COVID VACCINES TO MAKE-IN-INDIA DEFENCE PRODUCTS: DISCUSSION IN PARLIAMENT’S MONSOON SESSION - The Daily Guardian
Connect with us

Defence

COVID VACCINES TO MAKE-IN-INDIA DEFENCE PRODUCTS: DISCUSSION IN PARLIAMENT’S MONSOON SESSION

The following information was disclosed and discussed in the Rajya Sabha during the monsoon session of Parliament, in New Delhi on Thursday.

Ashish Singh

Published

on

The Government has taken several measures to reduce vaccine shortages. This inter-alia include sustained image projection, participation in career fairs and exhibitions and publicity campaigns to create awareness among the youth on the advantages of taking up a challenging and satisfying career. To encourage the youth to join the Armed Forces, motivational lectures are regularly organised in schools/colleges/other educational institutes and National Cadet Corps (NCC) camps. Further, the Government has taken various steps to make the job in the Armed Forces attractive including improvement in promotion prospects in the Armed Forces and to fill up vacancies.

ALTERNATE MEANS OF LIVELIHOOD TO FEMALE OFFICERS LEAVING ARMY

29 Women Officers (WOs), who did not opt for Permanent Commission in the Special Selection Board No. 5 have been released from service. Out of these 29 officers, three WOs were released without pension based on their own option/willingness as these officers had served between 10 to 14 years of service in the Army. Some of the schemes run by the Directorate General of Resettlement (DGR), inter-alia, include placement assistance through online registration at DGR. For example Security Agency Schemes, Ex-servicemen Coal loading and transportation scheme, Management of CNG stations, Allotment of Mother Dairy Milk Booth and Safal shops in NCR, Coal/Tipper Attachment Scheme for Widows and disabled soldiers, Retail outlet dealership (petrol/diesel), employment seminars and resettlement training. Age relaxation has been provided to Ex-Servicemen, including Female Officers for the appointment to all Central Civil Services & Posts up to the level of Assistant Commandant in all Para-Military Forces under the Government of India. Adequate reservation has also been provided to Ex-Servicemen in various categories of posts. Women Officers, who have retired after 20 years of service, have also been granted Pensionary benefits.

STRENGTHENING THE DEFENCE MANUFACTURING SECTOR

DRDO has taken the following measures for strengthening the industry to reduce the timelines from development to induction:

· Accessibility of DRDO Test Facilities to Indian Industry.

· Identification of Development-cum-Production Partner/ Production Agency/ Lead System Integrator (DcPP/ PA/ LSI) for early integration of industry.

· Technology Development Fund (TDF) has been implemented to provide support for the design and development of technologies/ prototypes, indigenisation of imported systems/ components and new systems especially by MSMEs/startups.

· Simpler Transfer of Technology (ToT) Policy to encourage industries

· Free access of DRDO patents to industries

· Identified 108 exclusive systems for development by industry which will not be taken by DRDO

· DRDO is focused to carry out R&D work on critical & advanced technologies that industries cannot do.

Measures proposed to be taken for strengthening the Ordnance Factories and DPSUs to meet countries defence requirements are as follows:

· To carve out a future growth path, a visioning exercise and study has been commissioned for DPSUs for restructuring and reforming them to become cost-competitive and efficient. 

· DPSUs have been encouraged to work as aggregators and maximise outsourcing from indigenous sources. Over the last 2 years, the vendor base of DPSUs/OFB has increased substantially from 8000 to 12878 as of 30 June 2021.

· Disinvestment of DPSUs is being pursued.

· Focus on the modernisation of production facilities through higher CAPEX. Further, the following roadmap is being implemented by the OFB/DPSUs for technology modernisation:

· Investing in Industry 4.0 technologies in areas of Manufacturing, Supply Chain and other broader digital transformation initiatives. 

· Focusing on emerging areas of Artificial Intelligence, Data Fusion, Web Technologies, Data Analytics, 3D Printing, Networking and Cyber Security. These technologies are now being incorporated into Products and Systems at the design stage itself. 

