Experts Speak

  • April 4, 2018
    A Powerful Impetus for Make in India
    By Air Marshal B.K. Pandey (Retd)

    Production of a fighter aircraft in India through a joint venture, will provide a major impetus to the Make in India programme in the Indian aerospace industry.

  • April 4, 2018
    Military's manpower shortages
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Responding to questions by two MPs, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman recently informed Parliament that the Armed Forces had a total shortage of approximately 60,000 personnel excluding those belonging to the medical and dental streams.

  • April 4, 2018
    The Chinese challenge
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Post being anointed President for life, Xi Jinping told 3,000 legislators of the Chinese Parliament on March 20, 2018, "The Chinese people have been indomitable and persistent.

  • April 4, 2018
    Hoax call of integrated theatre commands
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Headlines like 'Govt moves on integrated theatre commands; amends rules to bring three forces under single leadership' appearing in the media on March 19, 2018, caused considerable excitement in the public domain.

  • April 4, 2018
    The fiasco of GSAT-6A
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    On March 29, 2018, ISRO launched the communication satellite GSLV Mk-II (GSLV-F08); carrying the 2,140kg GSAT-6A, it took off from Sriharikota and some 17 minutes later the three-stage rocket injected the satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit.

  • March 15, 2018
    20 Years of Indo-French partnership and Macron’s India visit
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    France was the first country in the world with which India signed a strategic partnership in 1998; between French President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. Indian space scientists received initial training in France after Pokhran-II, France recognizing India as responsible nation while balance West blocked out India.

  • March 15, 2018
    Visit of Vietnam President boosts India-Vietnam strategic partnership
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The three day visit (March 2-4) this year by Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang’s was testament to the growing closeness in the bilateral security ties between India and Vietnam. His visit came just few weeks after Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s visit to India as chief guest at India’s Republic Day Parade 2016 along with heads of states of all other ASEAN countries.

  • March 15, 2018
    Indo-US 2-by-2 dialogue
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Post US President Donald Trump called Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15, 2017, congratulating him on India’s 71st Independence Day, the White House announced that India and US will start a new 2-by-2 ministerial dialogue to enhance “peace and stability across the Indo-Pacific region...

  • March 15, 2018
    Coming — Drone swarm attacks
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    There have been many instances of the Islamic State or ISIS using commercial drones for ‘attacking’ regular forces in Iraq and Syria. But in January 2018, the Russia’s Khmeimim air base and Tartus naval facility in Syria came under coordinated attack by “swarms” of home-made drones carrying bomblets / improvised explosive devices (IEDs,) as reported by the Russian Ministry of Defence.

  • March 15, 2018
    MoD shown the mirror
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    In end February 2018, public become aware that MoD for once was shown the mirror to recognize its ugly face. According to media reports, MoD had deduced internally that the much publicized ‘Make in India’ initiative is floundering...

  • March 5, 2018
    Rouhani’s visit boosts Indo-Iranian construct
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani arrived at Hyderabad on February 15, 2018, visited Hyderabad for two days and arrived New Delhi on February 17.

  • March 5, 2018
    Chandrayan II — Seeks Moon’s South Pole
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    In October-November 2018, ISRO is scheduled to attempt what no country has done before. Chandrayan-II will carry an orbiter, a lander and a rover to the moon, with the rover spending 14 days on the surface of the Moon’s ‘South Pole’.

  • March 5, 2018
    Aura to fly in 2018
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Our military’s requirement of UAVs has suffered past several years because of lack of industrial expertise, combined with delays and cost overruns.

  • March 5, 2018
    IAF’s Next Fighter Aircraft — One step forward, two steps back?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The Standing Committee for Defence while presenting its report to the Parliament in December 2017 slammed the government for neglecting military modernization. The report pointed out that persisting critical military operational gaps have adversely affected the country's defence preparedness.

  • February 19, 2018
    PM Modi’s West Asian outreach
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Just before Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent visit to Palestine, the UAE and Oman, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, while briefing media had outlined that the visit would be of strategic importance in terms of energy and security...

  • February 19, 2018
    Mujahids to fuel Indo-Pak border more?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    As per recent reports, Pakistan is deploying several battalions of its Mujahid Regiment, along the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border (IB) to infiltrate terrorists and target Indian security forces. According to intelligence sources, these Mujahid battalions are 641, 647, 654 and 655. Mujahids are equivalent to our Territorial Army and these four battalions now are permanently embodied.

  • February 19, 2018
    JeM attacks rouse MoD
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Continuing terrorist attacks, especially the recent ISI-backed JeM terrorist attack of Sunjwan Army Camp in Jammu appears to have roused the MoD into action. The Ministry okayed 1,487 cr to boost the security of Army camps on Saturday, February 12 - same day as the terrorist attack on Sunjwan Army Camp...

  • February 19, 2018
    Terrorist attack on Sunjwan military camp
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    On February 10, 2018, the army camp at Sunjwan in Jammu was attacked by JeM terrorists in early hours of the morning. Sneaking in, the terrorists entered family quarters of Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) and firing began at 5 AM. The encounter continued over three days resulting in the death of five army personnel including two JCOs, and seven injured including civilians. Three terrorists were killed.

