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‘No controversy,’ says IAF Chief BS Dhanoa on Congress’ allegations of Rafale deal scam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi continued targetting Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Rafale deal, the Indian Air Force Chief rebutted the allegations and said India got the combat jets and ‘fair price’.Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, who was in Punjab’s Adampur, addressed media after an event and said that there is no controversy over the deal.“There is no controversy. What is the controversy, I don’t understand! It (Rafale jets) are not overpriced. The government has negotiated a very good deal,” the Air Chief Marshal said.“I think we have negotiated a better deal in the Rafale contract than what we did in MMRCA (Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft),” he added.The comments come on a day when Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi slammed media’s silence. ‘Why don’t you question PM Modi about Rafale deal,’ Gandhi told reporters in Gujarat earlier today.He also alleged that the deal was done to favour just one businessman. In a tweet, he had raised concerns over Anil Ambani-owned company’s joint venture with Dassault Aviation.India is buying 36 Rafale combat jets from France in ready condition. The deal will help the Indian Air Force to amp up its flying power. At present the IAF has just 32 squadrons against an authorisation of 42.

Bharat Ratna for Field Marshal Cariappa; Army chief puts ball in government’s court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After pitching for Bharat Ratna for late Field Marshal KM Cariappa, independent India’s first Army chief, Army Chief Bipin Rawat has left it to the Narendra Modi government to decide whether to confer the military hero with the highest civilian honour in the country. “Final decision will be taken by the government. Whatever is decided will be acceptable,” he said on Friday replying to queries on his view that Field Marshal Cariappa should be given the Bharat Ratna. Also speaking about the situation in Kashmir, Rawat said stone pelting incidents have come down. On November 4, Rawat had said that time has come that Field Marshal Cariappa be honoured with the highest civilian honour posthumously. He had said if others can get why not him as he is as deserving while speaking in Kodagu district in Karnataka where he had gone to unveil statuses of Field Marshal Cariappa former Army Chief late General K S Thimayya. The two military heroes have been an inspiration to many in the region. Sachin Tendulkar was the last recipient of Bharat Ratna in 2013 when government included sportspersons for the first time.

Army chief pitches for Bharat Ratna to Field Marshal Cariappa

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Army Chief General Bipin Rawat today pitched for conferring the country’s highest civilian honour Bharat Ratna on independent India’s first army chief, Field Marshal General K M Cariappa.”The time has also come to recommend Field Marshal Cariappa for the award of Bharat Ratna. If others can get it, I see no reason why he should not, a deserving personality for the same. We will shortly address the issue on priority,” he said.Gen Rawat’s comments came in response to a request by Col K C Subbayya from The Field Marshal Cariappa General Thimayya (FMCGT) forum about recommending the Bharat Ratna to Cariappa, who hails from Kodagu district in Karnataka.Rawat unveiled the statues of Cariappa and General K S Thimayya, also a former Army chief who hailed from Kodagu district in Karnataka, at a function at the Cauvery College at Gonikoppal, Kodagu district.Terming Kodagu (formerly Coorg) as a ‘land of warriors’, Rawat said he is proud, privileged and humbled for having got the opportunity to unveil the memorial in memory of Field Marshal Cariappa and General K S Thimayya.Kodagu continues to serve the nation with a large number of officers and men serving the Army, he said and voiced hope that “there will be more Chiefs in the future who will rise from this great land”.Cariappa was the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army and was conferred the rank of Field Marshal on April 28, 1986.He was also a recipient of the prestigious order of the British Empire (OBE) for his role in the Burma campaign against the Japanese during the Second World War.Cariappa also led the Indian forces on the Western Front during the Indo-Pak War of 1947.He held the five-star rank of field marshal, the highest honour in the Indian Army, which Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw is the only other officer to have held.Cariappa, whose military career spanned over three decades, retired from the Army in 1953 and later served as the High Commissioner to Australia and New Zealand till 1956.He died in Bengaluru in 1993 at the age of 94.

Indian Air Force’s women fighter pilots may fly MiG-21 Bisons: Know about combat jets

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three women fighter pilots of the Indian Air Force are likely to fly MiG-21 Bisons.“The present consideration is to put them to MiG-21 Bison squadron. Our opinion is that it will sharpen their skills as the aircraft has more manual features than other sophisticated aircraft,” Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa said on the Air Force Day on Sunday.As Avani Chaturvedi, Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh script history, here’s all you need to know about the combat jet:1: The single engine, single seater multirole fighter forms the back-bone of the Indian Air Force. It has a max speed of 2230 km/hour (Mach 2.1) and carries one 23mm twin barrel cannon with four R-60 close combat missiles. The supersonic aircraft, which is a successor of MiG-19, was manufactured by the Russian Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau in early 1950s.2: Over 13,000 aircraft have been produced in the series under various names.3: The star performers of the Indian Air Force, the MiG-21 Bisons played a stellar role in 1971 Indo-Pak war. So far, the Indian Air Force has operated over 800 MiG-21 under various roles.4: Dominating the airspace for over five decades, the Indian Air Force is finally set to relieve the workhorses. By 2022, the IAF would be able to procure Generation 4 fighter jets.5: There are over 150 Bisons currently operating in the IAF. The force would need massive upgrade to keep up its edge in the Southeast Asian region.

Ready for swift response at short notice: IAF chief

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indian Air Force is prepared to fight a war at a “short notice” and is fully geared up to respond to any security challenge to the country in the most befitting manner, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa said on Sunday.The IAF chief also said that the uncertainties in the present geo-political environment in the region may require the IAF to fight a “short” and “swift war”.“We are prepared to fight at a short notice should the need arise,” he said while addressing an event at the air base here on the occasion of the 85th anniversary of the IAF.The comments came amid China’s muscle flexing in Doklam and continued cross-border firing by Pakistan.The IAF chief spoke on a variety of issues, including the possible security challenge facing the country, stating that the focus was to transform the IAF into a technology intensive force in the next few years to significantly enhance its overall prowess.“I assure my countrymen that these men and women under my command are confident to take on any threat and fully prepared to undertake full spectrum of air operation and respond to any challenge in the most befitting manner,” he said, in the presence of Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat and top echelons of the IAF.“We are in the process of acquiring new combat systems, upgrading and modernising our existing inventory of aircraft and weapons system with an aim to equip them with the latest avionics technology,” he said.

DNA Morning Must Reads: State funeral for Marshal of IAF Arjan Singh, Emmys 2017 winners, and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India bids farewell to Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh; state funeral today, tricolour to fly at half mastThe hero of 1965 India-Pakistan war and one of the country’s legendary fighters, will be accorded a state funeral, and if weather permits, a flypast by military aircraft on Monday. Read more here I think big and work for big projects: PM Modi dedicates Sardar Sarovar Dam to nationPM Modi dedicates Sardar Sarovar Dam to the nation on his birthday, says it is his tribute to the arid land of western India. Read more here #DNAExclusive: SBI offers 50% loan write-off to distressed farmersLender’s Rinn Samadhan Programme is for loans up to Rs 20 lakh; aims to mop up Rs 1,500 crore Read more hereEmmys 2017: Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon’s ‘Big Little Lies’ takes the loot!Find out if your favourite TV show won the gold! Read here Premier League: Valencia ruins Rooney’s Old Trafford homecoming, late Man Utd goals add to Everton’s agony’It was probably our best performance of the season,’ says United manager Jose Mourinho. Read more here

Here’s a look at Arjan Singh’s illustrious life serving India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh breathed his last today.Here is a timeline of his life.April 15, 1919 – Born in Lyallpur, present day Faislabad in Pakistan1938- At 19 years was selected for a pilot training course at Royal Air Force College, Cranwell 1939- Training cut short by World War II. Joined Sqdn 1 in Ambala1943- Became Commanding Officer Sqdn 11944- Led his squadron to Imphal against the Japanese during the Arakan Campaign.1944- Received the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) for leading the squadron during Imphal Campaign by Lord Mountbatten
ALSO READ Marshal of Indian Air Force Arjan Singh – an epitome of military leadership in classical senseAugust 15, 1947- Led the fly-past of over a hundred IAF aircraft over the red fort.August 1, 1964- Arjan Singh took over as the Chief of Air Staff in the rank of Air Marshal
ALSO READ Marshal of Air Force Arjan Singh passes away at 981965 – Arjan Singh was awarded the Padma Vibhushan for his leadership of IAF during the ’65 war with Pakistan August 1969- Retired from the Indian Air Force after serving for three decades1971- Appointed India’s Ambassador to Switzerland.1974- Appointed Indian High Commissioner to Kenya.1980s- At the height of militancy in Punjab he was part of a 5-member committee that would go door to door in the state and try to bridge the differences between Hindus & Sikhs.1989- Janata government appoints Arjan Singh as the L-G of Delhi as an attempt to apply balm to the wounds of the Sikh community2002- Conferred with the rank of the Marshal of the Air Force making him the first and the only ‘Five Star’ rank officer with the Indian Air Force.April, 2011- Wife Teji Singh passes away at the age of 80. PTI JC MPB

Marshal of Indian Air Force Arjan Singh — an epitome of military leadership in classical sense

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Marshal of Indian Air Force, Arjan Singh, an icon of India’s military history, will always be remembered as a war hero who had successfully led a young IAF during the 1965 Indo-Pak war.The only officer to attain the highest post of Marshal, the Air Force equivalent to the Army’s five star field marshal, Singh was a fearless and exceptional pilot who had flown more than 60 different types of aircraft.He played a major role in transforming the IAF into one of the most potent air forces globally and the fourth biggest in the world.”His contribution to the Indian Air Force is monumental to the least. The IAF grew with him. He was epitome of military leadership in classical sense and it is, therefore, not surprising that he was honoured with the rank of Air Force Marshal,” former Vice Chief of IAF Kapil Kak said.Singh was honoured with the rank of Marshal on the Republic Day in 2002. Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw and K M Cariappa were the only two army generals honoured with the rank of field marshal.Known as a man of few words, Singh was not only a fearless pilot but had profound knowledge about air power and applied it in a wide spectrum of areas.Singh had assiduously led the IAF during the 1965 war and denied success to Pakistani air force though it was better equipped with American support.”His most outstanding contribution was during that war,” said Kak.Commending his role in the war, Y B Chavan, the then Defence Minister had written: “Air Marshal Arjan Singh is a jewel of a person, quiet efficient and firm; unexcitable but a very able leader.”In 1944, the Marshal had led a squadron against the Japanese during the Arakan Campaign, flying close air support missions during the crucial Imphal Campaign and later assisted the advance of the Allied Forces to Yangoon.In recognition of his feat, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) on the spot by the Supreme Allied Commander of South East Asia, the first Indian pilot to receive it.Singh was selected for the Empire Pilot training course at Royal Air Force (RAF) Cranwell in 1938 when he was 19 years old. He retired from service in 1969.Singh was born on April 15, 1919, in Lyalpur (now Faislabad, Pakistan), and completed his education at Montgomery (now Sahiwal, Pakistan).His first assignment on being commissioned was to fly Westland Wapiti biplanes in the North-Western Frontier Province as a member of the No.1 RIAF Squadron.After a brief stint with the newly formed No. 2 RIAF Squadron where the Marshal flew against the tribal forces, he later moved back to No.1 Sqn as a Flying Officer to fly the Hawker Hurricane.He was promoted to the rank of Squadron Leader in 1944.For his role in successfully leading the squadron in combat, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) in 1944.On August 15, 1947, he achieved the unique honour of leading a fly-past of over a hundred IAF aircraft over the Red Fort in Delhi.After his promotion to the rank of Wing Commander, he attended the Royal Staff College at the UK. Immediately after Indian independence, he commanded Ambala in the rank of Group Captain.In 1949, he was promoted to the rank of Air Commodore and took over as Air Officer Commanding (AOC) of an operational command, which later came to be known as Western Air Command.Singh had the distinction of having the longest tenure as AOC of an operational base, initially from 1949-1952 and then again from 1957-1961.After his promotion to the rank of Air Vice Marshal, he was appointed as the AOC-in-C of an operational command.Towards the end of the 1962 war, he was appointed as the Deputy Chief of the Air Staff and he became the Vice Chief of the Air Staff in 1963. He was the overall commander of the joint air training exercise “Shiksha” held between IAF, RAF (Royal Air Force) and RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force).On August 1, 1964, in the rank of Air Marshal, the Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh took over reins of IAF, at a time when it was still rebuilding itself and was gearing up to meet new challenges.Singh was the first Air Chief to keep his flying currency till his CAS rank.Having flown over 60 different types of aircraft from pre-World War II era biplanes to the more contemporary, Gnats and Vampires, he has also flown in transport aircraft like the Super Constellation.In 1965, when Pakistan launched its Operation Grand Slam, with an armoured thrust targeted at the vital town of Akhnoor, Singh led IAF through the war with courage, determination and professional skill.He inspired IAF to victory, despite the constraints imposed on the full-scale use of Air Force combat power.Singh was awarded Padma Vibhushan for his astute leadership of the Air Force during the war.Subsequently in recognition of the Air Force’s contribution during the war, the rank of the CAS was upgraded and Arjan Singh became the first Air Chief Marshal of the Indian Air Force.He remained a flyer to the end of his tenure in IAF, visiting forward bases and units and flying with the squadrons.He retired in August 1969, there upon accepting Ambassadorship to Switzerland. He was Lieutenant Governor of Delhi from December 1989 to December 1990.Having been a source of inspiration to all personnel of Armed Forces through the years, government conferred the rank of the Marshal of the Air Force upon Arjan Singh in January 2002 making him the first and the only ‘Five Star’ rank officer with Indian Air Force.

Air Marshal Arjan Singh passes away at 98

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Marshal Arjan Singh, who led the India Air Force during the 1965 India-Pakistan war, has passed away, reported news agency ANI. The Indian Air Force confirmed his death stating that he passed away at 7:47 PM on 16 September. Ninety-eight-year-old Singh, the only officer of the IAF to be promoted to five-star rank, equal to a field marshal in the Army, was admitted to the Army’s Research and Referral hospital this morning after he suffered a cardiac arrest. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had visited Singh at the hospital.”Went to R&R Hospital to see Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh, who is critically ill. I also met his family members,” Modi had tweeted earlier.An icon in the country’s military history, Singh had led a fledgling IAF in the 1965 Indo-Pak when he was just a 44- year-old.As Pakistan had launched its Operation Grand Slam with an armoured thrust targeted at the vital town of Akhnoor in Jammu and Kashmir, Singh led the Indian Air Force through the war with courage, determination and professional skill. He inspired the IAF, despite the constraints imposed on a full-scale use of air force combat power.

Marshal of Indian Air Force Arjan Singh, only living 5-star rank military officer, critically ill

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Marshal of Indian Air Force Arjan Singh has been hospitalised in critical condition at the Research and Referral Hospital in New Delhi on Saturday.Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited him at the R&R.The Marshall, 98, suffered a cardiac arrest in morning, a defence ministry statement said.“Received messages that Marshal of IAF Arjan Singh was suspected to have had massive heart attack in morning and was brought to the hospital,” Sitharaman said after visiting the Marshal.“We hope he (Marshal of Indian Air Force Arjan Singh) will recover at the earliest. His condition remains critical,” she added.Prime Minister Modi also tweeted about the Marshal and “prayed for his speedy recovery.”A Padma Vibhushan awardee, the Marshal retired from the Air Force in 1969.The Marshal has flown over 60 aircraft and remained a flyer until the end of his career with the Indian Air Force.In recognition of his lifelong services, the government conferred the rank of the “Marshal of the Indian Air Force” on Arjan Singh on January 28, 2002.This was remarkable because it made him the only officer of the Indian Air Force to accomplish this feat.It also means that he is the only living Indian military officer with five-star rank after Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, who passed away in June 2008.Recognising the insurmountable contribution of the Air Force in the 1965 war, he became the Air Chief Marshal from the rank of Chief of Air Staff, which made him the first ever officer of the Indian Air Force to attain this historical achievement.

Myanmar’s Air Force commander-in-chief calls on Jaitley

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Commander-in-Chief of Myanmar Air Force Gen. Khin Aung Myint today called on Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and deliberated on ways to deepen security ties between the two countries. Myint also held extensive talks with Chief of Air Staff BS Dhanoa on possible areas of cooperation between the air forces of India and Myanmar. A range of issues, including expanding cooperation between the armed forces of the two countries, were discussed at the meeting between Jaitley and Gen. Myint, official sources said. Gen. Myint and Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa are also understood to have discussed the regional security scenario. Myanmar is one of India’s strategic neighbours and shares a 1,640-km-long border with a number of northeastern states, including militancy-hit Nagaland and Manipur. Gen. Myint’s trip comes nearly a month after Commander- in-Chief of the Myanmar’s Defence Services Gen U Min Aung Hlaing visited India. Myanmar’s President Htin Kyaw had visited India in August last year when the two countries had agreed to step up bilateral coordination between their border guarding forces to ensure security in the areas along the frontier. India is concerned over some militant groups from the northeast taking shelter in Myanmar. The country has been assuring New Delhi that it would not allow any insurgent group to use its territory against India.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Yashwant Sinha led group meets J&K Governor

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The civil society group, led by former External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha, today met Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra as part of its efforts to find a solution to the problems of the trouble-torn valley. Sinha, accompanied by Sushobha Barve, Air Vice Marshal (retd) Kapil Kak and senior journalist Bharat Bhushan, met Vohra at the Raj Bhawan here, an official spokesman said. The spokesman said Sinha and his team are visiting the Valley to talk to the leaders of various parties and groups about the issues facing Jammu and Kashmir. “Sinha shared his experiences with the Governor who stressed the importance of the regional parties in J&K and all the stakeholders, particularly the civil society, playing a lead role for securing restoration of peace and normalcy,” the spokesman added. The Sinha-led team, which started their efforts at the peak of last year’s unrest, arrived here yesterday and have met former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Farooq Abdullah. They are planning to meet people outside Srinagar during their visit.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Prez Nath Kovind, three Service Chiefs pay tribute at Amar Jawan Jyoti

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> President of India Ram Nath Kovind and the three Service Chiefs paid tribute at the Amar Jawan Jyoti on Tuesday, on the occasion of India?s 71st Independence Day. Along with Army chief General Bipin Rawat, Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba and IAF Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, Union Defence Minister Arun Jaitley also accompanied the PM Kovind for the event. On Monday, in his maiden address to the nation, President Ram Nath Kovind, while congratulating the nation on the eve of its 71st Independence Day, urged the people to pledge to achieve important goals to make a ‘New India’. “It is our national pledge to achieve important goals to make a ‘New India’. There is no place for poverty in ‘New India’,” President Kovind said. Praising the freedom fighters of India, President Kovind said the nation is indebted to those who laid down their lives for achieving this independence. “It is time that we must take inspiration from those who gave their lives for the nation and move forward,” he said. He even lauded the Centre’s Swachch Bharat campaign and said that it is not just the Government’s duty to keep the nation clean but every citizen should strive to make India clean and pollution free. “Government can make, implement and strengthen laws but it is everyone’s duty to abide by them,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

JKHC Bar condemns fmr IAF chief’s suggestion to use air power

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association today termed as “barbaric” and “full of venom” against Kashmiri people the statement of former IAF head Air Chief Marshal P V Naik that ruthless measures, including use of air power, were needed to combat militancy in the state. Condemning Indian Air Force veteran’s statement, the Bar association general secretary Bashir Sidiq said that the statement is “biased, inhuman, barbaric and also full of venom and vengeance against the people of Kashmir”. “Their only fault is that they are fighting for a legitimate right. They are only asking India and its leaders to respect their promises and pledges made before the international foras of holding a plebiscite in J-K under the auspices of United Nations, so that they can decide about their future,” he said in a statement. The former IAF chief had called for “ruthless measures” — including the use of air power and special zones where intruders can be killed without a warning — to combat militancy in Jammu and Kashmir. In an interview, he suggested a slew of methods, which, he said, could be “better accomplished” under a few months of Governor’s Rule. Naik, who was the IAF chief from 2009 to 2011, had said there had to be a “more effective use” of air power, so far “underutilised” in the valley.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Air force chief on a 3-day visit to Kargil air force station

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa today asked the air force personnel at Kargil base to learn from the past, practise in present and win in the future. The Indian Air Force chief is on a three-day visit to the Air Force station in Bhisiana, in Kargil. Dahnoa reviewed the security and operational preparedness of the base and complimented the personnel for their combat readiness. “The Air Chief urged them to learn from the past, practise in the present, and win in the future,” the Indian Air Force said in a statement. Dhanoa also led a four aircraft, MiG-21, ‘Missing Man’ formation flypast to honour the valour and supreme sacrifice of Kargil martyrs. The ‘Missing Man’ flypast is an aerial salute accorded to honour the fallen comrades-in-arms. Later, in a simple ceremony, he laid a wreath at the memorial to honour martyrs who made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

‘Enemy’ will remember Pak’s response to aggression: Air Force

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid heightened tension with India, Pakistan’s Air Force chief today warned that his forces will respond to any aggression by the “enemy” in a manner that their future generations will also remember it. Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman emphatically said that Pakistan will give a befitting response to any misadventure by the enemy, Radio Pakistan reported. Talking to reporters at Qadri airbase in Skardu, he said the country should have zero concern over the “statements of the enemy.” “Our response to any aggression by the enemy will be such that their future generations will also remember it,” he said according to the report. The Air Force chief made the remarks after taking part in Air Force exercises and flying a Mirage fighter jet during his visit to Skardu. He also reviewed the exercises and operational preparedness of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). His visit coincided with reports in Pakistani media that the Air Force today flew fighter jets near the Siachen Glacier – the world’s highest battleground. The Indian Air Force in New Delhi denied that the Pakistani fighter jets violated the Indian air space. Tensions between India and Pakistan have run high since the attack on an Indian army base in Uri in September last year in which 18 Indian soldiers were killed by militants based in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Ten days after the attack India launched “surgical strikes” there to destroy “terrorist launchpads”. More recently, the Indian Army yesterday announced that it launched “punitive fire assaults” on Pakistani positions across the Line of Control earlier this month, inflicting some damage. The action was taken in response to the beheading of two Indian soldiers in Kashmir by Pakistani special forces. Today, the Pakistani Air force chief said the PAF was fully prepared and capable to defend the country’s frontiers.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

