Sunday, February 27, 2011

Indian defence deals worth $42 billion up for grabs

New Delhi: India is in the process of signing defence deals worth nearly $42 billion, including a $10.4-billion deal for 126 multi-role combat aircraft, making it one of the most attractive markets for both global and domestic arms industry, an industry study has concluded.

The joint study by industry body Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and audit firm KPMG has also assessed that India has already signed defence deals worth nearly $25 billion in the last four years.

"Our research indicates that deals worth $24.66 billion have been signed by the Indian defence ministry with global integrators in the past 48 months and another $41.99 billion worth of deals are in the process of getting signed," the study said.

The army, the navy and the air force are evenly poised as far as future procurement is concerned. While the army and the air force will buy over $14 billion worth of platform, weapons and systems, the navy is expected to sign deals worth $13 billion. All of these acquisitions are in progress at present.

Since 2007 the air force has acquired defence products worth $17.46 billion, the navy $6.16 billion, the army $420 million and the Coast Guard $616 million, the study has assessed.

Under an assessment on the civil and military aerospace sector, India is poised to witness a growth worth $150 billion by 2030, according to Defence Production Secretary Raj Kumar Singh.

The defence ministry is also expected to spend about $100 billion in the next decade on acquisitions for its 1.3-million-strong armed forces that are currently going through a major modernisation programme.

Among the pending procurements are the 126 multi-role combat aircraft for $10.4-billion, 10 C-17 heavylift transport planes for an estimated $5.8 billion, 15 heavy-lift helicopters, 22 attack helicopters, and 197 light utility helicopters.

"It would be fair to establish that the Indian aerospace and defence industry today is an interplay of modernisation, reforms and technology, with each aspect becoming instrumental in driving the growth and stability that every stakeholder aspires to achieve," the CII-KPMG study said. Source: IANS
Indian defence deals worth $42 billion up for grabs

Comments 27 February 2011 17:57:07
  • It would be a mouth-watering deal for the politicians and bureaucrats. Although AK Antony is basically a straight forward person, others will take over particularly the high command where the PM himself had admitted about his incapablity. Whatever MIG 21s bought earlier had crashed and nothing is available- what is destroyed in the war is little, but the rest had crashed during training. Every country who is selling arms, would dump their junk in India with kick backs. This is the reality.
  • People from HAL, BEL etc and defence forces are just waiting to make some money- some in the form of kickbacks (like Bofors, NALCO type),some in the form of foreign trips (only incompetents and people close to management).
  • Tips for Smart Surfing

    By Shweta Verma, India Syndicate, 01/02/2011
    The Internet has created an information revolution of sorts - keeping us updated with the latest news and happenings, providing access to useful information on any subject, supporting research or just helping us stay in touch with people. All that and more just at the click of a button. However, easy access to information has also created certain risks that we need to be aware of. So as we enjoy the benefits of browsing on the Net, let's be a little more careful in our approach. Here are some tips you can use for a smart surfing experience:
  • Don't give out too much information: Keep your private information private. Don't give too many details on sites asking you to fill up registration forms or emails phishing for confidential data. Information like your home address, phone number, details of family members, passwords or credit card numbers are a strict 'no-no'.
  • Check accuracy and validity of data: While the Internet presents an infinite library of knowledge, it is important to check the accuracy and validity of information that you use. A good idea would be to take information only from credible sources and websites of well-known companies.
  • Don't click on dubious links: Avoid clicking any site or links that raise any doubts. Even if you don't fill in all your details, these links have a way of connecting your computers with hackers or viruses that can pose serious dangers.
  • Delete unknown mails and attachments: If you don't recognize the sender or file that has to be downloaded, don't even take the trouble of opening it. The best is to just delete them without clicking on any links.
    Create your own knowledge repository: As you surf the Internet on a regular basis, you will be able to identify the sites that provide good information on every subject. So, go ahead and create your own repository of reliable sites that you can visit if you need info on a particular topic.
  • Don't get too involved in virtual relationships: While you may enjoy going to chat rooms and talking to people, it is best not to get emotionally involved. Offering personal details or meeting such people face-to-face has more risks than you can think of. Try to use different screen names while chatting so that you can easily exit if the situation gets uncomfortable.
  • Keep your systems secure: Invest in protective software and remember to keep it regularly updated. Even security features offered by browsers like the latest version of Internet Explorer (IE9) can help protect you against harmful viruses and spyware.
    With just a bit of caution and sense, you can unleash the tremendous power of the Internet. You can even create your own list of Do's and Don'ts to get maximum benefits from the Net. So, are you ready with 'your' list for smart surfing?
    Source: India Syndicate
    Tips for Smart Surfing
  • Saturday, February 26, 2011

    Futuristic rifle that fires radio-controlled 'smart' bullets

    No hiding place from new U.S. Army rifles that use radio-controlled smart bullets: By Daily Mail Reporter 4:09 PM on 30th November 2010
    Weapon hailed as a game-changer that can fire up and over barriers and down into trenches, Soldiers will start using them in Afghanistan later this month

    The U.S. army is to begin using a futuristic rifle that fires radio-controlled 'smart' bullets in Afghanistan for the first time, it has emerged.
    The XM25 rifle uses bullets that are programmed to explode when they have travelled a set distance, allowing enemies to be targeted no matter where they are hiding.
    The rifle also has a range of 2,300 feet making it possible to hit targets which are well out of the reach of conventional rifles.
    The XM25 is being developed specially for the U.S. army and will be deployed with troops from later this month, it was revealed today
    The XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement System has a range of roughly 2,300 feet - and is to be deployed in Afghanistan this month
    The rifle's gunsight uses a laser rangefinder to determine the exact distance to the obstruction, after which the soldier can add or subtract up to 3 metres from that distance to enable the bullets to clear the barrier and explode above or beside the target.
    Soldiers will be able to use them to target snipers hidden in trenches rather than calling in air strikes.
    The 25-millimetre round contains a chip that receives a radio signal from the gunsight as to the precise distance to the target.
    Lt. Col. Christopher Lehner, project manager for the system, described the weapon as a ‘game-changer’ that other nations will try and copy.
    He expects the Army to buy 12,500 of the XM25 rifles this year, enough for every member of the infantry and special forces.
    Lehner told FoxNews: ‘With this weapon system, we take away cover from [enemy targets] forever.
    ‘Tactics are going to have to be rewritten. The only thing we can see [enemies] being able to do is run away.’
    Experts say the rifle means that enemy troops will no longer be safe if they take cover
    The XM25 appears the perfect weapon for street-to-street fighting that troops in Afghanistan have to engage in, with enemy fighters hiding behind walls and only breaking cover to fire occasionally.
    The weapon's laser finder would work out how far away the enemy was and then the U.S. soldier would add one metre using a button near the trigger. When fired, the explosive round would carry exactly one metre past the wall and explode with the force of a hand grenade above the Taliban fighter.
    The army's project manager for new weapons, Douglas Tamilio, said: ''This is the first leap-ahead technology for troops that we've been able to develop and deploy.'
    A patent granted to the bullet's maker, Alliant Techsystems, reveals that the chip can calculate how far it has travelled.
    Mr Tamilio said: 'You could shoot a Javelin missile, and it would cost £43,000. These rounds will end up costing £15.50 apiece. They're relatively cheap.
    Lehner added: ‘This is a game-changer. The enemy has learned to get cover, for hundreds if not thousands of years.
    ‘Well, they can't do that anymore. We're taking that cover from them and there's only two outcomes: We're going to get you behind that cover or force you to flee.’
    The rifle will initially use high-explosive rounds, but its makers say that it might later use versions with smaller explosive charges that aim to stun rather than kill.

    One of the revolutionary bullets which can be pre-programmed to explode to hit troops that are hiding
    Read more: click here

    Invitation to Seminars

    My dear Chander,
    I enclose an invitation and synopsis of talk at USI for circulation thru' Report my Signals as you deem fit. Best wishes and warm regards to both of you.

    A Talk by Maj Gen YASHWANT DEVA, AVSM (Retd) at USI on 16 March 1011
    This talk is a continuation or a stride forward of the last talk at the USI, “Antenna as a Weapon: A Peep into Geophysical Warfare”, which was well received. The prevalent electromagnetic (EM) theory is called vector or transverse, based on Maxwell equations, which formed the focal point of the last talk. However, there are vistas upfront, perhaps as yet hypothetical and researched, or perhaps real, with at least four powers, US, Russia, Israel and Japan having achieved break-through and weaponised. This is called Scalar or longitudinal EM, which purvey. inexhaustible energy sourced from the vacuum. The terms Scalar Warfare and Scalar WMD are the anti-technology fall-outs. The on-line click-status of the former is indeed astounding; vis. 66,700 results in 13 seconds on Google.

    The talk describes the four fundamental forces, concept of unified field, black hole, antimatter, black energy and difference between vector and Scalar EM, generally delves into theories expounded by Tesla and Bearden on alternate source of infinite and cheap energy, and scalar weapons of mass destruction,. It gives a broad run-down on patents, covert research and conspiracy theories associated with scalar weaponry and what other countries are up to.

    It suggests creation of R&D laboratories, pursuance of effective TECHINT, and theoretical study of the subject in training establishments. The subject is of interest to decision makers in the Government and, both, technical and non-technical hierarchy of the three defence services. The views of veterans, who pursue knowledge, will be of great help during interaction with participants.

    Subject: India & China's Geopolitics : Talk by Dr C Raja Mohan, Strategic Affairs Editor, Indian Express
    Feb 23, 2011
    Dear Chander,
    Through your good offices and distribution list, I would like to extend an invitation for a talk “India & China’s Geopolitics” by Dr C Raja Mohan, Strategic Affairs Analyst/Indian Express at 11 AM, Saturday 26 Mar 2011 at the Defence Colony Club (New Delhi).
    The moderator is Maj-Gen (Retd) PJS Sandhu, Dy Dir & Editor/USI.
    The invitation and resumes of Dr Mohan and Gen Sandhu are attached.
    Jabir Singh

    Dr C Raja Mohan holds a Master’s degree in Nuclear Physics and a PhD in International Relations.
    Dr Mohan is a reknowned Indian academic, teacher, author, journalist, India’s foreign policy and international security affairs analyst and an advocate of India’s strategic alignment. He has been a Professor at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and Professor of Centre for South, Central, Southeast Asian and Southwest Pacific Studies, School of International Studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, a Jennings Randolph Peace Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, DC during 1992-93 and Henry Alfred Kissinger Scholar in the John W Kluge Centre at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC during 2009-10.
    Dr Mohan was Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis, New Delhi (1983-92), Diplomatic Editor and Washington Correspondent of The Hindu and a member of India's National Security Advisory Board during 1998-2000 and 2004-06.
    He has been writing regular features and columns for the Indian Express.
    Dr Mohan has published widely on international security issues. His recent books include Crossing the Rubicon: The Shaping of India's Foreign Policy (New York : Palgrave, 2004) and Impossible Allies: Nuclear India, United States and the Global Order (New Delhi : India Research Press, 2006).
    Dr Mohan is a respected and much sought after speaker on International Affairs and Strategies.
    He is currently Strategic Affairs Editor of the Indian Express, New Delhi.
    Maj-Gen (Retd) PJS Sandhu
    Major General (Retd) PJS Sandhu is an alumnus of the Defence Service Staff College, Wellington (India), the National Defence College, New Delhi and the Vystral Academy in erstwhile USSR.
    Gen Sandhu retired after 37 years’ service as the Chief of Staff of a Strike Corps (strategic reserve). During his service, he has commanded an armoured regiment, an independent armoured brigade and an armoured division. He participated in the 1971 Indo-Pak war and served as deputy commander of an infantry brigade in high altitude on the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. He has also served as Deputy Director General of Military Operations, Army HQ, where he dealt with strategic issues.
    His areas of specialization include Strategic Issues, International Relations and Military History. He is a prolific writer and speaker and participates in seminars with particular interest in the geopolitics affecting India. He was invited to Beijing in Oct 2008 to participate in an International Seminar on Globalisation and International Security Cooperation.
    Presently, Gen Sandhu is the Deputy Director and Editor of the United Service Institution (USI).

    Friday, February 25, 2011

    India needs tools for cyber warfare

    Headlines Today Bureau | New Delhi, April 6, 2010 | Updated 18:32 IST
    There is nothing to stop China, unless India develops its own tools for cyber warfare, National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO), the agency principally involved with investigating the depth of the damage caused by Chinese hackers, has warned.
    New Delhi and Beijing might be talking peace, but there is a full-blown war being fought in the cyberspace. Headlines Today takes an accurate look at precisely how Chinese hackers targeted Indian computers with their deadly digital arsenal.
    China has a staggering $55 million annual budget pumped into the devious science of strategic hacking and India is clearly its undisputed biggest enemy. As the Toronto University's Munk Centre for International Studies report has demonstrated, nothing is sacred to Chinese hackers.
    From Indian live fire exercise reports, to admission forms to the National Defence Academy (NDA), from classified army brigade correspondence to assessments of Maoist strength, everything is fair game.
    Chinese hackers are known to function as a covert arm of the Chinese navy. And like Pakistani jihadis, the Chinese government can always plausibly deny their existence.
    Hacking is institutionalised in China. Virus-writing is taught in Chinese military schools. The art of hacking is very much a part of training imparted to a growing army of about 10,000 cyber soldiers.
    The Red Hackers Alliance, the fifth largest hacker group in the world, is known to render services directly to the Chinese government. With the Alliance at its disposal, Beijing stays on the cutting edge of hacking techniques.
    The Chinese hacking force uses malware, spyware, key loggers, trojans, bots and malicious code generators to break into Indian computers, copy documents, ex-filtrate sensitive material and bug classified correspondence. Without a dedicated Indian cyber-security organisation, this country will remain a sitting duck.
    India needs tools for cyber warfare
    Related reading
    Cyber war: Army says its systems are hack-proof- TNN, Mar 31, 2009, 12.00am IST

    Saturday, February 12, 2011

    Asia's New Arms Race

    As China grows wealthier and builds up its military, other nations in the region are taking note—and amassing weapons of their own.
    By AMOL SHARMA in New Delhi, JEREMY PAGE in Beijing, JAMES HOOKWAY in Hanoi and RACHEL PANNETT in Canberra
    At Mazagon Dock near the southern tip of Mumbai, hidden behind high concrete walls, hundreds of Indian workers are putting the finishing touches on the hulls of two 217-foot Scorpène-class attack submarines, the first of six slated to be built over the next few years.
    The New Arms Race
    "It goes without saying that India must be seriously concerned with the rise of China's strategic power, including its military and economic power," says Ashwani Kumar, member of parliament from India's ruling Congress party. "India has consistently opposed an arms race—but India will not be found wanting in taking all measures necessary for the effective safeguarding of its territorial integrity and national interests."
    From the Arabian Sea to the Pacific Ocean, countries fearful of China's growing economic and military might—and worried that the U.S. will be less likely to intervene in the region—are hurtling into a new arms race.
    In December, Japan overhauled its defense guidelines, laying plans to purchase five submarines, three destroyers, 12 fighters jets, 10 patrol planes and 39 helicopters. South Korea and Vietnam are adding subs. Arms imports are on the rise in Malaysia. The tiny city-state of Singapore, which plans to add two subs, is now among the world's top 10 arms importers. Australia plans to spend as much as $279 billion over the next 20 years on new subs, destroyers and fighter planes.
    Together, these efforts amount to a simultaneous buildup of advanced weaponry in the Asia-Pacific region on a scale and at a speed not seen since the Cold War arms race between America and the Soviet Union.
    The buildup is unfolding as the world's military balance appears to be shifting in tandem with its economic balance. China is beginning to build a military to match its powerful economy. This is happening as the U.S. and its staunchest allies, including Britain, are looking at flat or falling military spending—and as Russia is struggling to revive its armed forces in the post-Soviet era.
    China is still far from challenging the U.S. for global military supremacy. But its recent actions have countries in the region planning for a much different future.
    In Australia, a report published Monday by an influential defense think tank concludes that the China threat has sparked an "urgent need to refocus" military development "to offset and deter the rapidly expanding People's Liberation Army." The report by the Kokoda Foundation, prepared with input from senior defense officials, says Australia "cannot overlook the way that the scale, pattern and speed of the PLA's development is altering security in the Western Pacific."
    Read more- click here

    Tuesday, February 8, 2011

    INS Vindhyagiri Sinks - What V Should Be Doing

    A forthright & hard hitting article!
    URGENT INTROSPECTION By Maj Gen S.G.Vombatkere, VSM (Retd)
    Today, January 31, 2011, a frigate, INS Vindhyagiri sank. It was not in battle nor was it a terrorist attack. It was anchored at the naval jetty in Mumbai. True, it was involved in an accident with a merchant vessel yesterday, and there was a fire on board when it sank. Mercifully there were no personnel casualties, but the casualty of morale is still to be estimated. There will doubtless be an inquiry and the reasons for the accident and for its subsequent sinking will be determined. But it is also doubtless that some personnel at some level will blamed and punished for the accident and for the subsequent events that ended in the warship sinking, while there will be no institutional blame assigned.

    The sad part is that such things happen in all the three Services. Just for example, the army has had several fires in ammunition depots and the air force has lost many aircraft. Such failures, accidents, untoward incidents and huge losses invariably result in lowering of morale in general. There is no attempt here to suggest that any one Service has more or worse losses or is better than another sister Service; all are in similar circumstances as far as institutional efficiency and accountability are concerned, and the lack of institutional capacity to learn the true lessons from failures and implement them so as to minimize failures.

    Command and control
    Particularly when officers are seen as the cause(s) of failures, the morale of junior officers and of the rank and file is adversely affected. This is especially true when the personal integrity of the officer is in question and the damage is proportional to the seniority of the officer(s) concerned. Here, the word 'integrity' is used in its broadest sense and not concerning just money and material, but includes professional integrity.
    Every soldier is watched continuously or at least continually by his subordinates. By this, I do not intend to convey that he is being watched only for his faults, mistakes and failures, though that certainly happens, especially by disgruntled persons, usually of lower rank, but also for his strengths and successes. That is how every soldier from Jawan / Sailor / Airman upwards to the top flag ranks in the three Services makes his role model and sets his standards of functioning both in peace and in war, just as he makes note of his pet dislikes, competitors and rivals. Today, and I have it from middle level officers whom I have met and conversed with, there are too few real, living, senior-ranking role models for young soldiers; sadly, the system appears to promote the mediocre, while the role models leave the service in the rank of Colonel or Brigadier and equivalents for various reasons.
    This is not of course to say that the majority of senior ranks are mediocre, but that when mediocre officers manage to attain senior rank and many have obviously done so, they will naturally tend to promote the mediocre from among their juniors. Over time, this will fill the senior ranks with more and more mediocre officers. Just take a look at the higher judiciary in our country. When the number of mediocre senior ranks crosses a certain threshold, there is a loss of long-term vision and perspective because mediocrity is about short-term, self-serving goals. In these circumstances, merit becomes subservient to influence and ceases to count. Over time, this inevitably leads to runaway erosion of values, morale, self-image and faith in the organization; the sure recipe for peace-time disasters and war-time defeats and shame. Please recall the 1962 debacle.

    Scams and Corruption
    In the past few years, senior officers have been in the public eye for misdemeanours and crimes, bringing embarrassment and shame to both serving and retired military personnel of all ranks. The candid or unguarded comments that one hears from serving personnel and veterans, especially from the junior ranks, is sufficient indication that there is a perceived failure of command to prevent such incidents or to hold accountable the individuals who are seen to be responsible, when such incidents occur. Today, no honest soldier or perceptive commander will deny that politics concerning postings, assignments, promotions or punishments, which was always there, though in small measures, is now glaringly evident in service life in a very big way, and that it is affecting the fair name of the military and doubtless affecting its morale and thereby its battle efficiency. Today, influence is openly peddled within the Service.

    Five Star Culture
    Five-star culture, which was restricted to a few in the past, has permeated the officer cadre today. For example, the tradition of officers playing “troops games” with the troops is virtually dead, as more and more officers play no games at all (this is no commentary on their proficiency but on simply playing for fun, exercise and spending time with the troops), or play individual games like squash or tennis which provide exercise, or golf, which provides more opportunity for “networking” than exercise for a young officer. This observation is supported by the fact that many senior officers have huge waistlines and are obviously physically unfit, getting their medicals cleared by cooperative medical officers in a mutual back-scratching, synergistic association.
    I am certain that my views will be hotly contested by several people, but that may serve to demonstrate that many officers are in denial about the actual state of affairs obtaining.

    Failures of weapons and equipment and even weapon systems do happen, and procedures and drills have been developed over decades to obviate or minimize them. But failures of command and control, including incompetence, lack of focus, loss of integrity, laziness, neglect, negligence, etc, at all levels of functioning cannot be tolerated especially when they impact on unit morale and functioning. This is based on the maxim that the “man behind the gun” is at least as important as, but usually much more important than, the “gun” itself. It is usual for some person in lower or middle management to take the rap for failures, though of late even very senior officers are being exposed and even punished.
    The point here is that blaming and /or punishing individuals does not automatically give rise to systemic changes to prevent or at least minimize recurrence of similar failures. And here lies a very important function of command - acceptance of a share of the blame for failures at lower levels of command, and drawing lessons from failures and implementing them in the best interest of the system. No individual or unit or formation ever learned very much from successes; military history shows that the best lessons are learned only from failures. And if lessons are not learned from failures, that would be a failure of the command function.
    Especially in the military field, there are two books, both studies, which every serious career officer should read, especially early on in service and “again and again” after every decade of service. They are, “The Psychology of Military Incompetence” by Norman Dixon, and “Crisis in Command” by Gabriel and Savage. The first is British, covers a couple of centuries of warfare and deals with the individual, while the second is American, covers the US forces’ decades-long engagement in Vietnam in the last century and deals with systemic issues.

    The way ahead
    If India’s Armed Forces are to learn from the failures of their personnel, and from the systemic failures peculiar to each service, and take urgent action to stem what appears to be a progressive failure phenomenon, we would have to introspect like the US military has done “Crisis in Command” and act on the findings. This would not be merely in the interest of the Armed Forces but certainly in the national interest as well.
    My suggestion is that for a start. Select four retired officers of the rank of Col, Brig, Maj Gen and Lt Gen, and equivalents of each Service form a Study Group, with concurrence from the Army, Navy and Air HQ, to look at uncomfortable or awkward facts and trends, and analyze them service-wise in a frank and forthright, no-holds-barred manner, taking an institutional, holistic view. The recommendation of retired officers has been made since serving officers cannot undertake this task without prejudice to their careers. This group may have a “mandate” to complete its work in say, 12 months after commencement, and present its findings to its respective service HQ. Needless to say, such work should be entirely honorary and done for the love of the uniform and loyalty to it. Recommendations for further work will have to be made after wider consultation within IESM. The IESM is well-poised to take an initiative in this matter without prejudice to pursuing its original focus of OROP, One Rank, One Pension.
    This note, written in a hurry and influenced by my present, immediate proximity to the sinking of INS Vindhyagiri, is directed at senior serving ranks and veterans who can influence policy and decisions, brings out my thoughts and ideas as a critical view of the actual problems on-the-ground. I realize that many of my statements are contentious, but I believe that understanding the state of affairs as they actually are on-the-ground, no matter how unpalatable, is necessary. This note should not be considered as a pessimistic or negative, and it definitely does not aim to demean the great effort that the three Services have put in over the decades or to trivialize their achievements. It is merely an honest personal effort to analyze a serious problem, which in my opinion, if not addressed expeditiously and seriously, would have grave consequences for India’s military and the Indian nation.

    Open letter to the government on Corruption and deficit Governance

    Bloomberg UTV.
    Tuesday, 18 January 2011, at 10:09 IST
    Some of India' top business leaders yesterday wrote an open letter to the country's political leadership. And the message is simple - act before it is too late!
    Corporate India seems highly perturbed by the recent spate of corruption scandals. Fourteen business and corporate leaders that includes names like HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh, Wipro Chairman Azim Premji, former RBI Governor Bimal Jalan among others, got together to ask the political leadership to act on corruption.
    The letter talks about wider issues like corruption in public life, given the recent scams involving the telecom sector and big names like former Telecom Minister A Raja. The letter also raises concern on rising fiscal deficit, which in turn is threatening economic growth and stability, the never-ending deadlock in Parliament over JPC probe on 2G scams that has stalled the passage of crucial bills and the urgent need for all round development especially in the weaker sections of the society as the gap between rich and the poor widens.

    On Corruption
    The letter says "The biggest issue corroding the fabric of our nation is corruption. This malaise needs to be tackled with a sense of urgency, determination and on a war footing."

    Governance Deficit
    "Creation of genuinely independent and constitutionally constituted regulatory bodies, manned by persons who are judicially trained in the concerned field, would be one of the first and important steps to restore public confidence"

    On Dissent And Disruption
    "Time is overdue for Indias elected representatives to distinguish between dissent and disruption, while in the era of coalitions, tolerance of compromise still remains a challenge"

    On Development
    "It is widely acknowledged that the benefits of growth are not reaching the poor and marginalised sections adequately due to impediments to economic development."

    Deepak Parekh, HDFC Ltd
    Azim Premji, Wipro Ltd
    N Vaghul, ICICI Ltd
    Keshub Mahindra, M&M Group
    Jamshyd Godrej, Godrej Group
    Yezdi Malegam, Siemens Limited
    Bimal Jalan, Former RBI Governor
    Justice BN Srikrishna,
    Anu Aga, Thermax Group
    Ashok Ganguly, Ex HLL
    M Narasimhan,
    A Vaidyanathan,
    Nachiket Mor and
    Justice Sam Variava- writes on the country’s political leadership.

    Clearly, the purpose of the open letter is more symbolic in nature and once again raises burning issues which have been in the public sphere for a while. But it appears that India Inc hopes to at least make the political leadership introspect before things get out of hand.
    India Inc's open letter to the government on Corruption and deficit Governance

    Is the nation in a coma?

    Hindu Business Line Monday, May 31, 2010 by Mohan Murti
    Europeans believe that Indian leaders are too blinded by new wealth and deceit to comprehend that the day will come when the have-nots will hit the streets.
    A few days ago I was in a panel discussion on mergers and acquisitions in Frankfurt, Germany, organised by Euroforum and The Handelsblatt, one of the most prestigious newspapers in German-speaking Europe.
    The other panellists were senior officials of two of the largest carmakers and two top insurance companies — all German multinationals operating in India.
    The panel discussion was moderated by a professor from the esteemed European Business School. The hall had an audience that exceeded a hundred well-known European CEOs. I was the only Indian.
    After the panel discussion, the floor was open for questions. That was when my “moment of truth” turned into an hour of shame, embarrassment — when the participants fired questions and made remarks on their experiences with the evil of corruption in India.
    The awkwardness and humiliation I went through reminded of The Moment of Truth, the popular Anglo-American game. The more questions I answered truthfully, the more the questions get tougher. Tougher here means more embarrassing.
    European disquiet
    Questions ranged from “Is your nation in a coma?”, the corruption in judiciary, the possible impeachment of a judge, the 2G scam and to the money parked illegally in tax havens.
    It is a fact that the problem of corruption in India has assumed enormous and embarrassing proportions in recent years, although it has been with us for decades. The questions and the debate that followed in the panel discussion was indicative of the European disquiet. At the end of the Q&A session, I surmised Europeans perceive India to be at one of those junctures where tripping over the precipice cannot be ruled out.
    Let me substantiate this further with what the European media has to say in recent days.
    In a popular prime-time television discussion in Germany, the panellist, a member of the German Parliament quoting a blog said: “If all the scams of the last five years are added up, they are likely to rival and exceed the British colonial loot of India of about a trillion dollars.”
    Banana Republic
    One German business daily which wrote an editorial on India said: “India is becoming a Banana Republic instead of being an economic superpower. To get the cut motion designated out, assurances are made to political allays. Special treatment is promised at the expense of the people. So, Ms Mayawati who is Chief Minister of the most densely inhabited state, is calmed when an intelligence agency probe is scrapped. The multi-million dollars fodder scam by another former chief minister wielding enormous power is put in cold storage. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh chairs over this kind of unparalleled loot.”
    An article in a French newspaper titled “Playing the Game, Indian Style” wrote: “Investigations into the shadowy financial deals of the Indian cricket league have revealed a web of transactions across tax havens like Switzerland, the Virgin Islands, Mauritius and Cyprus.” In the same article, the name of one Hassan Ali of Pune is mentioned as operating with his wife a one-billion-dollar illegal Swiss account with “sanction of the Indian regime”.
    A third story narrated in the damaging article is that of the former chief minister of Jharkhand, Madhu Koda, who was reported to have funds in various tax havens that were partly used to buy mines in Liberia. “Unfortunately, the Indian public do not know the status of that enquiry,” the article concluded.
    “In the nastiest business scam in Indian records (Satyam) the government adroitly covered up the political aspects of the swindle — predominantly involving real estate,” wrote an Austrian newspaper. “If the Indian Prime Minister knows nothing about these scandals, he is ignorant of ground realities and does not deserve to be Prime Minister. If he does, is he a collaborator in crime?”
    The Telegraph of the UK reported the 2G scam saying: “Naturally, India's elephantine legal system will ensure culpability, is delayed.”
    Blinded by wealth
    This seems true. In the European mind, caricature of a typical Indian encompasses qualities of falsification, telling lies, being fraudulent, dishonest, corrupt, arrogant, boastful, speaking loudly and bothering others in public places or, while travelling, swindling when the slightest of opportunity arises and spreading rumours about others. The list is truly incessant.
    My father, who is 81 years old, is utterly frustrated, shocked and disgruntled with whatever is happening and said in a recent discussion that our country's motto should truly be Asatyameva Jayete.
    Europeans believe that Indian leaders in politics and business are so blissfully blinded by the new, sometimes ill-gotten, wealth and deceit that they are living in defiance, insolence and denial to comprehend that the day will come, sooner than later, when the have-nots would hit the streets.
    In a way, it seems to have already started with the monstrous and grotesque acts of the Maoists. And, when that rot occurs, not one political turncoat will escape being lynched.
    The drumbeats for these rebellions are going to get louder and louder as our leaders refuse to listen to the voices of the people. Eventually, it will lead to a revolution that will spill to streets across the whole of India, I fear.
    Perhaps we are the architects of our own misfortune. It is our sab chalta hai (everything goes) attitude that has allowed people to mislead us with impunity. No wonder Aesop said. “We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to high office.”
    (The author is former Europe Director, CII, and lives in Cologne, Germany.
    Is the Nation in a coma?

    Wednesday, February 2, 2011

    Future Role and Shape of Corps of Signals

    The Corps of Signals will be celebrating its Centenary on 15 Feb 2011. The journey of Corps through the last 100 years encompassing many wars and national emergencies not only in India but in other parts of the Globe, has been a Saga of rich heritage. Signal communications have come a long way from Heliographs, Lamp and Flag signalling to Satellite communications, Radio relay, Intranet and Cell Phone technology. This is an appropriate time to look at the future Role and Shape of Corps of Signals.

    Nature of Warfare. A revolution is taking place in the way wars are being conducted. This has been so visible in both the Iraq Wars, NATO’s actions in Afghanistan and the manner in which world’s most powerful nations like USA, China, Russia and NATO are organizing and equipping their forces. At the heart of most military developments are the new systems and gadgetry incorporating latest electronics technology, for surveillance, target acquisition and weapons. Nothing above the ground/sea seems invisible. Weapons delivered from the air, ground, and on and even below sea have become highly accurate and devastating. Electronics have made distances immaterial.

    In modern warfare, there is a need for sharing real time information amongst different echelons and components of a force, exercise of judicious command and control keeping in view urgency to speed up action employing the best possible assets and avoid casualties from friendly fire. Commanders and staffs need up to date tactical picture of enemy and own assets much before the enemy is able to do so, in order to coordinate own effort and preempt him. Nuclear weapons have not been used in any of the conflicts so far, except towards the end of World War II, against Japan, but their mere existence affects the strategic thinking and measures have to be taken for rare contingency if they are ever used.

    Network Centric Warfare. This Doctrine has been propagated by the US Department of Defence and envisages “translation of information advantage”, enabled in part by information technology (combination of computers and communications) into a competitive advantage over the enemy. In order that information flows speedily vertically and horizontally, modern robust communication networks are necessary for real-time passage of information from the source to the decision makers and dissemination of plans and orders by them ie effective command and control.
    Lt Gen Harbhajan Singh,PVSM (Retd)
    Former SO in C
    Published in the USI Journal Oct-Dec 2010 Issue: Click here to read the full article