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UNSC REFORMS: ARE G4 COUNTRIES CHASING A MIRAGE?

More global pressure from middle powers like G4 may force an expansion of UNSC as a possibility, but abolition of veto power in current set up is unlikely. No P5 member is likely to compromise this power in its own national interest, thus making the reformation process difficult.

Maj Gen S.B. Asthana (Retd.)

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With India being part of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as non-permanent member from 1 January 2021, and UN 75 years of celebration (2020) hangover rolling over to next year, the debate on UNSC reforms continues, with no worthwhile progress, despite high pitch for reforms made by many countries including India. The fact that unilateral and multilateral interventions without UNSC sanction continue to happen, UN hesitancy and alleged delay to declare coronavirus as pandemic are seen as arm-twisting by Permanent Five (P5) member and UNSC passes resolution to grant stipend to a UN-designated global terrorist, diluting global response to biggest security challenge of the century, are some examples to justify poor credibility of UN/UNSC in absence of reforms.

It’s also a fact that there is no other alternative organisation to the UN, with as much recognition and membership of various countries, having large No of missions of various kinds to its credit, for various global roles, but it needs to be reformed to meet the aspirations of developing countries. Thomas G Weiss argues that If the United Nations did not exist, we would have to invent it. So why not to use our analytical toolkits to repair it?

REFORMS UNAVOIDABLE!

UNSC was composed by victors of the Second World War in 1945 to suit their interests and the UN Charter was designed accordingly, giving to themselves the Permanent membership and veto power in the Council. The geopolitical, strategic, economic realities have changed considerably since then, but the UNSC has not reformed itself to these global realities. With global economic and population fulcrum shifting to Indo-Pacific, inadequate Asian representation and no African and Latin American representation are pushing the UN to irrelevance, unless it reforms itself.

The need for UNSC reforms has been emphasised by most of the UN Secretary Generals during their tenures. Antonio Guterres expression “The Security Council we have now does not correspond to today’s world. I have encouraged member states to have a serious dialogue on this. I want to continue this dialogue at the UN General Assembly, but the permanent members do not agree” indicates the helplessness of the UN in dealing with P5 on the subject. Indian PM Modi in his address on the 75th Anniversary of UN had urged that “Reform in the responses, in the processes, and in the very character of the UN is the need of the hour”. Many other countries have expressed similar sentiments since the last three decades.

WHAT NEEDS TO BE REFORMED?

UNSC in current form is not representative of the developing world and global needs, with the primacy of policy being a political tool in hands of P5, is well recognised globally. By 1992, India, Brazil, Germany, and Japan (referred as G4) had put up their claims and logic for demanding inclusion as permanent members. India has been part of the UN since inception, has the world’s second-largest population and is the world’s largest democracy suited to represent South Asia, having contributed maximum peacekeepers to the UN so far. Brazil is the largest country in Latin America (unrepresented continent) and fifth largest in the world. Japan and Germany are one of the largest financial donors to the UN.

Besides G4 countries South Africa (largest economy in African Continent) is also a claimant, as the Continent remains unrepresented on a high table of permanent members. The pitch for reforms of G4 was lowered by their regional rivals like Italy, Pakistan, Mexico and Egypt, which started formulation of another interest group, known to be “Uniting for Consensus” opposing G4 becoming permanent members with a veto power. The efforts for expansion of UNSC and reforms were also made in the form of The General Assembly Task Force on Security Council Reform and 2005 Kofi Annan’s Plan to expand to 24 member UNSC, with various combinations for equitable representation, but none of the initiatives have worked so far.

Reform in UNSC requires an amendment to the UN charter, in accordance with Article 108, which highlights that any reform of the Security Council not only requires the support of at least two-thirds of UN member states, but also all the permanent members of the UN Security Council must also agree to that, as they have veto powers. The stance of P5 members to expansion has been varying as per their national interest, like most P5 members agree to Indian inclusion, except China.

VETO POWER: THE BONE OF CONTENTION

Reforms to improve effectiveness and responsiveness of UN to international security challenges are meaningless without the reform of the UNSC veto power with P5, which enables any one of them to prevent the adoption of any “substantive” draft Council resolution, regardless of its level of international support. There have been many proposals since inception from totally abolishing veto power to selectively using for vital national security issues and requiring agreement from multiple states before exercising the veto thereby following consensus principle. The roadblock is that Articles 108 and 109 of the United Nations Charter grant the P5 veto over any amendments to the Charter, requiring them to approve of any modifications to the UNSC veto power that they themselves hold. It thus becomes obvious that even if one member of P5 doesn’t agree to any reform, the UNSC cannot be reformed.

