Sanjha Morcha

Army gets psychology-based e-platform for training troops

Vijay Mohan 

Tribune News Service 

Chandigarh, August 22 
The Army is employing a new psychology-based e-platform developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to define training requirements and assess human behaviour at individual as well as organisational level.
Referred to as the Organisational Effectiveness and Competence Building Training Management System, a prototype has been recently installed at the Shimla-based Army Training Command, the apex formation that oversees all doctrinal and training aspects of the Army. Over the past years, ARTRAC and its subordinate training establishments have inducted a large number of computer-aided training and assessment tools and simulators.

The web-based real-time training management system, named Sabera, comprises a user and an administrator interface. The individual level can be used for assessing individuals in leadership style, their strength and the areas they may like to include in their personal development programme.
The organisational level is meant for maintaining a human resource inventory, designing customised training programmes and as a personalised automated training aid. The system can also be used for human resource management. Sabera has already undergone rigorous tests at Category-A training establishments.


IMRAN KHAN’S OATH-TAKING Sidhu hugs Pak army chief, kicks up a storm back home

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Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, August 18
Indian cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu on Saturday met and hugged Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the oath-taking ceremony of Imran Khan in Islamabad.Sidhu, who was wearing a dark blue suit and a pink turban, was seen seated next to President of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) Masood Khan at the swearing-in ceremony.The Pakistan government instead of seating Sidhu with other foreign dignitaries, positioned him next to Masood Khan in Aiwan-e-Sadr Hall of President’s House.Read: Haryana minister Vij attacks Sidhu for attending Imran Khan’s swearing-in

Talking to the state-run PTV, Sidhu used his usual poetic expression to praise Khan.

“A new morning is here in Pakistan with a new government which can change the destiny of the country,” said Sidhu, a minister in the Congress government in Punjab.He hoped that Khan’s victory will be good for the Pakistan-India peace process.Earlier, Sidhu and Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa were spotted hugging each other at the President House prior to the ceremony.Before entering the President House, Sidhu said: “People like Khan sahab (Imran Khan) create history. With this invitation, they have honoured me. People who build relationships are respected, people who break them are disrespected and I am one of those who respect relationships. It’s a new dawn. This government has come to change this country’s perception, picture and destiny, with high hopes and expectations”.

The storm back home

Sidhu’s hug has earned him sharp rebuke from his former party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, which called it a “heinous crime”.“Navjot Sidhu and Congress party have committed a serious crime. He hugged Pakistan Army Chief Bajwa, a man responsible for terrorism in India, killing hundreds of innocent Indian civilians and Army men and then sat next to so-called PoK president Masood Khan. The kind of vote of thanks he gave later, does it justify his position as an Indian minister and send the right message to the people across the country he represents,” questioned BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra.“Sidhu is not an individual but a representative of the government. What he has done today is no simple crime. He should’ve refused to sit next to Masood Khan, who was deliberately brought in front where Sidhu was sitting. Sidhu should have refused to sit with him. He should have said I will not sit next to him,” Patra said.


Indian, Pakistani troops take part for the first time in SCO military drill

Indian, Pakistani troops take part for the first time in SCO military drill

India is participating in the drill for the first time since becoming a full member of the SCO in June 2017. PTI file

Beijing/Moscow, August 23 

For the first time, the militaries of India and Pakistan are taking part in a mega anti-terror drill of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Russia aimed at expanding cooperation among the member countries to deal with the growing menace of terrorism and extremism.

India is participating in the drill for the first time since becoming a full member of the SCO in June 2017. As part of the SCO initiatives, the SCO Peace Mission Exercise is conducted biennially for the SCO member states.

The joint exercise is being conducted by the Central Military Commission of Russia from August 22 to August 29 at Chebarkul, Russia.

The exercise will involve tactical level operations in an international counter insurgency or counter terrorism environment under the SCO Charter.

At least 3,000 soldiers from China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, India and Pakistan are participating in the drill, according to the Chinese media reports.

