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    Indian National Army veteran Nizamuddin dies at 116

    Lucknow, February 6

    Indian National Army (INA) veteran ‘Colonel’ Nizamuddin died in Uttar Pradesh on Monday, his family said. He was 116.A close associate of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Nizamuddin breathed his last in Azamgarh district’s Dhakwa village.He served as a driver-cum-guard of Bose after the INA was formed. He accompanied Bose when he went to meet Hitler to seek help to secure freedom for India.He also accompanied Bose during his trips to Japan, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.He is survived by his 107-year-old wife Ajbunisa, daughter Habibunnisa (85) and sons Akhtar Ali (72), Anwar Ali (65) and Sheikh Akram (55). IANS


    Kin want memorial to Major martyred in J&K

    Kin want memorial to Major martyred in J&K
    The martyr’s mother Lalit Mohini at her residence. Photo: Dev Dutt Sharma

    Nitish Sharma

    Tribune News Service

    Ambala, February 5

    The family of Major Yogesh Gupta, who sacrificed his life while fighting terrorists at Surankot in Jammu and Kashmir in July 2002, feels neglected. The family have been struggling to keep the name of the martyr alive for the last 14 years.Talking to The Tribune, Lalit Mohini, the martyr’s mother, said, “Despite killing four dreaded terrorists and sacrificing his life, no gallantry award has been given. We remember the Commanding Officer mentioning his name being forwarded for the Ashok Chakra, but have not heard anything in this regard so far.”The battle casualty report stated: “Based on specific information, the Operation Prachand Prahar was launched with 9 Para (SF). At 0430 hours, contact was established with terrorists at Ranjati. In the ensuing firefight, Major Yogesh Gupta suffered severe gunshot wounds in the abdomen.” It further stated: “Despite being severely injured, Major Yogesh Gupta continued to engage the terrorists valiantly and killed four dreaded terrorists. A total of five hardcore terrorists were killed in the firefight and Major Yogesh Gupta attained martyrdom.”“If this is not bravery, what are gallantry awards given for? Either the Army should say it had prepared a wrong casualty report or tell why the martyr has not been honoured so far,” she added.“We desire that a memorial to Major Yogesh Gupta should be built, which will help in keeping his name alive and inspire the future generation. The government and administration have turned a blind eye to our struggle and the sacrifice of my son,” she further said.“It is sad that there is not even five yards of land in Ambala for a martyr while huge space is used to build statues of political leaders. We are not seeking any monetary help. It is a matter of honouring a martyr and remembering his bravery,” said the pained mother.“Sometimes, we do not feel like raising the issue again. We feel neglected when a gallantry award is presented to the next of kin of other martyrs and feel the injustice meted out to Yogesh,” she said.“We have approached all concerned, including the Ambala GOC, local administration, MLA and the PMO repeatedly, but to no avail,” said the martyr’s mother.


    India displays its military might, cultural heritage on Republic Day

    Indian Army’s Infantry Combat Vehicles march during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2017. Tribune photo: Mukesh Aggarwal

    Border Security Force (BSF) ‘Daredevils’ motorcycle riders take part in the Republic Day parade in New Delhi, January 26.Tribune photo: Mukesh Aggarwal

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    Indian Army’s Infantry Combat Vehicles march during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2017. Tribune photo: Mukesh Aggarwal

    New Delhi, January 26India’s military might and rich cultural diversity were in full display during the dazzling 68th Republic Day celebrations in the national capital which had Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan as the chief guest.Light rains and overcast skies failed to dampen the enthusiasm of thousands of spectators who witnessed the nearly one-and-half hour-long parade that marched down the majestic Rajpath, India’s ceremonial boulevard, amid unprecedented security cover.A major highlight of the parade was 149-member marching contingent from the UAE comprising personnel from Presidential Guards, the Air Force, the Navy and Army. They were led by a band comprising 35 musicians from that country.

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    Al Nahyan, also Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE armed forces, was seated next to Prime Minister Narendra Modi who wore a pink-colour turban. The two leaders were seen sharing some light moments.For the first time, a contingent of the National Security Guard (NSG), popularly known as the Black Cat Commandos, was part of the march past.The parade also saw the fly-past of three LCA Tejas Aircraft flying at a height of 300 metres in ‘Vic’ formation and the Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW&C) developed by DRDO.The Army’s missile firing capability T-90 ‘Bhishma’ tank, Infantry Combat Vehicle BMP-2K, Mobile Autonomous Launcher of the BrahMos Missile System, Weapon Locating Raddar ‘Swathi’ and Akash Weapons System and Dhanush Gun System were among the main draw in the mechanised columns.Alongside the Crown Prince, the ceremonial parade was watched by Vice President Hamid Ansari, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and the country’s top political and military brass, besides the diplomatic community.Tableaux from 17 states and union territories and six central ministries and departments showcased the varied historical, art and cultural heritage of the country. Goods and Services Tax (GST) was the theme of the tableau of Central Board of Excise and Customs.Twenty-one of the 25 children who won the National Bravery Award also participated in the parade. Four children have received the award posthumously.The grand finale of the parade was a spectacular flypast by the Indian Air Force which displayed various formations like ‘Chakra’ and ‘Vic’ leaving the spectators spell-bound.The ‘Hercules’ formation comprising three C-130J Super Hercules aircraft also drew loud cheers. PTI


    Chinese subs permanently sailing in Indian Ocean

    Test Indian tracking abilities, no aggressive posture so far

    Ajay Banerjee

    Tribune News Service

    New Delhi, January 20

    Posing a fresh challenge to India, one or two Chinese submarines are now permanently sailing in the Indian Ocean, testing New Delhi’s abilities to keep an eye on under-sea threats.The Navy has flagged the matter to the government about the continuous presence of Chinese submarines, floating either in the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea or the Bay of Bengal. Though the subs are in international waters, the visits are no more sporadic in nature.For the past one year or more, submarines of the People Liberation Army Navy are constantly noticed, Navy has told the government. The world’s busiest sea lane of communication runs from the west of India and passes through the Bay of Bengal. China’s trade moves on these routes and so does India’s and Japan’s, among others.With submarine technology becoming more sophisticated, tracking these under-sea vessels is a challenge. China has 61 submarines, including nine nuclear-powered, allowing longer endurance. At present, China is just testing waters and there is no aggressive posturing, sources said.A submarine, under-sea, can ‘pin down’ six-seven warships just by instilling the fear of unknown and track ship movements. The Navy’s most potent ability to track submarines is the Boeing P-8I maritime patrol aircraft. Eight are in the fleet and another four are on order. The aircraft have the ability to quickly search a wide area of water.Such is the threat that the Navy wants even the planned 100-odd naval utility copters to carry an anti-submarine weapon. The Kalvari class diesel-electric submarines have ASW suites. The Kalvari and Khanderi, the first two of the subs, will be commissioned within this year.A new set of ASW-capable helicopters are on the anvil. An ASW helicopter with its sea-dunking sonars is a favoured platform for detecting a submarine as an over flying copter itself cannot be found or targeted by a submarine. The ASW-capable Kamov 28 copters are being modernised, sensors upgraded and the copters will undergo a technical overhaul to enhance the copter’s life.

    Cause for concern

    • With submarine technology becoming more sophisticated, tracking under-sea vessels is a challenge
    • China has 61 submarines, including nine nuclear-powered, allowing longer endurance
    • A submarine, under-sea, can ‘pin down’ six-seven warships just by instilling the fear of unknown and track ship movements

     


    Grievance Redressal Systems In Defence Forces Need Fixing, And Urgently

    Navdeep Singh – Jan 17, 2017, 6:04 am

    Snapshot

    Perhaps this is an uneasy era, and like all sections of society, the uniformed forces shall also self-adjust with these times.

    All stakeholders of the Army must show flexibility and balance to tide over this temporary disquiet.

    In my opinion, no organisation, the uniformed services included, is beyond scrutiny.

    And with that disclaimer, I would like to emphasise, that the recent events in public gaze concerning our armed forces, triggered by a video posted on social media by a trooper of the Border Security Force (BSF), must not be viewed in black or white, and till the full facts are made known, neither the organisation nor the individual should be the target of preconceived notions or bias.

    There is no denying that like other large organisations, the security forces also face certain issues at various levels, but that reality must not become a tool for spreading discontentment, frustration or disaffection or an opportunity to create fissures between the leaders and the led. Scandalising of the subject must cease, but at the same time, such instances, even if assumed as emanating from disgruntled personalities, should lead to all stakeholders trying to ensure resolution and improvement. As I have stated many times in the past, while there is too much focus on anomalies related to pay and pension and other financial matters, real issues which affect the very heart and soul of our organisations comprising brave men and women, are ignored.

    Though the incident primarily revolved around bad rations, it has encompassed many facets of life in the uniformed services. Let me comment on certain highlights of various aspects that are being played out in the media and social media. I must warn though that this is going to be a long read.

    Us And Them syndrome

    All security forces serve the same flag and are expected to work shoulder to shoulder for the same ultimate aim. The episode, however, again brought to fore statements such as “this is the BSF and not the Army” or “this never happens in the Army” or “there is a problem of leadership in the Police Forces” and so on.

    That is no consolation. It was the BSF this time, tomorrow it could be the Army.

    Irrespective of the veracity of this incident, complaints on quality of ration are not rare in the Army and we must not pretend to be surprised. Further, the Army has had its share of ration (and other) scams too, and the Army is also not a holy entity removed from the society. The quality of roti, kapda and makaan is talked of in hushed tones and we should have the moral courage to admit that and make amends.

    While there is no reason for the voices of superiority from military veterans, there is also no reason for former and current members of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) to play out how they are discriminated against in pay and allowances time and again, especially with regard to the additional Military Service Pay (MSP) granted to defence personnel (Army, Navy and Air Force) but not to those in other uniformed services. It is pertinent to note that there is one inherent difference between the Defence Services and the CAPFs, and that is, while personnel of the former start retiring in their 30s, troopers of the latter retire in their 50s, serving two decades more than the former and in the bargain enjoying not only certainty and protection of livelihood during productive lifetime but also higher lifetime earnings and multiple pay revisions. Similarly, while it is true that the military gets higher allowances in certain field areas, the reverse is also correct wherein CAPFs have an edge. It is a fact that on one hand, over the years, while some of the better military specific allowances stand extended to the other services, the same courtesy or reciprocity has not been allowed to the military. Today, payouts such as the detachment allowance, special duty allowance, tribal area allowance and double house rent allowance are not available to defence services.

