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SOURCE: SCMP

China has signed an agreement with Bhutan to speed up talks on their disputed border, in an apparent effort to put pressure on India over their unresolved Himalayan frontiers. In an online ceremony on Thursday, China and Bhutan signed a memorandum of understanding on a “three-step road map” for expediting the Bhutan-China boundary negotiations, Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported.

Chinese assistant foreign minister Wu Jianghao said the document would speed up the negotiations between the two countries and advance the process of establishing diplomatic relations. Bhutan’s foreign ministry said the agreement would give fresh impetus to the boundary talks and bring them to a “successful conclusion that is acceptable to both sides”.

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SOURCE: TNN BLOG

China objected to the recent visit of Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu to Arunachal Pradesh, saying ‘the country was opposed to his visit as it has never recognised the state’. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, known as one of the important ‘wolf warrior diplomat’, told reporters in Beijing: “China’s position on the boundary issue is consistent and clear.

The Chinese government has never recognised the so-called Arunachal Pradesh established unilaterally and illegally by the Indian side and firmly opposes the Indian leader’s visit to this above-mentioned area.” He further asked India “to earnestly respect China’s major concerns, stop taking any action that would complicate and expand the boundary issue and refrain from undermining mutual trust and bilateral relations.” China has been routinely objecting to the visits of the Indian leaders to Arunachal Pradesh to buttress its claims.

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SOURCE: THE PRINT

China’s strongly worded objection to Vice President Venkaiah Naidu’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh is not a new phenomenon. Previously too, China has objected to Indian politicians and constitutional authorities visiting the northeast state.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) rightly pointed out that “Arunachal Pradesh is an integral and inalienable part of India”. Not that such a statement was warranted because it is futile to take the Chinese objections seriously. But these statements become part of the records. Besides, the Chinese statement comes at a time when the two countries are engaged in a conflict at the border. Although there are no new reports of military conflict for some time now, the 13th round of corps commanders-level talks failed to lead to any disengagement or de-escalation in Ladakh.

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SOURCE: INDIA TODAY

In another attack on the minority Hindu community in Bangladesh, a mob allegedly attacked devotees at an ISKCON temple in Noakhali area on Friday. In a tweet, ISKCON said the temple suffered significant damage and the condition of a devotee remains critical.

“ISKCON temple and devotees were violently attacked today by a mob in Noakhali, Bangladesh. Temple suffered significant damage & the condition of a devotee remains critical. We call on the Government of Bangladesh to ensure the safety of all Hindus and bring the perpetrators to justice,” ISKCON said in a tweet.

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SOURCE: PTI

Seven new defence public sector undertakings, carved out of the erstwhile Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), were on Friday dedicated to the nation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as part of a major reform initiative to boost India’s defence production.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said the government will provide support to the companies initially through financial and non-financial interventions if required. The defence ministry said the companies commenced work on October 1. The event to launch the new companies was organised on a day the country celebrated ‘Vijayadashami’. The Union Cabinet on June 16 had approved a long-pending proposal to restructure the over 200-year-old Ordnance Factory Board that operated 41 ammunition and military equipment production facilities into seven state-owned corporate entities to improve its accountability, efficiency and competitiveness.

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SOURCE: NDTV

The army battled difficult odds on Friday to retrieve the bodies of two fallen soldiers in the dense forests of Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir where they were killed in action last evening, following what is turning out to be one of the deadliest encounters in the union territory in recent times.

Sources said it was a risky mission as the terrorists have gone into hiding deep inside the forest and have been firing at the security forces. After suspending the operation for the night, the bodies of Riflemen Yogambar Singh and Vikram Singh Negi were recovered this afternoon, a police officer said.

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SOURCE: PTI

Safe and secure seas cannot be preserved without a strong maritime force, Chief of US Naval Operations Admiral Michael Gilday said on Friday while describing ties between navies of India and the US as “unwavering”. The top American naval commander made the remarks at an event during a visit to the Western Naval Command in Mumbai.

In his address, Admiral Gilday stressed on the need for both the navies to continue working together “hand-in-hand” to make the Indo-Pacific a “beacon of hope for today and tomorrow”. He said the “price of peace and prosperity” is maintaining a vigilant watch on, under and above the sea, according to the US Navy. “Safe and secure seas cannot be preserved without a strong maritime force,” Admiral Gilday said.

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SOURCE: NDTV

Two terrorists, allegedly involved in the recent targeted killings of a civilian and a police officer, have been killed in back-to-back encounters in Srinagar by the security forces, the police said. Anti-terrorist operations were launched in Srinagar and Pulwama within a span of three hours in which two terrorists were gunned down, a police spokesman said.