· Change in the traditional ToT based manufacturing approach to a more proactive Co-development and Co-Production approach. 

· Increased software-based testing for reducing the time and efforts that go into testing products.

· Promoting IP culture in DPSUs through Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti. So far, 32,799 officers and staff of DPSUs/ OFB/DGQA have been trained in IPRs and 2,417 IPs have been filed and 981 IPs have been granted/registered.

· For 2021-22, the allocation for Domestic procurement has been enhanced compared to previous years and is planned to be about 64.09%, that is Rs 71,438.36 crore of the allocated amount for military modernisation. 

· Ministry of Defence has notified two ‘Positive Lists’ for Indigenisation comprising of 209 items on 28 August 2020 and 31 May 2021, respectively, for which there would be an embargo on the import beyond the timeline indicated against them. 

· An indigenisation portal namely SRIJAN has been launched in August 2020 for DPSUs/OFB/Services with an industry interface to provide development support to MSMEs/Startups/Industry for import substitution. So far, more than 10,945 Defence items, which were earlier imported, have been displayed on the portal. The private industry has expressed interest in indigenising more than 2400 items.

· To enhance functional autonomy, efficiency and unleash new growth potential and innovation in Ordnance Factories, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) in its meeting held on 29 July 2020 had approved to convert Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), a subordinate office of the Ministry of Defence, into one or more than one 100% Government-owned corporate entities, registered under the Companies Act, 2013. The Cabinet in its meeting held on 16 June 2021, has now, inter-alia, approved to convert the production units of OFB into 7 DPSUs with 41 units.

· The Government has enhanced FDI in Defence Sector up to 74% through the Automatic Route for companies seeking new defence industrial licenses and up to 100% by Government Route. The obligatory government approval for existing FDI approval holders / current defence licensees for change in equity /shareholding pattern up to 49% FDI has been replaced with a mandatory declaration for the same within 30 days of the change of equity/shareholding pattern. These reforms are likely to attract foreign investment in Defence & Aerospace sector. 

· Reforms in Offset policy have been included in DAP 2020, higher multipliers have been assigned for Transfer of Technology (ToT) to DPSUs/OFB. 

· To promote indigenous design and development of defence equipment ‘Buy {Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and manufactured)}’ category has been accorded topmost priority for procurement of capital equipment.

· Department of Defence Production has notified 46 items under the latest Public Procurement Order 2017 notified by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), for which there is sufficient local capacity and competition and procurement of these items shall be done from local suppliers only irrespective of the purchase value. 

Services are the primary stakeholders in DRDO projects. They are involved right from the conceptualisation of the project through peer reviews, design reviews, that is Annual Joint reviews, Joint reviews, and bi-annual reviews and a three-tier project monitoring mechanism as per DRDO procedure for all Mission Mode (MM) projects undertaken by DRDO. Also, several Collegiate interaction meetings between DRDO and Users are being held for specific requirements/ issues as and when required. Moreover, DRDO, OFB, DPSUs and Armed Forces being part of the same Ministry regularly interact with each other for the design development and production of Defence equipment as per the requirements of Defence Forces.

INDIGENOUSLY MANUFACTURING DEFENCE PRODUCTS

The Government has taken several policy initiatives and reforms to promote indigenisation and self-reliance in defence manufacturing, under Atmanirbhar Bharat Mission in the defence sector. Important policy initiatives are as under:

• Ministry of Defence has notified a ‘First Positive Indigenisation list’ of 101 items on 21 August 2020 and ‘2nd Positive Indigenisation list’ of 108 items on 31 May 2021 for which there would be an embargo on the import beyond the timelines indicated against them. This is a big step to promote indigenisation in the defence sector. This offers a great opportunity to the Indian defence industry to manufacture these items using their own design and development capabilities to meet the requirements of the Indian Armed Forces. These lists include some high technology weapon systems like artillery guns, assault rifles, corvettes, sonar systems, transport aircraft, light combat helicopters (LCHs), radars, wheeled armoured platform, rockets, bombs, armoured command post vehicles, armoured dozor, and many other items to fulfil the needs of our Defence Services. 

