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SOURCE: HT

When the French President’s diplomatic advisor Emmanuel Bonne landed in India for a strategic dialogue on January 7, one of the key asks from the Indian Air Force was that the Rafale fighter’s technology, especially its missile capability, be kept away from Pakistan.

India conveyed to Bonne that even though Dassault Aviation, manufacturer of Rafale fighter, is selling the omni-role platform Rafale to Qatar, Paris should ensure that no Pakistani-origin person is given access to the plane by Doha.

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SOURCE: HT

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has strengthened its offensive capabilities significantly since the effective bombing of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) targets in Pakistan’s Balakot exactly two years ago, and the months-long border standoff with China saw IAF flex its muscle in the Ladakh theatre where it deployed cutting-edge weaponry that was inducted after the unprecedented cross-border strike on February 26, 2019.

IAF’s Mirage-2000s struck targets in Balakot in response to the Pakistan-backed Pulwama suicide attack in Kashmir in which 40 CRPF troopers were killed on February 14.

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SOURCE: INDIA TODAY

The Indian Army has classified as ‘highest concern’ a data breach at its Northern Command Headquarters in Udhampur. As an inquiry picks up speed against the Army soldier found to have passed on a disturbingly large cache of tactical and operational Indian military data to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the extent and texture of the breach is still unfolding.

India Today has learnt that the data leaked by the mole-in-uniform includes top secret military maps, deployment specifics, patrolling routes, positions of forward troops and assets on the Line of Actual Control and Line of Control.

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SOURCE: Press Trust of India

The Indian Space Research Organisation is lining up the launch of its geo imaging satellite GISAT-1 close on the heels of the February 28 PSLV- C51 mission. The launch of GISAT-1 onboard GSLV-F10 rocket was originally planned for March five last year, but was postponed a day before the blast-off due to technical reasons.

Secretary in the Department of Space and ISRO Chairman K Sivan told PTI that the technical issues have been resolved and the delay in the launch was due to COVID-19-induced lockdown which affected normal work.

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SOURCE: LOWY INSTITUTE

The visit to Moscow by India’s Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla on 17–18 February was his first overseas trip outside South Asia during the corona crisis, underscoring the importance India attaches to its strategic partnership with Russia. But it is a relationship where New Delhi must also be cognisant of Moscow’s ties with Beijing and the shifting dynamics of global power, particularly as India’s competition with China continues to grow.

Russia’s arms sales to India have been the mainstay of the bilateral relationship since the former USSR and India signed a deal in 1971. More than 60% of India’s defence forces are equipped with Russian weapons. India’s ambition to become an arms exporter also explains why it collaborates with Russia in producing arms.

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SOURCE: The Indian Express

The joint statement of the Director Generals of Military Operations of India and Pakistan, reiterating their commitment to a “strict observance” of all agreements and cease-fire along the Line of Control, has come at a time when few had expected a fresh thaw in bilateral relations. While expectedly innocuous in its wording — and the product of intense back-channel negotiations — the decision to give peace with Pakistan a fresh chance clearly has the personal imprimatur of Prime Minister Narendra Modi stamped on it.

Even contrarians will admit that not since Indira Gandhi has an Indian Prime Minister had the political authority or the diplomatic flexibility to offer a new regional framework to Pakistan and the rest of the neighbourhood: A genuine chance at building a “security community” in South Asia. A security community is defined as one where the states of the region have agreed, at the very least, not to use violence to settle any of their bilateral conflicts.

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SOURCE: HT

The role played by US President Bill Clinton in helping end the Kargil conflict is well documented but what isn’t is Pakistan’s diplomatic efforts to get the US to back its position — which flopped. In a new book, Life in American Politics & Diplomatic Years in India published by Har-Anand Publications, Richard Celeste, the US ambassador to India between 1997 and 2001, reports a visit he received from Pakistan’s Ambassador to India, Ashraf Qazi.

“He was seeking our help to persuade the Indians to ‘cease their aggressive actions in Kargil.’ I pointed out that the Indians had held these posts for some time. Ashraf repeated the claim that civilian ‘freedom fighters’ had occupied the positions.

