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Indo-Russia Joint Excercise Indra-2015 in Progress

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Defence
13-November-2015 17:30 IST

Indo-Russia Joint Excercise Indra-2015 in Progress
The 14 days India Russia exercise is progressing at the Mahajan Field Firing Ranges, in Rajasthan with effect from 07 November 2015 and would conclude on 20 Nov 2015.

A high level of professional understanding is being displayed by both the Armies by overcoming language barriers as well as the uniqueness of their training environments. The exercise, over the past week, has generated excellent professional synergy and military momentum. INDRA-2015 will culminate in a Validation Exercise which would be conducted over the next week.

This year’s joint exercise involves a total of 500 military personnel, and is aimed towards training soldiers under the UN Mandate, to defeat any current and future terrorist threats that may emerge. The exercise is aimed at strengthening and broadening the inter-operability and co-operation between both the Armies.

Col Rohan Anand, SM PRO (Army)

Text of PM’s address to the British Parliament

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Prime Minister's Office
12-November-2015 21:50 IST

Text of PM’s address to the British Parliament

Lord Speaker,
Mr. Speaker,
Mr. Prime Minister

I am delighted to be in London. Even in this globalised world, London is still the standard for our times. The city has embraced the world’s diversity and represents the finest in human achievements. And, I am truly honoured to speak in the British Parliament.

Mr. Speaker, thank you for opening the doors to us, here in this magnificent setting of the Royal Court. I know that the Parliament is not in Session. Prime Minister Cameron looks relaxed and relieved.

But, I want to remind you, Mr. Prime Minister, that you owe me royalty for an election slogan. I know that you are hosting me at the Chequers this evening. But, I also know that you will understand if I am fair to both sides of the floor. Especially since British MPs of Indian Origin are evenly balanced between the Treasury and the Opposition benches. So, I also extend my good wishes to the Labour. Indeed, since these are still early days after the election, my warm congratulations to the Members of the House. And, greetings to the eminent leaders of Britain and great friends of India present here today.

So much of the modern history of India is linked to this building. So much history looms across our relationship. There are others who have spoken forcefully on the debts and dues of history. I will only say that many freedom fighters of India found their calling in the institutions of Britain. And, many makers of modern India, including several of my distinguished predecessors, from Jawaharlal Nehru to Dr. Manmohan Singh, passed through their doors.

There are many things on which it is hard to tell anymore if they are British or Indian: The Jaguar or the Scotland Yard, for example. The Brooke Bond tea or my friend late Lord Ghulam Nun’s curry. And, our strongest debates are whether the Lord’s pitch swings unfairly or the wicket at Eden Gardens cracks too early. And, we love the Bhangra rap from London just as you like the English novel from India.

On the way to this event, Prime Minister Cameron and I paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi outside the Parliament. I was reminded of a question I was asked on a tour abroad. How is it that the statue of Gandhi stands outside the British Parliament? To that question, my answer is: The British are wise enough to recognise his greatness; Indians are generous enough to share him; we are both fortunate enough to have been touched by his life and mission; and, we are both smart enough to use the strengths of our connected histories to power the future of our relationship.

So, I stand here today, not as a visiting Head of Government, given the honour to speak in this temple of democracy. I am here as a representative of a fellow institution and a shared tradition.

And, tomorrow, Prime Minister and I will be at the Wembley. Even in India, every young footballer wants to bend it like Beckham. Wembley will be a celebration of one-half-million threads of life that bind us; one and half million people - proud of their heritage in India; proud of their home in Britain.

It will be an expression of joy for all that we share: values, institutions, political system, sports, culture and art. And, it will be a recognition of our vibrant partnerships and a shared future.

The United Kingdom is the third largest investor in India behind Singapore and Mauritius. India is the third largest source of Foreign Direct Investment projects in the United Kingdom. Indians invest more in Britain than in the rest of European Union combined. It is not because they want to save on interpretation costs, but because they find an environment that is welcoming and familiar.

It takes an Indian icon, Tata, to run a British icon and become your nation’s largest private sector employer.

The UK remains a preferred destination for Indian students. And, I am pleased that an Indian company is taking a thousand British students to India to skill them in Information Technology.

We are working together in the most advanced areas of science and technology. We are finding solutions to the enduring human problems of food and health security, and seeking answers to emerging challenges like climate change.

Our security agencies work together so that our children return home safe and our increasingly networked lives are not prey to the threats on cyber space.

Our Armed Forces exercise with each other, so that they can stand more strongly for the values we represent. This year alone, we have had three exercises together.

And, in the international arena, your support has made it more possible for India to take her rightful place in global institutions and regimes. And, it has helped us both advance our common interests.

Mr. Speaker,

Strong as our partnership is, for a relationship such as ours, we must set higher ambitions. We are two democracies; two strong economies; and, two innovative societies.

We have the comfort of familiarity and the experience of a long partnership. Britain’s resurgence is impressive. Its influence on the future of the global economy remains strong.

And, Mr. Speaker, India is new bright spot of hope and opportunity for the world. It is not just the universal judgment of international institutions. It is not just the logic of numbers: a nation of 1.25 billion people with 800 million under the age of 35 years.

This optimism comes from the energy and enterprise of our youth; eager for change and confident of achieving it. It is the result of bold and sustained measures to reform our laws, policies, institutions and processes.

We are igniting the engines of our manufacturing sector; making our farms more productive and more resilient; making our services more innovative and efficient; moving with urgency on building global skills for our youth; creating a revolution in Startup enterprises; and, building the next generation infrastructure that will have a light footprint on the Earth.

Our momentum comes not just from the growth we pursue, but from the transformation that we seek in the quality of life for every citizen.

Much of India that we dream of still lies ahead of us: housing, power, water and sanitation for all; bank accounts and insurance for every citizen; connected and prosperous villages; and, smart and sustainable cities. These are goals with a definite date, not just a mirage of hope.

And, inspired by Gandhiji, the change has begun with us – the way the government works. There is transparency and accountability in governance. There is boldness and speed in decisions.

Federalism is no longer the fault line of Centre-State relations, but the definition of a new partnership of Team India. Citizens now have the ease of trust, not the burden of proof and process. Businesses find an environment that is open and easy to work in.

In a nation connected by cell phones, Digital India is transforming the interface between Government and people.

So, Mr. Speaker, with apologies to poet T.S. Eliot, we won’t let the shadow fall between the idea and reality.

If you visit India, you will experience the wind of change.

It is reflected in the surge of investments from around the world; in enhanced stability of our economy; in 190 million new bank accounts of hope and inclusion; in the increase in our growth to nearly 7.5% per year; and, in the sharp rise in our ranking on Ease of Doing Business.

And, the motto of Sab Ka Saath, Sab Ka Vikas, is our vision of a nation, in which every citizen belongs, participates and prospers.

It is not just a call for economic inclusion. It is also a celebration of our diversity; the creed for social harmony; and, a commitment to individual liberties and rights.

This is the timeless ethos of our culture; this is the basis of our constitution; and, this will be the foundation of our future.

Mr. Speaker,
Members and Friends,

The progress of India is the destiny of one-sixth of humanity. And, it will also mean a world more confident of its prosperity; and, more secure about its future.

It is also natural and inevitable that our economic relations will grow by leaps and bounds. We will form unbeatable partnerships, if we combine our unique strengths and the size and scale of opportunities in India.

We will see more investment and trade. We will open new doors in the Services sector. We will collaborate more – here and in India - in defence equipment and technology. We will work together on renewable and nuclear energy.

We will explore the mysteries of science and harness the power of technology and innovation. We will realise the opportunities of the digital world. Our youth will learn more from - and with - each other.

But, a relationship as rich as this, with so much promise as ours, cannot be measured only in terms of our mutual prosperity.

Mr. Speaker,

Ours is an age of multiple transitions in the world. We are yet to fully comprehend the future unfolding before us. As in the previous ages, it will be different from the world we know.

So, in the uncharted waters of our uncertain times, we must together help steer a steady course for this world in the direction that mirrors the ideals we share.

For, in that lies not just the success of our two nations, but also the promise of the world that we desire. We have the strength of our partnership and the membership of the United Nations, the Commonwealth and the G-20.

We live in a world where instability in a distant region quickly reaches our doorsteps. We see this in the challenges of radicalization and refugees.

The fault lines are shifting from the boundaries of nations into the web of our societies and the streets of our cities. And, terrorism and extremism are a global force that are larger than their changing names, groups, territories and targets.

The world must speak in one voice and act in unison to combat this challenge of our times. We must adopt a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism in the UN without delay. There should be no distinction between terrorist groups or discrimination between nations. There should be a resolve to isolate those who harbour terrorists and willingness to stand with nations that will fight them honestly. And, we need a social movement against extremism in countries where it is most prevalent and, every effort to delink religion and terrorism.

Oceans remain vital for our prosperity. Now, we have to also secure our cyber and outer space. Our interests are aligned across many regions. We have a shared interest in stable, prosperous and integrated South Asia, drawn together in a shared march to prosperity.

We want an Afghanistan that is shaped by the dreams of the great Afghan people, not by irrational fears and overreaching ambitions of others.

A peaceful, stable Indian Ocean Region is vital for global commerce and prosperity. And, the future of Asia Pacific region will have profound impact on all of us. We both have huge stakes in West Asia and the Gulf.

And, in Africa, where, amidst many challenges, we see so many promising signs of courage, wisdom, leadership and enterprise. India has just held an Africa Summit, in which all 55 countries, and 42 leaders participated.

We must also cooperate to launch a low carbon age for a sustainable future for our planet. This is a global responsibility that we must assume in Paris later this month.

The world has crafted a beautiful balance of collective action – common but differentiated responsibility and respective capabilities.

Those who have the means and the know-how must help meet the universal aspiration of humanity for clean energy and a healthy environment. And, when we speak of restraint, we must not only think of curbing fossil fuels, but also moderating our lifestyles.

We must all do our part. For India, a target of 175 GW of additional capacity in renewable energy by 2022 and reduction in emission intensity of 33-35 % by 2030 are just two of the steps of a comprehensive strategy.

I have also proposed to launch during the COP 21 meeting an International Solar Alliance to make solar energy an integral part of our lives, even in the most unconnected villages.

In Britain, you are more likely to use an umbrella against rain than the sun. But, my team defined the membership of the Solar Alliance in more precise terms: you have to be located within the Tropics.

And, we are pleased that the United Kingdom qualifies! So, we look forward to an innovative Britain as a valuable partner in this endeavour. Prime Minister Cameron and I are, indeed, very pleased that cooperation on affordable and accessible clean energy is an important pillar of our relations.

Mr. Speaker,

This is a huge moment for our two great nations. So, we must seize our opportunities, remove the obstacles to cooperation, instill full confidence in our relations and remain sensitive to each other’s interests.

In doing so, we will transform our strategic partnership, and we will make this relationship count as one of the leading global partnerships. Ever so often, in the call of Britain’s most famous Bard that we must seize the tide in the affairs of men, the world has sought the inspiration to act. And, so must we.

But, in defining the purpose of our partnership, we must turn to a great son of India, whose house in London I shall dedicate to the cause of social justice on Saturday. Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, whose 125th birth anniversary we are celebrating now, was not just an architect of India’s Constitution and our parliamentary democracy. He also stood for the upliftment of the weak, the oppressed and the excluded. And, he lifted us all to a higher cause in the service of humanity; to build a future of justice, equality, opportunity and dignity for all humans; and, peace among people.

That is the cause to which India and the United Kingdom have dedicated themselves today.

Thank you very much, thanks a lot.



Air Marshal Khanna Takes Over as Maintenance Head of the Indian Air Force (IAF)

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Defence
01-November-2015 11:54 IST

Air Marshal Khanna Takes Over as Maintenance Head of the Indian Air Force (IAF)
Air Marshal Virender Mohan Khanna assumes the responsibilities of Air Officer-in-charge Maintenance (AOM) at Air Headquarters, New Delhi today.

The Air Marshal was commissioned in the Mechanical stream of Aeronautical Engineering branch in IAF on 25 July 1977. He is a graduate from Regional Engineering College, Kurukshetra and post graduate in Industrial Engineering and Management from IIT, Kharagpur. He is an also an alumnus of the prestigious Defence Services Staff College, Wellington. Additionally, he also acquired post graduate diploma in Journalism and Human Rights.

During his career spanning 38 years, the officer has held important appointments of Director General (Aircraft) and Assistance Chief of Air Staff Engg (Transport and Helicopters) at Air HQ, Senior Maintenance Staff Officer and Chief Engineering Officer at HQ Eastern Air Command. The officer has also served at various Base Repair Depots as Chief of Aircraft, Chief of Production and Planning and Commanding Officer. He was instrumental in successful induction of large number of MI-17 V5 helicopters, Hawk AJT and Pilatus aircraft.

Air Marshal had led a team of IAF Pilots and Maintenance Officers which trained pilots and engineers of Botswana Defence Force thus strengthening Indo-Africa ties. Air Marshal has served as Flight Engineer and flown MI-8, MI-17 and MI-26, the largest helicopters in the world based at Chandigarh.

An avid sportsman, Air Marshal was also the member of two Indian Expeditions to Antarctica where IAF played a pivotal role in setting up Indian permanent Bases Dakshin Gangotri and Maitri.

Air Marshal has been decorated by President of India with Vishisht Seva Medal and Ati Vishisht Seva Medal.


Text of the PM’s statement to the Media at the Joint Press Briefing with UK Prime Minister

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Prime Minister's Office
12-November-2015 20:46 IST

Text of the PM’s statement to the Media at the Joint Press Briefing with UK Prime Minister

प्रधान मंत्री श्री कैमरोन,

मीडिया के सभी साथियो,

प्रधान मंत्री कैमरोन, आपने संबंधों के प्रति जो भावना और दृष्टि दिखाई है उसके लिए मैं आपका आभार प्रकट करता हूं। आपने भारत ब्रिटेन के संबंधों को सशक्त करने में बड़ा योगदान दिया है।

मैं आपके गर्मजोशी से भरे स्वागत और भारत UK के संबंधों को सशक्त बनाने के आपके योगदान के लिए भी आपका धन्यवाद करता हूं।

आपके निमंत्रण के लिए, आपके गर्मजोशी से किए आदर सत्कार के लिए जिस प्रकार से आपने मेरे लिए समय दिया है उसके लिए भी मैं आभारी हूं।

UK की यात्रा पर आने पर मुझे बहुत प्रसन्नता है। यह संबंध भारत के लिए महत्वपूर्ण हैं। ऐतिहासिक तौर पर हम एक-दूसरे के भलीभांति परिचित हैं। हमारे लोगों के बीच संबंध अतुलनीय हैं। हमारे मूल्य एक समान हैं। और इससे हमारे संबंधों को विशेष स्वरूप मिला है। हर क्षेत्र में हमारी साझेदारी vibrant है। और हमारे संबंधों में निरंतर विस्तार हो रहा है – जैसे trade और investment, Defence और security, शिक्षा और विज्ञान, clean energy और स्वास्थ्य, technology और innovation, कला और संस्कृति।

अंतररष्ट्रीय स्तर पर हमारे साझे हित हैं, जो हम दोनों देशों के लिए महत्वपूर्ण हैं।

आज हमने निर्णय लिया है कि हम अपने Political Dialogue को और घनिष्ठ बनाएगें और नियमित रूप से Bilateral Summit करेंगे। हमारे साझे मूल्यों के आधार पर विश्व के अन्य क्षेत्रों में भी विकास के लिए साझेदारी को शुरू करेंगे। और साथ ही साथ हर क्षेत्र में अपने द्विपक्षीय सहयोग को गहरा बनाएंगे।

आज हमने Civil Nuclear Agreement पर हस्ताक्षर किए हैं। यह हमारे आपसी विश्वास का प्रतीक है। और हमने Climate change का सामना करने के लिए हमारे दृढ़ संकल्प का परिचय भी दिया है। भारत के Global Center for Clean Energy Partnerships में सहयोग पर समझौता हुआ है। इससे वैश्विक Nuclear Industry में safety और security और मजबूत होगी।

UK के साथ रक्षा और सुरक्षा सहयोग को हम बहुत मूल्यवान मानते हैं, जिसमें defence trade और नियमित joint exercises भी शामिल हैं। यह साझेदारी निरंतर बढ़ेटी रहेगी।

मुझे बहुत प्रसन्नता है कि फरवरी 2016 में भारत में होने वाली International Fleet Review में UK भी शामिल होगा। भारत Defence के आधुनिकीकरण पर बल दे रहा है। और इसके लिए हम Defence manufacturing में 'Make in India' के मिशन को प्राथमिकता दे रहे हैं। मेरा विश्वास है कि UK इसमें एक महत्वपूर्ण साझेदार होगा।

Economic partnership हमारे संबंधों एक अहम और मजबूत स्तंभ है। मेरा विश्वास है कि यह संबंध आने वाले समय बड़ी तेजी से आगे बढेंगे क्योंकि मैं भारत में आपार संभावनाएं हैं और ब्रिटेन में आर्थिक क्षमता और सामर्थय है। UK भारत में तीसरा बड़ा निवेशक है। भारत UK में जितना निवेश करता है वो बाकि EU देशों में निवेश से अधिक है। भारत में UK के निवेश के प्रस्ताव के लिए हमने भारत में एक fast track mechanism की व्यवस्था बनाने का निर्णय लिया है। हम India UK CEO form के पुनर्गठन का स्वागत करते हैं।

London के financial market का हम funds raise करने के लिए और अधिक प्रयोग करेंगे। मेरे लिए प्रसन्नता का विषय है कि हम भारतीय रेल के लिए लंदन में रेलवे rupee bond जारी करने जा रहे हैं। यह एक तरह से स्वाभाविक कि भारतीय रेल की यात्रा यहीं से शुरू हुई थी।

अगले दो दिनों में हमारे business sector के साथ होने वाली engagements का मैं उत्सुकता के साथ इंतजार कर रहा हूं। और हम business sector से कई महत्वपूर्ण announcements की अपेक्षा करते हैं।

मुझे प्रसन्नता है कि हमारी सरकार और प्राइवेट सेक्टर दोनों के बीच हमारा clean energy और climate सहयोग में प्रगति हुई है। यह क्षेत्र महत्वपूर्ण भी है और इसमें आपार संभावनाएं भी हैं। भारत ने Climate change पर जो एक व्यापक महत्वाकांक्षी राष्ट्रीय योजना बनाई है उससे हमारे द्वीपक्षीय सहयोग से लाभ पहुंचेगा। हम आशा करते हैं कि पैरिस में होने वाले सम्मेलन में UN convention on climate change के framework के अंतर्गत ठोस परिणाम निकलेंगे और विश्व एक sustainable और low कार्बन भविष्य के लिए एक निर्णायक रास्ता तय होगा।

आज हमने कई और क्षेत्रों में ठोस परिणाम निकले हैं जिसका भारत की राष्ट्रीय प्राथमिकता से संबंध है। इनमें स्मार्ट सिटीज़, स्वास्थ्य, river cleaning, skill और शिक्षा शामिल है। हम इस बात पर सहमत हैं कि सभी क्षेत्रों में हमारी साझेदारी के लिए technology, research और innovation में मजबूत नीव प्रदान करेंगे।

हम दोनों देश अपनी इस साझेदारी से जनता के लिए नए अवसर पैदा करेंगे और उनकी समद्धि बढ़ाएंगे। साथ ही साथ साझे हितों को प्राप्त कर पाएंगे और अपनी चुनौतियों का ठीक से सामना कर सकेंगे। जैसे एशिया में शांति और स्थिरता, विशेष करके दक्षिण और पश्चिम एशिया में; समुद्रीक सुरक्षा, साइबर सुरक्षा तथा आतंकवाद और अतिवाद।

इन सभी विषय पर मैं और प्रधान मंत्री Cameron आज और कल चैकरस में अपनी बात जारी रखेंगे।

अंत में, UN security council में भारत की स्थायी सदस्यता और अंतराष्ट्रीय export control regimes में भारत की सदस्यता के लिए ब्रिटेन के महत्वपूर्ण समर्थन के लिए प्रधान मंत्री Cameron जी का आभर व्यक्त करना चाहता हूं।

आज पार्लियामेंट में संबोधन करने का सम्मान मिला है। उसके बाद मैं India UK Business Summit को संबोधित करूंगा। इन दोनों अवसरों पर भारत और भारत – ब्रिटेन संबंधों पर और विस्तार से अपने विचार प्रकट करूंगा।

हमारे strategic partnership के लिए आज हमने एक Bold और महत्वाकांक्षी विजन रेखांकित किया है। और जो निर्णय हमने आज लिए हैं यह इस विजन को पाने के हमारे दृढ़विश्वास और प्रतिबद्धता को दर्शाता है। आज के परिणामों से यह स्पष्ट होता है कि हमारे संबंध नई और ऊंचाइयों पर आज ही पहुंच चुके हैं।

Thank You.



Visit of INS Sahyadri at Manila, Philippines

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Defence
01-November-2015 11:33 IST

Visit of INS Sahyadri at Manila, Philippines
Indian Naval Ship Sahyadri, currently on operational deployment to South China Sea and North West Pacific region in pursuance of India’s ‘Act East’ policy, entered today at Manila. The ship is likely to be at Manila till 4th November for extensive interactions with the Philippine Navy. Bilateral relations between India and the Philippines, based on shared values of anti-colonialism, strong democratic polity and South - South Cooperation have been growing significantly in the recent past, spurred by both economic as well as security engagements. Regular foreign policy consultations and security dialogue meetings have provided impetus to the bilateral relationship.

The visit of INS Sahyadri is aimed at strengthening bilateral ties and enhancing inter-operability between navies of the two countries. INS Sahyadri is an indigenously built warship of the Shivalik Class. Inducted into the Indian Navy on 21 July 12, the multi-role stealth frigate, boasts of an impressive array of weaponry in her arsenal. Long range anti-ship missiles, medium and short range surface to air missiles augmented by powerful guns of different calibres provide a formidable shield against all types of surface and air threats. The capability to carry two integral multi-role helicopters significantly enhances the potency of this ship. INS Sahyadri, is presently being commanded by Captain Kunal Singh Rajkumar.

During the stay in harbour, various activities aimed at enhancing cooperation between the two navies are planned. These include official calls on local naval and civilian dignitaries, reception on board INS Sahyadri, visits to the ship by the local populace, guided tours for Indian Naval personnel and professional interaction between personnel of both the navies.

On departure, the ship is planned to exercise with Philippine Navy ships for improving interoperability in communication as well as Search and Rescue procedures.


DKS/CKP 92/ 2015

Text of PM’s address at the Indo-UK Business Meeting at Guildhall, London

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Prime Minister's Office
12-November-2015 23:42 IST

Text of PM’s address at the Indo-UK Business Meeting at Guildhall, London

Your Excellency Mr. David Cameron!

Hon. Mr. Alan Yarrow, the Lord Mayor of London!

Ladies and Gentlemen!

It is a great pleasure for me to be with you this evening. I must confess that there has been a delay in my coming to this great country. But, the good news is that myself and His Excellency Cameron have been in constant touch.

We have been meeting frequently at various places and exchanging views. I remember our last meeting in New York where he rightly said that India and UK should work closely on the economic front.


UK and India have known each other very well since several centuries. Our system of Governance is also based largely on the Westminster model.

• Our institutions know to interact with each other;
• Our people know to work with each other;
• Our businesses know to grow with each other

That is the reason that UK is among India’s major trading partners. UK is also the third largest foreign investor in India. And I must add- this is not one sided. India has emerged as the third largest source of FDI for UK. However, there is significant potential for India and UK to further strengthen their economic ties.

We have to effectively leverage the mutual understanding which is there for each other. We are particularly keen to develop the sectors where UK is strong. We are working hard to create conducive conditions for this engagement. A strong Indian community here keeps pushing us for better and better integration with UK.

Friends! Since my Government took over, we have been working relentlessly to put the economy on track. Particularly, we have worked very aggressively to make India an easy and simple place to do business. We believe that this is necessary for improving the lives of ordinary citizens in India.

The results of our hard work are now visible. IMF Chief has recently said that India is among few bright spots in global economy today. Our growth rate in the last year was 7.3%.

The World Bank has very recently projected our growth rate at 7.5% for this fiscal and even better in the coming years. Thus, we are fortunate to be sailing in the right direction. In the World Bank Report of 2016 on ease of doing business, India has moved up by 12 ranks at one go. No other country has made such a big improvement.

We are also committed to take these corrections at the State, district and city level. States are moving hand-in-hand with the federal government in this task in the spirit of cooperative and competitive federalism.

Recently, we did a ranking of our state governments on ease of doing business with the help of the World Bank Group. This has prompted the state governments into a healthy competition among themselves to ensure a business friendly eco-system.

This was for the first time that the World Bank involved itself in a sub-national exercise on ease of doing business.


One of the biggest challenges in India today is to productively employ the youth. For meeting this challenge, we need to provide a huge push to manufacturing which has stagnated at around 16% of the GDP for several decades. This share must reach around 25% in the short and medium term. With this in view, we have launched the “Make in India” initiative. We are working on all fronts to make India a global manufacturing hub.

To achieve this objective, apart from vigorous exercise for ease of doing business, we have fast tracked approvals and clearances for industry and infrastructure. The hall mark of our strategy now is Policy driven Governance. Measures like transparent auction and allocation of key natural resources like coal, spectrum, iron ore have created a level playing field for investors.

To enhance the flow of foreign investments, we have liberalized the FDI regime allowing 100% FDI in railways. We enhanced the FDI limits to 49% in Defence and Insurance. We are also conscious of the last mile operational issues in such policies. In that spirit, early this week, we have carried out substantial changes in the FDI regime across 15 sectors.

To give an example: now there are just no restrictions in the FDI Policy for construction sector. Similarly, very radical liberalization has been done in sectors like plantation, e-commerce and single brand retail. Moreover, we have now brought most of the FDI proposals under the automatic route.

With this round of reforms, I can say that India is among the most open countries for Foreign Investments.

Infrastructure is another big challenge for India. We are keen to build futuristic physical and social infrastructure. Through self-imposed discipline in financial management, we have been able to allocate more resources for infrastructure sectors. In addition, we are setting up an India Investment and Infrastructure Fund. We have targeted an annual contribution of 3.5 billion US Dollars into this fund from our own resources. We are putting in place a professional team for asset management.

We have also come up with the mechanism of Tax Free Infrastructure Bonds for projects in rail, road and other sectors. We will work together with the British Government, Industry and the financial markets to deepen our relationship and harness their interest in India’s infrastructure. Very soon, these bonds will become strong instruments for engagement between our financial markets.


There were a number of regulatory and taxation issues which were adversely impacting on the sentiments of foreign investors. We have taken very decisive steps to remove a number of long pending concerns.

To give you some examples:

• We have expedited regulatory clearances including security and environmental clearance;

• We have increased the validity period of defence industrial licences up to eighteen years from three years previously;

• We have taken almost 60% of the defence items out of the licensing process and liberalised a number of restrictions like end-use certificate for the exports

• We have clearly articulated that we will not resort to retrospective taxation and demonstrated this position in a number of ways

• This includes not going for imposition of Minimum Alternate Tax on FPIs;

• We have introduced the concept of composite sector caps for the FPIs and other foreign investors.

• We have notified the regulations for the Alternative Investment Funds;

• We have rationalized the capital gains tax regime for Real Estate Investment Trusts

• We have modified the Permanent Establishment norms;

• We have also decided to defer the implementation of the General Anti-Avoidance Rules for two years;

• We have introduced the GST Bill in parliament; we are hopeful to roll it out in 2016;

• We are working on a new bankruptcy code; the Company Law Tribunal is soon going to be formed.


We want to make sure that our tax regime is transparent and predictable. We are also keen to see that genuine investors and honest tax payers get quick and fair decisions on tax matters.

As a result of our initiatives,

• the sentiments for private investment and inflow of foreign investment have turned positive.

• FDI inflows have gone up by 40% compared with previous year’s corresponding period.

• India has been recently ranked as the most attractive investment destinations by Ernst & Young• In a ranking of the top greenfield investment destinations in the first half of 2015, India is at number one.

• Foreign Policy magazine of USA has ranked India as number one FDI destination.

• In a study of 100 countries on Growth, Innovation and Leadership, India has been ranked No.1 by Frost & Sullivan.

• India has improved its UNCTAD ranking of investment attractiveness from 15th to 9th.

• India has also jumped 16 places on the World Economic Forum’s global competitive index.

• MOODY’s have upgraded the rating of India as positive.

Thus, just in eighteen months, we have successfully restored the credibility of India in the eyes of global players. Through PPP, we are encouraging private investments in areas where earlier only government used to invest. We are also divesting our stake in the public sector enterprises, to instill market discipline. We are keen to learn from your experience in structuring and implementing PPP projects.

I am personally convinced and want to assure you that India is committed to protect Intellectual Property Rights of all innovators and entrepreneurs. We have taken several initiatives for transparency and online processing in IP administration. A comprehensive National IPR policy is being finalized.


We want your active involvement in translating our dreams into reality. Our commitment and aggressiveness to achieve the goal in a faster and effective manner offers immense opportunities to British Companies. These opportunities range from building 50 million houses to setting up 100 smart cities; modernization of railway network and re-development of stations to new railway corridors; generation of 175 GW of renewable energy to transmission and distribution networks, from National Highways and bridges, to Metro rail networks. Such a huge potential for creation of infrastructure and production of goods will not be available in any other country. More importantly, no one place on the earth can offer the potential for usage and consumption on such a massive scale.

We are trying to harness this potential through our policies and people. The campaigns like Digital India and Skill India are designed to prepare the people to take part in this process. To tap their energy fully, we have also launched the Start up India Campaign. We have witnessed massive growth in the number of start-ups in the recent past. Some of these have already begun to challenge established global players.


India is on the threshold of a big IT revolution. We are encouraging it to fast-track the services to our 1.25 billion people. New Technology and renewable energy is our new Mantra. Whatever we do, we will do in a cleaner and greener way. Energy efficiency, water recycling, waste to energy, clean India and river cleaning are among those initiatives. These initiatives provide additional avenues for investment in modern technology and human resources.

Ours is a country of the vibrant youth and a rising middle class. There is a huge domestic market in India. I have been saying that the three Ds of Democracy, Demography and Demand is our basic strength. Moreover, talented young minds in India have now begun taking risks. They are preferring to become Entrepreneurs. Thus, we have moved forward from D to E which is Entrepreneurship.


Necessary conditions for take-off of the Indian economy have been created. Never before, India was so well prepared to absorb talent, technology and investment from outside. I can assure you that it will get better and better in the coming days. We will be open to welcome your ideas, innovations and enterprises. We are open to carry out necessary corrections in our policies and procedures. Given the visionary and dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Cameron and his interest in India, I am personally eager to work with the British Government and companies.

With these words, I welcome you to India. I assure you of my personal care in making your dreams a reality. Many of you belong to India; Many of you are in India already. But for those who are not there, I must say that:

• At this point of time, it is wiser to be in India;

• Further, we are making it easier to invest in India


• Believe me, we are making it even better to ‘Make in India’.

Thank you. Thank you very much.



Vice Admiral Karambir Singh, AVSM,

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Defence
31-October-2015 15:18 IST

Vice Admiral Karambir Singh, AVSM,

Assumes Charge as Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (DCNS)

Vice Admiral Karambir Singh, AVSM has assumed charge as Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff today 31 Oct 15. He relieved Vice Admiral RK Pattanaik, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, who retires today after 38 years of glorious service in the Indian Navy.

Vice Admiral Karambir Singh, AVSM is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla. Commissioned into the Indian Navy in Jul 1980, the Admiral earned his wings as a helicopter pilot in 1982 and has flown extensively on the Chetak, Kamov 25 and Kamov 28 Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) helicopters. He is a graduate of DSSC, Wellington; College of Naval Warfare, Karanja and has the distinction of serving as Directing Staff in both these Institutions.

In his career spanning over 35 years, the Admiral has commanded Indian Coast Guard Ship Chandbibi, Missile Vessel Vijaydurg as well as Guided Missile Destroyers Rana and Delhi. He has also had the privilege of being the Fleet Operations Officer of the Western Fleet. Ashore, the Admiral has served as Joint Director Naval Air Staff, Captain Air and Officer-in-Charge Naval Air Station, Kunjali and as a member of the Aircrew Instrument Rating and Categorisation Team (AIRCATS).

On promotion to flag rank, the Admiral was appointed as Chief of Staff, Eastern Naval Command. His other important flag appointments include Chief of Staff of the Unified Command at Andaman & Nicobar Islands and the Flag Officer Maharashtra and Gujarat Area (FOMAG).

In the rank of Vice Admiral, he has been the Director General Project Seabird. The Admiral has been commended by the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief and is a recipient of the prestigious Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM) awarded by the Hon’ble President of India.

The Admiral is an enthusiastic golfer and also enjoys cycling, running and swimming. He is also the ‘Grey Eagle’ of the Indian Navy (Senior most Serving Naval Aviator)


Hon’ble Raksha Mantri Visits Andaman & Nicobar Command

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Defence
12-November-2015 17:40 IST

Hon’ble Raksha Mantri Visits Andaman & Nicobar Command
Shri Manohar Parrikar Hon’ble Raksha Mantri visited Headquarters Andaman & Nicobar Command on 12 Nov 15. The Raksha Mantri, upon arrival at INS Utkrosh was received by Vice Admiral Pradeep K Chatterjee PVSM, AVSM, NM, Commander-in-Chief Andaman & Nicobar Command and was presented an impressive Tri Services Guard of Honour. During the visit, the Hon’ble Raksha Mantri was briefed on the security environment and strategic importance of the Islands. Later accompanied by CINCAN, he visited Naval Ship Repair Yard (NSRY) and Floating Dock Navy 1. Thereafter he visited Cellular Jail and witnessed Light & Sound Show at Ross Island.


Col, Comd PRO

Clarification by Indian Air Force (IAF) on Chattisgarh Naxal issue

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Defence
30-October-2015 20:20 IST

Clarification by Indian Air Force (IAF) on Chattisgarh Naxal issue
The IAF has been at the helm of affairs in executing air operations in support of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) in Chattisgarh for many years and has prided itself in carrying out the same in strict compliance with the authorized Rules of Engangement. However, some articles on the air operations, that have appeared in the Indian print and online media recently, refer to the recent air-to-ground practice firing in the Bastar region by IAF helicopters as a shift in strategic plan by the GoI to use IAF helicopters to strafe its own people. Such misleading articles not only tarnish the image of the IAF, but also threaten to undermine the operations being carried out by IAF in support of CAPF. Recently, the IAF had to issue a rejoinder to a prominent English daily newspaper following the publishing of a misleading article on the IAF operations.

The factually correct information as regards IAF operations is as follows:

IAF has been operating its helicopters in the Bastar region for several years. During these operations, IAF helicopters deployed in logistics support of Central Armed Police Forces have been fired upon numerous times while in air and on ground, leading to injuries sustained by personnel on board. However, there have been no retaliatory attacks by the IAF. As per the authorised Rules of Engagement, IAF personnel fire only in self defence when fired upon first. The IAF has no plans to undertake any offensive strikes.

As training of aircrew is an ongoing process, air to ground firing from helicopters is a routine training exercise and must be carried out by aircrew as a part of continuation training. Such exercises are carried out at regular intervals to hone the skills and to maintain co-ordination between the aircrew and troops. A training exercise was carried out recently on a pre-surveyed air-to-ground range area which is devoid of any population.

As far as the training exercise carried out recently and air strategy is concerned, there is no deviation from the earlier stance. In fact, use of force would be strictly in compliance with the Rules of Engagement as mandated by GoI. There is no change in strategy of the IAF.

This press release is intended to clarify the stand of the IAF to the media fraternity and to all readers regarding air operations carried out by the IAF in Chattisgarh.


Reforms in FDI

Today, India is the fastest growing economy among major Nations.  The World Bank has improved India's ranking by 12 places in the 2016 Study of Ease of Doing Business. FDI has gone up by 40%.  Several Global Institutions have projected India as the leading destination for FDI in the World.  IMF has branded India as the brightest spot in the Global Economy whereas the World Bank projects India's growth at 7.5% and even better.

2.         With coming of NDA Government to power, Shri Narendra Modi has expressed his commitment to poverty elimination, inclusive development [make India a developed Country] and also to make India a Global Manufacturing Hub.  Being aware of the constraint of financial resources for fast tracking the development process, a series of Economic Reforms and a number of measures to improve the Ease of Doing Business in the country have been set in motion.  A number of stalled projects have been de-bottlenecked and fast-tracked.  The results are showing up. 

3.         However, the commitments to the millions of youth of the Country to provide them remunerative employment or entrepreneurial opportunities is not yet fully realized.  With this in mind, Prime Ministter Mr. Modi launched the Campaigns like 'Make In India' and 'Skill India'.  The latest in the series is the upcoming 'Start-up India' initiative.  To further boost this entire investment environment and to bring in foreign investments in the country, the Government has brought in FDI related Reforms and liberalisation touching upon 15 major Sectors of the Economy.  The salient measures are:

                                i.            Limited Liability Partnerships, downstream investment and approval conditions.

                              ii.            Investment by companies owned and controlled by Non-Resident Indians (NRIs)

                            iii.            Establishment and transfer of ownership and control of Indian companies

                            iv.            Agriculture and Animal Husbandry

                              v.            Plantation

                            vi.            Mining and mineral separation of titanium bearing minerals and ores, its value addition and integrated activities


                          vii.            Defence

                        viii.            Broadcasting Sector

                            ix.            Civil Aviation

                              x.            Increase of sectoral cap

                            xi.            Construction development sector

                          xii.            Cash and Carry Wholesale Trading / Wholesale Trading (including sourcing from MSEs)

                        xiii.            Single Brand Retail Trading and Duty free shops

                        xiv.            Banking-Private Sector; and

                          xv.            Manufacturing Sector

4.         The Crux of these reforms is to further ease, rationalise and simplify the process of foreign investments in the country and to put more and more FDI proposals on automatic route instead of Government route where time and energy of the investors is wasted.  It is one more proof of minimum government and maximum governance.  Further refining of foreign investments in key Sectors like Construction where 50 million houses for poor are to be built.  Opening up the manufacturing Sector for wholesale, retail and E-Commerce so that the Industries are motivated to Make In India and sell it to the customers here instead of importing from other countries.  The proposed reforms also enhance the limit of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) from current Rupees Three thousand crores to Five thousand crores.  The proposal also contains many other long pending corrections including those being felt by the limited liability partnerships as well as NRI owned Companies who seem motivated to invest in India.  Few other proposals seek to enhance the sectoral Caps so that foreign investors don't have to face fragmented ownership issues and get motivated to deploy their resources and technology with full force. 

5.         With this round of Reforms, the Government has demonstrated that India is unstoppable on the path of Economic Development.  Prime Minister has reiterated that Economic Wellbeing of the people of India is the main Task before him.  It is also clear that India is a Country which is more than ready to integrate with the Global Economy because it feels that the Fruits of Development will reach to the common man only if there is Development.  Above all every citizen in all nooks and corners must have a stake. 

6.         Along with these sectoral reforms, DIPP has also been advised to consolidate all FDI related instructions contained in various notifications & press notes and prepare a booklet so that the investors don't have to refer to several documents of different timeframes.  This exercise of PM, Shri Narendra Modi is intended on the one hand to further open up the Sectors for more foreign investments in the country and also to make it easy to invest in India.  In the normal course, the Policy corrections in 16 areas would have taken at least one year to process and get approvals.  Thus, this action is a very dynamic step in terms of integrating the Indian Economy with the rest of the World for attracting investments and technology and generating employment for enhancement of income of the people of India.   



Air Marshal Sukhchain Singh Retires after 37 years of Glorious Service

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Defence
30-October-2015 16:42 IST

Air Marshal Sukhchain Singh Retires after 37 years of Glorious Service
Air Marshal Sukhchain Singh Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM) who held the appointment of Air Officer-in-Charge Maintenance at Air HQs, retires on 31 October 2015 after 37 years of glorious service. The Air Marshal who belongs to Amritsar was commissioned in the Electronics stream of Aeronautical Engineering branch in IAF on 02 July 1979. He is a graduate in Electronics and Communication from REC Kurukshetra (now NIT) and a post graduate in Integrated Electronics from IIT Delhi. He was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal in Jan 1999 for his distinguished service in IAF. He has rich experience in the field of maintenance management of aircraft, radars and guided weapons.

The Air Marshal plans to settle down in Chandigarh after retirement.


Probationers of Indian Defence Accounts service call on President

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
President's Secretariat
10-November-2015 16:38 IST

Probationers of Indian Defence Accounts service call on President
A group of probationers of Indian Defence Accounts Service (2014 and 2015 batches) called on the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee today (November 10, 2015) at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Speaking on the occasion, the President extended heartiest congratulations to all the young officers for having cleared the civil services exam which is recognized as one of the toughest competitive examinations. He welcomed the young probationers to Government service and assured them that there will be no dearth of challenges and opportunities in their long career ahead. He stated that the canvas, scope and breadth of exposure and responsibility that a career in Government offers, and that too at a relatively young age, is an experience and opportunity unlike any other. He stated that he was sure that the 24 week professional training at the National Institute of Financial Management, followed by another 28 week stint at their service academy which they undergo will acquaint them with the intricacies and nuances of the Department.

The President said that the Service that they are joining is the core of the Defence Accounts Department. Established several years ago, this Department was until 1951 known as the Military Accounts Department. The Department renders finance related services and is mandated with the task of ensuring financial propriety and accountability in the Ministry of Defence. It handles the payment & accounting functions, pension management, internal audit, budget management and the financial advice function for the Armed Forces and the allied establishments i.e. the Ordnance Factories, Coast Guard and Boarder Roads. He stated that the Department has the crucial responsibility of guaranteeing financial propriety, probity and integrity in all transactions. The increase in defence outlays requires that all of them remain abreast of the latest techniques in financial management and deliver sound financial advice in a timely and efficient manner.



Text of PM’s concluding remarks at 3rd India-Africa Forum Summit

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Prime Minister's Office
29-October-2015 20:21 IST

Text of PM’s concluding remarks at 3rd India-Africa Forum Summit

Your Majesties, Excellencies,

My Co-Chair President Mugabe,

This has been a truly historic day.

We had the opportunity to listen to the whole of Africa.

Our first two Summits were limited to a few countries on the basis of the Banjul formula.

We are honoured today that all 54 African nations are participating.

Your response is a clear affirmation that this is the right format for India and Africa to meet.

I express profound gratitude to each of you for sharing your thoughts.

There is nothing that teaches you more than the wisdom of your friends.

All of us in India have been inspired by your aspirations for your country and Africa; your vision for this world; your feelings for India; and, your expectations from our partnership.

Your friendship and faith is a source of great pride and strength for us.

Listening to you has reinforced my conviction that partnership between India and Africa is natural, because our destinies are so closely inter-linked and our aspirations and challenges are so similar.

We will work with you to realize your vision of a prosperous Africa, based on inclusive growth, empowered citizens and sustainable development; an integrated and culturally vibrant Africa; and, a peaceful and secure Africa, which has its rightful global place and is a strong partner for the world.

I have listened carefully on how we can make our partnership more effective.

Your feedback and suggestions will be very helpful in restructuring our Lines of Credit. We will take into account your special circumstances and we will ensure even greater speed and transparency in their utilisation. As always, we will be guided by your priorities.

What we have learnt in the process of establishing institutions in Africa. This will help us to implement these projects more efficiently.

We are very encouraged by the response to our scholarship programme. We will improve it further and also create a more supportive environment to live, study and train in India.

I have listen the importance you attach to technology partnership. As in India, we will increase focus on technology to transform the lives of the weakest in the remotest parts of Africa. .

We will give high priority to increase trade and investment flows between India and Africa. We will make our trade more balance. We will facilitate Africa’s access to the Indian market. We will ensure full and effective implementation of the duty free access extended to 34 countries.

We have excellent defence and security cooperation with many African countries. We have done this bilaterally and through multilateral and regional mechanisms. Closer defence and security cooperation, especially in capability development, will be a key pillar of India-Africa partnership.

We will intensify our cooperation against terrorism and rally the world to build a common cause against it.

Excellencies, we are conscious of the shadow that falls between an idea and action, between intention and implementation.

So, implementation will be as important as starting projects. We will strengthen our monitoring system. This will include a Joint Monitoring Mechanism with African Union.

Excellencies, our solidarity and unity can be a major force in the cause of a more inclusive, fair and democratic global order. We are at a decisive moment in charting its course.

We should intensify our cooperation and collaboration to seek reforms of the United Nations; achieve our shared goals in global trade; build a global partnership for the Development Agenda 2030; and, pursue our expectation from the Paris Meet on Climate Change.

A world shaped in our vision and aspirations will give us each a better chance to succeed.

Today, we have adopted the Declaration of this Summit and the Framework for Strategic Cooperation.

But, more than numbers and documents, the biggest outcome is our renewed friendships, stronger partnerships and greater solidarity.

Excellencies, given the scale of our Summit and the ambitious goals of our partnership, we have jointly agreed that the Summit should be held every five years.

However, Africa will remain at the centre of our attention. Our engagement with Africa will remain intense and regular. I hope to see you here on bilateral visits. And, I look forward to visiting all regions of Africa in the years ahead.

Finally, I sincerely thank you, your delegations, and other distinguished visitors from Africa, for being here. I hope you enjoyed your stay. Thank you for bringing good weather to Delhi. I hope to see you in Paris for CoP-21 and the Solar Alliance.

I thank my ministerial colleagues, our officials and the city of Delhi for making this Summit a great success.

As this day ends, our partnership has received new energy and purpose from you today and the World, new confidence in its future.

Thank you. Thank you very much.



PM's upcoming visit to United Kingdom (UK) and Turkey

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Prime Minister's Office
10-November-2015 16:06 IST

PM's upcoming visit to United Kingdom (UK) and Turkey

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi will be visiting United Kingdom (UK) and Turkey from November 12, 2015 to November 16, 2015.

In a series of Facebook posts the Prime Minister said:

On November 12, I will commence my visit to the United Kingdom. My visit is aimed at strengthening cooperation with a traditional friend that is not only a major economic partner of India but also one of the leading economic players of the world. India and UK are two vibrant democracies, which are proud of their diversity and multicultural societies.

UK is one of the fastest growing G-7 economies and is home to a strong financial services sector. It is known for its innovative zeal and for its creative industries. You would be interested to know that UK has the largest diplomatic presence in India and is the 3rd largest source of foreign investment in our country. India too is the 3rd largest source of FDI (in terms of the number of projects) in UK. I see immense scope for our economic and trade relations to improve and this will benefit both our economies.

Another area of importance for bilateral cooperation is defence. We have traditionally been cooperating extensively on defence and security issues and this visit will build on strong ties. Defence manufacturing will be a prime focus in my talks. There will be deliberations on clean energy and I will seek to achieve progress in our endeavour to make clean energy more affordable and accessible for the 1.25 billion people of India, as also to enhance bilateral cooperation in the fields of science, technology and education. UK remains a preferred choice for Indian students.

My visit to UK is the first Prime Ministerial visit in almost a decade. I have had the opportunity to meet Prime Minister David Cameron at various international forums and our meetings have been productive. Prime Minister Cameron is a good friend of India’s, and we in India have had the privilege of welcoming him thrice during his first term as Prime Minister.

I am confident my UK visit will deepen our ties and we will cooperate extensively in a range of areas of shared interests.

In UK, I will attend a wide range of programmes. I will have the honour of meeting Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace at a lunch hosted by her. There will be comprehensive talks with Prime Minister David Cameron. We will meet in London and then at Chequers. We will be discussing a variety of issues of mutual interest.

To explore avenues of more effective economic cooperation, I will interact with CEOs at a roundtable in London. I always look forward to such discussions because it entails frank dialogue and constructive feedback from investors. My message to the business community is clear – come, make use of the opportunities India is offering and invest in India.

I will visit the British Parliament to give an address. I thank the Speaker of the House of Commons for this opportunity, considering that the UK Parliament is not in session.

I will address the City of London at an event at The Old Library, Guildhall. There will also be a visit to the Jaguar Land Rover factory at Solihull.

In London, I will pay homage at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi, who is a great source of inspiration for the entire world.

People-to-people ties are crucial for every bilateral relationship to grow.

UK is home to a 1.5 million-people strong Indian diaspora, who have contributed greatly to society in different walks of life. Lakhs of professionals and students are also working and studying in Britain. We want to deepen the bond between our diaspora and the people of India.

On November 13, I will address our diaspora community at Wembley Stadium. I have already requested you to share your inputs and thoughts for through the mobile app. I will meet some of you who will share their ideas and attend the event.

London has a very strong link with India’s freedom struggle. Many of our leaders lived, worked or studied in London. One such great leader was Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. It is a matter of immense joy and pride that I will visit the place where Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar lived during his stay in London.

Just recently, this place has been acquired by the Government of Maharashtra and it will be converted into a museum for people to visit and pay their respects.

On November 14, I will unveil a statue of Basaveshwara, a great scholar, philosopher and statesman who contributed greatly to our culture and tradition

My visit to Turkey for G20 Summit will commence on November 14.

This Summit is being held at a critical juncture, just after the adoption of Sustainable Development Goals agenda at the United Nations, and just before discussions on climate change at COP-21 in Paris on Nov 30-Dec 1.

During the Summit, we will review the progress on decisions taken at the Brisbane Summit and take up issues of climate change, terrorism, refugees, weak growth in global economy, strategies for growth and employment, investment strategies, trade, energy and financial sector resilience.

Like last year, India’s focus on mitigating the menace of black money, tax erosion and bringing greater transparency remains.

There will be several bilateral meetings too with world leaders on the sidelines of the Summit, which will help deepen our bilateral ties.



DG NCC Hosts German Armed Forces Delegation

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Defence
29-October-2015 17:24 IST

DG NCC Hosts German Armed Forces Delegation
A 32 member German Armed Forces delegation led by Lt Col Michael Karl Walter Schwab visited the National Cadet Corps (NCC) Headquarters and interacted with the officers of the organisation today at Manekshaw Centre, Delhi Cantt. The Deputy Defence Attaché from the German Embassy accompanied the delegation who are from the German Foundation for Political Studies and International Understanding’.

The interactive meet was chaired by the Director General NCC Lt Gen Aniruddha Chakravarty, where senior officers of the organisation were also present. A presentation on the history, aims of NCC, organizational structure and facets of training was given to the visitors aimed at better understanding of the organisation.

The visiting delegation members evinced keen interest in the NCC activities as it is the largest uniformed youth organisation in the world. The presence of boy and girl cadets enabled a first-hand interaction of the visiting German delegation with them.


Notification for Implementation of OROP Issued


The Government today issued the notification regarding  implementation of ‘One Rank One Pension’ in respect of Defence Forces  personnel.

Defence Forces of India have a rich history and tradition of bravery and gallantry. Defence forces have not only defend our borders with exemplary courage and valour but have also performed with fearless attitude and empathy in natural calamities and other trying circumstances. Government of India recognizes and respects their contribution.

The issue of One Rank One Pension was a long standing   demand. Defence Forces had been demanding it for almost four decades but the issue could not be resolved. However, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had made a commitment to implement it for the welfare of the ex-servicemen. Accordingly the Government had announced modalities for implementation of OROP on 05.09.2015.  The Government Order by Ministry of Defence, which could not be issued due to model code of conduct, has been issued today.


Salient features of the OROP as stated in the Order are as follows: 


                     I.        To begin with, pension of the past pensioners would be re-fixed on the basis of pension of retirees of calendar year 2013 and the benefit will be effective with effect from 1.7.2014. 


                   II.        Pension will be re-fixed for all pensioners on the basis of the average of minimum and maximum pension of personnel retiring in 2013 in the same rank and with the same length of service. 


                  III.        Pension for those drawing above the average shall be protected. 


                 IV.        Arrears will be paid in four equal half yearly instalments. However, all the family pensioners, including those in receipt of Special/Liberalized family pensioners,and Gallantry award winners shall be paid arrears in one instalment. 


                  V.        In future, the pension would be re-fixed every 5 years.



4. Personnel who opt to get discharged henceforth on their  own request under Rule 13(3)1(i)(b),13(3)1(iv) or Rule 16B of the Army Rule 1954 or equivalent Navy or Air Force Rules will not be entitled to the benefits of OROP. It will be effective prospectively.


5. The Govt. has decided to appoint a Judicial Committee to look into anomalies, if any, arising out of implementation of OROP. The Judicial Committee will submit its report in six months.  


6.    Detailed instructions along with tables indicating revised pension for each rank and each category, shall be issued separately for updation of pension and payment of arrears directly by Pension Disbursing Agencies. 


The previous Government had made a budget announcement to implement the OROP and made a provision of Rs 500  Crore.   The present Government undertook the task earnestly and realized that the actual additional annual expenditure would be eight to ten thousand crore at present and will increase further in future.   Notwithstanding the financial constraints, true to its commitment the present Government has issued the Government order to implement the OROP in true spirit.


Sitanshu Kar/                                                      






Concerned ministries agree on streamlining approvals for construction projects in urban areas

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation
28-October-2015 18:02 IST

Concerned ministries agree on streamlining approvals for construction projects in urban areas

Inter-ministerial meeting decides on issuing notifications by end of Novermber

Ministers of Urban Development, Defence, Culture and Cabinet Secretary review progress

The Central Government today decided to come out with necessary notifications by the end of next month for streamlining approvals for construction projects in urban areas so as to enable time bound and hassle free clearances for projects. This was decided at a high level meeting convened by Minister of Urban Development and Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu. It was attended by Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar, Minister of Culture Dr.Mahesh Sharma and Cabinet Secretary Shri P.K.Sinha besides secretaries and senior officials of 8 related ministries.

The Ministers and Cabinet Secretary reviewed the progress made by respective ministries towards enhancing ‘ease of doing business’ in urban areas since inter-ministerial consultations were initiated by Shri Naidu a few months back. Secretaries and senior officials of the Ministries of Defence, Environment and Forests & Climate Change, Civil Aviation, Culture, Consumer Affairs, Urban Development and Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation have given detailed accounts of measures taken so far and proposed to be taken in the matter.

Shri Venkaiah Naidu said that the country is ranked low in terms of doing business in urban areas and there is an imperative need to improve the same in the context of efforts for sustained high rate of economic growth and other initiatives like Housing for All. Shri Manohar Parrikar suggested a practical and realistic approach to fast track approvals for projects.

Cabinet Secretary Shri P.K.Sinha said that streamlining of approvals need to be taken seriously to end cost and time over runs and harassment of project developers. He suggested to the Ministry of Environment and Forests & Climate Change to consider incentivizing compliance with the guidelines. He noted that official notifications in respect of agreed upon measures would go a long way in improving India’s rank on ‘ease of doing business’.

Ministry-wise initiatives to fast track approvals as informed in the meeting are as follows:

1.Ministry of Environment and Forests & Climate Change:

-Guidelines for according Environmental Clearences are being further simplified based on the built up area and will soon be finalized;

-Simplified guidelines could be incorporated in the bye-laws/regulations of States and Urban Local Bodies so that the Ministry need not be approached for clearences.

2.Ministry of Civil Aviation

-Since 65% of applications for height clearences are in respect of major 12 airports, Colour Coded Zoning Maps of 9 of these have been uploaded on website that would enable urban local bodies accord approvals without the applicants going to the Ministry;

-CCZMs in respect of other 3 airports would be made available by end of December;

-CCZMs of another 14 airports would be uploaded by the end of next year which would take care of over 90% of applications for clearneces;

-No Objection Application System (NOCAS-II) would be soft launched on 31st October this year and would be available for use of applicants and this would eliminate human interface for approvals.

3.Ministry of Culture

-Website for online filing and grant of No Objection Certificate for buildings not falling in restricted areas of National Monuments has been made fully operational ;

-Online approvals can be obtained using the ‘app’ developed by ISRO and the accuracy of the ‘app’ has been enhanced to a margin of error of only 1-2 metres;

-Mapping of 600 monuments has been already completed that enables online approvals;

-Heritage Bye-laws of 201 major monuments is being done on priority.

Secretary(Culture) demonstrated online approval and it was appreciated by all.

4.Ministry of Defence

-All Services and Defence organisations have been directed to advise Local Military Authorities and local units to provide details and maps of restricted and unrestricted areas to local municipal authorities;

-Works of Defence Act is being reviewed along with framing of Ammunition Storage Policy to enable easy approvals;

-Colour Coded Zoning Maps for defence airports under joint civil operations will be prepared after a meeting with all concerned is taken by the Minister of Defence.

-Concerned defence establishments will accord required approvals with in 30 days from date of application.

Defence Minister said that subject to strategic and sensitivity considerations, necessary measures will be taken for fast tracking approvals for urban construction projects.

5. Department of Consumer Affairs

-National Building Code-2015 will be finalized by the end of December this year keeping in view the requirements of quick approvals.

6.Ministry of Urban Development

-Model Building Bye-laws have been prepared and the simplified guidelines to be proposed by the Ministry of Environment and Forests will be duly incorporated in the same.

Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has suggested ‘Risk based’ approval system that places the onus on the applicant for any violation of undertaking given in respect of compliance with guidelines.

The Ministers and officials suggested strict penal measures for any violation of guidelines in the new architecture including demolition of constructions so made.

Notifications in respect of the measures agreed upon and the implementation mechanism including empowerment of urban local bodies to accord approvals will be issued by end of next month as decided in today’s high level meeting.


Shri Manohar Parrikar Visits Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav Today

The cultural extravaganza continues on the sixth day of the ongoing cultural festival “Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav” at IGNCA, Janpath in New Delhi. First of it’s kind national cultural festival is being celebrated with full zeal and cultural enthusiasm in the national capital for the past six days. Union Defence Minister (Raksha Mantri), Shri Manohar Parrikar was the Chief Guest at the Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav today. He was welcomed by Secretary(Culture), Shri N. K. Sinha. Other prominent dignitaries also graced the occasion.

The sixth day started with a ‘Folk Performance (Singing/Dancing/Instrumental) Competition’ and a ‘Pottery/ Clay Modeling Workshop’ for school children7 Aangans by the Zonal Cultural Centres(ZCC’s) offered the visitors a range of artifacts, handicrafts like Haveli paintings from Punjab, Rogan artworks from Gujarat, Banaras silk, Kalamkari (hand-painted or block-printed cotton textile), Tanjore paintings and many more.

The evening witnessed a high energy & intensity filled performances by artists from West Zone Cultural Centre, Udaipur including art forms like Mer/Talwar Rass, Sidhi Dhamal, Dang of Gujarat, Angi Gher, Langa Mangnihar of Rajasthan, Dhekni or Ghode Modni from Goa.


The event also witnessed a live soulful performance by the renowned Indian classical musician and an ace percussionist Taufiq Qureshi.


The 8 day National Cultural Festival of India include hours of cultural performances, from 10 am to 6:30 pm at the Aangans and from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm at the main stage. This most diverse and first of its kind festival was inaugurated on 1st November, 2015 at the IGNCA, New Delhi.





PM's bilateral meetings with African leaders on the sidelines of India Africa Forum Summit

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Prime Minister's Office
28-October-2015 16:50 IST

PM's bilateral meetings with African leaders on the sidelines of India Africa Forum Summit

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today held bilateral meetings with African leaders on the sidelines of the India Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi.

The Prime Minister met Mr. Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe, and Chairman of African Union. They discussed issues of common interest, including UN Reform and the threat of terrorism.

The Prime Minister spoke of the close bilateral ties between India and Zimbabwe. President Mugabe is the co-chair for the India Africa Forum Summit, and the two leaders reviewed the preparations for the Summit.

The Prime Minister met President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana. Warm ties between the two countries and growing bilateral trade came up for discussion. Areas of cooperation including agriculture, IT, skill development, cyber security and maritime security figured in the talks.

The Prime Minister met the King of Swaziland H.E. Mswati III. The King spoke of his vision for his country's development, including areas such as infrastructure, renewable energy and skill development. The Prime Minister complimented the Swaziland King on his leadership and vision, and offered assistance in its development.

The Prime Minister met Dr. Boni Yayi, President of Benin. The growing economic relationship between the two countries, and areas of cooperation such as agricultural mechanization, power generation, water supply and transportation came up for discussion.

The Prime Minister met Mr. Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria. Oil exploration, defence cooperation, and UN reform were among the areas were discussed at the meeting.

During the meeting between Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya, and the Prime Minister, areas of cooperation including healthcare, infrastructure and mutual trade and economic relations came up for discussion. The historical ties between the two countries and the large Indian diaspora in Kenya were mentioned. Terrorism and UN reform also came up for discussion.

The Prime Minister met President Jacob Zuma of South Africa. Both leaders recalled the historical ties between the two countries. Issues of terrorism, reform of the United Nations Security Council, and reform of institutions of global governance, came up for discussion.

The Prime Minister met the President of Uganda, Mr. Yoheri Museveni. The two leaders discussed ways to enhance prosperity and mutual understanding between the two countries.



India-Russia Joint Army Exercise Indra-2015 in Bikaner to Focus on Counter Terrorism

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Defence
05-November-2015 18:07 IST

India-Russia Joint Army Exercise Indra-2015 in Bikaner to Focus on Counter Terrorism
Indian and Russian Armies would be conducting a joint military exercise as a part of a continuing series of annual joint exercises under the banner ‘Exercise INDRA-2015’. A 250 member strong Russian Army contingent would arrive in Bikaner for INDRA-2015 for the joint exercise to be held with the Indian Army from 07 November to 20 November 2015. Exercise INDRA-2015 is the seventh edition in a series of bilateral exercises under this banner. The joint exercise this year would focus on ‘Counter Terrorism Operations in Desert Terrain under a United Nations Mandate’.

To achieve inter operability in joint operations in the future, troops from an Independent Russian Motorised Brigade and Indian Army’s Infantry Battalion would initially acquaint themselves with the approach to such operations, Command and Control systems as well as arms and equipment of each other. The joint training would also focus on ensuring a high degree of physical fitness, tactical drills, techniques and procedures. A comprehensive training program for a period of four weeks has been worked out for the same. During the exercise, participants will engage in variety of missions including joint planning, Cordon and Search operations, Search and Rescue, joint tactical drills and special arms skills.

The exercise would be conducted in two phases, namely ‘Combat Conditioning & Tactical Training’ and ‘Validation’ phases. The exercise would be witnessed by senior Indian as well as Russian Generals. The broadened and unprecedented scope of the exercise stands as a testimony to the deep and mature, ‘people to people’ as well as ‘military to military’ ties between Russia and India.

Col Rohan Anand, SM PRO (Army)

Infantry Day Celebrations on 27 Oct 2015

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Defence
27-October-2015 18:20 IST

Infantry Day Celebrations on 27 Oct 2015
Infantry celebrates 27 Oct each year as the Infantry Day. On this day (27 Oct 1947), 68 years ago the leading elements of the Indian Army from 1st Battalion of the Sikh Regiment landed in Srinagar as part force to evict the Pakistani intruders from Jammu and Kashmir which became part of the Indian Union following the signing of Instrument of Accession by Maharaja Hari Singh. Their resolute defence of the city saved it from falling into the enemy hands. The gallant action of these Infantry Soldiers reversed the tide of the battle and contributed immensely towards integrating Kashmir as part of independent India.

Infantry Day 2015 was celebrated with traditional fervor on 27 Oct 15 with Wreath Laying Ceremony organised at ‘Amar Jawan Jyoti’. Gen Dalbir Singh, the COAS, Senior Veterans, Colonels of Infantry Regiments and serving officers attended the Ceremony. Lt Gen GS Rawat (Retd) represented the veterans in the Wreath Laying Ceremony.

Field Marshal SHFJ Manekshaw Memorial Lecture was also organised at Manekshaw Centre, Delhi Cantt as part of Infantry Day celebrations. Proceedings began with welcome address by Lt Gen Sanjay Kulkarni, Director General of Infantry. Lt Gen VR Raghavan, (Retd) delivered lecture on “Old and New Wars: Structural Challenges”, highlighting changes in character and scope of wars. Distinguished Soldier Diplomat, Lt Gen SK Sinha, (Retd) spoke of his association with Field Marshal Manekshaw, with whom he had the privilege to serve. The lecture culminated with closing remarks by the COAS, and a vote of thanks by the Director General Infantry.

Col Rohan Anand, SM

PRO (Army)

Speech by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee on the occasion of call on by the members of the 55th NDC course and staff of National Defence College

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
President's Secretariat
04-November-2015 16:54 IST

Speech by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee on the occasion of call on by the members of the 55th NDC course and staff of National Defence College
1. Commandant, National Defence College, Lt Gen Navkiran Singh Ghei, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (Bar) members of the faculty and staff, officers from the Indian Armed Forces, Civil Services and from friendly foreign countries. It gives me immense pleasure to welcome you all to Rashtrapati Bhavan.

2. The global environment today poses numerous challenges to the world because of its dynamic nature. The astonishing pace at which events have unfolded in the recent past could not have been foreseen a decade earlier.

3. Each country is guided in its actions by its national interests and objectives. The power relationships are constantly changing, and unless a country understands, appreciates and adjusts itself to the changes that are taking place around it, its own security will be seriously jeopardised.

4. Since natural and manmade resources are always at a premium, there will be intense competition among nations to take control of these resources.

5. Security is no more confined to preservation of territorial integrity alone as it encompasses economic, energy, food, health, environmental and several other dimensions of National well being.Intensive research and quality analysis in all fields and disciplines is thus a pre-requisite which calls for a holistic approach to studies across a vast spectrum of disciplines. There must be a conscious effort to strengthen the underlying linkages and not divide them into watertight compartments. Adopting such an approach will yield rich dividends.At the same time, one must not lose sight of the larger picture and keep the primary objective always in focus.

6. The success of any nation state depends on how effectively it harnesses all the available resources at its disposal, foremost among these being the human resource. The development of human resource for National Security is an onerous task undertaken by National Defence College of India where senior officers from not only the Armed Forces but also from Civil Services and friendly foreign countries are endowed with background knowledge to make policy decisions related to national security.

7. In a democratic system like ours, various organs of the state must understand the strengths and limitations of each other. Political leadership and senior Civil Services officers must be conversant with the capabilities and limitations of the Defence forces. Similarly, Armed Forces officers need to understand the limitations and constitutional frame work under which the political set up and Civil Services function. However, both of them should be aware of the larger perspective of National Security in order to take informed decisions of vital importance.

8. I am made to understand that a total of six studies comprise the curriculum of the National Defence College course. The Socio-Political Study is to make you comprehend the main features of the Indian society and polity and to assess issues which have a bearing on National Security. The Economy, Science and Technology Study is to introduce you to the principles and practices that shape economic trends as well as influences of science and technology in attaining self reliance in security related fields.Similarly, Study on International Security Environment, Global Issues and India’s Strategic Neighbourhood is to focus on the international security environment as also its impact on India’s foreign policy. The final study on Strategies and Structures for National Security is the synthesis and culmination of everything that has been learned and experienced during the year.

