On 23 Sep 2016, India and France signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement for 36 Rafale, multirole fighter jets following negotiations lasting almost a year and a half, consequent to India’s decision to go in for a direct purchase. The decision taken in Apr 2015, to go in for a direct purchase, also led to the cancellation of the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) tender for 126 Aircrafts.
Defstrat: There have been a number of speculative writings and debates related to IAFs strength and operational capability particularly in view of dwindling number of Sqns. Where does the IAF stand today in terms of combat readiness?
CAS: IAF fighter squadron strength is currently less than the Government authorised 42 squadrons. This shortfall is planned to be made good through induction of remaining contracted Su-30 MKI, LCA and Rafale aircraft.
On India’s 70th Independence Day, when Prime Minister Modi addressed the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort, he did something no Indian Prime Minister has done before. He reached out to the people of Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and Pak Occupied Kashmir when he said, “I want to express my thanks to the people of Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, POK who have expressed good wishes for me ---“, an innocuous line in itself, but what it signals could be the start of an aggressive offensive-defense strategy to counter Pakistan’s growing interference in Kashmir.
The objective for the emerging nation states and powers is to create an economic and social order based on equality of opportunity, full employment and provision of adequate means of livelihood. It would entail multi- dimensional tasks, encompassing an extensive range of activities, viz economic, social, technical and cultural, towards attaining rapid economic development so that the trajectory of high, inclusive growth can be achieved and poverty can be rapidly ameliorated.
Myanmar: The Country and its People
Republic of the Union of Myanmar is a sovereign state in South-East Asia bordered by Bangladesh, India, China, Laos and Thailand. Myanmar shares a land border of 5876 Km with its five neighboring countries; 193 Km with Bangladesh, 1463 Km with India, 2185 Km with China, 235 Km with Laos and 1800 Km with Thailand. One-third of Myanmar’s total perimeter of 1930 Km forms an uninterrupted coastline along the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea.