Stay updated with the latest Indian defence news weekly update: leadership changes, a tragic incident in Leh, disability pension updates, a plea for a detained Navy veteran, and the Agnipath scheme debate.

1. Lt. Gen. Upendra Dwivedi Assumes Command as 30Th Indian Army Chief


Weekly Update : Indian Defence news by ESM CORNER

In a landmark event, Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi has officially taken command as the 30th Chief of the Indian Army. This significant change in leadership comes as General Manoj Pande retired on June 30th, handing over the reins to Lt. Gen. Dwivedi, who previously served as the Vice Chief of the Army Staff.

Lt. Gen. Dwivedi hails from Madhya Pradesh and is an alumnus of Sainik School Rewa. He began his illustrious military career by enrolling in the National Defence Academy in January 1981 and was commissioned into the 18th Battalion of the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles on December 15, 1984. His early service saw him commanding this battalion in both the Kashmir Valley and the deserts of Rajasthan.

Throughout his career, Lt. Gen. Dwivedi has held several key positions. He served as the Inspector General of Assam Rifles at the rank of Major General and as a Sector Commander as a Brigadier, where he played a crucial role in counterterrorism operations in the North East. He also initiated the first compendium on Indo-Myanmar border management during this tenure.

Lt. Gen. Dwivedi’s contributions to the Indian Army include his efforts to modernize and equip the largest command of the Army, focusing on the induction of indigenous equipment under the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative. He has been a strong advocate for the adoption of critical and emerging technologies such as big data analytics, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and blockchain-based solutions to enhance the Army’s operational capabilities.

His overseas tenures include serving in Somalia as part of HQ UNOSOM II and in Seychelles as the Military Advisor to the Government of Seychelles. During his tenure as the Deputy Chief of the Army Staff, he actively advocated for the integration of automation and the adoption of specialized technologies within the Indian Army. His efforts aimed to enhance operational efficiency, streamline processes, and keep the armed forces abreast of cutting-edge advancements. Additionally, as the Director General of Infantry, he expedited capital procurement cases for all three services, significantly enhancing the capabilities of the Indian Armed Forces.

Lt. Gen. Dwivedi is married to Sunita Dwivedi, a science graduate and homemaker who is involved with Aarushi, an institute for children with special abilities in Bhopal. The couple has two daughters.

With his extensive experience and strategic vision, Lt. Gen. Dwivedi is expected to lead the Indian Army with distinction and continue its legacy of excellence….

Source : FirstPost

2. Tragedy Strikes Armed Regiment in Leh: A Heartfelt Tribute


In a tragic incident, five soldiers, including a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO), lost their lives during a tank exercise in eastern Ladakh. Their T-72 tank, of Russian origin, was swept away by the strong waters of the Shyok River near Saser Brangsa. These soldiers were part of the 52 Armoured Regiment, stationed at Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO), India’s northernmost military base near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China. Their commitment to duty led them to face the tough terrain and dangers of their profession.

Despite heroic rescue attempts, the strong currents were too powerful. The Shyok River, once a source of life, became a silent witness to their sacrifice. As we mourn their loss, we are reminded of the risks our armed forces face daily. Their duty goes beyond borders, politics, and personal safety, as they guard our nation. Let us honour these fallen heroes, keeping their memories alive. Their sacrifice serves as a reminder of the bravery and dedication of those who protect our country. May their souls rest in peace and their sacrifice inspire future generations.

Source : HT

3. Ensuring Fairness: Lt. Gen. Ajith Nilakantan Comdt Army Hospital (RR) Addresses Disability Pension Concerns


Amidst ongoing discussions about disability pensions, Lieutenant General Ajith Nilakantan, Commandant of Army Hospital (Research & Referral) in New Delhi, has reassured the public of the fair allocation process. His comments come at a crucial time when questions about the reasonable distribution of disability pensions have been raised.

Lt. Gen. Nilakantan emphasized that each disability pension case undergoes meticulous scrutiny by medical boards to ensure adherence to rules and guidelines. The revised Entitlement Rules for Casualty Pension and Disability Compensation Awards to Armed Forces Personnel, 2023, along with the Guide to Medical Officers, align with the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPwD) Act, 2016. This rigorous process ensures fairness and prevents misuse.

The government’s notification of these revised rules in September 2023 followed a review by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG). Lt. Gen. Nilakantan highlighted that the armed forces have embraced these changes, ensuring that only deserving cases receive disability pensions, and maintaining the integrity of the system.

Source : HT

4. Sister Pleads for Immediate Return of Navy Veteran Detained in Qatar


Four months after Qatar pardoned eight former Indian naval officers, seven returned home, but one, Commander Purnendu Tiwary, remains in Doha. His sister, Meetu Bhargava, has urged the Indian government and the emir of Qatar to help bring him back immediately.

On February 28, Bhargava turned to social media, making a heartfelt plea for help from both the Indian Prime Minister and the Emir of Qatar. She requested their help for the “immediate return of 8th Navy Veteran Cdr Purnendu Tiwary,” who, despite being released, has been in Doha for nearly five months.

On February 12, the emir of Qatar pardoned the eight Indian citizens who had been arrested, sentenced to death, and later had their sentences reduced. After 18 months in prison, seven returned to India, but Commander Tiwary stayed behind. The Ministry of External Affairs stated in February that Tiwary had “certain requirements to fulfil” before he could return. In May, the Ministry reiterated that he is free but still needs to complete some formalities. Bhargava highlighted that since the other seven were pardoned, her brother should also be allowed to come home, as their mother anxiously awaits his return.

Source The wire

5. Ex-Army General Reignites Agnipath Debate, Calling it a ‘Bolt from the Blue’


New Delhi: Former army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane has reignited the debate on the Agnipath scheme, launched by the Modi government, by stating it took the tri-services by surprise and was a “bolt from the blue”. His comments are from his upcoming memoir, Four Stars of Destiny, published by Penguin Random House India.

General Naravane, who served as army chief from December 2019 to April 2022, noted that the scheme’s introduction lacked proper consultation with the armed forces. He mentioned that initially, the starting salary for Agniveer recruits was an inadequate Rs 20,000 per month, which was later increased to Rs 30,000 based on strong recommendations.

Several veterans have criticized the government for pushing the scheme without consultation. A former lieutenant general emphasized that the lack of a pilot project before implementation shows a disconnect between military traditions and ethos. Another veteran, retired air vice-marshal, called the scheme a “death knell” for the armed forces.

Government sources revealed that General Naravane’s book insights were shared without required permissions, typically needed for books on national security. Despite the criticisms, the Agnipath scheme continues to be a topic of heated debate among military and civilian circles.

Source : The Telegraph

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