India and Russia on sidelines of BRICS summit in Goa quietly concluded an agreement for the lease of Second Akula-2 class submarine for 10 year period . India was interested in taking on lease multi-purpose Project 885 Yasen class submarine from Russia which is still under production for Russian Navy and is considered Successor to Akula-2 class nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) but Russia stuck to its original offering of Akula class submarine to India which India already had in the form of the INS Chakra II.

Yasen-class is based on the Akula-class submarine and the Alfa-class submarine and is more advanced and capable than its predecessor. India was bargaining for Yasen-class for on its own ulterior motives since it had plans to develop its own indigenous Attack Nuclear submarines on lines of Yasen-class with active Russian assistance . Continue reading


The Indian Army recently scrapped the tender to buy 185,000 5.56x45mm assault rifles to replace the INSAS rifle. The army has changed the requirements from 5.56 to 7.62x51mm and now would look for rifles which cater this caliber. The need for the replacement comes because the INSAS ever since its induction saw various operational problems be it stoppages, cracks on the magazine, turning into an automatic rifle, spraying oil and others. The army has finally decided to replace the system.

If the 7.62×51 (7.62NATO) sounds familiar it’s because before INSAS the army used the SLR the UK/India variant of the Belgian FN FAL. The FAL was so successful that it was called the “right arm of the western world”, but with time it was replaced and so was the philosophy of ‘shoot to kill’. It was replaced by the US professed and NATO followed philosophy of ‘shoot to incapacitate’ this meant using smaller intermediate rounds of 5.56×45. And soon India too joined the party with its own design, the INSAS, it was meant to be the mix of FAL and AK-47 bringing the best of two worlds together but turned out to be underwhelming. Continue reading


After the successful high altitude trials of the Light Combat helicopter (LCH) at Leh forward operating base in September, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is now working on integrating the weapons suite on the indigenous light combat helicopter.

HAL has started limited series production and intends to manufacture five LCH helicopters.”LCH is ready, we are integrating its weapons, we tried rockets and it was good, we need to try missiles ATGM – anti-tank guided missile, (these) are the ones which we are integrating and we just have to demonstrate that,” chairman HAL Suvarna Raju said. Continue reading


In the period following September 29, India has embarked on a two-pronged Pakistan strategy. First, it has indicated it is willing to use hard force when faced with terrorism and cross old lines, literally or figuratively. Second, it has intensified its campaign to diplomatically “isolate” Pakistan in the neighbourhood. Together these have been called the “new normal”. It is important to examine the contours of this new normal.

For a start, the new normal is not limitless. The use of force in retaliation or anticipation of terrorism is not suggestive of an Indian inclination for a full-scale war; not at all. The Narendra Modi government is conscious of that and has repeatedly said the cross-LoC strikes were targeting terrorism and not the Pakistani military. Diplomatically too the absolute isolation of Pakistan is not feasible. The Brics summit in Goa was a case in point. Continue reading


Speaking at a recent Police Commemoration Day function, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti urged the police to try to bring youths who have fled their homes to join militancy back to the mainstream. “I request the police to try to bring them back to their homes. Instead of being killed in encounters, if it is possible to bring them back, make them a part of the mainstream, give them bats, balls and good education, instead of guns,” she said.

According to her, those who have taken up arms are local boys: Didn’t she miss the foreign terrorists? She stressed that ending militancy and restoring peace were a prerequisite for repealing the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (Afspa) and to seek the starting of the dialogue process in the state. She said that “black laws” like Afspa would be repealed from the state when the situation improves. Continue reading


The government will once again focus on its push for India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) this week with the three-day visit of New Zealand Prime Minister John Key from Monday. Negotiators, meanwhile, are gearing up for the second round of talks with China followed by an NSG session in Vienna — expected in November.

New Zealand is among the countries led by China that have demanded a set criteria for non-signatories of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), holding up India’s membership, and the issue will be discussed when Mr. Key meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, officials said. Continue reading


We are upset that China and Russia did not support us on our specific complaint against Pakistan during the Goa BRICS summit. We are also unhappy that the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson had said on October 17 (in answer to a specific question) that both India and Pakistan “are victims of terrorism”.

Did our politicians and diplomats really think that one country’s formulation, even as the host, would be adopted by a multilateral forum that does not usually discuss bilateral disputes? Also, our own statistics would prove that Pakistan had suffered more through terrorism than India, although one could dispute the Chinese spokesperson’s mention about “enormous efforts and sacrifices made by Pakistan in fighting terrorism”. Continue reading


THE HAQQANI network, a UN-designated terrorist group which has killed Indian diplomats, military officials and civilians in Afghanistan in recent years, continues to enjoy sanctuary in Pakistan and operates freely from there, the top US commander in Afghanistan John Nicholson has said.

In an interview with The Indian Express in Kabul, Nicholson said, “We see, on the one hand, a stated aspiration for reconciliation (on the part of the Pakistan government, by bringing the Taliban to the table for peace talks). While on the other, the Haqqanis still enjoy sanctuary and can operate freely from inside Pakistan and this continues to be a concern.” Continue reading


On October 22, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray issued a decree that all Indian producers who have worked with Pakistani artists will have to donate Rs crore to the Army welfare fund. Accordingly, Karan Johar will have to comply for having worked with Pakistani actors Fawad Khan and Imran Abbas in his upcoming film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. Unless he does that, ADHM won’t be seeing a smooth release and the MNS will be back on the streets to protest and curb the release of the Ranbir Kapoor-starrer.

However, when Karan Johar does give a donation of Rs 5 crore to the Army welfare fund, the amount will be close to four times the amount the fund has received over two months since the initiative began in mid-August. Continue reading


News that Arnab Goswami, the anchor of the NewsHour show on the Times Now television news channel, has been given ‘Y’ class security by the government is not correct, a close friend of Goswami told Subhash K Jha.

“Arnab has no clue where this news came from,” this friend, who said he was speaking on Goswami’s behalf, pointed out.”A week ago he suddenly got calls and messages from a daily newspaper which he did not take. Before he knew it, the report was picked up by numerous papers and Web sites.” Continue reading


Another Border Security Force (BSF) personnel was killed and two others injured in unprovoked firing by Pakistan in RS Pura sector of Jammu on Sunday night.

Head Constable Sushil Kumar (47) was injured when he was hit by a burst of fire from the Pakistan side. He was rushed to a government hospital in Jammu but he died of his injuries there. Kumar was a resident of Kurukshetra in Haryana and is survived by his wife, son and a daughter. Continue reading


File picture of AP Greyhound force.

File picture of AP Greyhound force.

At least 23 Maoists have been killed near the Odisha-Andhra Pradesh border, Superintendent of Police Rahul Dev Sharma told The Hindu on Monday. Sharma said the exchange of fire took place near Jantri in Malkangiri district, Odisha. The police forces of both the states were involved in the operation.

Investigators believe the encounter eliminated a few senior leaders of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) outfit. However, the local administration is yet to confirm the identities of those killed. Continue reading


Small, private Indian shipyards are likely get business from Indian Navy to build ships for defence purposes. The shipping ministry and the Indian Navy are working on a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Navy and Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL) for this purpose.

Sources said the issue was discussed recently between shipping minister Nitin Gadkari and defence minister Manohar Parrikar. They said Cochin Shipyard, a government venture, will supervise the work of small shipyards.

Continue reading


Subahani Haja Moideen, an Indian alleged to be an ISIS operative, knew the terrorists who carried out the attack inside a theatre in Paris last November killing over 100 people but has feigned ignorance about the deadly plot, it has emerged from investigations.

Moideen was arrested from Tamil Nadu in a crackdown by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) with the help of central security agencies and other state police, foiling designs of ISIS operatives to target few judges of Kerala and foreign tourists visiting the coastal state. Continue reading


A proposal approved by Home Minister Rajnath Singh to raise two battalions of central armed police forces in the north-east comprising surrendered militants has failed to find any takers in his own government.

The Department of Personnel and Training has opposed the proposal saying it would set a wrong precedent as there were many young men and women who join the forces on merit. Continue reading

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