Experts Speak

  • May 14, 2018
    PM Modi's Nepal visit
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent two-day visit to Nepal on May 11-12 was described in media by some cross-sections for countering Chinese influence in Nepal, while some opposition parties in India alleged it was to influence the polls in Karnataka.

  • May 14, 2018
    Neemrana Dialogue – resumed
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Media reports suddenly appeared that government had agreed to revive the Track II diplomacy process with Pakistan despite its apparent aversion to 'conventional' talks with that country.

  • May 14, 2018
    ISI in Nepal
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    On April 17, 2018 a pressure cooker bomb went off outside an Indian Consulate office in Nepal's Biratnagar, damaging the wall of the premises. Biratnagar is the industrial capital of Nepal and 6 km north of the border of Bihar. Nepalese suspect cadres of Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) that is banned by US Treasury and gets support from Pakistan's ISI.

  • May 14, 2018
    S-400 – and the CAATSA waiver
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Russia's S-400 (nicknamed Triumf) is an upgraded version of the S-300 system, manufactured by Almaz-Antey and is in Russian military service since 2007.

  • May 14, 2018
    Border Patrolling – new rules for LAC?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The message from the informal meet between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping at Wuhan on April 27-28 was both agreeing to strengthen communications between their militaries and keeping peace along the shared borders.

  • May 14, 2018
    K-9 Vajra-T Guns entering service
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    There is good news in the air – that the 155 mm/52 calibre tracked self-propelled gun system, K9 VAJRA-T will be entering service in the Army by end of this month - May 2018.

  • May 2, 2018
    Modi-Xi informal meet – how Xi acts is the key
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The informal meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on April 27-28 is hot news that must have been watched with much interest globally.

  • May 2, 2018
    FICCI-ADB collaboration is the way forward
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The Indian Army set up its own Army Design Bureau (ADB) in August 2016 whose charter included: one, act as central repository of technical know-how for the Indian Army; two, collate operational requirements...

  • May 2, 2018
    Coming – military satellites by ISRO
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    On April 24, 2018, ISRO announced postponement of launch of satellite GSAT-11, a month after it lost contact with communication satellite GSAT-6A.

  • May 2, 2018
    National approach must beyond MoCA, CISF counter-drone moves
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    As per media reports, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has tied up with the Indian army to train personnel in identifying drones of Pakistani and Chinese origin, following a six-day training session conducted in Gopalpur, Odisha).

  • May 2, 2018
    Pak Defence Budget 2018-2019
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Pakistan announced a hike in the country's defence budget by 10 per cent (1.1 trillion), as the over 5.6 trillion federal budget for 2018-2019 was presented on April 28.

  • May 2, 2018
    Gadchiroli and beyond – Maoists under pressure
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    With 39 Maoists killed by Maharashtra police in Gadchiroli over 48 hours on April 22-23, 2018, and 10 Maoists killed in by Chhattisgarh Police in Sukma in south Bastar on April 21, the numbers of rebels gunned down has gone up to 49.

  • April 20, 2018
    Visit of Nepalese Prime Minister
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Nepal’s Prime Minister KP Sharama Oli’s three-day state visit to India from April 6 to 8 is being hailed as landmark albeit it was more about resetting relations after Nepal’s China drift, acrimony over the border blockade during the Madhesi agitation over amendment to the Nepalese Constitution...

  • April 20, 2018
    Terror labels worry Pakistan little
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The recently released UNSC consolidated list of individual terrorist and terrorist entities names 139 from Pakistan including prominent names like Dawood Ibrahim and LeT chief Hafiz Saeed. The list includes all individuals who have either lived in Pakistan, operated from there or have been associated with organizations that used Pakistani territory to carry out terrorist operations.

  • April 20, 2018
    UAV losses — Time to wake up
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The loss of a Heron Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) of the Indian Navy near Porbandar in March 2018 has taken the count of UAVs losses by the Indian Armed Forces to 14 since the Kargi Conflict.

  • April 20, 2018
    Defence Minister’s Russia visit
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s recent three-day visit to Moscow was primarily to attend the Seventh Moscow Conference on International Security. However, she also met the Russian Defence Minister, General Sergey Shoygu in a bilateral meeting, focusing on reinforcing defence cooperation with specific focus on military-technical cooperation.

  • April 20, 2018
    Defexpo 2018 — Not much headway
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    In his speech to the 10th edition of the four-day DefExpo 2018 held in April, Prime Minister Narendra Modi outlined the steps taken by his government to open up defence manufacturing to private sector companies...

  • April 20, 2018
    New Think Tank for military strategy planning?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    This is to make defence preparedness much more than an acquisition-centric exercise. The Committee will reportedly have a cross-ministry mandate, headed by the National Security Advisor (NSA), and members being the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, three Service Chiefs, Defence Secretary, Foreign Secretary and Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC) as its members.

  • April 16, 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
    Coming – Chinese robot tanks
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    In October 2017, media reports confirmed the government seven-point strategy as prelude to India's strategic plan for using AI, covering issues like developing methods for human machine interactions, ensuring security of AI systems...

  • 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.

  • April 4, 2018
    The bogey of 'Bajwa Doctrine'
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The Bajwa Doctrine was first mentioned by Asif Ghafoor, DG ISPR and later by Qamar Javed Bajwa, army chief himself while briefing a group of journalists and anchorpersons, but it is not documented as such.

  • 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 15, 2018
    Pakistan in FATF crosshairs
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Pakistan find itself in the crosshairs of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), founded in 1989 on the initiative of the G7 to combat to ‘combat money laundering and terrorism financing’. It is an intergovernmental organization, also known as Groupe d'action financière, with its secretariat housed at the OECD headquarters in Paris.

  • 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
    Milan 2018 — Setting China’s Tail Afire?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    ‘Milan’ is a multilateral naval exercise hosted by the Indian Navy under aegis of the Andaman & Nicobar Command (ANC) on biennial basis. Naturally, it is held in Andaman & Nocobar Islands.

  • 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
    ICV procurement approved
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    On January 20, 2018, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman cleared the proposal for procurement of 156 infantry combat vehicles (ICVs) to meet the requirement of the mechanized infantry and troops for rapid deployment.

  • 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
    ISIS caboodle – Headed which way?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Call it ISIS, ISIL or Islamic State, the organization continues to maintain the top spot as the most dangerous terrorist organization of the world. Over 40 militant groups alleged allegiance to ISIS. These include the Boko Haram of Nigeria and the Tehrik-i-Talban (TTP) of Pakistan ranked the 4 and 6 respectively in the global ranking of the most dangerous terrorist organizations.

  • 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 5, 2018
    Navy's minesweeping capability – Going kaput
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Military strategy demands the ability to present adequate force wnenever and wherever threats emerge in quick time. Ironically, India appears happy with moving from crisis to crisis.

  • 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
    Agni V raises Chinese concerns
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    India successfully has test-fired its nuclear capable Agni-V ICBM from the Abdul Kalam island, off the coast of Odisha, on January 18. This 17m long ICBM with a payload of 1.5 tons, can transport a fusion-boosted fission weapon - nuclear device.

  • January 19, 2018
    China's aggressive moves – Will persist
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Army Chief General Bipin Rawat stated on January 12, 2018 that focus of the Army will shift to the country's border in the north as opposed to the long-standing focus on the western border.

  • January 19, 2018
    Assault Rifles, Carbines coming
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    On January 16, 2018 the defence acquisitin council (DAC) headed by the Defence Minister, has cleared fast-track procurement of 72,400 assault rifles and 93,850 carbines for 3,547 cr from the global market.