Wednesday, September 27, 2017


The Chief of Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat in a group photograph with the youth of Assam, who are on the Army sponsored ‘National Integration Tour’, in New Delhi

The DGAFMS and Senior Colonel Commandant, Lt. Gen. M.K. Unni addressing the seminar at Army Hospital (Research and Referral), in New Delhi

Exercise Pralay Sahayam

“Pralay Sahayam”, a conceptualized Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) exercise supported by the Govt. of Telangana State in conjunction with the Armed Forces and other Disaster mitigation agencies conducted at Hussain Sagar Lake in Hyderabad last month.In this connection, a joint conference for coordinating the exercise was held at the office of the Chief Secretary, Telangana State Govt.was held.

Passing Out Parade Officers Training Academy Chennai 

A Combined Display consisting of Equitation, Gymnastics Display, Para Motors, Parasailing activities, Dog show and Military Band Performance was held at Officers Training Academy, Chennai today (08th Sep 2017) as part of the Passing Out of Gentleman and Lady Cadets.  The Combined Display marks the culmination of the Club and Adventure Training at the OTA and showcases the expertise of Officer Cadets and Indian Army Display Teams.  An exciting show was put up by the Officer Cadets, Instructors of the OTA, Chennai and also by selected Regimental teams.  The event was witnessed by proud Parents and Guests of Passing out Officer Cadets.

Equestrian Display. Horse riding epitomises martial prowess and requires courage and boldness, Equestrian proficiency is a mandatory part of training and is also a Club Activity in OTA.  This display included Horse Riding, Tent Pegging, Indian File and Show Jumping.

Gymnastics Display. ‘High Horse’ is an Artistic Gymnastic Apparatus on which the gymnasts perform their vaulting skills.  It was first introduced in the Indian Army in July 1946 by the Physical Training School, then located in Ambala.  It is an advanced and challenging physical training activity which tests the dexterity and courage of the performer.  This display by the instructors and officer cadets of OTA, Chennai includes Through Vault, Astride Vault, Fly Dive and Ring Fire Dive.

Paramotor Display. Paramotor, as a sport came into prominence in Europe in 1986.  Paramotor is a generic name for the propulsive portion of a Powered Paraglider.   The Pilot controls thrust via a hand-held throttle and steers using the Paraglider’s brake toggles.  The renowned Paramotor Display team of PRTC Bangalore, will present this adventurous sport.

Parasailing. This sport originated in America in 1961, where a person is towed behind a vehicle while attached to a specially designed Parasail Wing.  The movement of the vehicle carries the parascender and parasail into the air.  This adventure activity requires presence of mind and skill and regular practice.

Dog Show.An enthralling Dog Show by Remount & Veterinary Corps Centre & College, Meerut included demonstrations such as Lotus Formation, Action Drill and Obedience Show, by specially trained Army Dogs.

Band Display.Martial tunes have motivated soldiers since ages.  The Pipe Bands from ASC Centre, Bangalore and 25 MADRAS with enthusiastic Pipers and Drummers presented a scintillating show.
The Passing out Parade of the Officers Training Academy, a unique biannual event, was held at Chennai today (09th Sep 2017).  A total of 322 Officer Cadets to include 266 Gentleman Cadets, 31 Lady Cadets were commissioned as Officers of the Indian Army following the completion of vigorous training at the Academy.  Further, 25 Cadets from Bhutan, Maldives, Fiji and Afghanistan also were commissioned into their respective Armies.

Lieutenant General PM Hariz, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Command reviewed the spectacular parade which was commanded by Academy Under Officer (AUO) Abhishek R.

The Officer Cadets marched out with precision from Parameshwaran Drill Square to the tune of ‘Auld Lang Syne’, taking the ‘Final Step,’ thus symbolising the end of their training, the ‘Final Step’ in fact is the ‘First Step’ towards an exciting and demanding career as the custodians of the Nation’s integrity and honour.  The proud parents of the Officer Cadets, dignitaries, relatives of our fallen war heroes, and members of the diplomatic fraternity witnessed the mesmerising parade.

Addressing the Parade, the Reviewing Officer congratulated OTA for having toiled hard to turn out such a smart and dynamic group of young Military Leaders.

During the Parade, the Reviewing Officer presented various awards.  The most coveted “Sword of Honour” and the “Gold Medal” was presented to AUO Abhishek R.  The Silver Medal for standing second in Overall Order of Merit was awarded to BCA Aarushi Sharma and the Bronze Medal for standing third in Overall Order of Merit was awarded to ACA Vivek.  The COAS banner for Champion Company was awarded to Jessami Company.

Later in an impressive ‘Pipping Ceremony’ the Officer Cadets were pipped (putting on of rank badges on uniform) by their parents.  The event was followed by the Oath Taking Ceremony.  The audience gathered at the Pipping Lawn under the “TRICOLOUR” fluterring proudly atop a 100 feet Mast and listened spellbound as the Cadets took the oath in the name of Constitution of India.  The Passing Out Cadets stated under oath that “I will as in duty bound honestly and faithfully serve in the regular Army of the Union of India and go wherever ordered by Land, Sea or Air and that I will observe and obey all commands of President of the Union of India and the command of any Officer set over me even to the peril of my life’. The newly Commissioned Officers are now all set to join their new assignments in Units across the country.

GoC, TASA Meets Ex-Servicemen At Gulbarga

Major General N Srinivas Rao, General Officer Commanding (GOC), Telangana and Andhra Sub Area (TASA) visited Ex-Servicemen Complimentary Health Scheme (ECHS) Polyclinic in Gulbarga (Karnataka) today.  He interacted with the Ex-Servicemen and their dependents and General Rao explained them about the initiatives undertaken by the TASA Headquarters to make the ECHS polyclinic most efficient and responsive. He also said that he would reconnoiter every possibility to ensure the best medical care to the veterans.

Maneka Sanjay Gandhi Visits CDM

Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Hon’ble Minister for Women and Child Development, visited the College of Defence Management, Secunderabad and addressed the course participants of Higher Defence Management Course Serial No.13 (HDMC 13) and their spouse on an important topic of “Women and Child Development and Management of Stray Animals’. HDMC is a prestigious course comprising 152 officers (Colonels and equivalent ranks of all three services) including from friendly foreign countries. The topic gains immense relevance as the Course participants are carefully selected and are expected to tenant apex leadership roles in the Indian Armed Forces in the years to come. The spouses are accordingly expected to oversee the welfare of families of a large number of officers and troops, in their future capacities. Among the audience were 30 ladies, spouses of the participant officers of HDMC who are undergoing a nine week structured programme on “Social Awareness & Life Skills for Responsible Citizenship" (SALSRC). This is a certificate programme being conducted by CDM for the 2nd year, in association with Osmania University (OU) and All India Management association (AIMA).

Hon’ble minister drew upon her childhood memories of growing up in Military Cantonments and identified with the audience based on her own familial connections with the armed forces. She remembered how her mother would pledge to make the Cantonment and the surroundings ‘cleaner and greener’ than what they first moved into. It remained a major source of inspiration and memory which guided her own values and activism. Hon’ble Minister spoke of how important role was played by the Ladies in the armed forces and how they can be role models in sphere of Women and Child Development and Management of Stray Dogs. She exhorted audience to remember that every person consumes equivalent of seven trees per year of his age and hence it should be moral obligation by all citizens to plant equivalent trees as return to Mother Earth. She also emphasised that there is no reason to believe that tree plantations can be done only in monsoons and this activity must be carried out round the year. She exhorted the ladies to start a mission to plant trees with commercial and health benefits such Tamarind tree and coined the word “Mission Imli”. Hon'ble Minister gave examples where women groups can acquire skills to produce quality items rather than limiting to simple products and thereby make substantial livelihood choices.

Rear Admiral Dushyant Singh Chouhan, Commandant College of Defence Management, conveyed the gratitude of CDM faculty, student officers and members of SALSRC certificate course members to the Hon’ble minister for her highly inspirational talk at CDM and time given to this CDM from her very busy schedule.

BDL Signs Contract For Supply For Medium Range Surface to Air Missiles To Indian Army
Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) has signed contract with Research Centre Imarat (RCI) for supply of Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missiles (MRSAM) to Indian Army at RCI in Hyderabad today.

