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SOURCE: THE PRINT

The Army has awarded a $20 million deal (around Rs 140 crore) to an Indian firm, ideaForge, for an undisclosed number of the advanced version of SWITCH tactical drones. These specialised drones are made to operate in high altitude areas like Ladakh, for use by infantry soldiers and Special Forces. India has been engaged in a border stand-off with China at the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh region since April-May last year.

The niche drone maker won the contract after competing with Israel’s top UAV manufacturer Elbit, besides the Tata Group, Dynamatic Technologies Ltd, Asteria Aerospace and VTOL Aviation.

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SOURCE: TIMES NOW

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday laid a wreath at IAF HQ Training Command in Bengaluru, Karnataka on the occasion of Armed Forces Veterans Day. Addressing Veterans Day programme, the defence minister said “January 14 represents both ‘Jai Jawan’ and ‘Jai Kisan’ because the day is celebrated as Veterans’ Day and Makar Sankranti/Bihu, harvest festival.”

Raising morale of the soldiers, Rajnath Singh said, “I believe once a soldier, always a soldier. The society draws inspiration from the veterans of the armed forces. They have an important role to play in the society.”

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SOURCE: Tribune News Service

The United Kingdom has called on India to lift all restrictions in Kashmir and also allow a team from its High Commission in Delhi to visit the Valley for a first-hand assessment of the situation, said UK Secretary of State for Justice Robert Buckland while replying to a debate on the “political situation in Kashmir” in the Westminster Hall by UK MPs.

The debate took place a day after the UK MPs discussed “Persecution of Muslims, Christians and Minority Groups in India”, which elicited a strong reaction from the Indian High Commission in London. Last week, UK MPs had lobbied for repeal of India’s farm laws.

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SOURCE: HT

China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has for the first time completed 3D mapping of its western border including the disputed part with India to pin-point accuracy, state media reports have said.

The PLA’s western theatre command (WAC) has begun to deploy the newly built precision “spatial datum” system covering China’s western borders, which will help in building both combat capability and infrastructure. Spatial or geological datum is defined as a set of reference points on the earth’s surface, which will contain information about a specific geographic location on the earth’s surface.

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SOURCE: WION

A lot is happening in the United Kingdom – with a new mutation of COVID-19, along with the disruption of daily life brought upon by Brexit. Owing to Brexit rules, businesses are drowning. But British members of parliament are busy discussing India.

British colonialists left India 73 years ago, but their colonial hangover seems to be persisting. India remains a source of endless fascination for English lawmakers. Last week, British parliamentarians were lobbying to repeal India’s farm laws. On Monday this week, they were debating minority rights in India. On January 13, they were discussing the political situation in Kashmir.

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SOURCE: WION

India has strongly raised the issue of inaccurate depiction of Indian map showing union territories of J&K & Ladakh separately by the World Health Organisation (WHO). 

The matter was raised by Indian envoy to UN in Geneva Indramani Pandey with WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. In the letter the top Indian diplomat expressed his “deep displeasure” at the “inaccurate depiction of the boundaries of India in the maps of various web portals of WHO.”

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SOURCE: THE PRINT

Acrisis is an opportunity riding a dangerous wind’ goes a Chinese proverb. The Chinese-perpetrated crisis in Eastern Ladakh seems to have inspired the Indian Army to seize the opportunity to initiate structural and organisational reforms. Without much ado, it has given directions for 1 Corps — one of the three mechanised forces, predominant Strike Corps focussed on Pakistan — to be restructured and reoriented as the second Mountain Strike Corps for Ladakh.

17 Mountain Strike Corps will now become the strategic reserve dedicated only to the Northeast, and it will be restructured into three-four Integrated Battle Groups, or IBGs.

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SOURCE: PTI

India has expressed its dismay at some of the parliamentarians who participated in a debate on Kashmir in the Houses of Parliament complex in London relying on “false assertions” and unsubstantiated allegations propagated by a “third country” – an apparent reference to Pakistan.

The debate, organised by backbench British MPs at Westminster Hall in the House of Commons on Wednesday evening, was entitled “Political situation in Kashmir” – terminology the Indian High Commission in London pointed out as problematic in itself.

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SOURCE: Aljazeera

Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has announced the revival of an Indian and Japanese investment project to develop a deep-sea terminal in Colombo harbour, next to a controversial $500m Chinese-run container jetty.

A tripartite deal by Sri Lanka’s previous government had been on hold amid trade union resistance but Rajapaksa on Wednesday said the East Container Terminal (ECT) would proceed.

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SOURCE: ASIA TIMES

Pakistan’s move last week to lift visa restrictions for Bangladeshi citizens, and Dhaka’s request that Islamabad issue an apology for mass killings during its 1971 war of independence, have raised concerns in Indian diplomatic circles that its neighbours are attempting to smooth over their strained bilateral ties.

Any improvements to the mostly lukewarm relations between Pakistan and Bangladesh in recent years will have implications for the complex geopolitical dynamics in South Asia, where India sees Bangladesh as an ally but Pakistan as a rival. New Delhi, which remains locked in conflict with Beijing at their shared Himalayan border, is also seeking to counter China’s growing influence in the region, which it deems its traditional area of influence.

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SOURCE: ZEE NEWS

The White House on Thursday (January 14) released a declassified document asserting that India has the capacity to counter border provocations by China. The document, which runs into 10 pages, was recently declassified in part by US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien.

Now posted on the White House website, the outgoing Trump administration’s ‘The Framework’ recognises that a free and open Indo-Pacific depends on robust American leadership.

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SOURCE: Thales PR

Thales and Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), a Government of India enterprise, have signed a Teaming Agreement to work in partnership on the STARStreak Air Defence system with the support of both the Governments of India and the United Kingdom.

The Teaming Agreement was signed by Thales and BDL in the presence of UK and Indian Government representatives in a virtual ceremony on January 13th 2021. The representatives from the UK who witnessed the signature included Jeremy Quin (Minister for Defence Procurement) and Mark Goldsack (Head of UK Defence & Security Exports). From India, the Director General Army Air Defence and representative from Army Design Bureau, Indian Army, witnessed the ceremony.

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SOURCE: TIMES NOW

The Indian Army will be celebrating the year 2021 as the Golden Victory Year to mark the remarkable victory of 1971 war. Army chief General MM Naravane, on Thursday, said that a number of events will be organised to mark 50 years of the 1971 war which resulted in the creation of Bangladesh, erstwhile East Pakistan.

“Some Veterans had expressed disappointment that not much importance is being given to the 50 yrs of 1971 war. I’d like to say that this entire yr will be celebrated as ‘Golden Victory Year’ to mark 1971 war victory. Several events will be organised across the country,” Naravane said while speaking on the occasion of Veterans’Day.

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SOURCE: PTI

Nepal’s Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali on Thursday embarked on a three-day visit to India during which he will attend the 6th meeting of Nepal-India Joint Commission and discuss the entire gamut of relations, including COVID-19 cooperation and border disputes, with his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar.

Gyawali is the senior-most political leader from Nepal to visit India after Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli triggered a border row last year by publishing a new political map that showed the three Indian territories – Limpiyadhura, Kalapani and Lipulekh – as part of Nepal.

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SOURCE: ENS

 The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday filed a supplementary charge sheet in the murder case of a Hindu outfit leader Amit Sharma in Ludhiana in 2017.

Terming the killing as an “act of terrorism” and naming three alleged arms suppliers Ashish Kumar, Javed and Arshad Ali as accused in the case, the NIA claimed that the killing was a conspiracy by Khalistan Liberation Front (KLF). 

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