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SOURCE: THE PRINT

Over 100 personnel of the Indian Air Force (IAF) are being trained on the S-400 Triumf Air Defence System in Russia, as both countries eye delivery of the system by the end of this year, ThePrint has learnt. The S-400 system meant for India is already under production in Russia and is undergoing various trials, sources in the defence and security establishment said. 

The trials include high dust and extreme weather withstanding capabilities to suit the Indian demands of operating in the plains, deserts and mountainous terrain. Sources said the team of over 100 personnel had reached Russia earlier this year and are being trained by a joint team from the Russian military and Almaz Antey, the manufacturers of the system that will become the mainstay of India’s air defence.

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SOURCE: Swarajya

Number 101 Squadron of the Indian Air Force (IAF) is all set to be revived at the Hasimara Air Force Station in West Bengal this month. Nearly a decade after it was number-plated, the Falcons will be resurrected with a new batch of four Rafale fighters, which will arrive later this month.

The squadron, formed at the Palam Air Force Station in Delhi in 1949 for the role of photo reconnaissance, was equipped with Harvards and Spitfires. In 1957, the squadron received British-origin Vampire aircraft, was shifted to the Adampur Air Force Station in the Kashmir Valley. A decade later, in July 1968, it entered the supersonic ear with Su-7s bought from the Soviet Union.

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SOURCE: The Financial Express

Since Pakistan claims to be championing the Kashmir cause, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s comments during a TV talk show that revocation of Article 370 is India’s “internal matter.” His statement set the cat amongst pigeons as it was construed as surrendering Pakistan’s historical stance that Kashmir is disputed territory. This statement drew such flak from opposition parties as well as his own PTI that he was forced to go into damage control mode and withdraw his statement unconditionally.

This is not the first time that Qureshi has courted controversy by putting his foot in his mouth. In August last year he antagonized Riyadh by saying casting aspersions on OIC by saying, “If you cannot convene it, then I’ll be compelled to ask Prime Minister Imran Khan to call a meeting of the Islamic countries that are ready to stand with us on the issue of Kashmir and support the oppressed Kashmiris.” Two days after his comment on abrogation of Article 370, Qureshi tweeted, “Let me be clear: Jammu & Kashmir is an internationally recognised dispute on the @UN Security Council agenda. Final settlement of the dispute lies in #UNSC resolution calling for free and impartial plebiscite under UN auspices.” Nobody, however, is ready to buy his overhauled argument.

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SOURCE: ANI

There is abundant evidence, from online social media releases of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and state-controlled media, that the Chinese military has intensified efforts to modernize ground units in the Xinjiang Military District.

The Xinjiang Military District is one part of the Western Theater Command. The latter boasts some 90,000-120,000 ground troops, principally divided into the 76th and 77th Group Armies (headquartered in the interior cities of Chongqing and Baoji respectively), according to research by the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University in the USA.

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SOURCE: Republic.

Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Vijay Kumar on Monday said that only five terrorists were active in Srinagar, who are being helped by a network of overground workers (OGWs). “There were six active terrorists in Srinagar of which one was recently killed in Kokernag (Anantnag) gunfight. Now, there are five local terrorists and a network of hardcore 20-25 OGWs active in Srinagar, who would either be killed or apprehended soon,” Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Zone, Vijay Kumar told Republic Tv.

Asked whether there were any foreign terrorists active in Srinagar, the IGP Kashmir Zone said inputs about the movement of foreign terrorists continue to pour in “but as of now no foreign terrorists is permanently active in Srinagar district.” “This year, so far only one foreign terrorist was neutralized and that too in Sopore, North Kashmir, although JKP is after foreign terrorists too,” added he.

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SOURCE: MONEY CONTROL

The recently released Chinese national census revealed a fall in its average annual population growth rate and a growing elderly population which may slow economic growth. This is a challenge that India might face in the near future as well, say experts.

China’s average annual population growth rate has receded to 0.53 percent during 2010 to 2020, lower than 0.57 percent during the previous decade (2000 to 2010), according to the country’s seventh national census. It is still the most populous nation in the world with 1.41 billion denizens in 2020.

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SOURCE: WION

Researchers from IIT Madras and Rice University, USA have developed algorithms for lensless, miniature cameras that have applications in augmented/virtual reality, security, smart wearables, robotics among others. Lensless cameras are touted to be the future of miniature imaging technology, as they offer imaging capabilities similar to conventional cameras, but at much lesser weight and cost. They’re also nearly-flat cameras.

In conventional cameras, the lens enables light to be focussed onto an imaging sensor, which captures a sharp, detailed photograph. However, in lensless cameras the light will fall on many pixels (giving a blurred image), from which the final image has to be derived via a software. 

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SOURCE: WION

The Israel-Palestine tension has turned into a violent confrontation leaving the international community worried. Israel has warned of escalating its attack on Palestine. India, at the UN Security Council, has called for peaceful resolution of Israel-Palestine batting for a two-state solution.

The two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine question has been in conversation for long. In 2016, the then US secretary of state John Kerry had termed it “the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians”.

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SOURCE: TNN

The Assam government and Centre may opt for a cautious approach on the unilateral, three-month suspension of operations announced by Ulfa (Independent) led by Paresh Baruah, and not rush into reciprocating the same by toning down counter-operations. Sources indicated that the security establishment is not willing to take chances, given the history of the outlawed outfit continuing with extortion and violent activities during a peace initiative in the past. Sources in the security establishment hinted that Ulfa(I) probably announced suspension of its military operations as it has been under tremendous pressure after allegedly earning public ire over abduction of three ONGC employees, all Assamese locals, from Sivasagar in the middle of Bihu festival last month.

Two of the three abducted staffers were later rescued in an encounter launched by the Army based on intelligence provided by the Assam police. On Friday, a grenade blast in Tinsukia — which agencies believe was either the work of some over-enthusiastic Ulfa(I) cadres or based on instructions given much earlier — left two people dead, forcing the outfit to consider options to reverse the public sentiment.

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SOURCE: Tribune News Service

While alleging threats from Khalistani operatives, a temple trust has urged the police to provide security to it. Mandir Sri Ram Balaji Dham Charitable Trust located in Kale Ghanupur in a statement issued to the media on Saturday said it had been getting threat letters from Khalistani ‘operatives’ to bomb the temple if the trust did not stop its operations.

Manoj Kumar, Vishal Kumar and Trust’s general secretary Gurmit Singh and other office-bearers said trust president Sant Ashnil Kumar was attacked by unscrupulous elements a number of times. They threatened him and asked to shut down the operations of the temple in the area. They said the trust was involved in social service, including providing monthly ration to the needy and widow, medical facilities including free dispensary and physiotherapy centres, pension, marriages of poor girls and monetary help to the people following untoward incidents.

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SOURCE: ANI

Two terrorists, who were eliminated in the encounter were affiliated to the Al-Badr terror outfit, said Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Vijay Kumar on Monday. “Two terrorists killed in the encounter were from Al-Badr terror outfit”, Kumar told ANI. Earlier in the day, the police said that two unidentified terrorists have been neutralised in an encounter at Khanmoh area of Srinagar.

“#SrinagarEncounterUpdate: 01 more unidentified #terrorist killed (toll 02). Search going on. Further details shall follow,” Kashmir Zone Police said in a tweet.

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SOURCE: The Indian Express

The Delhi police claimed to have uncovered an assassination plot against Dasna Devi temple’s head priest, Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati, with the arrest of a 24-year-old alleged Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorist. The accused, identified as Mohd Dar, was arrested from a hotel in Central Delhi’s Paharganj and was allegedly paid Rs 41,000.

Police said Dar, from Kashmir’s Pulwama district, was arrested from a Paharganj hotel. “While searching through his luggage, police recovered one .30 bore pistol along with two magazine and 15 live rounds, one orange color kurta and white color pajama, one piece of kalawa, and a string of beads,” an officer said.

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SOURCE: THE WEEK

As Cyclone Tauktae hurtles through the north Arabian Sea and brings heavy rain to Maharashtra and Gujarat, shipping in the area has been hit. On Monday afternoon, the Indian Navy announced it was despatching multiple warships to assist barges drifting off Mumbai.

One of the first requests for assistance came from barge ‘P 305’, which was, reportedly, associated with ONGC operations at Bombay High, which is about 70km south west of Mumbai. The Indian Navy tweeted, “On receipt of a request for assistance for Barge ‘P305’ adrift off Heera Oil Fields in Bombay High area with 273 personnel onboard, warship INS Kochi was sailed with a despatch for Search and Rescue (SAR) assistance.”

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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG.

After Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) in an agreement with Boeing decided to resume production of AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopter fuselages in South Korea last month, a Korean media report later went on to claim that Boeing is not happy with the Quality of the Apache helicopter, including fuselages, secondary structures, and vertical spar boxes supplied by the Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited (TBAL) joint venture in Hyderabad as one of the reasons why production in South Korea was restarted.

Boeing in Press Release has said that both TBAL and KAI will continue to produce the fuselages, said the Boeing official. KAI production is to meet current production and delivery contract milestones for the AH-64E Apache helicopter. South Korea had ordered 36 AH-64Es in 2013 after which local production was started that went till 2017 and it has been restarted after fresh orders for 36 more AH-64E for the Republic of Korea Army (RoKA) was announced.

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SOURCE: Tribune News Service

The Indian Army has projected a requirement of 50,000 new bulletproof jackets (BPJs) for its frontline troops, the procurement process for which is expected to commence in the next couple of months. The Ministry of Defence is expected to issue a request for proposal to vendors in June and the procurement would be done in phases over a 12 to 24 month period after all the modalities have been finalised and user trials concluded.

The specifications listed by the Army state that the BPJs should be able to protect a soldier against 7.62 mm armour piercing rifle ammunition as well as hard steel core bullets fired from a distance of 10 metre.

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