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SOURCE: PTI

India exported military hardware and systems worth ?38,500 crore in the last seven years, according to details provided by the government in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. Replying to a question, Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt said the major items exported during 2014-15 and 2020-21 included armoured protection vehicles, weapons locating radar, light-weight torpedo and fire control systems and tear gas launchers.

“Currently, the exports are being made to about 75 countries. Names of the countries cannot be divulged due to strategic reasons,” he said. According to the details provided by Bhatt, India’s defence exports in 2014-15 was ?1,940.64 crore and it increased to ?2,059.18 crore in 2015-16. The value of exports in 2016-17 was recorded at ?1,521.91 crore while it went up to ? ?4,682.36 crore in 2017-18 and ?10,7465.77 crore in 2018-19.

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SOURCE: AFP

Mauritius has denied a report that it has allowed India to build a military base on the remote island of Agalega, with a government official telling AFP that no such agreement exists between the two nations. Earlier this week, news broadcaster Al Jazeera reported on the construction of an airstrip and two jetties to house an Indian military base on Agalega, located about 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) north of the archipelago’s main island.

But on Wednesday, the Mauritian government denied any plans to allow a military installation on Agalega, home to about 300 people. “There is no agreement between Mauritius and India for the creation of a military base in Agalega,” Ken Arian, a communications adviser to Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth, told AFP.

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SOURCE: THE WEEK

Earlier this week, a Qatar-based media outlet published an article claiming India is building a 3km-long airstrip and two large jetties designed for military purposes at the Mauritian island of Agalega. South Block, which houses the ministry of defence in New Delhi, is silent on the issue. However, some officials are maintaining that the construction project is only for the benefit of the islanders and that it is for non-military purpose. Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth has also categorically denied that the construction is for military purposes.

In 2015, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Mauritius, India signed an agreement for setting up and upgradation of infrastructure in the Agalega archipelago. The plan was to create an airstrip for landing bigger aircraft like Boeing 737-900 and Airbus 320. Setting up of communication systems, closer to the existing jetty was to identify any ship as friend or foe, was also planned. Aggressive presence of China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and other Chinese commercial vessels in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR)–considered the backyard of the Indian Navy–poses a challenge for India’s strategic interests. At a given time, PLAN has over a dozen of its warships in the IOR. And the Chinese research and fishing vessels are equally a threat to India’s maritime interest in the region.

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SOURCE: HT

The Narendra Modi government is prepared for the long haul with China on resolving the East Ladakh situation post PLA May 2020 aggression even though the 12th senior commander meeting on July 31 at Chushul recorded an incremental movement at Gogra-Hot Springs friction point.

Given that it took nearly eight years to resolve the 1986 Sumdorong Chu military stand-off in Arunachal Pradesh, the Modi government is prepared for further rounds of military negotiations without any unilateral dilution of the Indian position on the present stand-off in East Ladakh while maintaining a hawk eye over the eastern sector. “It is an endless night,” said a senior official.

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SOURCE: WION

The Indian Space Research Organization(ISRO) has announced the date for its second rocket launch for the year 2021. Earth Observation satellite GISAT-1 also known as EOS-3 will be launched on Thursday, August 12th at 5:43am, said the Indian Government Space Agency. However, this tentative launch time is subject to weather conditions. 

According to ISRO, GISAT-1 is meant to provide near-realtime imaging of large region of interest at frequent intervals, quick monitoring of natural disasters, episodic events and also obtain spectral signatures for agriculture, forestry, mineralogy, disaster warning, cloud properties, snow and glaciers and oceanography. 

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SOURCE: ANI

Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) chief Altaf Bukhari on Wednesday asserted that there were flaws in Article 35A but the decision is benefiting the women of UT. Although he termed August 5 a day of “regret” till our rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir are restored. “I agree that there were flaws in Article 35A. It was not fair for our sisters and daughters. I hope it will be restored by the Supreme Court with amendments that will give equal rights to our sisters and daughters,” said Bukhari.

Speaking on the occasion of the second anniversary of the abrogation of Article 370, he alleged that “no major development” has taken place since 2019, while adding that this was an attempt to create a rift between Jammu and Kashmir.

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SOURCE: IANS

The epicentre of the narrative on trouble-torn Kashmir has shifted since 2016 onwards from Saudi Arabia to Turkey, says a report. However, it maintains that Pakistan is the real force behind the disturbance in the Valley. In a report on ‘The Kashmir Conflict Industry Network’, DisinfoLab said the Kashmir narrative is a globally sponsored narrative, where every so-called human-rights “concern” on Kashmir is at the end connected with a nexus, put in place by the Pakistani establishment.

The report said, “The centre of gravity for the Kashmir narrative has gradually shifted from the Middle East (Saudi Arabia) to Thrace and Asia Minor (Turkey).” It said this change in 2016 had salient ramifications for the conflict narrative in South Asia. However, the story traces its origin back to the key players when the seeds of conflict were sown in Kashmir by Jamaat-e-Islami players; and it has continued to be played by the same set of people through their next generation.

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SOURCE: WION

India is flexing its maritime muscles to counter growing Chinese influence, conducting sea trials on its first indigenous aircraft carrier and dispatching a task force for joint exercises with the United States and other allies. The INS Vikrant, which began trials off the southern state of Kerala on Wednesday, will be India’s second aircraft carrier in operation. The Indian Navy said the country can now “join a select group of nations with the capability to indigenously design and build an Aircraft Carrier, which will be a real testimony to the ‘Make in India’ thrust of the Indian Government.”

The new 262-metre (860-foot) carrier joins the INS Vikramaditya, the Soviet-made Admiral Gorshkov that India bought in 2004. The navy said 44 other ships and submarines were being built indigenously. It is also pressing the government for a third carrier, with Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh saying the force could not remain “tethered”.

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SOURCE: HT

August 5 is the day when Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into two Union territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh in 2019. Today, it is the second anniversary of the historic decision, which left a deep impact on the region. On August 5, 2019, Articles 370 and 35(A) were nullified that gave the erstwhile state its special status and the mandate to define its domicile rules.

While political parties in Jammu and Kashmir have vowed to continue their struggle for restoration of statehood, here is a look at big changes which have taken place in these two years:

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SOURCE: TIMES NOW

On the occasion of the anniversaries of abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and the foundation laying of Ram Temple at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that August 5 will be remembered in history.

“Two years ago on this day, Article 370 was abrogated in Jammu and Kashmir. On this day last year, the first step was taken towards the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. Today, construction of a grand Ram Temple is underway,” he said.

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SOURCE: News18

While the historic decision of abrogating Article 370 on August 5, 2019, brought relief for many communities across Jammu and Kashmir, who were suffering for past 70 years, the decision had a bigger impact on the Gorkhas in the union territory, who were allegedly being discriminated.

According to the Gorkhas, the discriminatory Article 370 denied basic rights to their offspring in Jammu and Kashmir who came and settled in the erstwhile princely state around 200 years ago. “Our forefathers were part of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s army and when Maharaja Ranjit Singh anointed Gulab Singh as the Raja of Jammu, he gave him a large number of Gorkha soldiers to join his army and defend the people of Jammu” Tej Bahdur, an offspring of one of the Gorkha soliders said.

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SOURCE: ANI

India’s Permanent Representative to United Nations, TS Tirumurti on Wednesday (local time) said India has been repeatedly cautioning against the possibility of terrorist entities and individuals gaining access to chemical weapons. Addressing a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) briefing on Syria (Chemical Weapons), Tirumurti said, “Since we joined the Council in January this year, India has been repeatedly cautioning against the possibility of terrorist entities and individuals gaining access to chemical weapons.”

“We are concerned at the frequent reports of a resurgence of terrorist groups in the region. As we have learnt from the consequences of complacency against terrorism in the past, the international community cannot afford to ignore terrorist activities in Syria and the region,” he said.

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SOURCE: DailyExcelsior

Marking two years of the abrogation of Article 370 and the changed status of Jammu and Kashmir, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday said the Union Territory has seen “real Democracy, Development, Good Governance and Empowerment” in the last two years, that has helped to strengthen India’s unity and integrity.

With the hashtag NewJammuKashmir, Jaishankar tweeted, “Jammu and Kashmir has seen real Democracy, Development, Good Governance and Empowerment in the last two years. As a result, India’s unity and integrity has been immeasurably strengthened.”

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SOURCE: REUTERS

Troops patrolled the streets on Thursday (Aug 5) in Srinagar, the main city of Indian Kashmir, where many shops were shut to mark the second year since the Himalayan region was stripped of its autonomy. In 2019, in an effort to bind the restive region closer to the rest of India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government withdrew longstanding constitutional privileges accorded to the country’s only Muslim-majority state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The measure also split the state into two federal territories, including the remote Buddhist-dominated Ladakh region, which further angered Kashmiris. Troops manned checkpoints in parts of Srinagar, which has been a hotbed of separatist activity, carrying out security checks on people and vehicles, witnesses said.

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SOURCE: PTI

One person was killed and 11 others were injured after Maoists blew up a sports utility vehicle (SUV) in which they were travelling using an improvised explosive device in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Dantewada district on Thursday, a police official said.

The incident took place at around 7.30 am near Ghotiya village under Malewadhi police station limits, located around 400 km from the state capital Raipur, on an under-construction route that connects Narayanpur to Dantewada, the district’s Superintendent of Police, Abhishek Pallava, told PTI.

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