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SOURCE: Ajai Shukla / Business Standard

Kickstarting one of the Indian Navy’s most important weapon construction programmes, the ministry of defence issued a tender for building six conventional submarines, at an Indian shipyard, in technology partnership with a chosen global original equipment manufacturer (OEM).

The MoD has pegged the cost of six submarines at about Rs 43,000 crore (Rs 430 billion) This means that each boat (navies traditionally refer to submarines as ‘boats’) will cost a staggering $1 billion. This six-submarine acquisition, code-named Project 75(I), follows on from the ongoing Project 75 — the construction of six conventional Scorpene boats by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders, with technology supplied by Naval Group of France.

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SOURCE: Janes 

The Indian government has disclosed more information about its plan to restructure its network of 41 defence factories presently operating under the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB). In details revealed in the Indian parliament on 26 July, Ajay Bhatt, minister of state for defence, confirmed that the OFB would be reorganised into seven state-owned defence public sector undertakings (DPSUs) under the administrative control of the Ministry of Defence (MoD’s) Department of Defence Production (DDP).

He said the restructure – described by the MoD as ‘corporatisation’ – is intended to “enhance [the OFB’s] functional autonomy, efficiency and unleash new growth potential and innovation”.

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SOURCE: INDIA TODAY

Hit by the Coronavirus pandemic, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will likely launch the much-awaited Chandrayaan-3 mission to the Moon in the third quarter of 2022. The new timeline was revealed by Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology Dr Jitendra Singh, who said, “work of Chandrayaan-3 is in progress.”

The minister in a written reply to Lok Sabha said that “Work on Chandrayaan-3 involves various processes including finalisation of configuration, subsystems realisation, integration, spacecraft level detailed testing and a number of special tests to evaluate the system performance on earth.”

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SOURCE: Al Jazeera

India ambitious railway project to connect a small northeastern Indian state along its border with China to the rest of the country is raising concerns among local forest dwellers and environmentalists. The project aims to extend the railroad to Nathu La in the Himalayan state of Sikkim, on the India-China border, to facilitate troop movement in case of an emergency.

The 45km (28-mile) project, work on which began in 2009, connects Sevoke in West Bengal to Rangpo in Sikkim, with three stations between them, one underground. Apart from bringing Sikkim onto India’s railway map, the project is being touted as an engineering marvel with its network of 14 tunnels and 17 bridges in a single broad-gauge rail line. Most of the railway project lies in West Bengal, with only 3.44km (2-mile) in Sikkim.

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SOURCE: WION

Assuring to solve the border dispute with both India and China in a diplomatic manner, Nepali Congress leader Minendra Rijal and a former Minister of Information and Communication said the evidences stand strong and Nepal has rightfully claimed over the territories.  

Speaking to WION on the long-standing border dispute between Nepal and India, Rijal said, “Limpiyadura-Kalapani-Lipulek is a major issue between both the countries. We have strong evidence that that’s our land. This issue needs to be resolved.”

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SOURCE: Ajai Shukla / Business Standard

The 76,000 civilian defence employees of the 41 Ordnance Factories (OFs) under the Ministry of Defence (MoD), who had threatened an indefinite strike from Monday, have not made good on their threat. The strike was threatened to protest “the arbitrary and biased decision taken by the present Government, in violation of all previous written assurances and agreement, to splinter the 41 OFs into seven non-viable corporations,” according to a press statement issued on July 8 by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) workers’ unions.

In a statement tabled in Parliament on Monday, the MoD explained: “The OFB employees’ Federations and Associations have opposed the Government decision to corporatize OFB.  The employees’ federations have intimated, vide letter dated June 29, that they would serve strike notice on July 8 and would commence indefinite strike from July 26.  However, no such notice has been received till date.”

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SOURCE: PTI

Two days after Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi met the ISI chief in Beijing over concerns of Chinese killing in Pakistan, a high-level Taliban delegation led by Mullah Baradar reached Beijing. As per reports, the Taliban visitors held talks with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yu on ‘peace efforts’ in the war-stricken country of Afghanistan along with other bilateral matters.

The China-Taliban talks came just days after Beijing and Pakistan said that they would work more closely in Afghanistan. The Chinese foreign minister also reportedly proposed building the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) into ‘a hub of regional connectivity’.

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SOURCE: Swarajya 

Union Minister of State For Atomic Energy Dr Jitendra Singh on Wednesday (28 July) said that the government has planned to commission more nuclear power plants for power generation, an official release said. In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, Singh said that at present, there are 22 nuclear reactors with a total capacity of 6780 MW in operation and one reactor, KAPP-3 (700 MW) has been connected to the grid on 10 Januar 2021.

