Indian Navy Concludes Its Annual Exercise




Indian Navy Concludes Its Annual Exercise

The Indian Navy concluded its annual Theatre Level Readiness and Operational Exercise (TROPEX) today. This month long war drill encompassed all dimensions of maritime warfare, and witnessed participation of around 50 ships and submarines, along with over 70 aircraft from the three Naval Commands. The exercise also saw participation of units from the India Air Force and the Indian Coast Guard. The area of operations spanned the Arabian Sea and Northern Indian Ocean and was aimed at validating the Indian Navy’s Concept of Operations. During TROPEX-2015, the Navy had deployed two Carrier Task Forces simultaneously at sea, with both Viraat and Vikramaditya operating with their integral flights in an operational scenario. This assumes significance as it makes the Indian Navy, besides the US Navy, capable of deploying more than one Carrier Task Force at sea, at present.


TROPEX also saw extensive deployment of the nuclear submarine Chakra, the recently inducted P8I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft, the recently commissioned guided missile destroyer Kolkata and Anti Submarine Warfare corvette Kamorta. The exercise provided the right opportunity for the Navy to integrate these acquisitions into its war-fighting concepts. TROPEX-15 also served to reinforce the Indian Navy’s offensive capabilities across all dimensions, including Network Centric Operations, wherein, the indigenous satellite Rukmani was extensively utilised. The Navy also underscored its Op Logistics capability to effectively sustain Fleet Operations for extended periods at large distances.

The exercise reinforced the Navy’s ability to serve in different roles with relative ease, when it exercised a Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) mission, as part of the build up to the main phase of the exercise. This exercise was conducted against the backdrop of the Lakshadweep and Minicoy Islands having been struck by a super cyclone. The Indian Navy has the inherent capacity and capability to reach outlying islands and coastal areas, with relief and rehabilitation material, and remains continuously prepared for this task.

Overall, the exercise reiterated the Navy’s preparedness and capability to meet various roles mandated for it, in support of national objectives.

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Participation of States in Republic Day Celebrations

An Expert Committee consisting of eminent persons from fields of art, culture, drama etc., considers various proposals received from the state Governments / UT Administrations and Central Ministries with regard to their thematic and creative contents.

After recommendation of the proposals by the Expert Committee and its Consideration in the Ministry of Defence, details of states whose tableaux were selected / not selected is as under:-

States / UTs Selected:- Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Assam, Jharkhand, Sikkim, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Arunachal Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat.

States / UTs not selected:- Bihar, Kerala, Manipur, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Odisha and UTs Delhi and Chandigarh.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar in a written reply to Shri Kalikesh N. Singh Deo in Lok Sabha today.

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Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme

There have been no specific complaints regarding misuse of funds. However, there are some complaints about lack of funds allocated to the ECHS. The budget allocated at Budget Estimate stage was less than projected estimate and additional funds were allocated at Revised Estimate (RE) stage. The shortfall of medicines is not directly related to lack of funds and it is attributed to procedure involved in procurement of medicines. Some private hospitals have withdrawn their services from ECHS due to various reasons including low rates, delay in clearance of bills etc.

The steps taken by the Government to improve health care under ECHS include sanction of additional manpower to ECHS polyclinics, revision of remuneration, bringing all 28 Regional Centres under online billing mode for timely processing and payment of medical bills of empanelled facilities, upgrading ECHS Card, empanelment of more medical facilities etc.

This information was given by Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh in a written reply to Shri B.V. Naik in Lok Sabha today.


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Setting up of Technology Development Board

There has been no provision of funds for setting up of a Technology Development Board in the defence sector. However, in the regular budget for 2014-15, provision was made to set aside an initial sum of Rs. 100 crore to set up Technology Development Fund for providing necessary resources to public and private sector companies, including SMEs, as well as academic and scientific institutions, to support research and development of defence systems.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar in a written reply to Shri K. Parasuraman in Lok Sabha today.


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Transportation of Arms and Ammunitions

The arms, ammunition and explosives of defence forces are transported as per regulations laid down by STEC (Storage and Transportation of Explosive Committee) and orders and procedures issued in this regard. No case of such disappearance has been reported in the stated period. Adequate policies and procedures are in place for safe transportation of arms and ammunition.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar in a written reply to Dr. Subhash Bhamre in Lok Sabha today.

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Aircraft and Helicopter Crashes

During the last three years (2011-12, 2012-13 & 2013-14) and the current year 2014-15 (upto 25.2.2015), a total of 28 defence aircraft including 14 MIG aircraft have crashed. Further, a total of 14 defence helicopters have crashed during this period.  42 lives were lost in these accidents. The loss to the Government in terms of value of aircraft and service property, in respect of 26 accidents assessed so far is estimated at Rs.1127.37 crore. The details of the accidents are as follows:

Defence
Services
No. of aircraft crashed
Loss of
Lives

2011-12
2012-13
2013-14
2014-15
(upto
25.2.2015)


IAF
12
(05 MIG)
04
(02 MIG)
06
(04 MIG)
06
(03 MIG)
11
Army Aviation
Nil
Nil
Indian Navy
Nil
Nil
Total
12
04
06
06
11

Defence
Services
No. of helicopters crashed
Loss of
Lives

2011-12
2012-13
2013-14
2014-15
(upto
25.2.2015)


IAF
01
02
--
01
16
Army Aviation
01
01
02
03
10
Indian Navy
--
02
--
01
05
Total
02
05
02
05
31

Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) in its meeting held in August 2014 has decided that in order to balance the important issues of urgency and country’s strategic interests, the total requirement of new helicopters for the Army and Indian Air Force will be met by procuring the immediate requirement of helicopters and domestically manufacturing the balance requirement.



Phasing out of helicopters / fighter aircraft and their replacement with new generation aircraft depends upon the national security / strategic objectives and operational requirements of the defence forces and are reviewed by the Government from time to time.  This is a continuous process.



This information was given by Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar in a written reply to Shri Shrirangappa Barne and others in Lok Sabha today.


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Shortage of Articles in Army

Procurement of these items as per the authorization is an ongoing process. Indents are placed for the deficiencies revealed on the basis of Annual Provisioning Review, on Ordnance Factories for the items manufactured by them. For other items, procurement is done from trade sources in accordance with the provisions of Defence Procurement Manual.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar in a written reply to Shri G. Hari in Lok Sabha today.

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Procurement of Arms and Ammunition

Government constantly reviews the security scenario and accordingly decides to induct appropriate defence equipment including arms and ammunition. This is a continuous process undertaken through procurement from various indigenous as well as foreign vendors to keep the armed forces in a state of readiness.

Acquisition of weapons and equipment for defence forces is carried out as per Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP), and as per Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP), Service Capital Acquisition Plan (SCAP) and Annual Acquisition Plan (AAP). Capital Procurement for Defence are currently being progressed as per the current LTIPP (2012-27) and AAP (2014-2016). As per revised estimates, the budget allocated on Capital Acquisition for Defence Forces during 2013-14 was Rs.66,406.41 Crore.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar in a written reply to Adv. Sharadkumar Maruti Bansode and Shri Nishikant Dubey in Lok Sabha today.


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Production of Defence Equipment

Government constantly reviews the security scenario and accordingly decides to induct appropriate defence equipment. The timelines of production by indigenous vendors are taken into consideration at the time of categorization of the equipment procurement to ensure that the operational preparedness of the Services is not affected.

Capital procurement of defence equipment / weapon systems for the Armed Forces is carried out in accordance with the provisions of the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) which prescribes steps to cut down delays.

The DPP provides for direct dealing with original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) or Authorized Vendors or Government sponsored Export Agencies (applicable in case of countries where domestic laws do not permit direct export by OEMs). Further, the procedures inter-alia incorporate provisions for penalties being imposed if any seller engages any individual or firm, whether Indian or foreign whatsoever, to intercede, facilitate or in any way recommend to the Government of India or any of its functionaries, whether officially or unofficially, to the award of the contract to the Seller.

DPP also contains provisions including the signing of Pre-Contract Integrity Pact (PCIP), Standard Clauses in the contract and submission of Integrity Pact Bank Guarantee (IPBG) by the vendor, with an aim to ensure highest degree of probity and public accountability, transparency in operations, free competition and impartiality.

Allegations of kickbacks / commission are dealt with as per provisions of DPP and wherever necessary, the cases are referred to the appropriate agency including CBI for further investigation.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar in a written reply to Shri Natubhai Gomanbhai Patel and others in Lok Sabha today.


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Road Projects of BRO



73 roads are identified as strategic Indo-China border roads (ICBR), out of which 61 roads have been entrusted to Border Roads Organisation (BRO) with a length of 3410 km which were planned to be completed by 2012.

Out of 61 ICBRs with BRO, 19 roads of length 625 km have been completed and connectivity has been achieved on 24 roads.  The revised completion schedule for 42 ICBRs is as under:



(i) 2015   16 roads

(ii) 2016   13 roads

(iii) 2017   9 roads

(iv) 2018 :2 roads

(v) Beyond 2018 :2 roads

There are certain delays in execution of road projects mainly due to the following reasons:



(i) Delay in Forest / Wildlife clearance.
(ii) Hard rock stretches.
(iii) Limited working season.
(iv) Difficulties in availability of construction material.
(v) Due to natural disaster such as flash flood of Leh in 2010, J&K flood in 2014 and earthquake in Sikkim in 2011, resources are diverted.
(vi) Delay in land acquisition.

Government has taken following measures to expedite the pace of road projects:
(i) Chief Secretaries of various State Governments have been requested to constitute Empowered Committees under their chairmanship with Secretaries of concerned departments as members to resolve issues related to land acquisition, forest / wildlife clearance, allotment of quarries etc.
(ii) Ministry of Environment & Forest (MoEF) has given the General Approval under section 2 of forest (conservation) Act, 1980 for diversion of forest land required for construction / widening of roads entrusted to BRO in the area falling within 100 kilometers aerial distance from the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and for link roads between Border Roads in the area within 100 kilometer aerial distance from the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and National Highways / State Highways / Other roads subject to certain conditions.
(iii)  Outsourcing has been allowed to augment capacity of BRO.
(iv) Long Term Roll On Work Plan (LTROWP) and Long Term Equipment Plan (LTEP) have been approved.
(v) Enhanced financial and administrative powers have been given to the executives of BRO.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar in a written reply to Shri Anurag Singh Thakur in Lok Sabha today.


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Illegal Entry of Foreign Vessels

Instances of illegal fishing in Indian waters by foreign fishermen come to the notice of Government from time to time. A total of 233 foreign boats and 1686 foreign crew were apprehended by the Indian Coast Guard during the period 2011-15.

Vessels and aircraft of Indian Coast Guard and Indian Navy are deployed on 24x7 basis for surveillance in the maritime zones of India to protect national interests including for preventing infiltration and poaching by foreign fishing boats. Indian Coast Guard conducts community interaction programmes with the fishermen to sensitize them on prevailing security situations and develop them to be the “eyes and ears” for intelligence gathering. Static radars have been installed along the Indian Coast line for electronic surveillance of vessel traffic. Coast Guard has been conducting regular exercises biannually on coastal security in co-ordination with other Central and State Government agencies i.e. Marine Police, Customs, CISF, Fisheries Department, Port Authorities, State Police and Indian Navy. Strengthening of maritime security and coastal security is a multi-stakeholder activity and necessary measures are implemented by various agencies. To ensure coordination, regular meetings of the National Committee on Strengthening Maritime and Coastal Security (NCSMCS) are held in which all stakeholders participate.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar in a written reply to Shri Feroze Varun Gandhi in Lok Sabha today.


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To be Answered on the 27th February, 2015
Dhruva Helicopters

Pending findings of Court of Inquiry set up by Ministry of Defence, Ecuador, consisting of representatives from Ecuadorian Army and Navy into the cause of the two recent accidents of Dhruva, Ecuador Air Force has suspended flying their Dhruva Helicopters. A High Level Delegation from HAL has visited Ecuador and offered support.

Customer constitutes a Court of Inquiry to enquire into any accidents in military aircraft. Indian Air Force had constituted court of inquiries into all the three accidents of Dhruv helicopters. Based on the first court of inquiry into the accident of February, 2007 and the second accident in October, 2011 a Control Saturation Warning System has been developed which is progressively being fitted into the helicopters. The Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv is certified to International Standard as per DEF-STAN 00-0970 and nearly 200 Dhruv helicopters have been produced till date and are being operated by military and civil operators in India and abroad.

This information was given by Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh in a written reply to Shri Rahul Shewale and Shri Vinayak Bhaurao Raut in Lok Sabha today.

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National Cadet Corps

Two phases of new raisings have been completed during 2010-11 and 2011-12 resulting in increase in authorized cadet strength from 13 lakhs to 13.80 lakhs.

The total number of NCC Cadets who were awarded ‘C’ Certificate in 2014 are 82165. Details of employment in respect of them are not collated. NCC Certificate is not mandatory for recruitment of soldiers. As on date there is no proposal to make NCC mandatory in schools and colleges.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar in a written reply to Shri Prahlad Singh Patel in Lok Sabha today.

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Development of Defence Industries



Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) collaborates with various universities/academia to impart specialised education in the field of defence and strategic studies to provide skilled manpower to domestic defence industries in the country.



       University Grant Commission (UGC) has set up an Expert Committee to review the existing syllabus of defence and strategic studies at Under Graduate/Post Graduate and M. Phil./Ph.D. levels. UGC has also decided to support the upgradation of the department of defence and strategic studies in 10 universities in the country during XII Plan period.  Initially, proposals from the following five Universities have been invited for upgradation of existing department of defence and strategic studies.



·         University of Allahabad
·         University of Madras
·         University of Pune
·         University of Manipur
·         University of Punjab



This information was given by Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar in a written reply to Smt Darshana Vikram Jardosh in Lok Sabha today.


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Import of Defence Equipment

The expenditure on Capital acquisition in respect of orders placed on Indian vendors and foreign vendors during the period 2011-12 to 2013-14 was 53.9% and 46.1% respectively.



After opening up the Defence Industry Sector for Private Sector Participation in Defence Production, FDI amounting to Rs.24.36 crore (US $ 4.94 million) has been received in the Sector up to December 2014.



The details of expenditure in respect of orders placed on foreign vendors during the last three financial years are given below:


                                                  (Rs. In crore)

Air Force
Navy
Army
2011-12
15258.11
6700.91
506.07
2012-13
19220.95
6100.38
991.67
2013-14
20927.54
12653.56
1501.00

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar in a written reply to Shri Sharad Tripathi and Shri P.K. Biju in Lok Sabha today.

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Veterans Commission

In pursuance of Hon’ble President’s statement made in the joint session of parliament on 9th June, 2014, regarding Government’s decision to appoint a Veterans Commission, the National Commission for Ex-Servicemen Bill, 2015 has been drafted in order to set up the National Commission for Ex-Servicemen. The comments of Department of Legislative Affairs have been obtained on the Bill and the follow-up action is being taken in accordance with the guidelines / procedure laid down for legislative proposals to set up such Bodies. No funds have been allocated so far for setting up the Veterans Commission for 2014-15.

This information was given by Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh in a written reply to Shri P. Karunakaran in Lok Sabha today.

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Export of Defence Products

The Government has taken the following steps for export of defence products:-

(i)

A Defence Export Strategy has been formulated and put in public domain.  The strategy outlines the need for promotional measures and simplification of regulatory processes for facilitating / promoting the export of defence products.

(ii)


Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for issue of No Objection Certificate (NOC) for export of military stores has been finalized and put in public domain.

(iii)
On-line system of receiving application for issue of NOC for export of military stores has been introduced.


As per DGFT Policy Circular No.45 (RE-08)/2004-2009, dated 4th December 2008, Department of Defence Production (DDP) issues “NOC” for export of goods, which are in the nature of military stores.

During the last three years and the current year, NOCs for export of military stores to the following countries have been issued:-

Algeria, Benin, Nigeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sri Lanka, Paraguay, Japan, Afghanistan, Spain, Nepal, Belgium, Malaysia, Norway, Romania, Port of Spain, Venezuela, France, Vietnam, UK, UAE, Bangladesh, Ghana, Sweden, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Egypt, Burkina Faso, Brazil, Israel, Republic of Korea, Macau, Oman, Tunisia, Libya, Nuevo Leon, Ecuador, Kazakhstan, Uruguay, Netherland, Canada, Russia, USA, Namibia, Indonesia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Switzerland, Czech, Kenya, Botswana, Tajikistan, Singapore, Ireland, Italy, Gabon and Turkey.

The Government has not fixed any target for export of military stores to other countries.

This information was given by Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh in a written reply to Shri P.C. Mohan in Lok Sabha today.

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Submarine Construction Project

Six Scorpene Submarines are currently under construction under Project 75 at M/s Mazagon Dock Limited, Mumbai in collaboration with M/s DCNS, France.

At present the number of conventional diesel electric submarines in Indian Navy is less than the numbers envisaged as per Naval Perspective Plan, partly due to delays in indigenous construction of submarines.

No proposal has been received from the Government of Japan for construction of submarines. Defence Acquisition Council has constituted a Core Committee in December 2014 to identify suitable Indian shipyards for construction of submarines indigenously, is required to submit its report within three months.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar in a written reply to Shri Maheish Girri and others in Lok Sabha today.


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Purchase of Fighter Aircraft

The requirement of fighter aircraft is periodically reviewed to ensure that the operational requirements of the Indian Air Force are met.

A proposal to procure Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft from M/s Dassault Aviation, France, is under consideration of the Government. However, no Agreement has been signed.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar in a written reply to Prof. K.V. Thomas and others in Lok Sabha today.


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Replacement of Avro Fleet

A proposal to procure 56 transport aircraft as replacement for ageing fleet of Avro Aircraft through ‘Buy & Make’ route has been accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) on 23.7.2012. Out of these, 40 aircraft will be manufactured in India by an Indian Production Agency (IPA) from the private sector. The IPA is to be chosen by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). The RFP for this project was issued to 08 foreign transport aircraft Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) on 8th May, 2013. Only one vendor has submitted techno-commercial bid in response to the RFP. An Independent Committee has been set up to look into various issues related to single vendor situation before decision is taken to progress the case.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar in a written reply to Dr Kirit Somaiya and Shri G Hari in Lok Sabha today.


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Blacklisting of Companies

During the last three years and the current year, orders have been issued debarring six firms along with their allied and subsidiary firms from business dealings with Ministry of Defence for a period of ten years. Orders have not been issued for removal of companies from blacklist.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar in a written reply to Shri Ravindra Kumar Pandey and Shri Sanjay Kaka Patil in Lok Sabha today.

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Maldivian Minister Calls on the Minister for Science & Technology and Earh Sciences Dr. Harsh Vardhan to Discuss Issues Relating to Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems (Rimes)

The Minister of State for Environment and Energy of Maldives, Dr. Abdullahi Majeed, called on the Minister Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Dr Harsh Vardhan, in New Delhi today. The visiting Minister has discussed issues relating to Regional Integrated Multi-hazard Early warning Systems (RIMES). India is currently the chair of RIMES and Dr Harsh Vardhan has agreed to host the second RIMES Ministerial Conference in India during June 2015. Issues relating to an interim funding mechanism of RIMES were discussed till this is integrated into national budgets of the member countries. Both the Ministers also discussed the proposed second Master Plan for 2015-20 to be prepared through the sub-group of RIMES Ministers, constituted by the First RIMES Ministerial Conference. RIMES second Ministers Conference could be fixed in mid April to adopt RIMES second Master Plan (2015 -2020) and that will guide RIMES program implementation during this period.

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Government accepts the resignation of Shri Mani Shankar Aiyar from the Chairmanship of Coordination Committee of Zonal Cultural Centres (CCZCC)

The Government has accepted the resignation of Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha), Shri Mani Shankar Aiyar as Chairman of the Coordination Committee of Zonal Cultural Centres (CCZCC). In an order dated 23rd February, 2015, the Ministry of Culture has stated that the resignation of Shri Mani Shankar Aiyar dated 17th May, 2014 has been accepted by the Government. The order states that the Government has also decided to wind up the CCZCC w.e.f. 16th December, 2014 since all the recommendations made by Shri Mani Shankar Aiyar Committee and CCZCC stands accepted and implemented/being implemented.
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