The Supreme Court Wednesday said a discussion on the pricing of Rafale fighter jets can only take place if the facts of the deal are allowed to come into the public domain. The apex court, which began its hearing on pleas seeking a court-monitored probe into the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France, also said it was dealing with the requirements of the Air Force and would like to hear from an Air Force officer and “not the official of the Defence Ministry”. “The decision we need to take is whether to bring the fact on pricing in public domain or not,” a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said.

The bench, also comprising Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph, told Attorney General K K Venugopal that there is no question of any debate on pricing without making the facts public.

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In a four-hour hearing on the Rafale jet deal today, the Supreme Court questioned the government’s stance that it had no role in the offset clause, which is the focal point of the opposition’s charge of corruption in the Rs. 59,000 crore contract. Rafale-maker Dassault has not yet submitted details of its offset partner to the government, Attorney General KK Venugopal told the Supreme Court. “The vendor will inform the offset partner to us. So far there is no information on this,” said Additional Secretary Defence Apurva Chandra, to questions from the judges.

The court had asked the defence ministry why the offset guidelines were changed in 2015. Continue reading


A video of cricketer Shahid Afridi commenting that “Pakistan does not need Kashmir” at a press meet in London has gone viral on social media, attracting a multitude of reactions on Twitter.

“Pakistan doesn’t need Kashmir; it is not able to even handle the four provinces it has,” Afridi can be heard saying in the video while speaking to students at the British Parliament. He went on to say that it is painful to see people dying in the state, and humanity should stay alive.”Say Pakistan doesn’t need Kashmir, don’t give it to India as well, let Kashmir become a country. The people dying there should not die; humanity should stay alive. It pains to see people die there,” he said. Continue reading


India’s heaviest rocket – Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III)– carrying 3,423 kg communication satellite GSAT-29 blasted off from the Sriharikota spaceport on Wednesday evening. Precisely at 5.08 p.m. the GSLV-Mk III rocket on its second developmental flight began its ascent with a strong deep growl that reverberated like a thunder roll breaking free from the second launch pad here at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC).

The 43.4-metre rocket weighing about 640 tonne rushed to the blue skies with thick orange flame at its rear.The GSLV-Mk III with a capacity to carry four-tonne satellite, is a three-stage/engine rocket with two strap-on motors powered by solid fuel. The second stage is a core liquid fuel booster and the third is the cryogenic engine. Continue reading


Deputy Chief of Air staff, Air Marshal V R Chaudhari and two other officers from Indian Air Force appeared in the Supreme Court Wednesday to assist it on the issue of the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France.

The officers appeared before a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had sought their assistance in the case. “We are dealing with the requirements of the Air Force and would like to ask an Air Force officer on Rafale jets. We want to hear from an Air force officer and not the official of the Defence Ministry on the issue,” the bench said when the Attorney General began his arguments on behalf of the Centre in the pre-lunch session Wednesday. Continue reading


The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its order on a batch of petitions seeking a probe into the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France.

A bench comprising of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S.K. Kaul and K.M. Joseph, reserved the order as Attorney General K.K. Venugopal defended the Narendra Modi government’s decision citing national security concerns. Continue reading

SOURCE: The Shephard News Team

The Indian Navy’s (IN) Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Craft (ASWSWC) project of 16 hulls will be split evenly between two shipbuilders, Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) and Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE). Each shipyard will build its own variant of a 700t waterjet-powered ASW corvette working to common IN-issued specifications. The ASWSWC is intended for coastal ASW missions, minelaying and maritime security operations within 200nm of the coastline.

While CSL revealed broad specifications of its variant earlier this year, details of GRSE’s ship emerged recently as it seeks vendors to perform basic design work and specialised engineering studies on the proposed design. Given their association with GRSE’s existing projects, Kockums/Saab, Naval Group and Fincantieri are likely contenders. Continue reading


Prime Minister Narendra Modi today told United States Vice-President Mike Pence that Pakistan’s act of “mainstreaming terrorists involved in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks” was a matter of serious concern for the international community. In an interaction with Mr Pence ahead of the East Asia summit in Singapore, PM Modi claimed that all global terror attacks can be traced back to a single place of origin in India’s neighbourhood. This comment comes ahead of the 10th anniversary of the attacks — which claimed 164 lives and injured 308 — on November 26.