• SRIJAN portal to promote indigenisation was launched on 14 Aug 2020. As of date 10940 items, which were earlier imported, have been displayed on the portal for indigenisation. The Indian industry has shown interest in the indigenisation of 2880 displayed items so far. DPSUs/OFB interact with these industries to facilitate the indigenisation of the items as per extant procedures.

• 1776 components and spares have been indigenised in the year 2020-21 as a result of efforts of indigenisation by DPSUs, OFB, and SHQs through their own process of indigenisation (In-house, Make-II & Other than Make-II). 

• DPP-2016 has been revised as Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP)-2020, which is driven by the tenets of Defence Reforms announced as part of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’. 

• To promote indigenous design and development of defence equipment ‘Buy {Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured)}’ category has been accorded topmost priority for procurement of capital equipment.

• The ‘Make’ Procedure of capital procurement has been simplified. There is a provision for funding up to 70% of development cost by the Government to Indian industry under the Make-I category. In addition, there are specific reservations for MSMEs under the ‘Make’ procedure. 

• Procedure for ‘Make-II’ category (Industry funded), introduced in DPP 2016 to encourage indigenous development and manufacture of defence equipment has several industry-friendly provisions such as relaxation of eligibility criterion, minimal documentation, provision for considering proposals suggested by industry/individual etc. So far, 58 projects relating to Army, Navy & Air Force, have been accorded ‘Approval in Principle’.

• The Government of India has enhanced FDI in Defence Sector up to 74% through the Automatic Route and up to 100% by Government Route.

• An innovation ecosystem for Defence titled “Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX)” has been launched in April 2018. iDEX is aimed at the creation of an ecosystem to foster innovation and technology development in Defence and Aerospace by engaging Industries including MSMEs, Start-ups, Individual Innovators, R&D institutes and Academia and provide them grants/funding and other support to carry out R&D which has potential for future adoption for Indian defence and aerospace needs.

• Reforms in Offset policy have been included in DAP 2020, with thrust on attracting investment and Transfer of Technology for Defence manufacturing, by assigning higher multipliers to them.

• Government has notified the ‘Strategic Partnership (SP)’ Model in May 2017, which envisages the establishment of long-term strategic partnerships with Indian entities through a transparent and competitive process, wherein they would tie-up with global Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to seek technology transfers to set up domestic manufacturing infrastructure and supply chains.

• Government has notified a ‘Policy for indigenisation of components and spares used in Defence Platforms’ in March 2019 to create an industry ecosystem that can indigenise the imported components (including alloys, and special materials) and sub-assemblies for defence equipment and platform manufactured in India.

• Government has established two Defence Industrial Corridors, one each in the States of Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The investments of Rs 20,000 Crore have been envisaged in Defence corridors of Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu by 2024. So far, investment of approx. Rs 3342 crore have been made in both the corridors by the public as well as private sector companies. Moreover, the respective State Governments have also announced their Aerospace & Defence Policies to attract private players as well as foreign companies including Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in these two corridors.

• An Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) on “Mutual Cooperation in Joint Manufacturing of Spares, Components, Aggregates and other material related to Russian/Soviet Origin Arms and Defence Equipment” was signed in Sep 2019. The objective of the IGA is to enhance the “After Sales Support” and operational availability of Russian origin equipment currently in service in the Indian Armed Forces by organising the production of spares and components in the territory of India by Indian Industry by way of creation of Joint Ventures/Partnership with Russian Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) under the framework of the “Make in India” initiative. 

• Defence Products list requiring Industrial Licences has been rationalised and manufacture of most of parts or components does not require Industrial License. The initial validity of the Industrial Licence granted under the IDR Act has been increased from 03 years to 15 years with a provision to further extend it by 03 years on a case-to-case basis.

• Department of Defence Production has notified 46 items under the latest Public Procurement Order 2017 notified by DPIIT, for which there is sufficient local capacity and competition and procurement of these items shall be done from local suppliers only irrespective of the purchase value.

• Defence Investor Cell (DIC) has been created in February 2018 in the Ministry to provide all necessary information including addressing queries related to investment opportunities, procedures and regulatory requirements for investment in the sector. As of date, 1182 queries had been received and addressed by Defence Investor Cell.

• Technology Development Fund (TDF) has been created under DRDO to promote self-reliance in Defence Technology through the participation of Public/Private industries especially MSMEs and startups. 

• For the year 2021-22, the allocation for domestic procurement has been enhanced compared to the previous year and is about 64.09% i.e. Rs 71438.36 Crore of the allocated amount for military modernisation. 

There are six Ordnance Factories and one Manufacturing Unit of BEL in Tamil Nadu. As reported by Tamil Nadu Government, 35 major private companies are manufacturing products for defence. These 250 companies are supported by MSMEs. After the announcement of the defence corridor in Tamil Nadu, 30 more companies have expressed their intentions to set up/expand manufacturing units. Industrial development is a continuous process.

This is Part I of the two-part series.

The Daily Guardian is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@thedailyguardian) and stay updated with the latest headlines.

For the latest news Download The Daily Guardian App.

Defence

Emergence of Indian Armed Forces since 1947

Published

on

The Indian armed forces, with strength of over 1.3 million, are the fourth largest army in the world today. Since independence, the forces have undergone a gradual transformation in their strength, operational ability, and role. As an associated force to the British armed forces in different military operations as well as to maintain internal security, the most dedicated, decisive, and strong combat power of the modern world with the aim of safeguarding the interests of the country against any internal or external threat.

The transformation of the armed forces started with the beginning of the Second World War. The strength of the military had significantly increased from 6 lakh to 2.5 million during the war. However, the impending independence of India led to British apathy towards armed forces, resulting in a drastic reduction of manpower, depleted logistics, and weaponry. The 1947 Indian Independence Act was passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom on July 5, 1947 to partition British India into two new independent dominions, India and Pakistan. The act received Royal Assent on July 18, 1947. As a prelude to the Indian Independence Act, British Prime Minister Clement Attlee announced on February 20, 1947, a grant of self-government to India not before June 30, 1948. The Mountbatten plan was announced on June 3, 1947, having specified an outline of the proposed transfer of power and partition of India.

The partition of armed forces and distribution of military assets were formulated as per the provisions of Sections 11, 12, and 13 of the India Independence Act. A Partition Committee was formed on June 7, 1947, with two representatives from each side and the viceroy in the chair, to decide about the division thereof. As soon as the process of partition was to start, it was to be replaced by a Partition Council with a similar structure. As per the provisions of the act and the consent of the Partition Committee, the division of the British Army took place on June 30, 1947. Out of 11800 officers and 5 lakh other serving personnel, they were divided into a ratio of 64% for India and 36% for Pakistan. Similarly, assets, including ordnance factories and training establishments, were also re-distributed. However, the process of distribution was very complex as various military units had mixed religious structures. Hence, the inter-unit transfer of troops also took place. In the same way, all sixteen ordnance factories were located in India. Hence, it was retained by India and a lump sum payment was made to Pakistan to develop its infrastructure. The defence training institute remained in Quetta, and India had established another training institute at Wellington.

The Northern Command of the British Indian Army was allotted to Pakistan, whereas the Southern and Eastern Commands became part of the Indian Army. The Central Command was raised during the war and was disbanded in September 1946. Later on, Delhi and East Punjab Command were raised on September 15, 1947. During the process of transformation and division, 144 army units were disbanded. 61 units of the Indian Princely forces were returned to the states. The Brigade of Gorkhas, recruited in Nepal, was split between India and Britain. Of the Indian divisions which took part in World War II, the 6th, 8th, 10th, 14th, 17th, 19th, 20th, 23rd, 25th, 26th, and 39th were disbanded, those remaining being the 4th, 5th, and 7th Infantry Divisions, the 1st Armoured Division, and the 2nd Airborne Division. Hence, the Indian Army was left with 88 infantry battalions, 12 armoured regiments, and 19 artillery regiments at the time of independence.

At the time of partition, the nations inherited a split air force that was weak in quantitative and qualitative terms. The assets of the Royal Indian Air Force were divided on a one-third basis, under which India and Pakistan got six and two fighter squadrons, respectively. The Indian Air Force, at that time, was composed of around 900 officers, 10,000 non-commissioned officers, and over 820 civilian technicians and administrative staff.

Reallocation of naval resources reduced the operational capability of the Indian Navy to maintain vigilance and patrol the eastern and western coasts of India as well as the islands of Andaman and Nicobar.

After Second World War in 1945, the Indian Armed Forces had only one Indian General officer, Major General Hiraji Cursetji of the Indian Medical Service officer. In addition to him, one brigadier from medical, three Indian brigadiers from combatant arms, and 220 other Indian officers in the temporary or acting ranks of colonel and lieutenant-colonel were part of the Indian armed forces. Till May 1947, the Indian Armed Forces had only 14 Indian officers at the rank of brigadier serving in combatant arms, with no Indian flag, general, or air officer in the combat arms of the armed services.

Sir Claude Auchinleck was the last Commander in Chief of British India. He was reappointed on August 15, 1947, as Supreme Commander of India and Pakistan till November 11, 1948, when this post was abolished. He played a crucial role in monitoring and executing the division of armed forces between India and Pakistan. It is an irony that the first Indo-Pak War and the intrusion of the Pakistan army took place in Kashmir while he was the supreme commander of both countries. As well, both commanders in chief of the Indian and Pakistan armies were officers of the Royal British Army and were reporting directly to him.

General Sir Rob McGregor MacDonald Lockhart, a senior British Army officer, was the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army from 15 August 1947 to 31 December 1947. He was succeeded by General Sir Francis Robert Roy Bucher on January 1, 1948, and he handed over the command to the first Indian officer, General KM Cariappa, on January 15, 1949.

Similarly, Air Marshal Sir Thomas Walker Elmhirst was the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Air Force since 15 August 1947 to 22 February 1950. Air Marshal Subroto Mukerjee became the first Indian Air officer to took over Chief of Air Staff on April 1, 1954. He continued till November 8, 1960.

Rear Admiral J.T.S. Hall happened to be the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Navy from August 15, 1947, to August 14, 1948. Vice Admiral Ram Dass Katari was the first Indian to become Chief of the Indian Navy on 22 April 1958 till 4 Jun 1962. Hence, the transformation of the Indian Armed Forces was completed in 1958.

The Indian armed forces faced the biggest challenge at the time of partition. This process of transfer of power, assets, and demographic migration on a religious basis has witnessed the transfer of more than 14 million populations across the border, clubbed with massive violence and clashes. During this entire process of independence, responsibility for maintaining law and order was handed over to India’s own Armed Forces. Despite the heavy loss of manpower, logistics, and firepower, the armed forces acted in a very professional manner. Over and above, during this crisis of migration, the sudden attack of the Pakistan army and militia on Jammu and Kashmir was the real litmus test for our defence forces. Undoubtedly, joint operations by the Indian Air Force and Army halted the intrusion and saved Kashmir. Armed forces successfully completed the accession of Junagarh and Hyderabad and later on the annexation of Goa into India in 1961 into India.

Independence and the division of armed forces resulted in a heavy loss to the armed forces and took decades to recover. Since then, the Indian military establishment has gone into phases of transformation, namely post Indo-Sino war in 1962, the recommendation of Gen K.V. Krishna Rao in 1975, followed by the post Kargil war since 2000 onwards. The Indian armed forces have now entered into the era of the biggest reforms since independence, comprising of the creation of integrated theatre command, battle groups, cyber, space, nuclear, and strategic forces, and the implementation of CDS and the Department of Military Affairs. The modern Indian armed forces are in the process of convergence as a global superpower with complete dominance on land, sea, air, and space. Indeed, it is a great transformation of the armed forces since independence.

The author is, SM, VSM Former Additional DG (AFMS) & Expert in Defence, International Strategies & Current affairs.

