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Mumbai varsity sets up Centre of Excellence in Maritime Studies

Ashish Singh

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University of Mumbai is setting up a one of its kind Centre of Excellence in Maritime Studies (CEMAS). The centre was inaugurated virtually by the hands of Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Governor of Maharashtra, earlier this week in the presence of Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh and Dr Shekhar Mande, Director General, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

Through this unique Centre, the University is embarking towards bolstering higher education and research in maritime studies. The Centre is expected to have an interdisciplinary focus, taking cognizance of the borderless realms of marine and maritime studies.

The syllabus developed will be dynamic and flexible with strong focus on applied elements. The mission of CEMAS is to provide quality education in subjects related to national maritime growth and development, observing an interdisciplinary approach across humanities, law, commerce & management, and science & technology, so as to empower students with the knowledge, critical thinking skills and focus required to address maritime challenges and harness the seas for furthering developmental goals, in an inclusive, integrated and holistic manner.

The Centre will navigate itself to achieve excellence in both, academics and research in the myriad of areas, which are under the umbrella of Maritime Studies. CEMAS is expected to provide a stimulating intellectual climate for academics and policymakers working on topics related to coasts and seas. It will synergise an ecosystem for higher education and research in Maritime Studies. It will draw expertise from these fields related to maritime and marine. Curriculum delivery will work on blended mode of Teaching and Learning, leveraging on the resource pools and expertise that are both, on site and off site for academics and research. This will help the centre to adapt to the very principles that are enshrined in the new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.The Centre is expected to attract both Indian and foreign students in this domain.

On this milestone event Vice Chancellor Prof Suhas Pednekar said, “The University has more than 700 km of shore line in its geographical jurisdiction, it was imperative to start a centre dedicated to maritime studies and research to create trained manpower and new knowledge in this domain that can meet the country’s maritime vision,”

Pro-Vice Chancellor Prof Ravindra Kulkarni said, “CEMAS will endeavour to focus on research related to open ocean. The centre will try to involve in the Deep Ocean Mission of the Ministry of Earth Sciences of India in collaboration with CSIR-NIO and other research organizations.”

Dr Anuradha Majumdar, Dean, Faculty of Science and Technology, In-charge Director, CEMAS, said, “University of Mumbai has identified Maritime Studies as one of its thrust areas. This would, in turn, develop and expand maritime consciousness and perspective, which is an essential component for the national growth and development.”

She further added that the centre has a panel of eminent and renowned advisors from Navy, Mercantile Shipping and Commerce, Maritime Strategy, Maritime Law, Maritime History,

Maritime and Marine Science and Technology etc to provide robust direction and pertinent mentoring. Further, stating that the programmes to be offered by the centre are expected to be initiated from the academic year 2021-22.

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Defence

MOU BETWEEN ARMY NORTHERN COMMAND AND IIT JAMMU TO DEVELOP TECHNOLOGIES

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A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Headquarters Northern Command represented by Lt Gen S. Harimohan Iyer, Chief of Staff, Headquarters Northern Command and Indian Institute of Technology, Jammu (IIT Jammu) represented by Prof Manoj Singh Gaur, Director, Indian Institute of Technology, Jammu.

The objective of this MoU is to leverage the academic and technological prowess of Indian Institute of Technology, Jammu and domain knowledge/ expertise of Northern Command, in development of defence technology solutions and taking up joint projects for innovative solutions to weapon systems and equipment related problems of Northern Command.

The scope of the cooperation will be Research and Development (R&D) activities related to Northern Command, leveraging IIT Jammu’s expertise and technical infrastructure, and mutual interest and benefits on Research and Development (R&D) projects to solve Army’s problems which require research and experimentation.

The cost with respect to development of the project will be borne by the respective organisations as mutually agreed upon in respect of each project.

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Defence

NCC conducts week-long combined annual training camp in Agartala

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A week-long Combined Annual Training Camp for NCC cadets of Tripura NCC units which commenced at Agartala on 28 February culminated on Sunday. About 115 Senior Division & Senior Wing Cadets from various institutions in Tripura participated in this camp.

Professor Satyadeo Poddar, Vice Chancellor, MBB University, Agartala, was the Chief Guest at the Camp Closing Ceremony who gave away Prizes to the participating Cadets. He complimented the NCC training staff for imparting excellent training to the Cadets. Sharing his personal experience as a former NCC Cadet, he exhorted the Cadets to be physically fit, mentally robust and imbibe the virtues of NCC training in letter and spirit. He emphasised upon the need to work selflessly and contribute individually as well collectively towards Nation building, keeping the Motto of NCC always as the guiding factor.  

The camp was conducted by 13 Tripura Bn NCC Agartala under the aegis of NCC Directorate, NER, Shillong and NCC Group HQ Silchar with the timely assistance of Education Department, Government of Tripura. It was the first camp to be organised post Covid-19 pandemic.  The closing event was preceded by a Swachhata Awareness Rally.

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Army holds sports events for J&K girls, on the eve of Women’s Day

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New Delhi: On the eve of the International Women’s Day, with an aim to empower, encourage and engage girls of the Jammu & Kashmir in a constructive way, Indian Army organised a badminton competition for girls at the indoor sports stadium, Reasi. The aim of organising the event was to celebrate international women’s day by promoting sporting spirit amongst the girls & provide them with a platform wherein they can showcase their abilities & fighting spirit. To reaffirm its commitment towards fostering peace, empowering girls and also to provide an impetus to the sporting talents in the region, the tournament which was organised on 7th March at Reasi saw huge crowds turning up to watch their daughters play.

The Badminton Tournament was a crowd puller and attracted huge audiences from the region. The event also saw wide scale participation by girls from the area. The event was conducted for three age categories; 8-12 years, 13-16 years, and 17 years & above. The girls competed very hard and a tough fight was clearly seen amongst the girls during the finals. It was heartening to see the girls of all age groups putting in their heart & soul, displaying high quality of sporting spirit & sporting abilities.

The locals lauded the efforts of Indian Army for organising such an event exclusively for the girls of the region as the people are now slowly and steadily coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic scare. Today the girls of J&K are more confident of facing the challenges in life & surmounting all difficulties. Such events organised by the Indian Army go a long way to prepare the youth of the UT to contribute positively towards nation building. The conduct of such events will go a long way in further strengthening the existing bond between the awam and the Army in the UT of J&K.

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Army Research & Referral Hospital commences nursing course

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New Delhi: B.Sc (H) nursing course for students of College of Nursing commenced with the lamp lighting ceremony at the Army Hospital (Research & Referral) in New Delhi. The ceremony witnessed 30 budding nursing cadets don the uniform to begin their professional journey.

Lt Gen Joy Chatterjee, Commandant, Army Hospital (R&R), was the Chief Guest of the ceremony. He gave away the prizes to the students of College of Nursing-N/Cdt Bhawna Subba and N/Cdt Reeshma of IV Year. N/Cdt Arshpreet Kaur and N/Cdt Mahak Kamboj of III Year, N/Cdt Biji MR & N/Cdt Indrakshi of II Year BSc (H) for securing first and second ranks respectively in their classes of BSc Nursing (H) final Delhi University examination. Lt Gen Joy Chatterjee stressed on the fact that the students need to stay abreast of the latest advances in healthcare and, at the same time, focus on soft skills and professional touch.

At the ceremony, the traditional lamp was lit and relayed from Maj Gen Sonali Ghosal, Additional Director General, Military Nursing Service (MNS) to Maj Gen Smita Devrani, Principal Matron to Col Rekha Bhattachaya, Principal, who in turn passed it to the teachers. The teachers, then, transferred the light to the first year nursing students, denoting the transfer of knowledge and wisdom from one generation to the next.

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Defence

SOFTWARE-DEFINED RADIO FOR ARMY UNDER AATMANIRBHAR BHARAT MISSION

To arm the soldiers with advantages offered by technology and equip them to fight a war in the Net-centric battle space, present radios are to be replaced soon by indigenously developed software-defined radio.

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Communication is vital and critical to all military operations. The Combat Net Radio (CNR) is the mainstay of communications for the Indian Army in the battlefield. The contemporary CNR equipment in the Indian Army supports voice communication only and has limited or no data transmission capability. To arm the soldiers with advantages offered by technology and equip them to fight a war in the Net–centric battle space, present radios are to be replaced soon by indigenously developed software-defined radio (SDR), which have enhanced data transmission capability, enhanced voice clarity and data transmission accuracy in spectrally noisy environments, support multiple waveforms, greater system security and better communication survivability in clear and secure mode to meet the operational requirements of the Indian Army.

Indian Army is in the process to revamp its communication systems by procuring V/UHF Manpack SDRs under Make-II category. After successful evaluation of vendor responses, Project Sanction Order (PSO) has now been issued to 18 Indian vendors to start prototype development. The contract will be placed with one of the firms post successful development of prototype as per provisions of Buy (Indian-IDDM) category of DAP 2020.

Development of V/UHF Manpack SDR under Make-II will be a game changer for Indian Army. It is in sync with the “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” policy of the Government which will lead to “Self Reliance” in advanced communication systems.

MOD AND BEL SIGN CONTRACT

Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Defence Public Sector Undertaking (DPSU) Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) have signed a contract for procurement of Software Defined Radio Tactical (SDR-Tac) worth over Rs 1,000 crore in New Delhi last month. The SDR-Tac, jointly designed and developed by Defence Electronics Applications Laboratory (DEAL) of Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) through a consortium of domestic agencies and industry, comprising Weapons and Electronics Systems Engineering Establishment (WESEE), BEL, Centre for Artificial Intelligence & Robotics (CAIR) and Indian Navy will bring strategic depth to the armed forces. The delivery will take place within three years. The BEL is already supplying SDR-Naval Combat (NC) and SDR-Air is under user evaluation trial. The DRDO and BEL are planning to provide latest SDR with security grading to the Armed Forces.

The SDR-Tac is a four Channel Multi-mode, Multi Band, 19’’ Rack mountable, ship borne Software Defined Radio system. It is intended to serve ship-to-ship, ship-to-shore and ship-to-air voice and data communication for network centric operations. It supports simultaneous operation of all the four channels covering V/UHF and L Band. This SDR system houses multiple types of waveforms for narrow band and wide band applications. The MANET waveforms are available in UHF and L-Band to support ad-hoc networking feature for net centric operations. User evaluation trials covering exhaustive harbour phase and sea phase trials were completed successfully during May to June 2018 at Visakhapatnam for all waveforms including V/UHF and L-Band MANET waveforms under different network configurations. Interoperability trials were also successfully carried out with all other form factors covering Airborne SDR-AR on board Dornier Aircraft, SDR-Tac on board INS Kirch in sailing mode, SDR- Man pack and SDR-Handheld. All the aspects were evaluated successfully by all user agencies of Navy and clearance was accorded for procurement.

The Armed forces are in need of transition from the single purpose radio of the past to more flexible Software Defined Radios (SDRs) to serve most of their wireless communication needs. These SDRs will be backward compatible with existing Indian radios. Different Service groups require different form factor radios for specific platforms and waveforms/applications. The SDRs allow use of common waveform/application implementation methods for different form factors. They also allow implementation of futuristic waveforms on the same hardware using software programmability, thus ensuring longer life and savings on cost. A key factor in SDRs is that software programmability allows easy changes of the radio’s fundamental characteristics such as modulation types, operating frequencies, bandwidths, multiple access schemes, source and channel coding/decoding methods, spreading/de-spreading techniques and encryption/decryption algorithms. Traditional hardware-centric radios require hardware changes to modify these fundamental characteristics. Multiple types of radio equipment can be replaced with multi-mode, multi band, multi-role SDR’s of suitable form factors.

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BRO restores connectivity to 13 border villages of Uttarakhand

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New Delhi: A 200-feet Bailey Bridge, built by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) in Reini Village on Joshimat-Malari road across the Rishiganga River was thrown open for public on 3 March. With this, BRO has restored connectivity, in a record time of 26 days, to the 13 border villages of Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district that were cut off due flash floods on 7 February earlier this year.

DG BRO Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhry lauded the efforts of the personnel of 21 Border Roads Task Force (BRTF) of Project Shivalik and the Chief Engineer Project, Shivalik and his team of Karma Yogis who worked round-the-clock to achieve this feat. He said that BRO has named that bridge as ‘The Bridge of Compassion’ as a tribute to the fallen karmayogis of Renie Power Plant & NTPC Power Plant. He thanked the state government for providing support and assistance to BRO in completing this difficult task.

On 7 February, the Glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) in Rishiganga River had washed away a 90-metre RCC Bridge near Reini Village on Joshimat-Malari road. The bridge was the only link to Niti Border in Chamoli district. The GLOF had also washed away a hydro-electric plant located at the same site. More than 200 workers of the hydro-electric plant were trapped.

The BRO swung into action by deploying 20 small teams consisting of 200 personnel of 21 BRTF under Project Shivalik in the affected area for relief and rehabilitation work. More than 100 vehicles/equipment and plants that included 15 Heavy Earth Moving equipment/machinery like Hydraulic Excavators, Dozers, JCBs and Wheel Loaders etc were pressed into service. BRO also inducted critical equipment with the help of Indian Air Force.

The task was very challenging due to the steep cliff on far bank and 25-30 metres debris/muck on the home bank and non-availability of working space on either side.

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