India and China share a long, mountainous border with very difficult terrain which makes it difficult to manage and monitor. Chinese claims that huge parts of territory under Indian control including Laddakh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan belong to them. They already occupy part of Laddakh after a war and illegal territory transfer by Pakistan.Apart from that, they’ve been sending their patrols deep inside Indian and Bhutanese territory to create border posts, roads and demolish Indian posts since decades. If India was a weaker nation like it was in 50s and early 60s, they’d have occupied all these territories and perhaps more by force. But for now, they do this type of drama in border areas.

https://twitter.com/JaidevJamwal/status/1260591851733745666

In this video, you can see a senior Chinese officer dressed in a brown coat throwing a hysterical fit upon finding a patrol of Indo Tibetan Border Police (a Central Armed Police Force meant for security in the region. in a part of Indian territory Chinese claim to be their own.According to what can be made inferred from video, a Chinese patrol first tried to ram ITBP vehicle (white Mahindra) with their own green Hummer knockoff.

After that, they surrounded the small Indian patrol and tried to browbeat them in to submission by screaming at them. Just look at the attitude and tone of Chinese PLA officer and his interpreter. This video is presumably from last year.They tried a similar stunt earlier this year and a young Indian army lieutenant punched a PLA major in the face. https://www.defencenews.in/article/Indian-Army-Lieutenant-who-punched-Chinese-Major-on-the-Face-at-Sikkim-Clash-830580

This is not the first time they’ve done it and it certainly wouldn’t be the last.But it is quite revealing to see the Chinese mentality of entitlement, bullying and throwing tantrums when things don’t go their way. All professional armies around the world have certain ethics, gravitas and mutual respect for soldiers of other countries, even if they are opponents. Seems like that Chinese lack these basic ethics.


This book is worth reading for diligent observers of Indian security issues. Author RVS Mani who was an official in Ministry of Home Affairs does a good job of penning down his experiences. There are only a few things mentioned in the book which have not been covered in many news outlets over the years. But the author does a good job of providing insider’s view of a lot of things related to India’s policy against terrorism and Pakistan that went wrong during UPA regime. Indian bureaucrats get a lot of well deserved criticism, but after reading this book, one realises  importance of the good jobs done by a few. I’ll cover only a few major points presented by the author here:

1.    

These 2 paragraphs are the basic summary of the fake bogey of Hindu terrorism UPA govt deliberately started for it’s own electoral gains.

2. Remember this “humanitarian” doctor Binayak Sen ? He used to treat naxal extortionists and terrorists in his clinincs. But refused to provide even first aid to injured police and other security personnel. This doctor and his wife used to host meeting for naxals. He was not the only Urban Naxal awarded by secular ecosystem by a post in Planning Commission and many awards. There are hundreds like him living off tax payer money even now. 


3. Naxals in states governed by Congress regimes like Chattisgarh regularly snatched weapons from policemen. Normally there’d be a detailed inquiry and errant personnel punished. But no action was ever taken by Congress govts against policemen who regularly “lost” their weapons to Naxals.4. 

4.

Can you imagine anything good coming from ministers like these ? 

5. During 26/11 terrorist attack on Mumbai, This UPA Home minister kept on changing clothes throughout the day and deliberately delayed departure of Indian counter-terrorist team. Author directly blames him for this delay with this line, ” A lot of lives could have been saved but for the lackadaisical attitude of then Home Minister”.


6. Same HM brought Digvijay Singh and Hemant Karkare in his office and allowed them to interrogate MHA officials in violation of protocols and procedures, All 3 were instrumental in creating the fiction of Hindu terrorism. Evidences and testimonies in a number of terrorist attacks were discarded and fake proofs created to implicate Hindus such as Col Purohit and Sadhvi Pragya. All such Hindus implicated in name of Hindu terrorism were later acquitted of all charges by highest courts. Some of these incidents where evidences was tampered with are mentioned in the book. 


7. In order to implicate Narendra Modi and Amit Shah in murder of assassin Ishrat Jahaan and her associates, UPA ministers like Sushil Kumar Shinde lied about not getting access to terrorist David Headley. Major portions of his testimony to Indian investigators was excised and fake allegations against Modi, Shah and even USA govt were raised.

8. MHA investigations had proven that Ishrat was a terrorist while UPA regime was trying it’s best to prove her innocent. In order to win the case, UPA raised numerous hurdles and planted fake evidences and testimonies like that of now jailed and disgraced policeman Sanjiv Bhatt. Officials in central and state departments and courts were instructed to not allow submission of evidence and documents which could have proven that Ishrat was on a mission to assassinate Modi and that the encounter that killed her was genuine. Author describes some of his own stories about how officials taking order from UPA ministers tried their best to push this agenda. A number of officers were hand picked by UPA ministers and installed by ignoring procedure in key positions to peddle the political and communal agenda of Congress.


9. This fact is not that well known, but intelligence reports suggested that Pakistan planned to capture a few ministers and officials as hostages during 26/11 attack. They had very specific intelligence inputs about presence of such targets in some locations. This along with how easily terrorists managed to find and attack targets in a huge city like Mumbai could not have been possible without moles in government. He has provided a name of an official who was actually inside the Taj Hotel as terrorists were killing people inside. Yet she managed to come out without a scratch.


10. A team of key officials was visiting Pakistan and was scheduled to comeback on 26 Nov. A suspicious officer who had nothing to do with the talks (muslim name) was added to delegation at the last minute. Pakis suddenly deliberately extended the visit and took the team offgrid as the attack was under progress. This caused confusion and delays in Indian counter-terror operations on 26/11


11. Author was part of the team investigating the attacks and attempts were made to assault/kidnap him. This is one incident describing how Delhi police who worked directly under the HM responded. Later he and his parents were harassed in their homes by CBI and Delhi police. He names many Delhi police and CBI officers who harassed him multiple times to force him to drop his complaint. He directly states that UPA HM was pulling all the strings and blames them for death of his aged parents. His son was fired from his job after his employers got calls from CBI.


12. He also dismissed claims of any surgical strike done during 2006-2010 period as mere fiction.

BASIC SUMMARY:

1. UPA govt manufactured the bogey of Hindu terrorism by destroying evidence and creating fake documents to implicate Hindus in terrorist attacks done by muslims. This was presumably done to check rise of BJP under Narendra Modi.

2. This and their general incompetence led to weakening of Indian institutions and rise in terrorist attacks.

As expected there is a lot of idle chatter about Corona Virus and what should have been done. This post is a list of some of major actions that Indian govt has taken to control the spread of Corona Virus in India.

1. Multiple rescues of 1000s of Indians from a number of different countries

  1. Saviour! Air India aircraft to rescue over 200 Indians stranded in Rome, Italy due to Coronavirus https://www.financialexpress.com/lifestyle/travel-tourism/saviour-air-india-aircraft-to-rescue-over-200-indians-stranded-in-rome-italy-due-to-coronavirus/1905308/
  2. India Evacuates Citizens, Others From China, Iran Amid COVID-19 https://thediplomat.com/2020/03/india-evacuates-citizens-others-from-china-iran-amid-covid-19/
  3. Air India Boeing 747 on standby to evacuate Indians from Wuhan amid coronavirus outbreak https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/air-india-boeing-747-on-standby-to-evacuate-indians-from-wuhan-amid-coronavirus-outbreak/articleshow/73659590.cms
  4. India evacuates 405 citizens stranded at Kuala Lumpur airport https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/india-evacuates-405-citizens-stranded-at-kuala-lumpur-airport-1657158-2020-03-18
  5. India evacuates over 90 citizens stranded in Singapore https://www.rediff.com/news/report/covid-india-rescues-over-90-stranded-in-singapore/20200319.htm

2. Not just Indians, even foreign citizens are evacuated and aid sent

  1. India pips China to extend emergency medical supplies to South Asian neighbours :https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/india-pips-china-to-extend-emergency-medical-supplies-to-south-asian-neighbours/articleshow/74743862.cms
  2. India evacuates Maldivians, Bangladesh citizens from Wuhan as part of neighbourhood first policy
    https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/india-evacuates-maldivians-bangladesh-citizens-from-wuhan-as-part-of-neighbourhood-first-policy/articleshow/73890602.cms
  3. India evacuates other citizens from COVID-19 countries https://www.wam.ae/en/details/1395302830356
  4. India Sends Military Aircraft Carrying Lab and Scientists to Test 6000 Stranded Indians for COVID19 in Iran https://www.indianeagle.com/travelbeats/indian-lab-coronavirus-testing-iran/
  5. India sends aid to Coronavirus COVID-19-hit Italy https://zeenews.india.com/india/india-sends-aid-to-coronavirus-covid-19-hit-italy-2271007.html
  6. India sends 15 tons medical relief to China for COVID-19 aid https://indusdictum.com/2020/02/27/coronavirus-india-sends-15-tons-medical-relief-to-china-for-covid-19-aid/

3. Strict controls imposed to control spread of virus

  1. India bans incoming international flights (18th March) https://www.france24.com/en/20200319-coronavirus-india-bans-incoming-international-flights
  2. India suspends domestic flights as coronavirus spreads (23 March) https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/23/india-suspends-domestic-flights-coronavirus-lockdown
  3. Air India cancels flights to Rome, Milan, Seoul (12 March) https://english.manoramaonline.com/news/nation/2020/02/27/coronavirus-list-of-flights-cancelled-india-singapore-bangkok.html
  4. Indian Railways suspends all passenger trains till March 31 (22 March) https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/coronavirus-all-passenger-trains-to-stop-plying-till-march-31-1658409-2020-03-22
  5. Lockdown in 75 districts; trains, metros, interstate-state bus services shut till March 31 (22 March) https://www.businesstoday.in/current/economy-politics/coronavirus-in-india-trains-metros-interstate-state-transport-bus-services-shut-till-march-31/story/398890.html
  6. Government Suspends Air Travel from China, Declares All Visas ‘Invalid’ (3 Feb) https://weather.com/en-IN/india/news/news/2020-02-04-govt-suspends-air-travel-from-china
  7. India sets 21-day ‘complete lockdown’ to stop coronavirus spread. It could be the biggest lockdown of its kind in human history. (24 March) https://abcnews.go.com/International/india-sets-21-day-complete-lockdown-stop-coronavirus/story?id=69769594

4. Multiple testing and quarantine facilities set up early

  1. Passengers arriving in India on all international flights to be screened for coronavirus (4 March) https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/passengers-arriving-india-all-international-flights-be-screened-coronavirus-119463
  2. India steps up screening of passengers arriving from China, Hong Kong (21 Jan) https://www.deccanherald.com/national/coronavirus-india-steps-up-screening-of-passengers-arriving-from-china-hong-kong-796819.html
  3. Coronavirus-hit India digs in for the long haul; here are the facilities set up so far (6 March) : https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/how-india-is-gearing-up-to-take-on-coronavirus/articleshow/74487704.cms
  4. Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research, has put out a list of 52 laboratories  capable of administering the test. (9 March) https://qz.com/india/1814798/india-increases-coronavirus-testing-facilities-as-cases-rise/
  5. By the end of this week, there will be 72 functional ICMR labs for Covid-19 testing and also 49 others in the government system. We are also in talks with 51 private laboratories, accredited by National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories, to start testing (18 March) https://qz.com/india/1820426/india-announces-new-coronavirus-testing-labs-and-quarantine-rules/
  6. India is stamping hands of people under coronavirus quarantine (18 March) https://nypost.com/2020/03/18/india-is-stamping-hands-of-people-under-coronavirus-quarantine/
  7. The defence forces are building more quarantines to ensure that travellers do not mix with others :https://www.businessinsider.in/india/news/these-are-the-coronavirus-quarantine-facilities-in-delhi-mumbai-hyderabad-and-other-parts-of-india/articleshow/74650950.cms
  8. Amid the fight against coronavirus, a new challenge has reared its head: 20,000 quarantined homes in Delhi. The number of people quarantined at home so far is 45,616, including 22,716 with foreign travel history and 22,850 who came in contact with them. https://www.indiatoday.in/mail-today/story/20000-homes-in-quarantine-delhis-new-challenge-amid-coronavirus-1663700-2020-04-06

5. Massive efforts put in to track, isolate & treat infected people

  1. Coronavirus testing, treatment to be free for 50 crore Ayushman Bharat beneficiaries https://www.thestatesman.com/coronavirus/coronavirus-testing-treatment-free-ayushman-bharat-beneficiaries-1502874017.html
  2. Close to 22,000 Tablighi Jamaat members, their contacts quarantined in India: MHA. According to a MHA official, 200 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel and the Central Armed Police Forces are coordinating the same on the ground level. https://indianexpress.com/article/india/close-to-22000-tablighi-jamaat-members-their-contacts-quarantined-in-india-says-mha-6347314/
  3. Platform ticket at Rs 50, quarantined wards, clean stations: How Railways is fighting Coronavirus https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/transportation/railways/how-indian-railways-is-fighting-coronavirus/articleshow/74591556.cms

6. Large budget allocated for relief packages

  1. FM Sitharaman announces package worth Rs 1,70,000 crore for poor, daily wagers. n additional five kilos of rice/wheat will be given to 80 crore individuals — over the 5 kilo they already get — along with a one-kilo pulse per household for a period of three months.The government will spend Rs 45,000 crore for undertaking these measures.She also announced that there will be Rs 50 lakh insurance cover for each healthcare worker for three months. 8.69 crore farmers to be immediately benefited through direct cash transfers under Kisan Samman Nidhi. Instalment of Rs 2,000 in the first week of April will be transferred,” Sitharaman said.Wages under MNREGA will also be increased by Rs 2000 per worker on an averagehttps://www.indiatoday.in/business/story/finance-minister-nirmala-sitharaman-live-updates-economic-relief-package-india-coronavirus-1659912-2020-03-26
  2. India’s Finance Minister on 24 March 2020 announced measures that include tax relief in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. https://home.kpmg/us/en/home/insights/2020/03/tnf-india-tax-relief-measures-coronavirus.html
  3. Cash transfer, free LPG, grains, part of coronavirus package https://www.livemint.com/news/india/nirmala-sitharaman-live-economic-package-announcement-likely-11585207106896.html

Indian efforts praised by multiple international bodies

  1. “Apart from ensuring the safe return of hundreds of Indians from China, Iran and other countries, the Indian government has taken decisive measures to contain community spread,” said Sriram Gutta, Head of Community Development, India and South Asia at the World Economic Forum. “India is doing quite well,” said the WHO Representative, Henk Bekedam. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/03/quarantine-india-covid-19-coronavirus/
  2. Coronavirus: As World Fights COVID-19, India’s Efforts Praised “This is true. The country has done well. I arrived in India on January 20. Awareness was already very high,” Bruno Macaes said while retweeting a tweet that praised India’s effort against COVID-19. https://news.abplive.com/news/india/coronavirus-as-world-fights-covid-19-indias-efforts-praised-1175897
  3. ‘Commendable’: WHO praises India’s prompt actions to contain coronavirus spread https://english.jagran.com/india/commendable-who-praises-india-s-prompt-actions-to-contain-coronavirus-spread-watch-10009695

I am taking data from arcgis.com and using this to calculate infection and mortality rates for some of more seriously infected countries, US UK, Italy, Iran and Spain.

Then I am calculating infection and mortality rates in China based on rates of above countries. Of these, only Iran has poorer infrastructure and unreliable figures. All other countries including even much hated US has much better health system, free press, better data collection, less pollution, less population density and are better than China in every single factor like elderly population which can affect these figures.

The epidemic started in China first and no one had any clue about existence of disease (suppressed information) let alone treat it. At the very least, numbers of Italy and China should match. Even the test kits that China is exporting have 80% failure rates.

It’s quite clear that China should have a much much larger number of causalities. To be very conservative, I am comparing China with the above mentioned countries and posting figures accordingly. Actual death toll in China should be in a few 100s of thousands if not millions.

This is from 21st March. Will add more to this post as numbers change.

INFECTIONSDEATHS
China-Italy978,00081,152
China-Spain550,00225,344
China-Iran329,02522,951

and this from 27th March

INFECTIONSDEATHS
China-Italy1920,704195,790
China-Spain550,002132,807
China-Iran329,02533,932
China-US372,0765,607
China-UK249,18312,234
Post image

Few days ago, I came across one interesting incident about origin of UAVs and how they developed in to the amazing machines we see everywhere now. This post is about development early surveillance UAVs (or drones as they are called now) and how they branched off from expensive ungainly remote controlled aircraft/missiles/target practice drones in to cheap and rugged machines they are now.

First military use of UAVs was done back in 1849 by way of balloons and later during WW1. But latter were little more than remote controlled planes carrying explosives, more like primitive cruise missiles or just target practice. USA did use some classified drones during Vietnam war, but they were not very successful with it.
First nation to find a proper niche for UAVs for surveillance and warfare was Israel. It started in 1968 when Israel and Egypt were on verge of war. Suez canal divided the two belligerents  and both had erected static defences all along the common border. USSR was providing Egypt and a few other nations hostile towards Israel with highly lethal weapon systems in large numbers while Israel had no such benefactor. Egypt had created 25-30 feet high artificial sand banks to prevent any visual reconnaissance  from Israeli side. At first, Israelis tried creating a platform mounted on tanks but enemy fire made them useless. Spy satellites were not that common, Israelis didn’t have any at that time and aerial reconnaissance using normal planes was just too risky due to strong air defenses on Egyptian side.


Shabti Brill, a major in IDF Military Intelligence came up with an idea to attach cameras to commercially available toy planes and use them to take pictures of Egyptian military buildup. At first Israeli Air Force refused to consider the idea. So he asked his commander who approved a budget of USD 850. It was used to buy three toy planes, extra engines, remote controls and some other spares from a toy store in New York. A member of visiting Israeli defence delegation bought all of this gear and sent it back in embassy’s diplomatic pouch. It was done this way to prevent any suspicion.

Shabti Brill standing near his UAV before it's first operational deployment


Once in Israel, these toy planes were fitted with German built 35 mm cameras timed to take pictures every 10 seconds.Before sending the planes for actual missions, Brill’s superiors wanted to do some trials. So the toy planes were shot at by Israeli air defence guns at altitudes ranging from 1000 feet to 300 feet, . Even with prior information about flight paths of the drones, the air defence guns couldn’t shoot them down. Impressed by the results, these planes were immediately sent on their first reconnaissance mission in July 1969, which they successfully completed. There was some minor drama but the pictures taken by these planes uncovered defensive preparations being done by Egypt and later Jordan too.


One would think that everyone in Israel would’ve realised the utility of these UAVs right then and started their development and induction in earnest. But Israelis share a few traits with us. Brill was promoted and he left others in charge of this project who completely bungled the development of new models. After repeated crashes, the whole project was shelved only a few months later. Strong protests by Brill were ignored.

Scout Drone


A wake up call came up with war of 1973, in which Israel barely managed to hold on to their territory with 2000+ causalities. The surprise attack by Egyptians on western and by Jordanians on eastern front shocked everyone in Israel. It was more than evident now that Brill was right and the decision to stop work on UAVs was quite foolish. His plans were again pulled out of storage and development of new drones started again. First one to enter service was Scout. It was it’s first trial by combat in 1982, where it’s electronic warfare and reconnaissance capabilities were instrumental in destroying the formidable Syrian SAM network and shooting down of 82 enemy jets without any loss.


Americans had their own drone programs, but none was successful even after spending nearly a billion dollars. So they turned to Israel to help them develop a better version of Scout, called Pioneer. Deliveries started in 1986 and these drones saw their first use in Iraq. This war also had the first incident of human soldiers surrendering to a machine when a group of Iraqi soldiers panicked and waved their white under-shirts after noticing it flying over their heads.Now everyone knows about sophisticated military drones like Predator, Heron, Global Hawk. Many of the people who will read this would have flown smaller drones just for fun. But it’s always good to know how it all started.

Pioneer_uav


A lot of people think that Israeli military is financed by Americans. It is partially true now, but it was not always like that. After the creation of Israel, not a single country was willing to sell them any weapons, let alone provide them any kind of aid. They had to make deals with arms smugglers, scrounge for usable machines in scrap yards, even steal from many countries. They had other nations back out of signed deals and deal with outright refusals after long negotiations. As a poor fledgling nation, they had Israeli civilians and sometimes foreigner Jews finance their defence purchases. Yet their conditions forced them to be innovative, make the best out of every situation and strive for indigenisation at all costs. There was just no other alternative.

Now after decades of hard work and focus, they are making some of the best military equipment on planet and are one of the largest exporters. Their achievements in civilian technology is no less impressive, but that’s a topic for another post.The anecdote above is just one of the many others which sheds some light how they managed to develop numerous different successful systems with so few resources.  

SOURCES:

A lot of people I follow on Twitter type platforms are angry with the news that Modi govt is giving away 5 crore scholarships in next 5 years to “minorities” while ignoring Hindus. A lot of Raita Wingers in prepetual outrage mode as well as saner folks are pretty pissed about it. I was pretty annoyed by this too and did a bit of searching around to find out that most of it is just baseless controversy due to shoddy reporting and incomplete data. This will be too long for Twitter and the leftist jihadis running it are censoring my account anyway. So posting rebuttals here:

1. Number of scholarships is 5 crores over a period of 5 years, 1 crore per annum. But guess what total number of students in whole country appearing for board exams is ? 1.44 crores

SOURCE : https://www.india.com/education/board-examinations-2017-over-1-crore-students-appear-for-exams-is-india-equipped-to-provide-higher-education-to-all-2148938/

I couldn’t find any data about religion wise breakup, but it should be a safe assumption that even if pre-matric numbers are included, than the number will be 2-2.2 crore per annum. Even if 1 crore scholarships are being given per year, it shouldn’t be hard to calculate that it’s impossible to meet these numbers without including Hindus

2. Ideally, even point 1 should be enough to satisfy most people, but there’s more to be sure. This is what PIB posted from Minister MA Naqvi’s press conference.:

Shri Naqvi said that our target is to provide “Pradhanmantri Scholarship” to 5 crore students in the next five years, which will include 50 per cent girl students. The entire process of “Pradhanmatri Scholarship” has been made easier and transparent through DBT mode.

Link : http://pib.nic.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1573381

I can’t find anything which says that the scholarship is only for minorities, not Hindus. The press conference was indeed by a Muslim minister handling Minister for Minority Affairs along with Minister of State, Kiren Rijju. But the statement NEVER specified that the scholarships will only be for minorities. It was only media outlets which reported it as such.

3. This Pradhanmantri Scholarship scheme includes multiple schemes for different categories of students, most of which do not have anything to do with religion. These schemes include children of defence personnel (http://desw.gov.in/scholarship), existing scholarship schemes like
 10 lakh Begum Hazrat Mahal Girls Scholarship for female students and quite a few more.

In nutshell: Storm in a tea cup and baseless controversy. If I’m missing anything, please feel free to point out.