutiny of all officers, and if they are civilians, we will ask the police department to verify their antecedants. The MMRDA (Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority) may have been pressured to issue the certificate last week because of the influential people involved." Bhasin has again asked for a revocation of the occupancy certificate.

    MMRDA denied any letter from Bhasin requesting a denial of an occupation certificate.

    "We (MMRDA) issued the occupation certificate to the building on September 16, 2010, on the basis of structural plan and documents submitted...they had obtained all necessary permissions," said MMRDA spokesman Dilip Kawathkar, who said they did get a letter asking for a list of society members.

    "We replied to the letter saying that the list could be obtained by the Collector, who was the appropriate authority for the same."

    Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said the Adarsh affair was an "old issue". He then denied knowing any details: "Before ordering any probe, we will have to first look into ownership issue of the plot, whether it is a state government-owned plot or no (sic)."

    Since 2004, when the building was first cleared, there has been a spate of additions and deletions to the list of Adarsh society members, often coinciding with their stints in power. The junior officers have been dropped.

    Among the “Kargil Heroes” named on the original list of 71 members of the Adarsh Society — there are now nearly 100 flats — are Subedar Ramnarain Achelal Thakur and Major Rajiv Kumar Hitnarain Singh. They never owned flats in Adarsh and army sources told the Hindustan Times they had no record of these soldiers.

    They were replaced with senior defence officers, an influential set of politicians, two MPs, an MLC (member of the legislative council) and bureaucrats. That included an IAS officer married to the then Mumbai district collector, who deleted 34 names from the first list questioning their “eligibility”.

    With such manipulation and reach, clearances came thick and fast, said the defence ministry source. One of those whose son got a flat was REC MD Phatak.

    "My son became a member of the society in 2003-04, when I was the secretary of school education and had no say in land allotment or town planning permissions,” said Phatak. “He met all the eligibility criteria. No sane person would have refused the membership."

    But Phatak was municipal commissioner in 2007, when the society got additional floor space and clearance from the municipal corporation, allowing a 31-storey skyscraper in a coastal regulatory zone with restrictive building laws.

    Phatak said the land development approvals came from the MMRDA, and the municipal corporation’s High Rise Committee evaluated the building “only because MMRDA does not have in house committee to clear skyscrapers”.(With Shailesh Gaikwad and Ketaki Ghoge)
    Defence Estate Officer sets up land grab from army: Hindustan Times Report
    Top Army Brass in Mumbai land row: NDTV Report

    IESM: OROP campaign to succeed needs a collective heave

    Dear Colleagues,
    OROP concerns all of us. Each ESM organization has been fighting for it in its own way. There is no gainsaying that a collective heave can achieve more and also faster. To work out a joint approach, a meeting has been scheduled at 1100 hours on 16 November 2010 in AVCC, Sector-37, at NOIDA. Heads of all ESM organizations, and/or their Secretaries General are requested to attend. We will have an open agenda covering all contemporary nuances concerning OROP and to work out a way forward. All concerned are requested to make it convenient to attend.
    Lunch will be arranged. Do kindly convey to Veteran Vinod Gandhi by 10 Nov 2010 the names of those attending.
    There was Infantry Lunch today in the Infantry Hostel in Delhi Cantt. It was attended by a very large number of veterans and serving officers. There was interaction with dozens of them. It was heartening to note that each one without exception appreciated and supported the work being done by the IESM for the welfare of veterans.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    What is Military Veterans Vision 2025 and their role in Nation Building?

    The Minister of State for Defence, Dr. M.M. Pallam Raju lighting the lamp to inaugurate a seminar on `Military Veterans Vision 2025: their role in Nation Building and National Security’, in New Delhi on October 22, 2010.
    General (Retd.) Shankar Roy Chaudhary, Brig. R.K.S. Gulia and the president, Indian Ex-Services League (IESL) are also seen.PIB: Photo no.CNR - 34182

    Resurgence in Placement of Defence Officers with Corporate
    With economy spiralling out of recession and recruitment on the rise, encouraging trend has been witnessed in placement of former Defence Officers in middle and senior level management positions.

