SOURCE: The Print

India has set its eyes on procuring the Russian-made Sprut-SDM1 light tanks, to counter China in the mountainous terrain along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), and will also take part in the trials of the system starting late summer.

This will be a first for Russia because no other country has witnessed trials of a product that is under development. According to sources in the security and defence establishment, India is keen on the 18-tonne Sprut because it shares the gun of the T-90 tank and fires the same kind of ammunition. India is currently operating T-90 and T-72 tanks, which are also Russian-origin, besides Arjun.

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 Imagine standing in shallow water—without moving—for long periods of time. Toes spread out, feet firmly planted in squishy mud, eyes focused on finding a tasty fish or frog. Suddenly, the head strikes underwater, grabs a passing treat with the beak and swallows it whole. Incredible surgical strike with precision.

I am always entranced watching the hunting behavior of long-legged wading birds like herons and egrets. They stand motionless for long minutes at the edge of a pond or swamp, waiting for prey to swim within striking distance. It’s a technique sometimes described as stalking, and it convinces me that those birds have far more patience than I do.

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Taking undue advantage of the ongoing ceasefire on the International Border (IB) and Line of Control (LoC), the Pakistani Army has set up training camps for terrorists in different areas of the Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK). To camouflage these terror training camps, the Pakistan Army has given the name ‘Taskheer-e-Jabal’-means ‘Capturing the mountain’ to this whole exercise. Sources said that these training camps have been set up in the areas just adjoining to the LoC earlier used as ‘launching pads’ to infiltrate terrorists.

Along with soldiers of the Pakistan army, some youths are also getting arms and weapon training besides learning guerrilla warfare skills.

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SOURCE: Republic

Indulging in shocking anti-India hate propaganda, Facebook has taken down targetted networks in May 2020 due to Co-ordinated Inauthentic behaviour (CIB). The CIB report accessed by Republic on Monday, shows that the pages associated with AlphaPro, a Pakistan-based PR firm posted many anti-India posts posing as international news entities, criticising India’s COVID management, treatment of Muslims, Kashmir, and pro-Pakistan commentary. As per Alpha Pro’s website Inter-Services Public Relations, Pakistan Army is listed as one of its clients.

The CIB report reads, “We removed 40 Facebook accounts, 25 Pages, six Groups and 28 Instagram accounts that originated in Pakistan and targeted primarily domestic audiences in Pakistan, in addition to also focusing on English, Arabic and Pashto-speaking audiences globally. We found this activity as part of our internal investigation into suspected coordinated inauthentic behavior with some links to the network we removed in April 2019. We linked this latest operation to individuals associated with AlphaPro, a Pakistan-based PR firm”.

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SOURCE: Indiatimes

Even as the pandemic raged and economies around the world were devastated, nuclear-armed countries last year increased spending on atomic weapon arsenals by 1.4 billion dollars. In a fresh report, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) detailed how the world’s nine nuclear-armed states continued to swell their spending on such weapons.

“While hospital beds filled up with patients, doctors and nurses worked over hours and basic medical supplies ran scarce, nine countries found they had more than $72 billion on hand for their weapons of mass destruction,” the report said.

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Following up on my article a fortnight ago that reviewed the military situation in Ladakh, there is a need to analyse the geopolitical issues that brought about the standoff that began last year and those that spun off from it. The standoff continues today, albeit with partial disengagement but very little de-escalation. Ladakh may be proximate to the roof of the world but turbulence there has geopolitical impact far into the oceans and lands more than halfway across the world. Its presence right there in the mountain ranges almost contiguous to Tibet and Xinjiang (China’s soft underbelly) and providing the most optimal overland connectivity to the Indian Ocean (far more stable than what Gilgit-Baltistan does) gives it this strategic importance.

China perceives that India’s northern mountain tracts are isolated; within it Ladakh is even more so. It views this as the ideal pressure point for coercion. However, the northern mountains have an intrinsic connect with the Indian Ocean. India may be threatened up north but it can make China extremely uncomfortable down south in the waters through which flow the latter’s energy shipping lanes as also the container traffic taking finished manufactured goods to various markets—the lifeline of China’s grandstanding economic status.

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“I look forward to working together to advance the strategic relations between our countries and hope to welcome you to Israel soon,” Lapid tweeted in response to a congratulatory message from External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. Israel’s new government will work to “advance strategic relations” with India, Alternate Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said on Monday, a day after Naftali Bennett became the new premier ending Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year hold on power.

“I look forward to working together to advance the strategic relations between our countries and hope to welcome you to Israel soon,” Lapid tweeted in response to a congratulatory message from External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

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The position of women in the armed forces, which is described as a male-dominated establishment generally, offers a limited window for any kind of change in the role of women in occupational and bureaucratic structures. However, breaking the glass ceiling, two women officers have been selected to train as helicopter pilots at Combat Army Training School, Nashik. Till now, women officers were only limited to performing ground duties in the Army Aviation Corps.

In today’s times, women are walking shoulder to shoulder with men in all occupations. However, gender equality is still a paramount challenge in the armed forces. The Supreme Court last year ruled that women could serve as army commanders further granting permanent commission and promotions equal to their male counterparts. 

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SOURCE: The Week

In 2018, Turkey announced a deal to supply four warships to Pakistan valued at around $1.5 billion. The contract was among the largest arms export deals signed by Turkey and involved the supply of a version of Ankara’s indigenous MILGEM stealth corvette. Corvettes are small warships (displacing around 1,500 to 3,000 tonnes) and can carry anti-ship, anti-submarine and air defence weapons.

A shipyard in Istanbul is building two MILGEM warships for Pakistan, while the remaining two ships are being built in Karachi. The MILGEM variant being sold to Pakistan would be larger in displacement and longer in length than the ones in Turkish service. Initial media reports said the Pakistani Navy would use a Chinese surface-to-air missile, the HQ-16, on its MILGEM ships. The HQ-16 would be meant to shoot down anti-ship missiles and aircraft. Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, who retired as chief of Pakistan’s Navy in 2020, had, reportedly, even acknowledged that the HQ-16 would be fired from a vertical launch system (VLS) in the warships’ bow. Models of the MILGEM ships for Pakistan showed them having 16 VLS cells.

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Claiming a systematic genocide in Balochistan by Pakistani security forces, the Baloch Human Rights Council (BHRC) urged the Group of Seven (G7) leaders to investigate the heinous crimes by Pakistan in the region.

In a memorandum addressed to the G7 leaders, the Council urged them to send a UN fact-finding mission to investigate the extra-judicial killings and mass disappearances of the Baloch political and social activists. They also urged that the perpetrators of the heinous crimes against humanity in Balochistan should be brought to justice by initiating cases against them in the international court of justice in The Hague.

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The Uttar Pradesh ATS had arrested two Rohingyas named Noor Alam and Amir Husain living in Ghaziabad with forged papers last week. The duo was sent to a five-day remand to Lucknow where they made startling revelations during the interrogation.

It has come to light that a vendor operating from the Khajuri Khas area in Delhi had facilitated the illegal immigration of Rohingyas and settled them in Uttar Pradesh, as per the reports.

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SOURCE:  The Statesman

The more I stare at her, the deeper I fall in love with her. What a ship! Elegant, majestic, slender and graceful, she looks regal as she magnificently glides on the deep blue seas. INS Rajput, the pride of the Indian Navy, bid goodbye on 21 May after a glorious stint of 41 years. It evoked an overwhelming flood of emotions,  pride and sadness, as I watched the decommissioning ceremony online. I was first introduced to her in November 1986, as the wife of a naval officer who was serving on the ship. There she was! Majestic, gently swaying at the jetty in Vishakhapatnam.

I delightfully recall my excitement as I set foot on the gangway to be welcomed by the officer on duty with a proud salute, ‘Jai Hind’, to be followed by rich Naval traditions. The following two years I saw very little of my husband; Rajput had taken over his life. But never did I feel even a hint of anger or envy.  INS Rajput D51, the number I eagerly looked for amongst an array of ships at the jetties, had engulfed my life too. For 41 years she served the nation with unparalleled dedication. With the motto “Raj Karegi Rajput”, she braved the rough seas with toughness and remained ever vigilant to protect maritime interests and sovereignty of the nation.

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The U.S. authorities and Google have been approached by the Jammu and Kashmir police to share email contents exchanged by Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra, a close aide of PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, with Pakistan-based secessionist leaders and terrorists, a chargesheet filed by the Union Territory police has said.

The chargesheet said there is a prima facie evidence “sufficient to launch prosecution” against Parra for establishing a nexus with terrorists to seek their backing for his political gains and for reciprocating by way of providing a range of help and support which led to terror strikes.

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SOURCE: news18

The Bastar Naxal organisation has suffered a major setback in the last 15 days. Between May 27 and June 11, four big hardcore leaders of Naxalites have died. Of these, three died of the disease, while one has been killed in a police encounter.

On June 13, a press release was issued by suspected Naxalites, in which the Telangana State Committee member, Katti Mohan alias Prakash alias Damu Dada, died of a heart attack. The police had placed a reward of Rs 8 lakh on Katti Mohan, who was active in Chhattisgarh and Telangana. It is being told that Katti Mohan Rao was suffering from serious diseases for a long time. He died of a heart attack on June 10 at around 11:30 in the morning.

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SOURCE: Tech Wire Asia 

Jeff Bezos’ Amazon is apparently initiating an effort to bring high-speed satellite internet services to India, a move that is sure to spark off the competition with arch-rivals Bharti-backed OneWeb and SpaceX owned by Elon Musk. If anything, it will at least lead to fair and lower satellite broadband rates around the world’s largest democracy.

According to The Economic Times, Amazon will soon approach the government to discuss the modalities, authorizations, permits, landing rights, and satellite bandwidth leasing costs. “Talks with the Department of Space (DoS) and Department of Telecommunications (DoT) will happen on the necessary regulatory approvals to bring Amazon’s high-speed broadband services to India via its Project Kuiper satellite constellation as part of the global launch,” mentioned the report quoting a source.

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