The Contract was signed by CMD, BDL, Shri V. Udaya Bhaskar and Director, RCI and Programme Director, MRSAM (Army) Shri BHVS Narayana Murthy in the presence of Dr G Satheesh Reddy, Director General (Missiles and Strategic Systems) and Scientific Advisor to Raksha Mantri, Government of India. The contract was signed for production, deliveries and product support of MRSAM system for the Indian Army. Directors and senior officials from BDL and senior scientists from DRDO were present on the occasion.

Cabinet approves revision of policy for providing Defence land to Communication Operators

Cabinet approves revision of policy for providing Defence land to Communication Operators for construction of Shared Communication Towers and allied Infrastructure

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved a proposal for revision of policy of Ministry of Defence for providing Defence land to Communication Operators for construction of Shared Communication Towers and allied Infrastructure, based on experience in implementing the policy and guidelines issued by Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for issue of clearance for installation of Mobile Towers.

The revised policy will cover allotment of Defence land on lease and grant of permission in Defence areas and Cantonments to Access Service Licensees and Companies registered with DoT as IP-I for setting up shared communication towers and allied infrastructure.

This will improve the quality of communication services in the Cantonments and Military Stations

Rescue of US Citizen From Leh by IAF Helicopter

On 26 Sep 17, the IAF was requested by US Embassy through Ministry of Defence to help in locating and rescue of US citizen Ms Margaret Allen Stone. Ms Stone had set out for trekking in the Ladakh region and had been held up in Zhingchan area at a distance of 75 Km from Leh since 06 Sep 17 due to injury. Her condition had deteriorated during this prolonged period of lack of care. She was in a critical condition. The US Government informed IAF of the situation in the afternoon hours on 26 Sep 17.

IAF responded to the situation with requisite alacrity. Exact location of Ms Stone was ascertained with the help of civil administration and by evening two IAF helicopters were able to locate Ms Stone in the valley. Ms Stone was brought to the safety of Leh hospital for medical care by sunset on 26 Sep 17.
Ayush Seminar at Army Hospital (Research and Referral)

The Director General Armed Forces Medical Services and Headquarters IDS (Medical) in collaboration with the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India organized a path breaking Seminar on “IMPLEMENTATION OF AYUSH IN THE ARMED FORCES MEDICAL SERVICES: OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES” on 26 Sep 2017 at Army Hospital (Research and Referral), New Delhi.
The benefits of the Indian indigenous systems of Medicine and Yoga are well recognized nationally and globally. The Government of India has taken major initiatives to promote the practice of AYUSH in the country. Lt Gen MK Unni, the Director General Armed Forces Medical Services said mainstreaming of the Indian System of Medicine has been one of the key stated objectives of policy makers in the Government for several years. The integration of AYUSH in the Armed Forces is challenging due to the unique environmental and operational conditions.
Dr Soumya Swaminathan, the Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research said well-coordinated research and clinical trials to establish the efficacy, safety and replicability of the AYUSH medicines will go a long way in promoting mutual trust and respect between the practitioners of the two systems.

Lt Gen CS Narayanan, DCIDS (Medical), the organizing Chairman of the seminar highlighted the fact that clear-cut policies on cross referral and cross practice and accountability mechanisms must be put in place before integrating the modern and traditional systems of Medicine.

Senior faculty from institutes of excellence across the country, including the All India Institute of Medical Sciences participated in the deliberations which put the various issues related to the topic in perspective and charted the way forward.

National Integration Tour
As part of the Indian Army’s ongoing outreach programme to foster the spirit of National Integration across the entire swathe of the country, a tour comprising of 20 students, accompanied by two teachers from Chirang district of Assam is being organised from 24 September to 08 October 17. These National Integration Tours are educational and motivational tours for youth of Jammu & Kashmir and North Eastern States, with an aim to provide an insight into the rich heritage of the country as well as various developmental and industry initiatives that are underway. This initiative will expose them to various career options and enable them to interact with renowned personalities.

The tour was flagged off from Kajalgaon, Chirang, Assam on 24 September 17 and during the course of the tour, participants have visited various cultural and historical places in Delhi and would subsequently be visiting important places in Jaipur, Ajmer and Udaipur in Rajasthan from 28 September to 06 October 17, before returning to Assam. The participants interacted with General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Army Staff on 26 September 17. The General shared his experiences while serving in these areas with the students and motivated them to work hard and contribute actively in the Nation building process. He also exhorted them to join the Indian Armed Forces and serve the cause of the Nation.

Indian Navy commissions Water Jet Fast Attack Craft at Mumbai

INS Tarasa, a Water Jet Fast Attack Craft was commissioned into the Indian Navy by Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command at the Naval Dockyard, Mumbai today. At an impressive commissioning ceremony, Vice Admiral Luthra expressed confidence that the new INS Tarasa will discharge her duties with élan and resolve, and bring laurels to the Western Naval Command and the Nation.

Complimenting the designers, builders, engineers, overseers, and the officers and the men whose efforts have fructified in the commissioning of the ship, he said that the ship is of proven design, has good endurance, low draught, high speed and manoeuvrability,  thus making her most suited for her primary role of extended coastal and offshore surveillance and patrol. He reserved special praise for the ship’s crew and the Warship Overseeing Team, Kolkata for ensuring that the ship has been commissioned with all Weapon and Sensor trials completed. The passage of the ship during her maiden voyage from Kolkata to Mumbai, in rough weather, bears testimony to the seaworthiness of the ship. 

INS Tarasa is the fourth and last of the follow-on Water Jet FAC's built by the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata. The first two ships of the class i.e. IN ships Tarmugli and Tihayu were commissioned in 2016 and are based at Visakhapatnam; while the third ship INS Tillanchang was commissioned earlier this year at Karwar on 09 March 2017.  These ships are an upgrade of the Car Nicobar class Fast Attack Crafts with the Indian Navy, which were also indigenously designed and built by GRSE, Kolkata.

INS Tarasa is 50 m long and powered by three waterjets which give it speeds of over 35 knots (65 kmph). The ship is armed with a 30 mm main gun indigenously built , and a number of light, medium and heavy machine guns to undertake costal defence operations. The ship is an ideal platform for missions like coastal and off-shore surveillance, EEZ Patrol, law enforcement as well as non-military missions such as Search and Rescue, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief. The commissioning Commanding Officer of the ship is Lieutenant Commander Praveen Kumar.

This is the second ship of the Indian Navy to be named INS Tarasa. The first INS Tarasa was in service of the Navy from 1999 to 2014. She was gifted to Seychelles Coast Guard as a symbol of India's partnership with friendly maritime nation in IOR. The new INS Tarasa will be based at Mumbai under the operational control of Western Naval Command.

Press Statement of Defence Minister after Delegation Level talks with US Defence Secretary James Mattis

His Excellency Mr. James Mattis, Secretary of Defence of the United States, Representatives of the media,

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is indeed a privilege to receive Secretary Mattis in Delhi. I extend a warm welcome to him on his first visit to India as Secretary of Defence.

He is a special visitor for me personally as he is the first Ministerial counterpart I have met since taking over my responsibility as Defence Minister of India.

We have just concluded very substantive, constructive and forward-looking talks. I thank Secretary Mattis for generously sharing his deep knowledge and wisdom of defence matters. I am confident that his knowledge and experience will contribute to further deepening defence and security cooperation between India and the United States.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

India and the United States share a strong and vibrant strategic partnership. As the world's largest democracies, we also share fundamental values and interests.

Defence cooperation between India and the US has grown significantly in recent years and emerged as a key pillar of our strategic partnership.

Our military-to-military engagement continues to grow. We recently concluded the trilateral Malabar Naval Exercise in the Bay of Bengal along with Japan. This edition of Malabar demonstrated the progress made in operational synergies between our Navies. As we speak, our Armies are conducting their Exercise Yudh Abhyas. In our talks today, we agreed to explore additional, specialized exercises.

Cooperation in defence equipment has grown steadily over the past years. The US is now a leading supplier of state-of-the-art defence equipment to India. I appreciated Secretary Mattis' willingness to share further cutting-edge platforms which would enhance India's defence preparedness to meet current and emerging threats.

Secretary Mattis and I agreed that we need to expand on the progress already made by encouraging co-production and co-development efforts. I reiterated India's deep interest in enhancing defence manufacturing in India under Prime Minister's Make in India initiative. I thank Secretary Mattis for his supportive position in this regard and look forward to working closely with him to realize joint projects.

In this context, we agreed that the full implementation of the understanding reached following the announcement by the US last year recognizing India as a Major Defence Partner will provide further energy and momentum to our collaboration on defence technology and manufacturing.