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SOURCE: Asianet Newsable English

The annals of India’s military history narrate innumerable tales of valour. Many brave officers and soldiers have laid down their lives to protect the country’s honour and prestige. One such hero is Major Laishram Jyotin Singh.

Born in 1972, Major Singh was commissioned in the Army Medical Corps in February 2003. He was granted permanent commission in April 2007 and posted with the Indian embassy in Kabul in February 2006. On February 13, 2010, Major Singh was sent on deputation to the Indian Medical Mission at Kabul in Afghanistan. 

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SOURCE: Times Now

In a positive development in north Kashmir, there has been a significant decline in the incidents of stone-pelting and youth picking up guns, the Indian Army said on Friday. Major General HS Sahi, GOC, Kilo Force (North Kashmir) has said that there has been only a single case of local youth picking up guns in the region. He surrendered within five days.

“In 2021, there has been only one case of a local youth picking up the guns, he surrendered within five days. Our engagement with youth and all sections of the society has ensured that recruitment is down in North Kashmir,” ANI quoted Major General HS Sahi as saying.

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SOURCE: PTI

Security forces busted a terrorist hideout in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district on Friday and seized a huge cache of arms, ammunition and explosive materials, officials said. Based on specific information from a reliable source regarding suspicious movement in upper Sildhar and the adjoining areas of Ranjati top and Rousouwali top, a joint party of the police, Army and CRPF launched a cordon-and-search operation in the upper Sildhar forest, Ranjati top, Rousowali top and the adjoining Dagantop hills areas early in the morning, they said, adding that during the search, an underground hideout was found.

A huge cache of arms and ammunition, including an AK-47 rifle with two magazines and 150 cartridges, a rocket launcher, 16 UBGL grenades, four hand grenades, besides two VHF radio sets with antennas were seized from the terrorist hideout, the officials said.

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SOURCE: PTI

The US needs to look at India as a potential addition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a top American senator has advised the Biden administration.

The partnership was a proposed trade agreement between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the US signed on February 4, 2016. However, former president Donald Trump withdrew the US’ signature from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in January 2017.

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SOURCE: HT

India on Friday rejected the reported findings of UN experts that Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter deal, was being arbitrarily detained and described their conclusions as biased and contrary to facts.

The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD), which operates under the UN high commissioner for human rights, said that Michel, who has been held in India since December 2018 after being extradited from United Arab Emirates, should be immediately released, according to conclusions reported by AFP. WGAD’s report is yet to be released.

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SOURCE: PTI

India will supply four more mobile harbour cranes to Iran’s Chabahar port by the end of June this year, a government official said on Friday. In January, India supplied a consignment of two mobile harbour cranes to the Chabahar port having a total contract value of over $25 million.

Located in the Sistan-Balochistan province on the energy-rich Iran’s southern coast, the port is being developed by India, Iran and Afghanistan to boost trade ties. “For Chabahar, presently cranes which are available are sufficient for operation of that port. Two more cranes are standing for loading near the port near Venice, which will reach by March end to this port. Two more will reach by June end,” Ministry of Ports, Waterways and Shipping (MoPWS) Additional Secretary Sanjay Bandopadhyaya said during a briefing on Maritime India Summit 2021 to be held from March 2 to March 4.

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SOURCE: Press Trust of India

India on Friday said it is time to assess the achievements and failures of the Human Rights Council and deliberate on the ways to strengthen and reform the UN organ so as to help it achieve its objectives.

Responding to the oral update of High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet at the 46th Session of Human Rights Council, Ambassador Indra Mani Pandey, Permanent Representative of India, said the country’s approach to global promotion and protection of human rights is based on its own experience as an inclusive and pluralistic society and a vibrant democracy with a secular polity.

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SOURCE: THE PRINT

In about a year from now, the Army will place an order for 118 Arjun Mk-1A Main Battle Tanks, or the MBT as they are popularly called. Known as the “hunter killers”, the latest version of the tank, equipped with a massive 120 mm rifled gun and Kanchan armour, will be the most potent armoured system in the inventory of the Army.

During a friendly duel with the T-90 tanks in 2008-2009, the Arjun MBT performed better than the Russian system on various parameters, including firing and stability.

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