  • February 19, 2018
    The Faux Pas in Maldives
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The strategic importance of Maldives to India needs no emphasis; located in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives archipelago comprising 1,200 coral islands lies next to key shipping lanes which ensure uninterrupted energy supplies to countries like China, Japan and India. But happenings in the recent past indicate, Maldives has been sucked into the gravitational pull of China, away from India, just like Nepal.

  • February 19, 2018
    Perimeter security of military establishments
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Post the terrorist attack on IAF’s Patahnkot airbase on January 2, 2016, the MoD had appointed a committee headed by Lt Gen Phillip Campose, then Vice Chief of Army Staff, to review the security set-up for the military bases and suggest ways to improve it. The Committee found gaping holes in the security set up of many installations and submitted its report to the then Defence Minister in May 2016.

  • February 5, 2018
    Indo-ASEAN relations – Get strategic boost
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Republic Day 2018 was unique and very special with 10 leaders of ASEAN nations gracing the occasion with ASEAN completing 50 years of its formation and India completing 25 years of India-ASEAN partnership that commenced in 1992.

  • February 5, 2018
    Artificial Intelligence in Defence
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The next level of strategic cooperation between India and Japan has become apparent with the news that India and Japan are to work together to introduce artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics in the defence sector.

  • February 5, 2018
    India in Australia Group – Looking at NSG
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    January 19, 2018 saw India becoming a member of the Australia Group. The Australia Group restricts trade in materials used to make chemical and biological weapons.

  • February 5, 2018
    Coming – Long range BrahMos
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    When India successfully test-fired its nuclear capable Agni-V ICBM on January 18 this year, China had made no official statement, but after the December 2016 Agni-V test China had stated it hoped India's testing of the nuclear-capable Agni-V ICBM...

  • February 3, 2018
    Defence Budget 2018-2019
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Defence Budget for 2018-2019 stands at 2,96,511.41 cr (1.58 per cent of GDP).

  • January 19, 2018
    Visit of Israeli Prime Minister
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's six-day visit to India has very smoothly taken India-Israel relations to the next level.

  • January 19, 2018
    ISRO's centurion leap
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    ISRO launched its 100th satellite in space on January 12, 2018 as its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C40) successfully placed 31 satellites in two different orbits in one of the longest missions.

  • January 9, 2018
    Trump Twitter-bombs Pakistan
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The dawn of New Year in Pakistan was twitter-bombed by US President Donald Trump accusing Pakistan of double-dealing by saying, "The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies and deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools.

  • January 9, 2018
    Neglecting welfare — Affecting soldier's morale
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    A recent editorial in a national daily titled 'An Unhappy Army' states that unflattering information on the internal "atmosphere" in the armed services is seldom made public: the bad-for-morale argument serves to keep things under wraps.

  • January 9, 2018
    Defence Budget 2018-2019 — Another negative in actual terms?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Defence Budget 2018-2019 is to be unveiled shortly. What will be allocated to the Armed Forces is awaited with trepidation considering successive defence budgets...

  • January 8, 2018
    Visit of Israeli Prime Minister - Expectations
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to visit India commencing January 14.

  • January 8, 2018
    The drone crash - And beyond
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    China went wild with accusations when an Indian drone recently crashed in China occupied Tibet in first week December 2017, days before the visit to India by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. The Heron drone, made by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), had taken off from a base in the Siliguri Corridor on a training mission over India when it developed technical problems and crashed in Chumbi Valley near the Doklam Plateau where there is a concentration of Chinese troops.

  • January 8, 2018
    CPEC glitches temporary - But violence to continue
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    First signs of hiccups in the nearly $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, inked during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Pakistan in April 2015...

  • January 8, 2018
    The 3D Revolution
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    From 1984, when Chuck Hall of 3D Systems Corporation developed the first working 3D printer, the 3D industry has progressed at an unbelievable pace.

  • December 13, 2017
    Finally: A new dawn for General Aviation
    By Air Marshal B.K. Pandey (Retd)

    With the patronage by the central government for the launch of seaplane services, the General Aviation segment of the Indian civil aviation industry will finally witness a new dawn!

  • December 4, 2017
    Privatizing government defence industry
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The governmental has announced some disinvestment in the governmental defence industry like 10% in HAL, which does not amount to much change.

  • December 4, 2017
    Republic Day Parade 2018 will be special
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    That Republic Day Parade 2018 will be special is probably an understatement. Never have 10 heads of states been invited to this event, which India has done this time...

  • December 4, 2017
    Cartosat 2 and ISRO's multiple outreach
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Come later half of December and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is getting ready to launch the next remote sensing satellite of Cartosat-2 series along with 30 nano satellites of foreign countries.

  • December 4, 2017
    Ivanka Trump boosts Indo-US relations
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The 8th annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), jointly hosted by the US and India and attended by 1,500 entrepreneurs, investors and eco-system supporters from 159 countries was held in Hyderabad from 28 to 30 November, 2017.