Listing out the challenged being faced by India, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat on Thursday said that the country should be prepared for threats for military primary arising from China and Pakistan.
In his keynote address during a national webinar on “Transformation: Imperatives for Indian Armed Forces” organised by the College of Defence Management (CDM), Secunderabad, Rawat said that India is facing complex security and a challenging environment. “Some important steps that we need to take, include—defining the national security strategy, higher defence strategic guidance, structural reforms in higher defence and operational organisations,” he said.
The CDS said that the 20th century has seen profound changes in the character and nature of warfare due to information inclusivity and technological development. “New tools and tactics can be employed to connect rapidly to an audience like never before. Information is indeed more democratised today. India needs to take adapt its defence strategies accordingly,” he said.
“Military power as an instrument of state policy needs to transform at various levels including ground strategic i.e. political-military, strategic operation and tactical level. Main dimensions of transformation are doctrine, post structure, technology, sustenance and readiness,” he added.
CDS Rawat asserted that the Indian military faces greater challenges than any other military in the world and hence need to study transformational concepts adopted in other countries carefully to cater to the spectrum of warfare. “Since independence, the Indian military has grown from a small force with limited warfare capabilities into a large and modern fighting machine. The organisational structure for conventional wars or limited conflicts under nuclear overrank already exists, but they need to be re-modelled, re-equipped and re-oriented to conduct joint battles in digitized battlespace to have necessary flexibility for other types of operations,” he said.
“We must prepare for threats for military primary arising from China and Pakistan. In the future, China will continue to assert itself seeking to establish dominance in states surrounding India and the Indian Ocean region,” he added.
The CDS suggested that India needs to work on maritime requirements including ensuring the protection of maritime interest, safeguarding assets, supporting Indian war efforts in conjunction with other forces.
“We must effectively also leverage the opportunity provided by our Island territories which enables us to extend our reach, orchestrate our defence strategy and also provide depth to the mainland,” he said.
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MUMBAI COUPLE FALSELY CONVICTED IN QATAR DRUG CASE RETURNS HOME
Mumbai-based couple Oniba and Sharique Qureshi, who was sentenced to 10 years in jail in a drug case in Qatar in 2019, returned to the city on Thursday with their minor daughter.
An NCB official said that the couple landed at the Mumbai airport at 2.30 am. The couple had been cleared of all charges after it came to light that a relative planted narcotics in their bag without their knowledge.
The couple was arrested at Hamad International Airport in July 2019 after Qatari authorities recovered 4.1 kg of hashish in their bag. It later came to light that Sharique’s aunt, Tabassum Qureshi, had used them to transport the drugs. The trip had been sponsored by her, the official said.
At that time, while Sharique was employed with a Japanese company, Oniba had just learnt that she was pregnant. She delivered a girl, Aayat, in jail last February. The couple’s family members approached the Indian Government, asking it to intervene in the matter.
Following this, the anti-drugs probe agency got in touch with Qatar authorities and the family challenged the lower court order convicting the couple. Eventually, the couple was cleared of all charges.
Ceremonies and marriages to be held during the day in Haryana
In wake of a spurt in the Covid pandemic, the state government has come up with a certain set of guidelines and new directions. The government had already imposed the night curfew on 12 April 2021 and in continuation to it, it has been decided night ceremonies, Navratra programmes and marriages will take place during the day. Chief Minister Manohar Lal directed all the Deputy Commissioners that night-time ceremonies and Navratra programmes should be shifted to the day. The government has also issued directions around gathering at public places. According to new norms to control the fatal Covid-19, from now on not more than 200 people can gather in outdoor functions and not more than 50 in indoor functions. Similarly, not more than 20 people will be able to attend funerals.
“We also have to keep in mind as to what is unavoidable and what can be avoided. This time the Covid-19 spread has started from educational institutions so there is a need to be more vigilant, especially there. We also need to reduce crowding in public gatherings etc.,” said the Chief Minister. Due to the increasing number of Covid cases in the country and the state, we have to take strict precautions, he added.
BOMBAY HIGH COURT CENSURES KRK FOR COMMENTING ON BHAGNANI’S BUSINESSES
The Bombay High Court has censured Kamaal Rashid Khan alias KRK for his controversial and defamatory tweets against producer Vashu Bhagnani, his family, business, profession and projects
KRK has been stopped by the High Court from putting out any further tweets against Bhagnani and all his business interests till the pendency of the Rs 1 crore defamation suit filed by the veteran producer for ‘defamatory’, ‘slanderous’, and ‘distasteful’ statements as well as ‘patently false allegations on KRK’s Twitter and YouTube accounts.
As per the court order, an injunction has been issued, pending the final disposal of the suit, that prohibits “the defendant from publishing, circulating or repeating the allegations and tweets and/or making, publishing, circulating and/or communicating to the public any defamatory/slanderous comments and/or statements against the plaintiff and/or his family and/or his business, profession and/or his projects.”
“Social media is a very powerful tool which on many occasions is misused to defame reputed persons. Courts have time and again deprecated such misuse. This is yet another occasion where the Bombay High Court has passed an order restraining KRK from making slanderous and defamatory remarks against Vashu Bhagnani, his family members, his business, and his projects. This is the third court order against Khan in succession,” said Ameet Naik, Founder and Managing Partner of Naik Naik & Company. After hearing the matter at length, the court observed that the tweets are not criticism given by a film critic which is contrary to the defence of KRK and are serious defamatory and slanderous remarks.
CAPT AMARINDER LAUNCHES KEY MSME REFORMS
Chandigarh: Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh launched a fresh wave of reforms to further reduce the regulatory burden on MSMEs through rationalisation, digitalisation and decriminalisation of the regulatory landscape, thus enabling entrepreneurs to focus on expanding their operations in a predictable business environment during this Covid-19 pandemic. The reforms on removing imprisonment terms, building flexibility and reducing oversight in the labour rules, and pursuing a data-driven assessment of service delivery delays are all centred around making entrepreneurship easier in Punjab, said the Chief Minister.
Terming it the beginning of the state’s transformation journey, he said with these reforms, commitments had been set for future changes including rationalising trade license with shops and establishments act and removing imprisonment terms from 100 low-risk provisions in non-labour related rules. Besides, the Chief Minister announced that the number of labour registers will be reduced, requiring an entrepreneur to maintain from 60 to less than 14, and flexibility enhanced in hiring women employees. Discretionary powers of inspectors are being removed with regard to deductions related to the absence or leave which will be deduced from labour registers going forward. These changes will be incorporated in the new State Rules.
Further, to ensure timely delivery of key licenses and permits, as prescribed under the Transparency Act 2018, Government has begun a monthly data-driven assessment mechanism under the Chief Secretary to make sure not a single license or permit is delayed beyond the stipulated period. Going forward, it is also proposed to reduce the number of Pre-commissioning licenses & NOCs to start a business by at least 20% and the possibility of doing this entirely online being explored. Also, changes will be made in Land Use for starting new business and mechanisms will be developed for timely and hassle-free water, electricity and sewage connections. “These reforms are the start of a journey, and we hope to make Punjab a lighthouse State for MSME growth support,” he said, adding, “We have listened to entrepreneurs on the ground and we will continue to reduce the compliance burden to start, operate, and grow a business.”
Punjab CM sets 2 lakh a day vaccine target for April
Even as he noted with satisfaction that the Covid numbers in the state appeared to have plateaued, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday ordered strict enforcement of Covid appropriate protocols to prevent any super spread events, along with an increase in daily vaccination doses to 2 lakh per day, and a special control room to be set up for effective in-person monitoring of home isolation cases.
Citing figures on mortality and positivity, the Chief Minister said that the restrictions currently in place are showing results, and the same needed to be implemented strictly, particularly in Mohali and other big cities showing high rates of transmission and cases.
He pointed out that the state’s positivity rate stands at 8.1%, even though positivity in the age group of less than 40 years had come down from 54% (September 2020) to 50% (March 2021). The curbs, coupled with strong efforts by all concerned, helped reduce the percentage of mortality in the age group below 60 years from 50% (September 2020) to 40% (March 2021), and should be strictly adhered to, he added. However, he reiterated his demand that the Centre should allow vaccination for under 45 in areas with more cases since the UK variant is infecting younger people more. He directed Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan to pursue the matter with the Central government while Dr KK Talwar stressed that patients of kidney and liver disease, who are under 45 years, should at least be allowed to be vaccinated.
The Chief Minister was chairing a virtual meeting with several ministers, senior administrative and police officials as well as medical/health experts to review the Covid and vaccine situation in the state.
Making it clear that there is no scope for complacency, he said the special control room with a dedicated team could utilise ANMs, ASHA workers, interns from medical colleges to move beyond just telephonic to more in-person monitoring. GMCHs should provide students to RRTs at District Level immediately, he further directed the Health Department.
RAJNATH SINGH CONGRATULATES IAF ON ITS RESPONSE TO CHINA IN EASTERN LADAKH
While addressing the biannual IAF Commanders’ Conference (AFCC-21) at Air Headquarters, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated Indian Air Force for its befitting response to the “sudden developments in Eastern Ladakh” and appreciated its focus on “reorienting for the future” on Thursday. He also advised the Commanders to draw up long-term plans and strategies for capability enhancement to counter future threats.
He expressed happiness that the conference coincides with the birth anniversary of the Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh, DFC. Speaking about the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Rajnath appreciated the role played by the IAF in assisting other government agencies in their task, as per an official statement from the defence ministry.
Referring to changing international geopolitics, he observed that the perceptible shift of focus from Trans-Atlantic to Trans-Pacific has become more obvious in the recent past. “Changing dimensions of war would now include advanced technologies, asymmetric capabilities and info-dominance, and IAF’s future preparations must include these aspects.”
The Defence Minister emphasised the need to promote ‘atmanirbharta’ in defence infrastructure, adding that the IAF’s order for LCA would result in a substantial boost to the domestic defence industry and will be a game-changer from the indigenisation perspective. With ANI inputs
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