We also discussed how to refocus and re-energize the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) as a mechanism to promote technology sharing as well as co­ development and co-production efforts.

We also exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual interest. The situation in our neighbourhood and the growing menace of cross-border terrorism were discussed in depth. There is growing convergence in the approaches of both our countries on this issue. We both recognize the importance of holding those who use terrorism as an instrument of state policy to account and to dismantle the infrastructure that supports terrorism.

As you are aware, India welcomed President Trump's new US Strategy for Afghanistan announced last month. Today, I had useful discussions with Secretary Mattis on how we could strengthen our cooperation bilaterally as well as with the Government of Afghanistan in pursuit of our common objective of a peaceful, democratic, stable and prosperous Afghanistan.

We also discussed the issues relating to maritime security in the Indian Ocean and the broader Asia-Pacific Region as well as regional connectivity issues. India supports the freedom of navigation, over-flight and unimpeded lawful commerce. We also believe that disputes should be resolved through peaceful means and in accordance with the universally recognized principles of international law. I am happy to note that Secretary Mattis reaffirmed the US position in support of these principles. I also welcome his reiteration of the US commitment to work with India in ensuring maritime security in the lndo Pacific and as first responder to HADR situations.

From our discussions today, l am confident that we are entering a new phase in our strategic defence partnership with the United States. I once again thank Secretary Mattis for visiting India. I also thank him for inviting me to visit the United States to carry forward our discussions.

Chief of the Air Staff to Address Pacific Air Chiefs Symposium At


Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, Chief of the Air Staff is on an official visit to USA from 26-28 Sep 17 to attend Pacific Air Chiefs Symposium at Hawai. The visit is intended to further strengthen the existing defence cooperation between the Air Forces of the participating countries in the Pacific region. In addition to the hosts, there would be Air Chiefs from 18 countries including Australia and Japan attending the Symposium.

During his stay at Joint Base Pearl Harbour – Hickam, Hawai, the CAS would be addressing Air Chiefs from various Air Forces attending the Symposium. In his talk he will delve on the Indian Air Force’s perspective on the challenges to Regional Security. The Symposium is aimed at strengthening relationships, enabling engagement in productive exchanges and promote understanding of joint issues and challenges. Discussions would also take place on air perspective in the maritime domain along with issues like counter-insurgency.

The visit of the Indian Air Force Chief would provide further impetus towards increasing defence cooperation between the Pacific region

Air Forces and pave the way for greater interaction and cooperation in future. 

Multi-Agency Exercise ‘Pralay Sahayam’ Held

A multi-agency exercise was conducted on the banks of Hussain Sagar Lake as the final event of ‘Pralay Sahayam’ in Hyderabad today. The event demonstrated efforts of all central and state agencies, National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) and the Armed Forces towards jointly tackling an urban flooding scenario in Hyderabad.

The Minister of State for Defence Dr. Subhash Bhamre who was the Chief Guest on the occasion, congratulated the organising committee for the successful conduct of the exercise. The Deputy Chief Minister of Telangana Shri Mohammad Mehmood Ali was the Guest of Honour. General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) Southern Command Lt Gen PM Hariz was the conducting authority of the exercise. For the purpose of the exercise, Hussain Sagar Lake was transformed into urban colonies partly submerged under water, post heavy showers in the city. A large number of dummy structures depicting multi-storied buildings and houses with stranded people, power stations, educational institutes etc., were erected in the lake in an inundated condition. The hapless stranded occupants of these dwellings were rescued in joint operations carried out by the State Government agencies, Police, State Fire & Emergency Services, NDRF, CISF and the Armed Forces. The Indian Air Force and the Army Aviation employed the Mi-17 helicopters, Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and Chetak Helicopter for aerial evacuation, demonstrating special skills in hovering and winching. The massive Mi-17 lowered a Gemini class inflatable boat of the Indian Navy for rescuing the trapped citizens. The agile ALH and Chetak Helicopters virtually hovered over the roof tops and winched in people trapped in stranded, inaccessible buildings. Special Forces such as the Army Commandos and Marine Commandos from the Indian Navy carried out a highly synchronized Search and Rescue operation in the flooded colonies. Dog Squad of NDRF and Telangana State police were pressed into action to search for trapped personnel. Relief activities such as evacuation of rescued people, provisioning of medical care and distribution of essential supplies was carried out by multiple agencies in a coordinated and efficient manner.

The exercise brought out the role and function of the State Emergency Operations in coordinating conduct of the joint operations. Further the significance of early warning systems of agencies like Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) and Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) was emphasized.

The exercise culminated with a static display which demonstrated the efficient and functional layout of a relief and rehabilitation camp for the displaced persons. The camp catered for emergency medical assistance and other essential services for the needy. Indian vendors showcased state-of-the-art disaster management equipment and related wares. NGOs such as Plan India, Care India, Sphere India, etc., also participated, bringing out their capabilities, organization and operational strategies.

Seminar on Implementation of Ayush in the Armed Forces

The Directorate General Armed Forces Medical Services and Headquarters IDS (Medical) in collaboration with the Ministry of AYUSH are organizing a Seminar on “Implementation of Ayush in The Armed Forces Medical Services: Opportunities and Challenges” on September 26, 2017 at Army Hospital (Research and Referral), New Delhi.

The benefits of the Indian indigenous systems of medicine and Yoga are well recognised nationally and globally. The Government of India has taken major initiatives to promote the practice of AYUSH in the country. The integration of AYUSH in the Armed Forces is challenging due to the unique conditions pertinent to the delivery of healthcare in the services.

The heads of the Armed Forces Medical Services, Ministry of AYUSH, Indian Council of Medical Research and senior faculty from institutes of excellence across the country, including the All India Institute of Medical Sciences will participate in the deliberations.

The objective of this path breaking seminar on implementation of AYUSH in the Armed Forces is to put various issues related to the topic in perspective and chart the way forward.

DGMO Level talks between India And Pak

DGMO level talks on behest of Pak DGMO was held on 22 Sep 17. During the talks the Pak DGMO raised the issues of targeting of Pak Civilians opposite the Jammu Sector by own troops.

Indian DGMO in response highlighted that all Cease Fire Violations in the Jammu Sector were initiated by Pak Rangers and the BSF troops deployed only responded appropriately to them. It was also emphasised that no targeted firing on civilians was carried out by own troops. Apart from these, firing by BSF troops were initiated onto Armed intruders attempting to infiltrate from close proximity of Pak posts along Amritsar Border.

DGMO also put across emphatically that the trend of infiltration along the LC continued with active support of Pak forward posts impacting peace and tranquility along the LC and also the internal security situation. This was evident from continued attempts of sniping and targeting of our troops undertaken through cross-border actions duly supported by Pak Army troops.

DGMO reiterated that the Indian Army is a professional Army and reserves the right to retaliate appropriately to any incident leading to loss of life of our troop. He reaffirmed the sincerity in the efforts of Indian Army to maintain peace and tranquility along the LC provided there was a reciprocal effort from Pakistan.

Empowering the Soldier by Project Yash Vidya

Empowering the soldiers has always been the endeavour of Indian Army. A MoU was signed by Lt Gen Ashwani Kumar, AG, IHQ of MoD (Army) and Prof. E Vayunandan, Vice Chancellor, Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University (YCMOU), Nasik on 21 Sep 2017 at New Delhi.
The Bachelor’s degree Programme designed for the Army Personnel gives special recognition to the in-service training/Army courses completed and by providing exemption from studying certain courses. Apart from the highly subsidised fees charged, the courses offered for study by the university have been carefully selected on the basis of their relevance and overall usefulness.

The University will award Diploma in Self Empowerment and a Bachelors Degree in Arts or Commerce under PROJECT YASH VIDYA enabling them with academic qualifications for better future.

Visit of Chief of the Air Staff to Australia

Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, Chief of the Air Staff is on an official visit to Australia from 19-22 Sep 17. The visit is intended to further strengthen the existing defence cooperation between the Air Forces of the two countries.

During his stay, he is scheduled to hold talks with top brass of the Royal Australian Air Force on security challenges being faced by the two forces in the current geopolitical scenario and explore ways to deepen defence cooperation. The main focus of the visit is on improving bilateral relations, promoting defence ties and exploring further area of defence cooperation between the two Air Forces.
During the visit, the CAS would visit the Headquarters of Royal Australian Air Force and operational air bases.