PAF jets fly near Siachen, ‘Indian air space not violated’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistani fighter jets flew near the Siachen Glacier today, according to a media report here, but Indian Air Force sources said there was no violation of India’s air space. Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fighter jets made flights near Siachen Glacier this morning, Samaa TV reported. Quoting sources, the report said all of PAF’s forward operating bases have been made fully operational. Mirage jets of PAF are part of exercises since the forward base was made operational. In New Delhi, IAF sources said there was no violation of India’s air space. The report came a day after the Indian Army announced that it launched “punitive fire assaults” on Pakistani positions across the Line of Control earlier this month, inflicting some damage. Pakistan’s Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman visited the forward airbase in Skardu today and flew a Mirage jet, the report said. According to PAF, Aman met the pilots and technical staff of the fighting force. A fighter squadron carried out higher and lower altitude flights. The Siachen glacier is the highest battleground on the earth. It is located in the eastern Karakoram range in the Himalayan mountains where the Line of Control between India and Pakistan ends.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Be prepared for ‘uncalled threat’ Chief of Air Staff warns IAF officers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> In an unprecedented move, Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa, the Chief of Air Staff, has written a personal letter to each officer in the Indian Air Force (IAF), asking the officers ?to be prepared for operations with our present holdings, at a very short notice?. ?In the present scenario, there is an ever persistent sub-conventional threat. Therefore, we need to be prepared for operations with our present holdings, at a very short notice. Training needs to be focused towards this,? says the letter. The ?sub-conventional threat? is said to be a reference to the ?proxy war? by the Pakistan, which is reflected in the increasing number of terror attacks on military camps and the rising public unrest in Jammu and Kashmir. The mention in the letter of ?our present holdings? is an indication of the severe shortfall in the number of fighter squadrons with the IAF. The IAF is authorised 42 squadrons of fighter aircraft but its current holding is down to 33. A deal for 36 Rafale fighters, signed with France, and a decision to induct indigenous Tejas fighters will barely make up for the de-induction of the MIG series of fighters from the fleet. Asking officers to be ?combat effective professionals?, ACM Dhanoa writes that ?there is no choice but to stay abreast of new technological advancements both own as well as that of our adversaries. Only then will we come out with war-winning, out of the box solutions.? The letter also covered a range of issues from ?favouritism? in the force to ?sexual harassment?. The letter reminds officers that ?in the recent past, there have been instances and occasions where lack of professionalism has shown the IAF in poor light?. Indulging in uncharacteristic plain speak, the IAF chief writes that ?we have been witness to a few instances of ?favouritism? in selection of officers for prime assignments and promotions?. ?This is something we can ill afford,? the letter reads. Pointing out that ?officers holding responsible appointments tend to display ?Milk of Human Kindness? while dealing with those involved in wrongful practices?, the letter warns that ?abusive behaviour, resorting to physical intimidation and behaviour amounting to sexual harassment by seniors is not acceptable?. The letter has been posted and delivered to each of the nearly 12,000 officers of the force. This is the first time that an IAF chief has written a personal letter to all officers, although two Army chiefs ? Field Marshal (then General) K M Cariappa on May 1, 1950 and General K Sundarji on February 1, 1986 ? have penned similar missives. An IAF spokesperson, however, described the letter as ?internal communication? and refused to comment on its contents.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Pak hospital forces non-Muslim staffers to recite Quran verses

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The administration of a government- run hospital here forces its non-Muslim staffers to either recite verses from the Holy Quran at morning assembly or be marked absent for the day, a Pakistan media report said today. The issue came to light when Mian Mir Hospital, run by the City District Government Lahore, Medical Superintendent Dr Muhammad Sarfraz allegedly slapped a Christian paramedical staffer for not attending the assembly, the Express Tribune reported. Following the incident, all paramedical staff protested against the superintendent and other hospital administration by shutting down all functions of the medical facility. “This act of the MS is a violation of the Constitution of Pakistan,” a Christian paramedical staffer, Marshal, was quoted as saying by the paper. He asked religious scholars to sort out the issue as the hospital administration was pressurising them to leave their jobs. “It is professional workplace; I don t know why the administration is forcing our Christian brothers to do this. This is totally unacceptable,” said another staff Fahad Ahmed. Meanwhile, City District Government Lahore Health CEO Dr Muhammad Saeed said a high-level committee had been formed to look into the matter and a strict departmental inquiry would be initiated against anyone found guilty. The hospital was named after Sufi saint Hazrat Mian Mir who rose to prominence during the time of Mughal emperor Jehangir. The saint himself was a big proponent of interfaith harmony.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Steps taken to avert recurrence of AN-32 mishap: Air Chief

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Air Force has taken a series of measures to prevent recurrence of mishaps involving AN-32 aircraft, one of which had gone missing last year with 29 people onboard, Air Chief B S Dhanoa said today. Despite a co-ordinated search involving the Navy and the Coast Guard, the Russian-made aircraft could not be found as it did not have underwater locator, he told reporters at the IAF Station in suburban Tambaram here. He also blamed “limited visibility” under the waters of the “vast ocean” of Bay of Bengal, where the AN-32 went missing with 29 persons onboard on July 22, 2016 while flying from Chennai to Port Blair. All the 29 persons onboard have been “presumed dead.” However, measures to prevent recurrence of such incidents, especially in this sector were being taken, Dhanoa said while describing the AN-32 as a “workhorse”. “We have introduced additional seats in the charter (flights) to Car Nicobar so that we are carrying mainly load (only) in AN-32 and the passengers are carried by the charter. Courier flights are going to be introduced for personnel,” he said. Incidentally, the Indian Air Force (IAF) had earlier reportedly decided to stop using its AN-32 aircraft for ferrying its personnel. The Air Chief Marshal recalled that an extensive search was undertaken, with Naval and coast guard ships, besides submarines and specialised vessels being deployed for the purpose. Satellite images had also been used while commercial ships and fishing vessels were “alerted” about visual sighting, he said. “But nothing has been found about the AN-32 aircraft,” Dhanoa said. Modern aircrafts were fitted with underwater locator but the AN-32 did not have it, he said. On the “reason” behind the mishap, Air Marshal S R K Nair, Air Officer Commanding in Chief, Training Command, said that a Court of Inquiry (CoI) had probed the incident in “great detail”. He said that after losing the the AN-32 “we could not get any evidence because the aircraft could never be found”. “The aircraft went down probably due to weather conditions leading to icing (caused by super cooled water droplets) and icing leading to jamming of the controls (following which) the aircraft went into an uncontrolled spiral and went into the sea,” Nair said. “I once again emphasise, these are conjectures. There is no evidence,” he added. Dhanoa also said that the IAF had requested the Tamil Nadu government for allotment of land to increase the length of the runway at the station here. He recalled the IAF’s extensive operations to help people marooned during the 2015 deluge in the city.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Former diplomat Sujata Mehta appointed UPSC member

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former diplomat Sujata Mehta and Air Marshal Ajit Shankarrao Bhonsle have been appointed as members in Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) here. President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed Mehta and Bhonsle to the posts for a period of six years or until they attain the age of 65 years, an order issued by Personnel Ministry said. With these appointments, the strength of the Commission has gone upto seven. The UPSC is headed by a chairman, Prof David R Syiemlieh, can have a maximum of ten members. 59-year-old Mehta, a 1980-batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer, was in contention for the post of Foreign Secretary. Mehta, due to retire next month-end after completing 60 years age of superannuation, has left the service and taken the oath as the UPSC member, a senior government official said today. Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar was in January given one year extension. Jaishankar, a 1977-batch IFS officer, was appointed Foreign Secretary on January 29, 2015, few days before his retirement. Born on March 30, 1957, Mehta has done her Master of Philosophy (M.Phil) in Political Science. She had served in Indian Missions in Moscow, Dhaka and at the United Nations in New York. Mehta had also served on deputation to the UN in Gaza and New York. She was Ambassador to Spain and also served as Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva before returning to headquarters in July, 2013 as Additional Secretary and later Special Secretary. Mehta was appointed Secretary (Economic Relations) in the Ministry of External Affairs in February, 2014 and took charge as Secretary (West) in the Ministry in January 2016. Both Mehta and Bhonsle have been appointed to the posts with effect from February 21, the official said. 60-year-old Air Marshal Bhonsle has done his Master of Science, MBA and M.Phil from National Defence Academy, Defence Services Staff College, College of Defence Management and National Institute of Defence Studies, Japan. He has rich and varied experience in command and staff appointments during the 39 years of service in the Indian Air Force. He is the recipient of two Presidential Awards: Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM) and Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM). The UPSC conducts civil services examination annually in three stages – preliminary, main and interview – to select officers for Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service (IPS), among others.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

India needs practical national security doctrine: Cariappa

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Air Marshal K C Cariappa today emphasised on the need to have a “practical” national security doctrine and a “robust” nuclear policy to “reassure citizens that appropriate measures are in place to protect them.” Speaking at the second Flying Officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon memorial lecture here, he said a strategic defence doctrine should be put in place and endorsed by all political parties. “We do not have a national security doctrine. The existence of such a document will dissuade adventurism and will reassure our citizens that appropriate measures are in place to protect us,” Cariappa said. “A credible message must be conveyed to our people. A practical national security strategy and robust nuclear policy must be endorsed by all political parties,” the former Air Marshal said. Cariappa said the need for such a doctrine is necessary in the face of having a nuclear-armed neighbour, Pakistan. “They have created forces that destabilise our society by encouraging traditional antagonism… we need to tailor our strategic defence doctrine to create long-term measures towards a deterrent based on severe retribution as there can be no scope for indecisiveness,” he said. Speaking on the need for a robust nuclear policy, Cariappa suggested that India’s nuclear forces must be placed under a strategic forces commander, who will be answerable to the Prime Minister, and will be the ultimate authority to launch the first strike in foreign territory. “A command control and communication centre must be built. Our targeting philosophy must be involved and redirected to two notices, but yet the message must be loud and clear that this has been done, and that in fact our targeting policy exists,” he said. Speaking on ‘Civil Military Relations’, former Commodore C Uday Bhaskar pointed out that there exists very little contact between India’s political establishment and military, and said the Indian Parliament exhibits “almost zero interest” in matters related to defence. “The political establishment of India does not really have interest in military or the institution. There is a reason. Much of politics is now caught up in electoral cycle and military as an institution till recently did not represent a vote bank,” he said. The fear of “coup” led to an understanding that the military should be kept outside the structures of formal governance, he said. (MORE)(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

In a rare gesture, Air Chief BS Dhanoa flies solo in MiG-21

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, who was on a visit to a forward base in Utarlai in Rajasthan, on Thursday flew solo in a MiG-21 ‘Type-96’ aircraft, his first such flight after taking charge of the force.It is also rare for an Air Force Chief to fly solo.Dhanoa flew the same type of aircraft during Kargil Operations and carried out many night strike missions in the mountainous terrain. He was awarded Yudh Sewa Medal.The MiG-21 is the oldest fighter fleet in the IAF inventory.Dhanoa, who is visiting the forward air base in the western sector from January 12 to 14, will assess operational readiness and review the morale of the personnel stationed there.

Anil Khosla takes over as IAF Commander-in-Chief, Eastern Air Command

Anil Khosla takes over as IAF Commander-in-Chief, Eastern Air Command

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Shillong: Air Marshal Anil Khosla took over as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) Eastern Air Command.

Anil Khosla. Image Courtesy: Twitter/ChopsyTurveyAnil Khosla. Image Courtesy: Twitter/ChopsyTurvey

Anil Khosla. Image Courtesy: Twitter/ChopsyTurvey

An alumnus of National Defence Academy, Air Marshal Khosla was commissioned in the fighter stream of Indian Air Force in December 1979 and has over 4000 hours of accident free flying record mainly on different variants of Jaguar, MiG-21 and Kiran aircraft.

He is equally experienced on both Ground attack and Air Defence roles with specialisation on maritime role. He was awarded Commandant’s medal during Higher Command Course at Army War College.

The Air Officer has vast instructional experience and has been Directing Staff at prestigious institutions like Tactics and Combat Development Establishment (TACDE) and Flying Instructor School (FIS).

Air Marshal Khosla has also commanded a Jaguar squadron with maritime role and two frontline bases of the IAF at Jaisalmer and Ambala. As an Air Marshal he has held appointment of Senior Air Staff Officer, Central Air Command and Director General Air (Operations) at Air HQ (Vayu Bhawan). Further he is an A2 category flying instructor and a fighter strike leader and a keen golfer.

First Published On : Jan 2, 2017 08:49 IST

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