    Of course, bullets of the enemy do not distinguish between the colour of the uniform and the CAPFs operating in the same area as members of the defence services deserve the same risk-related allowances, but vice versa should also be made applicable. Hence apart from the basic pay, which is broadly the same for all services including the military, there is no comparison of service conditions- you win some, you lose some, and which is absolutely clear at the time of joining service, whether it is the military or the CAPFs.

    Yes, discriminatory practices such as inequitable allowances must be ironed out. I am anyway not a believer of superiority or inferiority of any service or organisation. All play a role and all are equal.

    Excellent System Of Redressal Of Grievances In The Uniformed Forces?

    I tend not to fully agree. The number of representations, petitions, non-statutory complaints, statutory complaints and litigation cannot be termed as low by any stretch of imagination. The redressal of grievances theoretically is apt in the forces, but practically speaking there are many rough edges which need to be smoothened out since handling of grievances is personality oriented and there is no thumb rule. It is argued that the Commanding Officer (CO) is a father figure and if a person does not get redressal from his Commanding Officer, he can always approach the next senior in hierarchy. Easier said than done. Can a prudent person expect a soldier, who has complained against his CO, to have a smooth time thereafter in the unit under that very CO? Are all complaints made to superiors in the hierarchy even promptly forwarded to them? Both answers are in the negative.

    Moreover, the CO can only deal with local issues within his control, nothing beyond it, and again, the resolution would be dependent upon personality traits. It is also well known that the formal system of statutory and non-statutory complaints for issues such as confidential reports, disciplinary matters and promotions is a slow grind. While such complaints are supposed to be finalised within six months (against the three months prescribed by civil departments), despite emphasis by successive defence ministers on promptness, complaints are rarely decided in time, unless, let us face it, strings are pulled. What does it lead to? Nothing but frustration and discontentment and lack of closure- aspects that can be easily handled in-house with a well-oiled responsive grievances redressal machinery.

    To add to the woes, complaints are rejected on points such as ‘incorrect format’ and what not, leading to more disgruntlement. Should soldiers who are cut-off from the world sitting in tough posts on the border be expected to adhere to formats and red-tape and then wait forever to get their issues resolved? Should soldiers remain preoccupied with their pending grievances or perform their duties? Should a few disgruntled ones then be allowed to disproportionately flag these problems and hurt the image of the entire force? There is hence hollowness on display when we hear phrases of praise for the grievance redressal system. The reality is that one has to be well connected or street-smart to get himself or herself heard and those stating otherwise obviously do not have the courage to admit the follies of the existing system.

    Think if you must that we are ‘the best’, but let us strive for making the system even better and ensure objectivity and decisions that are not influenced by any other aspect but the merits of the grievance.

    What Can Be Done?

    To improve the system of redressal of grievances, some simple steps can be initiated, of course within the four corners of discipline and military efficiency. Steps that would be easy to implement but may not undermine the authority that is needed to command troops into battle.

    Going Up The Hierarchy

    In case of a grievance related to an individual’s unit or an officer under whom he is serving, rather than jumping the hierarchy, the person must be allowed to write to the higher formations or commanders through proper channel, as is permissible under the existing system, but with an additional concept of a direct ‘advance copy’ to the senior officer as a matter of right. Further, it should be reemphasised strictly that officers in the channel would not hold back any complaint or representation for more than the prescribed days and any such delay would entail a notice to the lower unit, officer or formation from where it was supposed to move up. The authority to who the advance copy is addressed must interact with the affected person and hear him out before reaching a conclusion. Officers should be encouraged not to consider ‘recommendations’ or ‘comments’ from down below as binding and must not shy away from forming own objective opinions by overruling such recommendations, if required.

    Opportunity of hearing or interaction:

    In case of statutory complaints, which are not routine representations as above, but usually involve career aspects, an opportunity of hearing or interaction must be provided to the complainant by the competent decision-making authority or the authority closest to the decision-making authority. This procedure, recommended recently by a Committee of Experts, of which this author was also a member, already stands accepted by the Defence Minister in principle but the implementation instructions are yet to be issued. Explaining the benefits of such an approach, the following was stated by the Committee:

    “…Opportunity of personal hearing or personal interaction has many advantages. It is what is known as sunwai in vernacular. Not only does it lead to satisfaction of the Complainant that he/she has been heard objectively by the decision making authority but at times it may also lead to the competent authority getting convinced that what the Complainant is stating is correct and the picture painted by the authorities on noting sheets lower in the chain could be incorrect. It may be pointed out that in almost all civil organizations and even in the Indian Air Force, opportunity of hearing is freely provided which leads to a higher degree of satisfaction level and also harmony within the system. Though the informal system of ‘interview’ is available in the defence services, it is discretionary and not institutionalized and not at the ‘competent authority level’ especially while dealing with statutory complaints. The system of opportunity of hearing also provides a catharsis to individuals who may feel stifled at times and hence would provide an outlet to at least open up before the competent authority. It becomes all the more important in defence services where there is no trade unionism or associations, and rightly so. It becomes even more important in the stratified rank structure environment and physically long distances of location.

    Under the current system, complaints of aggrieved personnel are being dealt with by way of a one-way file noting system on which, after a complaint is submitted, the complainant is neither heard nor is given an opportunity to rebut what is put up against his Complaint by the dealing official chain. At times, decisions are taken based on the comments of those very officers/officials who have been complained against giving rise to a question of bias, which could be simply a perception, or even real, and which may not result in closure of the issue with rampant dissatisfaction due to the very reason that a person has not been heard and only a one-sided decision has been taken. There is also a challenge to address the perception that there remains an element of subjectivity in the processing of the Complaints since the system would perceivably remain favourably inclined towards the organisation. It also so happens that on many occasions, especially at ranks other than Commissioned Officers, personnel are apprehensive in approaching the institutional redressal system for the fear of reprisal from superiors. All this would change with the system of institutionalizing ‘opportunity of hearing’ which would not only be in tune with the best practices of the current times, but also in line with decisions of Constitutional Courts, the views of the Hon’ble Raksha Mantri and also DoPT instructions issued from time to time. In fact, it has been emphasized time and again even by the Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances that employees’ frustration rises from the perception of inaccessibility and lack of concern of superior officers, failure to acknowledge and act upon grievances and non-involvement in organizational activities…”

    Faster And Time-Bound Redressal

    Timelines on grievances must be strictly adhered to and non-processing in time should provide a right of audience for the soldier to the competent authority. Though there must be a balance between individual and organisational rights, the precious personal rights cannot be held hostage to administrative lethargy. Again, in such cases, when grievances are not decided within a particular time limit, to obliterate any negative usage of other unauthorised channels, soldiers must have a system of informing the competent authority directly or through electronic means, and the designated authority should be obliged to provide an audience or interaction. It is well known that many complaints are rendered infructuous, including in career related issues, due to the fact that they are not decided in time.

    I would mince no words in stating that it is truly unfortunate that seven decades after independence we have not been able to even ensure decisions on complaints within laid down time limits, and time limits which, ironically, are themselves needlessly generous- six months in most cases. It should not be forgotten that timely, objective and fair disposal of a grievance is like a legally provided pressure valve which can provide quietus to an issue and bring closure for a person, but if that vent or outlet is not provided, the built-up pressure is bound to escape through routes that would not be palatable.

    Social Engineering And Flattening Of Hierarchy Through Technology

    The Army Chief’s idea for grievance boxes is a welcome step but it may prove to be ungainly since he alone would not be able to monitor grievances from such a large manpower, and some of such complaints would be frivolous and personal rants which would have to be filtered out. Since interaction with senior officers is not feasible at all times due to the nature of duties, there must be an established system for more interaction in real time with seniors without being put up through staff officers with a hackneyed approach, and for designated grievance officers in all formations who must remain insulated from influence and subjectivity.

    This actually is nothing new. The Army’s Western Command under the aegis of the then Army Commander, Lt Gen KJ Singh, had initiated a blog wherein all ranks were free to float suggestions, recommendations and grievances. In fact, it could be loosely termed as an electronic and more feasible version of a grievance box advocated by the Chief of the Army Staff. It provided real-time outlet for such issues thereby eliminating simmering undercurrents. Further, this was not done as a mere formality but grievances and recommendations were acted upon and star recommendations were also publically awarded. At the same time, the same Army Commander had also done away with an eatery in a market within the cantonment which had separate sitting spaces for families based on ranks. While hierarchy within official spaces and establishments cannot be avoided, and in fact may be desirable, public spaces for families in cantonments need to be rendered totally rank-neutral.

    The sahayak system is also in news. Though the uniformed services often emphasise the ‘buddy system’ and ‘breaking bread together’ and the ‘camaraderie’, it is still felt in certain quarters that there is a clash of societal dynamics which has resulted in personnel resisting work outside their charter of duties. The system, by whichever name it may be called, is an integral part of operational environment and apart from relieving Commissioned Officers and Junior Commissioned Officers from the rigmarole of mundane day to day issues, sahayaks act as a bridge between the troops and their leaders. Just as support staff is provided to officers to enable them to perform duties efficiently in peace and staff appointments, sahayaks are entitled in units and formations on war establishment. If an officer cannot be expected to type all his letters without assistance of a clerk in a staff appointment, he cannot also be expected to perform routine administrative tasks and run around without assistance in a field appointment.

    Rules anyway prohibit combatants from being used for domestic chores, but it does seem that the concept has faltered and has become hazy due to unfortunate aberrations. If there is so much hue and cry on this subject, obviously there must be things that require to be fixed. With some very senior officers and veterans brushing aside the voices raised against the exploitation of the system, we should simply ask ourselves whether the system is being misused or not. Even if the answer is uncomfortable, it should not be ignored, and with changing social dynamics, the effort should be to provide a practical alternative without compromising the dignity of combatants.

    Due to frequent movements, military families have to struggle for survival in new places every now and then, they even have to live most of the service life without the breadwinner. It is a nightmare, to say the least. There is hence requirement of support but the answer to that must be brainstormed by the establishment itself. Whether it is staff specially recruited for the purpose, whether it is manpower arranged out of contributory funds at each station centrally after due verification or whether it is a trained and organised system of housekeepers and maids with background checks at military stations paid by those who employ them – it is for the stakeholders to devise and find a solution to. In fact, the few cases of transgression cannot be blamed upon the uniformed organisations per se or even on officers, we have simply failed to provide an alternative, and in other cases, it might be a sense of entitlement at play and being miserly with a tendency to live on the house, crudely put. Yes, the issue is blown out of proportion every now and then with extreme stands on both sides, yet, a long lasting solution needs to be found.

    Stress And Strain Of Military Service And Its Effect On Mental Health

    At times, there is a thin line between misdemeanour and a psychiatric condition, a line which is not discernable to an untrained eye. Stress and strain is the hallmark of military service, which is recognised universally, all over the world. The fact that a person is away from his family most of the year and cannot hence fulfil domestic commitments results in added pressure which at times becomes unbearable. It is not a sign of weakness, we’re all different and the body reacts differently to varied stimuli. Under such pressures, certain individuals tend to develop conditions which need care and sensitivity and not disdain. For example, a person may wander out of the lines due to his mental condition and while a mature leader of troops may rightly refer him to a psychiatrist, another may simply declare him absent without leave. Similarly, mature leaders would understand that while intoxication on duty could be an offence, alcoholism could well be a psychiatric condition. While I do not mean to defend the BSF trooper we all saw on TV, I found it a little odd for him to be summarily branded as a ‘bad hat’ or an ‘alcoholic’. If so, he required psychiatric care and not entrustment with a weapon in an operational area! Officers should not forget that stress and strain of service and effect on mental health is much higher on lower ranks than on higher ranks.

    A great contributor is the inability to cope up with requirements back home, seemingly small little matters- education of children, property disputes, registration of house, municipal work and so on, and an insensitive administration does not help. While officers are still able to get a grip by speaking to their civilian counterparts and are blessed with better education and wherewithal, personnel of lower ranks are at sea, the result of which is stress which is then also wrongly blamed on ‘domestic reasons’ while the actual cause is military service and its exigencies which keep troops away from efficient and timely resolution of the multitude of issues back home, but that is another story for another time.

    The times we live in are complicated and there are no easy solutions. The answers, or even the questions, cannot be so simplistic as many of us seem to believe. There is no wrong and no perfect right, there is no black and there is no white. The only truth in this is the fact that this perhaps is an uneasy era, but just like the society, the uniformed forces shall also self-adjust with these times. The churning is not comfortable but all stakeholders must show flexibility and balance to tide over this temporary disquiet.

    Navdeep Singh

    Major Navdeep Singh is a practising High Court lawyer, author and the founding President of the Armed Forces Tribunal Bar Association. He is Member of the International Society for Military Law and the Law of War at Brussels.


    First Armed Forces Veterans Day observed

    First Armed Forces Veterans Day observed
    The Chief of Staff, Western Command, Lt Gen IS Ghuman (centre), along with former Army Chief Gen VP Malik (left) pays homage to martyrs on the occasion of the first Armed Forces Veterans Day in Chandimandir on Saturday. A Tribune photograph

    Tribune News Service

    Chandigarh, January 14

    The first Armed Forces Veterans Day was observed at Chandimandir Military Station today, with a large number of retired armed forces personnel from the tricity and adjoining areas attending the event.It was decided to commemorate January 14 every year as the Armed Forces Veterans Day as a mark of respect and recognition of the services rendered by Field Marshal KM Cariappa, the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army, who retired from service on January 14, 1953.On the occasion, a solemn wreath laying ceremony was conducted at Veer Smriti war memorial, where wreaths were laid by senior officers of all the three services. Former Army Chief Gen VP Malik also laid a wreath on behalf of all the veterans. Lt Gen IS Ghuman, Chief of Staff, Headquarters Western Command, interacted with veterans and civil dignitaries present on the occasion.Officers from the civilian administration from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh, who are dealing with veterans’ affairs, gave an insight of various projects being undertaken by the state governments for the welfare of veterans.Several information kiosks were set up to spread awareness about various ongoing and upcoming projects in the field of job placements, education facilities, resettlement, pension entitlement and other related issues. A medical camp was also organised where a large number of medical specialists and laboratory facilities were made available to the veterans


    GEN. J.J. SINGH ABUSES CAPT. AMARINDER SINGH | ਜੇਜੇ ਸਿੰਘ ਨੇ ਕੈਪਟਨ ਨੂੰ ਕੱਢੀਆਂ ਸ਼ਰੇਆਮ ਗਾਲਾਂ

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    J J Singh’s harsh words to Captain Amrinder Singh !

    Daru seems to have already knocked the drunk General

    A disgrace  to the Armed forces and dignity of Chiefs office by using abusive language in Public Has he joined SAD to play Boxing with Cat Amarinder or tried to please himself and his ears with strong wordining unworthy of a Ex-India Army chief, A shame .

    breakl line

    WARDIWALA TO DHOTIWALA
     
    BY
    LT COL NOEL ELLIS (RETD)
    09/I/2017
     
    I was hesitating all this while whether to comment on Gen JJ Singh joining politics. I am sure after such a long and illustrious service to the nation where he headed our professional army as a Chief and now as a Governor. Why has he decided to join SAD? It makes me feel sad. I will try and apply my mind to the reasons why a wardi wala takes a plunge to become a dhoti wala. Pardon me my saying so dear politicians, but in my eyes you guys do not meet my eye by any standards. You guys do not fit in my scheme of things. So Gen JJ your decision to change is very unpalatable to me. Well, to paint all dhotiwalas in the same brush may not be correct, but some become pyjama walas, some become suit boot walas, some become khadi walas, some become topi walas, but most of them become mauke par chauka walas, in my humble opinion. Where will you stand, we shall wait and see sir?
     
