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India

SOURCE: ANITA DESAI / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

Newly appointed Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat said 114 fighter jets for the Indian Air Force need to be purchased in small batches so that technological obsolescence along with high procurement cost required for such a mega order can be avoided due to the stalled budget but that also means Making in India 114 jets of foreign origin will also make it more expensive for India due to batch orders over the years which will need to be adjusted for material and manpower cost inflation over the years.

State-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is currently producing the Su-30MKI at a flyaway cost of around $62 million per aircraft, which according to our Parliament is around $22 million higher than the Su-30 jet supplied by Russia. Over 272 jets were produced over the years in batch orders but it simply never translated into a cheaper jet for India from then directly buying from Russia. Continue reading

SOURCE: PTI

Leaving the organisers of an event to protest against the CAA, NRC and NPR here red-faced, a young woman on Thursday raised “Pakistan Zindabad” slogan in the presence of AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, who denounced her action and asserted “we are for India”. The woman, identified as Amulya, asked people to shout with her “Pakistan Zindabad” after the organisers of the event under the banner of “Save Constitution” invited her to address the gathering soon after Owaisi came on the stage.

Soon Owaisi rushed to snatch the mike from her hands and was joined by others who tried to remove her from the state. But the woman was adamant and raised the slogan again repeatedly. Continue reading

SOURCE: REUTERS

U.S. energy firm Westinghouse is expected to sign a new agreement with state-run Nuclear Power Corporation of India for the supply of six nuclear reactors during U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit next week, officials said, aiming to kickstart a long-running project. The agreement will lay out timelines and the lead local constructor for the reactors to be built at Kovvada in southern India and also address lingering concerns over India’s nuclear liability law.

The United States has been discussing the sale of nuclear reactors to energy-hungry India since a 2008 landmark civil nuclear energy pact and last year the two governments announced they were committed to the establishment of the six reactors. Last week representatives from U.S. energy and commerce departments, Westinghouse, the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum and The Nuclear Energy Institute were in India for talks with government officials as part of a commercial mission to promote nuclear exports to India. Continue reading

SOURCE: TIMES NOW

The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said that British MP Debbie Abrahams was denied entry into India since she was travelling without a valid visa, but that information is already in the public domain.

However, this is probably the first time someone from the government has categorically acknowledged in the same breath that the Labour Party MP from the United Kingdom holds “anti-India sentiments” and that she has had a “sustained campaign against India”.Addressing a press conference in the national capital, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “She came here without a valid visa so we sent her back badi izzat se from Delhi airport. We believe that her statements and ideology are anti-India. There is a sustained campaign from her side against India.” Continue reading

SOURCE: ANI

Army Chief General MM Naravane on Thursday said that his force is not allowing any disruptive actions by Pakistan Army’s Border Action Team (BAT) as the Army foils the attempts even before the adversary is able to launch them. “We have been getting inputs. We have been able to foil (Pakistan Army’s) BAT action attempts even before they have been able to launch them,” he said while speaking to ANI.

The BAT of the Pakistan Army include both regular Army personnel and mercenaries from groups such as Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and are tasked to carry out surprise hits on Indian positions along the LoC. Continue reading

SOURCE: NEWS NATION

There are around 15-20 terrorist camps that are still active in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), said Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane on Thursday. “Over 15-20 terrorist camps inside Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir where there are around 250-350 terrorists at any time and numbers may fluctuate,” Naravane said. The Army chief also welcomed the Supreme Court’s judgement on the permanent commissioning of women. Calling the judgement ‘very enabling’, he said, the Indian Army does not discriminate any soldier based on religion, caste, creed, or even gender. The outlook of the Indian Army has been throughout like this and that is why we started inducting Women Officers as early as in 1993.

Naravane further added that their first task at hand is to comply with Supreme Court’s order. Continue reading

SOURCE: PTI

Pakistan on Thursday expressed hope that US President Donald Trump during his visit to India next week will take “some concrete practical steps” on his offer of mediation on Kashmir. Trump is scheduled to travel to India on February 24 and 25, with stops in Ahmedabad and New Delhi. At the weekly media briefing here, Foreign Office Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui hoped the offer of mediation expressed by President Trump “will be taken forward through some concrete practical steps.”

Farooqui made the remarks in response to questions about Trump’s visit to India and situation in Kashmir. She said that four US Senators including Senator Lindsay Graham in a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo drew his attention towards the situation in Kashmir.In January, President Trump repeated his offer to “help” resolve the Kashmir issue between India and Pakistan during his meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Continue reading

SOURCE: PTI

India on Thursday strongly rejected China’s objection to Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, saying any criticism of visits by Indian leaders to a state of the country does not stand to reason. External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said Arunachal Pradesh is an “integral and inalienable” part of India and Indian leaders routinely travel to the state as they do to any other state.

China, which claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of south Tibet, objected to Shah’s visit to the state, saying it violated Beijing’s “territorial sovereignty” over it. “Our position on Arunachal Pradesh is clear and consistent. Arunachal Pradesh is an integral and inalienable part of India,” Kumar said at a media briefing. Continue reading

SOURCE: ZEE NEWS

Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane on Thursday (February 20, 2020) said that pressure build up by Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Pakistan is one of the factors behiind reduction of terrorsim in Kashmir Valley. “If the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) comes down heavily on them, they (Pakistan) may have to rethink on their rhetoric and activities. FATF is a factor in the reduction of terror activities in Kashmir Valley,’’ General MM Naravane told reporters.

Speaking on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, General Naravane said that terror incidents have seen a downturn and the Army is maintaining pressure on terror groups. ”There is an external dimension to the decrease in cross-border terrorism,” he said in oblique reference to the ongoing Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plenary in Paris. Continue reading

SOURCE: PTI

Army Chief General M M Naravane on Thursday said the force has been championing gender equality and the Supreme Court order granting permanent commission to women officers will give it a lot of clarity moving forward. The Supreme Court on Monday had directed that women officers in the Army be granted permanent commission and command postings. “Indian Army does not discriminate any soldier based on religion, caste, creed, or even gender. The outlook of the Indian Army has been throughout like this and that is why we started inducting women officers as early as in 1993,” Gen Naravane told reporters.

Indian Army has taken the initiative to induct women in rank and file, and the first batch of 100 women soldiers is undergoing training at Corps of Military Police Centre and School, he said. Continue reading

SOURCE: PTI

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday dismissed as “misinformation” the talk of repeal of Article 371 of the Constitution, as he reaffirmed the government’s commitment to protecting the unique culture of the Northeast. Most states that have special provisions under Article 371 are in the Northeast. These provisions are aimed at preserving their cultural heritage and customary laws.

Addressing a gathering to mark the 34th foundation day of Arunachal Pradesh, Shah said the Northeast was only geographically united with the rest of India before 2014 when Narendra Modi assumed office of the prime minister. “The real emotional integration of the region with the rest of the country happened only under the Modi government,” he said. Shah said, “Misinformation was spread after abrogation of Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, that Article 371 will also be scrapped. It will never happen. Nobody has any such intention.” Continue reading

SOURCE: BUSINESS TODAY

Ahead of the maiden visit of the US President Donald Trump to India, his official helicopter-Marine One-has arrived in Gujarat. Marine One chopper always accompanies a US President around the world. It is ideally built to rescue the president during an emergency situation.

Trump, who will arrive in India on February 24, is expected to use Marine One to travel from the Motera Cricket stadium to the Sardar Vallabhai Patel International Airport.  The newly built Motera Cricket stadium is world’s largest cricket stadium with over 1-lakh capacity. Continue reading

SOURCE: ET

Oil rich state of Kuwait has opened an office for defence attaché in Delhi eyeing to ramp up security cooperation. In a statement to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), the Kuwaiti Ambassador to India Jassim AlNajem said opening of the military office in New Delhi attests that there is a real desire to increase defense and security cooperation between the two friendly countries.

During a reception hosted by the Kuwait Embassy to welcome head of the Military Liaison Officer Colonel Fahad Al-Shammari and Assistant Head of the Office Colonel Nawaf Al-Obaidan in the presence of Arab ambassadors and heads of Arab military officials in New Delhi, the Kuwaiti ambassador affirmed that the opening of the military office is an expression of a firm desire to enhance cooperation in the military fields between the two countries and is expected to help increase exchange visits by concerned officials and conducting bilateral and multilateral military exercises. Continue reading

SOURCE: HT

An Indian Air Force plane loaded with tonnes of medical supplies for the Chinese city of Wuhan hasn’t taken off yet due to a delay in clearances from Beijing, the external affairs ministry said on Thursday.The government had earlier attributed the delay to a technical hitch. External affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told reporters at a weekly briefing that the hitch was the absence of approval from the Chinese government.

The government had expected to dispatch its largest transport aircraft, Boeing’s C-17 aircraft, to Wuhan on Thursday. On its return journey, the government plans to carry Indian nationals who had stayed back in Wuhan city, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, out of choice or circumstances. Continue reading

SOURCE: FREE PRESS JOURNAL

India needs to be self-reliant in manufacturing small arms, even as the armed forces’ urgent requirements are being currently met through imports, Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman Chief of Staffs Committee (CISC), said on Thursday.

He expressed hope that the defence manufacturing would be more competitive with private companies in the fray, and said the ongoing reforms in defence procurement process should give an opportunity to the “OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to partner with the Indian companies to enter this (small arms) market”. Continue reading

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