It has been seen in the past that UNSC in some of major global security issues, the UNSC could not arrive at a consensus and interventions happened by countries mainly from P5 without UNSC resolution. US entry in the Iraq war or Warsaw Pact war in Afghanistan are few cases in point. Holding veto power by any P5 member, therefore, doesn’t guarantee that a resolution howsoever important will get through in its favour, but it certainly guarantees that no resolution against its interest will go through in UNSC. It therefore gives a lucrative power which P5 members will not like to give up or share. The G4 members sometimes had agreed to compromise to become permanent members without veto power, but it means very little in terms of reforms.

Today the Permanent members (P5) countries in UNSC being a divided house, the veto power is the biggest obstacle in getting through any resolution, even for the global benefit, if it happens to be against national interest of any one of the P5 members or their allies/partners. UNSC has thus become an organisation, which can pass strong resolutions against weak countries, weak resolutions against strong countries and no resolution against P5 countries, and its implementation also follows the same power structure and politics. To address an extreme security crisis, breach of the peace or act of aggression, wherein the use of armed force is necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security, if the P5 fail to reach unanimity to discharge this primary responsibility, the UNGA can immediately consider to make appropriate recommendations (with two third majority) to members for collective measures, as per UNGA resolution 377 (Uniting for peace), but these provisions have sparingly been applied due to possible backlash from P5.

SUGGESTED MODEL

Besides the existing P5 members, an expansion of UNSC from five to 10 permanent members, with the addition of G4 and South Africa will provide equitable regional representation besides balancing developing and developed worlds to meet the aspirations of humanity. These ten countries account for nine out of ten largest economies and eight out of ten largest defence budgets. The rotational election of non-permanent members the numbers, which was increased from six to 10 in 1965, could continue on regional representational basis as hitherto fore. The expansion of P5 without veto power makes very little impact on the problems, because of which the reforms are required. Ideally the veto power should be abolished, but I don’t think P5 will like to part with their trump card, which makes them powerful in the UN.

WILL UNSC REFORMS EVER HAPPEN?

Under the given charter, articles and structures, there is very little hope for UNSC reforms in near future unless the lack of reforms can push the credibility crisis of UN to a degree that it becomes unsustainable for UN to function, or incidences of side-lining UN increase manifold. Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan (2015) has aptly said If the UN Security Council does not appoint new permanent members then its primacy may be challenged by some of the new emerging countries.

There is also a possibility that if the UN doesn’t reform itself, it may lose relevance and alternate global and regional groupings may assume greater importance with issue based consensus in like-minded groupings for unilateral/multilateral actions. More global pressure from middle powers like G4 may force an expansion of UNSC as a possibility, but abolition of veto power in current set up is unlikely, as it makes P5 powerful to an extent that the threat of using veto sometimes forces a change in drafting of resolution, even if it’s not in best interest of humanity. No P5 member is likely to compromise this power in its own national interest, which is generally prioritised before global interest, thus making the reformation process a mirage.

Maj Gen S.B. Asthana (Retd) is a strategic and security analyst, a veteran Infantry General with 40 years experience in national & international fields and UN. The views expressed are personal.

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Defence

DRDO SUCCESSFULLY CONDUCTS MAIDEN TEST LAUNCH OF AKASH-NG MISSILE

Ashish Singh

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DRDO conducted the successful maiden launch of Akash-NG (New Generation) Missile from Integrated Test Range off the coast of Odisha yesterday. Akash-NG is a new generation Surface to Air Missile meant for use by Indian Air Force with an aim of intercepting high manoeuvring low RCS aerial threats.

The missile intercepted the target with textbook precision. The launch met all the test objectives by performing high manoeuvres during the trajectory. The performance of the command-and-control system, onboard avionics and aerodynamic configuration of the missile was successfully validated during the trial.

During the test launch, the entire flight path of the missile was monitored and the flight data was captured by various Range instruments such as Radar, EOTS and Telemetry systems deployed by ITR, Chandipur. The Multi-Function Radar was tested for its capability of integration with the system.

