Experts Speak

  • January 20, 2020
    Defence Budget – Now and Next
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    India's defence budget for 2019-20 stands at 3.18 lakh crore. This included a capital outlay of just 1,03,394 crore that is not enough to upgrade capabilities and more money is required to avoid a funding crisis.

  • January 20, 2020
    China Snubbed at UNSC
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    China shamelessly made a third attempt to raise the Kashmir issue at the UN this month on behalf of protégé Pakistan. In August 2019, China had pushed for a UNSC meeting on Kashmir after the special status granted to J&K under Article 370 of the Constitution was scrapped by Government of India and the state was divided into two union territories.

  • Issue: 6 / 2019
    'Make in India': A Catalyst to Strategic Autonomy
    By Lt General Abhay Krishna (Retd)

    If India looks to retain strategic autonomy without binding alliance then India has no option but to become a regional dominant power. Current push of the Government towards indigenous defence production is a welcome step towards self-sustainable technological advancements and economic growth and it needs to be taken forward.

  • January 4, 2020
    India's First CDS – what should be the priorities
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Speaking to reporters India's first CDS General Bipin Rawat has said, "As per the task given to the CDS we have to enhance integration and do better resource management.

  • January 4, 2020
    Key Priorities for New Army Chief
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Soon after taking over as the new Chief of Army Staff, General M.M. Naravane warned Pakistan to desist from sponsoring terrorism, saying, "We have evolved a strategy of resolute punitive response against sponsored terrorism.

  • January 4, 2020
    Upgraded Pinaka Rocket System
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    On December 19-20, 2019, the upgraded version of Pinaka guided rocket system was successfully test-fired to a range of 90 km from the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur, off the Odisha coast.

  • January 4, 2020
    Chabahar-Zahedan Rail Link
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar visited Iran last month, December 2019, and met Iranian President on December 23.

  • January 4, 2020
    Indigenous QRSAM
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The indigenous Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile System (QRSAM) developed by the DRDO was successfully flight tested on December 23, 2019 from the Integrated Test Range in Odisha's Chandipur.

  • January 4, 2020
    India-China Boundary Talks
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Wang Yi, China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Special Representatives of India and China respectively met on December 21, 2019 at Agra for the 22nd round of talks aimed at a border settlement.

  • December 23, 2019
    Indo-US 2+2 Dialogue
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    December 18, 2019 saw the Indo-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue at Washington DC; External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh from India and the US side represented by Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and Secretary of Defence Mark T. Esper.

  • December 23, 2019
    India-Australia 2+2 Dialogue
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The third edition of India-Australia Foreign and Defence Secretaries' Dialogue (2+2) was held on December 9, 2019, in New Delhi. Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar led the Indian delegation for 2+2, while the Australian delegation was led by Frances Adamson...

  • December 23, 2019
    Akash Missile System – Dismal Saga
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The 'Akash' missile indigenously produced by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is in the news again for the wrong reasons.

  • December 23, 2019
    New Assault Rifles after 15 years
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Media reports of December 14 indicate that soldiers deployed on the borders with Pakistan and China have finally started receiving new assault rifles after a wait of almost 15 years.

  • December 5, 2019
    Visit of Sri Lankan President
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The two-day state visit of Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to India commencing November 29, his first foreign visit after assuming presidency, has signaled a new beginning, contours of which will unfold in coming months.

  • December 5, 2019
    Indigenous Bullet Proof Jackets
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    On October 18, 2019, Major General Anil Oberoi (Retd) of SMPP Pvt Ltd told media that 40,000 bullet proof jackets have been supplied to the Indian Army (IA) for its troops carrying out anti-terror operations in the Kashmir valley.

  • December 5, 2019
    M777 Howitzers under 'Make in India'
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Media reports of November 18 indicate that the first regiment of ultra-light howitzers in the Artillery will include three locally built howitzers in collaboration with Mahindra Defence, under the ‘Make in India’ initiative in addition to 15 x BAE M777 howitzers imported from the US in ready condition.

  • December 5, 2019
    Boost for Defence Startups
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Speaking at the ‘Defence Connect’ seminar on November 11, 2019, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said, “Looking at the talent India possesses, I am pretty confident that we can become a $10 trillion economy in the next 10-15 years”.

  • November 15, 2019
    Defence Minister’s Russia Visit
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Defence Minister Rajnath Singh arrived in Moscow on November 5 for a three day visit to Russia. This was his first visit to Moscow as Defence Minister.

  • November 15, 2019
    IA Cadre Restructuring
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The Indian Army (IA) is undergoing cadre restructuring. As per media, two officers per battalion are being reduced, totaling up to overall reduction of some 4,500 officers.

  • November 15, 2019
    ‘Tiger Triumph’ and ‘Sindhu Sudarshan-VII’ kick off
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Two prominent military exercises kicked off back to back on November 13. ‘Tiger Triumph’, the Indo-US tri-services exercise under aegis of HQ Integrated commenced on India’s eastern seaboard, in the Bay of Bengal and will continue till November 21.

  • November 15, 2019
    Anti-Drone Urgency
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Despite the Kartarpur Corridor having become operational, Pakistan’s hate-India campaign shows no signs of abating. This is not surprising because this is the very basis for the Pakistan army to maintain complete control over the country...

  • November 4, 2019
    Sri Lanka Elections – Beijing's Gain?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Next elections are scheduled in Sri Lanka on November 16. President Sirisena is not contesting. He had caused a constitutional crisis last year by sacking Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe replacing him with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

  • November 4, 2019
    NSCN (K) Specter on Naga Talks
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    As the government deadline of October 31, 2019 for final settlement to the Naga dispute approached, talks with the NSCN (IM) by the government side headed by Nagaland Governor R.N. Ravi was undergoing a difficult inconclusive phase.

  • November 4, 2019
    Army Uses M982 Excalibur Ammunition
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    On October 20, 2019, Indian Army (IA) for the first time used the 155mm M982 Excalibur artillery rounds against Pakistani positions and terrorist launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC).

  • November 4, 2019
    Siachen Tourism
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The government has decided to open Siachen to the tourists. Inaugurating the Colonel Chewang Rinchen Bridge on Shyok River in Eastern Ladakh about 45 km from the China border on October 21, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh announced that the Siachen area, the world's highest battlefield, is now open to tourists.

  • November 4, 2019
    Ninth DTTI Meet
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The ninth Indo-US Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) held at New Delhi on October 24, 2019 has reportedly focused on collaboration in drone swarms, counter-drone measures and other hi-tech military technologies.

  • October 18, 2019
    Modi-Xi Chennai Connect
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The second informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping was held at Mamallapuram (UNESCO heritage) on October 11-12, which Modi termed "Chennai connect".

  • October 18, 2019
    73rd Infantry Day Celebrations
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Indian Infantry will celebrate its 73rd Infantry Day on October 27 to commemorate the selfless dedication to duty by Indian Army's gallant Infantrymen, a wreath laying ceremony will be held at 'Amar Jawan Jyoti' where General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Army Staff, along with senior officers, will lay wreaths in a solemn ceremony.

  • October 18, 2019
    FATF, Pakistan and Bankruptcy of Counter Terrorism
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    In early September this year, a 15-member Pakistani delegation led by the Hammad Azhar, Minister for Economic Affairs Division met with the Asia Pacific Group (APG), regional body of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)...

  • October 18, 2019
    IMRH to Replace Mi-17 Helicopters
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    News reports of August 2019 indicate that India is set to embark on a 10,000 crore Indian Multi Role Helicopter (IMRH) project; to develop an indigenous medium lift helicopter that will replace all imports in that class for the Armed Forces – namely Mi-17 helicopters.

  • October 18, 2019
    Transborder Intelligence Operations
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    According to news reports of October 15, 2019, quoting un-named senior officials, Army's monitors along the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan have fallen silent for over two months now, affecting intelligence operations.

  • October 7, 2019
    Modi-Trump Bilateral - little gain
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump held a bilateral meeting on September 24 on the sidelines of the 74th UN General Assembly session.

  • October 7, 2019
    China's 70th Anniversary
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    China's 70th anniversary celebrations displayed its military and economic might with the biggest ever military parade on October 1, even as Hong Kong witnessed massive demonstration on the same day with hundreds of youth battling police and locals also out on the street.

  • October 7, 2019
    Howdy Modi, Howdy UNGA
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The 'Howdy Modi' mega event at Houston's NRG stadium on September 22 with PM Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump holding centre stage, and the 74th session of UNGA, particularly the speeches by Modi and Pakistan's Imran Khan on September 27 were viewed globally.

  • October 7, 2019
    AR-ITBP Merger - will the 'deep state' succeed?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    It is important to understand the 'real' reason behind the call for merger of Assam Rifles (AR) and ITBP, which media doesn't mention. The 'deep state' has struck again through the MHA; merger to bring AR completely under MHA, whose operational control is presently under Army.

  • October 7, 2019
    New Road to Doklam
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has converted an erstwhile mule track from Bheem Base to Doka La in Sikkim held by India Army, that will make it easier to enter the Doklam Valley, which was the site of a 73-day military standoff between Indian Army and China's PLA; where the Chumbi valley of China occupied Tibet (COT), Bhutan and India converge.

  • September 17, 2019
    Next Modi-Xi Informal Summit
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    As time approached for the second informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in October 2019, China took the despicable step of orchestrating a closed door meeting of the United National...

  • September 17, 2019
    Exoskeleton Suits for Army Soldiers
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    If news reports are to be believed, Defence Bioengineering and Electro-medical Laboratory (DEBEL) of the DRDO has been for some time collating data for Simulation and Analysis of Musco-skeletal parts...

  • September 17, 2019
    Miniature Drones
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Drone war attained a new landmark with Houthi some 19 armed drones hitting two oil processing facilities of Saudi Arabia - Aramco's Abqaiq refinery and the Khurais oil field.

  • September 17, 2019
    Indigenous Sniper Rifles
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    In February 2018, MoD had approved procurement of 5,719 sniper rifles for the Army and Air Force at an estimated cost of 982 crore from the global market under the 'Buy Global' categorisation, the ammunition for which was to be initially procured and subsequently manufactured in India.

  • September 17, 2019
    Imran 'Taliban' Khan is in Pitiable State
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran 'Taliban' Khan is in pitiable state. His army chief General Q.J. Bajwa (QJB) has handed him the impossible task of organising international intervention or mediation on Kashmir.

  • September 5, 2019
    20th India-Russia Annual Summit
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the 20th Annual India-Russia Annual Bilateral Summit in Vladivostok, Russia and the 5th Eastern Economic Forum as the Chief Guest on September 4-5.

  • September 5, 2019
    Corporatising OFB – how serious are we?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    National dailies reported on August 22, government's decision to turn the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) into a public sector corporate for increasing exports, self-reliance, add latest technologies and innovations.

  • September 5, 2019
    Exchanging Defence Land
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    During NDA-1, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharanman's unilateral order to open all 62 military cantonments to public made headlines, with political victory parades led by MPs/MLAs marching through cantonments.

  • September 5, 2019
    Army's Uniform Uniformity
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Recent media reports indicate that the Army has decided to do away with differences in the attires of officers above the rank of Colonel.

  • September 5, 2019
    Robot Tank, Robot Warship
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    In March 2018, a video from CCTV-7 Chinese military channel, posted by the Chinese streaming platform Sohu, showed a PLA soldier driving the Type 59 from an independent computer terminal with a steering wheel to control and drive...

  • September 5, 2019
    Kamikaze Drones
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    In July 2019, news emerged that the US Department of Defense (DoD) wants to purchase the Hero-120 loitering drone (termed "kamikaze" or "killer" drones) from Israel for operations by US Special Operations Forces (SOF).

  • August 22, 2019
    CDS Finally Coming
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    In his characteristic style, Prime Minister Narendra Modi surprised the nation on August 15 by announcing India will have a CDS to head the Army, Navy and Air Force.

  • August 22, 2019
    India Wins Army Scout Masters 2019
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Concluding on August 14, 2019, India comprehensively won the Army Scout Masters Competition 2019 held from August 6 to August 14 at Jaisalmer.

  • August 22, 2019
    Coming - Light Strike Vehicles
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Recommendations of the Study on 'Modernisation of Special Forces' undertaken by Military Operations Directorate, Army Headquarters in 2002, included the provision of Light Strike Vehicle (LSV) to Army's Special Forces battalions.

  • August 22, 2019
    Pakistan Frustrated - Caution Warranted
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Frustration is writ large on the face of Imran Khan, Pakistan's Prime Minister; pleading, begging world over.

  • August 17, 2019
    Abrogation of Special Status Under Article 370 – Security Implications
    By General Deepak Kapoor (Retd), Former Army Chief

    'Special status' came as a handy tool along with religion for the Pakistan army to exploit the differentiation of Kashmiris from the rest of the country. It provided moral, material and military support for commencing the insurgency.

  • August 14, 2019
    Article 370 Abrogation - History Corrected
    By Lt General A.B. Shivane (Retd)

    Article 370 acted as a hindrance to the holistic development of J&K. The dimension of regional aspirations cannot be ignored for the state of J&K which has three clear linguistic and geographical divisions - Jammu, Kashmir Valley and Ladakh and these remain disparate despite 73 years having passed.

  • August 8, 2019
    Kashmir Integrated
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    In a historic announcement in Parliament on August 4, Government announced the Presidential decree of abrogating Article 370 and reorganisation of J&K State into the Union Territories of J&K.

  • August 8, 2019
    PM Modi's Bhutan Visit
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Bhutan on August 17-18. After assuming the premiership second time, Modi's visit is in line with government's focus on 'Neighbours First' policy; which will further strengthen India's special relationship with Bhutan.

  • August 8, 2019
    The Chimera of Military Integration
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    In 2004, then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, addressing the Combined Commanders Conference had said, "Reforms within the Armed Forces involve recognition of the fact that our Navy, Air Forces and Army can no longer function in compartments with exclusive chains of command and single service operational plans."

  • August 8, 2019
    Defence Exports
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Media reports of May 2019 indicated India had relaxed procedures to speed up arms sales to foreign countries.

  • August 8, 2019
    LRAD replacing Pellet Guns?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Going by news reports, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has approved the use of 'sound cannon', devices that can emit pain-inducing sound waves, on rampaging mobs in the Valley.

  • July 19, 2019
    Kartarpur Corridor – Pakistan's terror gambit
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    When Navjot Singh Sidhu returned from Pakistan after hugging the Pakistani army chief Q.J.Bajwa at swearing in of PM Imran Khan on August 18, 2018, he announced Pakistan has agreed to open the Kartarpur Corridor.

  • July 19, 2019
    Sniper Rifles Delay – can we slash red tape?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    On February 13, 2018, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Ministerhad approved procurement of 5,719 sniper rifles for the Army and Air Force at an estimated cost of 982 crore from the global market under the 'Buy Global'...

  • July 19, 2019
    Indigenous CornerShot
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Media reports of June 2019 state that the Armament Research & Development Establishment (ARDE), Pune has developed 'Trikaal' CornerShot Weapon System (CSWS) which has in recent past undergone user trials by Rashtriya Rifles at the Pashan Range.

  • July 19, 2019
    Army CEO for MIA AK-203 OFB Factory
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Headlines like "Army chief's new experiment — Major General is CEO of AK-203 rifle factory in Amethi" appeared in the media recently, highlighting that Major General Sanjeev Sengar has been appointed CEO for four years, this being the first time in decades that a uniformed officer will head an ordnance factory.

  • July 19, 2019
    Army's Social Media Diktat
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Going by media reports, Army has issued a directive for serving personnel not to be part "large groups" on internet-based chat or email services, in order to control leak of sensitive information about the Armed Forces since enemy agencies could access such information.

  • July 11, 2019
    Throwing Out The Baby With The Bath Water
    By Lt. General Vijay Oberoi (Retd)

    What is most galling is the surreptitious manner in which the news was made public and the hesitancy of Army Headquarters to openly state that they were the initiators of the move.

  • July 6, 2019
    First Budget of Modi 2.0 - defence ignored
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented Budget 2019 of the new NDA government lead by Narendra Modiin parliament on June 5, 2019, with what she described as a 10-year vision.

  • July 6, 2019
    20 years after Kargil Conflict
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The 20th Kargil Vijay Diwas falls on July 26, 2019. Celebration to mark the 20th anniversary of Kargil victory are being spread over three days - July 25 to July 27 at Dras in J&K and at New Delhi.

  • July 6, 2019
    Puncturing Disability
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    There is considerable debate over a Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) circular dated June 24, 2019 saying that tax exemption for disability pension will be "available only to armed forces personnel who have been invalidated from service on account of bodily disability attributable to or aggravated by such service and not to personnel who have been retired on superannuation or otherwise".

  • July 6, 2019
    Pakistan's FATF Noose
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The last Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plenary session was held in Orlando, US, on June 21. 2019. A stern statement at the end of its outcome document warned Pakistan that it could face a blacklisting in FATF's next session scheduled in coming October, if it did not follow a 27-point checklist on bringing stricter laws to curb the access of funds to terror groups inside the country, including IS, Al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).

  • July 6, 2019
    Second JAI Trilateral at Osaka
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    During the first ever meeting of JAI (acronym for the Japan-America-India Trilateral coined by Prime Minister Narendra Modi using first alphabet...

  • June 15, 2019
    100 Day Agenda of the new NDA government
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Concurrent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government assuming charge, the Niti Ayog has announced on May 29, 2019, that government will consider a slew of proposals over the next 100 days to complete unfinished goals of fine-tuning reforms like the bankruptcy code...

  • June 15, 2019
    Modi's Maldives, Sri Lanka Visit
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Close on the heels of oath taking of Modi-led NDA government on May 30, 2019 attended by heads of BIMSTEC nations, re-elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi made his first overseas visit to Maldives and Sri Lanka on June 8-9...

  • June 15, 2019
    The Education-Radicalisation Connect
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The new NDA government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced it will roll out a plan for modernising madrassa education next month.

  • June 15, 2019
    Maoists, Mining and Environment
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    As per news reports of June 11, 2019, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister has stopped all mining activities at Dantewada Iron Ore Deposit after tribal protest for days.

  • May 31, 2019
    BIMSTEC Heads at Modi 2.0 Inaugural
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    In a deft move of immense significance, Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited heads of the Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) nations to the swearing-in ceremony of his new government on May 30, 2019.

  • May 31, 2019
    Of Drones and Bombs
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Rapid advancements in technology is empowering militarires as well as terrorists. This includes armed drones and remote controlled bombs. In May 2019, Indonesian police raided a terrorist cell with ability to use Wi-Fi to detonate explosive devices.