The 1971 India-Pakistan war was more than just a war between the two countries on the Indian sub-continent. It was also a shadow boxing match between the superpowers. The United States stood by its ally Pakistan. The USSR which had signed a 20-year peace and friendship treaty was backing New Delhi.

As the Indian Army advanced into East Pakistan, President Richard Nixon and his Secretary of State Henry Kissinger despatched Task Force 74 led by the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, into the Bay of Bengal. The fleet was shadowed by units of the Soviet Union’s fleet based in Vladivostok. The rival fleets faced off in the Indian Ocean even as Indian forces stormed into Dhaka and liberated the country.

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Twitter India has banned official accounts of Pakistan Embassies in the United Nations, Turkey, Iran, and Egypt. Earlier, Twitter also withheld the account of the national public broadcaster – Radio Pakistan.

After these official accounts were withheld in  India, the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged Twitter to restore the accounts with immediate access. This development comes shortly after the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting blocked 16 news channels on YouTube, including 6 based in Pakistan, for ‘spreading misinformation related to India’s national security, foreign relations, and public order’.

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With much pomp and pageantry, China launched its third aircraft carrier this month. The Type 003, now named Fujian, is China’s biggest, most modern and most powerful aircraft carrier. At 80,000 tons and 318 meters, the Fujian outstrips all but America’s supercarriers, the new USS Gerald R. Ford-class. The vessel is named Fujian, after the Chinese province that sits across from Taiwan. This is China’s third aircraft carrier and second indigenously produced carrier after Liaoning and Shandong.

The prior was purchased from Ukraine and commissioned in 2012, while the latter was manufactured in Dalian Shipyard and commissioned with the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) in 2019. Besides power projections in the near seas (Yellow Sea, East China Sea and the South China Sea), both Liaoning and Shandong are essentially classified as training ships and are intended to allow the Chinese Navy to experiment, train and gain familiarity with aircraft carrier operations — a relatively new domain for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

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According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), during 2017-21, India was in the 23rd place out of 25 largest exporters, near the bottom when exporting global arms. India has a 0.2% share, far behind the top five exporters — the US, Russia, France, China and Germany who together account for 77% of all arms exports.

However, when importing defence equipment, India has the dubious distinction of being the largest, with both India and Saudi Arabia accounting for 11% of the global market. As regards defence spending, India is the third largest in the world behind the US and China. With so much familiarity with defence-related equipment and systems, why does India struggle to tap into foreign markets?

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Whenever India’s position on the Russian invasion of Ukraine is discussed, a crucial factor brought up is New Delhi’s dependence on Russian military products. This is indeed the most important aspect of Indo-Russian cooperation, with Moscow’s assistance in building Indian nuclear reactors probably coming second.

India’s imports of Russian oil, while given much coverage in the press, have grown only in the past few months, and it is too early to use such short-term purchases to make judgements about long-term processes. Indian purchases of Russian oil typically are comparatively very small, and Middle Eastern oil producers are much geographically closer to India than Russia is. Nevertheless, it remains a fact that New Delhi is deeply dependent on Russian military technologies.

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India, long-established as the world’s most populous democracy, has been quite instrumental over the years in assisting various countries dealing with democratic struggles. This support has included a blend of bilateral and multilateral initiatives, and especially economic development projects.

Yet, India’s recent attitude toward the Russian attack on Ukraine and its concomitant behavior’s in the United Nations Security Council (as a non-permanent member) seems to contradict its support of democracy. By abstaining, rather than explicitly voting in flavor of UN resolutions condemning Russian aggression at the beginning of the war, India angered several UN member-countries.

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Endorsing the need to enhance connectivity, India along with the Central Asian countries have worked out ways to utilize the Chabahar Port agreeing that connectivity should be based on transparency, financial sustainability, and respect for sovereignty, which in fact is a subtle rebuke to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

This comes amid reports that show that China has become more aware of the debt implications of BRI. A study by the Center for Global Development reported that eight of the 63 countries participating in the BRI are at risk of “debt distress.”