    The recently concluded batch from Management Development Institute (MDI), Gurgaon have received over 85 percent placements, with Officers being placed in handsome packages ranging between Rs 14 and 24 lakhs. Corporates like ICICI Bank, L & T, Bartronics and many others have appointed Ex-Servicemen officers in diverse profiles of sales, marketing, logistics and supply chain, operations, human resource (recruitment) and administration. Bartronics emerged the single highest recruiter hiring 10 officers from the same batch.

    Inaugurating the brochure for the 3rd batch of defence officers undertaking the residential General Management Program from IIM Lucknow (Noida Campus) today Major General Pramod Behl, Director General Resettlement said that the specially designed curriculum would facilitate the Officers to craft their positions in industry with ease and prove to be a major asset to the corporate world. In addition to the leadership and dynamism, these officers bring tremendous experience, discipline and focused approach, due to their training with forces, he added. Management education equips these Armed Forces Officers with latest skills sought by corporate, Maj. Gen. Behl noted.

    IIM Lucknow (Noida Campus) batch has already commenced its placement process as the officers are due to culminate the course on 18 Dec. The IIML batch has developed its own website which can be visited at Similar programmes are run in various reputed institutes but at intervening period. PK/SR (Release ID :66501)
    Resurgence in Placement of Defence Officers with Corporate

    Anthony Addresses Army Commanders

    Ministry of Defence
    “Give Up Ambivalence on Terrorism”: Antony to Pakistan Five-Day Army Commanders Conference Begins
    Monday, October 25, 2010 17:06 IST
    The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony today asked Pakistan to shed its ambivalence on terrorism. Addressing the top brass of Army Commanders here, Shri Antony said Pakistan did not appear to give up India-centric posturing.

    “Pakistan does not appear to be willing to leave its India-centric posturing. It will have to shed its ambivalence in dealing with terror groups. Though we are not unduly concerned, we will have to keep constant vigil on the developments in Pakistan,” Shri Antony said.

    Pointing out that fighting terrorism cost the nation substantially, the Defence Minister reiterated that we will crush terrorism with all our might. Shri Antony said that violence has shown signs of abating in Jammu and Kashmir due to the constant vigil by the Army.

    “The Army has been quite successful in countering the proxy war and in minimising the incidents of terror,” Shri Antony said, adding, “Still, as long as the terror infrastructure across the border continues to flourish, we cannot afford to drop our guard”.

    The Defence Minister said that the security situation in the ‘AfPak’ region continues to be a cause for concern. “Despite the physical and material costs, India has at all times, advocated peace and stability with all nations – including our neighbours,” Shri Antony said. “The volatile political situation in our immediate neighbourhood has the potential of having a debilitating impact on the region. India’s role in preserving peace and stability thus, becomes all the more important,” he added.

    Calling upon the Armed Forces to maintain a high level of operational readiness, Shri Antony stressed that the Government remains committed to modernisation and indigenisation.

    “The Defence Ministry has introduced changes in the Defence Procurement Procedure to increase private participation. I am confident that the changes in our ‘Procurement Procedures’ will help in realising the full potential of Public Private Partnership and leverage the advantages in the fields of R & D and manufacturing,” Shri Antony said.

    The Defence Minister underlined the need for probity and transparency in defence deals. “I wish to strongly reiterate that we must adopt ‘Zero Tolerance’ towards corruption in letter and spirit. Even the slightest hint of corruption will erode the lofty image of our Armed Forces that the people of our nation have become used to,” Shri Antony said.

    The inaugural session of the Army Commanders’ Conference was attended among others by the Chief of Army Staff, General VK Singh and the Defence Secretary, Shri Pradeep Kumar. The five-day conference will review the security situation, emerging challenges and strategies. Issues pertaining to operational logistics to include infrastructure development and modernization will also be discussed. Keeping pace with the technology transformation and advancement, the conference will also focus on training and its effectiveness based on state-of-the-art technology for meeting the future challenges as also attaining a high state of combat readiness. PK/SR
    Give Up Ambivalence on Terrorism”: Antony to Pakistan

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  • Sunday, October 24, 2010

    Chile Rescues Miners: Lesson in Disaster and Crisis Management

    Chile Miners Rescue Video: Joy as capsule raises trapped men to surface

    Chile’s CEO moment by Nathan VanderKlippe, San Jose Mine, Chile— From Saturday's Globe and Mail Published Friday, Oct. 15, 2010 6:59PM EDT

    On the morning of Aug. 6, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera spoke to his Mining Minister, Laurence Golborne.

    Twenty-four hours before, a small gold and copper mine had collapsed in northern Chile, sending a geyser of dust into the air and plunging the families of 33 men into despair. Accidents are not uncommon in a country with a mining tradition that extends back to the Spanish conquistadors and a blemished safety record nearly as long.
    More related to this story
  • Chilean president brings mine rocks to London for Queen and Prime Minister
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  • Miners watched closely for physical and mental health problems

    Yet this tragedy struck a chord with Mr. Pinera, who took power in March just two weeks after a devastating earthquake struck the country. He immediately dispatched Mr. Golborne to the mine.

    His instructions: Fix this. Spare no expense. Baldo Procurica, a Chilean senator who was present, recalls the leader saying that there was “no limit to the resources” to be spent on the effort.

    It was a critical executive decision by a man whose long walk through the halls of a different kind of power – the world of business – made him uniquely qualified to make a gamble that anyone with political savvy would have avoided.

    It didn’t hurt that Mr. Pinera’s mining minister happened to have a similar pedigree.

    What followed was what might be called the MBA rescue.

    It was a $10- to $20-million exercise in crisis management run by a Harvard-educated billionaire President and his Stanford-educated retailer lieutenant, each only recently transplanted into government office.

    It ended this week, of course, as a brilliant political masterstroke, one that has vaulted to immense popularity the first conservative government to reach power in this country since far-right dictator Augusto Pinochet’s reign ended in 1990.

    But behind the scenes, it was a carefully directed exercise by men whose pasts have given them an uncommon appetite for risk – and an uncommon expectation of success.
    Chile’s CEO moment by Nathan VanderKlippe

    Lessons Learnt: Deploy or Employ Professionals for Crisis and Disaster Management rather than depend on Bureaucrats whose interests are focussed mainly on making a fast buck on the tragedy rather than saving lives of citizens.
  • Can we Confront China?

    Ref: Indo China war- The shock and awe of '62
    China is an established and growing world power, economically and militarily with nuclear and space capability. All the western powers including USA are in awe and are scared to confront the Dragon!!

    As far as India is concerned, China has always tried to do down India. It has heaped insults after insults on our country (emphatic claims on Arunachal, warning to Manmohan Singh about his visit to this State, stapled visas for people living in J&K, refusal to give Visa to Lt Gen Jamwal to visit China, military aid to Pakistan, supplying nuclear and missile technology to Pakistan etc etc, the list is endless).

    The construction of railway line to Lhasa and its planned extension to Nepal Border, construction of airfields and roads along Southern border areas of Tibet has enhanced Chinese military capability against India manifold. The strategic nuances of the Pearl of strings around India are well known. Chinese military is just too strong for India and added to this are the Chinese close strategic ties with Pakistan!!!

    USA is a declining power and after its long military engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan, it will not enter into any military conflict with China to bail out India. In any case why should it?? What has India done for USA??? Russia similarly has no stomach to threaten China in case of any hostilities between India and China.

    This means, India will have to rely on its own military prowess in case there is a conflict between India and China. Lately some measures have been taken to strengthen our military posture in the East, but these are slow and insufficient. Indian Government (its political leaders and bureaucrats) have not changed their ways of functioning. The Congress Party (its President, budding scion of Nehru Pariwar and their hangers on) have little interest and knowledge of national security. They remain busy politicking with the prime aim of how to remain in power. National security also does not seem to interest the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh much. He is an economist and a peace loving man where as India is facing leaders in China and Pakistan who are hell bent on destabilising India. Those on Opposition benches are no better!!!

    The Veterans need to awaken the nation on matters of National security and looming threat from China and Pakistan. We owe it to the nation to take a lead in bringing to focus the poor state of equipment (ships, fighter aircraft, guns, tanks etc) of the Army, Navy and the Air Force and the very very slow pace of new critical acquisitions. Also non implementation of Kargil Committee Report- click here.