Visit of admiral Tin Aung San, Commander in Chief, Myanmar Navy to India

Admiral Tin Aung San, Commander-in-Chief, Myanmar Navy, is currently on a visit to India from 18 to 21 September 2017. The visit is intended to consolidate and enhance bilateral defence relations between India and Myanmar. The Admiral visited various Naval establishments at Mumbai and Kochi as part of his itinerary prior arriving New Delhi where he is scheduled to call on the Chief of Naval Staff, Chief of Army Staff and Chief of Air Staff.  The Admiral will also hold discussions with various dignitaries from the Ministry of Defence at New Delhi.

Naval cooperation between India and Myanmar has been traditionally strong, encompassing a wide span which includes operational interactions through Coordinated Parols, Training, Port Calls, Passage Exercises along with Capacity Building and Capability Augmentation initiatives. During the recent visit of the Hon’ble Prime Minister to Myanmar in early September 17, three MoUs with respect to maritime cooperation were signed between both countries. The visit of the Admiral also closely follows the recent visit of the Commander in Chief, Myanmar Defence Forces in August 2017 and is reflective of the growing level of cooperation between both Navies.

Indian Naval units of Western Naval Command on Long Range Deployment

Two Indian Naval Ships, a submarine and two Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance Aircraft of the Western Naval Command are presently on deployment to the Western Arabian Sea and southern Indian Ocean.

Indian Naval Ship Mumbai and submarine Shishumar entered Duqm, Oman today as part of this deployment to the Western Arabian Sea, after conducting a series of exercises enroute. An Indian naval submarine is visiting a foreign port after a long gap.The Naval units are on a month long deployment with the aim of enhancing surveillance and cooperation with the Arabian Sea rim nations. Another ship, INS Kochi which is also a part of this deployment, is proceeding to the Southern Indian Ocean with a similar aim.

The Western Naval Command, which exercises operational control of the naval units in this theatre, has been actively involved in enhancing three-dimensional surveillance efforts by Indian Naval units for strengthening regional Maritime security cooperation with littoral states.

Army Inaugurates Doda Kabaddi League

Army inaugurated Doda Kabaddi League: Inter Village Kabaddi Competition at Sports Stadium Doda. Commanding Officer of the local Army Unit welcomed 192 players of 16 participating teams and approx 400 among audience.

For the first time in Chenab Valley, the synthetic mat is being used for Kabaddi in this tournament. Players of 16 teams in bright coloured jersies, from all corners of Doda district, added vibrant colour to the stadium.

Tournament will be played for four days with finals on 20 Sep 17. Participants of age group up to 20 years and weight up-to 65 kg are participating as per Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India rules.

Selected players from the event will represent Doda in upcoming Pir Panjal Kabaddi League at the State level scheduled from 1-5 Oct 17.

Army takes Swachch Bharat Abhiyan to the Highest Battle Field

Siachen, the highest battlefield in the world, is a place where everything is ferried from the hinterland. It is a logistics challenge to move all types of waste out of the glacier so that these do not become environmental hazard.

Since October 2014, when Swachch Bharat Abhiyan commenced, Siachen troops have removed and sent back more than 63 tons of garbage to the Base. These loads of garbage include packing material, barrels and perishables. On arrival of the trash to disposal areas, these are buried in deep trenches dug mechanically in areas which are not on run of the rivers and where landmass is not fragile.

A huge amount of garbage has been brought back through man-pack loads, porters, ponies and sometimes returning helicopter ferries. Army continues to take steps to ensure hygiene at the highest battle field as hither to fore.

The Nation Bids Adieu to The Marshal of The Indian Air Force Arjan Singh

Mortal remains of the Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh (MIAF) - a legendary icon of IAF were cremated with full state honours at Brar Square Crematorium in Delhi Cantt today. The Marshal breathed his last at the Army Hospital (R&R), New Delhi on 16th September 2017 following a cardiac arrest. He was 98.

This morning at 0815 hrs, the funeral procession started from the Marshal’s residence at 7A, Kautilya Marg. His mortal remains were carried in a Gun Carriage to Brar Square Crematorium. The Inter Services Guard presented the salute followed by a wreath laying ceremony. Wreaths were laid on behalf of the President, the Vice President and the Prime Minister. The wreaths were laid in person by Dr. Manmohan Singh former Prime Minister, Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, Shri Hardeep Singh Puri MoS Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Shri LK Advani, Shri Anil Baijal Lt. Governor of Delhi, Shri Vijai Kapoor former Lt. Governor of Dehli, Commissioner Dehli Police Shri Amulya Patnaik. Three Service Chiefs also paid homage by laying wreath. Former Chiefs of Army and Air Force also laid the wreaths.

After the religious rituals, the mortal remains were consigned to flames while seventeen Gun salutes boomed. The Indian Air Force paid their last respect to the Marshal of the Air Force through a fly past led by three Mi-17 V5 aircraft trooping IAF colours. Three Su-30 MKI aircraft thereafter flew over the crematorium in a ‘Missing Man’ formation. ‘Missing Man’ formation is flown to honour a deceased comrade in arms celebrating the spirit of an eternal warrior.

Earlier on 17th September 2017, the mortal remains of the MIAF were taken to his residence in New Delhi, where he lay ‘in state’ for people to pay their homage. President Shri Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley, Defence Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman and many dignitaries including the three Service Chiefs paid glowing tributes to the departed soul.

As the last post was sounded by the bugle at Brar Square it marked the end of a glorious era of the Indian Air Force.

ANC Evacuation of Tourists from Havelock

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands have been experiencing heavy rains and resultant rough/very rough seas since 13 Sep 17. On 17 Sep, a message was received from Civil Administration that due to a defect in the hull, the return trip for tourists from Havelock by civil ferry MAKRUZZ had been cancelled. It was also intimated that a number of passengers, who had their flights scheduled for the morning of 18 Sep, were stranded and required to be brought to Port Blair. As the Civil ferries do not ply at night to Havelock, Andaman and Nicobar Command had been approached for ferrying the stranded tourists.

Two ships of the Naval Component, INS Bangaram and INS Battimalv (Fast Attack Craft class) were sailed for the mission despite torrential rains and very rough weather. 24 civilian tourists (10 ladies, 10 men and four children) were embarked onboard INS Bangaram at Havelock and ferried to Port Blair. Additionally, 54 Officers from Defence Services Staff College, who are on a visit to the islands and stranded due to cancellation of MAKRUZZ, were also embarked on the ships. Thus a total of 78 stranded personnel were ferried back to Port Blair on the two ships. In the traditional role of support to civil authorities, the tourists were given accommodation inside the ship as the sea state was very bad and were also served with refreshments.

On arrival in Port Blair, at about 2230 hrs, the tourists were provided a Naval transport to their places of stay in Port Blair. The prompt action by the ANC and the help extended by the ships was highly appreciated by the stranded tourists.

Swachhata Hi Sewa Campaign in Delhi Cantonment

As part of the ongoing Swachhata Hi Sewa campaign from 15 Sep to 02 Oct 2017, a function was organized by Delhi Cantonment Board on 17 Sep in which Hon’ble Defence Minister, Smt Nirmala Sitharaman was the Chief Guest. The function began with an Oath taking ceremony administered to all the attendees including senior Officials from the Army and Ministry of Defence. Smartly turned out soldiers who are residents of the Cantonment were also present for the event in large numbers. The Defence Minister flagged off the new garbage collection vehicles provided to the Cantonment Board under the Swachh Bharat Mission. She also participated in the cleanliness drive organized in Gopinath Bazaar of the Cantonment area. The event then shifted to Srinagesh Garden where a painting and fancy dress competition in which children of the various Army and Cantonment Board schools displayed their creative best with respect to ensuring clean surroundings, hygiene and sanitation.

The two hour programme amply highlighted the innovative measures being practiced in the Cantonment area by the Army and the Cantonment Board and the sincerity which is accorded to make this campaign a grand success,

Defence Minister Lauds Cantonment Boards for Cleanliness Drive

Defence Minister Smt Nirmala Satharaman formally launched ‘Swachhata Hi Sewa’ campaign at Delhi Cantonment today. Speaking on the occasion, the Defence Minister showed her happiness over the efforts made by various Cantonment Boards under Swachh Bharat Mission and emphasised on the need for further reinforcement of the resolve and appealed that each and every resident of the Cantonment should actively participate in the campaign.

Smt Sitharaman also said Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi started this campaign on 2nd October 2014 to realise the dream of Mahatma Gandhi of cleaner and healthier India, by 2019. Mentioning achievements of the country in the field of space and IT sectors, she said the same can be achieved in the field of sanitation as it has been a substantial part of the Sustainable Development Goals. She complimented Cantonment Boards for overall sanitation at their properties and lauded their efforts for going full throttle during the ‘Swachhata Hi Sewa’ campaign.

Addressing to large number of schoolchildren present during the function, she stated that they are cleanliness ambassadors and should vigorously carry forward this campaign to make their localities and neighbouring places spic and span. She informed the gathering that her Ministry has allocated Rs. 50 crore dedicated funds to Cantonment Boards for cleaning activities, waste management of all forms, construction of toilets with main focus to declare Cantonments open defecation free.

Speaking on the occasion, Defence Secretary Shri Sanjay Mitra highlighted the importance of segregation of wastes at individual household level and to strengthen on door to door collection of municipal waste in segregated form. He stated that the Cantonment Boards across the country should strive for making Cantonments clean, green, open defecation free and to prioritise recycling of wastes.

Director General, Defence Estates Shri Jojneswar Sharma stated that Cantonment Boards across the country are working on mission mode to make the campaign a great success. He stated that out of 62 Cantonments, 27 Cantonments have already been declared open defecation free.

Additional DG, Defence Estates administered ‘Swachhata Shapath’ to Defence Minister, dignitaries and over 2,000 public gathered at the function. The Minister flagged off 11 Solid Waste Management vehicles and seven special auto rickshaws on the occasion for door to door collection of wastes. The Minister visited Gopinath Bazar to inspect the kind of cleanliness drive going on there by the Cantonment Board, including e-toilet and water ATM facilities. She also visited Sri Nagesh Garden in the Cantonment to encourage schoolchildren who were participating in painting competition on Swachhata theme.

GOC Delhi Area, Lt Gen M M Naravane, senior officers of the Armed Forces, Ministry of Defence and members & officers of Delhi Cantonment Board also attended the function. The campaign is in full swing in the Ministry from 15th September and will go till 2nd October.

Arrangements in Connection With Final Rites for Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh

The mortal remains of the Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh will lie in state today at his residence 7A, Kautilya Marg, New Delhi to enable people to pay their respects. The President of India, the Defence Minister on behalf of the Prime Minister and Ministry of Defence, Chiefs of the three Services, Minister of State for Urban Development and other dignitaries paid their respects.

The mortal remains will be conveyed to the funeral site from his residence tomorrow starting at 08:15 hrs in a gun carriage procession. A state funeral will be held from 0930 hrs onwards on 18th Sept 2017 at Brar Square, Naraina. Gun salute will be given and a fly past will be organised before the final rites.


Today evening at 1947 hours, The Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh breathed his last at the Army Hospital (R&R), New Delhi. He was 98. He was admitted to the hospital today morning following a cardiac arrest. He was being treated at the Cardiothoracic and Vascular Sciences Centre of the hospital.

Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh, DFC was entrusted with the responsibility of leading the Indian Air Force when he was only 44 years old, a responsibility he carried with elan. He was the Chief of IAF when it saw action in the year 1965.

Arjan Singh was born on 15 April 1919, in Lyalpur of undivided Punjab. He completed his education from Montgomery. In 1938 when he got selected for the Empire Pilot training course at RAF Cranwell, he was still in college and was only 19 years old.

His first posting on being commissioned involved flying Westland Wapiti biplanes in the North Western Frontier Province as a member of the No.1 IAF Squadron. Arjan Singh flew against the tribal forces before he was transferred for a brief stint with the newly formed No.2 IAF Squadron. Later he moved back to No.1 Sqn as a Flying Officer, when the Squadron was re-equipped with the Hawker Hurricane.

Promoted to the rank of Squadron Leader in 1944, Arjan Singh  also flew Close Support missions during the crucial Imphal Campaign and later assisted the advance of the allied forces to Rangoon, Burma. For his role in successfully leading the squadron during combat, Arjan Singh received the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1944. He was given command of the IAF Display flight which flew Hawker Hurricanes after the war that toured India giving demonstrations. On 15 August 1947, he was given the unique honour of leading the fly-past of more than a hundred IAF aircraft over the Red Fort in Delhi.

Immediately after independence, he took over the command of Air Force Station, Ambala, in the rank of Group Captain. In 1949, after promotion to the rank of Air Commodore, Arjan Singh took over as the Air Officer Commanding of Operational Command, which later came to be known as the Western Air Command. Arjan Singh had the distinction of having the longest tenure as the AOC of Operational Command, from 1949-1952 and again from 1957-1961. Promoted to Air Vice Marshal, he was the AOC-in-C of Operational Command. Towards the end of the 1962 war, he was appointed as the Deputy Chief of Air Staff and became the Vice Chief of Air Staff by 1963.

On 01 August 1964, Arjan Singh took over as the Chief of Air Staff (CAS) in the rank of Air Marshal. Arjan Singh was the first Air Chief who kept his flying category till his CAS rank. Having flown over 60 different types of aircraft from Pre-Second World War era biplanes to the more contemporary Gnats & Vampires, he had also flown in transports like the Super Constellation.

A testing time came in September 1965   when Pakistan launched Operation Grand Slam, in which an armoured thrust targeted the vital town of Akhnur, he was summoned into the Defence Minister's office with a request for air support. When asked how quickly the IAF will be ready for operations,he replied with his characteristic nonchalance," an hour". And true to his word, the Air Force struck the Pakistani offensive in an hour. He led the IAF through the war showing unparalleled leadership.

Arjan Singh was awarded the Padma Vibhushan for his leadership during the 1965 War and subsequently the rank of the CAS was upgraded to that of Air Chief Marshal. Arjan Singh became the first Air Chief Marshal of the Indian Air Force. He retired in July 1969, thereupon accepting ambassadorship to Switzerland. He remained a flyer till the end of his tenure in the IAF, visiting forward squadrons & units and flying with them. Arjan Singh was and remains a source of inspiration to generations of Indians.

In recognition of his services, the Government of India conferred the rank of the Marshal of the Air Force onto Arjan Singh in January 2002 making him the first and the only 'Five Star' rank officer of the Indian Air Force. In 2016 Air Force Station, Panagarh was renamed as Air Force Station Arjan Singh.

His demise marks an end of a glorious era of the Indian Air Force.

Defence Minister Felicitates Eight Cantonment Boards of Western Command with ODF Certificate

Eight Cantonment Boards out of 13 under Western Command have received Open Defecation Free (ODF) certificates, issued by the Quality Council of India, from the Defence Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman during a felicitation ceremony organised at Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh, today. Smt Sitharaman who was the Chief Guest, presented ODF certificates to the members of the Cantonment Boards including their Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and President Cantonment Boards (PCBs). The eight Cantonment Boards are Kasauli, Dagshai, Subathu, Jutogh, Dalhousie, Jalandhar, Amritsar and Ferozepur.

During her speech, the Defence Minister congratulated Defence Estates Department for achieving ODF in eight cantonments. She also expressed her satisfaction that all the Cantonment Boards shall be ODF by December 15, 2017 as per the deadline and promise.

Smt Nirmala Sitharaman also said, she will ensure that the borders are secured. She reiterated that the needs of each and every Jawan & their families are catered to. An amount of Rs 15 crore was announced by her towards making a multi-level parking at Kasauli bus-stand. This was a long felt requirement and shall fetch positive result in Swachh Bharat Abhiyan also.

The ceremony was attended by the Member of Parliament Shri Virender Kashyap, Director General Defence Estates Shri Jojneshwar Sharma, GOC-in-C Western Command Lt Gen Surinder Singh, Principal Director Defence Estate Shri SC Kaushik, Directors of Defence Estates, Western Command and other officials of Indian Defence Estates Service.

The objectives of Swachh Bharat are to reduce or eliminate open defecation through the construction of individual, cluster and community toilets. The government is aiming to achieve an ODF India by October 02, 2019, to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Defence Minister’s Maiden Visit to Headquarters Western Command

The Defence Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman visited Headquarters of Western Command at Chandimandir Military Station today, where she was briefed on the operational preparedness, administrative issues and Ex-Servicemen affairs by General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Command Lt Gen Surinder Singh. The Defence Minister appreciated the efforts of the Indian Army and Western Command and expressed her complete confidence in the immense operational might of Western Command. She lauded Western Command’s contribution in all spheres including assistance to civilian administration especially during the recent past.

Paying homage to the brave martyrs and to commemorate the visit, Smt Sitharaman laid a wreath at Veer Smriti and also planted a sapling. The Defence Minister spent some time interacting with Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) and Other Ranks (ORs) of units billeted at Chandigarh.

Opening Ceremony held for INDO-USA Joint Exercise Yudh Abhyas – 2017

Exercise Yudh Abhyas - 2017, a joint military exercise between Indian and US armies commenced this morning at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington, USA with a brief and impressive opening ceremony.     The US contingent was represented by Company of 5th Infantry Battalion from 20 Infantry Regiment of the US Army while the Indian side was represented by soldiers of Gorkha Rifles from the Surya Command.  Major General Willard M Burlesan, GOC 7th Infantry Division, US Army welcomed the Indian soldiers. In inaugural remarks, he highlighted the common shared beliefs of democracy, freedom, equality and justice that are precious to both the nations.

During the two week long exercise soldiers from both countries will hone their tactical skills in counter insurgency and counter terrorist operations under a joint brigade headquarter. Both sides will jointly train, plan and execute a series of well-developed tactical drills for neutralization of likely threats that may be encountered in UN peace keeping operations.  Experts from both sides will hold detailed discussions to share their experience and expertise on varied operational topics.

Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Visited Marshal of Indian Air Force Arjan Singh in Hospital

Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi visited Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh who is critically ill following a cardiac attack today morning. Prime Minister was received by Hon’ble Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman and three Service Chiefs at Army Hospital R&R, New Delhi. A team of Doctors is monitoring his condition at Cardio Thoracic and Vascular Centre of Army Hospital (R&R), New Delhi.

Marshal of Indian Air Force Critically Ill

Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh is critically ill. He was admitted in the hospital following a cardiac attack today morning. Hon’ble Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman visited him in Army Hospital R&R, New Delhi.

Air Force Association Celebrates Its Annual Day

"The Annual Day began in the morning with the Wreath Laying Ceremony at Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate today in the memory of those who laid down their lives for the motherland. The wreath was placed by President of Air Force Association Veteran Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha PVSM AVSM VM. This was followed by Annual General Body Meeting held at Air Force Auditorium, Subroto Park, where-in some of the Air Force Octogenarians were honoured and were presented mementos by the Air Force Association, wishing them a healthy and long life. The Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa PVSM AVSM YSM VM ADC graced the occasion as Chief Guest who addressed the gathering. Various retired Chiefs of the Air Staff, very large number of Officers and airmen attended the Annual General Meeting."

Air Force Association is a welfare organisation in the non-governmental sector, actively involved in the welfare of air veterans and their families. The organization is also deeply committed in alleviating the sufferings of the widows and the destitute children.

The Association was established on 15 Sep 1980 under the patronage of Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh DFC. It has nineteen branches spread all over the country. In addition, it has two branches in UK and Australia. It has more than 79,850 Air Veteran members and 4500 Spouse members on its roll. The current President of the Association is Veteran Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha PVSM AVSM VM.

. The raising day of the Air Force Association is celebrated on 15 Sep every year. It is an occasion when the valour and heroic deeds of gallant Air Force personnel, who had made supreme sacrifice in the past to defend our country, are remembered. The Annual Day also provides opportunities to the serving and the retired Air Force personnel to strengthen the bonds of comradeship, brotherhood and espirit-de-corps.

Defence Ministry Launches ‘Swachhta Hi Sewa’ Campaign

Defence Secretary Shri Sanjay Mitra administered Swachhta Shapath to officers and staff of Ministry of Defence here today. It is part of ‘Swachhta Hi Sewa’ campaign organised by Ministry of Defence from September 15 to October 2, 2017. It may be noted that the Prime Minister in his ‘Mann ki Baat’ on August 27, 2017 had appealed to the nation to focus on cleanliness and create an environment of cleanliness across the country in the spirit of Jan Andolan (people’s movement).

Defence Ministry has come up with an action plan for overall cleanliness drive in and outside South Block and Sena Bhawan during the 18-day campaign. It includes arrangement of dustbins at prominent places for segregating biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste; discarding of old junks; cleaning of parking lots, corridors, staircases, and lifts in both the buildings. The campaign also includes competition on poem, slogan and essays on Swachh Bharat Mission.

Indigenous Development of Trawl System by DRDO

R&DE (Engrs), a premier system engineering laboratory under Armament & Combat Engineering (ACE) cluster of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has recently undertaken the design and development of Trawl System for the minefield area in the battle zone to meet the operational requirements of Indian Army.

The indigenous developed Trawl System is employed for breaching of land mines and creating a vehicle safe lane, through a minefield for the advancing columns of mechanized forces in combat zone. The equipment consists of Trawl roller, track width mine plough and electro- magnetic device (EMD), which caters to the need of all types of mines usually encountered by the battle tank in such a scenario. The Trawl System developed by DRDO is capable of breaching a variety of land mines including passive and active influence mines.

The Trawl system recently crossed a major milestone with the successful completion of blast trials in collaboration with HEMRL Pune, which demonstrated the survivability of the equipment, when subjected to successive series of blast directly underneath it. The fieldable prototype of the Trawl System is in final stage of realization and would be shortly ready for conduct of User Evaluation Trials by the Army.
The indigenous development of Trawls by DRDO is an important step towards achieving self-reliance in area of critical military equipment under ‘Make in India’ initiative and would result in saving of precious foreign exchange for the country.

Successful Development Trials of Astra Missile

The final Development Flight Trials of Astra - Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missile (BVRAAM) were successfully conducted over the Bay of Bengal, Off the Coast of Chandipur, Odisha during 11-14 Sep 2017. A total of seven trials were conducted against Pilotless Target Aircrafts (PTA) successfully.

The missions included engagement of target at very long range, engagement of high manoeuvring target at medium range and multiple launches of missiles in salvo to engage multiple targets. All the sub-systems including the indigenous RF Seeker performed accurately, meeting all the mission parameters and objectives. Two missiles were also launched in the combat configuration with warhead and the targets were neutralized.

This effort for building a state-of-the-art BVRAAM by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), together with Indian Air Force (IAF) has completed the development phase of the weapon system successfully. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has played a role in modifying the aircraft for weapon integration. More than 50 public and private industries have contributed in building the Astra weapon system. Dr S. Venugopal, Programme Director led the launch operations and flight trials along with the teams from multiple organisations.

The Defence Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated DRDO, IAF Air Force, Defence Public Sector Undertaking (DPSU) and industries for the successful trials of ASRTA Missile. Chairman DRDO and Secretary Department of Defence (R&D) Dr S. Christopher congratulated the ‘Team Astra” (DRDO, IAF, DPSU & Industries) for developing and flight testing such a formidable class of weapon system. Director General, Missiles and Strategic Systems Dr G. Satheesh Reddy, said the technologies developed under the programme will be the building blocks for development of more variants of Air-to-Air and Surface-to-Air Missiles

Indian Army strives to ensure success of Swachh Bharat Campaign

While ‘Swachhta’ and ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ is being run all over the country, the Indian Army takes pride in environmental conservation being intrinsic to its character, ethos and traditions. Army troops deployed in remote areas of the nation have always taken keen interest in environmental conservation. As part of routine, the long range patrols covering snow bound, high altitude and treacherous areas of Himachal Pradesh, along the borders with China and Tibet make it a drill to clean the areas where they patrol. All expedition to these areas bring back non-biodegradable wastes and clean areas in the process.

The Indian Army covers the conservation drive in various verticals which include serving personnel, ex-serviceman, and initiatives within and outside the cantonments and in operational areas.
‘Shramdaan’ and clean the area in and around the place one works, is intrinsic into the character and routine activities of Indian Army personnel. Daily cleanliness drive is carried out by serving personnel on almost daily basis. The families and children join men in tree plantation, hygiene and sanitation awareness camps and cleanliness drives. Roll calls, Sainik Sammelans and briefings during everyday routine find this aspect being highlighted.

Ex-Servicemen are true ambassadors of such disciplined and holistic initiative. They on their part involve societies and civilian population with them to focus on fundamental issue of overall cleanliness, menace of open defecation and tree plantation. In most of our ESM camps and interactions steps are taken to facilitate them to achieve the same.

Cantonments are one of the cleanest places. All actions possible are taken within the cantonment to keep them clean. Other than the composite conservancy staff, additional manpower and equipment have been bought by stations and cantonments to clean their respective areas. Events like ‘Swachhta Pakhwada’, ‘Cleanliness Drives’, ‘Run for clean environment’, are a regular feature to bring in the awareness. All the schools run by the Army have a special focus on this very important aspect other than tree plantation.

