Col. Govardhan Gopal Gudur
The Indian Army lost a brave officer, Col Govardhan Gopal Gudur last week. Col Gudur, Commanding officer of the Sikh Li Regiment was born on October 23, 1977 in Bangaluru. He cleared his 10th and 12th boards from Kendriya Vidylaya (KV) Kanpur and KV Chandigarh. Even after clearing IIT Entrance Exam he preferred to join the National Defence Academy (NDA). He joined the 96th Course of the academy in Kilo Squadron and passed out from the Mike Squadron as Battalion Cadet Captain.
On May 13, 2000 Col Gudur commissioned into the Sikh Li Regiment as Lieutenant. He immediately became Ghatak Platoon Commander. With his hard work and dedication he lifted the Divison Trophy as platoon commander. He also achieved top 10 position in the JC course at Infantry School Mhow. He also held the prestigious appointment in Armoured Brigade at Jaisalmer.
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Exactly nineteen years back India defeated Pakistan in a war which was fought on the mountains of Kashmir in Kargil at an altitude more than 15,000 feet. The Kargil war was fought from May-July 99. It was generally an untold tradition that the armies of both the sides leave their bunkers at high altitude places move downwards and later during summers they reoccupy their bunkers. But in 1999, Pakistan took undue advantage of India’s trust and when Indian soldiers vacated their bunkers during the winters, mujahideens and Pakistan army soldiers occupied the bunkers.
The Kargil war was an example of betrayal of Pakistan as just three months before in February, the then Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Yajpayee visited Pakistan with a message of peace and with a firm determination to solve the Kashmir issue peacefully. A bus service was also started between New Delhi and Lahore. According to reports, the then Pakistani Army chief General Parvez MUsharaf without any consultation with the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif started the infiltration into the Indian Side along the Line of Control.
India came to know about the Pakistan’s plan in May, when the Indian Army’s patrol party led by Captain Saurabh Kalia, who went to the area did not report back to headquarters. The army realized the gravity of the situation launched ‘Operation Vijay’ to wipe out the infiltrators. Later, Pakistan sent back mutilated bodies of the captain and his four soldiers. The Indian Army then launched a massive operation to wipe out the Pakistani army soldiers of 12 Northern Light Infantry and terrorists. The war was fought at regimental and battalion level. The main aim of Pakistan was to cut the connectivity of Leh with rest of India by controlling NH 1 D highway, which connects Srinagar and Leh.
The Indian Air Force also launched ‘Operation Safed Sagar’ in the war zone to provide a support to the Indian Army. The army captured the highest and the most significant peak, Tiger Hill on the morning of July 8. Later in the war, the army also used Bofors artillery guns to provide cover fire to the troops. On July 26, The Indian government declared Operation Vijay a success and from then on, every year it is celebrated as ‘Vijay Diwas’.
Heroes of Kargil War:
Shaheed Capt. Vikram Batra, PVC (9 September 1974 – 7 July 1999) was posthumously awarded with the Param Vir Chakra, India’s highest and most prestigious award for valour, for his actions during the 1999 Kargil War. Batra joined the Indian Military Academy (IMA) at Dehradun, in June 1996 in the Manekshaw Battalion. The brave officer captured the Peak 5140 in Drass sector, without any casualties. He sacrificed his life while capturing the Point 4875 on July 7.
Shaheed Lt. Manoj Pandey, PVC (25 June 1975 – 3 July 1999): He was also posthumously awarded with the Param Veer Chakra. On the night of 3 July 1999 during the advance to Khalubar as his platoon approached its final objective, it came under heavy and intense enemy fire from the surrounding heights. Captain Pandey was tasked to clear the interfering enemy positions to prevent his battalion from getting day lighted. He got a fatal burst on his forehead while achieving his objective.
Subedar Major Yogendra Singh Yadav, PVC: Yadav was awarded with Param Veer Chakra for his 4 July 1999 action during the Kargil War. He was part of the Ghatak team of 18 Grenadiers who launched an offensive after climbing the Tiger Hill from the rear side, taking the enemy by surprise. In spite of being grievously injured he kept on fighting.
Subedar Sanjay Kumar, PVC: On 4 July 1999, as a member of the 13th Battalion, Jammu & Kashmir Rifles, he was the leading scout of a team tasked to capturing Area Flat Top, during the Kargil War. Having scaled the cliff, the team was pinned down by machine gun fire from an enemy bunker, about 150 meters away. He kept advancing towards te enemy and in a close fight killed three enemy soldiers. He was awarded the Param Veer Chakra for his bravery.