“There was some good understanding of how we can move forward in building cooperation in counter-terrorism, and both countries recognised this as a challenge we have to fight together and along with the rest of the international community,” said Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale. Continue reading


As Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s assault on Prime Minister Narendra Modi continues over the Rafale deal, several stakeholders in India and France have refuted the Opposition leader’s allegations.

In the latest instance, the CEO of the French fighter jet maker Dassault, Eric Trappier, has claimed that no wrongdoing had taken place in the contract. Earlier, French President Emmanuel Macron, his predecessor Francois Hollande and the French government, too, had repudiated Rahul Gandhi’s charges against PM Modi and industrialist Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence. Continue reading


Various socio-economic, political, evolutionary and even climatic factors can influence the nature and dynamics of armed insurgency. The form of terror attacks depends mostly on the situation on the ground that supports or warrants one approach over the other. The landmark 1983 Beirut bombing attacks on the US embassy and later at the Marine barracks that led to over 350 deaths had introduced the concept of “suicide attacks”, a tactic that was subsequently pioneered by the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka.

While the Beirut attacks had entailed vehicles laden with explosives, the predominant tactic copied and deployed by the Tamil Tigers was through the “suicide vests” that had killed India’s former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in May 1991 at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu, and two years later, sitting Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa in May 1993, among many other brazen attacks. Continue reading


Describing India as “best trade negotiators”, US President Donald Trump Tuesday commended the relations of the two countries as he celebrated Diwali in the White House along with top Indian-Americans.

“The United States has deep ties to the nation of India and I am grateful for my friendship with Prime Minister Modi,” Trump said before lighting the ceremonial Diya inside the historic Roosevelt Room of the White House. It is the second consecutive year that Trump has celebrated the largest festival of India and Indian Americans in the White House. Continue reading


Four men carjacked an Innova taxi from its driver at gunpoint near Madhopur area in Punjab’s Pathankot district early Wednesday. The men had hired the taxi from Jammu Railway Station to Madhopur Railway Station but fled with the vehicle after entering Punjab. The taxi driver said the men were conversing in Punjabi and asked him to stop the vehicle around 11.30 pm when one of them said he was feeling uneasy and had to vomit.

Police have registered a case and started investigations. “We are not ruling out anything, but it does not look to be a terror act. It seems more likely a snatching,” Pathankot SSP Vivek Sheel Soni said. Continue reading


India has voted against a UN General Assembly draft resolution on the use of death penalty, saying it goes against the statutory law of the country where an execution is carried out in the “rarest of rare” cases.

The draft resolution, taken up in the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian, Cultural) of the General Assembly Tuesday, was approved with a recorded vote of 123 in favour, 36 against and 30 abstentions. India was among the countries that voted against the resolution, which would have the Assembly call on all States to respect international standards on the rights of those facing death penalty and ensure that it is not applied on the basis of discriminatory laws or as a result of discriminatory or arbitrary application of the law. Continue reading

SOURCE:  Times Now Digital

President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Sardar Masood Khan, on Tuesday made a threatening statement against India by saying that Indian “obstinacy on the Kashmir issue” could trigger a nuclear war in South Asia.

“India and Pakistan have fought three wars over Kashmir and Indian obstinacy on the Kashmir issue, along with inhuman atrocities in Kashmir and Indian shelling on the civilian population living along the Line of Control (LoC) could bring both nuclear-armed states to the brink of another devastating war,” Khan threatened. Continue reading

SOURCE: The Pioneer

Flight of fancy


Happy is the nation without a history,” said Cesare Beccaria, the 18th century Italian criminologist, jurist and philosopher, also considered as father of modern criminal law and criminal justice. Why and in which context Beccaria made the statement, with what ramifications, cannot be guesstimated. Nevertheless, how about creating another set of soundalike sentences? Happy are the nations with a rival without craft. Or, unhappy is the air force in endless search for an aircraft.

Sounds cynical? May be. May be not, though, if dispassionately looked at from the ‘other side of the hill’ with reference to the plight, not flight, of ace fliers of the Indian Air Force and their senior commanders who are getting a mouthful from some eminent armchair experts whose knowledge of combat aircraft, technical features and their operational role emanates primarily from (over)hearing is believing rather than seeing and doing is believing, and who may not even be able to differentiate between aircraft and a rotorcraft. Continue reading

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