    India has to be fully prepared to fight on two fronts. The conflict will be swift and at a place and time of Chinese choosing and they will come in with overwhelming superiority. It is a sound interim policy to try and keep a low key and not overly react to pin pricks by China. But this cannot be ever lasting scenario. India has to have the required force levels and weaponry to deter China. Though this should have happened 'yesterday', and hence there is no time to lose!! The World must be made to realise that India is not a soft state.


    Harbhajan Singh
    Lt Gen
    (Former Signal Officer in Chief)

    Status of Classified Report of 1962 Indo China Debacle
    The Henderson Brooks-Bhagat report, also referred to as the Henderson Brooks report, is the report of an analysis (Operations Review) of the Sino-Indian War of 1962. Its authors are officers of the Indian armed forces. They are Lt Gen Henderson Brooks and Brig P S Bhagat, commandant of the Indian Military Academy at the time.

    The report continues to be classified by the Indian Government. In April 2010, India's Defence Minister A.K. Antony told Parliament that the report could not be declassified because its contents “are not only extremely sensitive but are of current operational value."

    The report is said to be openly critical of the Indian political and military structure of that time, as well as of the execution of military operations.

    Author Neville Maxwell has published what he claims are summaries of the report. While this has not been verified by comparisons with the (still classified) text, it has been accepted as a reasonable summary by the Indian media. This report of Indo-China war makes interesting reading.

    As of Feb 2008, MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar has requested the report to be declassified in the National Security interest. This has been declined by the defense Minster A K Antony. He has quoted that the same would not be released "considering the sensitivity of information contained in the report and its security implications"
    Henderson Brooks- Bhagat Report
    Kargil Review Committee Report: click here

    Indo China war: The shock and awe of 1962

    Dear Veterans,
    One wonders if the situation is any better now and with multiplied force levels of the Chinese. Are we not waiting for another humiliation? Who will be blamed politicians, bureaucracy or the armed forces? The special article by A Bhatacharayya of Statesman is a pointer to political indifference to National Security in connivance with Bureaucratic incompetence.
    Warm regards,
    Brigadier PTGangadharan,Guards,

