A fireball from the crashing MiG-29K aircraft burnt the belongings of a resident of the Sodovi ward of Verna on Saturday. John Rodrigues, who resides at a distance of nearly a kilometre from the site of crash, said that utensils, washing machine, decorative lights, plastic tables, plywood and several other household items were destroyed in the fire after a part of the crashed jet landed on a portion of his house. Luckily, Rodrigues was not at home when the incident occurred.

“I was not at home. Had we been home, we would have lost our lives. My neighbours got together and put off the fire immediately, as they saw flames engulfing my room,’’ said Rodrigues and thanked his neighbours for saving his house from getting destroyed. Continue reading


India is committed to working toward achieving a $26 billion defence industry by 2025, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said today.
Speaking at “India Rising Conference” in Bangkok, Thailand, Mr Singh said that with an aim to reduce “dependency” on import, the draft Defence Production Policy 2018 had set a target of $5 billion in defence exports by 2025.

The government has announced in the General Budget 2018-19 that it will bring out an industry-friendly Defence Production Policy 2018 to promote domestic production by the public sector, private sector and MSMEs. “Defence Sector has been identified as one of the prominent sectors under ‘Make in India’ initiative to realise $5 trillion economy by 2024. India is the 2nd largest importer of arms as of 2014-18 with a share of 9.5 per cent of the total world imports,” Singh said. Continue reading


India’s human space flight mission is on schedule with a launch date of December 2021 and the first of two unmanned test flights taking off in December 2020, a top official told a Dubai space summit. India will be sending its astronauts using its own spacecraft and launch vehicle. The selection process for the astronauts is ongoing, with 12 who have already been shortlisted and seven receiving training from the Russian space agency, Roscosmos.

“The objective is to make a habitable space capsule to carry three crew members to low earth orbit and return safely. There will be two unmanned flights before the main flight,” Sreerekha said. “Our first unmanned flight will be in December 2020, the second one is July 2021 and the manned flight is December 2021. We have completed the pre-project activities and have already demonstrated some of the critical technologies. In 2007, we had a space capsule return experiment. It came back safely to the Bay of Bengal from orbit. In 2014, we tested the crew module orbit re-entry experiment and we recovered the capsule. This is a similar capsule we are planning to send into orbit with human beings.” Continue reading


The 2017 nuclear test by North Korea shifted the ground by a few metres, and was 17 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945, according to scientists from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Researchers led by KM Sreejith of the Space Applications Centre, ISRO in Ahmedabad, Gujarat noted that North Korea withdrew from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in 2003.

It subsequently developed nuclear weapons, with five underground nuclear tests culminating in a suspected thermonuclear explosion — a hydrogen bomb — on September 3, 2017. The scientists, including Ritesh Agrawal and A S Rajawat from Geosciences Division, Space Applications Centre, ISRO, used satellite data to augment measurements of tests on the ground. Continue reading


Pakistan on Monday successfully test-fired a nuclear-capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile which has the ability to hit targets up to 650 kilometres, which brings many prominent Indian cities under its range. The testing of the nuclear-capable missile has come amid the ongoing tensions between India and Pakistan over the abrogation of Article 370 which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

The Pakistani Army’s media wing issued a press release confirming the test-fire of Shaheen-I missile and asserting that the exercise was aimed at testing “operation readiness of Army Strategic Forces Command”. The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) office further added that the missile has the capability of delivering all types of warheads up to a range of 650 km. Continue reading


A trove of leaked Chinese government documents reveals details of its clampdown on Uighurs and other Muslims in the country’s western Xinjiang region under President Xi Jinping, the New York Times reported. United Nations experts and activists say at least 1 million Uighurs and members of other largely Muslim minority groups have been detained in camps in Xinjiang in a crackdown that has drawn condemnation from the United States and other countries.

The documents, which the newspaper on Saturday said were leaked by “a member of the Chinese political establishment,” show how Xi gave a series of internal speeches to officials during and after a 2014 visit to Xinjiang following a stabbing attack by Uighur militants at a train station that killed 31 people. Continue reading


Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, on Monday, said that India’s defence exports grew nearly six times over the past two years. Addressing a conference in Bangkok, Thailand, Singh said that the Government of India is committed to working towards achieving a US$ 26 billion Defence Industry by 2025. Singh is in Bangkok to attend the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus), a platform comprising ASEAN and its eight dialogue partners including India.