The Akash-NG system has been developed with better deployability compared to other similar systems with canisterised launchers and much smaller ground system footprint. The test launch was carried out by a combined team of DRDO, BDL & BEL in the presence of the representatives of Indian Air Force.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated the scientists from DRDO, BEL and a team from Indian Air Force for this achievement. Secretary DD R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr G. Satheesh Reddy congratulated the team for the successful flight trial of Akash NG Missile.

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Defence

HOW INDIA’S REPUBLIC DAY PARADE WILL LOOK LIKE TODAY

Thirty-two tableaux—17 from states and Union Territories, nine from various ministries/departments and paramilitary forces, and six from the Ministry of Defence, depicting the nation’s rich cultural heritage, economic progress and defence prowess—will roll down the Rajpath.

Ashish Singh

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India’s military might, cultural diversity, social and economic progress will be on display today, during the 72nd Republic Day celebrations at the majestic Rajpath in New Delhi. Representing India’s strides in indigenous defence technologies, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) contingent this year consists of two tableaux depicting among others Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)—Navy—take off from INS Vikramaditya. Indian Army will display main battle tank T-90 Bhishma, Infantry Combat Vehicle Ballway Machine Pikate (BMP-II)—Sarath, Mobile Autonomous Launcher of the Brahmos Missile system, Pinaka Multi Launcher Rocket System and Samvijay Electronic Warfare System among others. Indian Navy in addition to tableaux murals depicting Pakistan Army surrendering, a Petya class ship and Operation X undertaken by divers of Indian Navy and Mukti Bahini and some other ships which took part in the 1971 India-Pakistan War. The Indian Air Force (IAF) will showcase among others Mi-17 V5, Chinook and Apache helicopters.

Thirty-two tableaux—17 from states and Union Territories, nine from various ministries/departments and paramilitary forces and six from the Ministry of Defence, depicting the nation’s rich cultural heritage, economic progress and defence prowess—will roll down the Rajpath. School children will perform folk arts and crafts displaying skills and dexterity handed down from generations; Bajasal, one of the most beautiful folk dances of Kalahandi, Odisha; Fit India Movement, Aatmanirbhar Bharat.

The 122-member proud contingent of the Bangladesh Armed Forces comprising soldiers of the Bangladesh Army, sailors of the Bangladesh Navy and Air Warriors of the Bangladesh Air Force will lead the contingent march on the Rajpath. The Bangladesh contingent will carry the legacy of legendary Muktijoddhas of Bangladesh, who fought against oppression and mass atrocities and liberated Bangladesh in 1971. The grand event will culminate with Rafale aircraft flying at a speed of 900 kilometre per hour carrying out a ‘Vertical Charlie’.

The Republic Day Parade ceremony will commence with Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting the National War Memorial. He will lead the nation in paying solemn tributes to the fallen heroes by laying a wreath. Thereafter, the Prime Minister and other dignitaries will head to the saluting dais at Rajpath to witness the parade. As per tradition, the National Flag will be unfurled followed by the National Anthem with a booming 21-gun salute. The parade will commence with President Ram Nath Kovind taking the salute. The parade will be commanded by Parade Commander, Lieutenant General Vijay Kumar Mishra, General Officer Commanding Delhi Area. Major General Alok Kacker, Chief of Staff, Delhi Area will be the Parade Second-in-Command.

The proud winners of the highest gallantry awards will follow. They include the winners of the Param Vir Chakra and the Ashok Chakra. Param Vir Chakra winners Subedar Major Yogendra Singh Yadav, 18 Grenadiers and Subedar Sanjay Kumar, 13 JAK Rifles and Ashok Chakra winner Lieutenant Colonel D Sreeram Kumar will follow the Deputy Parade Commander on Jeeps. The Param Vir Chakra is awarded for the most conspicuous act of bravery and self-sacrifice in the face of the enemy. The Ashok Chakra is awarded for similar acts of valour and self-sacrifice but, other than, in the face of the enemy.

The first domestic contingent in the uniform of the erstwhile Gwalior Lancers will be 61 Cavalry led by Captain Deepanshu Sheoran. The 61 Cavalry is the only active serving horse cavalry regiment in the world. It was raised on August 01, 1953 with the amalgamation of six state forces’ cavalry units. The Indian Army will be represented by a Mounted Column of 61 Cavalry, seven mechanised columns, six marching contingents and fly-past by Rudra and Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopters of the Army Aviation. Indigenously-developed Main Battle Tank of the Indian Army, T-90 Bhishma, Infantry Combat Vehicle (ICV) Ballway Machine Pikate (BMP II)-, Brahmos Weapon System, Pinaka Bridge Laying tanks T-72, Samvijay Electronic Warfare System and Schilka Weapon system will be the main attraction in the mechanised columns. The other marching contingents of the Army will include the Jat Regiment, the Garhwal Regiment, the Mahar Regiment, the Jammu & Kashmir Rifles Regiment, the Bengal Sappers and the Territorial Army. The Combined Band of the Mechanised Infantry Regimental Centre, Para Regimental Centre & JAT Regimental Centre; Sikh Regimental Centre, Assam Regimental Centre, Jammu & Kashmir Rifles Regimental Centre; Sikh Light Infantry Regimental Centre, Ladakh Scouts Regimental Centre and Artillery Centre (Nasik Road) will also march past the saluting dais.

The Naval contingent will consist of 96 sailors and 04 officers led by Lieutenant Commander Lalit Kumar as Contingent Commander. It will be followed by the Naval Tableau titled ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’. The fore part of the tableau showcases the Indian Navy’s attack on Karachi harbour on the night of 4-5 December 1971 by missile boats. On the sides of the tractor, the route taken by the attacking units will be depicted. The Air Force contingent, consisting of 96 airmen and four officers, will be led by Flight Lieutenant Tanik Sharma. It will be followed by the Air Force Tableau titled ‘Indian Air Force: Touch the Sky with Glory’. The Air Force tableau showcases scaled down models of Light Combat Aircraft, Light Combat Helicopter, Su-30 MK-I aircraft and Rohini radar against a sky-blue background. The smartly attired officers in their flying overalls will stand alongside the models.

One of the main highlights will be the marching contingent of DRDO that will showcase Anti-Tank Guided Missile systems, which play a crucial role in defeating armoured tanks. The operability of the missile from a tank is a key feature and challenging task in modern armoured warfare. The ATGMs Tableau of DRDO is showing full-scale models of Nag, HELINA, MPATGM, Sant and Laser Guided ATGM missiles. The Indian Coast Guard marching contingent will be led by Deputy Commandant Ashish Nagar. The motto of the ICG is ‘Vayam Rakshamah’ meaning ‘We Protect’. The Indian Coast Guard keeps our maritime frontiers safe and secure. The force comprises 155 surface units and 62 air assets. The contingents of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Delhi Police, Border Security Force (BSF) Camel Contingent and National Security Guard (NSG) popularly known as the Black Cat Commandos will also march past the saluting dais. The National Cadet Corps (NCC) Boys Marching contingent will be led by Commander Senior Under Officer Ranjeet Singh Gurjar of NCC Directorate Rajasthan, while the Girls contingent will be headed by Senior Under Officer Samruddhi Harshal Sant of NCC Directorate, Maharashtra. The National Service Scheme (NSS) contingent comprising 100 volunteers will also take part led by Shri Abhijit Bhuin from West Bengal Directorate. The Massed Pipes and Drums Band of the Indian Army will also be on display.

Seventeen tableaux from various states/Union Territories, namely, Gujarat, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Tripura, West Bengal, Sikkim, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, National Capital Territory of Delhi and Ladakh will be showcased during the parade, depicting the geographical and rich cultural diversity of the country.

These tableaux will be the ‘Vision’ for Ladakh to be Carbon neutral, the Sun Temple at Modhera in Mehsana district of Gujarat, ‘Tea-tribes’ of Assam, ‘Shore Temple’ and other monuments of Pallava dynasty in Tamil Nadu, ‘Bhakti Movement’ & Saints of Maharashtra, ‘Dev Bhoomi’—the Land of the Gods, Kedarnath, Splendorous Sounds of Chhattisgarh’s Folk Music, 400th Birth Anniversary of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji, promotion of eco-friendly tradition for achieving self-reliance (Aatmanirbhar) in Tripura, Sabooj Sathi—Wheels of Change in West Bengal, Pang Lhabsol Festival of Sikkim, Ayodhya: Cultural Heritage of Uttar Pradesh, Redevelopment of Shahjahanabad in Old Delhi, Vijayanagara—The city of Victory, Coir of Kerala, Lepakshi—Architectural Monolithic Marvels of Andhra Pradesh and East meets West theme of Arunachal Pradesh.

Nine tableaux from different ministries/departments and paramilitary forces will also be on display, showcasing Digital Bharat, Aatmanirbhar Bharat, Four Labour Codes that depict the guiding philosophy of ‘Mehnat ek Samaan, Adhikar ek Samaan’, One Nation, One Sign Language, Ojo Bharat, Tejo Bharat: Immune India, Active India, CRPF: A Professional Ops Force with Humane Sensitivity, Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan: COVID, Samudra Prahri Indian Coast Guard, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s New India: ‘Vocal for Local’, Border Roads Organisation: Connecting Places, Connecting People, ‘Amar Jawan’ and Heralding 75th Year of Indian Independence.

This year’s children’s pageant will consist of around 400 participants. The colourful cultural show will be performed by Delhi Tamil Association Schools depicting Tamil Nadu Folk Dance, Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Yamuna Vihar, Delhi staging Hum Fit Toh India Fit, Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre, Kolkata showcasing Bajasal – one of the most beautiful folk dances of Kalahandi, Odisha and Mount Abu Public School & Vidya Bharti School, Rohini, Delhi presenting Aatmanirbhar Bharat—the Vision for a Self-reliant India.

The grand finale and the most keenly awaited segment of the parade, the Fly Past, will consist of the Rudra Formation comprising a Dakota aircraft flanked by two Mi-17 IV helicopters flying in ‘Vic’ formation, followed by the Sudarshan formation consisting of one Chinook and two Mi-17 IV Helicopters in ‘Vic’ formation. Rakshak attack helicopter formation consisting of one Mi-35 helicopter and four Apache helicopters in ‘Vic’ formation will come next. Bhim formation consisting of three C-130J aircraft in ‘Vic’ formation will then rule the sky. Behind Bhim’s formation will be Netra, the ‘Eye in the Sky’. It is an indigenous Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft with state of art Early Warning radar and a host of advanced Electronic Warfare equipment, all indigenously designed and developed by DRDO. It will be followed by Garuda formation consisting of one C-17 Globemaster with two MiG-29s & two Su-30 MKI aircraft in ‘Vic’ formation. The C-17 is a heavy lift; long range strategic airlift aircraft. Induction of C-17 aircraft has changed the dynamics of strategic mobility and reach of the Air Force.

The next formation will be one of the awaited attractions of the event, one Rafale with two Jaguar Deep penetration strike aircraft and two MiG-29 Air Superiority Fighters in ‘Vic’ formation at the height of 300 metre and a speed of 780 kilometre per hour. It will be followed by the Trinetra formation comprising three Su-30MKIs and the penultimate formation will be Vijay comprising three Advance Light Helicopters which are part of the acclaimed Sarang Display Team of the IAF. The penultimate culmination of the parade will be a single Rafale aircraft flying at a speed of 900 kilometre per hour carrying out a ‘Vertical Charlie’. The aircraft will be piloted by Group Captain Harkirat Singh, Shaurya Chakra, Commanding Officer of 17 Squadron with Squadron Leader Kislaykant. The craft will go up vertically carrying out a series of rolls and giving a befitting salute to the motto of the Indian Air Force ‘Nabha Sparshan Deeptam’. The ceremony will culminate with the national anthem and the release of Tri-colour balloons.

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Defence

IN A FIRST, BANGLADESH ARMED FORCES WILL PARTICIPATE IN INDIA’S REPUBLIC DAY APARDE

Ashish Singh

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For the first time ever, a 122-member strong contingent of the Bangladesh Armed Forces will participate at the historic Republic Day celebrations. both countries fifty years of the establishment of diplomatic ties, imbues the  participation of such a huge contingent from a friendly neighbour in the RD celebrations, with special significance.

The contingent will be  led by contingent commander Lt Col Abu Mohammed Shahnoor Shawon and his deputies Lieutenant Farhan Ishraq and Flight Lieutenant Sibat Rahman. The contingent comprises of soldiers of the Bangladesh Army, sailors of the Bangladesh Navy and air warriors of the Bangladesh Air Force.