All stations and cantonments have been working very closely with CEOs and Cantonment Boards to arrive at a robust cleanliness mechanism. Huge cantonments like Delhi, Lucknow, Ambala, Pathankot, Kolkata etc today can easily be nominated as the cleanest areas of the country. Biodegradable toilets, neat cubicle toilets have been established in almost all such stations and cantonments.  Efforts are on to ensure that there is no open defecation in any of the cantonments of Indian Army.

Even in operational areas while Indian Army is deployed at far flung places in mountains, deserts or in other treacherous areas, the brave soldiers make genuine endeavour to clean the areas wherever it is. They involve local population and enmass create campaign for cleanliness and awareness. The patrols which go out to snow bound high altitude areas in Himachal Pradesh, UP, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and in border areas of Tibet and China clean the areas where they patrol. The Indian Army does not leave any stone unturned to ensure that their areas are clean, hygienic and worthy to live in.

 Defence Minister felicitates Cantonment Boards on ODF Certification as a part of Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan

Defence Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman felicitated 10 Cantonment Boards of Central Command on their achievement of acquiring ‘Open Defecation Free (ODF)’ status, in a function organized at Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi (UP), today. Presidents, Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and elected members of the Cantonment Boards were awarded the certificate by the Minister during the event.

Smt Sitharaman complimented the Cantonment Boards for their efforts in achieving the ODF target and urged the boards to sustain and further improve the facilities created and drives conducted by them, with more zeal and enthusiasm. She appreciated the efforts of children as Swachhta Doots- the cleanliness ambassadors. She said that this goodwill gesture will make the coming generations emphasize cleanliness in their lives.

The Defence Minister said that the Defence Ministry is working on Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in phases. The first phase includes the cleanliness drive of Cantonment Boards and the municipal wards nearby. This phase involves the recycling of wastes as well as segregation of solid and liquid wastes.

Smt Nirmala Sitharaman highlighted that the second phase commences from September 15 to October 02, 2017 where the cleanliness drive will be taken to High Altitudes and the cleaning of glaciers will be taken up. She further added that on the 150th Birth celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi in 2019, the complete comprehensive Swachhta Abhiyan will be concluded. She emphasized that Abhiyan is a starting and it will take us towards the sustainable development.

Central Command has 25 cantonments of which 14 Cantonments have been declared ODF. 10 Cantonment Boards felicitated by the Defence Minister include Bareilly, Danapur, Dehradun, Jabalpur, Landour, Lansdowne, Meerut, Mathura, Ranikhet and Varanasi. Present at the occasion were Director General Defence Estates Shri Jojneshwar Sharma and Principal Director Defence Estates, Central Command Smt Deepa Bajwa along with other officers of Indian Defence Estate Service (IDES) and the Army.

Operation Insaaniyat

Humanitarian Assistance to Bangladesh on Account of Influx of Refugees

A humanitarian crisis arose in Bangladesh due to heavy influx of refugees from neighbouring Myanmar. The government of India has decided to assist Bangladesh in this crisis by sending relief material. The Indian Air Force was tasked to airlift the relief material from India to Bangladesh. One C-17 Globemaster strategic heavy lift cargo aircraft was positioned at short notice at Delhi on 13 Sep 17 to airlift 55 Tons of relief material to Chittagong, Bangladesh. This aircraft was loaded overnight with relief material consisting of critical daily necessities viz., rice, pulses, sugar, salt, cooking oil, ready to eat meals, mosquito nets etc.

The C-17 carrying relief material departed early morning on 14 Sep 17 and routed via Kolkata to pick up additional load. The material was delivered at Chittagong, Bangladesh at 1245 hours on 14 Sep 17. One more C-17 is scheduled to airlift additional relief material to Bangladesh. The Indian Air Force rose to the challenge and played a pivotal role to further strengthen the close ties of friendship between India and Bangladesh.

Raksha Rajya Mantri, Dr. Subhash Bhamre meets Mr. Phil Bryant, the Governor of Mississippi, United States.

Raksha Rajya Mantri, Dr. Subhash Bhamre met Mr. Phil Bryant, the Governor of Mississippi, United States, at South Block today. Governor Bryant is on a visit to India to promote trade and economic cooperation between India and Mississippi.

Mississippi is a centre for defence manufacturing and research in the United States, including for advanced naval equipment, sensors and unmanned systems. Raksha Rajya Mantri briefed Governor Bryant on the emerging opportunities for manufacturing of defence equipment in India under Prime Minister’s Make in India initiative and invited Mississippi-based companies to explore joint ventures and collaborative partnerships with Indian private and public defence industry. Governor Bryant also interacted with a wide cross section of Indian industry representatives at an event hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry today.

Defence Minister Visits Gujarat

Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, Hon’ble Raksha Mantri visited Golden Katar Division in Ahmedabad from 10 Sep to 11 Sep 2017. She was received by General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff and Lieutenant General PM Hariz, GOC-in-C, Southern Command.
Soon after having taken over as the Raksha Mantri, Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, visited Ahmedabad where she was briefed on the operational situation by the Army Commander Southern Command. The Hon’ble Minister preferred her first call to visit the area of Sir Creek because of the relevance of the area to the overall security requirements of Southern Command.

The General Officer Commanding Golden Katar Division briefed the Raksha Mantri on the historic relevance and strategic implications of the need to maintain effective surveillance in the area.

Interacting with all ranks of Army, Navy, IAF and Coast Guard she appreciated the manner in which the troops are maintaining territorial integrity and are prepared for any eventuality.

Raksha Mantri to hold daily meetings with the three Service chiefs and the Defence Secretary

Raksha Mantri Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman held a number of meetings with senior officials to familiarize with the activities and functioning of the Ministry of Defence and gave clear directions on critical issues. Special emphasis was laid by the Minister on the need to step up the pace of acquisition proposals. Towards ensuring time bound and speedy disposal, it has been decided to hold DAC meetings on a fortnightly basis.

A whole range of meetings have been scheduled with the three Defence Service Chiefs to review Defence preparedness and allied issues of strategic interests. Daily morning meetings with the three Service Chiefs and a separate daily meeting with the Defence Secretary have been formatted as a new practice for quick decision making.

Other areas of focus would be settling all outstanding land related issues for infrastructure projects and matters relating to welfare of Defence personnel and their families.

Hon’ble Raksha Mantri Flags off Navika Sagar Parikrama

Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Hon’ble Raksha Mantri flagged-off Indian Naval Sailing Vessel Tarini (INSV Tarini) with an all women crew from INS Mandovi boat pool, Goa at 01:00 PM today (10 Sep17). This is the first-ever Indian circumnavigation of the globe by an all-women crew and shall attempt to circumnavigate the globe on Indian Navy’s sailing vessel INSV Tarini. The crew is expected to return to Goa in April 2018, on completion of the voyage. The expedition will be covered in five legs, with stop-overs at 4 ports viz. Fremantle (Australia), Lyttleton (New Zealand), Port Stanley (Falklands), and Cape Town (South Africa).

The event was attended by Shri Manohar Parrikar, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Goa, Admiral Sunil Lanba, the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral AR Karve Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command, Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar, Controller Personnel Services, IHQ MoD (Navy) besides other senior naval retired and serving officials as well as civilian dignitaries including family members of the crew and sailing enthusiasts.

During the ceremony at Goa, the Hon’ble Raksha Mantri said that, “this is a historic day for the country, which will be marked in the Navigation history of the world, and globally our women are going to stand out for something which most navies of the world would not have even thought of”. She further said that, “For this initiative I appreciate the Indian Navy and the mentors for inspiring, motivating and training these brave and courageous women”. She expressed her absolute pleasure for being present at the momentous occasion and felt honoured to be amongst the crew and wished them a successful voyage.
The Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba expressed satisfaction at continuation of the legacy of Indian Navy’s Ocean sailing expeditions which commenced in 1988 with expedition ‘Samudra’. This was followed by first solo circumnavigation by Captain Dilip Donde (Retd) and non-stop circumnavigation of the globe by Cdr Abhilash Tomy resulting in India joining a select group of nine nations which have achieved such feats. He said that the present circumnavigation by an all women crew is an extension of the above efforts and reflection of the Government’s efforts at Women Empowerment – “Nari Shakti”.

