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Do we need 2nd Mountain Strike Corps for China border?

However not all senior military experts support the idea and rather back modernization over manpower.

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New Delhi, Oct 13 : The very first China-centric Mountain Strike Corps (MSC) which was envisaged a decade ago had its blueprint rolling in 2013 with an initial raising cost of approximately Rs 65,000 crore. But with the India-China border standoff entering its sixth month now, experts are talking about the requirement of a second MSC for China.

The 17 MSC got stalled due to a financial crunch, and is operational today with just one Division, as against originally envisaged two Divisions. The only operational Division under the 17 MSC is the 59 Div with both—the Div and the Corps headquartered in Panagarh. The 59 Div has six Brigades under it, of which three are Infantry and one each of Engineers, Air Defence and Artillery (which has recently been added).

There are mixed voices from military experts about the need for a second MSC.

Former governor of Arunachal Pradesh and Army Chief J.J. Singh is of the opinion that a second mountain strike corps is a need of the hour, “This was a well thought out strategy. In fact Panagarh was chosen as headquarter of the MSC during my time and Pranab Mukherjee was the Defence Minister then. What is effective at the Ladakh Line of Actual Control (LAC) is not effective at the McMahon Line The terrain and conditions are separate, therefore physical challenges are different, hence different kind of capabilities are required. About costs, we are a big country, and we have to defend our borders This is a large unresolved border approximately 4,000 kms, and at some places it merges with Pakistan. Thinking of expenditure at the cost of losing sovereignty is not a wise idea.”

However not all senior military experts support the idea and rather back modernization over manpower.

Former General-Officer-Commanding of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps Lt-Gen Satish Dua says, “Force structures are decided by operational requirement which depends on threat analysis, which in turn is a function of terrain and force application. Plains and deserts can’t be compared with mountains. It is not about number of forces arrayed against an adversary. Forces are adequate, we need to modernize them more. Capability building is more important than bean count.”

Former Northern Army Commander retired Lt-Gen D.S. Hooda opines the same line of thought, “There should be more enhanced capability, more fire power, better infrastructure, radar surveillance, electronic warfare and cyber capabilities rather than more boots on ground. There is a cost to it, therefore having greater fighting capabilities rather than additional soldiers is a better idea.”

Major General B.K. Sharma, Director, United Service Institution of India, however, differs and argues for an optimum mix, “While theaterization is the long term solution, but in the interim, besides additional forces for Eastern Ladakh, we need two MSC—one for Ladakh and Middle Sector and another for the Eastern command.”

Sharma adds: “However, any force structuring and development should have an optimum mix of boots on ground and high-end technology. The new strike corps must be equipped with optimum ISR, long range targeting platforms, high mobility transportation means, EW, AD and dynamic logistic support capabilities to operate in super high altitude terrain on sustained basis, as PLA enjoys significant competitive advantage in the technologically empowered Rocket Force and Strategic Support Force.”

A second Corps would be considered wishful as the present MSC, raised for an offensive role, has remained unfinished due to fund-crunch. A second one would be in the same mould, hench it is imperative to calculate costs.

A three-star officer offers a cost-effective solution, “Composite Brigades with support elements in permanent positions can be used as a modular concept. These composite brigades can be deployed within a short duration. The Chinese PLA follows this concept which they call the Combined Arms Brigade. A composite brigade with fighting elements from all arms permanently together is easier to deploy as it trains together and has a common command and control. A more modernized army compared to a manned army is the need of the hour. This has been tried successfully by the Indian Army in the form of the Integrated Battle Groups (IBG).”

A composite brigade concept was tested in 2019 by the then Army Chief General Bipin Rawat in the form of IBG in a training exercise in the eastern sector with the aim to ratify quick mobilization and launching an offensive in the high altitude mountainous terrain, as the 17 Corps though headquartered in the East, is responsible for the entire 4,000-kilometer India-China border which includes the eastern McMahon Line in Arunachal Pradesh and the LAC in Ladakh. The three IBGs anticipated under the 17 Corps are equivalent to a Brigade in manpower and capability, aimed at striking swiftly and launching controlled offensives in high altitude.

(This content is being carried under an arrangement with indianarrative.com)

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Who is Preetika Chauhan? Everything to know about ‘Savdhaan India’ actress arrested by NCB

Saavdhan India’ actress Preetika Chauhan (30) was among one of the people who got arrested after getting caught buying drugs. Here’s everything about her!

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The Narcotics Control Bureau made two more arrests in the drug supply case on Sunday. ‘Saavdhan India’ actress Preetika Chauhan (30) was among one of the people who got arrested after getting caught for buying drugs red-handed.

Who is Preetika Chauhan?

Preetika Chauhan hails from Karsog, Himachal Pradesh. She is a B.Tech graduate and had made her acting debut with the film Jhamela, which was released in 2016.

She went on to play goddess Shachi in Sankat Mochan Mahabali Hanumaan.

Apart from Sankatmochan Mahabali Hanuman, Preetika Chauhan also had appeared in a few episodes of CID and Savdhaan India. She was also seen as Bhudevi in Star Bharat show Jag Janni Maa Vaishno Devi.

Preetika was last seen as Goddess Parvati in Santoshi Maa – Sunayein Vrat Kathayein. Preetika was also part of the TV show ‘Devon Ke Dev Mahadev’.

The case is in the ongoing investigation in actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case. The Bollywood drugs nexus case came to light while a parallel investigation was being carried out by the NCB.

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Only 7% plan on going out to movie theatres in the next 60 days

Results of July, August and October survey by LocalCircles indicate that people continue to stay reluctant in going to theatres and multiplexes due to the Covid-19 scare.

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Even though movie theatres are now open, only 7 per cent people are willing to go to watch a film there in the next 60 days, as per a survey.

Results of July, August and October survey by LocalCircles indicate that people continue to stay reluctant in going to theatres and multiplexes due to the Covid-19 scare.

Cinema halls across the states were allowed to reopen after seven months of the ongoing pandemic induced by the novel coronavirus.

Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are some of the states where theatres and multiplexes have started to function. Cinema halls remain closed in states like Maharashtra, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Chhattisgarh and many northeastern states.

LocalCircles conducted a survey to know if citizens if plan on visiting movie theatres in the next 2 months. The survey received 8,274 responses from across the country.

In the survey, citizens were asked, “now that the multiplexes and theatres are open in many states and the remaining states will also open them soon, will they be going to watch a movie in the next 60 days?”

However, only 4 per cent said they would go to watch if any new releases come and 3 per cent said they will go regardless of new or old movie. 74 per cent said they will not go while 2 per cent were unsure and 17 per cent said they don’t watch movies in theatre.

LocalCircles had conducted similar surveys during past few months to know how people plan to go out to watch movies when the theatres and multiplexes reopen. In the July survey, 72 per cent consumers had said that they will not go to theatres or multiplexes when they open, keeping the Covid-19 scenario in mind.

This number increased to 77 per cent in August and stands at 74 per cent in October.

Cinema halls claim to have taken various measures to ensure safety, such as sanitisation of their premises and other Covid-19 safety protocols. Among others, some of them have started the movie shows with 50 per cent of the total occupancy, staggered show timings, social distancing, thermal screening, adequate protection gear for the staff, etc.

But all said and done, it looks like people continue to be reluctant in going to a theatre or multiplex in the next 60 days, the survey said.

States that are considering opening multiplexes and cinema halls in the coming weeks may want to consider this consumer feedback and accordingly make their decision.

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2020 lockdowns to drive new forms of automation: Report

Document extraction, robotic process automation (RPA) from anywhere, drones and various employee robots will proliferate.

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The ‘great lockdown of 2020 will make the drive for automation in 2021 both inevitable and irreversible and remote work, new digital muscles and pandemic constraints will create millions of pragmatic automations, according to a new report.

Document extraction, robotic process automation (RPA) from anywhere, drones and various employee robots will proliferate.

“In 2021, up to 30 per cent of organisations will ramp up their focus on quality by better planning and testing automation before deploying it to production or exposing it to employees,” said the Forrester report on automation.

Three times as many information workers will work from home all or most of the time, while many companies will institute hybrid models in which workers come to the office less often.

“As a result of the pandemic, new forms of automation will support one in four remote workers either directly or indirectly by 2022”.

Direct support in the form of giving a bot to individual workers to support their daily journey will be rare.

However, indirect support will blossom, as intelligent automation handles employee benefits questions and supports document, customer service, and line-of-business tasks that are often invisible to the home worker, the findings showed.

Recent rapid growth in the consumer drones industry has sparked momentum in the commercial drone market.

While social distancing is a factor in drone usage, two forces will accelerate adoption in 2021.

“First, governments are crafting better regulations to facilitate drone adoption and commercialization, with Amazon Prime Air gaining FAA approval for drone deliveries and India driving drone pilot training with new policies,” according to the report.

Second, the rapid evolution of computer vision and 5G will enable real-time drone intelligence over ultra-reliable, low-latency communications.

Like machine learning, RPA will become an embedded feature of many platforms by the end of 2021.

“But rushed and haphazard automation exposes systems and the business to serious risk, so the lack of focus on automation quality is alarming, the report warned.

It can lead to monumental failures that not only damage a company’s reputation and customer trust but also limit broader public trust in automation (specifically AI) as a result of media scrutiny, it added.

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