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Daily Category  (Security)

Curtain Raiser Indo-French Exercise Desert Knight-21

CONTEXT:

Indian Air Force and French Air and Space Force will conduct a bilateral Air exercise, Ex Desert Knight-21 at Air Force Station Jodhpur from 20 to 24 Jan 21.

                             

NEWS IN DETAILS:

French side: They will participate with

  • Rafale,
  • Airbus A-330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT),
  • A-400M Tactical Transport aircraft and
  • Approximately 175 personnel.

Indian Side: The Indian Air Force aircraft participating in the exercise will include

  • Mirage 2000,
  • Su-30 MKI,
  • Rafale,
  • IL-78 Flight Refuelling Aircraft,
  • AWACS and
  • AEW&C aircraft.

Important milestone in engagements: The exercise marks an important milestone in the series of engagements between the two Air forces.

'Garuda' Air Exercises: As part of Indo-French defence cooperation, Indian Air Force and French Air and Space Force have held six editions of Air Exercises named 'Garuda', the latest being in 2019 at Air Force Base Mont-de-Marsan, France.

'Hop-exercises': As measures to further the existing cooperation, the two forces have been gainfully utilising available opportunities to conduct 'hop-exercises'.

Ex Pitchblack in Australia: The French Air and Space Force deployment while ferrying to Australia for Ex Pitchblack in 2018 was hosted by IAF at Air Force Stations Agra and Gwalior for exercise with fighters and MRTT aircraft.

'Skyros Deployment' in Asia: Presently, the French detachment for Ex Desert Knight-21 is deployed in Asia as part of their 'Skyros Deployment' and will ferry in forces to Air Force Station Jodhpur.

OTHER MILITARY EXERCISES:

Exercise Name

Participant Nations

Sampriti

India & Bangladesh

Mitra Shakti

India & Sri Lanka

Maitree Exercise

India & Thailand

Vajra Prahar

India & US

Yudh Abhyas

India & US

Nomadic Elephant

India & Mongolia

Garuda Shakti

India & Indonesia

Shakti Exercise

India & France

Dharma Guardian

India & Japan

Surya Kiran

India & Nepal

Hand in Hand Exercise

India & China

Exercise Name

Participant Nations

Source: PIB

Maritime security, coastal defence exercise begins

CONTEXT:

The Navy will coordinate the second edition of the coastal defence exercise on January 12 and 13. It will be undertaken along the

  • Entire coastline and
  • Exclusive Economic Zone of India

                         USS Hershel “Woody” Williams and Tunisian Navy Exercise Maritime Security  Capabilities > U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa / U.S. 6th Fleet > News

NEWS IN DETAILS:

Sea Vigil 2021:

  • It is a biennial exercise
  • began in January 2019

It will be undertaken along the entire 7516 km coastline and Exclusive Economic Zone of India.

It will involve all the 13 coastal States and Union Territories along with

  • Other maritime stakeholders, including the
  • Fishing and
  • Coastal communities

It is a build up towards the major Theatre-level exercise TROPEX (Theatre-level Readiness Operational Exercise)” conducted by the Navy every two years.

Sea Vigil and TROPEX together will cover the entire spectrum of maritime security challenges, including transition from peace to conflict.

Official Participants:

  • Indian Navy,
  • Coast Guard,
  • Customs and
  • other maritime agencies

Facilitated by: It is being facilitated by the

  • Ministries of Defence,
  • Home Affairs,
  • Shipping,
  • Petroleum and Natural Gas,
  • Fisheries,
  • Customs,
  • State Governments and
  • other agencies of Centre/ State”.

Sea Vigil 21 “will provide a realistic assessment of our strengths and weaknesses and thus will help in further strengthening maritime and national security”.

Entire coastal security set up was reorganised after the 26/11 Terror attack at Mumbai which was launched via the sea route”.

Source: Indian Express

Armed Forces Flag Day

Context:

7th December is observed as the Armed Forces Flag Day.

Background:

  • Since 1949, 7th December is observed as the Armed Forces Flag Day to honour the martyrs and the men in uniform who valiantly fought & continue to fight on our borders to safeguard the country's honour. Soldiers are one of the greatest assets of any country.
  • On August 28, 1949, a committee set up under the defence minister decided to observe a Flag Day annually on December 7.
  • The committee had suggested that it would distribute flags to the citizens in exchange of them contributing to the fund for armed forces personnel.

Why this day is observed?

  • The Indian Armed Forces Flag Day is mainly observed to rehabilitate those wounded in wars, for the welfare of serving soldiers and their families and the welfare of ex-servicemen and their families.
  • Also, the money collected is used for providing help to the ex-servicemen who are battling serious health issues including heart ailments, cancer, and joint replacement, etc.
  • Flag Day brings to the forefront our commitment of looking after our war disabled Soldiers, Veer Naris and the families of martyrs who have sacrificed their lives for the country.

Details:

  • To celebrate the day, all three branches of the Indian armed forces - the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Navy - arrange a variety of shows, carnivals, dramas and other entertainment programmes to showcase to the general public the efforts of their personnel to ensure national security.
  • Armed forces personnel are the guardians of the nation and protect its citizens at all costs. To fulfil their duties, soldiers have sacrificed a lot of things in their lives. The country is forever indebted to these gallant heroes who lay down their lives in the service towards the motherland.

Source: PIB

Passage Exercise (PASSEX)

Context:

Indian Navy is undertaking a Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with the Russian Federation Navy (RuFN ) in the Eastern Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

Details:

  • The exercise involves the participation of RuFN guided-missile cruiser Varyag, the large anti-submarine ship Admiral Panteleyev and medium ocean tanker Pechenga.
  • Indian Navy is being represented by indigenously constructed guided-missile frigate Shivalik and anti-submarine corvette Kadmatt along with integral helicopters.
  • The exercise is aimed at enhancing interoperability, improving understanding, and imbibing best practices between both the friendly navies.
  • It would involve advanced surface and anti-submarine warfare exercises, weapon firings, seamanship exercises, and helicopter operations.
  • PASSEXs are conducted regularly by the Indian Navy with units of friendly foreign navies, whilst visiting each other’s ports or during a rendezvous at sea.

INS Shivalik:

  • It is a multi-role stealth frigate that has been built by shipyard Mazagaon Docks Limited (MDL) under Project 17.
  • The Atmospheric Control System filters and controls the temperature and humidity of the air coming into the ship at all times, including the air being used by the engines.
  • It has the indigenous Kavach chaff-dispensing system to counter incoming missiles, as also indigenous sonars and antisubmarine warfare systems.

INS Kadmatt:

  • It is the second ship of Project 28 (P28) class Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Corvettes.
  • It is named after one of the large islands amongst the Lakshadweep group of Islands off the west coast of India.
  • INS Kadmatt has a multitude of networks to provide a contemporary and process-oriented System of Systems for optimal functioning of the warship such as:
    • Total Atmospheric Control System (TACS),
    • Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS),
    • Integrated Bridge System (IBS),
    • Battle Damage Control System (BDCS) and
    • Personnel Locator System (PLS)

Source: PIB

Intelligence-Sharing Agreement

Context:

India, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives agreed to expand the scope of the intelligence-sharing agreement.

Background:

  • The dialogue was held against the backdrop of China’s growing assertiveness in the Indian Ocean and the India-China border standoff.
  • New Delhi has focused on shoring up security linkages with key neighbors in recent months.

Details:

  • It aims to tackle common threats such as terrorism, drug trafficking, and money laundering.
  • The sides agreed to broad base cooperation by expanding the scope to improve intelligence-sharing and include issues like radicalization, extremism, arms and human trafficking, cybersecurity, and the effect of climate change on the maritime environment.
  • The representatives of the three sides also agreed to meet regularly for discussions and to ensure timely implementation of decisions made at the meeting.
  • It was decided to hold deputy NSA-level working group meetings biannually for cooperation at the operational level.
  • The significance of the trilateral forum is in promoting cooperation in the Indian Ocean region to discuss the maritime security environment.

Importance of Maldives to India:

  • 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.
  • Maldives is an important member of SAARC and it is important for India to have the Maldives onboard to maintain its leadership in the region.
  • It is strategically located along major sea lanes in the Indian Ocean.
  • India and Maldives share ethnic, linguistic, cultural, religious, and commercial links.
  • India was among the first to recognize the Maldives after its independence in 1965 and later established its mission at Male in 1972.
  • India is a preferred destination for Maldivians for education, medical treatment, recreation, and business.

Source: The Hindu

Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC)

Context:

Indian Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Police have prepared a three-tier security cover in the coastal areas and an organisation named the Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) which was set up in 2014.

Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC):

  • IMAC is the nodal centre for maritime security information collation and dissemination.
  • It is the cornerstone of the National Command Control Communication and Intelligence Network for monitoring maritime traffic in India’s area of interest.
  • It is jointly operated by the Navy based in Gurugram.