9. I hope the Course will make you into more aware and well-informed individuals, who can make well reasoned decisions taking the country’s security perspectives into consideration. Multidisciplinary approach to problems of national security was recognised by Chanakya, the author of‘Arthashastra’. Even Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, while inaugurating the National Defence College in 1960, articulated that ‘Defence is not an isolated subject. It is intimately connected with the economic, industrial and many other aspects in the country and is all encompassing’.

10. The role of the Armed Forces has also expanded far beyond traditional military matters with the revolutions in military affairs and globalisation. It is clear that future conflicts in the complex defence and security environment will require a more integrated multi-state and multi-agency approach.Preparing military leaders, police officers and civil servants to deal with the complex security environment of the future will necessarily have to be addressed in a holistic and comprehensive manner.

11. Finally, I once again wish you all, success in your future endeavours and hope that you all will bring more laurels to the National Defence College and your respective countries.

Thank you

‘Jai Hind’



Streamlining of construction approvals in urban areas to be firmed up in a high level meeting tomorrow

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation
27-October-2015 18:02 IST

Streamlining of construction approvals in urban areas to be firmed up in a high level meeting tomorrow

Shri Venkaiah Naidu urges states to waive duties and charges to make affordable housing projects viable

989 cities and towns in 20 states identified for affordable housing projects

Urban Local Bodies being active on web forums for citizen consultations is a sign of new consciousness, says Shri Naidu

Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu today said that final meeting of concerned ministers and secretaries on streamlining of approvals for construction projects in urban areas will be held tomorrow and it will also be attended by the Cabinet Secretary. Addressing a National Workshop on Affordable Housing and Habitat Policies here today, he said that ‘enhancing ease of doing business’ has acquired urgency in the context of launch of Housing for All Mission.

Shri Venkaiah Naidu informed that four rounds of meetings with Ministers of Finance, Defence, Culture, Civial Aviation, Environment and Forests & Climate Change and respective secretaries have so far been held in this regard and considerable progress has been achieved towards speedy clearences for construction projects.

The Minister said that with in 4 months of launch of Prime Minister’s Awas Yojana (PMAY), 20 states have identified 989 cities for taking up housing projects for urban poor. He also informed that 140 lending agencies have signed Memorandums of Understanding with Central Nodal Agencies like National Housing Bank and Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) for extending financial support to housing projects under Credit Linked Subsidy component of the urban housing mission. These agencies include : 54 scheduled commercial banks, 63 housing finance corporations, 16 Regional Rural Banks and 7 Cooperative Banks.

Shri Naidu expressed hope that with the initiatives of the central government including interest subsidy of an unprecedented 6.50% on housing loans, the mission will succeed in building 2 cr houses in urban areas by the year 2022.

The Minister observed that since the launch of new urban initiatives by the central government, there has been a new awakening among the people in urban areas and a new consciousness among urban local bodies in their approach towards urban governance. Shri Naidu noted that 85 urban local bodies have developed their own websites and 30 have launched Face Book pages besides being active on to enlist ideas from citizens for formulation of smart city plans. “This is clearly a leap forward on the part of the urban local bodies which were known for their isolated, insulated, non-responsive, non-interactive and non-citizen friendly governance till recently” he said.

Shri Naidu noted that the key challenges in promoting housing stock in urban areas : shortage of land supply in urban areas, stringent land use regulations, inadequate infrastructure to support high density, high cost of construction materials, insufficient financing, restricted mortgage financing and rent control laws.

The Minister urged the states to consider waiving or reducing stamp duty, registration fees, land conversion fee and other such duties to promote affordable housing projects. He said that Affordable Housing and Habitat Policies of states should focus on:

-Evolving state specific models since one size fits all policy does not work;

-Affordable housing as a part of larger eco-system (habitat);

-Ensuring required social and physical infrastructure connectivity;

-Providing linkages with transportation and livelihoods;

-Promoting private sector investments in a big way;

-Availability of land and finance and

-Promotion of appropriate cost effective and sustainable construction technologies.

Shri Venkaiah Naidu gave a detailed account of initiatives by the government for developing construction industry including tax incentives, Credit Risk Guarantee Fund for low income housing, relaxation of FDI norms, allowing External Commercial Borrowings for affordable housing, setting up Real Estate Investment Trusts etc.

Dr.Nandita Chatterjee, Secretary(Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation) has said that over 31 % of country’s population is living in urban areas which account only for 3.10% of country’s geographical areas making land in urban areas a scarce resource.

Senior officials from states and other stakeholders including construction sector representatives attended the day long workshop.


Members of 55TH NDC course call on President

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
President's Secretariat
04-November-2015 16:45 IST

Members of 55TH NDC course call on President
Members of the 55th NDC Course and staff of National Defence College called on the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee today (November 4, 2015) at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that the success of any nation state depends on how effectively it harnesses all the available resources at its disposal, foremost among these being the human resource. The development of human resource for National Security is an onerous task undertaken by National Defence College of India where senior officers from not only the Armed Forces but also from Civil Services and friendly foreign countries are endowed with background knowledge to make policy decisions related to national security.

The President said that in a democratic system like ours, various organs of the state must understand the strengths and limitations of each other. Political leadership and senior Civil Services officers must be conversant with the capabilities and limitations of the Defence forces. Similarly, Armed Forces officers need to understand the limitations and constitutional frame work under which the political set up and Civil Services function. However, both of them should be aware of the larger perspective of National Security in order to take informed decisions of vital importance. He expressed hope that the Course would make participants into more aware and well-informed individuals, who can make well reasoned decisions taking the country’s security perspectives into consideration.



Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) and Chief of the Air Staff(CAS) Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha Visits Brazil

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Defence
25-October-2015 11:17 IST

Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) and Chief of the Air Staff(CAS) Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha Visits Brazil
Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, leaves on a four-day official visit to Brazil from 25 October 2015. As Chairman COSC, he would be visiting various establishments of the three Services of the Brazilian Armed Forces. His schedule includes visit to the Embraer Headquarters and the Department of Aerospace Science and Technology in Sao Paulo. At Manaus, he will visit the Centre for Jungle Warfare Training and the Amazon Military Command Headquarters where he would witness riverine operations by the Brazilian Navy and Marines in the Amazon river. A visit to the Integrated Air Defence and Air Traffic Control Center in Manaus is also on the cards. Towards the end of his tour, Air Chief Marshal Raha would be visiting the Superior War College at Rio De Janeiro which is the Brazilian equivalent of India’s National Defence College.

The Air Chief would be meeting the Chiefs of Brazilian Army and Air Force during his stay at Brasilia. He would also interact with the Chief of Joint Staff of the Armed Forces and later the Defence Minister of Brazil, Mr Jose Aldo Rebelo Figueiredo.

The visit is aimed at enhancing the bilateral cooperation between the two countries in defence related matters. Presently, the Indian Air Force operates the Embraer 135 in the communication role whilst the AEW&C platform for the indigenous AEW&C programme which is nearing completion uses the Embraer 145. Additionally, there are plans for the two countries to engage with each other on a wide array of issues under the aegis of the BRICS grouping.


PM speaks to the Emir of Qatar

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Prime Minister's Office
02-November-2015 21:20 IST

PM speaks to the Emir of Qatar

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today spoke to the Emir of the State of Qatar, H.H. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who had called and invited PM to pay a visit to Qatar.

Prime Minister recalled the State visit of the Emir of Qatar to India in March 2015 that has provided new vigour and momentum to bilateral relations. He emphasized that India attached high importance to its relations with Qatar. He appreciated the steps taken by the Emir and the Government of Qatar for protecting the interests and ensuring continued well-being and safety of Indian community staying there.

The two leaders also discussed measures to further deepen bilateral cooperation, including in the areas of trade, investment, energy, security, defence, culture and people to people contacts. The Emir of the State of Qatar reiterated Qatar’s interest in partnering in India’s economic growth.

PM appreciated the role being played by Qatar for regional peace and stability.

Prime Minister accepted the invitation to visit Qatar at mutually convenient dates.



Advanced Landing Ground(ALG) at Walong Becomes Operational

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Defence
23-October-2015 11:21 IST

Advanced Landing Ground(ALG) at Walong Becomes Operational
Advanced Landing Ground at Walong was inaugurated by Air Marshal C Hari Kumar , Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Air Command, Indian Air Force on 23 Oct 15. Air Vice Marshal Manavendra Singh, Senior Officer-in-Charge Administration along with Senior Army Commanders attended the ceremony. Walong ALG was operational during 1962 Chinese aggression. Thereafter, it remained abandoned for a long time till it was decided in 2013 to reconstruct the ALG to make it fully Air Operational.

The project was very closely monitored by the Chief Engineer, Northeastern Projects and Works Department at Headquarters Eastern Air Command resulting in its completion in a record time of 21 months. Close supervision and active monitoring by Project Monitoring Group (PMG) made it possible despite of its difficult location and natural obstacles in sustaining supply of material and machinery.

The Walong ALG will support Air Operations and will also facilitate the administration in the management of border areas. Besides this, the ALG will also provide air support in responding to the natural calamities, casualties evacuation, humanitarian assistance and supply of equipment and ration to the troops posted in far flung areas.


ACC Appointments

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the following Joint Secretary level appointments in the Pay Band of Rs. 37,400-67/- (PB-4) with Grade Pay of Rs. 10,000/-


(i)                 Shri Ravi Agrawal, IRS(IT:1988) as Joint Secretary, Department of Disinvestment from the date of assumption of the charge of the post for a period of five years or until further orders, whichever is earlier, vice Shri Kumar Sanjay Krishna, IAS(AM:1985);

(ii)               Shri Sanjiv Kumar, IAS(UT:1992) as Joint Secretary, Department of Revenue from the date of assumption of the charge of the post for a period of five years or until further orders, whichever is earlier, vice Shri Arun Goel, IAS(PB:1985);

(iii)             Ms. Vandana Gurnani, IAS(KN:1991) as Joint Secretary, Department of Health & Family Welfare from the date of assumption of the charge of the post for a period of five years or until further orders, whichever is earlier, vice Shri Nikunja Bihari Dhal, IAS(OR:1993);

(iv)              Shri Manoj Joshi, IAS(KL:89), Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs as Joint Secretary, Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises on lateral shift basis from the date of assumption of the charge of the post for a period of overall five years central deputation upto 08.03.2017 or until further orders, whichever is earlier, vice Shri S.N. Tripathi, IAS(OR:1985);

(v)                Shri U.K.S. Chauhan, IAS(KL:86), Joint Secretary, Department of Food & Public Distribution as Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs on lateral shift basis from the date of assumption of the charge of the post for a period of overall five years central deputation upto 27.09.2017 or until further orders, whichever is earlier, vice Shri Rakesh Singh, IAS(KN:1989);

(vi)              Shri Satyendra Garg, IPS(UT:1987) as Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs from the date of assumption of the charge of the post for a period of five years or until further orders, whichever is earlier, vice Shri Shambhu Singh, lAS(MN:1986);

(vii)            Shri Pradeep Gupta, IOFS(1985), PS to the President as Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs on lateral shift basis from the date of assumption of the charge of the post for the combined seven years tenure upto 24.07.2019 or until further orders, whichever is earlier, vice Shri K.K. Pathak, IAS(BH:1990);

(viii)          Shri T.V.S.N. Prasad, IAS(HY:88), presently on compulsory wait in the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation as Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs on lateral shift basis from the date of assumption of the charge of the post for a period of overall five years central deputation upto 09.10.2019 or until further orders, whichever is earlier, after vacation of the post by Shri Bhagwan Shankar, IAS(SK:1988);

(ix)              Shri Amrit Abhijat, IAS(UP:1995), as Joint Secretary, Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation from the date of assumption of the charge of the post for a period of five years or until further orders, whichever is earlier, vice Shri Sanjeev Kumar, IAS(MH:1993) consequent on completion of his tenure on 25.11.2015;

(x)                 Ms. Kalpana Awasthi, IAS(UP:1990) as Joint Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion from the date of assumption of the charge of the post for a period of five years or until further orders, whichever is earlier, after vacation of the post by Ms. Shubhra Singh, IAS(RJ:1989);

(xi)              Shri I.S. Chahal, IAS(MH:89), presently on compulsory wait in the Ministry of Women & Child Development as Joint Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj on lateral shift basis from the date of assumption of the charge of the post for a period of overall five years central deputation upto 04.03.2018 or until further orders, whichever is earlier, vice Ms. Neerja Shekhar, IAS( HY: 1993);

(xii)            Shri Pankaj Jain, IAS(AM:1990) as Joint Secretary, Department Financial Services from the date of assumption of the charge of the post for a period of five years or until further orders, whichever is earlier, vice Shri Anup Wadhawan, IAS(UD:1996);

(xiii)          Shri Abhay Damle, IRS(IT:1989) as Joint Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways from the date of assumption of the charge of the post for a period of five years or until further orders, whichever is earlier, vice Shri S. Bandopadhyaya, IAS(MP:1988);

(xiv)          Shri Pravir Krishna, IAS(MP:1987), as Joint Secretary, Ministry of Shipping from the date of assumption of the charge of the post for a period of five years or until further orders, whichever is earlier, vice Shri N. Muruganandan,IAS(TN:1991);

(xv)            Shri A.J.V. Prasad, IAS (HP:86), presently on compulsory wait in the Department of Chemicals & Petrochemicals, as Joint Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries on lateral shift basis from the date of assumption of the charge of the post for a period of overall five years central deputation upto 04.12.2016 or until further orders, whichever is earlier, vice Shri R.S.Rana, IDAS(1983) consequent on completion of his tenure on 30.11.2015.

(xvi)          Shri Ashwani Kumar, IRS(IT:1988) as Additional FA & Joint Secretary, Ministry of Defence (Finance) from the date of assumption of the charge of the post for a period of five years or until further orders, whichever is earlier; vice Shri P.K.Kataria, IAAS(1985);

(xvii)        Ms.T.C.A. Kalyani, I Civil AS (1991), as Joint Secretary & FA, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment from the date of assumption of the charge of the post for a period of five years or until further orders, whichever is earlier, vice Ms. Kiran Puri, CSS(1998) consequent on her lateral shift to the Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances.

(xviii)      Shri M.C.Luther, CSS(2000) as Protector General of Emigrants (JS level), Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs from the date of assumption of the charge of the post upto his superannuation on 30.11.2018 or until further orders, whichever is earlier, vice Shri Mohanish Verma, IRS (IT:1987) consequent on his premature repatriation  to the parent cadre.

(xix)          Ms.Kiran Puri, CSS(1998) as Joint Secretary, Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances from the date of assumption of the charge of the post upto her superannuation on 31.08.2019 or until further orders, whichever is earlier, by temporary upgradation of a post of Director vice Shri Aditya Joshi, IRAS(1995) for a period of two years.

(xx)            Shri Sandeep Saxena, IAS (TN:1989) as Deputy Election Commissioner (JS level), Election Commission of India from the date of assumption of the charge of the post for a period of five years or until further orders whichever is earlier, vice Shri R. Balakrishnan, IAS(OR:1984);

(xxi)          Ms.Rachna Shah, IAS(KL:1991) as Joint Secretary, Department of Food & Public Distribution from the date of assumption of the charge of the post for a period of five years or until further orders, whichever is earlier, vice Shri U.K.S.Chauhan, IAS(KL:1986) consequent on his lateral shift to the Ministry of Home Affairs;

(xxii)        Ms.Anita Chauhan, CSS(1998) as Joint Secretary, Department of Science & Technology from the date of assumption of the charge of the post upto her superannuation on 30.06.2017 or until further orders, whichever is earlier, vice Shri Sanjay Prasad, IAS(UP:1995).




MoD Approves Induction of Women as Fighter Pilots

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Defence
24-October-2015 16:29 IST

MoD Approves Induction of Women as Fighter Pilots
The Ministry of Defence has approved the induction of women into the Fighter (Combat) stream of the IAF. This progressive step is in keeping with the aspirations of Indian women and is in line with contemporary trends in Armed Forces of developed nations. Since their induction into the transport and Helicopter streams of the IAF, their performance has been praiseworthy and on a par with their male counterparts. Inducting women into the fighter stream would provide them with an equal opportunity to prove their mettle in combat roles as well.

The first women pilots would be selected from the batch which is presently undergoing flying training at Air Force Academy. After successful completion of ab-initio training, they would be commissioned in the fighter stream in June 2016.

Thereafter, they would undergo advanced training for one year and would enter a fighter cockpit by June 2017.

Presently, the Indian Army is inducting women into the Signals, Engineers, Army Aviation (Air Traffic Control), Army Air Defence, Electronics & Mechanical Engineers, Army Service Corps, Army Ordinance Corps, Intelligence Corps, Army Education Corps and Judge Advocate Generals Branches/Cadres. The Indian Navy is inducting women in the Judge Advocate Generals, Logistics, Observer, Air Traffic Controller, Naval Constructor and Education branches/cadres. The IAF is presently inducting women in the Transport and Helicopter stream of the flying branch, Navigation, Aeronautical Engineering, Administration, Logistics, Accounts, Education and Meteorology branches. With this decision to open up induction of women in the fighter stream, women have become eligible for induction in all branches and streams of the IAF.

The Ministry of Defence has also taken up a comprehensive review pertaining to induction of women in Armed Forces, both in short service commission and permanent commission (SSC & PC) and once finalised more and more branches would be opened up for induction of women to give them the space which they deserve in the Armed Forces of the country.

Sitanshu Kar/

India seeks to renew and deepen its traditional friendship with Indonesia and Brunei: Vice President

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Vice President's Secretariat
01-November-2015 19:56 IST

India seeks to renew and deepen its traditional friendship with Indonesia and Brunei: Vice President

Leaves for Indonesia and Brunei on a 5-day official visit

The Vice President Shri M. Hamid Ansari has said that India enjoys close and cordial relations with both Indonesia and Brunei, and would seek to renew its friendship during the ongoing visit. He was addressing a Press Conference onboard the special flight enroute to Indonesia and Brunei on a 5-day official visit, today.

The Vice President emphasized, that as a maritime neighbor and a strategic partner, with a number of cultural similarities, including its own multicultural and multi-linguistic character, India has traditionally enjoyed close relations with Indonesia. On the economic side, he said that there exists about 20 bn dollar trade between these two nations and India's investments in Indonesia have also been increasing. India is also an important buyer of Indonesian palm oil and coal. ‘This is a relationship that our successive leaderships have cultivated over the years’, he added.

Reacting to a question on security cooperation with Indonesia, the Vice President said that India has cooperation at the level of Defence Ministries and between Armed forces, as well as on internal security. On skill development, the Vice President said that India is offering a number of scholarships under various programmes to Indonesia.

On India's relationship with Brunei, the Vice President said that the Kingdom has been very friendly to India, and we have been maintaining cordial relations with the country. On the economic side, he mentioned that India imports almost one billion dollar worth of crude oil, and that there was a large Indian community in Brunei which was making its contribution in the field of medicine, education and business.



YAI Senior National Championship-2015 Conclude at Mumbai

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Defence
23-October-2015 19:52 IST

YAI Senior National Championship-2015 Conclude at Mumbai
The Yachting Association of India (YAI) Senior National Championship - 2015, being organised by the Indian Naval Watermanship Training Centre, Mumbai concluded today. Admiral RK Dhowan, Chief of Naval Staff and President YAI, was the Chief Guest for the closing ceremony and witnessed the final races and gave away the prizes. Nethra Kumanan from Tamil Nadu, who is vying for Olympic 2016 qualification, scheduled at Oman in mid November 15, walked away with a gold medal in Laser Radial Class of boat.

In the Laser (Standard) the results were predictable with Upamanyu Dutta, the No 1ranked sailor from INWTC, Mumbai winning the Gold medal. The Silver medal was grabbed by Gitesh also from AYN.

In the Laser (Radial), TNSA was the name to go by! In Laser (Radial) Nethra Kumanan was won the Gold Medal. Ananya Chouhan from EMESA had to be satisfied with a second place with Silver.

In RSX, Dyne Coelho from GBSA won sealed his Gold medal and was closely followed by Jerome Kumar S from AYN winning the Silver medal.

In the 470 Class, the pair of P Muttu and Narender Rajput from AYN sizzled throughout and won all the races, and also the Gold Medal. Ayaz Shaikh and Shubham Patel from AYN maintained their second position with very steady sailing.

Sandip Jain and Pawan Kumar from Shekhar Singh Yadav and Rahul Yadav won the Gold and Silver respectively in the Enterprise Class. India has won more than 10 medals at the Enterprise Class World Championships in the past with Homi Motivala and Pushpendra Garg being conferred the coveted Khel Ratna award and Aashim Mongia,R Mahesh, Girdharilal Yadav the Arjuna awards.

In the Hobie 16 catamaran, it was a tight contest till the end with Samal Pradhan and Rahul Rai from INWTC, Mumbai winning the Gold, closely followed by Brijraj Verma and Pankaj Kumar from INWTC, Mumbai winning the Silver and Bronze medals respectively.

The President, Yachting Association of India and the Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral RK Dhowan witnessed the final races of the event and later interacted with the sailors, team leaders, parents and the officials.

Speaking on the occasion after the Prize distribution ceremony, he said “Intrinsically, the importance of sports has been in promoting an active healthy lifestyle, creating a culture of sportsmanship and team spirit and helping in the overall development of an individual. To a nation, however, promoting sports brings in the spirit of the game, the national pride, a sense of social inclusiveness and of course employment opportunities. With increased government spending on local and global sports events and Indian athletes winning international acclaim, the sport is on a steady footing but there is still lots that needs to be done.”

The final day of the YAI Senior National Championship 2015 once again saw delightful sailing conditions, a steady wind averaging 10 knots with moderate swell which made the course challenging.

The Principal Race Officer was precise with the course and prompt with race starts and managed to hold 5 races today and made up for the time lost yesterday. With10 races completed the sailors got the advantage to discard 2 of their worst scores, exactly what they had hoped for!!

The championship is being hosted by the Indian Navy Watermanship Training Centre (INWTC), Mumbai. The YAI Youth National Championships will be hosted by the Tamil Nadu Sailing Association at Chennai during 25 to 29 November 2015 and more than 200 young sailors are expected to participate in the Optimist, Laser 4.7, RS One, 29er and 420 classes.