The majority of the soldiers in this contingent hail from the most distinguished units of the Bangladesh Army comprising of 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10 & 11 East Bengal Regiment and 1, 2 and 3 Field Artillery Regiment. These units have the distinct honour of fighting and winning the 1971 Liberation War.

This Bangladesh contingent carries with them the legacy of legendary Muktijoddhas of Bangladesh, their fore-fathers who fought against oppression, mass atrocities by tyrannical forces and for the freedom of Bangladesh. The participation of the contingent also has members of the Bangladesh Navy and Air force who had contributed to the liberation of Bangladesh. 

Operation Jackpot and Kilo flight of the Bangladesh Navy and Air-force respectively  was demonstration of   their resolve, courage and determination to fight against oppression.

The valiant Mukti Bahini and the Indian forces fought side by side against the enemy and secured victory. The blood of Mukti Bahini and Indian soldiers mingled with the soil and water of Bangladesh. This is a bond like no other; it is unparalleled in the annals of history. Our history is resplendent with stories of courage and eternal scarifies of the Muktijoddhas and the Indian soldiers for a noble and just cause. Bangladesh Armed Forces is considered a  disciplined and professional force. Growing numbers of women are joining the forces to serve the country, and like India armed forces, the Bangladesh armed forces has also contributed to the UN peace keeping operations across the world.

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Defence

Commissioning Ceremony at Army Hospital Nursing College

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A commissioning ceremony of the 3rd batch of B.Sc (H) Nursing, College of Nursing, was held at Ayurvigyan Auditorium, Army Hospital (R&R), in Delhi Cantonment. During the ceremony, 29 young nursing cadets were commissioned as Lieutenants into Military Nursing Service and would be posted to various Armed Forces Hospitals. Commandant, AH (R&R) Lt Gen Joy Chatterjee was the chief guest for the ceremony.

The chief guest, in his address congratulated the newly commissioned Nursing Officers and their parents, though they were not present due to pandemic. He urged the newly commissioned nursing officers to nurture the ethics of MNS and uplift the tradition of service. He advised the young lieutenants to keep abreast with the latest developments in the field of medicine and nursing as well as to provide care with compassion and dedication to the patients under their care. The General Officer emphasised the role of frontline Covid warriors during this difficult time faced by the country.

Addl Director General of Military Nursing Service Maj Gen Sonali Ghosal, administered oath to the newly Commissioned Nursing Officers. Principal Matron, Army hospital (R&R) Maj Gen Smita Devrani, welcomed the dignitaries. Principal College of Nursing Col Rekha Bhattacharya, presented the batch report. Lt Anju Yadav was awarded silver medal for securing first in merit and Lt Spriha Jana received silver medal for securing second position in Delhi University final Examination. Lt Shabnam Chandel was adjudged the best student clinical nurse. Lt Shalu Sharma was the best all-rounder of the batch (2016-2020).

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Indian and French Air Forces conclude Ex Desert Knight 2021

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The Indian Air Force and French Air and Space Force participated in Ex Desert Knight 2021 at Air Force Station Jodhpur. A first of its kind bilateral exercise (Ex DK-21), Rafale aircraft from both sides along with Su-30 MKI and Mirage 2000 aircraft of the IAF undertook complex missions including Large Force Engagements. Combat enablers included AWACS, AEW&C aircraft of the IAF as well as A400M and A330 based MRTT (Medium Range Tanker and Transport) aircraft of the FASF. Both Air Forces exercised in realistic settings with an aim to enhance operational capabilities and interoperability. The exercise provided an opportunity to share best practices and evolve operational concepts; particularly for effective combat employment of the Rafale fleet.

Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat visited Air Force Station Jodhpur on 21st January and interacted with participating forces. He also flew on-board the MRTT along with Maj Gen Laurent Lherbette, the FASF contingent leader where he was given an overview on conduct of the exercise and witnessed air-to-air refuelling operations by IAF & FASF fighters. On 23rd January, Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria visited Air Force Station Jodhpur along with the Ambassador of France to India, Mr. Emmanuel Lenain. The visitors were received by Air Marshal SK Ghotia AOC-in-C SWAC. CAS interacted with members of IAF and FASF contingents. He expressed his appreciation on the complexity of operations conducted and interoperability achieved by participants within a short span of 4 days. He also commended the planning, operational and maintenance staff from both sides for smooth and safe conduct of the exercise. CAS wished the FASF contingent the very best for the next phase of their Skyros deployment.