    The Statesman, 21 October 2010- Shock and awe of ’62, A War That Was Lost Before It Began By Abhijit Bhattacharyya
    After 37 years, precisely on 7 October 2010, Israel relived, as it were, the declassified documents of the Yom Kippur war. The confidential discussions of Israel’s top leaders in the first days of the Arab-Israeli war are now in the open. However, no such declassification has taken place in India even 48 years after the war with China. The most devastating setback was suffered by the army at the battle of Namka Chu (Kechilang to the Chinese) at 5 am on Saturday, 20 October 1962. Namka Chu was a national shame, an unprecedented battering for the military, an unparalleled command failure on the part of spineless, non-professional Generals, an ignominy for the over-rated and conspiratorial bureaucracy and a case of rare political irresponsibility and foolishness. It was not a military conflict fought on the ground, but the outcome of a myopic political process which was tantamount to self-inflicted humiliation in a potential conflict zone.
    The Indian politicians in the fifties and sixties were so out-of-depth that the Government still does not feel confident enough to declassify the 48-year-old documents. This only encourages speculation.
    Indeed, India was done-in much before the hostility in the Namka Chu valley. The die was actually cast on Sunday, 9 September 1962. With both Prime Minister Nehru and Finance Minister Morarji Desai out of the country, and Home Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri nowhere in the loop, Defence Minister VK Krishna Menon took upon himself the role and responsibility to hold a meeting in his South Block office on a holiday. With the army chief and two army commanders and presumably one or two ministry officials in attendance, Menon “unilaterally” gave the “marching order” to the army to go forward, according to Brigadier John P. Dalvi, the fall guy of the 1962 defeat, in his military classic, Himalayan Blunder. Neville Maxwell in his authentic India’s China War corroborates Dalvi’s version with a blow-by-blow account, which he reportedly “managed” to access from Lt. General Henderson Brooks’ enquiry report on the disaster.
    The government decided to “go forward” and set up a post at the trijunction of India-Bhutan-China at Dhola on the Thagla ridge on the Namka Chu river. Dalvi’s description of the confusion, ignorance of Delhi-based military generals and civilian babus make ironic, yet comical and hilarious, reading. A sketch map was the “only map” available as there “were no accurate survey maps of this area. The ¼-inch editions were very old and vaguely based on the details provided by the British officer who was deputed to visit the area and align the McMahon Line, as agreed at the Simla Conference of 1913-14. It showed the Namka Chu flowing from north to south, whereas it actually flowed from west to east”.
    It was another bigger river, named Nyamjang Chu, which flowed from north to south from the Thagla watershed. This appears to have led to the conclusion that the flow of Namka Chu too must be following the same north-south axis. Dalvi wrote: “I have often wondered if this map misled our planners into thinking that 9 Punjab were facing east instead of north”. The strategy, therefore, exposed a deficit in the planners’ knowledge of history and geography, ignorance of the terrain, non-application of mind and a political compulsion that was thrust upon the army’s field commanders. The end-result of India’s adventure in the face of the obdurate Chinese was a foregone conclusion.
    The order issued by the Army chief’s office in mid-September 1962 stated: “9 Punjab will capture Thagla, contain Yumtsola and Karpola-II by September 19.” It was “issued while the Prime Minister and Finance Minister were abroad and the Defence Minister was having his western clothes dry-cleaned for New York. The Chief of General Staff of the Army was enjoying the salubrious climate of Kashmir. All the key desks in Delhi were empty”.
    The Prime Minister made an uncharacteristically aggressive statement at Colombo airport on 12 October 1962: “The Army has been told to drive away the Chinese from our territory in NEFA”. This worsened the situation. It served as the clarion call for war by India’s Head of Government, and one that was made on foreign soil. It was a humiliating assault on the pride and ego of any nation, not to speak of China alone. It once again brought into sharp and contrasting focus the issue of war preparedness and the psyche thereof. The Indian military was simply in no position to fight because the 600 ragtag men had nothing to fight with and did not know where to fight and when and how to begin in the face of a mighty enemy of 40000 men coming from across the Namka Chu. The war was over in three hours, to be precise.
    Nemesis caught up with Namka Chu because the operational “Brigade Headquarters was at Towang, some five days’ march from the intrusion at Thagla Ridge. Towang is a field posting and a hardship station. The Division was at Tezpur, 200 miles away. Although Tezpur is considered to be a field area, life is more or less normal, with planters’ clubs, golf courses and cinemas. Corps HQ was at Shillong, another 200 miles away. Shillong is a salubrious hill station and a ‘peace posting’. Command HQ was at Lucknow some 600 miles from Shillong ... The last tier is the holy of holies at Delhi where we have Army HQ and ‘Government’. Delhi is the most peaceful of the world’s capitals and so far removed from military realities that political factors perforce dominate the formulation of national strategy”.
    This was the ground reality for the demoralized soldiers in the frontline during September-October 1962. It was a “lost war” even before the war had begun as the “peace stations” of Shillong (Corps HQ); Lucknow (Command HQ) and Delhi gave China a “head start” in the October 1962 war with India.
    How were the Chinese placed in contrast to India’s plight at the Namka Chu/Thagla axis? How did they inflict one of the most spectacular and stunning defeats on an enemy in the field? The Chinese followed the doctrines of their ancient scholar-soldier Sun Tzu, enshrined in the Art of War. War, being a “matter of life and death for the state”, must not be neglected. “Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting”. This is the doctrine that was followed in Namka Chu.
    The Indian resistance simply ended in three hours on Saturday, 20 October 1962 “without fighting”. The soldiers fought as hard as they could from 5 am to 8 am, thereby writing a fresh, humiliating chapter in the country’s history.
    Let India not forget that 48-year-old chapter written with the blood, toil, tears and death of some of the crack units of her fighting machine. Let India not allow Sun Tzu’s success to be repeated at its expense in the Namka Chu valley. Let India declassify the official documents and the full text of Lt.- Gen Henderson Brooks if the government is inclined to “prove” that 1962 was actually “China’s India war” and not “India’s China war” as Neville Maxwell would have us believe.

    The writer is an alumnus of the National Defence College of India and a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, London
    Indo- China war: The shock and awe of 1962


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