Ten representatives from Uzbekistan will serve as observers, state-run Global Times reported.

The Indian contingent of 200 personnel is primarily composed of troops from infantry and affiliated arms and services along with the Indian Air Force. The Indian contingent has been put through a strenuous training schedule which includes firing, heliborne operations, combat conditioning, tactical operations and house intervention drills, according to curtain raiser of the exercise released by the Ministry of Defence in New Delhi.

The joint exercise will strengthen mutual confidence, interoperability and enable sharing of best practices among armed forces of the SCO nations.

The previous SCO counter-terrorism drills were mainly limited to the Central Asian nations, the Chinese media said.

But due to the entry of India and Pakistan, the SCO’s counter-terrorism mission has expanded to South Asia, Li Wei, a counter-terrorism expert at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations in Beijing, told the Global Times.

The SCO was established in Shanghai in 2001, with China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as founding members.

It expanded to include India and Pakistan in 2017.

“The effective counter-terrorism cooperation among SCO countries has greatly undermined terrorist groups in Central Asia in recent years, and it’s expected that this effective cooperation will also boost stability in South Asia, a region facing a more complicated counter-terrorism situation with a variety of active terrorist groups,” Li said.

Sun Zhuangzhi, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said Peace Mission 2018 will also greatly improve military and political mutual trust among SCO countries, especially between India and Pakistan.

“It’s a rare opportunity for Pakistan and India, which have long been involved in military conflict, to enhance military exchanges and trust. This could improve regional stability,” Sun said.

Li said future counter-terrorism drills among SCO countries have to come up with new drills on targeting terrorist groups in South Asia. He suggested that the SCO further expand to include Afghanistan, which is currently an observer country, to strengthen counter-terrorism efforts in South Asia.

The Peace Mission 2018 also created a historic chance for four major military powers in Eurasia – China, Russia, Pakistan and India – to participate in the same military drill, Sun said. PTI


Imran’s win moment of hope for India’

Imran Khan’s victory is a positive moment for India-Pakistan relations that should be utilised to commence bilateral dialogue and structured engagement, says Pakistani envoy to India Sohail Mahmood

‘Imran’s win moment of hope for India’

IN an exclusive conversation with The Tribune, the high commissioner who has remained in touch with senior Indian officials and ministers, says multiple levels of communication and resumption of sporting and cricketing ties will help build confidence between the two neighbours and ties must not be tied down to domestic elections. Smita Sharma talks to Sohail Mahmood. The excerpts:How positive are you about some movement forward in ties with India after Imran’s victory?Chairman PTI Imran Khan in his first public address after the elections reached out to India and outlined a forward-looking vision of bilateral relations. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s subsequent telephone call to congratulate Imran Khan was another positive development. Beyond the contentions of a part of the commentariat, there is an evidently positive attitude among people of India towards Imran Khan’s victory.Appropriately, this reflects respect for the verdict of the people of Pakistan. There is every reason to build on this positivity and to commence a process of bilateral engagement leading to structured dialogue on all issues.Do you think bilateral exchanges can resume soon? Or will it be difficult as India prepares for elections to be held in 2019? This is a moment of hope and opportunity, which must be seized. Imran Khan has stated that if India takes one step, Pakistan will take two. It will, therefore, be desirable to utilise this window of opportunity and jointly work out a realistic and practical way forward. As for electoral activity in India, it has been said that this is a country of serial elections. This cannot and should not become a reason to postpone business of foreign relations. In any case, India-Pakistan relationship is too important to be kept in abeyance for any length of time.There is a strong perception that Imran Khan may have personal friends in India, but the Pakistan army will dictate foreign-defence policy.Such speculation is unfortunate and detrimental to the cause of fostering better mutual understanding. It will be unwise for anyone to sit in judgment on the competence of a democratically elected leader of a neighbouring country. Equally unwise will be to make motivated projections about its civil-military relations. I can tell you in the clearest terms that all major political parties in Pakistan support a peaceful and cooperative relationship with India, with a just and durable solution of the Kashmir dispute. All state institutions support this primary thrust of Pakistan’s India policy. Its strongest corroboration is found in numerous pronouncements of Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Bajwa.What confidence building measures (CBMs) should be taken by both countries?The foremost is to have requisite channels of communication and multi-layered interaction. The established institutional mechanisms—such as BSF-Rangers, ICG-PMSA (Indian Coast Guard-Pak Maritime Security Agency), DGMOs (Director General Of Military Operations), 1974 Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines and so on—should be kept fully operational. Kashmir and security-related CBMs should continue to be implemented faithfully. Efforts can be made to accelerate progress on the humanitarian track. Facilitate people-to-people exchanges.Bridging the mutual trust gap, fostering better understanding, addressing mutual concerns, resolving outstanding disputes and nurturing a belief in peaceful coexistence are indispensable for a stable and normal relationship. In this regard, the principles of mutual respect and sovereign equality remain critically important. I will also stress the need for taking cognisance of the new reality in Pakistan. Old narratives no longer hold. Developing a balanced perspective on social, demographic, political and economic transformations underway in Pakistan is the key.Are you hopeful Pakistan can host SAARC summit this year?SAARC reflects the shared vision and common desire of all South Asian nations to promote process of socio-economic development through a collective, regional platform as well. Neither the charter’s letter nor its spirit supports stalling the SAARC process on account of bilateral differences. Furthermore, several other member states — which have a vital stake in SAARC’s uninterrupted continuation — have called for reviving the process and holding the next summit. At the SAARC ministerial held on the sidelines of UNGA (United Nations General Assembly) in New York last year, Pakistan reiterated its readiness to host the summit. We hope it can be convened sooner rather than later.The Indian envoy gifted a bat to Imran Khan. Do you think cricketing ties may be resumed?Cricket is indeed a great connector. It is part of the DNA of the Pakistani and Indian nations.The game is undoubtedly at its best when these two giants clash on the cricket field. Our teams faced each other in international tournaments in third countries. But hundreds of millions of cricket lovers in the two countries are yearning to see their stars play in India and Pakistan. Resumption of cricket and other sports ties will help strengthen efforts to bring the two peoples closer, which is essential for a peaceful and prosperous South Asia.


J&K surrender policy to win over local militants Host of incentives on offer for ‘renouncer’

J&K surrender policy to win over local militants

Samaan Lateef

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 5

Worried over the growing number of local youths taking to militancy, the Jammu and Kashmir Government has drafted a policy for rehabilitating those willing to shun arms and return to the mainstream. Almost 100 youths have joined the militant ranks this year so far.   Militants placed on the list of the Subsidiary Multi-Agency Centre (SMAC) — a nodal agency comprising officials for security and intelligence inputs — will be eligible for incentives. A militant who has surrendered will be referred to as a “renouncer”.He will surrender only before the designated authorities — divisional commissioners, district magistrates, top police officers and heads of operational units not below the rank of Commandant.Entitled to Rs 5 lakh-6 lakh as fixed deposit, the “renouncer” will be able to withdraw the money after the lock-in period of a minimum three years, subject to continued good behaviour as certified by the CID.“The objective is to offer an opportunity to terrorists who eschew the path of violence… The policy is particularly aimed at economic rehabilitation, enabling them to lead a normal life and contribute towards society’s progress…” reads the draft policy prepared by the Home Department under the directions of K Vijay Kumar, Adviser to Governor NN Vohra.Lay down arms, get… 

  • Rs 5-6 lakh fixed deposit with a lock-in period of 3 years
  • Rs 5,000 monthly stipend  during lock-in period
  • Self-employment under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana & Himayat
  • Consideration for accommodation in Jammu/Srinagar

Ex-soldier commits suicide in police lock-up in Rajasthan

Ex-soldier commits suicide in police lock-up in Rajasthan

Photo for representation only.

Tribune News Service

Jaipur, August 23 
A 60-year-old ex-Army man allegedly committed suicide in police custody on Thursday in Rajasthan’s Bharatpur district, hours after he was arrested on charges of being drunk.
The SHO along with seven policemen have been shifted from Bharatpur’s Kumher Thana to police lines.
According to police sources, Prahlad, died by tearing his blanket to make a rope and hang himself in the Kumher police station.

A huge crowd staged a noisy protest outside the police station as the news spread. His family alleged that police beating forced him to take his own life.
Inspector General of Police Malini Agrawal and Superintendent of Police Kesar Singh Shekhawat visited the police station amid the tension.
Agrawal told IANS that Prahlad’s body had been brought to the Bharatpur District Hospital for autopsy. — With IANS


Shaan Teri Kabhi Kam Na Ho , Aye Watan INDIA – Param vir Chakra Vijeta ( Patriotic Song )

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The Param Vir Chakra (PVC) is awarded to officers and enlisted personnel of all military branches for the highest degree of valor or self-sacrifice in the presence of the enemy. It may be awarded posthumously. The PVC is a post-Independent equivalent of the Victoria Cross (VC). — The Param Vir Chakra Winners : — 1947-48 J&K Operations • Major Somnath Sharma, 4 Kumaon, posthumous • 2nd Lt. Rama Raghoba Rane, Corps of Engineers • CHM Piru Singh, 6 Rajputana Rifles, posthumous • Naik Jadunath Singh, 1 Rajput, posthumous • Lance Naik Karam Singh, 1 Sikh 1962 Indo-China War • Major Shaitan Singh, 13 Kumaon, posthumous • Major Dhan Singh Thapa, 1/8 Gorkha Rifles • Subedar Joginder Singh, 1 Sikh, posthumous 1965 Indo-Pak War • Lt. Col. A.B. Tarapore, 17 Poona Horse, posthumous • CQMH Abdul Hamid, 4 Grenadiers, posthumous 1971 Indo-Pak War • Major Hoshiar Singh, 3 Grenadiers – 1971 War • 2nd Lt. Arun Khetarpal, 17 Poona Horse, posthumous • Fg. Off. N.J.S. Sekhon, No.18 Squadron, posthumous • Lance Naik Albert Ekka, 14 Guards, posthumous 1999 Kargil Operations • Captain Vikram Batra, 13 JAK Rifles, posthumous • Lieutenant Manoj K. Pandey, 1/11 GR, posthumous • Grenadier Yogender Singh Yadav, 18 Grenadiers • Rifleman Sanjay Kumar, 13 JAK Rifles UN Operations • Captain G.S. Salaria, 3/1 GR, posthumous – UN Operations Saichen Operations • Naib Subedar Bana Singh, 8 JAK LI – Siachen Operations IPFK Operations • Major R. Parameswaran, 8 Mahar, posthumous – IPKF Operations

Kar chale hum fida jaan-O-tann sathiyo (Muhammad Rafi)

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Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo l Immortal Patriotic Song Of India l Gautam Deonani

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New Hussainiwala bridge, 47 yrs later

Was blown off by troops in 1971 to prevent Ferozepur advance by Pakistan

New Hussainiwala bridge, 47 yrs later

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Armymen raise slogans of “Bharat Mata ki Jai” near the Hussainiwala Joint Check Post.