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Tuesday make a brief stopover in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for a meeting with His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi to convey his condolences on the passing away of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the former UAE president and ruler of Abu Dhabi.

In recent years, the relations between India and UAE have improved to a great extent. India and UAE signed the historic Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) aimed at boosting the merchandise trade between the two countries to US$ 100 billion over next five years.

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The Tatmadaw or Myanmar Army has left the Taga areas of Sagaing, Myanmar, which were captured in January 29, 2019 from the Northeast-based insurgent groups, according to sources.

A top insurgent leader from Sagaing confirmed: “The Myanmar Army left the Taga areas on June 15.” The operation was carried out by the Army against Northeast origin insurgent groups on the continuous pressure of Indian government.

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Former Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta on Monday took over as the Director General of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), an anti-terror probe agency formed after the 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai, and called for “expeditious investigation” and prosecution of offences of terror that affect security of the country.

The appointment of Dinkar, a 1987-batch IPS officer from Punjab cadre, comes at a time when Pakistan’s snooping agency ISI is seen making attempts of revamping terrorism in the state which has witnessed nearly 50 incidents of IED recoveries, Pro-Khalistan posters, nabbing terrorists from banned organizations like Babbar Khalsa International (BKI), besides threats to political leadership in the state as well as neighbouring Haryana.

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Last November, Abdul Samad, a ninth-grade student from Pakistan-administered Kashmir, accidentally crossed the de facto border between Pakistan and India and was apprehended by Indian authorities, his family says.

Since then he has been detained by the Indian side. Police have filed a case against him for illegally entering India-administered Kashmir. His family, which hails from the village of Tatrinote, located near the frontier, says the 14-year-old crossed the border while trying to catch his pigeons, which he had set free that day.

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The Indian Air Force (IAF) has received 94,281 applications under the Agnipath recruitment scheme within four days of the registration process getting underway on Friday. After the scheme was unveiled on June 14, violent protests against it rocked several states for nearly a week and several opposition parties have been demanding its rollback.

”A total of 94,281 Agniveer Vayu aspirants have registered till 10:30 am (Monday). Registration closes on July 5,” Defence Ministry Spokesperson A Bharat Bhushan Babu said on Twitter. Till Sunday, the IAF had received 56,960 applications under the scheme.

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The people living in the last village of North Kashmir’s Machil sector in Kupwara only knew of ceasefire violations, shelling and infiltration bids. Hundreds of people were injured while most of their houses were damaged in ceasefire violations and shelling from the Pakistani side in recent years. But things have completely changed for these villagers after a ceasefire agreement was signed by India and Pakistan in Oct 2019. 

The people of Doodhi Village in the Machil sector were most affected by these ceasefire violations and shelling. Every household in this village has witnessed the most brutal shelling from across the border. 

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The winner of the Indian Air Force’s mega project to procure 114 Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft (MRFA) will have to ensure the transfer of technology as it would be implemented under the framework of the ‘Make-in-India’ initiative, Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari has said.

He said the procurement of the MRFAs will augment the IAF’s fighter strength and enable it to induct the advanced technologies that the force “urgently desires” to execute its operational plans more effectively. In April 2019, the IAF issued an RFI (Request for Information), or initial tender, to acquire 114 jets at a cost of around USD 18 billion (one billion is equal to 100 crore). It was billed as one of the world’s biggest military procurement programmes in recent years.

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The New Space India Limited (NSIL) on June 27 signed a letter of intent with Paras Defence and Space Technologies Limited for handing over the ‘Optical Imaging System’ technology that was developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The technology will be transferred by way of Technology Transfer Agreement for the development, manufacturing, and sale of Optical Imaging System in India and abroad.

The draft of the agreement has been handed over by NSIL to Paras.

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