Continue Reading

Defence

A SALUTE TO THE INDOMITABLE SPIRIT OF KARGIL BRAVEHEARTS

Published

on

o commemorate the 23 years of victory over Pakistan in the Kargil War of 1999, the Indian Army on Monday organised a motorcycle expedition from New Delhi to the Kargil War Memorial at Dras (Ladakh).

The 30-member rally was flagged off by Lt Gen B S Raju, the Vice Chief of Army Staff from the National War Memorial, New Delhi on Monday.

Over the next six days, the team of 30 serving personnel who have embarked on this expedition will endeavour to replicate the indomitable spirit of the Kargil brave-hearts by rekindling the spirit of fortitude, courage and adventure synonymous with the Indian Army, said the Ministry of Defence.

The bike rally would pass through Haryana, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh before culminating the expedition at the Kargil War Memorial, Dras on 26 July 2022.

Continue Reading

Defence

2 ARMY OFFICERS KILLED IN ACCIDENTAL GRENADE BLAST

Published

on

Two Army officers were killed in an accidental grenade blast along the Line of Control in the Mendhar sector of Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch, the Defence Public Relations Office said on Monday. During the treatment, one army officer and one Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) succumbed to their injuries.

JCO Sub Bhagwan Singh

Captain Anand

“Last night, an accidental grenade blast occurred in Mendhar Sector, Dist Poonch, when troops were performing their duties along the Line of Control. The blast resulted in injuries to soldiers.

During the treatment, one officer and one JCO succumbed to their injuries, “said PRO Defence Jammu.

According to the Defence PRO, the blast occurred along the Line of Control (LOC) on Sunday night, when the army troops were performing their duties, thus injuring them. All the injured soldiers were immediately evacuated to Udhampur via helicopter.

As per the reports, one officer and one Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) succumbed to the injuries.

The Indian Army expressed grief over the death of two officers.

The Indian Army tweeted, “General officer commanding (GOC) @Whiteknight_IA and all Ranks salute brave hearts Capt Anand and Nb Sub Bhagwan Singh who made the supreme sacrifice while performing their duties on the LoC in Mendhar Sector. We offer deepest condolences to their family members.”

Continue Reading

Defence

MAKE IN INDIA PUSH: IAF TO INDUCT COMBAT AIRCRAFT

Published

on

Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari on Sunday said that the Indian Air Force (IAF) is planning to induct Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) and Light Combat Aircraft MK-1A and MK-2 along with the 114 multirole fighters. This will be done to bolster India’s combat capabilities through indigenisation under “Make-in-India” in the future.

The IAF chief said that the move will not only “strengthen the Air Force” but also bring a “huge boost” to the Indian aviation industry as part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiative of the Narendra Modi government. “On the aircraft front, we are looking ahead for the AMCA and the LCA MK-1A and also the LCA MK-2 a few years from now. The case for 114 MRFA is also progressing well. With this, it will not only strengthen the Air Force but also bring a huge boost to the Indian aviation industry,” ANI quoted the Air Chief Marshal as saying.

“We have already committed for seven squadrons of AMCA. The numbers for the LCA MK-2, we will take a call as and when the first production model comes out and we start inducting the aircraft into the air force and we can always increase the quantity based on its performance and rate of induction,” he added while speaking about the number of units of the aircraft that the IAF is planning to induct.

When asked about the timeline of the induction of the S-400 air defence system from Russia into the forces, he said that it will be done as per the schedule adding that all deliveries should be completed by the end of next year. “The induction program of S-400 is going as per the schedule. The first firing unit has been inducted and deployed. The second unit is also in the process of getting inducted. Delivery schedules are on time, hopeful that by the end of next year all deliveries will be completed,” Chaudhari said.

“The threat of multiple fronts always exists. The capabilities of the air force in handling two fronts at a time will necessarily have to keep getting bolstered by the induction of various platforms. On the ground, we will need more radars, and additional SAGW systems and all of these are going to come from indigenous sources, for which the action is already at hand,” he added.

The IAF chief further said that the forces are fully in sync with the Centre’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat push which has resulted in the “quick induction” of platforms such as the light-combat helicopter and aircraft and radar systems.

Continue Reading

Defence

SEARCHES FOR SURVIVORS ON, ARMY INDUCTS RADAR

Ajay Jandyal

Published

on

The Indian Army on Sunday inducted radars to trace survivors under the debris which was laid after a cloudburst struck the area near the holy shrine of Amarnath on Friday.“Xaver 4000 radar has been inducted and has been operational at Amarnath since late noon for finding any survivors under the debris,” said Indian Army officials. Earlier, Lieutenant Governor (LG) of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha on Sunday visited a base camp in Pahalgam and met pilgrims.“The security personnel and administration have carried out an efficient rescue operation. We pay condolences to those who lost their lives. Efforts are underway to resume the Yatra along with repairing the path. Pilgrims should come, we will provide them with all facilities,” Sinha assured.

Rescue operations underway at cloudburst-affected areas of Amarnath, on Sunday. ANI

The Amarnath yatra was temporarily suspended on Friday, till further notice. 

However, the pilgrims have been waiting at the Baltal Base camp for it to recommence.As many as 35 pilgrims were discharged following treatment, Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) Officials informed on Saturday.“35 pilgrims have been discharged following treatment. 17 people are getting the treatment and are likely to get discharged tonight. All safe and healthy,” said SASB Officials.The critically injured patients were airlifted to Srinagar.“Critically injured people were airlifted to Srinagar. 2 people who were buried but were alive were rescued. We’re taking all precautionary steps. 41 missing as per Jammu and Kashmir police out of which some were rescued. Yatra may resume within a day or two,” said Kuldiep Singh, DG, CRPF.As per the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) data on Saturday, at least 16 people have died in the cloud burst incident near the holy shrine of Amarnath.Meanwhile, four Mi-17V5 and four Cheetal helicopters of the Indian Air Force were deployed for rescue and relief efforts at the Amarnath shrine on Saturday.The Cheetal helicopters flew 45 sorties, carrying five NDRF and Army personnel and 3.5 tonnes of relief material while evacuating 45 survivors from the holy cave.Earlier the officials on Saturday informed that the LG chaired a high-level meeting to review the ongoing rescue and relief operations at Amarnath cave.Meanwhile, the Indian Army informed that they have pulled up “critical rescue equipment” to speed up the rescue operations in the affected areas.“Indian Army pulls up critical rescue equipment to speed up the process of rescue operations and route maintenance in view of recent cloudburst of Amarnath in which 16 people lost their lives while several are assumed missing,” said the Indian Army.

Continue Reading

Defence

LET TERRORIST TALIB HUSSAIN NOT A MEMBER OF BJP: J&K BJP CHIEF

Published

on

Jammu and Kashmir BJP chief Ravinder Raina on Monday said the most wanted Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist Talib Hussain who was apprehended from Reasi district is neither an “active member of the BJP nor a primary member”.

 Speaking to ANI, Raina said, “Hussain is neither an active member of the BJP nor a primary member. There was a letter circular, on the basis of which it is believed that Sheikh Bashir, who is the President of BJP Minority Front of Jammu and Kashmir had appointed Hussain on 9 May.” He termed the reports fake which claimed that one of the two most-wanted LeT terrorists, who were overpowered by locals and handed over to the police, was in charge of the party’s IT cell.

 The BJP leader further said after that Hussain had circulated a letter himself and resigned from the membership of the party on 18 May. “A couple of years ago, Hussain along with with his three colleagues used to come to the BJP office as a media person. He had also interviewed me many times, he used to call himself a reporter for a YouTube channel named ‘New Sehar India’,” Raina said.

 “As a journalist, Hussain clicked photos with us many times in the BJP office. Pakistan terror outfit wanted to target the head office of the BJP of Jammu and Kashmir. It has been done through the targeted medium and carried out such incidents,” he said. “It is too soon to say more on this matter as the investigation is going on. Not only the BJP, but all the offices of other political parties need to be more alert now,” Raina added.

Continue Reading

Trending