Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A Simple, Sincere Prayer.

My dear  God you know that I am growing older.
      Keep me from becoming too talkative, from repeating all my jokes and anecdotes, and particularly keep me from falling into the tiresome habit of expressing an opinion on every subject.

Release me from craving to straighten out everyone's affairs.                    Keep my mind free from recital of endless details.
Give me wings to get to the point.

                         Give me the grace, dear GOD, to listen to others                                as they describe their aches and pains.
Help me endure the boredom with patience and keep my lips sealed,
for my own aches and pains are increasing in number and intensity,
& the pleasure of discussing them is becoming sweeter as years go by.

Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally, I might be mistakenKeep me reasonably sweet.
I do not wish to be a saint (Saints are so hard to live with), but a sour old person is the work of the devil.

Make me thoughtful, but not moody, helpful, but not pushy, independent, yet able to accept with graciousness favors that others wish to bestow on me.

Free me of the notion that simply because I have lived a long time,
              I am wiser than those who have not lived so long.               I am older, but not necessarily wiser!

 If I do not approve of some of the changes that have taken                place in recent years, give me the wisdom to                                              keep my mouth shut.

GOD please  know that when the end comes, I would like to have a friend or two left.

(Source- via e-mail from  BHARAT BHUSHAN GHAI  Vet)

All Of Your Body Parts Are In The Palm Of Your Hand! Just Press The Points For Wherever You Feel…

Acupuncture has been used for centuries, becoming one of the standard methods of therapy in China. As an alternative to modern medicine, acupuncture is now practiced worldwide, becoming a very popular way for people to find pain relief. But not all of us are too keen on needles… and that’s where reflexology comes in! Acupressure is a form of reflexology that is non-invasive and focuses on applying pressure to specific points on the surface of the body. Definitely more my speed.You may have heard about how different points of your hand correspond to different parts of your body, and now you can try it out for yourself with this detailed map!
You may have heard about how different points of your hand correspond to different parts of your body, but odds are that you have no clue what corresponds to what. But with this detailed map, you can try it out for yourself!

Share this with your friends and family by clicking the button below.
(Source : http://www.metaspoon.com/ )

Hope this brings stability, development in the region’: China on India-US pact Sutirtho Patranobis, Hindustan Times, Beijing

  • Updated: Aug 30, 2016 17:10 IST
  • US secretary of defence Ashton Carter (L) and Indian defence minister Manohar Parrikar shake hands after attending a press conference at the Pentagon on August 29. (AFP)

    China played down on Tuesday an India-US pact that allows the two countries the use of each other’s military bases, saying it was “glad” to see the collaboration as long as it promoted regional peace and stability. “We have noted the relevant report. We hope that this cooperation between the US and India work to promote stability and development of the region,” Hua Chunying, a foreign ministry spokesperson said hours after the deal was signed in Washington.
    Indian defence minister Manohar Parrikar and his United States counterpart Ashton Carter signed the logistics exchange memorandum of agreement (Lemoa) on Monday ending months of speculation surrounding the pact. The agreement will allow the two countries access to land, air and naval bases for repair and resupply. It doesn’t extend ship ‘basing rights’ and gives access only to logistics such as fuel for joint exercises and relief, humanitarian operations. “For such a normal cooperation between the two sides, we are glad to see it happen,” Hua said at a regular foreign ministry briefing.
    Hua’s reaction to the agreement was markedly calmer to that of a leading expert and the state media– both declared that the deal marked the end of India’s “independent foreign policy”. “The pact is a big concern. There is now a big question whether India will now lose its cherished strategic independence,” Hu Shisheng, a south Asia expert at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations told the Hindustan Times.
    The state media, too, was critical.
    The pact could trigger strategic troubles for New Delhi and may not make it any more secure, an editorial in the nationalist Chinese tabloid Global Times said. “This is undoubtedly a leap forward in US-India military cooperation. US media highly applauded this deal, with Forbes hailing it as a ‘war pact’ and believing that India is shifting away from Russia, its Cold War ally, toward a new alliance with the US,” the editorial said.
    But it was not good for Sino-India relations or relations between India and other countries in the region, it said. “If India hastily joins the US alliance system, it may irritate China, Pakistan or even Russia. It may not make India feel safer, but will bring strategic troubles to itself and make itself a centre of geopolitical rivalries in Asia,” the commentary said. 
    What is under threat is India’s traditional foreign policy of non-alignment, the newspaper said, adding New Delhi seemed to be gradually succumbing to the US’s overtures. “India has practised the principles of non-alignment since independence, which have been advocated by Indian elites. However in recent years, Washington has deliberately wooed New Delhi to become its quasi ally so as to impose geopolitical pressure on China. It is possible that the Modi administration is trying an unconventional way to lean toward the US with the logistics agreement,” it said.
    But will the returns of such a strategy be substantial? The newspaper didn’t think so. “But how close the US-India relationship can be and what geopolitical values it can get remains a question,” it said.
    Despite expanding India-US ties, the newspaper was optimistic that India would not change its independent foreign policy. “Due to its non-alignment policy, India has been given attention from all the major powers such as the US, Japan, China and Russia in recent years,” it said. “Now is arguably a time when India has the most room for strategic manoeuvring. During Shinzo Abe’s first tenure as Japan’s prime minister, Japan hyped the concept of a quadrilateral alliance between the US, Japan, Australia and India; however, New Delhi remained cool to the idea,” it said. “Therefore, India will not lean toward the US, because it will not only hurt India’s self-esteem, more importantly, India can gain more strategic benefits by striking a balance between China and the US.”
    (Source- Hindustan Times)

    In US, Manohar Parrikar hits out at Pakistan, says Modi govt ‘pro-active’ in curbing violence in Valley Kashmir unrest: Parrikar alleged that "forces from across the border" are trying to spread violence in the Valley. : By: ANI

    Virginia | Updated: August 30, 2016 10:31 amkashmir, kashmir violence, Manohar Parrikar, Parrikar, kashmir, parrikar kashmir US, US Parrikar remarks, parrikar in US, kashmir unrest, kashmir protests, unrest in valley, burhan wani aftermath, pakistan in kashmir, pakistan terrorism, terrorism. manohar parrikar, manohar parrikar in pentagon, manohar parrikar in us, india us relations, india us defence,
    Defence Secretary Ash Carter listens at left as Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar speaks during their joint news conference at the Pentagon. (AP Photo|Jacquelyn Martin)
    Launching a veiled attack at Pakistan for the present unrest in J & K, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has said that a “small percentage” of population is holding the “majority at ransom” in the Valley. Addressing a joint news conference with US defence secretary Ashton Carter at the Pentagon, Parrikar alleged that “forces from across the border” are trying to spread violence in the Valley. “As far as Kashmir is concerned, I think the government of India has been very proactive. A few small percentage is holding the majority to ransom,” he said.
    When asked about the current situation in Kashmir, he said curfew has already been lifted. “Kashmir actually has a government which is democratically elected and the Chief Minister belongs to the Valley,” he said. Speaking about the India-US relationship, the Defence Minister said that both the countries will resolve to continue their cooperation on counter terrorism. “India and the US are fellow democracies. However the US has showed that there can be no compromise when we are faced with terrorism. The forces that seek to undermine our progress and our ways of life requires a comprehensive, robust response,” he said. “We appreciate the support from the US in our efforts to eliminate terrorism in India’s neighbourhood. Secretary Carter and I agreed that countering terrorism is an important shared objective. The partnership between India and US is driven by our shared values,” he added.
    An all-party delegation, led by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, will visit Srinagar on September 4. Expressing regret and remorse over the loss of lives in the Kashmir Valley, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Sunday said that any life lost in the state, whether of any youth or any security personnel, is India’s loss, adding that those instigating young, innocent children will have to answer to them someday.
    The death toll in the valley has reached 67, as another youth succumbed to his injuries in clashes that broke out between security forces and the locals in Pulwama district on Friday. Curfew was lifted from most parts of the Valley on Monday — after 51 consecutive days of lockdown and subsequent clashes in the aftermath of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani’s death on July 8.
    (Source- Indian Express)

    Indo-US logistic pact is not agreement to set up bases: Manohar Parrikar

    The Defence Pact signed by India and the US facilitating logistical support between the two militaries is not an agreement to set up bases, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and his US counter- part Ashton Carter have said. Parrikar and Carter were referring to the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) that was signed by the two countries on Monday after more than a decade of discussion. "There is no provision for any base or any sort of activities to set up a base in India," Parrikar told reporters at a joint news conference with Carter after the two leaders held talks at the Pentagon.

    US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter (left) is welcomed by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in South Block on Monday

    File Photo

    LEMOA facilitates the provision of logistical support, supplies, and services between the US and Indian militaries on a reimbursable basis, and provides a framework to govern them. This may include food, water, billeting, transportation, petroleum, oils, lubricants, clothing, medical services, spare parts and components, repair and maintenance services, training services, and other logistical items and services. "It (LEMOA) doesn't have anything to do with the setting up of base. It's basically logistics support to each other's fleet, like supply of fuel, supply of many other things which are required for joint operations, humanitarian assistance and many other relief operations. "So, it basically will ensure that both navies can be supportive of each other in the joint venture operations we do, exercises we do," Parrikar told reporters in response to a question.

    LEMOA is a very substantial enabler of the two countries to work together, the US Defence Secretary said. "What it does is make possible and make easier operating together when we choose to. It doesn't by itself - those agreements - those are the things that the two governments would have to agree on a case by case basis. But when they do agree, this is an agreement that makes it all go so much more smoothly and efficiently," Carter explained. "It is fully mutual. In other words, we grant one another completely equal access and ease under this agreement. It's not a basing agreement of any kind, but it does make the logistics of joint operations so much easier and so much more efficient," he said.

    This agreement only provides an additional means to fund necessary support and requires the approval of both countries on a case-by-case basis. For example, during a bilateral exercise with the US, the participant country's unit requires fuel for its equipment.

    The unit cannot make the purchase unless it can pay directly and immediately.

    A LEMOA agreement allows for the purchase by establishing a value for the purchase and the terms for payment, which could be replacement-in-kind or an equal-value exchange, Carter said.
                                                                                                          (Source- Business standard)

    Excerpts from India Rising, Fresh Hopes, New Fears, by Ravi Velloor : (That inept 'Saint Antony') - India's biggest curse, where defence preparedness goes, is the excessive civilian dominance over military planning.

    'It was almost as though there was widespread relief that the defence bureaucracy, and the minister, could find someone willing to shoulder the blame for everything that had gone wrong with the services under Antony's charge - the poor preparedness of the forces, slow acquisitions caused by indecision, cancellation of contracts and whimsical blacklisting of defence contractors over the tiniest suspicion that they may have paid speed money or kickbacks.'
    Ravi Velloor, associate editor at Singapore's Straits Times, reveals what went on at the defence ministry under A K Antony's watch in his riveting new book 
    India Rising: Fresh Hopes New Fear. An exclusive excerpt from the must -read book.

    Admiral D K Joshi, then Chief of the Naval Staff, briefs then Defence Minister A K Antony about the sinking of the INS Sindhurakshak submarine following an explosion, in Mumbai on August 14, 2013. Photograph: PIB

    On the morning of February 26,2014, Admiral Devendra Kumar Joshi was in his Rajaji Road bungalow scanning the morning newspapers when he got first word - signal, in navy parlance - of an accident on board the submarine, Sindhuratna, while it was being put through trials in the Arabian Sea. It was the second accident on a Kilo Class sub in eight months for a navy that had been going through an unprecedented and breathless expansion for the past decade.
    As he digested the news, he thought back on a 40-year naval career where he had excelled in every command. The first of those commands was on a guided missile Corvette, his second a guided missile Destroyer, and his sailing days had ended on a high, on the aircraft carrierViraat.
    Joshi, the son of a top forest conservator with roots among the hill folk of the lower Himalayas - the Army's Kumaon Regiment, which comprise men drawn from these parts, is the highest decorated - was the first in seven generations of his family to choose the Navy or even the military, as a career. He was also the first to rise so high from the Indian Naval Academy in Kochi, which has since relocated to Goa; previous chiefs had all come through the National Defence Academy near Pune.
    To the surprise of his peers, "Joe" had always managed to speak truth to power, and gotten away with it. An impressive list of decorations had come his way, testimony to his professionalism, patriotism and integrity.
    The INS Sindhuratna's was the second accident on a Kilo Class sub in eight months for a navy that had been going through an unprecedented and breathless expansion for the past decade. Photograph: Sahil Salvi

    A little after he reached his office two hours later, the vice chief of the Navy, Vice Admiral Robin Dhowan, came to brief him on the accident at sea. While the submarine was underwater, there had been a fire, three decks above where the submarine batteries - initially thought of as the equipment that had malfunctioned - were located.  To save the men trapped in the chamber, the sub's commanding officer had bravely entered the place but, in his haste, had forgotten the standard operating procedure of donning a gas mask.
    In seconds, the fumes had overwhelmed the man and he now lay gasping for life in a Mumbai hospital where a Navy helicopter had ferried him from the stricken submarine. Two officers were dead and several sailors were injured. It was just awful. "You have to brief the RM, sir," Dhowan told him, using the abbreviation for Raksha Mantri, or Defence Minister.
    Joshi nodded, and dismissed his deputy. Unknown to Dhowan at the time, the chief's mind was already made up.
    Strict observance of standard operating procedures is imperative in any high technology environment, and it was clear, even without the routine board of inquiry that would doubtless follow, that the submarine's officers had been imprudent, even as they had shown exemplary courage. In the past year, Joshi had ordered nearly a dozen officers stripped of their command over a series of accidents, some trivial, as he sought to crack down on indiscipline and poor leadership.
    As much as he had tried to defend the Indian Navy from criticism, Admiral Joshi knew that the buck rested on his desk. Photo: MoD

    Not having fought a real war in more than four decades, military standards had been slipping, including that in the Navy. In early 2008, the troop landing ship, Jalashwa, the former USS Trenton, acquired only the previous year, had suffered an accident at sea, with the loss of five lives.
    In January 2011, 18 months before Joshi was elevated as chief, the frigate Vindhyagiri had slammed into a box carrier at the mouth of Bombay Harbour, and sunk to the ocean floor. A year into his charge, the Sindhurakshak, a Kilo Class submarine that was being loaded up with torpedoes and missiles for a regular patrol mission off Karachi, suffered fatal explosions and sank at the pier of the naval docks, embarrassing the armed forces.
    Eighteen people died in the Sindhurakshak, which had just returned from an expensive refit in Russia, meant to prolong its service life. Those in the Navy knew that poor observance of missile handling protocols had caused the blast. There had also been a series of smaller incidents, including a fire on board the aircraft carrier,Viraat. As much as he had tried to defend the service from criticism, Joshi knew that the buck rested on his desk.
    Admiral Joshi knew fully well that Antony would not have dared to use phrases like "fritter away resources" with the Army chief. Photograph: PIB

    While no service chief would admit it, backroom duels to seek parity with the civil service -- promotions to the level of commander today are timescale-bound with merit-based promotions only kicking in for selections for captain and higher -- had worked against the quality of officers in each of the services. The aggravation had been mounting after a series of pinpricks from the Ministry of Defence: The previous November, he had been stung by Defence Minister A K Antony's comment at a naval commanders meeting, that the Navy ought not to 'fritter away valuable national resources.'
    Senior ministry bureaucrats had worked in that line to slight the forthright naval chief, knowing an alert media would pick it up and go to town with it after the series of accidents involving naval assets. Some of the 'accidents' were trivial, and in some cases, the fault, if any, had to be laid at the door of the government, not the Navy. For instance, in early February, the landing ship tank, Airawat, a frontline warship used to land troops on beachheads, suffered damage to its propellers because of inadequate dredging of the Visakhapatnam harbour.
    The plain-spoken Joshi had not helped his cause by staying aloof from journalists - indeed, there were official instructions from his office to the Navy to avoid contact with a top correspondent from a television news channel known for its aggressive and sensationalist reporting style.
    The defence correspondent of The Indian Express, who had run a series of negative stories on the Navy, had not been invited to that year's Navy Day soiree. Just days before, the paper had run a big story listing the naval accidents. With little sympathy for the Navy chief, the media thus feasted on every misfortune suffered by the Navy, sometimes failing to add perspective by comparing it with the service record of the other arms, particularly IAF, which had a longer list of expensive accidents.
    What's more, Joshi knew full well that Antony would not have dared to use phrases like "fritter away resources" with the Army chief. Indeed, Antony had abjectly swallowed a series of provocations from General V K Singh, who had even moved the Supreme Court to take on the MoD, which had resisted his attempt to alter his official date of birth in a poorly disguised effort to delay his retirement.
    Too honest to ignore the wider circumstances, Admiral Joshi knew it was time to go. Photograph: PIB

    All these factors played in Joshi's mind as he contemplated the step he was about to take and weighed its consequences. On the one hand, he still had 18 months left to finish his tenure in a national capital where bureaucrats and military wheels cling on to office until the last day, hoping to be extended in service or be thrown crumbs like a post-retirement governorship or ambassadorial posting. His daughters, Pallavi and Purba, had not been settled yet. There was also the strain he would put on his wife, Chitra, if he decided to leave suddenly.
    Yet his entire training pointed him in another direction.
    In his junior years as a midshipman and lieutenant, he had seen heroic captains protect their juniors from the wrath of senior brass. When a particularly tough admiral cracked the whip, the captain would step in to take the blame for the younger men's lapses. The Navy knew that if youngsters didn't make mistakes, they would never learn. That is how his seniors had raised him in the service. Too honest to ignore the wider circumstances, he knew it was time to go.
    Joshi asked his secretary to connect him to Chitra, who just then was preparing to receive more than 200 wives of retired senior naval officers at a lunch she was hosting in the Navy House garden. He described the situation, explained the need to take moral responsibility, and added a final word - do not speak to anyone about this until the official announcement is made.
    Late that night, the women who had enjoyed Chitra Joshi's hospitality that pleasant afternoon would marvel at this no-nonsense woman's composure -- she was smiling through the afternoon as she looked after her guests, even as her mind was in torment for her husband and the step he was taking.
    Admiral Joshi's resignation letter sped through the bureaucracy and the PMO. Photograph: PIB
    Joshi next summoned Jayashree, the woman who had served as personal secretary to four Navy chiefs, and dictated a three-paragraph letter of resignation.
    Ignoring her tears and her entreaties that previous chiefs had gone through worse without quitting, he ordered her to type it up and make copies. A few minutes later, he walked into Defence Minister A K Antony's room and briefed him on the accident. At the end of the briefing, Joshi took out the letter and handed it to the minister, who sat back stunned, as though Joshi had struck him. "You don't have to do this, Admiral," Antony whispered.

    What followed in the next few hours would seal Antony's reputation as India's 'worst defence minister ever,' the headline of a special report on Antony's record in the March 17 edition of India Today, the nation's most widely-read news weekly.

    Joshi's resignation letter sped through the bureaucracy and the PMO. President Pranab Mukherjee, himself a former defence minister and now the nation's titular commander-in-chief, was informed.
    There was no attempt to convince the gallant and upright officer to withdraw his resignation.
    Yet, eight years earlier, when Mukherjee himself held the defence portfolio, then Navy chief Arun Prakash had offered to quit over a far more serious issue -- the War Room Leak scandal where Prakash's nephew, a former naval officer, was accused of illegally procuring naval secrets, including details of plans to make Scorpene submarines, on behalf of arms companies. At the time, Mukherjee and then national security adviser M K Narayanan had firmly rejected the offer, saying Prakash had no culpability in the matter and should continue.
    Indeed, Vice Admiral Sureesh 'Faggy' Mehta, then deputy chief of naval staff and the officer directly in charge of the War Room, suffered no damage to his career, eventually succeeding Prakash when the latter was superannuated.
    The Indian Govt moved with unseemly - and unusual - alacrity to accept the Admiral's resignation. Photograph: PIB

    Joshi's resignation, and its hasty acceptance, would have been justified if the poor record on accidents was unique to the Navy. According to MoD figures given to Parliament, no less than 28 planes and 14 helicopters of the IAF had crashed since the start of 2011, by no means a small number. Half the IAF crashes involved MiG aircraft and the causes were depressingly similar to the Navy's accident record; outdated equipment, poor quality of spares and fuel, and, of course, human error.
    Yet, the Navy chief was left spinning in the wind. Many people in top positions simply looked away. Shivshankar Menon, the NSA, did not ask Joshi to see him nor did he pick up the telephone for a farewell chat, either on the day of the resignation itself or in the weeks to come.
    Instead, the Indian government moved with unseemly - and unusual - alacrity to accept the resignation. It was almost as though there was widespread relief that the defence bureaucracy, and the minister, could find someone willing to shoulder the blame for everything that had gone wrong with the services under Antony's charge -- the poor preparedness of the forces, slow acquisitions caused by indecision, cancellation of contracts and whimsical blacklisting of defence contractors over the tiniest suspicion that they may have paid speed money or kickbacks.
    Indian Air Force Jaguars flying in formation besides a pair of Indian Navy Sea Harriers and a pair of US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets, flying over the Indian Navy aircraft carrier INS Viraat during Exercise Malabar 2007. Photograph: US Navy

    In 2007, the first time the Navy announced plans to hold Exercise Malabar with the US and other friendly navies in the Bay of Bengal, Antony hit the roof, recalled a three-star admiral, now retired. Left parties led by the CPM, always sympathetic to China, were supporting the Manmohan Singh government in New Delhi at the time. Coming from Kerala, where the principal opposition to the Congress party came from the CPM, Antony was hugely sensitive to their politics. CPM chief Prakash Karat was threatening to march from Kolkata to Visakhapatnam, the Bay of Bengal port city that is home to the Eastern Fleet, if Exercise Malabar went through. Antony was shaken.
    "Malabar is an area in Kerala, which is off the Arabian Sea coast. How can we hold Exercise Malabar on the other side of the peninsula, in the Bay of Bengal?" he demanded of Admiral Mehta. "Have you thought through how the Chinese are going to react to all this?" Mehta stood his ground. He countered that Exercise Malabar 2007 was too far gone in the planning to be pulled back and Antony had to relent. And thus, the exercise went through.
    Antony's troubles with General V K Singh would not end with the Supreme Court chiding the general into withdrawing his case against the Govt. Photograph: PIB
    What explains Antony's behaviour?  As he increasingly took on the tag of 'Saint Antony,' particularly in Manmohan's second term, some saw lurking ambition in the diminutive figure from Kerala.
    Perhaps, he secretly longed to be prime minister. Antony had stood in for Manmohan at the January 2009 Republic Day parade, when the prime minister was recuperating after tricky heart surgery, and he seemed to have enjoyed the moment. Given the prime minister's thin skin, there was a good chance that the man, fearful of losing his own reputation for probity amid the scandals that engulfed his second term, might quit office abruptly.
    Should that come to pass, who more politically acceptable in a time of widespread scandal than super-clean Antony, never mind that he did not speak the national language, Hindi, or that his English was not easy to follow? Hence, the more defence contractors blacklisted for seedy doings, the better for him.
    What about his soft-gloved approach to General V K Singh, the Army chief? Antony's troubles with General Singh would not end with the Supreme Court chiding the general into withdrawing his case against the government.
    The vitiated atmosphere in New Delhi between the military and the civilian administration was probably best exemplified by a news report in The Indian Express in April 2012, which suggested that in January that year, on the night that General Singh approached the Supreme Court over the issue of his age, the establishment had been spooked by the mysterious movement of two Army units towards the national capital.
    The Indian Express report carried the bylines of its then editor in chief, Shekhar Gupta, and two other top writers, Pranab Dhal Samanta and Ritu Sarin. The report could not be dismissed lightly. Sarin, particularly, was renowned for her diligent fact-checking. Since loyalties run deep in the Army, the suggestion was that General Singh had enough senior officers around him who would follow instructions unquestioningly, should he have wanted to do mischief.
    The Congress-led Govt would handle General Singh with kid gloves. It did not have the nerve to call the soldier's bluff, or warn him to stop leaking to the media. Photograph: PIB
    Even so, the story did not make sense on two counts, as a serving chief of staff, who is no friend of General Singh's, explained to me at the time. Firstly, if General Singh had been trying to pressure New Delhi over the issue of his age, he had chosen the wrong time -- the matter had gone to the Supreme Court and was well out of the hands of the civilian establishment. Surely, he wasn't attempting to spook the judges!
    Secondly, if General Singh needed to sound a warning rattle, he didn't need to move troops from so far away. There were plenty of infantry and mechanised units already in the capital, preparing for the Republic Day parade on January 26. Publicly, Antony dismissed the speculation that followed the report, describing the movements as a 'routine training exercise.'
    He then waited for General Singh to retire, choosing not to confront the Army chief while he still held the post. In those final months of his tenure, the General prepared his launch into politics, giving media interviews critical of the administration and building up his base among the warrior caste of Rajputs. It was as though he was taunting the civilian administration to fire him.
    The Congress-led government would handle General Singh with kid gloves. It did not have the nerve to call the soldier's bluff, or warn him to stop leaking to the media. On the sidelines of the annual Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore that year, I asked Antony why he had been so timid around General Singh. "Don't you think that was the least painful way to deal with the nuisance?" he responded. Perhaps, the course he adopted was indeed the right one at the time, although there were many who thought he should have made a firmer point.
    Antony's signal failing was that he was overawed - and overwhelmed - by the civilian bureaucracy : PTI Photo
    A year later, Antony's response to another incident left the nation and its entire armed forces heavily incensed. This was the brutal killing of five Indian soldiers along the Line of Control with Pakistan, authorised at the highest levels of the Pakistani army, as reliable Pakistani sources told me later.
    The bodies of the soldiers from India's Bihar Regiment had been beheaded when rescue parties along the Line found them on the morning of August 6, 2013. It was an act of barbarity calculated to shock the Indians.
    The Indian Army issued a statement through its Northern Command in Jammu that the ambush on the Indians had been carried out by members of the Pakistani Border Action Team, aided by the Pakistani army.
    That statement was hurriedly withdrawn a few hours later on orders from New Delhi. Antony went before Parliament the following day to say that '20 heavily-armed terrorists along with persons in Pakistani army uniform' were responsible for the killings.
    The phrasing appeared deliberately vague in order to offer the Pakistanis an element of deniability. To most Indians, it appeared that their defence minister simply did not have the nerve to confront his enemy. There could not have been a bigger let-down for the forces.
    In the event, a high-ranking delegation of the BJP met prime minister Manmohan Singh to register their protest over Antony's soft approach.
    Cornered, Antony went before both Houses of Parliament to issue a fresh statement clarifying that a specialist group of the Pakistani army was involved in the attack and that ties with Islamabad would be reviewed. He justified his earlier statement by saying that the incident had happened early in the day and he had not wished to 'jump to conclusions.'
    India's biggest curse, where defence preparedness goes, is the excessive civilian dominance over military planning. Photo: PIB
    It is possible that Antony, already under pressure from aggressive Chinese patrolling along that disputed frontier, didn't want to open a tricky second, Pakistani, front. Also, Nawaz Sharif had just been elected prime minister and New Delhi may have wanted to keep open nascent peace initiatives with a Pakistani leader who seemed to want to improve ties, even as his military remained deeply suspicious of India and would have liked to thwart any conciliatory moves.
    Whatever the reason, it was one more nail in Antony's reputation as the premier guardian of India's national security. Antony's signal failing was that he was overawed - and overwhelmed - by the civilian bureaucracy. Unlike Mukherjee, who was wise to the wiles of the bureaucrats and knew how to assert himself, Antony was far less successful in curbing their manipulative ways.
    India's biggest curse, where defence preparedness goes, is the excessive civilian dominance over military planning.
    In fact, parallel bureaucracies in the defence forces and the MoD complicate matters because of a lack of confidence in one another. That is a real pity. In my interactions with the higher command across the three sword arms of the Indian military, I have always found the military men better informed, more globally aware, more amenable to trying new things, and strategically more acute than their counterparts in the civil service who dominate the MoD.
    Yet, in India, the bureaucrats rule. Ministers are unable to check them because, for the most part, they are poorly informed and often have little experience in military matters when handed the portfolio. Even better if the minister is corrupt; the bureaucracy, with its ability to leak, has a real handle on the man.
    Antony was not corrupt. He was just inept.
    Excerpted from India Rising, Fresh Hopes, New Fears, by Ravi Velloor, Konark Publishers, 2016, Rs 695, with the publisher's kind permission.
    (Source- rediff.com)