In addition, there are 10 reactors (including 500 MW PFBR being implemented by BHAVINI) totalling to 8000 MW under construction at various stages, the minister said. The government has accorded administrative approval and financial sanction for construction of 10 indigenous 700 MW Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) to be set up in fleet mode.

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SOURCE: GLOBAL TIMES

Russia’s newly unveiled Checkmate stealth fighter jet seems to have good prospects, and it is expected to be competitive against the US F-35 in the international arms market. It may also affect the export of warplanes made by China like the FC-31, though Chinese military observers say the FC-31 still holds an advantage.

Russian aircraft maker Sukhoi introduced a prototype of the new fighter jet at the MAKS-2021 International Aviation and Space Salon in Zhukovsky, outside Moscow, on Tuesday, AP reported on the day. Under the project name Checkmate, the new warplane is a single-engine, fifth-generation fighter jet with a top speed of Mach 1.8 to 2, a range of 3,000 kilometers and a payload of 7,400 kilograms, AP reported, citing the aircraft’s makers.

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SOURCE: PTI

The number of incidents of terrorist violence has come down in Jammu and Kashmir in the last two years, the government informed Parliament on Wednesday. In a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai said, “The number of terrorist incidents has reduced during 2020 by 59 per cent as compared to 2019 and 32 per cent up to June, 2021 in comparison with the corresponding period up to June, 2020.”

The question was put to the home ministry seeking details of the law-and-order situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the steps taken by it to improve the scenario. “Shops and business establishments, public transport, government offices, educational and health institutions etc. are functioning normally in UT of Jammu and Kashmir.

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SOURCE:PTI

Jammu and Kashmir would be granted statehood at an “appropriate” time after normalcy is restored there, the government told Parliament on Wednesday. Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai stated this in a written reply to Rajya Sabha. He was replying to a question on whether the government had any proposal to “reinstate” the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir and whether some efforts have been made to end the year-long ban on different means of communication.

“Statehood to Jammu and Kashmir would be granted at an appropriate time after normalcy is restored in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

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SOURCE: CNN-NEWS18

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held talks with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Wednesday on a range of bilateral and regional issues, including rapidly changing situation in Afghanistan, Indo-Pacific and global security. They also discussed strategic issues of importance in security, defence, economic and technology-related sectors. During an hour-long meeting, special attention was also laid on long-term measures to take the Indo-US relationship to the next level.

Both Blinken and Doval exchanged views on contemporary and futuristic issues related to regional and global security.

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SOURCE: REUTERS

Two Chinese nationals were fired at by unidentified assailants on a motorcycle in Pakistan’s Karachi on Wednesday. Both of them have been shifted to a civil hospital in Karachi. Speaking on the incident, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian called the incident “an isolated case”. “We have full confidence in the Pakistan side’s protection of Chinese citizens and property in Pakistan,” news agency Reuters quoted him as saying.

The incident comes two weeks after the IED attack on a bus carrying Chinese engineers to the Dasu dam site in Upper Kohistan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on July 14. At least 13 people, including nine Chinese nationals, were killed in the incident.

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SOURCE: PTI

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with a representative of Tibet’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, in New Delhi on Wednesday, a State Department spokesperson said, a move that is likely to provoke anger in China. Mr Blinken met briefly with Ngodup Dongchung, who serves as a representative of Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), also known as the Tibetan government in exile, the spokesperson said.

Chinese troops seized Tibet in 1950 in what Beijing calls a “peaceful liberation”. In 1959, the Dalai Lama fled into exile in India following a failed uprising against Chinese rule. The CTA and Tibetan advocacy groups have received a boost in international support in recent months amid rising criticism of China’s human rights record, particularly from the United States.

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SOURCE:  Bollywood Hungama

The trailer of the nationalistic film Shershaah was launched on July 26 which is commemorated every year as the Kargil Vijay Diwas. Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated to mark the contributions made by the Indian soldiers during the Kargil War of 1999. An event was organised at the National Horse Polo Ground in Drass to pay homage to all the soldiers and launch the film’s trailer. The event had the presence of Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff General, Y K Joshi, General Northern Army Commander Lieutenant and a few other Army corps.

The trailer launch had the presence of the film’s actors Sidharth Malhotra, Kiara Advani, producers Karan Johar and Shabbir Boxwalla and director Vishnu Varadhan. While media professionals from various reputed media houses were also invited for the launch of the promo.

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