INSV Tarini is a 55-foot sailing vessel, which has been built indigenously, and was inducted in the Indian Navy earlier this year, thus showcasing the ‘Make in India’ initiative on the World forum. INSV Tarini is being skippered by Lt. Commander Vartika Joshi, and the crew comprises Lt. Commanders Pratibha Jamwal, P Swathi, and Lieutenants S Vijaya Devi, B Aishwarya and Payal Gupta.

During the voyage, the crew would monitor and report marine pollution on the high seas, as also interact extensively with local PIOs during various port halts to promote Ocean sailing.

During their voyage, the crew would also collate and update Meteorological/ Ocean/ Wave data on a regular basis for accurate weather forecast by India Meteorological Department (IMD) and subsequent analysis by research and development organisations.
The expedition titled ‘Navika Sagar Parikrama’, is in consonance with the National policy to empower women to attain their full potential. It also aims to help discard the societal attitudes and mindset towards women in India by raising visibility of their participation in challenging environment.

Sailing encourages the use of environment friendly non-conventional renewable energy resources and this expedition therefore aims at harnessing the renewable energy.

Successful Flight Test of 3rd Generation Anti Tank Guided Missile – NAG

India’s indigenously developed 3rd generation Anti Tank Guided Missile (ATGM), Nag has been successfully flight tested twice by DRDO on 8-9-2017 against two different targets in the ranges of Rajasthan.

The ATGM Nag missile has successfully hit both the targets under different ranges and conditions with very high accuracy as desired by the Armed Forces.

With these two successful flight trials, and the flight test conducted earlier in June in the peak of summer, the complete functionality of Nag ATGM along with launcher system NAMICA has been established and marked the successful completion of development trials of Nag Missile.

Eastern Fleet Ships on Overseas Deployment to East and South-East Asia

In pursuant of the India’s ‘Act East Policy’, two Indian Naval Ships proceeded on deployment to East and South-East Asia this year. INS Satpura and INS Kadmatt departed Visakhapatnam today to visit 12 ports in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines, South Korea, Japan, Brunei and Russia. The two ships will be deployed for more than 3 months away from home port.

During this deployment, the ships will participate in the International Fleet Review hosted by the Association of South East Asian Countries (ASEAN) at Thailand. They will visit Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, Cambodia and Brunei to commemorate the 25th anniversary of India-ASEAN dialogue. The ships will also participate in the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) exercise at Malaysia. At Russia, the ships will participate in the annual India-Russia bilateral exercise INDRA. This year, for the first time, Ex-INDRA will witness the joint participation of Army, Navy and Air Force of both countries, thus, a major milestone in the bilateral relations between the two countries.

The Indian Navy routinely undertakes deployment of ships to friendly nations. The visit of Indian Naval Ships to East and South-East Asia underscores India’s peaceful presence and harmonious relations with the countries in the region. The deployment aims to strengthen existing bonds between India and the regional countries. Besides making port calls, the visit of ships will help in people-to-people interactions, meetings between Indian Naval delegations with local dignitaries, and naval exercises to share best practices at sea and enhance interoperability.

India had made great strides in field of warship design and construction. INS Satpura and INS Kadmatt are both indigenously built warships. INS Satpura, synonymous with the formidable mountain range in Central India, is a multi-role stealth frigate and is commanded by Captain Rahul Shankar. INS Kadmatt, named after an island in the beautiful Lakshadweep chain, is an Anti-Submarine Corvette and is commanded by Commander Nithin Cariappa.

DPSUs and OFB in Support of Central Armed Police Forces

The Defence Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman has stressed on the need to become more indigenous in Defence Production. She appreciated the consistent efforts being made by the Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) and Ordnance Factories (OFs) in this direction. She was speaking on the occasion of handing over of several products developed by DPSUs and OFs to the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) here today.

The Minister of Home Affairs Shri Rajnath Singh, who also graced the occasion, said that India wants to reduce its dependence on defence imports and ‘Make in India’ is the right initiative to achieve that. He expressed satisfaction that the indigenous content has increased in the defence production and hoped that fully indigenous products will be produced by the DPSUs and OFs in the very near future. The Minister also said that there is a need to design light weight bullet-proof jackets and helmets for the Forces.

The products which were handed over to the CAPFs were an armoured bus and bullet-proof jackets by the CMD, MIDHANI Dr. Dinesh Kumar Likhi to DG CRPF Shri RR Bhatnagar. An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle was handed over by the CMD HAL Shri T Suvarna Raju to DG CRPF and small arms like Assault Rifle and Carbine by the DGOF and Chairman OFB Shri SC Bajpai to DG CRPF. An All Terrain Vehicle was handed over by the CMD BEML Shri Deepak Kumar Hota to DG BSF Shri KK Sharma.

The function was attended by the Minister of State for Defence Dr. Subhash Bhamre, Secretary (Defence Production) Shri Ashok Kumar Gupta, several senior officials from the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Home Affairs, DPSUs and OFB.

Nirmala Sitharaman takes over as Defence Minister

Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman took over charge as Defence Minister, here today. On her arrival at the Ministry of Defence in South Block, Smt. Sitharaman was received by outgoing Defence Minister Shri Arun Jaitley, Minister of State for Defence Dr. Subhash Bhamre, Defence Secretary Shri Sanjay Mitra, Defence Secretary (Defence Production) Shri AK Gupta, Chairman DRDO & Secretary Department of Defence R&D Dr. S Christopher and other senior officials. Smt Sitharaman is the first full time Woman Defence Minister of India. Immediately after assuming office, the Defence Minister approved a grant of over Rs 13 crore which will be released for 8685 ex-servicemen, widows and dependants out of the Armed Forces Flag Day Fund. She also approved financial assistance out of Raksha Mantri Ex-Servicemen Fund.

Curtain Raiser : Exercise Yudh Abhyas – 2017

As part of the ongoing Indo-US defence cooperation, a joint military training, Exercise Yudh Abhyas - 2017 is being conducted at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington, USA from 14 to 27 September 17. Exercise Yudh Abhyas is one of the largest joint running military training and defence corporation endeavors between India and USA. This will be the 13th edition of the joint exercise hosted alternately between the two countries.

Exercise Yudh Abhyas will provide an opportunity to the armed forces of both countries to train in an integrated manner at Battalion level with joint planning at Brigade level. Multiple scenarios will be rehearsed during the joint exercise with a view to understand each-other’s organisational structure and battle procedures which would result in a higher degree of jointmanship that would further facilitate interoperability between the armed forces of both countries to meet any unforeseen contingency across the globe. The exercise is also an ideal platform to learn from each-other’s experiences of planning and execution of operations.

Both armies will jointly train, plan and execute a series of well-developed operations for neutralisation of threats of varied nature. In the end a joint exercise will be undertaken by both countries in an operational setting under a UN mandate. Experts from both sides will also hold expert academic and military discussions to share each other’s experiences on varied topics for mutual benefit.

Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman to assume charge as Defence Minister Tomorrow

Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman will assume charge as the Defence Minister on September 07, 2017 in South Block, New Delhi. She will assume the charge from Shri Arun Jaitley who was holding the additional charge of the Ministry of Defence since March 14, 2017. Smt. Sitharaman will become the first full time woman Defence Minister of India.

A Profile:

Smt Nirmala Sitharaman was born on 18th August 1959 in the temple town of Madurai, Tamil Nadu. She did her schooling and her graduation in Economics, from Seethalakshmi Ramaswamy College in Tiruchirapalli. She went on to do her Masters in Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Indo-European Textile Trade was the focus of her draft Ph.D thesis.

Smt Sitharaman served as an assistant to Economist in the Agricultural Engineers Association, UK in London. She subsequently worked as Senior Manager (Research and Analysis) with Price Waterhouse, London. During this time she also briefly worked with BBC World Service.

On her return to India, she served as Deputy Director of the Centre for Public Policy Studies at Hyderabad. Her interest in education led her to lay the foundation of ‘Parnava’, a reputed school in Hyderabad. She was a member of the National Commission for Women from 2003-2005 and instrumental in voicing various issues of women empowerment.

Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2008, and was made a member of the National Executive. She was nominated as party spokesperson in March 2010, from when she has been a full time party worker.

Smt Sitharaman was inducted in the Union of India’s Cabinet in a Government led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 26 May 2014 as the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce and Industry.

She is married to Dr. Parakala Prabhakar, alumnus of Jawaharlal Nehru University and London School of Economics and they have one daughter. She is an avid reader and maintains a personal twitter handle @nsitharaman, and can be reached at