At least eight companies have expressed interest to Anna University to manufacture unmanned aerial systems, which have been developed by Madras Institute of Technology (MIT)’s Centre for Aerospace Research (CASR).Director of CASR, K Senthil Kumar said that for the first time the centre had invited companies having interest in manufacturing and marketing of unmanned aerial systems designed and developed by it. The notification inviting expression of interest from companies was issued by Anna University in March.

“At least eight companies, including some startups, have expressed interest for manufacturing drones based on our technology. We are in the process of examining the applications and shortlisting the companies,” said Kumar. CASR has developed drones which are now being used by Tamil Nadu and Kerala police. The centre now aims to supply drones to Indian Armed Forces also.  Kumar said the Centre has given a presentation of its drones to Indian Army and is participating in a drone competition named Mehar Baba Challenge organised by Indian Air Force. Continue reading


The strength of IS in Afghanistan has touched 4,000, a development which could spell trouble for India. Mohammad Umer Daudzai, the chief executive of the Afghan High Peace Council, admitted that while IS was a problem in the country, Taliban was still the number one priority.

“Taliban is a rural phenomenon,’’ he said, at an Indian Council for World Affairs interaction. “IS is more urbane and academic. We see them in universities, professors, and our forces have traced them and caught them. Some of the attacks that have taken place in cities have been traced to universities,” he said. Continue reading

SOURCE: The Pioneer

In the recent years, the Indian Ocean region has once again become an arena of strategic competition among extra-regional and resident powers. The emergence of China and India as rising maritime forces and the relative decline of the US pre-eminence in the recent past have altered the power equations in this region continuum. After the withdrawal of the Soviet Navy in the early 1990s, the US emerged as an uncontested maritime power in the Indian Ocean, and other regional and extra-regional powers could frame their Indian Ocean policy broadly in the ambit of the American ascendancy.

However, in recent years, the power equation has gradually shifted as China, India, and Japan’s naval potential has grown, repressing the US naval dominance. In the early 1990s, besides the withdrawal of the Soviet Navy, the Gulf War I and liberalisation of the Indian economy created an opportunity for India to alter its Indian Ocean policy. India began to downplay the idea of the Zone of Peace. Reversing the Cold War policy, India began to engage major powers and other littoral states. Instead of isolation, New Delhi began to pursue the policy of engagement. Continue reading


Space Agency ISRO, which is gearing up for the ambitious Chandrayaan-2 this July, has loftier plans ahead. It’s planning to accomplish six other mega missions over the next 10 years, apart from Chandrayaan-2. Of these, only two have been defined — XPoSat and Aditya-L1 missions.

The four other undefined missions, which are in the planning stage, are: Mangalyaan-2, Venus mission, Lunar Polar Exploration and Exoworlds. The XPoSat, or the X-ray Polarimeter Satellite, is a dedicated mission to study polarisation. “It is scheduled for launch next year,” ISRO chairman K Sivan told Express. Continue reading

SOURCE: Mainstream Weekly

Prime Minister Modi’s electoral campaign “expose” of misuse of naval assets by the late ex-PM, Rajiv Gandhi, his wife Sonia Gandhi and a host of others with them in 1987 during a visit to Lakshwadeep Islands aboard INS Viraat, has naval circles buzzing.

This is not in defence of what the then PM Rajiv Gandhi did or did not do, but to rue the continuing politicisation of our military, with the Indian Navy also now dragged into the on-going electoral political slugfest. It is also to put a perspective on l’affaire Viraat, and think aloud some disturbing thoughts on what Veterans, triggered by electoral campaigns, are speaking. Continue reading


Despite western insensitivity towards the problems Myanmar faces in dealing with well-armed separatist-oriented, ethnic insurgent groups, Aung San Suu Kyi has acted skillfully and carefully in dealing with both India and China, on problems and challenges arising from cross-border insurgencies. There are 25 major, armed insurgent groups in Myanmar, with nine of them refusing to even accept a national cease-fire, as a prelude to talks with the government. A number of these armed groups operate across the China-Myanmar border, while enjoying safe haven in China’s bordering Yunnan and Shan provinces.

Closer to the India-Myanmar border, the Chinese have long-term ties with four insurgent groups in the Kachin State, which borders both India and China. Two of these groups have maintained links with Indian insurgent groups like ULFA and NSCN(K). They arrange to provide assistance to Indian separatist groups, facilitating their stay and activities in both Myanmar and in the Yunnan Province of China. Continue reading


More women could become part of the mainstream society once they learnt how to overcome challenges that came their way, Tessy Thomas, Director General of Aeronautical Systems, DRDO, has said. Women had many roles and responsibilities to take up each day. Taking an extra step each day was crucial to reach one’s goal in life, Ms. Thomas said, after inaugurating the Women Leadership Conclave organised by the Kerala Management Association (KMA) here on Friday.

Changes must begin from within the family. The conventional notion that women must do all household chores must change. They must also view all obstacles with a positive outlook. Empowerment would happen when women were able to think for themselves and take wise decisions, she said. Continue reading


Four militants were gunned down in two separate encounters in Pulwama and Baramulla districts of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, police said. While three Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) militants, including the one belonging to a group of ultras who were involved in the killing of Army jawan Aurangzeb last year, were gunned down in a pre-dawn operation by security forces in Pulwama district of south Kashmir, another militant, belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), was killed in Sopore town of Baramulla, a police spokesman said.