    Do you want to work for the Government?

    Do you want to work for the Government?

    MyGov, Government of India's online Citizen Engagement Platform, has established a new paradigm of government-citizen engagement ever since its launch on 26th July, 2014 by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. By providing citizens multiple avenues to share their expertise and creativity, whether it is for designing logos and taglines of iconic national schemes or for framing national policies of various sectors, MyGov has set a new world benchmark in Jan-Bhagidari (participative governance). Taking this government-citizen interface to a new level, MyGov recently organised the first ever town-hall in India addressed by a Prime Minister.
    Carrying forward the spirit of government-citizen interface, MyGov proposes to create a data bank of resumes of various seniority levels and specializations. This data bank may be sourced by the government periodically to engage citizen experts in various domains for contractual services in various positions across ministries, departments, organizations, institutions, and specialized entities.
    The list of positions, domains and specializations currently being considered is given below. The desired qualifications for each position can be seen by clicking on the link for the respective positions. The desired qualifications listed are only indicative and not exhaustive.

    Interested citizens may submit their detailed resumes in PDF format indicating the position in which they are interested on the first page of the resume. To submit the resumes, citizens may use the Hashtag of the respective position in the comment box below and then upload their resume in PDF format. For example, if a person is applying for Academic Expert, he may submit his resume in PDF format while writing in comment box #AcademicExpert Resume Attached. The respective hashtags can be seen above along with the list of the positions.
    The resumes will be scrutinised by MyGov, and shortlisted resumes will be contacted for further discussion / interview. The compensation package will be discussed in the direct interactions.
    Please do note that submission of resumes in this forum does not guarantee engagement or employment.
    Total Submissions (4704)                                                Approved Submissions (0)                                                     Submissions Under Review (4704)

    (Source- MyGov Website)