These are some of the questions raised in Parliament this session that came to our attention.
With respect to the Indo-US Joint Working Group on Aircraft Carrier Technology Cooperation (JWGACTC), Lok Sabha MPs Sudheer Gupta, Sunil Baliram Gaikwad, Sunwar Haribansh Singh and Dr. J. Jayavardhan asked:
Q. Whether the US is unwilling to offer help to India in nuclear propulsion technology for the proposed construction of its largest ever warship?
A. Indian Navy has not sought such assistance from the US side. – Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar
Lok Sabha MPs Fiona Lakhamashi Charta, B. Senguttuvan, Sadashiv Lokhände and Janas Ram asked about:
Q. The number of aerial or in-flight accidents in the IAF involving Cheetah, Chetak Helicopters and MIG-21 fighters during the last three years and the number of air force personnel lost their lives during each of accidents, accident-wise.
A. There were no aerial or in-flight accidents involving Cheetah and Chetak helicopters of Indian Air Force (IAF) during the last three years (2012-13, 2013-14 & 2014-15) and the current year 2015-16 (upto 08.03.2016). – Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar
Narrow escape for Army Aviation pilots as their Cheetah helicopter made an emergency landing near Hoshiarpur. pic.twitter.com/Rc8u87JQKB
— Man Aman Chhina (@manaman_chhina) March 11, 2016
Parrikar also added that since 2012-2013, there have been eight MiG-21 crashes, in which two pilots lost their lives.Six of these were MiG-21 Bison aircraft, one MiG-21 T-69 and one MiG-21 T-75.
Lok Sabha MP Ranjanben Bhatt asked:
Q. Whether the Government proposes to put a ban on the procurement of Jammers by the defense forces?
A. There is no proposal with the Government to put a ban on the procurement of jammers by the defence forces. – Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar
Wonder if she meant interceptors.
Lok Sabha MPs Rahul Ehewale, Vinayak Blaurau Raut, Nagendra Kumar Pradhan and Dr. Shrikant Eklat Shinde asked about the new OFB-DRDO developed Rifle 5.56mm Mk 1C:
Q. The manner in which such rifles are superior to various rifles of its segment including INSAS rifle.
A. The Rifle 5.56mm Mk 1C is superior to INSAS in terms of weight, reliability, compactness, and aesthetics and has a provision for mounting of accessories like Reflex sights / optical sights, etc. – Minister of State in the Ministry of Defense Rao Inderjit Singh
Lok Sabha MP P.P. Chaudhary asked:
Q. Whether there is a proposal to issue military personnel uniforms with barcodes or other RFID and identification tags to ensure that only authorized personnel have access to military bases and to ensure that the wearer is indeed a member of the defense forces?
A. No, Madam. The usefulness of such uniforms is not ascertained. Further, the mechanism to ensure that only authorized personnel have access to military bases are in place. – Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar
Lok Sabha MP Kunwar Pushpendra Singh Chandel asked:
Q. Whether the Government proposes to constitute a new Bundelkhand Regiment in Army?
A. No, Madam. – Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar
Lok Sabha MP Ajay Misra Teni asked:
Q. Whether the Government proposes to organize a Defense Exhibition, 2016 in Uttar Pradesh?
A. There is no proposal to organize Defense Exhibition 2016 in Uttar Pradesh. – Minister of State in the Ministry of Defense Rao Inderjit Singh
Not Noida, then.
In February, Lok Sabha MP Parbhubhai Nagarbhai Vasava had asked:
Q. Whether the Government proposes to organise a Defense Exhibition-2016 in Gujarat?
A. There is no proposal to organise Defense Exhibition 2016 in Gujarat. – Minister of State in the Ministry of Defense Rao Inderjit Singh
Not Gujarat, either.
Rajya Sabha MP Shantaram Nack asked:
Q.Whether Ministry of Defense proposes to hold Defense Exposition in Goa this year? If so, which part of Goa the same is scheduled to be organized? What is the area acquired, taken on lease / licence and the terms and conditions thereof? Who owns the land presently and what is the procedure followed for the purpose of getting right over the land and details thereof?
A. Yes, Sir. The venue of Defexpo India 2016 in Goa is at Naqueri, Quitol in Quepem Taluka, South Goa. Government of India has not acquired or taken land on lease or license. Government of Goa has made 150 acres of land available for the purpose of organizing Defexpo India 2016. This land is owned by Goa Industrial Development Corporation.
Still happening in Goa.
Lok Sabha MP Pinaki Mishra asked:
Q. Whether there is any laid down procedure for carrying the body of the Martyrs on the National Air Carrier? If so, the details thereof; and if not, whether the Government proposes to formulated a proper standard procedure involving all the aspects for Air Lift in the body of the Martyrs in the country?
A. The information is being collected and will be laid on the Table of the House. – Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar
Lok Sabha MP B.V. NAIK asked:
Q. Whether Government has decided to procure submarines from Japan?
A. No, Madam. – Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar
Lok Sabha MP asked Ravindran Kumar Ray:
Q. Whether the Government is taking necessary steps to ensure the safety of Defense Scientists; and if so, the details thereof?
A. Yes, Madam. The following steps have been taken by the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) to ensure the safety of Defense Scientists.
In each laboratory / establishment, Quality, Reliability and Safety (QRS) Cell is functioning to oversee safety aspects of the scientists. Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) / Guidelines have been issued by Directorate of Quality, Reliability and Safety of DRDO HQrs. All scientists and staff are regularly sensitized for the safety measures available in the laboratory / establishment. – Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar
Not sure if occupational safety was being referenced, here.
Rajya Sabha MP B.K. Hariprasad asked:
Q. Whether it has come to the notice of Government that mental stress and ‘traditional Bhaiya System’ is one of the major reasons for loss of interest by the soldiers in their jobs?
A. The Government is aware of the mental stress faced by the soldiers. The same is owing essentially to the operational challenges faced by them and certain issues in the domestic domain.
There is no ‘bhaiya’ system in Army. Army has a well institutionalized approved ‘buddy’ system, where officers and men are grouped into buddies to share their daily chores as also to ameliorate stress. There appears no loss of interest of soldiers in their jobs. The turnout at recruitment rallies and soldiers opting for two years extension of service are manifestation of continued interest of citizens and soldiers in the profession of Arms in the Army. – Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar
‘Bhaiya’ or literally, older brother, is a term that has been colloquially used by the families of officers in the army to address batmen or orderlies, until recently referred to as ‘Sahayaks’ or helpers or assistants. ‘Buddy’ is in vogue at the moment. The important distinction is that the term ‘Bhaiya’ was used only by families of officers, not officers themselves. The term ‘Sahayak’ is used by both. ‘Buddy’, clearly, can only be used by officers, although the normal usage of the term implies reciprocity.
Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar asked:
Q. Will the Minister of Defense be pleased to state the reasons for inviting movie stars to the Inaugural Ceremony of the International Fleet Review 2016 hosted by the Eastern Naval Command recently?
A. Mr. Akshay Kumar and Ms Kangana Ranaut were invited by the Indian Navy for the variety entertainment programme of the Opening Ceremony of the International Fleet Review organised for visiting foreign military personnel and other guests. – Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar