Defence Minister appoints panel under Vinay Sheel Oberoi to expedite capital acquisition
Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has formed Raksha Mantri's 13-member Advisory Committee on Ministry of Defence (MoD) Capital Projects (RMCOMP) to monitor and expedite capital acquisition projects for modernisation of armed forces
i. It will carry out independent review and check the status of ongoing important projects worth over Rs 500 crore. It will also recommend methods to improve the capital acquisition process.
iii. The committee will review various categories of projects like "Buy" (Indian) and "Buy and Make" (Indian).
iv. This committee will be headed by Vinay Sheel Oberoi, former secretary in the government. Tenure of the committee is till end of August 2018.
v. Members of this committee are: former cairman of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd R K Tyagi, former member of Ordnance Factories Board R K Jain, partner head of KPMG's aerospace and defence division Amber Dubey and special advisor of Ernst & Young LLP R Anand.
About Ordnance Factories Board (OFB):
♦ Headquarters – Kolkata
♦ Director General Ordnance Factories & Chairman, OFB - S. K. Chourasia
Government sanctions Rs 1487 crore to Army to boost perimeter security
Union Defence Ministry has sanctioned Rs 1487 crore to Indian Army to fortify its bases in Jammu and Kashmir, North East and several other sensitive places.
i. The funds will be used to plug security gaps at the bases and thereby building protection against any terror attacks.
ii. This project for strengthening perimeter security at army bases was cleared by Union Defence Minister, NirmalaSitharaman.
iii. A deadline of 10 months has been set to carry out this project and Army headquarters has been directed to monitor the implementation.
iv. In recent years, there have been several terrorist attacks targeting military installations. After the attack on the Pathankot air force base in 2016, committee headed by Lt Gen Philip Campose had recommended carrying out security audit of military bases.
Government starts process to build India's first defence 'Quad'
Union Defence Ministry has started the process to set up India's first defence industrial ‘Quad’ (quadrilateral corridor) linking Chennai with four other cities of Tamil Nadu to promote industries manufacturing weapons and military equipments.
i. 'Quad' project in Tamil Nadu will connect Chennai with Hosur, Coimbatore, Salem and Tiruchirappalli.
ii. Officials from Defence Ministry along with representatives from defence PSUs - Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, Bharat Electronics Ltd. and Bharat Earth Movers - will soon start interactions with defence manufacturers in Coimbatore, Salem, Chennai and Tiruchirappalli to take their views on the proposed Quad in Tamil Nadu.
iii. In context of this news, it is important to note that while presenting Union Budget 2018, Finance Minister ArunJaitley had announced that two defence industrial production corridors will be set up in India to promote domestic defence industry.
iv. As announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the other defence industrial corridor will come up in the Bundelkhand region which shall bring an investment of Rs 20000 crore.
India's defence budget breaks into world's top 5: UK report
According to the 'Military Balance 2018' report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), India overtook the UK as the fifth-largest defence spender in the world in 2017.
i. For the year 2017, India’s Defence Budget stood at $52.5 billion, up from $51.1 billion in 2016. UK's defence budget fell from $52.5 billion in 2016 to $50.7 billion in 2017.
ii. With $602.8 billion, US had the highest Defence budget during 2017.
iii. India’s neighbour China occupied the second position with $150.5 billion Defence budget – almost three times as compared to India.
Indo-Seychelles joint Army exercise 'Lamitye' begins in Seychelles
8th edition of Indo-Seychelles joint counter insurgency/counter terrorism exercise, named 'Lamitye' began on February 24, 2018 in Seychelles.
i. ’Lamiye’ means friendship in Creole (local dialect).
ii. ‘Exercise Lamitye’ is conducted biennially with an aim of enhancing cooperation and interoperability between Indian Army and Seychelles People's Defence Forces.
iii .Indian contingent to 8th edition of ‘Exercie Lamitye' comprises four officers, five Junior Commissioned Officers and 36 army personnel from other Ranks.