India on Wednesday told the US that it will go by its national interest while dealing with other countries, including with sanctions-hit Russia from whom New Delhi is procuring S 400 missile defence systems. This was conveyed by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to his American counterpart Mike Pompeo during an extensive bilateral meeting here.

In a joint press interaction, Pompeo said India is an important partner of the US and that the bilateral ties were reaching new heights. While answering a question on the issue of sanctions under the US’ Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) which may also impact India’s procurement of the S400 systems from Moscow, Jaishankar said India has relationships with several countries. Continue reading


The Indian Air Force lost 27 aircraft, including 15 fighter jets and helicopters, in crashes since 2016, Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik said Wednesday.

The quantum of provisional loss in 11 cases of crashes was approximately Rs 524.64 crore, he said in a written reply in Lok Sabha. In the 2016-17 fiscal, six IAF fighter jets, two helicopters, one transport aircraft and one trainer crashed. In 2017-18, the air force lost two fighter jets and one trainer aircraft in crashes. Continue reading


The vetting process for selection of the next Army Chief has begun, with a list of five top officers being considered for the post after the retirement of incumbent General Bipin Rawat at the end of the year.

The government faces a tough choice for what has now become a selection process where the old convention of seniority no longer applies. At the top of the list are the Northern and Eastern Army commanders — both of whom have rich operational and command experience and a good track record when it comes to anti-insurgency operations. Lt Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane, who is currently the Eastern army Commander, would be the seniormost officer of the Indian Army when General Rawat retires in December end. The Sikh Light Infantry officer has commanded a Rashtriya Rifles battalion in Kashmir, has served in the Assam Rifles and has been posted as the defence attache to Myanmar. Continue reading


India, which is heavily dependent on Middle Eastern oil, is looking on with increasing apprehension as the US and Iran flirt with war.The country imported 84 per cent of its crude in the last financial year, government data show, and two of every three of those barrels was sourced from the conflict-prone region. A major war in the Middle East threatens to push up consumer prices, widen the nation’s external deficits, and potentially derail Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s bid to revive flagging economic growth.

Every $10 increase in the price of a barrel of crude widens country’s current-account deficit by about 0.4 per cent of gross domestic product, said Sonal Varma, chief India economist at Nomura Holdings Inc. The country is already struggling to replace Iranian barrels lost due to US sanctions, she said. Continue reading


As many as six cases of harassment of Indian diplomats in Pakistan have come to light in just this month after guests at an iftar hosted by the Indian High Commission were harassed on June 1.

In one of these cases, Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria’s car was aggressively tailed on his visit to Nathia Gali on June 13. Nathia Gali is a hill station in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. India had sent note verbale to Islamabad on June 20 regarding this. After the incident on June 1 as well, New Delhi had strongly protested against the harassment of guests invited for the iftar organised by Indian High Commission at a hotel in Islamabad, and had asked the Pakistani government to investigate the ‘ugly’ incident. Continue reading


Rajmohan Gandhi, the grandson of the Mahatma, writing in a major newspaper (Way Forward in Kashmir, Indian Express, 10 June) posited: “Modi, Amit Shah and their colleagues, the Opposition and the Indian public should all reflect carefully before the government tries to implement the BJP’s recent promises to abolish Articles 35A and 370… Let us be careful before reneging on our basic principles and on constitutional guarantees.”

But are we “reneging on our basic principles and constitutional guarantees” or are we, by maintaining the status quo, perpetuating injustice, inequality and surrendering to fanatical fundamentalists in direct contradiction of our secular and democratic principles? Continue reading


US secretary of state Mike Pompeo met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday as the S-400 surface-to-air missile systems deal with Russia, cooperation on trade security, energy and space are likely to figure in talks with Indian officials during his three-day visit.

Pompeo, who arrived in India on Tuesday night, held talks with NSA?Ajit Doval before his talks with external affairs minister S Jaishankar over a working lunch on Wednesday. His visit comes before a meeting between PM Modi and US president Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Japan’s Osaka on June 28. Continue reading


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appointed Samant Kumar Goel as the next chief of India’s external spy agency, Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) and Arvinda Kumar as the Director, Intelligence Bureau. PM Modi, as chairman of the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, also cleared the empanelment of 1986 batch IPS officer in the rank of Director General.

Both are Indian Police Service officers of 1984 batch with Goel belonging to Punjab cadre and Kumar, to Assam-Meghalaya cadre.The two officers will take over this month-end when the extended tenure of IB chief Rajiv Jain and R&AW secretary Anil K Dhasmana ends. Jain and Dhasmana were appointed in December 2016 and were given a six-month extension as the country moved into election mode. Continue reading


G Kishan Reddy, Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs said there was no intelligence failure in the Pulwama attack, on Wednesday in Parliament.

On being asked whether the reasons of Pulwama terror attack was a failure of intelligence, Reddy in Lok Sabha replied, “Jammu and Kashmir are affected by terrorism sponsored and supported from across the border for the last three decades. However, owing to the policy of zero tolerance towards terrorism and sustained action against the terrorists by the security forces, a large number of terrorists have been neutralized during the past few years.” Continue reading


At least one militant was killed after a gunfight with security forces in Tral in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Wednesday, ahead of Union home minister Amit Shah’s two-day visit to the state.

A police official said the body of the militant was retrieved from the site of encounter. The identity and affiliation of the killed militant is being ascertained, the official said. Incriminating material, including arms and ammunition, has been recovered from the site of encounter, he added. Continue reading


In a highly significant diplomatic win for India and testament to its global stature, India’s candidature for a non-permanent seat at the powerful UN Security Council for a two-year term has been unanimously endorsed by the Asia-Pacific group at the world body.
Elections for five non-permanent members of the 15-nation Council for the 2021-22 term will be held around June next year.

“A unanimous step. Asia-Pacific Group @UN unanimously endorses India’s candidature for a non-permanent seat of the Security Council for 2 year term in 2021/22. Thanks to all 55 members for their support,” India”s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin tweeted on Tuesday. Continue reading


Last year India signed a deal worth of around $5.43 billion to procure S-400 missile defense system from Russia, which irked the US who opposing India to do not buy weapons from Russia, the main reason behind the US opposition to the deal is Russian invasion in Ukraine, and its aggression in Azov sea and the partial block of Kerch Straight, which US and West sanctioned Russia to not do business with other nations.

India is one of the major customers to Russian weapons, most of Indian military equipment has the trace of Russian origin, from Assault Rifles to the mammoth nuclear submarines, So It’s hard for India to move away from the Russian weapon market, as spares and engineering support does require Russian assistance. Continue reading


India has issued a Navigational Area (IMO) warnings for Paradip in the Bay of Bengal for Experimental Flight Trial to take place from Integrated Test Range (ITR) from 1400-1600 for 27th and 28th of this month for a missile which has a range of less than 350km.

While it is not clear which missile will be tested in upcoming trial but the range hints that it could be BrahMos-A Air-to-surface/ship missile which reportedly has been fast tracked in event of Balakot airstrikes. Rumors of Indian air force testing Very long range R-37M air-to-air missile which has range of over 300km is also going around but it is unlikely it is a Russian missile . Continue reading


The Indian Air Force announced four Su-30MKI fighters will depart on Tuesday to France to participate in the Garuda VI exercise with aircraft of the French Air Force, including the Dassault Rafale. This is the sixth edition of the Garuda series of exercises that the Indian and French Air Forces hold together.

While the Indian Air Force and Navy have held exercises with the Rafale in the past, the sixth edition of Garuda is significant as the first of 36 Rafale jets for the IAF is scheduled to arrive in September. Continue reading


The recent crash of an AN-32, which was on an air maintenance sortie to the Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh, has raised questions on flight safety in the Indian Air Force despite accident rates having declined exponentially over the past few decades. Air crashes today are subjected to the full glare of the media, exposing vulnerable families of the crash victims to needless trauma and also seriously hampering the remedial measures and outcomes that would flow from professionally conducted accident inquiries. In this milieu, it is important to explore some of the less-dissected issues that continue to plague aviation safety in the IAF.

The IAF flies 38 different types of aircraft and has the most varied fleet among modern air forces. Its fleet comprises aircraft like the MiG-21 and the Avro that hardly fly anywhere else. Seven of these have not had a major accident in the last five years. The long-serving IL-76 has had an accident-free innings in the IAF, a fact that is missed by most. Continue reading

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