June 2016

Indo-Sri Lankan Relations - Game Changing or Overly Optimistic?

The Indian Ocean provides critical maritime connectivity with over 50% of global merchant shipping which circumvents Indian shores for the Strait of Malacca. India’s geographical position astride the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal at the centre of the 56 nation Indian Ocean Region (IOR) is critical for her. Almost 90% of India’s trade and oil imports move by sea making India’s Sea Lines of Communication (SLOC) her lifeline. Her Island Territories help in anchoring its security and in force projection.

Defence Reforms & Capability Development : Planning and Decision Making Need Improvement

Defence planning in India has been marked by knee-jerk reactions to emerging situations and haphazard single-Service growth. The absence of a clearly enunciated national security strategy, poor civil-military relations, the failure to commit funds for modernisation on a long-term basis and sub-optimal inter-service prioritisation have handicapped defence planning.

When The Dalai Lama Turns Eighty

According to the Tibetan calendar he will do so on June 21, while the Gregorian or the universal calendar that is used worldwide puts the date as July 6. Much rests on his longevity for the Tibetans in Tibet and those obliged to flee their land and reside elsewhere, the largest numbers being in India, the country where the Dalai Lama first sought refuge in 1959 after fleeing Lhasa.  A lot has been written on his successor when he leaves the world. It is not the intention to go into the controversy in this piece.

Technical Evaluation Committee

Technical Evaluation is a stage which follows the issue of the Request for Proposal (RFP) stage in the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP). This stage is a standard procedure all over the world and is an evaluation process adopted for the selection of suppliers of goods and services and is carried out to ensure that the goods and services are able to withstand scrutiny.

Social Media: Awesome Power Limitless Options

A famous mountaineer once remarked, “No mountaineer ever ‘conquers’ a peak; its only sometimes that the mountain rewards the mountaineer with a passage to its peak”.  Much like the above truism, it is the sense of the author that the social media is not for ‘conquering’ (read taming), the smart ones ride its awesome power and reach to achieve the ‘disproportionate’.  I learnt some hard truths, while serving as the Brigade General Staff (BGS) Information Warfare at an operationally vibrant Command HQ.  This article shares some reflections of the times then, and thereafter

Scholar Warriors : Soft Skills in Leadership Development

The one thing with which I pride myself is the smile with which I am greeted by civilian employees of an institution such as Army War College (AWC) every time I visit it for a talk or a panel discussion. I invariably exchange greetings with them, even if it has to be from a distance. The inevitable question – why not with the uniformed personnel? That is because they do not have permanent presence while the civilians are there forever and can relate to personalities who have gone by.

Rafale : Hits and Misses

In a joint press statement in Paris Indian PM Modi and French President Hollande announced a Government to Government (G2G) deal for 36 Dassault Rafale aircraft. This cat-out-of-the-bag deal initially confused the entire defence community. Cards were obviously kept very close to at least one chest.

Land Reclamation of Reefs and Shoals in South China Sea Continues Unabated

The Chinese reclamation activity at some of the reefs and shoals in the South China has attracted international attention. Recent satellite pictures released by the Philippines government show dredging vessels, a network of pipes and hoses, and intense activity by small barges carrying sand for dumping at the Johnson Reef, (Philippines calls it Mabini and Chinese call it Chigua) in the Spratly Islands.

Aligning the DPP to ‘Make in India’ Mission

The revised Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) was promulgated by the MoD on 01 June 2013. The aim of the DPP is to expedite capital procurement and develop a robust indigenous defence industrial base by creating a level playing field for the Indian industry. While the procedures should conform to the highest standards of transparency, probity and public accountability, the Defence Production Policy (DPrP) 2011 and the Offset Policy 2012 should act as catalysts to build the Indian Defence Industry Base (DIB).