Supreme Court today in what could be seen as a massive validation for the government’s 59,000 crore deal for 36 Rafale jets, cleared the deal and also dismissed the need for a probe as it didn’t find any evidence of commercial favoritism to any private entity. Indian Air Force which recently floated tender for 110 fighter jets to be Made in India with local partners will breather a sigh of relief since now Rafale will no more be seen as Hot Potato by the current government if it is reelected again in 2019.

Declaration of the winner of the recent tender will likely be made only after the new Government is sworn in 2019, but it now allows IAF a fighting chance to induct 110 more Rafale fighter jets which were previously selected after going though gruesome Technical trials by Senior most ranked Test pilots of IAF. Continue reading


As controversies over the Rafale refuse to die down, a delegation from the Indian Air Force is scheduled to head to France early next month to inspect two Dassault-made Mirage-2000 aircraft which will be France’s gift to India. while India has signed a deal with France for 36 Rafale jets which will be manufactured by Dassault Aviation, France has presented two Mirage-2000 fighter aircrafts which also be manufactured by Dassault aviation for a very minimal price.

The Mirage-2000 is a millennial aircraft which emerged as an important weapon in the Indian weaponry and was enormously used in the Kargil war as India thwarted her enemies. The defence ministry has cleared off the deal which comes across as virtually free, the Indian Air Force is set to send a team for inspecting the quality of the aircrafts. A squadron leader rank officer would be heading the Air Force delegation. Continue reading


The meeting of former Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik with Kashmiri separatists in Srinagar has drawn sharp reactions from former diplomats, security advisors and strategic thinkers, given India’s declared policy on Kashmir of not allowing third-party mediation on the issue.

Of the experts whom News18 reached out to, some called the move – of bringing in an outsider apparently to mediate in the affairs of Kashmir – as “unfortunate” and a move “against India’s national interest”. A former diplomat even took a dig at Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, whose Art of Living (AoL) organised Bondevik’s visit, saying that Shankar seemed to be under the illusion of being “a great peacemaker.” Continue reading


In a hyper-connected global order, extremist ideologies have no borders. This fact has found an echo in Canada’s latest, albeit late, acknowledgement of Khalistan extremism as a terror threat on its soil. The Canadian government has listed it as “a matter of concern” in the 2018 Public Report on the Terrorism Threat to Canada”, tabled by the country’s public safety minister, Ralph Goodale.

The report, while hyphenating Khalistani extremism with Sunni and Shia threats, lays down the broad outlines of the country’s national strategy for countering radicalisation. From India’s standpoint, the Canadian recognition is a positive augury. It validates New Delhi’s frequently flagged concerns about the Justin Trudeau government’s soft-pedalling on the pro-Khalistan lobby that spews venom against India and supports a violent insurrection for a separate Sikh state in India. Continue reading


As the BJP scaled up its offensive on Rahul Gandhi after the court’s clean chit to the Rafale deal, the Congress sought to counter the perception that the Supreme Court decision was a setback to the party’s offensive against Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the deal to buy 36 French-made 36 Rafale fighter jets.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the Congress did not believe that the Supreme Court was the right forum to decide if there should be a probe into the Rafale deal. Only the joint parliamentary committee comprising lawmakers is equipped to probe the deal and examine the file notings in the contract, he said. Continue reading


“It is a totally incorrect judgement,” stated petitioner Prashant Bhushan moments after the apex court dismissed batch of petitions that demanded a probe into the controversial Rafale fighter jets deal stating that it was satisfied that the process for procurement had been followed.

“We have just asked for an investigation constitute a Special Investigation Team under the supervision of the Supreme Court to investigate the reasons for cancellation of earlier deal for the purchase of 126 Rafale fighter jets. This decision is wrong in my opinion. The court has given this order citing scope of limited judicial review,” Bhushan told reporters after the verdict. Continue reading


President Donald Trump calls India a “true friend”, a top American diplomat has said as she highlighted the steps taken by the US over the last two years to strengthen its ties with India for the benefit of a broader Indo-Pacific region.

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Alice Wells’ remarks came at a farewell reception hosted by the State Department in honour of the outgoing Indian Ambassador to the US, Navtej Singh Sarna.”President Trump calls India a true friends and Secretary (of State Mike) Pompeo has characterise the US-India bilateral relationship as one deeply bound by our shared values,” she said. Continue reading


Reliance Group Chairman Anil Ambani welcomed the Supreme Court’s judgement on the Rafale jet deal. The top court said there is no reason for the court to sit in judgement on the correctness of the Rs. 59,000-crore deal for 36 fighter jets. Allegations that the government had helped Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence bag the offset contract were also dismissed by the court, which said: “There is no evidence of commercial favouritism.” The judges asserted that “perception by individuals cannot be the subject of roving inquiry” by the court.

Here is the full statement by Anil Ambani:”I welcome the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court today summarily dismissing all PILs filed on the Rafale contracts, and conclusively establishing the complete falsity of the wild, baseless and politically motivated allegations levelled against Reliance Group and me personally. Continue reading


India and Russia agreed to extend bilateral cooperation on defence joint-venture (JV) manufacturing projects on Thursday (December 13) at the 18th meeting of the India-Russia Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC).

The meeting was co-chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her Russian counterpart General Sergei Shoigu.With regards to the framework of Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership’, the minister discussed a wide range of issues related to defence equipment, industry and technological engagement between India and Russia. Continue reading


The BJP on Friday demanded an apology from the Congress and its president Rahul Gandhi for levying allegations against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Rafale fighter jet deal, in which the Supreme Court has given the government a clean chit. The apex court dismissed all the petitions seeking a direction to the CBI to register an FIR for alleged irregularities in the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France and said there was no occasion to doubt the decision-making process in the multi-billion dollar defense deal.

Welcoming the judgement, BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said, “Every deal is not Bofors deal.”  Continue reading


New Delhi and Moscow will sign a logistic supply agreement soon that will allow their military forces to share each other’s facilities. As India’s footprint in the region increases, logistic supply agreements will allow warships and aircraft to refuel and refurbish, improving the endurance of the Navy and Air Force. India has similar agreements with the United States and Singapore.

The decision to sign the logistic agreement was taken on Thursday at the 18th India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC) held in New Delhi where defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman met her counterpart General Sergei Shoigu of the Russian Federation. Continue reading


If Germany and France who fought several wars, can live in peace, why can’t India and Pakistan?,” well batted, Imran Khan. To begin with, the occasion that has led to the eastward flow of fresh breeze from Pakistan is the inauguration of Kartarpur Sahib Corridor. This must be celebrated without any political hesitations. It is indeed an occasion that deserves to be celebrated with child-like joy and innocence that results from the deep spiritual moorings of the sub-continent.

Indeed, PM Imran appeared sincere, hopeful and emotional in his speech. However, the world of geopolitics is not all about emotional proclamations and wishful thinking. The world of geopolitics is instead ruled by intelligence agencies, vote-seeking populist politicians, geo-strategic designs of world powers, profit- hungry corporations and hawkish generals. Continue reading


The Bihar government on Thursday sanctioned a sum of Rs 70 crore for setting up 28 “fortified” police stations in naxal-infested districts of the state.The decision was made at a state cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

Altogether 28 such police stations each costing Rs 2.50 crore would be built, Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat Department, Upendra Pandey, told reporters after the meeting.The nod was also given for setting up “visitors’ room” at 660 police stations across the state for which Rs 34.17 crore would be released, Pandey said. Continue reading


The colour of World War I memory is no longer exclusively white. In the past four years leading up to Armistice Day on November 11, the role played by the four million-plus non-white soldiers and auxiliaries in European and American armies in the war 100 years ago has been acknowledged in Europe.

But it is not enough to remember the soldiers, says Santanu Das, a leading scholar on the cultural history of WWI whose earlier books had highlighted the significant role played in the war by the Indian sepoys. His new book India, Empire, and First World War Culture, set for its Calcutta launch on Saturday at The British Council, opens up a critical space that listens to the voices of not just the soldiers — British India contributed 1.4 million men to the war — but also the non-combatants like cooks, orderlies and doctors, the deserters, the women, the children, the diplomats, the intellectuals (like Tagore and Mohd. Iqbal) and the politicians (like Gandhi and Tilak). Continue reading


There is no reason for the court to sit in judgement on the correctness of the Rafale jet deal, the Supreme Court said today, in a massive relief to the government, which had been accused by the Congress of corruption in the Rs. 59,000-crore deal for 36 fighter jets.
Petitions alleging that the government had gone for an overpriced deal to help Anil Ambani’s company bag an offset contract with jet-maker Dassault also didn’t wash with the court, which said: “There is no evidence of commercial favouritism to any private entity.”

Here are the top 10 updates on the Rafale deal case in the Supreme Court: Continue reading

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