He said based on credible input a cordon and search operation was launched by the police and security forces in the pre-dawn hours on Saturday in Panzgam area of Awantipora in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. Continue reading


A 24-year-old Rohingya from Myanmar was arrested from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport on Wednesday for allegedly procuring a fake Indian passport and an Aadhaar card to travel to Indonesia from the national capital.

The Delhi Police said that the man, one Mohammed Faisal, had applied for refugee status with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and his application was under consideration. They added that the man was interrogated jointly by the Delhi Police and intelligence bureau officials and that nothing suspicious had been found. An FIR was registered . Continue reading


One of three Kashmiri students arrested in Bengaluru rural district on charges of sedition for their alleged anti-Army posts on social media in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack in February has approached the Karnataka High Court seeking bail. A lower court had rejected the bail plea of the three students on March 19.

The High Court has given the state public prosecutor two weeks’ time to file objections against the bail plea.
Haris Manzoor and Gowhar Mushtaq of Spurthy College of Nursing and Zaqir Maqbool of the Chinai College of Nursing were arrested on February 16 on the basis of a complaint filed by Spurthy Nursing College’s principal Babu Dharmarajan about a brawl in hostel over pro-Army and anti-Army social media posts. Continue reading


More than 75 days after the Indian Air Force (IAF) struck Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) targets in Pakistan’s Balakot, the Pakistan Air Force is still wary of the safety of its fighter fleet including the frontline F-16 fighter planes. The Pakistan Air Force has taken out its F-16s from their home bases in Sargodha, Punjab, and Sindh and has deployed them at their satellite fields in a scattered manner, government sources have said.

These deployments could have been made to avoid any major losses in one go in case of any possible strikes from India that they may be apprehended, sources said. Sources said the Pakistan Air Force has been at forward locations all along the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border (IB) after Balakot strikes and its failure to counter India. Continue reading

SOURCE: Ajai Shukla |

The eponymous Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MR-SAM), jointly developed by India and Israel to defend the Navy’s warships against incoming anti-ship missiles, achieved a crucial landmark on Friday. MR-SAMs fired simultaneously from different vessels were directed to two different targets by a single warship, allowing a naval flotilla to reduce its give-away electromagnetic signature.

Warships typically switch on their multi-function surveillance and target acquisition radar (MF-STAR) while firing an MR-SAM – usually when an incoming anti-ship missile is still over a hundred kilometres away. The radar guides the missile towards the target, bringing it close enough to allow the missile’s seeker to home onto the anti-ship missile, and strike it precisely while it is still 70 kilometres away.

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SOURCE: Bharat Karnad

Importing wrong weapons platforms has consequences beyond stretching the scarce defence rupee. Besides kicking the indigenous R&D and defence industry in the gut and being a perennial financial drain with lifetime costs many times the initial acquisition price, it locks the country into an inappropriate force structure whose frailties are quickly shown up in war. Securing them also leaves little money to obtain less glitzy but more appropriate and necessary fighting assets.

The Indian Air Force, with the cost-effective option of the upgraded Su-30MKI produced at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) on the table, opted for the manifestly redundant Rafale fighter plane worth Rs 69,000 crore. Four hundred and sixty T-90 tanks valued at nearly Rs 14,000 crore are sought by the army for its armoured formations that are unlikely, under the nuclear overhang, to ever see major action. The T-90, incidentally, got beat by the indigenous Arjun main battle tank in all field tests. Not to be outdone, the Indian Navy, as per the British press, is plonking for an Indian dockyard-built 65,000 tonne Queen Elizabeth (QE)-class aircraft carrier. Given its colonial antecedents, the Indian Navy follows the Royal Navy in everything, including apparently repeating the latter’s mistakes.

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India has offered full support to Sri Lanka in dealing with the common threat of “Jihadi terrorism” following the deadly Easter Sunday suicide bombings that killed nearly 260 people, including 11 Indians.

Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu on Friday also discussed the prevailing security situation during his recent meeting with two top-ranking Buddhist monks at Sri Dalada Maligawa or the temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy, Indian Embassy here said in a statement. “High Commissioner….discussed the prevailing security situation with the Most Venerable Mahanayake theros and offered India’s full support to Sri Lanka in dealing with the common threat of Jihadi terrorism,” the statement said. Continue reading


India, which is owed USD 38 million by the UN for peacekeeping operations, has voiced concern over the “unjustifiable and inexplicable” delays in reimbursement to countries providing peacekeeping troops and police for UN missions. It underlined that recurrent delays in payments have turned the Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) as “de facto financers” of UN peacekeeping.

“Reimbursement on time for peacekeeping is a genuine expectation,” First Secretary in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN Mahesh Kumar said Thursday at a Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) session on ‘Improving the Financial Situation of the United Nations.’ Kumar noted that total arrears currently stand at a whopping USD 3.6 billion, nearly one-third of the annual assessment of the United Nations, adding that UN peacekeeping also suffers from delay in reimbursements. Continue reading