Rajnath Singh 90 Infra Projects BRO Jammu

Need To Promote Innovations Useful For Defence, Civil Sectors: Rajnath

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said that institutions need to promote innovation which is not only useful for the defence industry but also for civilian purposes.

“We need to promote such innovations in the defence sector which are not only useful for defence but also equally effective for the civil sector,” Rajnath
Singh said at the 12th convocation ceremony of the Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT) in Pune.

He cited examples of how the use of navigation systems was initially started for defence requirements but later on became an important part of civilian life.

“Plastic surgery is also deeply related to the defence sector. We see that many a time soldiers get injured during the war, and different parts of their bodies get damaged in an unfortunate way. For this plastic surgery is a boon which is also helping civilian life,” the Defence minister said.

Rajnath Singh said countries have to move fast towards technological advancement.

“We have to keep in mind that if our adversaries have more advanced technologies, then it can become a problem for us in the coming times. That’s why we have to move fast towards technological advancement along with the changing environment,” he said.

The minister said apart from land and air, threats can come from cyberspace and the space sector.

Concepts like non-kinetic or contactless warfare have made the need for advanced technology in the defence sector more important than ever, the minister said.

“In the last few decades, we have seen that the methods of warfare are changing at a faster rate…. The dangers of conventional war are in front of us, but going beyond them, now completely new types of threats are looming in front of us,” added Rajnath Singh.

He also touched upon the government’s Atmanirbhar push and highlighted that a huge country like India cannot depend on imports.

“If we only import defence equipment and platforms, it will make us dependent on other countries in the defence sector. This dependence can also be a hindrance to our strategic autonomy,” he said.

Rajnath Singh also met former President Pratibha Patil and personally expressed condolences to her on the demise of her spouse Dr Devisingh Shekhawat. (ANI)

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Rajnath Hands Over Fast Patrol Vessel, Landing Craft Assault Ship To Maldives

On the second day of his 3-day visit to the Maldives, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh handed over a Fast Patrol Vessel and a Landing Craft Assault ship to the Maldives National Defence Forces (MNDF) on Tuesday, according to Ministry of Defence.

The Fast Patrol Vessel, capable of coastal and offshore surveillance at high speeds, was commissioned as the MNDF Coast Guard ship Huravee. President of Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Defence Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi were present on the occasion.

Rajnath Singh tweeted, “Delighted to handover a Fast Patrol Vessel and a Landing Craft Assault ship to Maldives today. It is a symbol of our shared commitment towards peace & security in the Indian Ocean Region.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Maldives also took to Twitter and said, “Minister @abdulla_shahid attends the handover ceremony of the Offshore Patrol Vessel Coast Guard Ship Huravee and Landing Craft from the Government of #India. Maldives is committed to further strengthening the relationship between and in defence security cooperation.”

Speaking on the occasion, Rajnath Singh described the handing over of the two ‘Made in India’ platforms as a symbol of the shared commitment of India and the Maldives towards peace and security in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). He stated that India, through a robust defence ecosystem, has significantly enhanced its manufacturing capabilities to further support the capacity building of partner countries, as per an official release of the Ministry of Defence.

“India has emerged as a leading defence exporter in recent years. A defence manufacturing ecosystem has been created which has the advantage of abundant technical manpower. We produce world-class equipment to meet not only our own needs but also for exports. India offers an enhanced defence partnership to friendly foreign countries, that is accommodative of their national priorities and capacities. We wish to create symbiotic relationships where we can learn from each other, grow together and create a win-win situation for all. India’s commitment to support the Maldives will only get stronger with time,” the Defence Minister said.

On India’s strong defence cooperation with the nation, Rajnath Singh asserted that the ties emanate from the twin policies of ‘Neighbourhood First’ and ‘SAGAR’ (Security and Growth for All in the Region). He recalled Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Maldives in June 2019, during which he emphasised that “‘Neighbourhood First’ is our priority and in the neighbourhood, ‘Maldives is priority’.”

The Defence Minister called for enhanced cooperation among nations in the IOR to address the common challenges faced by the region. “The Indian Ocean is our shared space. The primary responsibility for peace, stability and prosperity in the region rests with those who live in the region. Peace and security of a region are best secured with cooperation and collaboration of the regional players,” he said.

Rajnath Singh identified sustainable exploitation of resources and climate change as the most important common challenges faced by the IOR. He called for collaborative efforts towards ensuring that the maritime expanse of the Indian Ocean is peaceful and the resources are optimally harnessed for regional prosperity. Sustainable exploitation of maritime resources is an important means for sustained growth and development of nations across the IOR, he said.

On climate change, the Defence Minister said, it has a huge impact on the maritime environment and its effects can pose challenges for taking forward national and regional aspirations. Pointing out that the Maldives is particularly exposed to the vagaries of climate change, he voiced India’s willingness to work with its neighbour for adaptation and mitigation. “India has been the first responder in a large number of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) requirements in the region in the past many years. We look forward to building upon each other’s expertise by collaborative engagement,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Rajnath Singh called on Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. Discussions were held on ongoing projects and ways to further strengthen defence ties. The Maldivian President expressed gratitude for India’s continued aid and support to the Maldives in various sectors, stating that it is a testament to New Delhi’s special regard for the nation. He also conveyed the Maldives’ commitment towards strengthening this relationship. The Defence Minister spoke about the progress of various developmental projects undertaken by India in the Maldives and assured continued support, as per the Defence Ministry’s release.

Rajnath Singh reached Male on Monday and on the first day of his engagements, he held talks with his Maldivian counterpart and Foreign Minister of Maldives Abdulla Shahid. (ANI)

Rajnath about LOC

5 Jawans Killed In Poonch Attack: Army Chief Briefs Rajnath

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was briefed by Army Chief General Manoj Pande on the death of five soldiers in a terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district, defence sources said on Thursday.

According to sources, the army jawans on the ground were keeping a watch on the situation and taking appropriate action.
Earlier in the day, army jawans said a fire in an army truck in the Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir, which claimed the lives of five personnel, was caused by grenades lobbed by terrorists.

The army released a statement on the incident, saying the vehicle was fired upon by terrorists after which it erupted in flames after grenades were lobbed by the terrorists.

“An Army vehicle moving between Bhimber Gali and Poonch in the Rajouri sector in J-K was fired upon by unidentified terrorists today. The vehicle caught fire, due to the likely use of grenades by terrorists,” the army said in its statement.

“Five personnel of the Rashtriya Rifles Unit deployed for Counter Terrorist operations, in this area, have unfortunately lost their lives in the incident,” it added.

Another soldier, who sustained serious injuries, was evacuated immediately and rushed to the Army Hospital at Rajouri. He is currently under treatment.

A search operation has been launched to nab the attackers, the army informed further.

Earlier this day, Defence PRO said, “Today, at about 1500 hours, one vehicle of the Indian Army, while moving from Bhimber Gali to Sangiot in District Poonch (J-K), caught fire. In this tragic incident, Five Soldiers of the Indian Army have lost their life.” (ANI)

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Armed Forces BRO Rajnath

‘Armed Forces, BRO Ready To Defend’: Rajnath

Indian Armed forces and Border Road Organisation are prepared to defend the country against any conflict, said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in Arunachal Pradesh on Tuesday emphasising that India does not believe in war and always wants to maintain cordial relations with its neighbours.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was speaking during the inauguration of the Siyom Bridge of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) in the Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh.
This is Singh’s first visit to Arunachal Pradesh after the face-off between Indian and China troops in the Tawang area on December 9.

The Defence Minister today inaugurated 28 infrastructure projects built by the BRO across seven states. These projects are going to be built to facilitate the movement of heavy artillery and the movement of the troops of the Indian Armed Forces along borders.

“In this era of changing priorities and interests of the nations, it is necessary for any nation to keep itself empowered. Although, India has always remained against war as its policy. Our Armed forces are always ready to face any kind of situation and Border Road Organisation is walking along with them,” Rajnath Singh said.

He further added that PM Modi’s government is working on developing better and smooth commuting facilities for the people in the country, especially in the North-East areas.

“PM Modi’s government is working on developing better and smooth commuting facilities for the people in the country, especially in the North-East areas. These roads are significant from the strategic point of view too,” Singh said.

He further added that a large number of Armed forces personnel are deployed in areas where no transportation is available throughout the year, and in winter most of the roads get closed due to snowfall. These projects will provide extreme help in the delivery of rations, military equipment, and other help,

At the event, Singh also released the ‘Vision BRO@2047’ document that will guide the organization about its deadline and targets in the next 25 years. The document is a comprehensive study based on an analysis of BRO’s Strengths, Challenges, Opportunities, and Threats. It will help BRO to achieve new capabilities with more power.

“I appreciate the role and contribution of BRO in strengthening Border Security. For example a few days back the situation we faced in the northern sector, and the way we faced adversaries, was not possible without adequate infrastructural development. Such situations will keep us inspired for the development of border areas. And I can proudly say that we have a dedicated organization-BRO for development in these areas,” he said.

He said that infrastructure development transforms lives the lives of f people living in Border areas it is a game changer for locals.

“In plains, the government is constructing smart roads but in many Border areas roads are scarce. Many areas even don’t have basic tracks. In such remote areas, the government has initiated several welfare schemes along with basic civic amenities like electricity, telecommunications, education, and health that require connectivity,” Singh said.

“Despite being beautiful and full of natural resources, the entire North East region remained ignored from development. Even after several years of freedom, the region was ignored in the name of security issues or connectivity and remains deprived of basic facilities and it has largely affected the economy of the region,” he said.

The Defence Minister said that the North-East region is important not only for the development of the entire nation but is a gateway to east Asia and strengthens relations with East Asia in terms of trade, travel, and tourism. For this reason, the development of the region is the priority of the government

“A total of 28 projects at the cost of Rs 724.3 crore are being undertaken by BRO across the country in strategic locations – including eight in Ladakh, two in Rajasthan, three each in Uttarakhand and Punjab and four have been identified in Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir,” Singh added.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh lauded the spirit and speed with which the BRO carried out development works in the recent past.

“The spirit and speed with which the BRO has carried out development works in the recent past are commendable. The plan to connect more and more border areas is the priority of the government, so that along with the development of the people living there, they can develop a sense of trust in the system,” said Singh.

Defence Minister further called the Border Roads Organisation actual brothers of the armed forces and people.

“I used to confuse BRO (Border Roads Organisation) with ‘Bro’ means brother but after seeing the work they are doing, they are actually brothers of our Armed forces and people,” he said.

The visit comes a month after Indian and China troops clashed along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Tawang sector.

The 100-metre-long Siyom bridge over river Siyom is a strategically important bridge as it gives the military a strategic advantage in deploying troops to the far-flung areas of the Line of Actual Control. (ANI)

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Opposition Is Behaving As An Obstructionist, Destructive: Goyal | lokmarg

Opposition Is Behaving As An Obstructionist, Destructive: Goyal

Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Monday said that the Opposition was behaving like an “obstructionist” who does not believe in the rules and regulations in the functioning of the Parliament.

Addressing a press conference here in the national capital, Piyush Goyal said: “Today in the Rajya Sabha, we witnessed the frustration and the complete absence of decorum from the Opposition parties. Their frustration reached a level where they don’t even believe in any rules and regulations in the functioning of Parliament.”
“They are even denying the rulings and observations of the Chair. Unfortunately, the Opposition is behaving as an obstructionist and destructive,” Goyal said.

The Union Minister also said that the Opposition’s recent walkout from the Rajya Sabha shows their “lack of faith” in the Army.

“It shows their complete lack of faith in the Army which is demoralizing the armed force. It is in the best interest of the country that the Opposition allows smooth functioning of Parliament in the sensitive matters of security and to uphold the democratic values,” he said.

He further expressed his expectations from the Opposition, particularly Congress to respect the Army and jawans at the border. He said that the Defence minister has already made a detailed statement in Rajya Sabha, after which, we would have expected the Opposition, particularly Congress to respect our Army, jawans at the border, and their commitment towards the nation, but Rahul Gandhi continues to cast aspersions on the Army,” Goyal said.

Speaking in the Lok Sabha on December 13, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that the Indian Army bravely stopped the Chinese PLA troops from encroaching on Indian territory, and forced them to withdraw to their posts. However, on Saturday, he said that whether it is Galway or Tawang, India’s defense forces have always shown courage and displayed their valor on every occasion.

Goyal’s remarks came after the Joint Opposition comprising Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India (CPI), the Trinamool Congress, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Samajwadi Party (SP), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Shiv Sena and the Kerala Congress staged a walkout from the Rajya Sabha as their demand to hold a debate over the recent clashes along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between the Indian and Chinese forces at the Tawang sector in Arunachal Pradesh was disallowed.

The walkout was staged during the Zero Hour session in the Upper House.

The opposition sought to raise the issue with Leader of Opposition (LoP) Mallikarjun Kharge saying nothing is bigger than the nation and sought a detailed debate on December 9 clashes along the LAC between the neighboring countries.

“They (China) are encroaching on our land. If we don’t discuss this issue then what else should we discuss? We are ready for discussion on this issue in the House,” said the LoP in Rajya Sabha.

Kharge said the Rajya Sabha Chairman has residuary powers on rules for admitting adjournment notices submitted by several MPs to hold discussions on the India-China border situation issue.

Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar, however, asked the opposition MPs to not convert it into a classroom and rejected the demand of the Opposition.

Dhankar said he can’t give attention to notices that fail to follow rules, and reprimanded MPs of Rajya Sabha for “more than 100 minutes of disruptions” of proceedings in the House. (ANI)

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Words Kharge Used For PM Is Result Of Cong Mentality: Rajnath

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday slammed Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge for his remarks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi during one of his public meetings for Gujarat assembly elections.

Speaking at a press conference in Ahmedabad, Rajnath Singh said, “Congress is using inappropriate words. In a healthy democracy, using inappropriate words against anyone isn’t a sign of healthy politics. Words used by Congress chief Kharge for Prime Minister isn’t only his mentality but the result of the entire Congress’s mentality.”
The Defence Minister added, “Prime Minister is not just an individual but an institution and they are making such statements against the PM”.

Notably, during a poll campaigning for the Party, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge at a rally in the Behrampura area of Ahmedabad described PM Modi as Ravana, wherein he said, “In all these campaigns, he (Modi) only talks about himself. ‘Don’t look at anyone else, just look at Modi and vote’… how many times do we have to see your face? How many forms do you have? Do you have 100 heads like Ravan?”

Earlier also Kharge on Sunday lambasted Prime Minister Modi terming him as a “leader of lies”.

The Congress chief accused the BJP and its top leaders of resorting to prevarications in order to gain the sympathy of the people.

Addressing an election rally in Dediapada in Narmada district, Kharge had said, “They ask us, especially Modiji and Shah (Amit shah) what the Congress has done in 70 years. If we have not done anything in 70 years then you wouldn’t have democracy in the country.

“A person like you (PM Modi) claims to be poor. I am also poor, being one of the untouchables. People drank your tea, nobody would’ve had my tea. Then you say that you are poor and somebody abuses you. If you say it for sympathy then people have become smarter now. If you lie once or twice people will hear but how many times will you lie? He’s the leader of lies…,” he had added.

The Assembly election in Gujarat is scheduled to be held in two phases on December 1 and December 5, whose results will be declared on December 8. (ANI)

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C-295 Aircraft Manufacturing Unit In Vadodara

Modi Lays Foundation Of C-295 Aircraft Manufacturing Unit In Vadodara

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a visit to Gujarat, laid the foundation stone of the C-295 transport aircraft manufacturing facility in Vadodara today.

PM Modi was felicitated and presented with a memento by Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel and Tata Sons chairperson N Chandrasekaran at the occasion.

The C-295 transport aircraft for the Indian Air Force will be manufactured by Tata-Airbus, said Defence Ministry officials.

Apart from making 40 aircraft, this facility at Vadodara would be manufacturing additional aircraft for Air Force requirements and exports, as per Defence Secretary Aramane Giridhar.

Speaking on the occasion, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said, “Today, for the first time in the country, the foundation stone of an aircraft manufacturing facility is being laid by the private sector. It is certainly a matter of pride for the defense sector as well as for the entire country.”

“It is not just a foundation stone but a milestone in the defense sector’s ‘Atmanirbharta’ journey. C-295 aircraft manufactured at this facility will be state-of-the-art aircraft with superior capabilities and global standards. It will significantly enhance the logistic capability of the Indian Air Force,” Singh added.

With the launch of the C295 aircraft manufacturing facility, India will enter an illustrious league of about only a dozen nations with the capacity to manufacture military transport aircraft. -Currently, the US, Japan, UK, Russia, France, Italy, Spain, Ukraine, Brazil, China, and Japan has that capacity.

Tata-Airbus combine had said that C-295 manufacturing is “the first Make in India aerospace program in the private sector involving the full development of a complete industrial ecosystem; from manufacture to assembly, test and qualification, to delivery and maintenance of the complete lifecycle of the aircraft.”

Under the terms of the deal, 16 C-295 aircraft are scheduled to be delivered between September 2023 and August 2025 in flyaway condition, while the remaining 40 aircraft will be manufactured at the Vadodara facility.

In another first, “indigenous content in the planes will be the highest ever in India, and 96 percent of the work that Airbus does in Spain will now be done at the new facility.”

The Defence Ministry said this project “offers a unique opportunity for the Indian private sector to enter the technology-intensive and highly competitive aviation industry. It will augment domestic aviation manufacturing resulting in reduced import dependence and expected increase in exports.”

Further, 13,400 parts, 4600 sub-assemblies, and all significant component assemblies will be manufactured by 25 domestic MSME suppliers spread across seven states. All these 56 aircraft will be fitted with an indigenous electronic warfare suite developed by Bharat Electronics Ltd and Bharat Dynamics Limited.

As per the Allied Market Research report, the military transport aircraft industry is set to reach USD 45 billion industry size by 2030. Tata-Airbus facility is due to complete its IAF commitment by 203 products and start exporting its products to other nations as well.

Given the fact that the military transport aircraft industry is a much more robust and technologically advanced machine than commercial airliners, C295 manufacturing will open up prospects for the development of domestic commercial aircraft manufacturing will pick up. Indian airline companies are one of the biggest buyers of commercial aircraft with an ever-expanding order book of 1,100 aircraft since 2011.

Demand for commercial aircraft coupled with the C295 aircraft manufacturing facility and associated supply chain will create the required ecosystem to support the development of the commercial aircraft manufacturing industry in India.

The Vadodara facility will be initially geared to manufacture 8 aircraft per year, but it has been designed such that it can also cater to the additional needs of Indian armed forces or exports.

As per Defence Ministry, following the delivery of 56 aircraft to IAS, the combine will be allowed to sell India-built C295 aircraft to civil operators and to countries cleared by the government. It is believed that the Vadodara facility will replicate the success of Brahmos in missile exports.