Captain Anuj Nayyar, Captain Vijayant Thapar, Major Rajesh Adhikari also fought bravely and sacrificed their lives for the Mother India. As per official data India lost 537 soldiers during this war and 1363 wounded.
India and Russia are on the verge of signing Rs 40,000 crore defence deal. Senior Defence official told The Hindu that the two countries could be just weeks away of signing one of the biggest defence deals.
The deal for the purchase of S-400 Triumf, long range air defence systems is expected to get closed by 31st March.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an intergovernmental agreement for the acquisition of five regiments of S-400s in October 2016 during the eighth BRICS summit.
According to the report published in The Hindu, Russia is not in favour of any offset clause because S-400 Triumf air defence System is very strategic in nature.
Acquiring S-400 will boost India’s air defence system as it can track and shoot down the incoming enemy aircraft upto the range of 400 km. Indian Air Force will operate this system.
China is the first country to procure six battalions of S-400 air defence systems.
The much awaited naval exercise ‘Milan – 2018’ hosted by the Indian Navy begins in Port Blair on Tuesday. In this week long naval exercise 38 contingents from 16 navies will display their skills. The theme of ‘Milan- 2018’ is ‘In Pursuit of Maritime Good Order – Need for Comprehensive Information Sharing Apparatus’, so the main focus will be to create a cordial environment in the region to check unlawful activities and to strengthen the ties
For the first time Oman is taking part in this exercise. The main aim of this exercise is to enhance regional cooperation and to check unlawful activities.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Naval Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba will visit Port Blair for this international event.
Arjun Mark 2 is an upgraded version of Arjun Mark 1 India’s indigenous built 3rd generation main battle tank. it is built in coordination with Israeli Defence companies. On the recommendation of the Indian Army 93 changes were made in the Arjun Mark 1 out of which 13 were major improvements. Trials of Arjun Mark 2 began in 2012 and it was publicly revealed in 2014.
Arjun Mark 2 has more fire power capability, protection and better mobility than Arjun Mark 1. This tank has better armour with 360 degree night vision capability. It can also plough out the anti-tank mines with the ploughs attached to its front. It has laser warning control system which detects the missiles fired towards the Arjun and in return it fires the aerosol grenades to befog the incoming missiles. Design of this beast with upgraded technology is similar to the western tanks like Leopard 2A5 of Germany. During its trials it has outclassed Russian built T-90 tanks.
More than 120 Arjun Mark 2 tanks will be soon inducted in The Indian Army.
Video Courtesy: DefencewebTV
Picture Courtesy: Defencelover.in
On 16th December, the Indian Air Force got two more women fighter pilots. 105 Flight Cadets commissioned as Flying Officers during the combined graduation parade of pilots and ground duty officers held at Air Force academy in Dundigal in Telangana.
Flying Officer Pratibha and Shivangi Singh were amongst the 15 women who joined elite cadre of IAF officers. Shivangi hails from Varanasi, whereas Pratibha belongs to Rajgarh district of Rajasthan.
There are total of five women fighter pilots in the IAF. Last year in December three women pilots- Flying Officer Bhawna Kanth, Avani Chaturvedi and Mohana Singh – were inducted into the IAF . They are likely to be commissioned into the fighter wing by December 31. Soon they can fly the Su-30 MKI aircraft.
Picture Courtesy: Oneindia.com
This year the Indian Navy also got its first women pilot – Sub Lieutenant Shubhangi Swaroop.
Exactly 46 years back on the same day The Indian Army made 93,000 Pakistani Army soldiers surrender. The war went on for two weeks i.e. from 3rd December 1971 to the fall of Dacca on 16th December 1971. Pakistan Army commander Lt. Gen. Niazi signed the documents of surrender in public in Dacca on this day, which led to the creation of Bangladesh. Lt. Gen. JS Aurora took the surrender.
As per government data 1769 army personnel sacrificed their lives in the war. 11 Air Force and 204 Navy personnel achieved martyrdom in the war.
Three Param Vir Chakras were given during this war
- 2nd Arun Khetarpal:
21-yr old officer hailed from Pune. 2nd Lt. Joined 17 Poona horse regiment. He made supreme sacrifice in the Battle of Basantar on the eastern front. Inspite being hit Khetarpal refused to vaccat his tank. His last words to his commander on the radio sets were, “No Sir, I will not abandon my tank. My Main gun is still working and I will get these bastards.” Hi was awarded Param Vir Chakra posthumously for his gallantary.
- Major Hoshiar Singh:
Major Hoshiar Singh belonged to 3 granediers. His battalion was given task to establish brigade head across the river Basantar in Shankargarh district between December 15-December 17. River was well fortified by Pak army with mines on both sides. He was commanding the ‘C’ company. He was ordered to capture Pakistani post in Jarpal. Pakistani’s launched counter attack. He went from trench to trench motivating his men inspite of seriously injured. His courage and leadership repulsed the counter attack inflicting heavy causalities on Pak Army. For his bravery he was awarded Param Vir Chakra. He retired as Brigadier from the army.
- Lance Naik Albert Ekka:
He achieved martyrdom on 3rd December in the Battle of Hilli on the eastern front. For his bravery during the battle he was posthumously awarded Param Vir Chakra.
- Flying Officer NirmalJeet Singh Sekhon:
During the Indo-Pak war of 1971 he was serving No. 18 Squadron, ‘The Flying Bullets’ of The Indian Air Force’. Flying Officer Sekhon was flying Folland Gnat fighter stationed at Srinagar. He was awarded Param Vir Chakra posthumously for single-handedly defending Srinagar Air base against Pakistan Air Force air raid.
Picture Courtesy: Reddit.com
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has commissioned indigenously built scorpene class submarine INS Kalvari into Indian Navy in Mumbai today. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba and Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, Flag Officer Commanding of the Western Naval Command, were also present at the event.
10 PoinTs to know about INS Kalvari:
- INS Kalvari is built by Mazagon Dock limited (MDL) and designed by French naval defence and energy company DCNS. As stated by PM Modi, it is the best example of ‘Make in India’ Campaign.
- It is built under Project 75 of Indian Navy with the transfer of technology from DCNS.
- It shares its name with India’s first Submarine ‘INS Kalvari’ inducted into India Navy on 8th December 1967.
- INS Kalvari is first of the six scorpene-class submarine which are to be inducted into the Indian Navy. Second submarine of this series INS Khanderi will soon be part of the navy.
- It is named after the tiger shark, a deadly deep sea predator of Indian Ocean. The deadly features of INS Kalvari include superior stealth and ability to launch crippling attacks with precision-guided weapons.
- The submarine has 360 battery cells, each weighing 750 kg, to power the extremely silent Permanently Magnetised Propulsion Motor.
- The submarine is equipped with Exocet anti-ship missiles and heavy-weight torpedoes. The attacks can be carried out with torpedoes both while submerged or on the surface. It can carry upto 18 torpedoes
- The total length of Kalvari is 67.5 metres and a height of 12.3 metres and can travel upto 1,020 KMs underwater and can dive to depth upto 300 metres.
- INS Kalvari is a diesel-electric attack submarine.
- The construction of the submarine began on December 14, 2006.
Lt. Barnana Yadagiri
Picture Courtesy: Sumit Sharma
Some people are disheartened by difficulties, while some face them boldly and achieve their goals. When one is determined, no obstacle can stop them from achieving their dreams.
I happened to come across one such determined soul when I went to IMA for covering the Passing out Parade of Autumn term this December for my blog. I met a newly commissioned officer, Lt. Baranana Yadagiri. He belongs to the Hyderabad and his father, Gurnnaya Yadagiri, used to be a daily wager.
During his interaction with the media, Lt. Yadagiri said, “I have faced a lot of difficulties right from my childhood. My father used to work in a small cement factory. I have a younger brother too and it was difficult for my father to feed us with his meagre earning of around Rs 100 per day.”
However, Lt. Yadagiri background didn’t stop him form pursuing his dreams. He worked hard and got 93.34% in matriculation, which helped him to get scholarship for further studies. He studied engineering from International Institute of Information and Technology (IIIT), Hyderabad in Mechanical stream. After completing his engineering, he got job offers from the US, but he didn’t give in to the distractions and kept moving ahead to achieve his goal.
“I got lot of opportunities. I got offers to go to the USA and that from IITs and IIMs, but I wanted to join army that’s why I didn’t go there.”
Lt. Yadagiri not only become an officer but also received silver medal for standing first in the order of merit in technical entry.
Lt. Yadagiri’s parents were overwhelmed by looking at their son in the army uniform. Their hard work has paid off. After donning the uniform, feeling of satisfaction could clearly be seen on Lieutenant’s face. He was calm and composed with fire and hunger in his heart.
Now his next aim is to enhance his skills and knowledge so that he can prove himself worthy of his uniform, making his parents, instructors and army proud of himself.
Lt. Yadagiri addressing the media: