Army Undertakes Camel Safari



Army Undertakes Camel Safari

The Indian Army flagged off a Camel Safari Expedition in the Thar Desert in the general area of Bikaner on 11 March 2016. The expedition team comprises of officers, Junior Commissioned Officers and twenty soldiers and plans to cover a total distance of 200 kms over a period of 10 days from 11 to 20 March 16.


The expedition would traverse the border towns of Ranjitpura, Manganwala, Ballar, Dantor, Siyasar, Khajewala, Kundal, Khaliqwali, Gharsana & Anupgarh. A Medical Camp will also be organised by the team en route where free medical check-ups will be conducted by a team of Army Doctors.

The aim of the expedition is to promote a sense of adventure by Army personnel and show case Army as a way of life to locals. The expedition will also motivate local youth to join the Army, besides promoting goodwill amongst the locals.

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Modernisation of Combat Aircraft

Modernisation of the Armed Forces is a continuous process based on threat perception, operational challenges and technological changes to keep the Armed Forces in a state of readiness to meet the entire spectrum of security challenges. This is achieved through induction of new equipment and technological upgradation of capabilities. The equipment requirements of the Armed Forces are planned and progressed through a detailed process which includes 15 year Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP), a five year Service-wise Capability Acquisition Plan, a two year roll-on Annual Acquisition Plan and deliberations by the Defence Acquisition Council chaired by the Raksha Mantri.

MiG-29, Jaguar, Mirage-2000 fighter aircraft are being upgraded in a phased manner. The planned inductions include Su-30 MKI and Tejas Light Combat Aircraft.

Further, as per the India-France Joint Statement issued by the two countries during the Prime Minister’s visit to France, Government of India conveyed to the Government of France that in view of the critical operational necessity for Multirole Combat Aircraft for Indian Air Force (IAF), Government of India would like to acquire 36 Rafale jets in fly-away condition as quickly as possible. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Indian and French Government has also been signed on January 25, 2016 in this regard. Negotiations with the French side are currently on.

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

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Road in Arunachal Pradesh

Government has taken cognizance of the road infrastructure created by China along the international border especially opposite Arunachal Pradesh. In order to provide the required road infrastructure to meet the requirement of defence forces, a holistic plan is under implementation.

Seventy-three roads have been identified as strategic Indo-China Border Roads (ICBR). Of these, 61 roads have been entrusted to Border Roads Organisation (BRO) of length measuring 3417.51 km. Out of 61 ICBRs with BRO, 27 roads of length measuring 1791.96 km are in Arunachal Pradesh.

At present 21 roads of length measuring 661.59 km have been completed which include 11 roads of length measuring 412.70 km in Arunachal Pradesh.

In order to remove the bottlenecks and expedite the construction works the following specific measures has been taken by the Government:

Chief Secretaries of various State Governments have been requested to constitute Empowered Committees under their chairmanship with Secretaries of concerned departments as members to resolve issues related to land acquisition, forest/ wildlife clearance, allotment of quarries etc. States of Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, J&K, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand have constituted the Empowered Committee to resolve the issues pertaining to BRO.

Ministry of Environment & Forest (MoEF) has given the General Approval under section 2 of forest (conservation) Act, 1980 for diversion of forest land required for construction /widening of roads entrusted to BRO in the area falling within 100 kilometers aerial distance from the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and for link roads between Border Roads in the area within 100 kilometer aerial distance from the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and National Highways/State Highways/Other roads subject to certain conditions.

Outsourcing has been allowed to augment capacity of BRO.

Long Term Roll On Work Plan (LTROWP) and Long Term Equipment Plan (LTEP) have been approved.

Enhanced financial and administrative powers have been given to the executives of BRO.

In addition to the ICBRs, 66 roads of length measuring 3221.94 km in Arunachal Pradesh are approved in the five year Long Term Roll on Works Plan 2015-2020 for construction / improvement.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar in a written reply to Shri Rayapati Sambasiva Rao in Lok Sabha today.


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Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), in its report on implementation of Ex Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) during the year ending March, 2015 has made observations mainly relating to administration of the scheme by Central Organisation of Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (CO, ECHS), functioning of the empanelled hospitals, budgetary and manpower matters, bringing out issues such as overcharging, anomalies in submission of bills and non-adherence to Memorandum of Agreement by empanelled hospitals, short supply of medicines in Polyclinics, non-disposal of expired medicines, diversion of ECHS funds for service personnel hospitals and shortage of manpower in ECHS Polyclinics etc.

Corrective steps taken / being taken to overcome the shortcomings / deficiencies include outsourcing of pharmacy, authorization of local chemists, enhancement of financial power of Officer in-charge of ECHS polyclinic to obviate the shortage of medicines, processing of medical bills of all 28 Regional Centres on-line as per rules, appropriate use of ECHS funds by the service hospitals, adherence to the terms and conditions of Memorandum of Agreement by the empanelled hospitals, recruitment of the manpower in ECHS polyclinics, de-duplication of ECHS smart cards etc.

This information was given by Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh in a written reply to Shri MD Badaruddoza Khan and others in Lok Sabha today.

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Adarsh Scam

Government has referred the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Scam to CBI to give a logical end to this scam.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had registered Regular Case No. RC6(A)/2011, dated 29.01.2011 u/sec 120-B, 420, 468 & 471 IPC and 13(2) r/w 13(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 against 13 accused persons, based on the investigation carried out by the CBI. Charge-sheet was filed by CBI against total 13 persons on 04.7.2012.

Subsequently, after further investigation on the orders of Hon’ble High Court of Bombay, two Supplementary Charge Sheets were filed on 27.3.2014 and 19.6.2014 u/s 120-B r/w 420 IPC and Section 3 of Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988 against 50 more accused persons.

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

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Defence Acquisition Council

During 2014-15 and 2015-16, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) accorded approval to 66 capital procurement cases at an estimated cost of Rs. 1.98 lakh crore. During 2014-15, 47 capital procurement contracts were signed with value of Rs. 64,859.52 crore. During 2015-16 upto now 44 such contracts have been signed with a value of Rs. 39,955.36 crore. Capital procurements are carried out as per the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP). The objective of DPP is to ensure expeditious procurement of the approved requirements of the Armed Forces in terms of capabilities sought and timeframe prescribed by optimally utilising the allocated budgetary resources. However, pendency sometimes occurs in procurement cases due to several reasons, such as insufficient and limited vendor base, non-conformity of the offers to the Request for Proposal (RFP) conditions, long field trials, complexities in contract negotiations and long lead time for indigenization etc.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar in a written reply to Shri R Dhruva Narayana in Lok Sabha today.

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Changes in DPP

The Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2016 is under finalization. The new DPP will bring into effect measures to promote indigenization and self-reliance in defence. Enabling provisions for utilization and consolidation of Design, Development and Manufacturing infrastructure available in the country are included in the proposal. The DAC has approved a set of amendments to Offset provisions to simplify the offsets process.

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

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Defence System Integration Complex

Bharat Electronics Ltd. is planning to establish a Defence Systems Integration Complex in Andhra Pradesh. Foundation stone for the 900 acres complex at Palasamudram in Anantapur district was laid on 30th September, 2015.

This new Missile Systems Integration Complex for Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) will further strengthen the Defence capabilities in the country and enable manufacturing, integration and testing of ongoing and upcoming projects in the area of Surface-to-Air Missile Systems.

BEL has taken various initiatives to enhance procurement from MSMEs (Micro Small and Medium Enterprises) toward achieving the goals of ‘Make in India’ policy. BEL has also identified MSMEs (Technology partners) and will be working with them in collaborative R&D mode based on their capabilities and BEL’s requirements in future. BEL’s unit at Machilipatnam, Krishna District, Andhra Pradesh has been sourcing items required for the manufacture of Electro-optic products from MSMEs of Andhra Pradesh state. Further, some of the components, sub-systems, mechanical parts required for setting up of the Missile Integration Complex at Palasamudram, Anantapur will be sourced from private vendors / SMEs of Andhra Pradesh.

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

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F-16 to Pakistan

India has expressed disappointment at the decision of the United States Government to notify the sale of F-16 aircrafts to Pakistan. India does not agree with the US rationale that such arms transfers help to combat terrorism. The US Ambassador was summoned by the Ministry of External Affairs to convey India’s displeasure.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar in a written reply to Shri M Raja Mohan Reddy and Shri A Arunmozhithevan in Lok Sabha today.

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Futuristic Offset Policy

Futuristic offset policy is in draft stage at present. The new draft offset guidelines envisage targeted offsets, wherein, the desired outcome will be stated upfront in the RFP and the vendors have full flexibility on process to realize the outcome. Targeted offsets will include Transfer of Technology, development of ecosystem in defence manufacturing and creation of infrastructure for skill creation and development.

Ten (10) offset contracts have been signed since 2013 onwards, amounting to 1.56 BUSD. The offset discharge is spread till year 2022. The contractual offset obligations to be fulfilled by the vendors upto December, 2015 is USD 80.22 Million against which offset discharge claims worth USD 65.99 million have been reported (subject to Audit).

This information was given by Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh in a written reply to Shri Kamlesh Paswan and others in Lok Sabha today.

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Maritime Patrolling

During the last three years (2013 – 2015) and the current year (2016), India has conducted 16 maritime Coordinated Patrols (CORPATs); 6 each with Indonesia and Thailand and 4 with Myanmar. Recently, CORPAT with Myanmar along the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) was conducted from 11-18 February 2016 with opening ceremony at Port Blair, India and closing ceremony at Yangon, Myanmar.

There are no additional expenditure incurred for conduct of CORPATs. CORPATs contribute to peace, friendship and cooperation with our maritime neighbours on the basis of mutual understanding and respect for national sovereign rights and jurisdiction.

Preliminary discussions have been held with Bangladesh for such maritime CORPATs as conducted with other countries.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar in a written reply to Shri S R Vijayakumar in Lok Sabha today.

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Defence Park

Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has accorded ‘in-principle’ approval for a project at Kinfra Defence Park, Ottapalam (District – Palakkad), Kerala. The cost of project is Rs.131.35 crore involving central grant of Rs.50.00 crore under ‘Modified Industrial Infrastructure Upgradation Scheme’ (MIIUs).

At present, there is no other proposal for establishment of Defence park under MIIUS.

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


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Selection of Strategic Indian Defence Partners

The Dhirendra Singh Committee has recommended a ‘Strategic Partnership Model’ for creating capacity in the private sector on a long-term basis over and above the capacity and infrastructure that exists in Public Sector Units. Pursuant to its recommendations, the VK Aatre Task Force was constituted to lay down criteria for selection of Strategic Partners for various platforms from the Private Sector Industry. It has presented its Report to the Government in January, 2016.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar in a written reply to Smt Riti Pathak in Lok Sabha today

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Defence Minister launches interactive web portal of Kendriya Sainik Board Secretariat

The Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar launched an interactive web portal of Kendriya Sainik Board (KSB) Secretariat, under the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (ESW) of Defence Ministry, here today. The interactive portal facilitates Ex-Servicemen/dependents to submit online applications under various welfare schemes. At present, it contains website and workflow software for online submission of Prime Minister Scholarship Scheme (PMSS) for the sons and wards of Ex-Servicemen. On this occasion the Defence Minister also unveiled the User Manual of the interactive web-portal.

The portal, developed by NIC at a cost of Rs. 58.93 lakhs, will later contain workflow software for all the schemes of the Secretariat which will provide complete information about KSB secretariat, its welfare schemes and allied activities. It will also facilitate submission of applications online for assistance by ESM/War Widows from anywhere, anytime.

Besides reducing time for processing of the applications and release of assistance, considerably, it will also facilitate real time tracking of applications by ESM and give them status of their applications by SMSes/Emails.

The event was attended among others by the Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh, Secretary Department of ESW Shri Prabhu Dayal Meena, Secretary KSB Commodore Rohtas Singh and other senior officials of the Ministry of Defence.

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BDL Pays 67.62 Crore Interim Dividend to Government

Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), a Public Sector Undertaking under the Ministry of Defence, Government of India has paid an interim dividend of Rs. 67.62 crore to Government. The interim dividend paid by the company works out to 58.8% of the paid-up share capital of 115 crores.

Director (Technical), BDL Air Vice Marshal (Retd) NB Singh presented the interim dividend cheque of 67.62 crores for the financial year 2015-16 to Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar, here today.

Secretary (Defence Production) Shri AK Gupta, Addl Secretary (Defence Production) SmtSurinaRajan, Joint Secretary (P&C) of the Department of Defence Production SmtKusum Singh and Director (Finance), BDL Shri S. Piramanayagam were also present on the occasion.