The exercise marks an important milestone in the series of engagements between the two Air forces. As part of Indo-French defence cooperation, Indian Air Force and French Air and Space Force have held six editions of Air Exercises named ‘Garuda’, the latest being in 2019 at Air Force Base Mont-de-Marsan, France. As measures to further the existing cooperation, the two forces have been gainfully utilising available opportunities to conduct ‘hop-exercises’. The French Air and Space Force deployment while ferrying to Australia for Ex Pitchblack in 2018 was hosted by IAF at Air Force Stations Agra and Gwalior for exercise with fighters and MRTT aircraft. Presently, the French detachment for Ex Desert Knight-21 is deployed in Asia as part of their ‘Skyros Deployment’ and will ferry in forces to Air Force Station Jodhpur. The exercise is unique as it includes fielding of Rafale aircraft by both sides and is indicative of the growing interaction between the two premier Air Forces. As the two detachments commence their air exchange from 20 Jan onwards, they will put into practice operational experience gained across terrains and spectrums and endeavour to exchange ideas and best practices to enhance interoperability.

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Defence

DRDO TO SHOWCASE LCA NAVY AND ANTI-TANK GUIDED MISSILES ON 26 JAN

‘Showcasing the major achievements of the year are LCA Navy take-off and landing onboard the aircraft carrier and the complete family of Anti-Tank Guided Missiles,’ reads an MoD statement.

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DRDO has been showcasing advanced defence technology products for tri services at Rajpath on Republic Day every year. Delivering on its mandate of development of state-of-the-art defence systems, DRDO once again has brought two important tableaux to the prestigious Republic Day parade 2021. Showcasing the major achievements of the year, are LCA Navy take-off and landing onboard the aircraft carrier and the complete family of Anti-Tank Guided Missiles.

Light Combat Aircraft Tejas has achieved a major technology capability milestone by landing and taking off from the Aircraft Carrier of IN. The LCA Navy tableau celebrates the successful demonstration of carrier operations of LCA Navy from INS Vikramaditya on sea. The tableau of LCA Navy shows landing, takeoff and lift operation, three most important operations required to be met by an aircraft onboard a carrier ship. LCA Navy successfully demonstrated landing on a 90 metres runway and take-off from short run of 145 meters in 2020. LCA Navy is India’s first 4+ Generation STOBAR (Ski-Jump Take Off But Arrested Recovery) fighter aircraft capable of operating from an aircraft carrier.

Cdr Abhishek C Gawande of Indian Navy is the commander of the tableau. Symbolizing India’s strides in anti-tank missile technologies will be the tableau showcasing the full complement of DRDOs Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) Systems. This tableau showcases NAG, HELINA, MPATGM, SANT and Laser Guided ATGM for MBT Arjun. The ATGM tableau will be represented by Shri Shiladitya Bhowmick Scientist ’D’, a young scientist of DRDL, Hyderabad. NAG is a 3rd generation fire and forget missile developed for mechanized formations to engage heavily fortified enemy tanks. HELINA, the Helicopter launched anti tank missile is a 3rd generation fire and forget missile with a range of 7 km designed and developed for integration on weaponised version of Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH). MPATGM is a Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile with a range of 2.5 km with Fire and Forget and Top Attack capabilities for infantry use. SANT is a smart Stand-off Anti-Tank Missile being developed for launch from Mi-35 Helicopter for Air Force anti tank operations. ATGM for MBT Arjun is a laser guided PGM (Precision Guided Munition) which is launched from the 120 mm rifled gun of Arjun tank to engage and defeat Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA) protected armoured targets.

LCA Tejas model is also part of IAF Tableau and adorning the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Tableau representing the theme of Vocal for Local. Other DRDO products on Rajpath this year are Akash Surface to Air Missile and Astra Air to Air Missile on IAF Tableau. DRDO has been a design and development agency for the armed forces and to reinforce the spirit of Aatmanirbhar Bharat, DRDO is partnering with all stakeholders of defence ecosystem, including academia, industry and services in developing state of the art defence systems.

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