Anirudh Gupta

Ferozepur, August 12

Fourty-seven years after four spans of the bridge over the Sutlej along the Hussainiwala barrage were “blown off” by Indian troops during the 1971 India-Pakistan war to prevent Pakistani armoured forces from advancing towards Ferozepur, Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday dedicated a new bridge at the site.Completed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), this strategically important 280-foot-long bridge will benefit residents of 12 border villages in Hussainiwala enclave, besides supporting offensive operations towards Kasur, located south of Lahore in Pakistan.Sitharaman said it was an honour for her to inaugurate the bridge — blown off on the night of December 3-4, 1971 — at this “historic and sacred place” where martyrs Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were unceremoniously cremated by the British. After the 1971 war, the Army built a Bailey bridge to restore communication from the Hussainiwala barrage to Ferozepur. As the temporary bridge developed cracks, the Army decided to replace it. Subsequently, the BRO was entrusted with ‘Project Chetak. Engineers of 49 Border Road Task Force completed the new bridge on existing piers and abutment.“This bridge will promote business, agriculture and better movement of Army vehicles and ammunition,” Sitharaman said, lauding the BRO for completing the project ahead of schedule.“We will never allow the enemy to occupy an inch of space of this land ever,” she told the jawans who raised slogans of “Western Command Zindabad”. At the National Martyrs Memorial, a teary-eyed Sitharaman paid tributes to the martyrs.Meanwhile, Punjab minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi and MP Sher Singh Ghubaya handed over memorandums to her. Sodhi demanded that farmers with land-holdings between the barbed wire fence and Zero Line be paid relief at Rs 20,000 per acre and they be granted proprietary rights. 

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visits Hussainiwala Shaheed Smarak on Sunday. Tribune photo

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Army’s ‘bovine battle’ to cut cost, free up land

Struggles to give away 22,000 cattle after closure of military farms; Rs 300-crore annual burden

Army’s ‘bovine battle’ to cut cost, free up land

Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 5

The Indian Army is faced with ‘bovine battle’ as it struggles to hand over some 22,000 cows it owns. The Army is spending Rs 300 crore a year on their upkeep — feed, manpower, salaries and day-to-day expenses.In July last year, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) ordered the closure of 39 military farms across the country. Started in 1889 by the British, such farms are redundant as the milk supply is no more dependent on them.The farms sit on 20,000 acres of prime defence land that is now needed for new projects like upcoming ground-based missile storage, aviation, new raisings and even housing for jawans.The cows should have been handed over a year ago, but there was no interest at auctions. The MoD, in last week of June, issued instructions to give away the cows at a nominal rate of Rs 1,000 each to central and government units besides cooperatives.The Army originally had 25,000 cows, of which 2,700 were given away. Some 22,000 cattle head still remain and are being looked after by the Army. After the fixation of a nominal cost, the Army has received applications to take away 11,000 more cattle head, sources have confirmed. The cost of transportation is to be borne by the purchaser.A large number of these cows are of high-yield variety ‘Frieswal’ developed by cross-breeding the Holstein Friesian cow of the Netherlands with the Sahiwal of India.As per the MoD plan, 12 of the 39 British-era military farms were to close by August 15, 2017, and the remaining by the end of October 2017.These farms, when running full steam, met 14 per cent of about 210 million litres of annual milk supply needed by 1.3 million-strong Army. The rest is now procured through various cooperative milk supply schemes run across the country.The ‘white revolution’ of the 1970s changed the dynamics of milk availability. On December 28, 2017, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh told a parliamentary consultative committee that “India continues to be the largest producer of milk in the world since last 15 years”. Milk production, which was around 17-22 million tonnes in the 1960s, has increased to 163.7 million tonnes in 2016-17.The original decision to close down the military farms was taken in 2013 after a meeting of the Army Commanders. While 29 farms were to shut shop between 2013 and 2015, the remaining 10 had to follow suit by 2017.The farms are spread in places like Ambala, Jalandhar, Pathankot, Jammu, Srinagar, Kargil, Udhampur, Meerut, Ranikhet, Ahmednagar, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Secunderabad, Mhow, Jhansi, Dimapur, Guwahati, Jorhat, Panagarh, Kolkata, Agra, Allahabad, Lucknow and Kanpur, among others.British legacy 

  • Started in 1889 by the British, 39 military farms have far outlived their utility of providing milk to forces
  • As per the MoD plan, 12 of the 39 farms were to close by August 15, 2017, and the remaining by the end of October 2017
  • Of 25,000 cows, 2,700 were given away, while some 22,000 still remain. With little interest at auction, these are now being offered at Rs 1,000 each