Can India Afford Two Main Battle Tanks

The Indian Army suddenly allowed senior anchor Vishnu Som to visit an Arjun tank regiment, and present the same on a television program. In his blog Som wrote, “The new Defence Minister NirmalaSitharaman visited 43 Armoured Regiment to get a firsthand look at the Arjun tank. A month later, she visited the Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment in Chennai where the tank was developed - signals which some say are an indicator that the Arjun Main Battle Tanks best days are yet to come”. Arjun after all fits into the government initiative of “Make in India”.  The author does not wish to go into the Arjun versus the T-90 debate which is as old as it can be.

Nations the world over have a single Main Battle Tank (MBT), Israel Merkava (65tons), France Leclerc (57 tons), America M1A1 Abrams (54tons), Germany Leopard (62 tons), Russia T -90 (46 tons),  India T- 90 and Arjun (58 tons), China Type-98/99, Pakistan-  AlKhalid/MBT2000, based on the Chinese Type 90-II, with combined technologies from several Soviet and Western tanks. . Can India afford the luxury of design and development, managing production lines, logistics, combat bridging, inventory control, spare part management, and inter operability training of crews for two types of tanks.  In ten years time the Future Main Battle Tank possibly named Karan will be around the corner, how many production lines will India run on 1.65% of GDP on defence? Or is it simply a case of confusion working in such a manner that the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing?

Siddheshwar Shukla1

Me! Lord, The Editor Biased In Assignment Allocation; Is Democracy In Danger?

Me! Lord. I am a reporter from the journalistic fraternity you had called to vent your anguish against the injustice meted out to you from the senior most member of your fraternity – the Chief Justice of India. Have you ever imagined how much injustice we journalists face from the senior most member of our journalistic fraternity – the editor? In the press conference, you expressed your anguish and proclaimed ‘democracy is in danger’? Please read this to asses a reporter’s agony and suggest the type of conference, if any, we should call to express our agony.

Me! Lord. As you four were venting out your grievances before media, the reporter inside me wanted to weep. Whatever, injustice you claimed to have faced in work distribution I am sure it was just a minuscule of the discrimination, humiliation and hostile behavior a reporter faces in his career from his editor on a daily basis irrespective of his/her gender. A reporter can’t give next date on any assignment in his journalist career. We have to gather process and present the information in the form of a consumable report item on day to day basis.


The Way Forward: Education in the Union Budget

An entire generation that entered the teaching profession in the early eighties willsoon be hanging up their boots without seeing the second edition of the National Education Policy since the one presented to the nation in 1986. If nothing else, it reflects poorly on thepriority we accord to education in this country.

Quality education is a prerequisite to thequality of life,socialtransformation, research and innovation, sound value system and above all to build a high human capital. The educators, policymakers and the civil society are acutely aware of the challenges that we face todayin education. As oftoday over 17 million children and adolescents are out of school, according to the recently released UNESCO eAtlas of out of school children. The share of GDP to education is hovering below 4%, hampering efforts to provide educational access to the weaker sections, investment in research and technology, skill development, and in creating a pipeline of committed and well-trainedteachers.Over 10 million young people in India are in need of jobs at any given time.

Sidharth Mishra

AAP – The Orchestra Of The Dumb

At the media briefing last week to announce the party candidates for the three RajyaSabha seats from Delhi, Aam Aadmi Party’s number 2 and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia made two very important observations. First that the party contacted 18 politically neutral persons for nomination, and that all refused to bite the bait. Second about ND Gupta, the chartered accountant who is helping AAP to handle its income tax matters, getting the party’s boarding pass for passage to Rajya Sabha.

Political parties have a tradition of paying the fee of their saviours before law by way of a nomination to the Rajya Sabha. If one needed evidence, there are cases of advocates Kapil Sibal and RK Anand being sent to Rajya Sabha from Bihar and Jharkhand respectively. In the former’s case Lalu Prasad Yadav was the sponsor, whereas in the case of Anand it was veteran tribal leaderShibuSoren.

Sibal over the years has defended Yadav in several of cases of corruption which he is battling, so has Anand in the case of Soren, who like his Bihar counterpart has travelled several times to penitentiary.

Prof. Rajvir Sharma12

Congress Must Support Bill On Triple Talaq To Liberate Muslim Women

It was for quite some time that the judiciary has been insisting upon the Indian state to bring an end to the unjust, gender biased personal laws prevailing in different minority communities, especially in the Muslim society. The women in that community are leading the life of slaves to their menfolk; patriarchy in its worst form.

There is a complete domination of man over woman in all that is related to marriage, divorce, inheritance, maintenance or remarriage with the same man whom she was divorced from. Apart from the practice of triple talaq instantly, there are practices like polygamy, ‘halala’, inequality in inheriting the ancestral property etc. It is no secret that these practices, sanctioned by Shariat as they say, have made a Muslim woman either to surrender to the whims and fancies of their husbands or face the music of abandonment to be left to fend for herself. So she is from day one in the parental house to the husbands’ home made to live in a state of constant fear.