Functions:

  • IMAC’s task is to facilitate the exchange of maritime security information among various national stakeholders and generate a common operational picture.
  • IMAC tracks only non-military or commercial ships, known as white shipping.
  • The military ships, or grey hull ships, are tracked by the Directorate of Naval Operations.
  • IMAC focuses on ships passing through the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

Sources of Data for IMAC:

  • 51 nodes across the country run by the Navy or the Coast Guard and there are 46 stations in the Coastal Radar Chain that have radars, optical and meteorological sensors.
  • The Vessel and Air Traffic Management System under the Petroleum Ministry.
  • The National Automatic Identification System, which has 87 stations.
  • The Long-Range Identification and Trading Information from 174 countries, which comes from the Directorate General of Shipping.
  • India’s White Shipping Information Exchange Agreements with 36 countries and three multinational constructs
  • Space-based AIS that provide information on offshore and deep-sea vessels, sanctioned vessels list, additional databases, intelligence inputs, and information about research vessels.

Significance for IMAC:

  • The Indian Navy is responsible for overall maritime security (coastal and offshore) and is supposed to be assisted in coastal security by the Coast Guard, State Marine Police and other agencies.
  • The ten Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists who carried out the 26/11 attacks had entered Mumbai through the sea, using inflatable speedboats.
  • The aftermath of the attacks bought several vulnerabilities of coastal security into the fore and IMAC was created so that another dastardly act like the 26/11 attacks do not take place.
  • In 2009, the Coast Guard was additionally designated as the authority responsible for coastal security in territorial waters, and thrust was given to enhance surveillance in territorial waters by all agencies including the Navy, Coast Guard, Marine Police, and Customs.

Source: Indian Express

Brain Electrical Oscillation Signature Profiling (BEOSP)

Context:

A team of CBI officers probing the accused in the Hathras rape case arrived at the Gandhinagar-based Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) to conduct a brain electrical oscillation signature profiling (BEOSP) test.

  • Gandhinagar-Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) is India’s premier laboratory for forensic sciences and technical investigation founded in 1974.

Brain Electrical Oscillation Signature Profiling (BEOSP):

  • BEOSP is a neuro-psychological method of interrogation in which the accused’s participation in the crime is investigated by studying their brain’s response.
  • It is a non-invasive technique with a great degree of sensitivity and a neuro-psychological method of interrogation which is referred to as brain fingerprinting or brain finger mapping.
  • This test is carried out via a process known as an electroencephalogram, conducted to study the electrical behavior of the human brain.
  • Under this test, the consent of the accused is first taken and they are then made to wear caps with dozens of electrodes attached to them.
  • The accused are then shown visuals or played audio clips related to the crime to check if there is any triggering of neurons in their brains which then generate brainwaves.

Difference between BEOSP test and a polygraph:

  • The BEOSP procedure does not involve a question-answer session with the accused and is rather a neuropsychological study of their brain.
  • In a polygraph test, the accused person’s physiological indicators are taken into account which includes blood pressure, pulse rate, respiration, and skin conductivity.
  • The experts have argued that while a person might be able to control their pulse rate and BP even in times of distress, a BEOSP test offers a much more credible result.

The validity of the BEOSP test:

  • In the Selvi versus State of Karnataka case 2010, the Supreme Court observed that narco analysis, polygraph, and brain mapping tests cannot be forced upon any individual without their consent and the test results cannot be admitted solely as evidence.
  • The bench observed that any information or material discovered during the tests can be made part of the evidence.

Source: Indian Express

World Wide Radio Navigation System (WWRNS)

Context

India became the fourth country in the world to have its independent regional navigation satellite system recognized by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) as a part of the World Wide Radio Navigation System (WWRNS).

Details:

  • The navigation system can now replace GPS in the Indian Ocean waters up to 1500 km from the Indian boundary.
  • The process of getting the recognition for the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System based on satellites of the Indian Space Research Organisation took about two years.
  • The merchant vessels in Indian waters can now use the “modern and more accurate” system as an alternative navigation module.

Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System:

  • It is an independent regional navigation satellite system developed by India.
  • It is designed to provide accurate position information service to assist in the navigation of ships in the Indian Ocean waters.
  • It could replace the US-owned Global Positioning System (GPS) in the Indian Ocean extending up to approximately 1500 km from the Indian boundary.
  • The system is based on the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) satellites that are used for navigation.

Importance of recognition to IRNSS from IMO:

  • The Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) of the IMO recognized the IRNSS as a component of the World-wide Radio Navigation System (WWRNS) during its 102nd session.
  • With the recognition as a component of the WWRNS, the Indian navigation system is similarly placed as GPS.
  • After the US, Russia, and China have their own navigation systems, India has become the fourth country to have its independent regional navigation system.

Use of IRNSS:

  • All merchant vessels including small fishing vessels are authorized to use the system.
  • The vessels that have transponders installed in them will be tracked by satellite navigation showing the accurate position in the Indian Ocean region.

International Maritime Organisation (IMO):

  • The IMO was established following an agreement at a UN conference held in Geneva in 1948 and the IMO came into existence in 1959.
  • The IMO is the United Nations’ specialized agency responsible for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine and atmospheric pollution by ships.
  • The IMO sets standards for the safety and security of international shipping.

Source: Indian Express

Indo-Thai Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT)

Context:

The 30th edition of India-Thailand Coordinated Patrol (Indo-Thai CORPAT) between the Indian Navy and the Royal Thai Navy was conducted. The 30th Indo-Thai CORPAT will contribute towards the Indian Navy’s efforts to consolidate inter-operability and forge strong bonds of friendship with the Royal Thai Navy.

Indo-Thai Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT):

  • The Indian Naval Ship (INS) Karmuk, His Majesty’s Thailand Ship (HTMS) Kraburi, a Chao Phraya Class Frigate along with Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft from both the navies participated in the CORPAT.
  • The two navies have been carrying out CORPAT along their International Maritime Boundary Line twice a year since 2005.
  • The aim of the Indo-Thai CORPAT exercise is to keep the vital part of the Indian Ocean safe and secure for commercial shipping and international trade.
  • CORPAT builds up the understanding and interoperability between navies and facilitates the institution of measures to prevent and suppress Illegal Unreported Unregulated (IUU) fishing, drug trafficking, maritime terrorism, armed robbery, and piracy.
  • CORPAT enhances the operational synergy by the exchange of information for the prevention of smuggling, illegal immigration, and for the conduct of SAR operations at sea.
  • The other countries with which India conducts CORPAT exercise are Bangladesh (IN-BN CORPAT) and Indonesia (IND-INDO CORPAT).

INS Karmuk:

  • It is an indigenously built Kora-class missile corvette.
  • It is equipped with state-of-the-art navigation, communication, and radar systems and boasts of contemporary Surface-to-Surface missiles.

 Source: PIB

15th East Asia Summit 2020

Context:

Union External Affairs Minister of India addressed the 15th East Asia Summit 2020. The minister talked about the growing interest in the region as an integrated and organic maritime space with 10-nation ASEAN at its center.

Key Highlights:

  • The summit was chaired by the Prime Minister of Vietnam.
  • The summit underlined the need for greater international cooperation in the post-COVID-19 world to tackle the challenges cutting across national boundaries such as terrorism, climate change, and pandemics.

Significance:

  • The summit reaffirmed the importance of the EAS as the leaders-led forum to exchange views on strategic issues.
  • It called for the importance of adhering to international law, respecting territorial integrity and sovereignty, and promoting rules-based global order.
  • The summit adopted four statements on marine sustainability; epidemics prevention and response; women, peace and security; and steady growth of the regional economy.
  • The summit discussed ways to strengthen the EAS platform and to make it more responsive to emerging challenges on its 15th anniversary and adopted the Ha Noi Declaration.

East Asia Summit:

  • It was established in 2005 to play a significant role in the strategic, geopolitical, and economic evolution of East Asia.
  • EAS is a premier forum in the Asia-Pacific region dealing with issues relating to security and defense.
  • Its member states include 10 ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member states, India, China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, United States, and Russia.
  • At the 14th East Asia Summit, 2019, India proposed setting up of the Indo-Pacific Ocean’s Initiative (IPOI).
    • The IPOI aims to conserve and sustainably use the maritime domain and to make meaningful efforts to create a safe and secure maritime domain.

Source: The Hindu

20th Summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)

Context:

The 20th Summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Council of Heads of State was held on November 10, 2020.

Details:

  • The Meeting was chaired by the Russian President while the Prime Minister of India led the Indian delegation.
  • The other SCO Member States were represented by their Presidents, while India and Pakistan were represented at the level of Prime Minister.
  • This was the first SCO Summit held in Virtual Format and the third meeting that India participated in after becoming a full member in 2017.

Key highlights:

  • This summit brought President Xi Jinping of China and Prime Minister of India together in the virtual format even as both sides are caught in the high tension confrontation in Eastern Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
  • The Republic of Tajikistan assumed chairmanship of SCO for 2021-22.
  • India has proposed to set up a Special Working Group on Innovation and Startups and a Sub Group on Traditional Medicine within SCO.
  • Prime Minister of India highlighted India's role in supporting infrastructure and connectivity development projects in the SCO region.