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India, among the top troop contributors to UN peacekeeping missions, has termed as “regretful” that non-members of the Security Council, who provide troops, are not allowed to participate in its decisions on drawing up peacekeeping mandates. ”It is regretful that troop-contributing countries which are not members of the Security Council are not allowed to participate in decisions on drawing up of peacekeeping mandates.

“The consequence is detrimental to the effectiveness of the mandates drawn up by the Council. This also leads to a heavier drain on the financial, material and human resources being contributed for peacekeeping,” India’s Permanent Representative Ambassador Asoke Mukerji said at the C-34 panel (Special Committee on Peacekeeping) meeting here. India has contributed about 180,000 troops to 44 of the 69 peacekeeping operations mandated so far. Continue reading


Terror activities in India have increased by 70 per cent during 2012-2013 with the number of deaths rising from 238 to 404, most of which were caused by Naxals, says a new report. According to the Global Terrorism Index 2014, prepared by Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), the number of attacks also increased with 55 more incidents in 2013 than in 2012.

“Terrorism increased by 70 per cent in India from 2012 to 2013, with the number of deaths increasing from 238 to 404,” it said. Continue reading


Move aside Islamic State. al-Qaeda who? There is a new global terror threat in town. And his name is… Ajit Doval.

“A global terrorist rising again…” So begins an (unintentionally) hilarious new video posted on the Daily Motion site by a Pakistani user going by the name of Realityofmedia, Doval is a mastermind of evil who has but one mission in mind: unleashing nuclear holocaust in South Asia (Or one presumes so given the number of mushroom clouds in the video). Continue reading


Defence minister Manohar Parrikar today approved the purchase of mounted artillery guns worth Rs 15,750 crore but deferred taking a call on aircraft deals that pit the public sector against the private and on a blacklisting policy that makes the defence establishment shoot itself in the foot.

This was the first time that Parrikar was chairing a meeting of the defence acquisitions council (DAC) since taking over the office from Arun Jaitley. Continue reading


The Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) has detected serious financial irregularities exceeding Rs 30 billion, including embezzlements, violation of rules, unauthorised occupation of public land and related malpractices, in the annual accounts of Pakistan Air Force (PAF).In its audit report for the financial year 2013-14 on the PAF accounts, the AGP has found that unauthorised expenditure exceeding Rs 25 billion has been incurred by the PAF authorities in terms of awarding an illegal consultancy contract to a private firm to execute a highly classified project. Moreover, the AGP has highlighted six instances related to unauthorised or illegal occupation of public land by the PAF that caused the national exchequer a loss of Rs 355 million in the last financial year. Continue reading


Prime Minister Narendra Modi is eager to “Make in India”, but the private sector doesn’t appear to be quite ready for it. So while Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar announced another big push today – clearing a proposal to acquire 814 artillery guns at a cost of Rs.15,750 crore – the decision on the joint bid by Tata Sons and Airbus to replace IAF’s AVRO cargo planes was quietly deferred.

A similar fate met the proposal to acquire an additional 106 Swiss Pilatus basic trainer aircraft for the IAF at an estimated cost of aroundRs. 8,200 crore – for which the same companies had bid. Officially, the reason is that the minister wants more time to study both proposals. But defence ministry sources said no other company had expressed interest in making the AVROs, which makes a single tender like situation for what is meant to be an open tender. Continue reading


As expected, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet expansion included a new Defense Minister, as Manohar Parrikar, a former Chief Minister for the state of Goa, takes the reins from Arun Jaitley, who served as little more than a placeholder for the crucial position. Parrikar certainly embodies the resume of a politician, armed with an IIT education and extensive political experience that runs from the Legislative Assembly to the Chief Minister position. Continue reading


Being a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) mukhya pracharak (chief preacher) endeared Manohar Parikkar to Modi and earned him the Defence portfolio. Parikkar is a modern man. He graduated in Metallurgical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, and has proven his administrative capabilities as a two-term Chief Minister of Goa. Parikkar’s shift to New Delhi resembles that of YB Chavan, the highly regarded Chief Minister of Maharashtra, who was brought to New Delhi by Jawaharlal Nehru following India’s traumatic defeat in the Sino-Indian border conflict in 1962.
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The Indian Army’s beleaguered artillery modernisation programme has been revitalised by the Narendra Modi Government as the Defence Acquistion Council (DAC) on Saturday gave the go ahead to invite fresh bids for 814 mounted gun systems estimated to be worth Rs 15,750 crore.

The apex decision making body on military purchases met for the first time under the chairmanship of new Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who promised fast and transparent decisions to clear a pile of backlog.  Continue reading


Government needs to take strategic view and cognisance of the ongoing activities by China and Pakistan in the PoK and be prepared for possible consequences, national security adviser Ajit Doval said on Saturday.  According to him, there are reports that there have been some construction work including roads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

“We have got to see its consequences particularly if it is passing through areas which are in PoK that are close to our border and actually that is our own territory. We should take it up and I think we have taken it up from time to time with China and Pakistan. Continue reading


Blaming Pakistan for sponsoring terrorism in India, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the neighbouring country is providing shelter to Dawood Ibrahim and the mob boss is currently staying along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.He said that though India wants to maintain cordial relations with Pakistan, Islamabad seems not too keen on establishing friendly relations with New Delhi.

Addressing the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit on Saturday, he said terrorism in India is not home grown but is externally aided… It is from Pakistan. Continue reading


Towards consolidating the already robust bilateral military to military ties between India and Indonesia, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) will be on a four day Counter Part visit (CPV) to Indonesia from November 23, 2014.

During his visit CAS will meet Air Chief Marshal Bagus Putu Dunia, Chief of Staff Indonesian Air Force at the Air Headquarters where he will be extended a ceremonial reception. Continue reading


The Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) latest showpiece production is no state-of-the art scientific equipment but a silver chariot meant for a temple in Maharashtra.  “We have built this battery operated chariot in a year’s time. And we carried out the project under the head of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Though most of this (chariot) was donated by private vendors and parties, we have not accepted money from anyone. Donations were taken only in material contribution,” Director of Research and Development Establishment (Engineers) or R&DE, Pune, Dr S Guruprasad  told The Sunday Standard. However, this newspaper has learnt that there is no such budget under the head of CSR in the organisation to carry out religious programmes. Continue reading


Apart from promising to initiate steps for abrogation of Article 370, the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) has, in its poll manifesto, also assured to “give a complete identity” to Jammu and Kashmir by renaming it as ‘Jammu-Kashmir & Ladakh’ on priority. A senior party leader said renaming Jammu and Kashmir as ‘Jammu-Kashmir & Ladakh’ is “an important part of the party’s manifesto and the party intends to accomplish the task on priority.” Continue reading

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