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Fleet Review

The International Fleet Review (IFR) was held recently from 4th to 8th February 2016 at Vishakhapatnam. 48 countries participated in the IFR and these are Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Djibouti, Egypt, Fiji, France, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, South Korea (ROK), South Africa, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, UK, USA and Vietnam.

Considering the material state of INS Viraat, the Indian Navy had accorded Service Life Extension of the ship till mid 2016, after which it is planned to be decommissioned by end of 2016.

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

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Insas Rifle

Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) in association with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), User & Directorate General Quality Assurance (DGQA) has undertaken development of a single barrel Rifle of 5.56 x 45 Calibre.

The salient features of Rifle are:

Mass : <4 kg="" p="">
Firing Mode : Single shot & Automatic

Magazine Capacity : 20 rounds

Range : 450m max.

Butt : Foldable.

Provision to mount international optical sights, Under Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL), Fore Grip etc. Following are the list of trials conducted on 5.56 mm Assault:

Night firing carried out;

Reliability Test, Dispersion Test & Accuracy Test have been carried out;

User Assisted evaluation of 5.56mm Assault rifle 5.56mm Mk 1C for zeroing, accuracy & reliability.

The Rifle 5.56mm Mk 1C is superior to INSAS in terms of weight, reliability, compactness, and aesthetics and has a provision for mounting of accessories like Reflex sights / optical sights, etc. OFB can manufacture such rifles at the rate of 1,00,000 nos. per annum.

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

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Indo - Indonesia Joint Training Exercise GARUDA SHAKTI IV opening ceremony conducted at magelang, Indonesia

The opening ceremony of the fourth edition of the Indo- Indonesia Joint Training Exercise GARUDA SHAKTI IV/2016 was conducted at Military Training Area, Magelang, Indonesia. The Indian contingent comprised of platoon sized troops of an Infantry Battalion under Southern Command theatre and the Indonesian Army comprised of 503 Airborne Battalion of the TNI -AD. In an impressive military function the contingents of both the Armies conducted a ceremonial parade where National flags of both nations were marched in. The event was witnessed by senior ranked officers of both the countries.

The ceremony was filled with enthusiasm and has opened another chapter in enhancing ties between Indian and Indonesian Army. The opening ceremony showcased the dedication and commitment towards joint training and the will to share expertise gained in combat by both the armies. Post the ceremony the Indian Army troops were oriented to the terrain and tactical aspects of training.

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Welfare of Ex-Servicemen 
State-wise details of ex-servicemen (ESM) in the country as on 31.12.2015 is as under:

Andaman & Nicobar
25
Maharashtra
172314
Andhra Pradesh
58331
Manipur
7157
Arunachal Pradesh
557
Meghalaya
2423
Assam
34911
Mizoram
5858
Bihar
100437
Nagaland
2462
Chandigarh
10082
Odisha
35500
Chhattisgarh
5412
Puducherry
1706
Delhi
45426
Punjab
284401
Goa
2099
Rajasthan
170109
Gujarat
26299
Sikkim
1078
Haryana
280988
Tamil Nadu
123817
Himachal Pradesh
109697
Telangana
30427
Jammu & Kashmir
73575
Tripura
2573
Jharkhand
22848
Uttar Pradesh
348642
Karnataka
74225
Uttarakhand
122649
Kerala
169563
West Bengal
77835
Madhya Pradesh
44393


TOTAL: 2447819

Details of schemes being implemented for welfare, rehabilitation and resettlement of ESM is as under:

TRAINING PROGRAMMES
Officers’ Training:
·        24 Weeks Management Courses at IIMs and other reputed B-Schools
·        Modular management courses like Project Finance, Academic Institutions, Supply Chain, Retail, Six Sigma, Seafaring etc. 

·        Newly introduced courses for 2015-16 like Strategic Retail Management, Human Resource Management(HRM), Facility, Transition, Export and Import, Event Management etc, Corporate Social Responsibility and Jet Transition.
Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs)/Other (OR) and Equivalents’ Training at Institutes:

·        Security, Fire & Industrial Safety, Computer & Information Technology including ‘O’ Level, Hospitality, Tourism, Agriculture based, Business Management, Modular Management, Vocational & Technical, Medical & Healthcare, Library & Information Science, Legal Assistant etc
·        Newly introduced courses for 2015-16 like Logistics & Transport Management, Retailing & Showroom, Corporate Office, Material Management, Marine Engineering etc.

Courses at Regimental Centres:
·        At least two courses are planned every month at all the Regimental Centres to provide variety of courses to the retirees on pension drill.

RE-EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Reservation in Government Jobs:

The Central Government has provided for the following reservation for ESM for vacancies in the posts to be filled by direct recruitment:-

·        10% in Group ‘C’ posts and 20% in Group ‘D’ posts. In addition 4.5% reservation in each category is meant for Disabled Soldiers and Widows/ Dependents. 
·        14.5% in Group ‘C’ and 24.5% Group ‘D’ posts in Public Sector Undertakings and Nationalized Banks.
·        10% posts upto Assistant Commandants in Paramilitary Forces.
·        100 % in Defence Security Corps.

Placement Assistance through DGR:

Directorate General Resettlement (DGR) sponsors Ex-Servicemen (Officers) to various Government organizations, Public Sector Undertakings, Corporate Houses, Private Sector, Central Para Military Forces etc based on their requisition for re-employment of ESM. The DGR sponsored ESM are re-employed by the requisitioning agencies after due process of selection by them.

DGR sponsored security schemes:

SCHEMES OF SELF EMPLOYMENT
Schemes for Officers only:
·        ESM Coal Loading and Transportation Scheme.      
·        Allotment of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited /Indian Oil Corporation Limited, Company Owned Company Operated Outlets PAN India.
·        Management of CNG Station by Ex-Servicemen (O) in National Capital Region.        

Schemes for all:
·        Coal Tipper Attachment Scheme.
·        Allotment of Army Surplus Vehicles
·        Allotment of Regular LPG Distributorship Scheme under ‘Government Personnel’ Category           
·        Allotment of Oil Product Agencies Under 8 % Defence Quota
·        Allotment of LPG Agency Under Rajiv Gandhi Gramin LPG Vitran Yojna.

Schemes for JCOs/OR Only:

·        Allotment of Mother Dairy Milk Booths and Fruit & Vegetable (SAFAL) Shops in NCR.
·        Allotment of Milk Shops of Gopaljee Dairy Pvt. Ltd. in Delhi/Noida.     
·        Allotment of KIOSKS/Retail outlet of Gopaljee Farm Fresh in Faridabad/NCR.
DETAILS OF BENEFITS GIVEN TO ESM AND THEIR FAMILIES IN THE COUNTRY

·        Financial assistance for treatment of identified serious diseases
·        Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme
·        Financial support to institutions involved in rehabilitation of ESM
·        Modified Scooter Grant
·        Tool Kit of Ex-Servicemen Technicians
·        Benefits given from Armed Forces Flag Day

Grants
Amount (in Rs)
Penury Grant (65 Years and above)
(Non-Pensioners upto Havaldar Rank)
1,000/-pm (Life time)
Education Grant (upto two children)
Boys/Girls upto Graduation
Widows for PG
1,000/-pm
Officer Cadet Grant (for Cadets of NDA only)
(Pensioner/Non-Pensioner upto Havaldar Rank)
1,000/-pm
Disabled Children Grant
(Pensioner/Non-Pensioner upto Havaldar Rank)
1,000/-pm
House Repair Grant
(Pensioner/Non-Pensioner upto Havaldar Rank)
20,000/-
Daughter’s Marriage Grant
(upto 2 daughters)
(Pensioner/Non-Pensioner upto Havaldar Rank)
16,000/-
Widow Re-Marriage Grant
(Pensioner/Non-Pensioner upto Havaldar Rank)
Funeral Grant
(Pensioner/Non-Pensioner upto Havaldar Rank)
5,000/-
Medical Treatment
(Non-Pensioner upto Havaldar Rank)
30,000/- (Max)
Orphan Grant
(Pensioner/Non-Pensioner all ranks)
Daughters of Ex-Servicemen till she is married.
One Son of Ex-Servicemen upto 21 years of age.
1,000/-pm
Vocational Training Grant for Widows
(Pensioner/Non-Pensioner upto Havaldar Rank)
20,000/-
(One Time)
Steps being taken to provide better opportunities to ESM are as under :-
·        dissemination of information on Directorate General Resettlement (DGR) website regarding Open Competitive Examination for various posts, dates and syllabus etc.
·        signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) to conduct job fairs by Corporate Sectors to provide additional employment opportunities to ESM.
·        hosting of job portal by DGR wherein ESM can upload their Bio-data and corporate/other sectors can approach them and pick as per their requirement.
·        organizing ESM Job Fairs Pan India to provide an interface between Corporate & ESM.
·        regular interaction with corporate houses to generate employment opportunities to ESM.
·        Provision of opportunities to ESM through the corporate bodies like TATA Motors, AMAZON.com etc.
This information was given by Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh in a written reply to ShriRajeshbhai Chudasama in Lok Sabha today.

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Incomplete BRO Projects 
One hundred ninety-eight roads which were sanctioned in the last five years which are yet to be completed is mentioned below:
State
Number of roads

Arunachal Pradesh
48
Assam
1
Himachal Pradesh
4
Jammu & Kashmir
70
Manipur
12
Mizoram
8
Nagaland
6
Punjab
5
Rajasthan
14
Sikkim
12
Uttarakhand
17
West Bengal
1
Total:
198
There are certain delays in execution of road projects mainly due to the following reasons:
·        Delay in Forest/Wildlife clearance
·        Hard rock stretches.
·        Limited working season.
·        Difficulties in availability of construction material.
·        Delay in land acquisition.
Government has taken following measures to expedite the pace of road projects:
·        Chief Secretaries of various State Govts have been requested to constitute Empowered Committees under their chairmanship with Secretaries of concerned departments as members to resolve issues related to land acquisition, forest/ wildlife clearance, allotment of quarries etc. States of Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, J&K, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand have constituted the Empowered Committee to resolve the issues pertaining to BRO.
·        Ministry of Environment & Forest (MoEF) has given the General Approval under section 2 of forest (conservation) Act, 1980 for diversion of forest land required for  construction/widening of roads entrusted to BRO in the area falling within 100 kilometers aerial distance from the Line of  Actual Control (LAC) and for link roads between Border Roads in the area within 100 kilometer aerial distance from the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and National Highways/ State Highways/Other roads subject to certain conditions.
·        Outsourcing has been allowed to    augment capacity of BRO.
·        Long Term Roll On Work Plan (LTRoWP) and Long Term Equipment Plan (LTEP) has been approved.
·        Enhanced financial and administrative powers have been given to the executives of BRO.

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

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Shortage of Officers in Army 
In Army (excluding Army Medical Corps, Army Dental Corps and Military Nursing Service), as on 01.07.2015, against the authorized strength of 49,631 officers, held strength of officers was 40,525 with a shortage of 9,106 officers.

Age limit for entry into various entry schemes in Army is as under:
S. No.
Entry scheme
Age limit

(i)
National Defence Academy
16½  to 19½ years

(ii)
Combined Defence Services
19 to 22 years
(iii)
Technical Graduate Course Entry
20 to 27 years
(iv)
National Cadet Corps Special Entry [Short Service Commission (Non Technical)]
19 to 25 years
(v)
University Entry Scheme
18 to 24 years (pre-final year)
19 to 25 years (final year)
(vi)
Short Service Commission (Non Technical)
19 to 25 years
(vii)
Short Service Commission (Technical)
20 to 27 years
(viii)
10 + 2 (Technical Entry Scheme)
16½  to 19½  years
(ix)
Army Cadet College (from Other Ranks)
20 to 27 years
(x)
Special Commissioned Officers (from Other Ranks).
28 to 35 years.
Presently, there is no proposal to lower the age limit for entry of officers in Indian Army.

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

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Performance of Ordnance Factory Board 
The supply target vis-à-vis achievement of Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) during last three years is given below:
Year
RE Target
Achievement
%age
2012-13
12478
11975
96%
2013-14
11860
11123
94%
2014-15
11900
11364
96%

The factual data shows marginal shortfall, which is on account of reasons like delay in receipt of input from trade sources both indigenous and import origin, capacity constraints in some areas, non-realization of advance from Police units and civil market for arms and weapons, delay in indents for logistic vehicles, Non receipt of Bulk Production Clearance etc.

CAG audit has indicated instances of advance Issue of Vouchers.  These are, however, an exception.  The cases of Advance Issue Vouchers mentioned by CAG Audit have been examined in consultation with OFB for necessary corrective action.  Principal Controller of Accounts (Factories) has instructed branch Accounts Offices not to accept Issue Vouchers without dispatch details.  With the introduction of payment of Excise Duties (ED) by the Ordnance Factories on their products from 1st June, 2015, Issues of the items are linked with Excise Gate Pass thereby eliminating instances of Advance Issue Vouchers.

This information was given by Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh in a written reply to ShriRam Charitra Nishad in Lok Sabha today.

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Defence Cooperation Between India and Russia 
An agreement was signed on 24th December 2015 between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the Russian Federation on Cooperation in the field of Helicopter Engineering, which envisages setting up of a Joint Venture for the production of Ka 226 T helicopters in India. The financial implications will be available once the authorized organizations from both sides set up the joint venture company and the contract with Ministry of Defence for supply of helicopter is finalized.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar in a written reply to Dr. C Gopalakrishnan and Shri P Nagarajan in Lok Sabha today. 

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Manufacturing of Defence Equipment 
The Value of Procurement of defence items (both Capital & Revenue) by the Armed forces, from Indian sources in the last three years is tabulated below:
                                                                                   (Rs in Crore)
Year
2012-13
2013-14
2014-15
Value of procurement from Indian sources
52719
55014
49531

Under ‘Make in India’ programme, the Government proposes to encourage manufacturing of defence equipment in the country through various policy initiatives which, inter-alia, include the following:
·         Preference to ‘Buy (Indian)’, ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’ & ‘Make’    categories of capital acquisition over ‘Buy & Make (Global)’ or ‘Buy (Global)’ categories in Defence Procurement Procedure.
·         Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Policy under which  Foreign Investment upto 49% is allowed through automatic route and above 49% under Government route on case-to-case basis, wherever it is likely to result in access to modern and ‘state-of-art’ technology in the country. The foreign investment in defence sector is further subject to industrial license under the Industries (Development & Regulation) Act, 1951.
·         Industrial licencing regime for Indian manufacturers has been liberalised and most of the components/ parts/ sub-systems have been taken out from the list of defence products requiring Industrial Licence.  This has reduced entry barriers for new entrants in this sector, particularly small and medium enterprises. 
·         The initial validity of Industrial Licence has been increased from    3 years to 15 years with a provision to further extend it by 3 years on a case to case basis.
·         Issues related to level-playing field between Indian vs. foreign manufacturers and public sector vs. private sector have also been addressed.  These include Exchange Rate Variation (ERV) protection for Indian vendors, offset obligations in ‘Buy (Global)’ cases, Excise/ Custom duties on defence equipment, etc.
·         Offset implementation process has been made flexible by allowing change of Indian Offset Partners (IOPs) and offset components, even in signed contracts.  Foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are now not required to indicate the details of IOPs and products at the time of signing of contracts.  Services as an avenue for discharge of offsets, have been re-instated.

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

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Aerial Accidents in IAF 
There were no aerial or in-flight accidents involving Cheetah and Chetak helicopters of Indian Air Force (IAF) during the last three years (2012-13, 2013-14  &  2014-15) and the current year 2015-16 (upto 08.03.2016).  The details of accidents involving MiG-21 aircraft of IAF indicating loss of lives of air force personnel, accident-wise, during the said period is given below:

Sl. No.
Financial Year
Date
Type of Aircraft
No. of IAF Personnel killed

1.
2012-13
24.11.2012
MiG-21 BISON
0
2.
2013-14
07.06.2013
MiG-21 BISON
0
3.
2013-14
15.07.2013
MiG-21 BISON
1
4.
2013-14
20.01.2014
MiG-21  T-69
0
5.
2014-15
27.05.2014
MiG-21 BISON
1
6.
2014-15
03.07.2014
MiG-21  T-75
0
7.
2014-15
31.01.2015
MiG-21 BISON
0
8.
2015-16
(upto 08.03.2016)
24.08.2015
MIg-21 BISON
0

A representation from wives of Army Officers was earlier received for replacement of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters.  However, phasing out of aircraft including helicopters and their replacement depends upon the national security / strategic objectives and operational requirements of the defence forces and is reviewed by the Government from time to time.  This is a continuous process.

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

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