Gujarat NCC cadets dedicate their creativity to Kargil war heroes - The Daily Guardian
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Gujarat NCC cadets dedicate their creativity to Kargil war heroes

Ashish Singh

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The Kargil War was fought between India and Pakistan between May and July 1999, in the Kargil district of Kashmir and along the Line of Control. During the War, the Indian Army evicted Pakistani intruders and succeeded in capturing Tiger Hill and other posts, as part of Operation Vijay. The 22nd anniversary of the Kargil Vijay Diwas is going to be held on 26 July, with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Kargil War Memorial, Dras, followed by various other commemorative and solemn functions. To commemorate the commencement of this solemn occasion, NCC cadets of Gujarat have made around 30000 handmade cards for all the soldiers, who lost their lives in the Kargil War.

In a brief ceremony held at Headquarters Northern Command, Lieutenant General Y.K. Joshi, General Officer Commanding in Chief, Northern Command received 29,566 cards made by NCC cadets of Gujarat with the spirit of patriotism to inspire the soldiers deployed along the Line of Control, Line of Actual Control and the hinterland in the UTs of J&K and Ladakh. The cards arrived at Udhampur in the early hours of Tuesday, escorted by NCC personnel from Gujarat and were presented to the Northern Army Commander. While speaking at the cards presentation ceremony, Lieutenant General Y.K. Joshi commended the spirit of patriotism exhibited by the people of Gujarat in general and the NCC Cadets in particular through a novel and innovative way of telling the soldiers on the line of duty that the nation supports them with heart and soul. 

The Army Commander Northern Command quoted GK Chesterton, a British writer, philosopher and theologian who had once said, “The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.” The Army Commander also said “No soldier marches into battle merely to destroy for the sake of destroying. He marches not because he is trying to break free from something, but because he is bound to something. This gesture by the NCC Directorate, Gujarat will assure each soldier on the front line that the hardship he bears and the sacrifices he and his family make on a daily basis are not going unrecognised and the citizens of India particularly the youth, are grateful to him for the efforts”. The Northern Army Commander thanked Vijay Rupani, the Chief Minister of Gujarat for his words in the honour of Kargil war heroes at the ceremony to Flag Off the cards on 17 July and said that such gestures by the leaders go a long way in infusing the sense of pride among soldiers and their families.

THE CONCEPT AND THE EFFORT

This is part of Phase 5 of the #EkMaiSauKeLiye Campaign, which was formally launched by the Chief Minister of Gujarat on 3 July, aptly titled, “Kargil Ke Veeron Ko Gujarat Ka Aabhaar”, keeping in sync with the 22nd anniversary of the Kargil War. In this phase, from 4 to 15 July, the NCC cadets of Gujarat made around 30000 handmade cards and also posted a large number of messages on social media, highlighting the sacrifices, and valour of our Armed Forces and reiterated their commitment to work for the well-being of their fellow countrymen. These cards are also a medium for these young cadets to honour the memory of the martyrs and the Armed Forces personnel who are guarding the national borders round the clock under adverse conditions. 

Brigadier Nirav Raizada, Group Commander, NCC Group Headquarters Ahmedabad ceremoniously dispatched 30,000 cards made by the NCC cadets of Gujarat from Ahmedabad railway station on 18 July, to HQs Northern Command, Udhampur, and will be carried by the Western Railway, under the aegis of the Gujarat NCC Directorate by train from Ahmedabad to Jammu and further onto Udhampur. At Udhampur, all the cartons containing these cards were received yesterday by Lieutenant General YK Joshi, the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, and Northern Command. The General officer, who was then a Lieutenant Colonel, in the Kargil war, led the 13th Battalion of the JAK RIF in Dras and was awarded the Vir Chakra gallantry award in this action. For these NCC cadets and the youth of the Nation, Lieutenant General YK Joshi, UYSM, AVSM, VrC, SM is an icon to emulate and this endeavour should motivate more youth to initially join the NCC and subsequently the Army, Navy and Air Force.

Between 21 to 25 July, these 30000 cards will be handed over to all the soldiers deployed in the Kargil sector, as a mark of gratitude from the NCC cadets of the State of Gujarat and would be Gujarat states major contribution, through the NCC cadets of Gujarat, towards recognising the contribution made by the Armed Forces, during the Kargil War. The same would also go a long way in motivating the youth of the state and NCC cadets in particular, on a very solemn National occasion, as also convey respect from the people of Gujarat, for all the soldiers who laid down their lives in the Kargil war in 1999, as also all the soldiers who are presently deployed on the national borders, making Gujarat, the one State which has connected to the troops in Kargil, as well as motivated the youth in the entire State, towards meeting their Social Service and Community Development responsibilities and contribute towards Nation Building.

On 17 July, the Chief Minister of Gujarat Vijay Rupani had flagged off the consignment of 29,566 cards which were made by NCC Cadets from NCC Directorate, Gujarat, ably led by Maj Gen Arvind Kapoor, the Additional Director General. The cards were dedicated to the memory of Kargil Martyrs. The Northern Army Commander thanked Maj General Arvind Kapoor for the conceptualisation and launch of the campaign in support of Kargil War Heroes. The Chief Minister on 3 July had pushed forward a campaign “Kargil Ke Veeron Ko Gujarat Ka Aabhaar” as a symbol of gratitude to the Kargil Heroes and the soldiers currently deployed at Kargil and our national borders. The effort of the cadets was recognised by the World Book of Records, London and has been awarded a certificate of commitment. The cards are a step towards the immortalisation of the soldierly spirit with which the warriors fought on the rocky heights at the Line of Control during Operation Vijay.

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Defence

‘ARMY CAN MEET ANY CHALLENGE TO SAFEGUARD COUNTRY’

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The Army is fully prepared to meet any challenge like the use of drones and social media by adversaries to safeguard the country, said Commandant of Chennai-based Officers Training Academy (OTA) Lieutenant General M K Das. Lt Gen Das, who is also the colonel of the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI) regiment, said the situation in J&K is getting better with the Army and other security agencies working together to stamp out terrorism. Speaking to media on the sidelines of the maiden attestation parade of 460 new recruits of the 126th batch after a successful 40-week training period at Dansal here, he said the Indian Army is aware of the challenges and prepared to give a befitting response to the enemies of the nation.

Talking about the need to introduce special training courses for soldiers in the aftermath of the developments in Afghanistan, he said, “Our training is very contemporary as it caters for all the contingencies and unforeseen situations. My young soldiers, who have taken the oath to defend the constitution and the country, will live up to all the challenges. One of the unique things of this regiment (JAKLI) is all our troops hail from J&K and Ladakh. They have ingrained quality to be security conscious much more than others.” Lt Gen Das said, “All the situations unfolding in the country or in our neighbourhood, the JAKLI regiment will continue to excel and be the lead agency in the fight against terrorism.” Asked about the challenges posed by the use of drones to hit targets and deliver weapons and narcotics from across the LoC and International Border, he said a capsule course on anti-drone measures has been introduced. “On Army Day on 15 January, our chief took the threat seriously and our soldiers are being prepared to deal with the challenge in a better way.” During recruitment training, Lt Gen Das said that besides the arms handing and exercises, thrust is also given on science and technology, cybersecurity and other new challenges. He said the misuse of social media by “anti-national” elements is a reality and the new recruits are being trained in cybersecurity during their basic and orientation courses.

On attempts by Pakistan to mislead the youth of J&K, Lt Gen Das said, “The youth of J&K is showing keenness to be a part of the regiment which is a message to those who think they can mislead our youth. Joining the regiment is the best way to serve the nation, the youth live like a family and there is complete communal harmony.” He said the regiment is increasing the number of local youth from Ladakh and would also go for recruitment in J&K to provide an opportunity to the local youth to become part of this regiment. Asked about his message to the misguided youth, he said, “J&K is the crown of India but if I focus as a soldier, I feel they (misguided youth) have not understood their country… the situation has not gone out of hand and the Army has kept its window open to allow them to surrender and join the national mainstream.”

He added, “We have a unit of 162 Infantry Territorial Army who are former militants but have become upright soldiers.” Lt Gen Das said the Army and other security agencies are working in close coordination and the situation in J&K is getting better and the “day is not far when this region will make our country proud.”

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Defence

SOUTHERN NAVAL COMMAND OBSERVES INTERNATIONAL COASTAL CLEAN-UP DAY IN KOCHI

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The Southern Naval Command observed International Coastal Clean-up Day on Saturday with a focus on mangrove plantation and clearance of plastic/non-biodegradable waste along with waterfront areas in and around Kochi, said a press release from the Ministry of Defence.

Pursuant to the global campaign of keeping coastlines clean, more than 600 Naval personnel and the families of Southern Naval Command undertook clearance of plastic and non-biodegradable waste at different locations spread across the city, coastal areas such as Fort Kochi beach, Thevara waterfront, Willingdon Island, Cherai beach, Bolgatty and around 2 km stretch of the Venduruthy channel while restoring around 1 lakh sqm of mangroves to the pristine condition. In addition, 80 mangrove saplings were also planted along the Venduruthy channel. Similar coastal cleanup drives and lectures/webinars/competitions emphasising protection of the coastal and marine environment were undertaken with the enthusiastic participation of the Naval community at other outstation Naval units located at Lonavala, Jamnagar, Chilka, Coimbatore, Goa, Ezhimala and Mumbai.

Being the Training Command of the Indian Navy, the Southern Naval Command has always been at the vanguard in promoting environmental conservation activities both at the Command Headquarters, Kochi as well as at Naval stations spread across the country.

Mandated to oversee naval training, the Southern Naval Command has conceptualised and implemented a variety of green initiatives. Keeping environmental preservation as one of the Key Result Areas, the Command has constantly endeavoured to motivate young officer and sailor trainees of the Indian Navy to imbibe the habit of protecting mother nature as part of their grooming efforts in preparing them to become responsible future Naval leaders and dependable citizens of India.

Particular attention has also been given to create more awareness among the families and more importantly the children.

During the last three years, the Command has adopted a multi-dimensional approach towards conservation of the environment and implementation of energy conservation methods.

To highlight a few, the personnel of the Command were actively involved in the rejuvenation of 4.5-km-long Venduruthy Channel near Kochi Naval base, creating awareness in and around Naval establishments.

Efforts were undertaken to enhance green cover by conducting mass plantation drives which included planting more than 75,000 trees, using the fast-growing Miyawaki forestation method. In addition, regular coastal clean-up drives, mangrove plantation drives, in-house handling and recycling of bio and non-biodegradable waste, adopting efficient energy and water-saving methods etc were also undertaken. The Command has also earnestly endeavoured to continue all the efforts for protecting and conserving the environment and natural resources. Towards achieving the same, the Command has implemented a Green Initiative and Environment Conservation Roadmap with a prime focus on Carbon footprint reduction.

With the personal involvement of Vice Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command is committed to creating a clean, green and healthy environment in line with the visionary environment conservation policies of the Govt of India. On the occasion, Adv M Anilkumar, Mayor, Kochi Municipal Corporation and staff also participated in Kochi.

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Defence

IAF TO HOLD AIR SHOW OVER DAL LAKE IN SRINAGAR ON 26 SEPT

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An air show will be held here on 26 September where IAF’s skydiving team Akash Ganga and Suryakiran Aerobatic and Display Team and paramotor flying will manoeuvre the skies over the famous Dal Lake, officials informed on Saturday.

The air show will be organised by the Air Force Station Srinagar and the Jammu and Kashmir administration as part of the ongoing celebrations commemorating ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, they said. The main aim of the exercise—under the theme ‘Give Wings to Your Dream’—is to motivate the youth of the valley to join the Indian Air Force (IAF) and to promote tourism in the region, the officials said.

The event will be flagged off Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha at the Sher-e-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC) overlooking Dal Lake.

More than 3,000 college and school students are expected to participate in the programme to witness the impressive manoeuvres of the IAF, which will motivate them to dream about a career in the force and in the aviation sector, the officials said. “The show will also develop passion among the students to give wings to their dreams. Along with the students, 700 teachers will also be present at the venue,” they added.

During the demonstration, students will also be familiarised with the new technological advancements achieved and incorporated by the IAF while flying aircraft in the sky over the world-famous Dal Lake, the officials said. Stalls will be established at SKICC where students will be familiarised with the achievements of the Air Force, employment opportunities in the IAF, recruitment rules and eligibility criteria, they added.

Srinagar-based PRO Defence Col Emron Musavi said the display will include flypast by various aircraft of the IAF. The spectators would also get to witness paramotor flying and IAF’s skydiving team Akash Ganga in action. ‘Ambassadors of IAF’, Suryakiran Aerobatic Display Team, will be performing in the valley after a gap of 14 years, he said. Col Musavi said the symphony orchestra of the IAF would also be performing at the event. The event would also consist of a photo exhibition depicting the history of the

IAF, he said. 

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Defence

ARMY ORGANISES EXHIBITION IN JAIPUR TO COMMEMORATE INDIA’S VICTORY IN 1971 WAR

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JAIPUR : South Western Command of the Indian Army on Saturday organised an exhibition showcasing defence equipment at Chitrakoot Stadium in Jaipur to mark the 50th anniversary of India’s victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war.

Speaking to ANI, an Indian army official said, “We have displayed the defence equipment in this exhibition to make people aware of the Indian army achievements. We want to motivate the youth by showcasing these types of equipment.” “Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, these events had been started to make people aware of Indian Arm Forces. So, we are also continuing the move by organising these kinds of events,” he added.

Further, he said that India’s victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war is memorable for all the Indians, so, every citizen should be aware of this war.  

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BRO makes history, appoints woman Army officer in-charge of road construction unit

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The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has appointed a woman Army officer for the first as the Officer Commanding of its 75 road construction company (RCC) in Uttarakhand, the Defence Ministry said on Sunday.

The three platoon commanders under Major Aaina, Captain Anjana, AEE (Civ) Bhawana Joshi and AEE (Civ) Vishnumaya K became the first women RCC. The appointments were made on August 30.

BRO on Sunday recalled the list of women officers who were assigned higher leadership roles in the organisation in the current year.

According to a statement issued by the Defence Ministry, BRO has inducted a large number of women into its workforce over the years, right from officers to the level of commercial pilot license holders. “In this regard, a General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF) officer EE (Civ) Vaishali S Hiwase took over the reins of 83 Road Construction Company on April 28, employed on an important Indo-China road connecting Munisairi-Bughdiar-Milam, in an area full of adversity and challenges. The lady officer has taken control and is leading the charge with meticulous execution of her tasks,” the statement said.

“The BRO created history again on 30 August when Major Aaina of Project Shivalik took charged as Officer Commanding, 75 Road Construction Companies (RCC) at Pipalkoti in Chamoli district in Uttarakhand. She is the first Indian Army Engineer Officer to command a road construction company. Not only this, all three platoon commanders under her, Captain Anjana, AEE (Civ) Bhawana Joshi and AEE (Civ) Vishnumaya K are lady officers and they have together created a first-ever women RCC. The Border Roads plans to make four such all women-led RCCs, two each in North Eastern and Western Sectors.”

As India celebrates 75 Years of Azaadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, it also celebrates the ongoing efforts of our Nation towards women empowerment. Women today have started assuming their rightful, equal place as the frontrunners in nation-building and representatives of our strong national character, the statement read.

Over the last six decades, in a graduated and steady manner, the BRO has increased the number of women employed in various roles and duties of road construction. A consolidated effort is being made to empower them by giving them authority and responsibilities to undertake work independently. These women have become symbols of Nari Shakti in their respective areas.

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IN FIRST FOREIGN VISIT AFTER TAKING OVER AS CDS, GEN BIPIN RAWAT TO VISIT RUSSIA, US

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In his first visit abroad after taking over as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Bipin Rawat will be visiting Russia and the US.

Rawat took over his new office as CDS on 31 December 2019, and since then has been declining foreign invitations for focusing on the new assignment of integrating the defence forces as a combined fighting force. “There is a conference of the CDS-rank officers of the Shanghai Cooperation Agreement member countries. China and Pakistan are also part of this grouping,” senior defence officials said.

The CDS conference would be focusing on addressing the regional security issues and Afghanistan is also likely to come up for discussion, they said.

The CDS would also witness the activities of the respective armed forces taking part in the SCO peace mission drills being held in Russia. Indian Army and Air Force are also taking part in the exercise there.

The visit will take place in the coming week and soon after return from Russia, Rawat would be leaving for the US for meeting his counterpart and other American military leadership at the Pentagon.

The two countries have been coming closer militarily in the last few years and have been holding multiple military exercises and hardware cooperation.

The Indian military saw a major change in senior-level structures under the Narendra Modi government as the focus is now on the theatrisation of the fighting forces and bringing in more capabilities and jointness among the three services. 

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