Defence Current Affairs And Updates 5 August 2020

In a first, women soldiers on combat duty near LoC

  • The Army for the first time has deployed women soldiers for internal security and combat duties near the line of control with Pakistan.
  • On deputation from paramilitary force Assam Rifles, the women platoon has been stationed in the Tangdhar sector of North Kashmir.
  • Around 30 women soldiers are led by Captain Gursimran Kaur of the Army Service Corps (ASC), who herself is a third-generation military officer of her family.
  • “Deployed at security checkpoints leading to the LoC, the women soldiers are also being used for crowd control and frisking of women because there are intelligence inputs of weapons and drugs being smuggled across.
  • The 13-lakh strong Army has been inducting women in small numbers since the mid-1990s but only as officers. Women are also not allowed to join the “fighting arms” of infantry, armoured corps, mechanised infantry, and artillery.

Process to grant women officers Permanent Commission in the Army kicks off

  • The Indian Army has kickstarted the process to grant Permanent Commission to eligible women officers, nearly two weeks after the defence ministry approved the proposal.
  • Officials said the Army headquarters has invited applications by August 31 for grant of Permanent Commission (PC) to women officers recruited under Women Special Entry Scheme (WSES) and Short Service Commission (SSC).
  • “Consequent to the receipt of formal Government Sanction Letter for grant of PC to women officers in Indian Army, the Army headquarters is in the process of convening a special number selection board for screening women officers for grant of PC,” said an Army statement.
  • The officials said women officers who have joined the Army through the WSES, and SSC are being considered for grant of the PC. Last month, the Ministry of Defence issued an order for grant of PC to women officers in the Army.
  • In a landmark judgement, the apex court in February directed that all serving women officers recruited under the short service schemes will have to be considered for PC.
  • Officials said 10 streams where PC of women officers are being made available include army air defence, signals, engineers, army aviation, electronics and mechanical engineers, army service corps and intelligence corps.
  • At present, the Army offers permanent commission to women officers in two branches — judge advocate general (JAG) and education. Under SSC, women officers are initially taken for a period of five years, which is extendable up to 14 years. Permanent commissioning will allow them to serve till the age of retirement.
  • The Army recruits women officers under SSC for streams like air defence, engineering, signals and services and they can serve up to a maximum of 14 years. The three services have allowed permanent recruitment of women in select streams including medical, education, legal, signals, logistics and engineering.
  • The women officers recruited through the SSC in the IAF have the option of seeking a permanent commission in all streams except the flying branch.
  • The Navy has allowed the permanent commission of women in a host of departments such as logistics, naval designing, air traffic control, engineering and legal.

Political absurdity: India on Pak’s boundary map

  • India on Tuesday described as an “exercise in political absurdity” a new map issued by Pakistan that lays claim to the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, and Junagadh in Gujarat state, on the eve of the first anniversary of the scrapping of J&K’s special status.
  • Releasing the political map during a meeting in Islamabad attended by his cabinet and senior officials, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said this was the first step towards a political struggle to achieve the right of self-determination for the Kashmiri people.
  • Hours later, India’s external affairs ministry described the “so-called ‘political map’ of Pakistan” released by Khan as “an exercise in political absurdity, laying untenable claims to territories in the Indian state of Gujarat and our Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and of Ladakh”.
  • “These ridiculous assertions have neither legal validity nor international credibility. In fact, this new effort only confirms [the] reality of Pakistan’s obsession with territorial aggrandisement supported by cross-border terrorism,” the ministry said in a brief statement, repeating New Delhi’s assertion that Islamabad uses terror as an instrument of state policy.
  • Over the past few days, the Pakistani leadership has pulled out all stops to rake up the Kashmir issue ahead of the first anniversary of the Indian government’s decision on August 5, 2019 to scrap Jammu & Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution, and split the state into two UTs.
  • Pakistan’s new map includes the whole of the UT of Jammu & Kashmir as part of the country’s territory, describing it as “Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir” and a “disputed territory” whose final status is to be decided in line with UN Security Council resolutions. The boundary of Himachal Pradesh is depicted as the international border.
  • In a nod to China’s sensitivities, the map does not depict the Ladakh region, with a legend stating “frontier undefined”. An annotation on the map states the boundary in this area will be decided by “sovereign authorities concerned after the final settlement of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute”. During the ceremony at which the map was unveiled, Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi referred to the India-China border standoff in Ladakh and said Pakistan, too, has a view on the matter.
  • Qureshi also said the map includes Siachen glacier as part of Pakistan to challenge the region’s “illegal occupation by India”. He further said the map depicts the boundary in the disputed Sri Creek region of Gujarat according to Pakistan’s stated position on the issue to challenge India’s claim.
  • Khan described the unveiling of map as a “historic” move that he said was backed by his cabinet, the Kashmiri leadership and all of Pakistan’s political parties. “The move reflects the desires of the people of Pakistan and Kashmir and rejects India’s illegal action of August 5 last year,” he said, speaking in Urdu.
  • The new map will be “used in schools and colleges and internationally” and the “only solution to the Kashmir issue can be found under the UN Security Council resolutions, which clearly give the right to the Kashmiri people to vote on whether to go with Pakistan or India,” Khan said.
  • The map also depicts the Junagadh and Manavadar region of India’s Gujarat state as part of Pakistan. The nawab of Junagadh had opted to accede to Pakistan in September 1947, before fleeing from India with his family the following month. Junagadh voted overwhelmingly to stay with India in a plebiscite held in the region in 1948. Experts believe Pakistan has no legal ground for claiming the region.
  • India’s move to nullify Article 370 last year had triggered a strong reaction from Pakistan, with whom India’s ties were then at an all-time low following the standoff over the Pulwama terror attack. It was also opposed by Pakistan’s “iron brother” ally China, which believed it would affect its territorial claims in Ladakh, especially after India included Aksai Chin region in new maps of the union territories.
  • Pakistan plans to observe August 5 as “Youm-e-Istehsal” (day of exploitation) and Khan is scheduled to go to Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), to deliver a speech. On Monday, Pakistan’s foreign and defence ministers visited areas along the Line of Control (LoC) to raise the Kashmir issue.
  • The Pakistani leadership has also attempted to mobilise support for its position on Kashmir from the country’s traditional allies, with only Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan assuring Khan and President Arif Alvi of his country’s backing on the issue.
  • On Tuesday, Khan repeated his allegation that India is “trying to settle people from outside so that Kashmiris become a minority”. He added: “The map is the first step and we will launch a political struggle. We don’t believe in military solutions, we believe in political solutions.”
  • Qureshi also said the Kashmir Highway in Islamabad has been named the Srinagar Highway. Solidarity walks, photo exhibitions and seminars will also be organised to protest against alleged atrocities in Jammu and Kashmir, he said.
  • Academic Happymon Jacob, who closely tracks India-Pakistan relations, said Islamabad should “stop mouthing the worn-out platitude that it supports the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination”.
  • “It only seeks to wrest Kashmir from India,” he said, adding that making the LoC the international boundary “is the only solution available to either side”.

Army to choose from Tata, American Stryker, and Humvee for its armoured protection vehicle requirements

  • Seeking to provide highly mobile armoured protection vehicles to its soldiers in high altitude terrains like Eastern Ladakh, the Indian Army is looking to choose from three different vehicles including the indigenous Tata Wheeled Armoured Protection along with American Stryker Infantry Combat Vehicle and Humvee.
  • The Indian Army has a need for armoured infantry combat vehicles for quick movement of troops in the Eastern Ladakh area where the Chinese have deployed their armoured personnel carriers in large numbers. The force is looking at the three options which include the Tata WhAP and the American Stryker and Humvee, defence sources told.
  • The options are being evaluated by the force at the moment and a decision in this regard would be taken soon, they said. Sources said during the evaluation process, the indigenous platform would certainly have preference over the foreign products in meeting the requirements of the Army.
  • While the Tata vehicle is yet to enter service, the Stryker and Humvee have been part of the American defence forces for a long time now.
  • Tata WhAP, which has been co-developed with a DRDO laboratory, has undergone several trials in recent times including high altitude tests. The Strykers and Humvee are reportedly capable of being dropped from transport aircraft including the C-130J and the C-17s which are also operated by the Indian Air Force.
  • During the ongoing standoff with the Chinese in Eastern Ladakh, the Chinese troops had come to the Line of Actual Control at multiple points including Galwan Valley, Hot Springs, Gogra and Patrolling Point 15 using heavy vehicles including Armoured Personnel Carriers.
  • The Indian Army uses a large number of Russian-origin BMP infantry combat vehicles, which are used by the Mechanised Infantry regiments of the Indian Army in deserts, plains, and high-altitude locations.

Jammu and Kashmir: Over 500 staff under scanner for ‘anti-national activities’

  • More than 500 employees in Jammu and Kashmir are under the scanner and face sacking from service if found involved in anti-national activities, official sources said on Tuesday. The Union Territory administration set up a high-powered committee last week to recommend dismissal of government officers/employees involved in such activities.
  • The sources said that over 500 officers/employees are under the scanner and would face the music once the committee recommended action against them after perusing their past record.
  • The high-powered committee headed by J&K Chief Secretary also includes Secretary of General Administration Department, Secretaries of Home and Law Departments, DGP and ADGP (CID).
  • The committee was set up immediately after an order was issued by invoking Article 311(2)(c) of the Indian Constitution that allows for dismissal, removal, or reduction in rank of persons employed in civil capacities under the union or a state on certain predetermined grounds.
  • The Article also envisages action against people engaged in civil capacities for their involvement in anti-national activities without holding any inquiry if the government is satisfied that such an action is important in the interest of national security.
  • This Article was not applicable to J&K till it enjoyed a special status in the Union of India under Article 370 of the Constitution. However, Article 370 and 35A were revoked/abolished by the central government on August 5 last year
  • The order said the cases shall be referred by the administrative departments concerned or the police to the Home Department, which after examining the cases and upon satisfaction shall place such cases before the committee empowered to recommend the dismissal, removal, or reduction of rank for the officer/employee concerned.
  • Interestingly, members of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the Indian Police Service (IPS) are also not exempted from punitive action against them if found involved in anti-national activities.

29 Dead in ISIS Attack in Afghanistan, One IS Attacker Belonged to Kerala

  • The Islamic State (ISIS) on Tuesday released a photograph of attackers of Jalalabad jail attack in Afghanistan that killed 29. According to the ISIS statement, there were three Indian, one Pakistani, three Afghan and three Tajik terrorists involved in the attack.
  • One of the terrorists has been identified as one Kalukettiya Purayil Ijas from Kasargod, Kerala. The attack took place on Sunday night when the ceasefire between Afghan forces and the Taliban was still in force.
  • General Yasin Zia, the chief of staff of the Afghan Army, who reached the city to oversee the operations said that all the 10 assailants were neutralised by the security forces. At least 48 people were wounded in the attack even as 29 others were killed, Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar Province, was cited as saying by The New York Times.
  • This is not the first time that youth from the southern state have joined the deadly extremist outfit. Last year, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had arrested four youngsters for their alleged connections with the ISIS.
  • Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy had, in June 2019, elaborated upon the strategy adopted by the Indian investigating agencies for identifying youngsters sympathising with the ISIS ideology.
  • “A multi-pronged strategy has been adopted to check the Islamic State (IS) and to bring back the misguided youth on the right path. The measures include socio-economic development of vulnerable communities and focus on educational empowerment. As IS uses various internet-based social media,” he had said in the Parliament.

South Korea conducts first test launch of Hyunmoo-4 ballistic missile

  • The South Korean military conducted in mid-March the first test-firing of its new Hyunmoo-4 (also spelled Hyeonmu-4) ballistic missile, some two-and-a-half years after Washington and Seoul had agreed to scrap the warhead weight limit for South Korean missiles stipulated in US-South Korean guidelines.
  • A South Korean military official told on 10 May that the first test launch of the 800-km-range weapon, which features a greater payload than previous Hyunmoo-series missile systems, was conducted at the Agency for Defense Development’s (ADD’s) Anheung test site in Taean County, South Chungcheong Province. Two missiles were test-fired but one of them reportedly failed. No information was provided about the cause of the failure.
  • The original US-South Korean ballistic missile guidelines of 1979 stopped the development of South Korean ballistic missiles. A revision made in 1997 allowed South Korea to develop a ballistic missile carrying a 500 kg warhead with a maximum strike range of 300 km. This missile, initially known as the Hyunmoo-2 (also spelled Hyeonmu-2), is now known as the Hyunmoo-2A.
  • A further revision of the guidelines in 2012 permitted Seoul to extend the range and/or payload of its ballistic missiles. For instance, it allowed for South Korean ballistic missiles to have a maximum range of 800 km while carrying a 500 kg warhead; of 500 km while carrying a 1,000 kg warhead; and of 300 km while carrying a 2,000 kg warhead.
  • This changed, however, after US President Donald Trump and his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in, announced on 7 November 2017 that they had finalised a deal to scrap the warhead weight limit for South Korean missiles.

Israel received Oshkosh military chassis with world’s largest airplane form US

  • The world’s biggest fully operational plane named Antonov AN-225 Mriya, has delivered Oshkosh military chassis to Israel from the United States.
  • Ukrainian giant aircraft delivered U.S. military military chassis, the exact number of which is undisclosed, which intended to be fitted with an Israeli-made Iron Dome missile defence system.
  • In 2019, the U.S. closed a deal to buy two Iron Dome batteries.
  • The U.S. military is expected to begin inducting a first Iron Dome missile defence system in December 2020.
  • Deliveries of the first two Israeli-made Iron Dome air defence system on order for the U.S. Army are expected to commence in December 2020 and February 2021.
  • The Iron Dome system is a battle-proven, highly accurate weapon and for years it has helped safeguard locations around Israel from rocket fire. Rafael’s website said their air defence systems are the world’s most deployed missile defence system, with more than 2,000 interceptions and a success rate greater than 90%.

Notification Out for CDS 2 2020

  • CDS 2 2020 Notification to join The Indian Army, Navy, Air Force and Officers’ Training Academy has been announced by UPSC. The Indian armed forces always give fair chances to the candidates who are willing to join the three forces and serve the nation. Our country encourages youth mostly to join the forces. CDS 2 2020 is one of the important options/chances provided to graduate candidates.
  • CDS 2 2020 Educational Eligibility Criteria:
ACADEMY EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATION
INDIAN MILITARY ACADEMY Graduation Degree
INDIAN NAVAL ACADEMY B.E/B.Tech. (10+2 with Physics & Maths)
AIR FORCE ACADEMY Graduation, B.E/B.Tech. (10+2 with Physics & Maths)
OFFICERS’ TRAINING ACADEMY (MEN) Graduation Degree
OFFICERS’ TRAINING ACADEMY (WOMEN) Graduation Degree
  • CDS 2 2020 Age Limits:
ACADEMY AGE LIMIT BORN BETWEEN
INDIAN MILITARY ACADEMY 19-24 02 Jul 1997 to 01 Jul 2002
INDIAN NAVAL ACADEMY 19-24 02 Jul 1997 to 01 Jul 2002
AIR FORCE ACADEMY 20-24 02 Jul 1997 to 01 Jul 2001
OFFICERS’ TRAINING ACADEMY (MEN) 19-25 02 Jul 1996 to 01 Jul 2002
OFFICERS’ TRAINING ACADEMY (WOMEN) 19-25 02 Jul 1996 to 01 Jul 2002
  • CDS 2 2020 Paper Pattern:
  1. For Admission to IMA, INA and AFA:
SUBJECT DURATION MAX. MARKS
ENGLISH 2 HOURS 100 M
GENERAL KNOWLEDGE 2 HOURS 100 M
MATHEMATICS 2 HOURS 100 M
  • For Admission to OTA:
SUBJECT DURATION MAX. MARKS
ENGLISH 2 HOURS 100 M
GENERAL KNOWLEDGE 2 HOURS 100 M

For more updates, stay tuned with us.

REVIEW QUESTIONS

  1. On deputation from which paramilitary force, the women platoon has been stationed in the Tangdhar sector of North Kashmir along LOC?
  2. CISF
  3. CRPF
  4. Assam Rifles
  5. Rashtriya Rifles

ANSWER: C

  • Around 30 women soldiers of Assam Rifles at LOC are led by which officer of the Army Service Corps (ASC)?
  • Lt Col Mitali Madhumita
  • Captain Gursimran Kaur
  • Captain Swati Singh
  • Lt Col Anjana Bhaduria

ANSWER: B

  • World’s largest airplane:
  • Antonov AN-124 Ruslan
  • Boeing 747-8
  • Antonov AN-225 Mriya
  • Airbus A320 Neo

ANSWER: C

Hemanth Kasturi

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

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