Defence Current Affairs And Updates 15 October 2020

78th EME Corps Day

  • On 15 October 1943, actual transfer of personnel from the Indian Army Ordnance Corps (IAOC) to IEME took place. Since then, 15 October is observed as EME Corps day.
  • The Corps has varying responsibilities related to the design, development, trial, inspection and refit of weapon systems and equipment. They also provide technical advice to units and conduct recovery operations in peace and war.
  • Colours of corps: Oxford blue, Golden yellow and Scarlet.
  • The badge was designed by Major SE Doig and was taken into use from 26 Jan 1955.
  • Oxford Blue colour: Signifies devotion to duty.
  • Golden Yellow colour: Represents magnanimity and intellect.
  • Scarlet colour: Implies aggressiveness valour and sacrifice.
  • The design for the Corps colours was proposed by the then DEME, Major General SP Vohra, and approved by the then President Dr S Radhakrishnan, in March 1964.

India scoffs at China’s new excuse for Ladakh stand-off, cites 3 reasons

  • India has rejected Chinese contention that its border infrastructure upgrade along the 3,488 km Line of Actual Control (LAC) is the crux of on-going military tensions, saying the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has already built and continues to construct roads and communication network on its side of the border.
  • “First, the bridges inaugurated by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday are away from the LAC and would facilitate civilian movement and access apart from military logistics. Second, China has never raised the issue of India’s infra upgrade at the on-going military-diplomatic talks. Third, what about the road, bridges, optical fibres, solar-heated huts and missile deployments of the PLA close to the LAC. India is only building infra on its side of the LAC and for that we do not need Chinese permission,” said a senior official.
  • According to military commanders, the PLA has drawn optical fibre for secure communication at contested Gogra-Hot Springs, used heavy-lift cranes to drop solar heated containers as accommodation for forward troops on north bank of Pangong Tso and have built a hospital in the depth area to cater to high-altitude sickness and medical problems associated with rarefied atmosphere.
  • However, according to China watchers, the reason why PLA is concerned about Indian infrastructure upgrade in Ladakh is that it could pose a military threat to the multi-billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor, or CPEC, to Pakistan that passes via Khunjerab Pass and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. It is understood that the Chinese have conveyed their concerns over CPEC to its all-weather ally Pakistan as India has very strongly objected to Beijing exploiting the ecologically sensitive Gilgit-Baltistan area and PoK.
  • The increased Indian military capacity and capability on the LAC also prevents the PLA from nibbling into East Ladakh in pursuance of its maximalist 1959 cartographical claim line.
  • The fact is that in 1976, the China Study Group headed by the then Cabinet Secretary had defined 65 patrolling points as limits for Indian Army on the Ladakh LAC. As these patrolling points were well within Indian perception of LAC, the PLA through tremendous border upgrades tried to turn these limits as Indian border. This was pointed out to the UPA regime by former foreign secretary Shyam Saran when, as the National Security Advisory Board chairman, he advocated that Indian troops must patrol up to at least the limits defined by CSG.
  • Over the years, China has pressurised India not only on the border but has also been condescending enough to ask New Delhi to maintain its non-aligned position and not get close to the United States. Beijing, on its part, believes that it belongs to a different league and has blocked India from becoming a member of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), UN Security Council and even helped Pakistan to unsuccessfully try to get Indian engineers involved in Afghan reconstruction as global terrorists under 1267 UNSC resolution.

Foreign secretary Shringla, US deputy secretary discuss upcoming 2 plus 2 dialogue

  • Foreign secretary Harsh Shringla and US deputy secretary of state Stephen Biegun on Tuesday discussed the upcoming 2+2 ministerial dialogue between the two countries and reviewed bilateral ties, including expanding cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.
  • The two officials also discussed ways to strengthen cooperation at the United Nations, especially during India’s stint as a non-permanent member of the Security Council during 2021-22, external affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava tweeted.
  • The “priorities” for the upcoming India-US 2+2 dialogue between the foreign and defence ministers of the two countries and “expanding our partnership in support of a peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific” also figured in the discussions, the US embassy said in a tweet.
  • The 2+2 dialogue is expected to be held in New Delhi during October 26-27, though both countries are yet to make a formal announcement regarding the event. It will follow external affairs minister S Jaishankar’s recent meeting with US secretary of state Mike Pompeo on the margins of a meeting of foreign ministers of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue in Tokyo earlier this month.
  • Srivastava also said in his tweets that Shringla and Biegun reviewed the “status & progress of our diverse & growing bilateral relationship” during their bilateral consultations on a diverse range of issues.
  • The two officials also highlighted “convergences & shared interests” between the two sides and reiterated their commitment to the Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership between India and the US, he added.
  • Beigun’s visit has coincided with a push by the US to institutionalise cooperation with India in the Indo-Pacific, primarily to counter China’s aggressive activities across the region. During his visit to Tokyo, Pompeo had spoken about institutionalising the Quad, currently an informal grouping, and expanding it to include more like-minded countries.
  • While delivering an address on Monday night, Beigun had said India and the US “have been too cautious” while developing the Quad, though the recent ministerial meeting of the grouping in Tokyo had made the US confident that efforts had begun to create more “strategic linkages”.
  • Beigun also described China as “an elephant in the room” as India and the US work towards an “organic and deeper partnership” based on a “fundamental alignment along shared security and geopolitical goals, shared interests and shared values”.

Parliament panel to visit Ladakh on October 28-29 amid India-China standoff

  • A group of parliamentarians is set to visit the Ladakh sector to get first-hand insights into aspects related to high-altitude clothing for soldiers, housing and rations at a time when India and China are locked in a border row and efforts to reduce friction have made no headway, officials familiar with the developments said Tuesday.
  • The members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), headed by Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, are likely to visit Leh on October 28-29, the officials said.
  • The visit was finalised after Chowdhury wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla last month suggesting that the PAC visit the Ladakh sector to interact with soldiers deployed there and understand their working conditions and requirements.
  • The committee is currently examining a recent report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) that had pointed out deficiencies in high-altitude clothing and equipment and the need to equip soldiers with proper gear.
  • The PAC discussed some issues related to rations and clothing with chief of defence staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat during a meeting on September 6, the officials said. At this meeting, the PAC chairman asked the CDS to consider a tour for the MPs to the Ladakh sector, following which Chowdhury wrote to Birla. The PAC is expected to meet on October 23 to finalise its itinerary.
  • In a report tabled in Parliament in February, the national auditor had drawn attention to the shortage of essential gear, clothing and rations being faced by soldiers deployed in high-altitude areas such as Siachen and Ladakh.
  • There was a critical shortage of snow goggles and troops were not issued multi-purpose boots between November 2015 and September 2016, a press statement issued by the CAG had then said. However, reacting to the CAG report, senior army officials had said that the deficiencies had been taken care of and each soldier deployed in Siachen was supplied with gear worth Rs 1 lakh.
  • The MPs are likely to be briefed by senior army officials and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) scientists during the visit. The PAC scrutinises the appropriation accounts of the government and the reports prepared by the CAG. The PAC’s Leh visit comes at a time when both Indian and Chinese forces have made arrangements for a long haul in the eastern Ladakh theatre.

Seoul seeks closer defence ties with India

  • South Korea has suggested the revival of in-person diplomacy, including two-plus-two talks with India, during a meeting of its first Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-kun with Indian ambassador in Seoul Sripriya Ranganathan.
  • Seoul’s proposal for a two plus two with India or a simultaneous meeting of foreign and defence ministers from both countries has been aired at a time when the US is keen on an informal expansion of Quad. The countries that could be a part of an extended Quad include South Korea.
  • During the talks, South Korea also sought Indian support for its Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee candidature for the WTO DG’s post. Yoo has entered the final round of the selection process and is competing with Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria. The WTO is expected to announce the decision on the new leader around early November.
  • Ranganathan and Choi also agreed to continue efforts to deepen bilateral cooperation, especially in defence and people-to-people exchanges, according to a South Korean Foreign Ministry statement. “Delighted to call on the first Vice Foreign Minister and hear firsthand his thoughts on how best to strengthen the already robust India-ROK relationship even more,” said Ranganathan in a post.
  • Choi concurred with the Indian envoy on the need to continue close communication via virtual meetings between the two governments and agreed to seek ways to resume high-level talks.
  • Separately, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, in a special missive, said, “India means a lot to us, given the fact that it is the world’s second most populous nation and a key partner for my administration’s New Southern Policy.”

Indian Army and Maharashtra police conduct joint anti-terror exercise in Pune

  • The Indian Army and Maharashtra police organised a joint anti-terror exercise to coordinate their drills and procedures to counter any terrorist attack in Pune, an official said on Tuesday. The joint anti-terror exercise was organised by Agnibaaz Division (41 Artillery Division) of Southern Command of the Indian Army here at Lullanagar on October 9.
  • Quick reaction teams, dog squads, bomb disposal teams of the Army as well as an anti-terrorism squad (ATS) and a quick response team of the state police participated in the exercise.
  • “The aim of the exercise was to harmonise the drills and procedures of both the Army and police for activating anti-terrorist quick reaction teams (QRTs) to counter any terrorist actions in Pune,” an official release stated.
  • A simulated exercise scenario was built up regarding presence of terrorists in a residential accommodation in Lullanagar, based on which quick reaction teams of the Army initially established the outer cordon, it was stated.
  • According to the release, a joint action was thereafter carried out by the Army’s Counter-Terrorism Task Force (CTTF) and the police’s quick response team to neutralise terrorists.
  • “It involved a room intervention drill, a search of the room for any unidentified items/explosives by dog squads and their neutralisation/diffusion by bomb disposal units,” the release said.
  • An equipment display was also organised, showcasing important equipment required for the exercise, which was carried out in keeping with the COVID-19 safety norms, with limited number of personnel, it said.
  • The exercise provided an opportunity for both the Army and police to cooperate, coordinate and streamline their drills and procedures, it was stated.

Remembering Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, India’s Missile Man and 11th President, on his Birth Anniversary

  • Former President APJ Abdul Kalam, the ‘missile man’ who came to be known as ‘People’s President’ was an Indian scientist who served as the 11th President of India from 2002 to 2007.
  • He was born on 15 October 1931 and died on 27 July 2015, after he collapsed during a lecture at the IIM Shillong. He is a great motivator and an indomitable inspiration to the world masses.
  • He got 2 chances to join the Indian Air Force, one at AFSB Dehradun, and another at the Directorate of Technical Development and Production (DTDP), Delhi.  After attending the interview, he realized that AFSB seeks a certain kind of smartness along with your knowledge and educational qualification. As described by Mr. APJ Abdul Kalam, he bagged 9th position out of 25 candidates and failed as only 8 vacancies were there. That was a moment when he also got broke for a moment. But he didn’t stop at all. He serves as the most respected and loved persons by all.

QUICK REVIEW

  1. Scarlet colour in EME flag implies
  2. Aggressiveness, valour and sacrifice
  3. Devotion to duty
  4. Magnanimity and intellect
  5. None of the above

ANSWER: A

  • On 15 October 1943, actual transfer of personnel from the ________ to IEME took place
  • Indian Army Ordnance Corps (IAOC)
  • Indian Army Service Corps (IASC)
  • Indian Army Air Defence Corps (IAADC)
  • Indian Army Aviation Corps (IAAC)

ANSWER: A

  • Indian Secretary of Foreign Affairs
  • Rajesh Bhushan
  • Harsh Vardhan Shringla
  • Ajay Kumar
  • Ajay Kumar Bhalla

ANSWER: B

  • APJ Abdul Kalam was ___ President of India.
  • 10th                     C. 12th
  • 11th                                D. 13th

ANSWER: B

  • Which among the following are the sobriquets given to Late Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam?
  • Missile Man of India
  • People’s President
  • Both A and B
  • Neither A nor B

ANSWER: C

  • The members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) are likely to visit Leh on October 28-29. It is headed by:
  • Mallikarjun Kharge
  • Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury
  • Ramesh Pokhriyal
  • Sudip Bandyopadhyay

ANSWER: B

Hemanth Kasturi

    General Studies Tutor at SSBCrackExams, Graduate in Aeronautical Engineering, Cleared NDA, CDS, INET, AFCAT exams.

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