“The draft Defence Production Policy 2018 had set a target of US$ 5 billion in defence exports by 2025. While the target is ambitious, it’s encouraging to know that India’s defence exports grew nearly 6 times over the past 2 years,” Singh said in Thailand. Continue reading


Three months after the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan-based terrorist groups have managed to infiltrate nearly 135 of their men into the Valley, as per the latest assessment by central agencies. The number, sources said, is less than last year’s when as many as 143 terrorists entered the Valley from across the border.

North Block sources said majority of these infiltrations took place after August 5 –– the day J&K’s special status was removed. “Pakistan’s review by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has led to reduction of terrorist activities and movement along the border between May and July but were stepped up again in August,” an official said. Continue reading


Two maoists were arrested by security forces in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district and a tiffin bomb planted by them was also recovered, police said today. Baman Mandavi, 27, and Hidma Podiyami, 26, both jan-militia members, were arrested from the forest on Sunday evening near Nadenar village, around 70 km from Dantewada, a local police official said.

Personnel of the District Reserve Guard (DRG) and the Central Reserve Police Force’s (CRPF) 195th battalion were involved in the search operation, he added. Continue reading


Pakistan and militant handlers have become desperate and are trying various tactics to provoke and scare people, Jammu and Kashmir DGP Dilbag Singh has said. “Pakistan and terrorist handlers have become desperate and tried various tactics and violence to provoke and scare people. The police should remain alert to thwart their attempts,” a police spokesperson quoted Singh as having said during a function here on Sunday.

The Director-General of Police (DGP) inaugurated the Zonal Cyber police station at the District Police Office here and reviewed security and law and order in the district, the spokesperson said on Monday. Continue reading


The strike in October of around 19,000 workers of Bengaluru-based Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) to increase wages has highlighted concerns and issues faced by the government-owned defense manufacturer. And while the high court of the state passed an interim order restraining the Hindustan Aeronautics Employees Association “from continuing their ongoing strike including go-slow, work to rule, or any form of agitation or disrupting day-to-day activities of HAL and its offices in Bengaluru,” it seems to have added fuel to the government’s intent to disinvest the organization.

According to a union leader, HAL lost $8 million a day during the strike period, but this could not be confirmed. Continue reading


A pro-Khalistan group that is funded by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is running a massive anti-India social media campaign while operating from the heart of the United States of America.

On 10 September, as part of the ISI’s renewed focus to internationalise “Kashmir-Khalistan”, a company—Kashmir Khalistan Referendum Front (KKRF)—was registered in Washington. The address of the company is ‘910, 17th street, N.W suite, Washington and the directors of the said company are Ghazala Khan, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun and Muhammad Yunus. Continue reading


Anti-India forces and vested interests are “manufacturing” protests in Nepal over the inclusion of the Kalapani area of Uttarakhand into India’s new political map. Nepal has objected to the new map and has activated diplomatic channels with India to have a dialogue on the issue. Nepal’s ambassador to India, Nilamber Acharya held a meeting with Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale recently during which he raised the boundary issue.

Sources said that Nepal has informed India that any boundary dialogue on Kalapani will also concern China since it is a trijunction where Indian, Nepalese and Tibetan (Chinese) borders meet. The Nepal government has made it clear that Kalapani is an integral part of their country and that talks are still on between New Delhi and Kathmandu over this “unresolved” area. Continue reading

SOURCE: The Tribune

The name Rafale conjures up varied feelings and thoughts, thanks to it being in the public eye for many reasons, both right and wrong. Rafale, in French, means a ‘gust of wind’. I saw it flying way back in 1987 while doing the course for test pilots in France. That particular Rafale was a technology demonstrator, but what one saw was an aircraft with outstanding manoeuvrability and capabilities. The Rafale being procured by the Indian Air Force, three decades down the line, would be the latest version and an improvement many times over than the tech demonstrator; to an adversary, it would, indeed, present itself as much more than just a ‘gust of wind’!

The Rafale selection has been one tortuous journey and, frankly, one still doesn’t know if there are any more twists in the tale — hopefully, after the Supreme Court ruling, it should be a smooth flow. Continue reading


Justifying Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to abrogate Article 370, which granted special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Sunday said that Kashmir’s autonomy ultimately served only a small elite.

In an interview to Germany’s Der Spiegel Online, Jaishankar said that the government decided to snap telephone and Internet network in Jammu and Kashmir after abrogating Article 370 on Augutst 5, 2019, because the terrorists would have used telephone and Internet to communicate with each other and unleash mayhem in the region. Continue reading