    I know it is difficult to run a country with such a varied terrain and population. The irony is that this country continues to run on its own steam, irrespective of the pink colour of notes, irrespective of the colour of the lotus, irrespective of mixing up all the left over spices (parties), which actually left a bad taste in our mouths during the NDA tenure. Nehru came Nehru went, Indira came Indira went, Rajiv came Rajiv went, Vajpai came Vajpai went so will Modi in due course of time, don’t forget the others in between. Badal’s came Badal’s went and Badal’s came again. Will they continue to stay forever; your guess is as good as mine? The only thing Modi has brought in is a little change, a little freshness and little cleanliness from both garbage as well as corruption even if it is superficially. I like it, as I constantly look for something fresh in life. Sooner or later it is going to be stale. Kashmir is a stale issue, parliament logjam is a stale issue and in fact except for NOTEBANDI, nothing seems to be fresh. The 2000 and 500 notes are fresh, so I love it. Generals joining politics is a stale issue, as none of them have done anything worthwhile for their community, serving or the veterans as far as I am aware, so now this General who rose up to be a Governor is convinced to get into the grass roots. Welcome to the “HAMAAM” sir.
     
    May I ask you, is it that you were fed up of the Raj Bhawans, the golf, the book writing etc that you now want a change. If that be so, I somehow feel that you should not have become a General in the first place. Why do you want to fall from grace? Or is it that you have seen so many politicians in your life that you have got so impressed by their work and deeds that you want to emulate them? May be you are so fed up from them that you want to do your bit to change them. Or is it that you find nothing else better to do than to join politics, to stay relevant for at least those five years that you are elected. I don’t know sir, why do you have to stoop that low. I am sure your reasons must be genuine, but for our sake and by “our” I mean the veterans’ sake please do something or don’t join politics. I wish you retire and enjoy your pension, do community service, rather waste your time and hard earned money in this tomfoolery called politics is my humble suggestion.
     
    Sir, if you genuinely feel that you want to do something for the nation, then why you haven’t floated your own party. I also want to know from you that are you so mesmerized by the Badals that you have accepted a SAD ticket. I also want to understand from you that out of all the places why you have chosen Patiala as your constituency for election, Are you from Patiala?  Can you make a dent in the Captain’s armour? The person, who has been from the ruling clan of Patiala, will outnumber you even if he loses and I can assure you that you may lose your security deposit in the bargain. The only thing I find in common is that you are a Sikh, fine, but don’t think they are all sardars. The people of Patiala are thinking people and well educated at that. But, who am I to stop you from burning your fingers? I don’t know the exact political sway and political alliances of that region as it exists today, but rest assured you are in for a shock if not a surprise.
     
    I have a problem when a person who once adorned a four star uniform and star plate on his car is branded with politicians. I have a problem with a man whose vehicle used to adorn the Ashoka insignia where ever he went will now have nothing of that sort. Tell me General, is it the craving for a white ambassador car which has made you to decide to fight elections. Wasn’t the black one you sat in most of your life good enough? What was the motivation behind to join active politics? We would like to know. From a General to the civil streets, from a governor to worst than a section commander, who at least used to have nine men obeying his word of command? Here you may have nine hundred “chamchas” but all looking in as many directions. Well, you are used to an organised set up, where you had your ADCs noting every word that came out of your mouth. The staff and perks which organised every move of yours, here now you have decided to get back to walking the streets and asking for votes. I don’t know it just doesn’t go down my gullet.
     
    Well general, I wish you the best from the bottom of my heart if you really can change the way politics is done in India and especially so in Punjab. I wish you luck if you are going to do something for the veterans and the widows of the uniformed community. I wish each and every case which is pending in courts is chased by you personally, even if it means to get on loggerheads with the CM, Defence Minister or the PM. I say so as I was posted in Patiala District many moons back, and I saw the plight of the Veterans community. I saw the way widows kept increasing due to the conflict with Pakistan. I met hundreds of them, who carried pictures of their beloveds close to their chests with pride, but were deprived of honour which was their due. I felt ashamed when the civil administration neglected them as they had retired or become widows for no fault of theirs. My heart goes out to them, as more than 12000 used to gather in the canteens to pick up their groceries and things of daily needs every month besides the “Quota” which every person in the civil administration demanded for petty works of theirs. Be the change sir, for our sake.
     
    Well sir, if you promise me to just get back the dignity of every veteran and veer nari back on track in Punjab, I am with you, but if you are going to become just a typical politician with no difference, then I rather stay mum. Will you pay heed to what I say, I wonder!!!!!!

    Academia to get ringside view of Army’s firepower

    OBJECTIVE Initiative part of plan to involve them and overcome modernisation hurdles

    NEW DELHI: Top academia from Indian Institutes of Technology, Bengaluru-based Indian Institute of Science, and other centres of excellence will get a ringside view of the army’s precise application of firepower, as part of an overarching programme to involve them in over coming modern is at ion hurdles being faced by the force.

    They will witness live firing by the Bofors gun, 130 mm artillery guns, and rocket launchers for the first time. Under the outreach initiative, spearheaded by the Army Design Bureau (ADB) set up last year, the academia and industry experts will be taken to the School of Artillery in Devlali on January 9 and Infantry School in Mhow on February 20 — both in Madhya Pradesh — for elaborate firepower displays.

    The army is seeking their help to fix at least 170 problem areas in modernisation ranging from mobility of guns in mountains to night vision devices and wound-healing fabric to satellite-based tracking systems.

    he academia and industry are also being tapped to develop future technologies such as armoured fighting vehicles, unmanned combat aerial vehicles, longer range surface-to-air missiles, and precision weapons.

    A South Block source said an army team, headed by deputy chief Lieutenant General Subrata Saha, has held 17 bilateral army-industry interactions and eight trilateral army-industry-academia interactions.

    “The interactions were aimed at promoting an understanding of the army’s modernisation requirements, gauging the industry’s capabilities, and finding out how academic activities could be aligned to meet the army’s future needs,” the source said.

    The micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector stands to make some significant gains by taking part in the modernisation drive as almost 40% of the army’s schemes are valued under `140 crore.

    Last year, the academia and industry representatives were taken to Ahmednagar and Gopalpur to educate them about tanks and air defence equipment. They have been taken to highaltitude areas in the Northeast and Jammu and Kashmir, and a field trip to the desert sector will take place in February.

    A senior officer said many projects under IMPRINT India (Impacting Research Innovation and Technology) — a pan-IIT and IISc joint initiative to develop a roadmap for research to solve major engineering and technology challenges — were being aligned to meet the army’s future requirements. He said research cells had been set up in several IITs and domain-specific courses in defence technology were in the works.

    He said the industry’s response to army’s request for information for several schemes had increased significantly after the setting up of the ADB. The army has already signed an MoU for collaboration with IIT Gandhinagar, and another one with IIT Mumbai is likely to be inked on January 8.

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    Battle royale: It’ll be Gen vs Capt in Patiala

    TAKING POSITION Camping in Patiala, former army chief Gen JJ Singh says his track record is of ‘no failures’

    I am ready for the battle… I am here to give back to the city socially, politically and economically. GEN JJ SINGH (RETD), former army chief

    PATIALA: Two former soldiers are set to slug it out in the Patiala assembly segment as the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has decided to bet on former army chief General JJ Singh (retd) against Punjab Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh for the polls due within a couple of months. Amarinder hasn’t lost an election from the Patiala (urban) seat since 2002.

    HT FILEDeputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal honouring Gen JJ Singh (retd) during the inauguration of the first phase of Gobindgarh Fort in Amritsar on December 13.

    Gen JJ Singh stopped just short of expressly confirming the candidature: “Let’s wait for a day; I am ready for the battle and take up a challenge only to win.”

    But an Akali leader privy to the decision told HT, “The idea is to pose a tough challenge to Amarinder, so that he gets less time to move around the state for canvassing. General JJ Singh is a Sikh with an illustrious career behind him.” PATIALA: Two former soldiers are set to slug it out in the Patiala assembly segment as the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has decided to bet on former army chief General JJ Singh (retd) against Punjab Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh for the polls due within a couple of months. Amarinder hasn’t lost an election from the Patiala (urban) seat since 2002.

    Gen JJ Singh stopped just short of expressly confirming the candidature: “Let’s wait for a day; I am ready for the battle and take up a challenge only to win.”

    But an Akali leader privy to the decision told HT, “The idea is to pose a tough challenge to Amarinder, so that he gets less time to move around the state for canvassing. General JJ Singh is a Sikh with an illustrious career behind him. The AAP has fielded a very weak candidate from Patiala. Our party president will announce the name in a day or two, but JJ Singh has already been sounded to shift base to Patiala.”

    Gen Singh confirmed he has reached Patiala. “Let me first make it clear that don’t dub me as a ‘paratrooper’ in Patiala. I have been brought up in the city and stayed here… am familiar with its every nook and cranny,” he said, indicating that he is game. He said he is in Patiala “for an assignment which I will accomplish in tune with my track record of no failures”.

    He added, “It’s my payback time to Patiala, where I have stayed for years as a child after my family shifted here after Partition. The city has my ‘nanke’ (maternal grandfather’s family) as well as ‘dadke’ (paternal grandfather’s), and now I am here to give back to the city socially, politically and economically,” said the General.

    Gen Singh, who was the first Sikh officer to become the army chief, has been provided security cover by the police in Patiala. At least 12 cops and vehicle have been put on the job on the orders of ADGP (security). JJ Singh fought the 1965 and 1971 wars, apart from being among the architects of defeating Pakistani intruders in Kargil. For six months, JJ Singh was cosying up with SAD president and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal. He was seen at the inaugural function of the war memorial in Amritsar and also at other events concerning ex-servicemen.

    Amarinder, too, had served on the Indo-Pak border during the 1965 war.

    After finding former minister Surjit Singh Kohli not in the pink of his health, and Bhagwan Dass Juneja, who lost decisively in the bypoll to Preneet Kaur after Amarinder left the seat to become Amritsar MP, the SAD was looking for a formidable fresh face from Patiala. Sukhbir approached JJ Singh, who agreed to the proposal, said sources.

    SAD general secretary Prem Singh Chandumajra had said on Sunday that a “famous personality” would be pitted against Amarinder. As per the deal, say sources, the General has been promised a “suitable adjustment” irrespective of what the election result will be.

    On being asked if it will be befitting for him to contest assembly polls after holding offices such as those of army chief and governor, JJ Singh said, “No job and work is small.”

     

    Akalis to field General versus Captain in battle for Patiala

    TAKING POSITION Camping in Patiala, former army chief Gen JJ Singh says his track record is of ‘no failures’

    I am ready for the battle… I am here to give back to the city socially, politically and economically. GEN JJ SINGH (RETD), former army chief

    PATIALA: Two former soldiers are set to slug it out in the Patiala assembly segment as the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has decided to bet on former army chief General JJ Singh (retd) against Punjab Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh for the polls due within a couple of months. Amarinder hasn’t lost an election from the Patiala (urban) seat since 2002.

    HT FILEDeputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal honouring Gen JJ Singh (retd) during the inauguration of the first phase of Gobindgarh Fort in Amritsar on December 13.

    Gen JJ Singh stopped just short of expressly confirming the candidature: “Let’s wait for a day; I am ready for the battle and take up a challenge only to win.”

    But an Akali leader privy to the decision told HT, “The idea is to pose a tough challenge to Amarinder, so that he gets less time to move around the state for canvassing. General JJ Singh is a Sikh with an illustrious career behind him. The AAP has fielded a very weak candidate from Patiala. Our party president will announce the name in a day or two, but JJ Singh has already been sounded to shift base to Patiala.”

    Gen Singh confirmed he has reached Patiala. “Let me first make it clear that don’t dub me as a ‘paratrooper’ in Patiala. I have been brought up in the city and stayed here… am familiar with its every nook and cranny,” he said, indicating that he is game. He said he is in Patiala “for an assignment which I will accomplish in tune with my track record of no failures”.

    He added, “It’s my payback time to Patiala, where I have stayed for years as a child after my family shifted here after Partition. The city has my ‘nanke’ (maternal grandfather’s family) as well as ‘dadke’ (paternal grandfather’s), and now I am here to give back to the city socially, politically and economically,” said the General.

    Gen Singh, who was the first Sikh officer to become the army chief, has been provided security cover by the police in Patiala. At least 12 cops and vehicle have been put on the job on the orders of ADGP (security). JJ Singh fought the 1965 and 1971 wars, apart from being among the architects of defeating Pakistani intruders in Kargil. For six months, JJ Singh was cosying up with SAD president and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal. He was seen at the inaugural function of the war memorial in Amritsar and also at other events concerning ex-servicemen.

    Amarinder, too, had served on the Indo-Pak border during the 1965 war.

    After finding former minister Surjit Singh Kohli not in the pink of his health, and Bhagwan Dass Juneja, who lost decisively in the bypoll to Preneet Kaur after Amarinder left the seat to become Amritsar MP, the SAD was looking for a formidable fresh face from Patiala. Sukhbir approached JJ Singh, who agreed to the proposal, said sources.

    SAD general secretary Prem Singh Chandumajra had said on Sunday that a “famous personality” would be pitted against Amarinder. As per the deal, say sources, the General has been promised a “suitable adjustment” irrespective of what the election result will be.

    On being asked if it will be befitting for him to contest assembly polls after holding offices such as those of army chief and governor, JJ Singh said, “No job and work is small.”


    India, Pakistan exchange list of nuclear installations

    New Delhi, January 1India and Pakistan on Sunday exchanged for the 26th consecutive year the list of their nuclear installations under a bilateral agreement that prohibits them from attacking each other’s atomic facilities.“India and Pakistan today exchanged, through diplomatic channels simultaneously at New Delhi and Islamabad, the list of nuclear installations and facilities covered under the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear Installations between India and Pakistan,” the Ministry of External Affairs said.The agreement, which was signed on December 31, 1988, and entered into force on January 27, 1991, says that the two countries will inform each other of nuclear installations and facilities to be covered under the agreement on January 1 of every calendar year.This is the 26th consecutive exchange of such list between the two countries, the first one having taken place on January 1, 1992.The two countries also exchanged, through diplomatic channels simultaneously at New Delhi and Islamabad, the lists of nationals (including civil prisoners and fishermen) of each country lodged in their respective jails as per provisions of the Agreement on Consular Access, the MEA said.The agreement on consular access, signed between the two countries on May 21, 2008, provides for exchanging a comprehensive list of nationals of each country lodged in their jails twice each year–on January 1 and July 1.“India remains committed to addressing with Pakistan on priority the humanitarian matters, including those pertaining to prisoners and fishermen in each other’s country.“In this context, we await from Pakistan confirmation of nationality of those in India’s custody who are otherwise eligible for release and repatriation.“We also await consular access to those Indian nationals in Pakistan’s custody for whom it has so far not been provided, including Hamid Nehal Ansari and Kulbhushan Jadhav,” said an MEA statement.The Pakistani security forces had arrested Jadhav from Balochistan in March and alleged that he was “a serving officer in the Indian Navy and deputed to the Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW)”.Jadhav has been accused by Pakistan of planning “subversive activities” in the country.India has acknowledged that Jadhav had served with the navy but denied that he had any connection with the government.Pakistan has so far turned down India’s request for consular access to Jadhav, whom Pakistan claimed to be a RAW spy.Ansari had crossed over illegally to Pakistan from Afghanistan in 2012 reportedly to meet a girl he had befriended online and then went missing.He was later arrested and tried by a Pakistani military court, which pronounced him guilty of espionage. PTI