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No Respect for Ramzan by Pakistan, Kills a BSF Jawan in Firing

A BSF jawan was killed along the Jammu border area earlier this week in a similar incident.



JAMMU (Jammu & Kashmir): A jawan of the Border Security Force was martyred early on Friday in an unprovoked firing along the India-Pakistan International Border (IB) in Arnia sector of Jammu.

“Firing in Heeranagar area was on during the intervening night of May 16 and 17 in which one BSF trooper was injured. Thursday, during the daytime, it stopped but Pakistan resumed firing in the night in Arnia sector which claimed the life of a jawan early Friday,” a senior official of the border guarding force said.

The official added that in the RS Pura sector of the IB in Jammu, unprovoked shelling of mortars and heavy fire from the Pakistani side started at about 4 am today which was being “suitably countered” by the BSF units.

“The firing in the RS Pura sector has stopped now,” he said. The incidents of unprovoked firing and attempts to infiltrate the IB have increased in the last few days even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to reach Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday as part of an official visit.

A BSF jawan was killed along the Jammu border area earlier this week in a similar incident.

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India Aiming at Equipping Defence Forces with Artificial Intelligence

The project to equip defence forces with Artificial Intelligence includes the representation from all defence forces and other stakeholders.



The Union Minister for Defence, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman at the inaugural ceremony of the ‘Stakeholders’ Workshop on Artificial Intelligence in National Security and Defence on May 21, 2018. (PIB Photo)

NEW DELHI: The Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated the ‘Stakeholders’ Workshop on Artificial Intelligence in National Security and Defence, Listing of Use Cases’, here today.

After Russia, China and US, India has decided to include Artificial Intelligence in its defence forces with an aim to enhance the operational preparedness of the armed forces.

The project to equip defence forces with Artificial Intelligence, includes the representation from all defence forces or Defence Research and Development (DRDO) labs, government, BEL, experts, professionals and startups.

Artificial Intelligence (AI), a branch of computer science dealing with the simulation of intelligent behaviour in computers, has shown significant technical advancement in some of the developed countries.

  • Most of this progress is due to advances in the AI sub-field of Machine Learning (ML).
  • Most experts believe this rapid progress will continue and even accelerate.
  • Most AI research advances are occurring in the private sector and academia.

AI has a potential to have a transformative impact on national security. It is also seen that AI is essentially a dual-use technology. While it can fuel technology-driven economic growth, it also has potential to provide military superiority. India has strong IT industry and huge talent pool of engineers which are advantages which need to be leveraged.

To study the whole gamut of issues surrounding strategic implications of AI in the national security perspective, in global context, a multi-stakeholder Task Force represented by members from the Government, Services, Academia, Industry Professionals and Start-ups has been constituted with the approval of the Raksha Mantri for developing future roadmap on AI with following goals –

  • To establish tactical deterrent in the region.
  • To support its peaceful and commercial use.
  • To mitigate catastrophic risk.
  • To visualize potential transformative weaponry of future.
  • To facilitate in keeping a check on non-state actors.
  • To develop intelligent, autonomous robotic systems.
  • To enhance capabilities for collection and analysis of data and also the creation of data.
  • To bolster cyber defence.

The Terms of Reference for the AI Task Force, of Ministry of Defence are as under-

  • Study use of AI by other leading countries including US, China, Japan, Germany, Russia etc.
  • Study of the level of AI/ML development in India in general and specific in the context of defence needs.
  • Make recommendations of making India a significant power of AI in defence specifically in the area of aviation, naval, land systems, cyber, nuclear, and biological warfare; Recommendations to include both defensive and offensive needs including counter AI needs.  Make specific recommendations with respect to arrangements for AI safety required within defence ecosystem.
  • Make recommendations for policy and institutional interventions that are required to regulate and encourage robust AI-based technology for defence sector in the country.  Specific suggestions for increased focus on AI within DRDO, BEL, service units, selected academic institutions of the country.
  • Considering that most AI work is happening in private sector, make recommendations to work with start-ups/commercial industry in the field of use of AI for defence purposes.
  • Recommendations for RFIs that need to be floated in next 2 years on dual-use AI capabilities.
  • Make recommendations regarding appropriate strategies for working with startups in the US working in this area.
  • Recommendations for funding required to achieve aforementioned goals.

The AI Task Force of Ministry of Defence under the Chairmanship Shri C Chandrasekharan, Chairman of Tata Sons, has met twice on 10 February and 28 April 2018.

In the last meeting, it was discussed that one of the key approaches for the use of AI is to work on building a profile that mimics normal behaviour by learning from the data generated from a given use case. Then using machine learning/ deep learning techniques, one can draw correlations among various parameters in an automated way (from the huge dataset) and can flag pattern and anomalous behaviour for further analysis and insights.

This essentially forms the basis for AI-based applications. Thus, it was decided that a Stakeholders’ Workshop on AI in National Security and Defence shall be organized for ‘Listing of Use Cases.


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Ramzan Gift from Pakistan? Killing of 8-Month-Old Baby Nitin Kumar

The incident comes a day after BSF said that the Pakistani Rangers had PLEADED with them to observe a ceasefire.



JAMMU (Jammu & Kashmir): Pakistani troops targeted border outposts and villages with mortar shells and small arms in Jammu district on Monday, 21 May, killing an eight-month-old boy and injuring six, including a special police officer, officials said.

Eight-month-old Nitin Kumar, sleeping with his family outside their home in Pallanwala sector along the LoC, was killed in Pakistani firing, while six people – including the special police officer – were injured in Pakistani shelling in Arnia sector along the IB.

The unprovoked mortar shelling started on Monday morning, with Pakistani Rangers firing on civilian areas leading to panic.

Pointing out that the child died in R S Pura sector, sources identified the injured women as Sudesh Devi and Madhu Devi, who live in the same neighbourhood. The women were injured when the mortar shell fell on Madhu Devi’s house.

According to the officials, the intense Pakistani shelling started a day after it “pleaded” with the BSF to stop firing, after being pounded with heavy artillery that left a Pakistani trooper dead.

In all, 30 Border Security Force (BSF) outposts and two dozen villages were affected, police said.

Cattle have perished and houses have been damaged in the Pakistani ceasefire violation.

On Sunday night, Pakistani troops fired small arms and mortars, targeting Narayanpur area of Ramgarh sector in Samba district.

The BSF on May 20 released a 19-second thermal-imagery footage, showing the destruction of a Pakistani picket across the border, in retaliation to the unprovoked firing and shelling along the IB.

The BSF has lost two of its soldiers in the latest round of unprovoked firing along the IB in Jammu region since May 15.

All schools within five kilometres of the border have been closed as a precautionary measure, he said.

Jammu & Kashmir has witnessed a sharp spike in Pakistani shelling and firing along the IB and the LoC this year.

Over 700 such incidents have been reported this year, which have left 38 people, including 18 security personnel, dead and scores injured.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, on May 22, visited the house of Tarsem Lal and his wife Manjeet Kaur, who were killed in Pakistani shelling in Mangu Chak belt of R S Pura sector on May 19.

Photos Sources: Twitter handles @AbidiAsfaq and @JunaidGulJuni


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INSV Tarini: The First-Ever Indian Expedition Steered by Women Sailors Returns

The ‘Navika Sagar Parikrama’ expedition was flagged off on September 10, 2017.



PANAJI (Goa): An all-woman crew commanding the INSV Tarini on May 21 returned to Goa after successfully circumnavigating the globe in a 55-foot sailboat in more than eight months, the first-ever Indian expedition steered by women sailors.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba welcomed the crew at INS Mandovi boat pool in Panaji.

The ‘Navika Sagar Parikrama’ expedition was flagged off on September 10, 2017.

The six women officers were trained for the project under Captain Dilip Donde, the first Indian to solo-circumnavigate the globe between August 19, 2009, and May 19, 2010, onboard the Indian-built vessel INSV Mhadei, a Navy official said.

A Navy spokesperson said the expedition was completed in six legs, with stopovers at Fremantle (Australia), Lyttleton (New Zealand), Port Stanley (Falkland Islands), Cape Town (South Africa) and Mauritius.

“The crew covered 21,600 nautical miles in the Indian-built sailing vessel INSV Tarini that visited five countries and crossed the Equator twice.

It sailed across four continents and three oceans, and passed south of the three Great Capes – Leeuwin, Horn and Good Hope,” the spokesperson said.

Terming the expedition historic, Sitharaman congratulated the crew and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi would meet the six crew members in Delhi on May 23:

Led by Lieutenant Commander Vartika Joshi, the crew comprising Lt Commanders Pratibha Jamwal and Swati P, lieutenants Aishwarya Boddapati, S Vijaya Devi and Payal Gupta covered a total of 21,980 nautical miles in INSV Tarini, inducted into the Indian Navy on February 18 last year.

She said she felt “honoured” by the achievement of the young women. “I just don’t want to say that it is a pleasure (to receive the crew), I feel honoured and I feel humbled by the great achievement of these six women,” the minister said.

She recalled that flagging off the crew on September 10 last year was her first “out-of-Delhi appointment”, three days after she became the defence minister. She praised the women for making history.

“And today, by the grace of God and the grit and courage that the girls have shown, they are back home to join all of us, having made history,” she said.

The minister said “the feat is not about girls’ achievement, it is (about) youngsters from India achieving and it is a whole motivation for the youth. The women of the country have shown to youngsters that if they want to do something they can do it indeed”. She said she followed the circumnavigation every day.

The minister said the girls have made history not only for themselves but also for the Navy.

“In every small way and big way, the Navika Sagar Parikrama is something that we can be proud of for generations to come,” she said.

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