“Based on specific inputs regarding the presence of terrorists, two anti-terrorist operations were carried out in Pulwama and Srinagar resulting in the elimination of two terrorists of proscribed terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba – The Resistance Front (TRF) – involved in recent killings of a civilian and a sub-inspector in Srinagar,” the police said.

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SOURCE: PTI

Security forces have busted a hideout and recovered arms and ammunition in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district, officials said on Friday. On a tip-off, a search operation was carried out in Rahwali Nari of Mahore tehsil in the district on Thursday, they said, adding a hideout where arms and ammunition was dumped was busted.

One AK-47 rifle, one magazine, cartridges of AK-47, an under barrel grenade launcher (UBGL), hand grenades and a walkie-talkie were recovered, the officials said. A case in this regard was registered at police station Mahore and investigation set in, they said.

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SOURCE: NAVAL NEWS

There are four contenders for the Indian navy’s next-generation P75I submarine. They are currently submitting design proposals to the Indian Government. Whatever the outcome the boats are expected to all be built in India. So the deal will factor in political and industrial considerations as well as naval requirements.

The four contenders are the Barracuda from France, the S-80-Plus from Spain, DSME-3000 from South Korea and Amur design from Russia. Germany had also been a contender but recently said that they dropped out. All of the contenders have their merits and it is likely to be a tough choice for the Indian Navy. Below we outline the different designs.

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SOURCE: CNN-NEWS18

Admiral Karambir Singh, India’s Navy Chief, has responded to those who have opposed the building of a second indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC) on the grounds that it is too expensive. In an exclusive interview with CNN-News18, he said that the “money spent on the IAC does not go down the drain”. IAC Vikrant, which is currently undergoing sea trials, is 76 per cent indigenous, made of Indian steel, and has created an ecosystem of 550 Indian firms that includes 100 MSMEs, the Navy Chief pointed out. “Projects like the indigenous aircraft carrier plough back money into the local economy and create jobs. This is not money going down the drain,” he said.

The Indian Navy currently operates one aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya, which currently is under maintenance. It is 40 years old. The second, IAC Vikrant, which cost around Rs 23,000 crore, will be commissioned by mid-2022. The Navy has been pitching for a third aircraft carrier (IAC-2) so that it has at least one each for the eastern and western seaboard even if one is off duty for repairs. When it comes to estimated cost, IAC-2, affectionately called Vishal, lives up to its name, with a price tag of about Rs 80,000-90,000 crore.

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SOURCE: INDIA TODAY

Aiming for self reliance in defence production, the seven new government-owned defence companies carved out of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) have already been given orders worth Rs 65,000 crore. All the pending orders with OFB have been converted into deemed contracts to ensure sufficient workload with new entities dedicated to the nation at a function organised by the Ministry of Defence on the occasion of Vijayadashami in New Delhi on October 15, 2021.

The seven new Defence companies are: Munitions India Limited (MIL), Armoured Vehicles Nigam Limited (AVANI), Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited (AWE India), Troop Comforts Limited (TCL) (Troop Comfort Items), Yantra India Limited (YIL), India Optel Limited (IOL) and Gliders India Limited (GIL). These companies have commenced business from October 1, 2021.

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SOURCE: Khaleej Times

Top officials from the Indian space sector, including Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman Dr K Sivan, will speak during Space Week at Dubai Expo 2020, Khaleej Times has learnt. Dr Pawan Goenka, chairman of the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe) and Dr Umamaheswaran R, scientific secretary at ISRO are also expected to share their thoughts on India’s numerous space programmes. Dr Sivan and Dr Goenka will be participating in the event virtually.

Space will be one of the thematic weeks at the Expo from October 17 to 23; the India Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai announced its agenda on Thursday. Activities at the pavilion for space week is being organised by the Department of Space and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

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SOURCE: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that 41 Ordnance factories will be converted into 7 government-run corporate entities, in a big move to improve India’s self-reliance and defence preparedness. Launching the 7 new defence firms, he said, “the goal is to make India the world’s biggest military power on its own”.

“For the first time since Independence, many major reforms were rolled out in India’s defence sector and it has more transparency and trust than ever before,” PM Modi said during the launch. After dedicating the seven new state-run defence firms replacing the over 200-year-old Ordnance Factory Board, the Prime Minister said a single-window system has been put in place instead of stagnant policies to develop India as a major producer of defence equipment.

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SOURCE: PTI

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday evening vowed to hunt down those who vandalised some Hindu temples during Durga Puja celebrations. Three people were killed and several others injured during clashes between Muslim bigots and the police at Hajiganj sub-district in Chandpur, bordering Cumilla, on Wednesday, while a fourth person succumbed to his wounds later.

In a virtual interaction with members of the Hindu community to mark Durga Puja, Hasina warned, “Nobody will be spared. It doesn’t matter which religion they belong to. They will be hunted down and punished.”

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