Big boost to the Make in India: India has embarked on a massive transformation of its defense sector through the ambitious Make in India program of the Modi government. Several projects for the domestic manufacturing of various defense platforms like missiles, field guns, tanks, aircraft carriers, drones, fighter planes, tanks, and helicopters are currently underway and are fulfilling the defense modernization needs of the Indian armed forces.

However, military transport aircraft was one of the critical missing links in the entire defense industrial complex chain. The JV between Tata and Airbus has plugged that missing piece and will significantly boost the Make in India program of the Narendra Modi government. The Indian Armed forces will no longer have to depend on the old Avro planes of the 1960 generation for their transportation needs. (ANI)

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Rajnath Singh Attends ‘Shaurya Diwas’ In JK’s Budgam

On the 76th Infantry Day, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday attended the ‘Shaurya Diwas’ programme organized by the Indian Army in Budgam.

Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha was also present at the programme. Singh also visited an exhibition by the Indian Army on the occasion.

Infantry Day is observed as a remembrance of the first military event of independent India, when the Indian Army repelled the first attack on Indian soil on October 27, 1947, in the Kashmir valley.

The victory was accomplished by the personnel of the First Battalion of the Sikh Regiment.

On the 76th Infantry Day, the Defence Minister also extended greetings and warm wishes to the courageous infantry personnel and their families.

“On the 76th Infantry Day, greetings and warm wishes to our courageous infantry personnel and their families. Indian infantry has been associated with utmost courage and professionalism. The nation salutes their bravery, sacrifice and service,” tweeted Singh.

Rajnath Singh has been the second top Union minister to visit Jammu and Kashmir this month.

Earlier, Union Home minister Amit Shah was on a three-day visit to the Union Territory from October 4.

Later in the day, the Defence Minister will reach Leh on a two-day visit to the Union Territory of Ladakh.

The Indian Army celebrates October 27 every year as the ‘Infantry Day’, as it was on this day that the 1st Battalion of the Sikh Regiment landed at Srinagar airbase and displayed resoluteness and extraordinary courage to thwart the evil designs of the Pakistan Army, who had invaded Kashmir with the help of tribal raiders in 1947.

That is why every year on October 27, the Indian Army celebrates it as ‘Infantry Day.

This year both the Indian Army and the Air Force are going to celebrate this special day as “Shaurya Diwas” because Thursday is also the golden jubilee celebration of the Indian Air Force’s Kashmir Air Base. (ANI)

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Reduction In Chinese At LAC

Army Chief Hails Indigenous Weapon Systems At DefExpo 2022

Army Chief General Manoj Pande exuded confidence in the indigenous weapon systems and said that these equipment were of world-class quality.

His remarks came while addressing media persons at the DefExpo 2022 in Gujarat’s Gandhinagar today.
“Whatever has been produced ingeniously is as good as what’s available in the world market. The Russia-Ukraine conflict has given us profound lessons, told us you need to be self-reliant and not depend on any global supply chains to the extent possible,” General Pande told ANI.

He also highlighted the projects and types of equipment that were in the pipeline.

“For our Make I projects, there are 2-3 major projects we’re looking at including light tanks, Future-ready Combat Vehicles and Future Infantry Combat Vehicles. These are partially funded by the government. In the Make II category, we’ve 43 projects, in which about 187 industries are participating, these amount to Rs 27,000 crore and largely pertain to improving our intelligence, and surveillance capabilities. We are also looking at projects in artificial intelligence,” he added.

The Army Chief hailed the Made-in-India strategic defence equipment and stressed, “We can absolutely and undoubtedly win the wars of the future with indigenous weapon systems. All new ingeniously developed technology has performed well in our forward areas. The advantage of all this being indigenous is sustenance becomes easier.”

With an aim to give impetus to the defence sector, India’s “biggest ever” defence exhibition – DefExpo 2022 – began in Gandhinagar, Gujarat on October 18.

This is the 12th edition of the event organised on the theme ‘Path to Pride’.

Addressing the curtain raiser press conference in Gandhinagar on Monday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said, that the DefExpo 2022 will showcase the growing prowess of the domestic defence industry, calling it one of the major drivers of the nation’s resolve to achieve ‘Make in India, Make for the World’.

“The biennial exhibition has been organised to support, showcase and forge partnerships for the Indian aerospace and defence manufacturing sectors with Indian as well as global customers to achieve the overall objective of catering to domestic requirements while fulfilling the needs of friendly foreign countries,” Rajnath Singh said.

The Defence Minister termed DefExpo 2022, exclusively for Indian companies, as a humble tribute of an ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ to Mahatma Gandhi who he called the “pillar of the Swadeshi movement”. (ANI)

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Pakistani Drone

Pakistani Drone Shot Along Intl Border In Punjab

Border Security Force (BSF) troops shot down a drone that entered India in Punjab’s Gurdaspur sector from the Pakistan side on the International Border in the early hours of Friday.

A senior BSF officer said that the drone was spotted at 4.35 am by BSF troops on patrolling duty. They immediately opened fire and it was shot down.

According to the BSF official, a massive search operation has been launched in the area to determine whether the drone has dropped any consignment in the area.

A search operation is underway under the supervision of BSF DIG. It is suspected that the drone was carrying a consignment from Pakistan.

“Brave jawans of BSF spotted a drone coming from Pakistan side. As soon as it entered India, jawans fired 17 rounds of bullets at it. One of the blades of the drone was damaged. The entire area is being searched. The drone will be analysed,” said BSF DIG, Gurdaspur, Prabhakar Joshi.

Pertinent to mention, in the past nine months, security forces have observed the illegal entry of 191 drones into Indian territory from neighbouring Pakistan, raising major concerns in terms of internal security in the country.

The central government recently shared the input from the security forces deployed at the India-Pakistan border to maintain such illegal attempts from the Pakistan side.

Of the 191 drones observed, 171 entered into Indian territory through the India-Pakistan border along the Punjab sector while 20 were seen in the Jammu sector, a document accessed by the ANI mentions.

As per the document, the “UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) observation in Indo-Pak border was seen in Punjab and Jammu frontier with effect from January 1, 2022, to September 30, 2022”.

The documents further reveal that most of these drones or UAVs managed to flee while a total of seven have been shot down by the Border Security Force (BSF) personnel, who are deployed along the India-Pakistan border to keep a tab on such illegal activities being orchestrated by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence.

Among seven drones shot down this year between January 1 to September 15 were observed in Punjab’s Amritsar, Ferozpur and Abohar regions.

Officials in the BSF told ANI that drones are being used by Pakistan’s side to transport weapons, explosives and narcotics across the international border in Jammu and Punjab from Pakistan.

The increased drone activity across the border was brought to the notice of Home Minister Amit Shah in the security review meeting in Srinagar recently with top security and intelligence chiefs in attendance. While BSF, which mans the international border with Pakistan in the Jammu sector, believes that it has been able to repel drones carrying arms, ammunition and explosives from Pakistan, the state police and the intelligence agencies differ with this assessment.

The security forces have seized various AK series assault rifles, pistols, MP4 carbines, carbine magazines, high explosive grenades as well as narcotics which were transported into Indian territory from Pakistan from the drones shot down so far.

As per security agencies, BSF intelligence inputs and Jammu and Kashmir Police officials, the drones are also used to drop packets of Afghan heroin for financing terror operations in the Valley and Punjab.

It is learnt that the group behind the transportation of weapons, explosives and drugs is Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba and other terror outfits which have camps across the International Boundary and are backed by ISI.

The Home Ministry is learnt to have directed the concerned agencies to find out a solution to stop drone activities and meanwhile security agencies and law enforcement forces are asked to keep a special watch on such movements. (ANI)

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