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SOURCE: THE PRINT

As the Narendra Modi government pushes for more indigenous systems in the military, this week the Ministry of Defence will undertake a review of several foreign procurement projects, some of which are almost in their final stages. Sources in the defence and security establishment told ThePrint that over 10 items are up for review by the Defence Procurement Board (DPB), including a deal with Russia for Kamov helicopters for the Army and Navy, as well as heavyweight torpedoes for Scorpene submarines.

The move is part of the defence ministry’s review of all procurement under the ‘Buy (Global)’ category to push for ‘Atmanirbhar’ products in the critical sector that has been dominated by foreign purchases. Under this category, procurement is made directly from a foreign Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM).

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SOURCE: THE PRINT

Pakistan’s rather less than revolutionary National Security Policy has been debated vigorously, with the most generous assessment wondering what the document seeks to achieve, even against India. The full 110-page document remains classified, so the whole could have far more direction than is evident. But what’s more interesting is why Pakistan chose to put this out at all. After all, it’s not every country that publishes such a document, other than the large powers like the US, France or China. India certainly hasn’t drafted one despite calls from analysts and former officials that it should. Should India put out such a document, not because Pakistan has, but because it’s necessary for diverse reasons? Or would putting this out in public be detrimental to our objectives?

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SOURCE: THE WEEK

Every time her husband—a Cheetah helicopter pilot of the Indian Army’s aviation wing—goes flying, even for a routine sortie, Meenal Bhonsle makes it a point to see him off. “It could be our last meeting, we never know,” she says. “It is a traumatising day for me when he is flying.”The Army Aviation Corps and the Air Force operate close to 200 Cheetah helicopters. There have been more than 30 crashes in the last few years.Cheetah and Chetak are single-engine helicopters with obsolete avionics, lacking key features like moving map display, ground proximity warning system and weather radar.The Indian military has been flying these choppers beyond the manufacturer’s permissible limit as it has no other option.

Over the years, the Cheetahs, which dominate the Indian military’s fleet of light utility helicopters (LUHs), have become a spot of bother. Last September, a Cheetah on a routine sortie crashed at Patnitop in Jammu and Kashmir, killing two Army officers. In February 2020, one crash-landed in Jammu’s Reasi area; there were no casualties. In 2019, another one crashed, killing two pilots—one from the Indian Army and the other from the Royal Bhutan Army—while flying over Sikkim, on the border with China.

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SOURCE: FIRST POST

My recent article in Firstpost titled Why India urgently needs a Ministry of Counter-Propaganda seems to have caught the attention of many readers, and I offer a quick response to some of their comments below.

I should begin by emphasising that countering propaganda is not propaganda: It is the telling of the truth after wiping out the lies. But to do that effectively, especially when propaganda has a powerful institutional history and deep investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in it, we need to understand the problem and possible solutions clearly.

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SOURCE: PTI

About 135 militants are present at launch pads across the border and are waiting to infiltrate into India, BSF Inspector General, Kashmir, Raja Babu Singh said on Monday.

However, he asserted that the overall situation at the Line of Control (LoC) is “peaceful” and said the number of infiltration bids was lesser in 2021 in comparison to previous years. “The overall scenario along the LoC is peaceful. Since the signing of the ceasefire agreement, there has been a general peace all along the LoC in the Kashmir frontier,” the Border Security Force (BSF) officer said while speaking to reporters here.

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SOURCE: ET

India and Israel on Monday launched a commemorative logo to mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

The logo features the Star of David and the AshokaChakra- the two symbols that adorn the national flags of both countries- and forms the numeral 30 depicting the 30th anniversary of bilateral relations. This special logo symbolises the strong friendship, love and admiration that exists between the people of Israel and the people of India. It also depicts the growing strategic partnership between the two sides.

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SOURCE: Statesman News Service

In a bid to foil any attempt of Pakistan backed terrorists to infiltrate through cross-border tunnels ahead of Republic Day, the Border Security Force (BSF) is carrying out extensive anti-tunnelling drive in the three border districts of Jammu division.

A BSF spokesman said on Monday that keeping in view the intelligence inputs ahead of the Republic Day and security situation to deal with any nefarious attempt of anti-national elements from across the border, troops of BSF Jammu frontier have been on high alert since last week.

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SOURCE: THE PRINT

I have not soiled my hands with dirty work,” the young Winston Churchill wrote to his mother in October 1872, from the dust-blown outpost of Inayat Killi. He’d watched, instead, as his soldiers fed an injured Pashtun insurgent into a kiln, the man screaming as his skin melted off his bones. Imperial Britain wielded “fire and sword in vengeance”. “We destroyed the houses, filled up the wells, blew down the towers, cut down the great shady trees, burned the crops and broke the reservoirs”.

Liberal Indians mourned, this past week, as the eternal flame of the unknown soldier — sheltered under India Gate, where the names of 13,300 men killed in the First World War are inscribed — moved to the new National War Memorial. The moving of the flame seems, to some, as part of an ongoing extinguishing of the Indian Army’s heritage of secularism, decency and righteousness.

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SOURCE: NDTV

Several Supreme Court lawyers alleged today that they have received threat calls, allegedly from terrorist group Indian Mujahideen, over the removal of Article 370 that granted special rights to Kashmir. The callers threatened to hoist the flag of Kashmir in Delhi on Republic Day.

This is the third time in a month that the lawyers have claimed to have received threat calls. Earlier, they received calls threatening judges over the Supreme Court’s inquiry committee investigating the case involving the security breach that left Prime Minister Narendra Modi stuck on a flyover in Punjab for 20 minutes. They received a second threatening call last week – allegedly from pro-Khalistan group Sikhs For Justice – over the same.

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SOURCE: The Statesman

Escape from Pakistan lifts the lid on a story never before made public—the daring escape of a diplomat and his family from Karachi in 1965. But make no mistake: this is more than a pulse-pounding thriller. At the heart of the narrative is the tender and inspiring story of Captain Jack Shea, who masterminded the escape, with brutal consequences to himself.

Penned with utmost tenderness by Captain Shea’s daughter Debora, this is a long-overdue tribute to a gallant mariner who epitomised courage, loyalty and survival against overwhelming odds. Dispossessed of parental love since birth, Jack grows up under the care of maternal grandparents, and with a name that belongs neither to his biological father or mother: “Garnet Milton Shea.”

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SOURCE: REPUBLIC TV

The United States has agreed to hold negotiations on the F-35 fighter jet deal with Turkic counterparts in later January or early February, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said on Sunday. The meeting comes after Akar earlier this month informed that the preparations were underway to resolved the issues pertaining to the deal.

“As for the F-35s, we asked (the US), we paid this much, how shall we go about it he compensation? The American side said they understood. We agreed at the end of January- the beginning of February. Our delegation will go to the US. Six F-35s for Turkey are in a hangar. We are discussing what will happen to them,” Akar was quoted as saying by the Turkish Milliyet newspaper.

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SOURCE: Tribune News Service

Amid a raging debate on the merits of merging Amar Jawan Jyoti flame with that of the National War Memorial, historical sources reveal the flame at India Gate was conceived as temporary, and the construction of a permanent memorial for India’s war heroes was always in the pipeline.

A dig into Parliament archives throws light on the vexed issue with opinions divided on whether the merger of the two flames this week was, at all, necessary. It turns out that late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi-led Congress government was, as long ago as 1972, contemplating building a permanent war memorial called Amar Jawan at Delhi.

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SOURCE: ONE INDIA

With the name of a Khalistani terrorist cropping up in various cases in Punjab, the National Investigation Agency has reached out to its German counterparts for more information. The NIA is seeking more information on Jaswinder Singh Multani, a member of the Sikhs for Justice, a proscribed organisation in India. The NIA has also announced a Rs 10 lakh reward on Multani after his name cropped up in the Ludhiana blast case.

Multani was detained in Germany following a tip off from New Delhi. He was however released after he provided an affidavit promising to cooperate with the probe. The NIA has so far booked nine people including Multani on charges of attempting to revive terrorism in Punjab. Several pro-Khalistan elements have been operating from Germany and are aiding the revival of terror in Punjab.

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SOURCE: PTI

Air India is likely to be handed over to the Tata group by the end of this week, senior government officials said on Monday. After a competitive bidding process, the government had on October 8 last year sold Air India to Talace Private Limited — a subsidiary of the Tata group’s holding company — for ? 18,000 crore.

Following that, on October 11, a Letter of Intent (LoI) was issued to the Tata group confirming the government’s willingness to sell its 100 percent stake in the airline. On October 25, the Centre signed the share purchase agreement (SPA) for this deal.

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SOURCE: PTI

A Naxal was killed in an encounter with security personnel in Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur district on Monday, a senior police official said. The gunfight took place at around 1.30 am near a bridge in a forest, located about six km from Bharanda police station, when a team of the District Reserve Guard (DRG) was out on a search operation, Narayanpur’s Superintendent of Police Girija Shankar Jaiswal said.

After the exchange of fire stopped, the body of a Naxal and a muzzle loading gun were recovered from the spot, he said.

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