Tarmak007 -- A bold blog on Indian defence

Monday, October 2, 2017

2nd G Santha Teacher Memorial Journalism Award for Rajeev Mishra of Rajasthan Patrika

By Anantha Krishnan M

Bengaluru, Oct 2: Rajeev Kumar Mishra (45), a Chief Sub-Editor with the Bengaluru edition of Rajasthan Patrika, has been selected for the 2nd G Santha Teacher Memorial Journalism Award 2017. The award has been instituted by Inspired Indian Foundation (IIF), a writers’ movement spearheading silent missions for unsung heroes.

The award will be presented on October 11 in Bengaluru, during the 2nd Guru Kalam Memorial Lecture being organised by IIF in association with Abdul Kalam International Foundation (AKIF), Rameswaram. 
The award carries a specially-crafted crystal memento, a certificate of appreciation and Rs 10,000 in cash. The awardee will be onboard IIF’s national missions as a special invitee for the next one year.
Rekha Satheesh, a Senior Chief Sub-Editor with The New Indian Express, Kochi, was the first recipient of the G. Santha Teacher Memorial Journalism Award last year.
Unique selection process: This year, the jury selected Rajeev Mishra from a list of six journalists across India shortlisted from various streams. Seven members of IIF, a representative of AKIF and a relative of late G Santha teacher constituted this year’s jury.
"This year too we had a tough task in picking one from the shortlisted six journalists. Finally, it was Rajeev Mishra's consistent commitment to the reader as a writer that helped us in choosing him for this prestigious award. We found his writing well-researched, sans any sensationalism," says Dr Kota Harinarayana, Mentor of IIF.
IIF began the process of shortlisting the nominees in January this year. Once the final list of candidates was drawn up, a confidential report from their Editors was sought to measure some of their performance parameters. 
“Our endeavor is to recognize electronic, print and wire media journalists, from both reporting and desk, who make invaluable contributions to their profession. We seek the opinion of readers/viewers as well, while short-listing the awardees. Next year, the award will be given to a television journalist,” says Sindhu A, National Coordinator, IIF.
Consistent & committed writer: Rajeev has been covering all beats — ranging from politics, crime, sports, business, science and technology, to space and defence — often doubling up as a deskperson-cum-reporter. His specials on India’s space programmes ensured that the non-English-reading segments benefitted immensely, especially in the non-metro cities. 
Hailing from Siwan district in Bihar, Rajeev has been a journalist for the last 13 years. Born to farmer-parents, he was a casual announcer with All India Radio in Jamshedpur before starting his career with Dainik Uditwani in 2004.
Later, he moved on to Lokmat Samachar before joining Rajasthan Patrika in 2008. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Vardhaman Mahaveer Open University, Kota, Rajasthan. He is married to Nisha Mishra and blessed with a daughter and son.
Reacting to the news of his winning the award, Rajeev says that his responsibility as a journalist has increased with the honour. “It’s a matter of pride for me. I dedicate this award to my newspaper and all its readers. I am delighted that my selection was done by highly revered jury members,” says Rajeev. (rajeevnmishra@gmail.com | Twitter: @rajeevmishra25)

About late Santha teacher: Born to scholar parents in 1942, G. Shantha (my mother) was a post-graduate in English literature and hailed from Thalavadi in Kerala’s Alappuzha district. She first taught English in colleges (Seethalakshmi Ramaswami College, Trichy, Tamil Nadu and Devasom Board College, Thalayolaparambu, Kerala) before settling down at Mahatma High School for Girls, Chennithala, Kerala. She passed away at the age of 65 on 17 February 2007, following a heart attack. She went the extra mile in spreading the essence of English literature among rural children, even after her retirement. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Making of the fearless few: Inside Parachute Regiment Training Centre

Bengaluru: “Courage isn’t the absence of fear. It is the ability to overcome fear that makes you special. The earlier you will, the better solider you become. The focus of our training here is to make the young recruit fearless at the earliest,” says Lt Col Manish Sharma, General Staff Officer (Training), whose job is to coordinate and monitor the training conducted at the Parachute Regiment Training Centre (PRTC).
During a visit to the PRTC facilities here recently, the young recruits exhibited glimpses of their breathtaking skills from their rigorous training modules.
“We continuously work on building the confidence of the recruits in their training and their own abilities as well. The tests like ‘confidence walk’ and ‘fan jump’ further build on the confidence of the recruits,” says Lt Col Manish, who conducted the media around. 
He said formalised motivation training sessions are also conducted wherein case studies on operations undertaken by the units are explained.
Who can become a paratrooper? Any serving soldier who is a volunteer and under 28 years of age (30 years in case of officers) and is in medically fit condition can apply to be a paratrooper. 
The recruit will then undergo a probation-cum-selection-training of 90 days. During this training he is tested physically, mentally and emotionally.
“The physical tests besides the routine PT include basic tests of PPT (Physical Proficiency Test) and BPET (Battle Practice Efficiency Test) with superior standards and speed marches of 10, 20, 30 and 40 km with 23.5 kg of load,” says Lt Col Manish, a recipient of Sena Medal. 
Post successful completion, the recruit has to undergo a Basic Parachute Descent course at Paratroopers’ Training School in Agra where he undergoes five combat static line jumps from a height of 1250 feet. Upon finishing this curriculum successfully, he becomes a paratrooper.
When asked what makes the paratroopers different from the rest of the forces, the young officer quoted from the legendary Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery of United Kingdom. @Mathrubhumi

Read full report here: http://bit.ly/2fybwkI


Monday, September 18, 2017

Be a ‘lion’ in air & not a ‘Lamb’, Arjan Singh told a young pilot!

Bengaluru: Air Vice Marshal Ajit Lamba (Retd), the veteran Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot -- revered as a legend and mentor to many current-day aviators -- says late Arjan Singh Marshal of IAF was the kind of a person who charmed all those who came across him.
In an interview to Mathrubhumi on Monday, the 81-year-old ace pilot said the MAF was very fond of him as well.
“I tend to think that the MAF was very fond of me. But I am sure that there are many others, both senior and junior to me in the Service who may be carrying similar expressions. This itself speaks volumes for the late Arjan Singh. He was the kind of person who charmed all those who came across him,” says AVM Lamba (Retd).
Recalling his first encounter with the departed soul, AVM Lamba (Retd) says the duo met when the MAF visited their No 7 Squadron as the then Chief of Air Staff during the 1965 Indo-Pak War.
Read the full report i Mathrubhumi, here: http://bit.ly/2h9ZyBG

Monday, July 3, 2017

Sailing superhero Cdr Abhilash Tomy set for Golden Globe Race next year

Bengaluru, July 02: India’s sailing superhero Commander Abhilash Tomy (Indian Navy) will be at Plymouth in UK amidst some of the best sailors in the business, attempting to recreate history, one year from now, 
Cdr Abhilash, now 38, and 30-odd sailors from across the globe, will be on a solo circumnavigation mission on their small traditional long-keeled yachts, aided by just paper charts, a sextant and wind up chronometer as their navigate tools.
The organisers of the Golden Globe Race (GGR-18) said that the event set to begin on June 30 2018 will mark the 50th anniversary of the original Golden Globe Race and the remarkable achievement of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston in becoming the first man to complete a solo nonstop circumnavigation.
Cdr Abhilash created history on April 6, 2013 by becoming the first Indian (79th in the world) to complete a solo, unassisted, non-stop circumnavigation under sail.
He had set out on the mission from Mumbai on November 1, 2012 on sail boat INSV Mhadei.
A Keerthi Chakra recipient, he is among the five sailors who received a special invitation to partake in the GGR-18.
Full report here: bit.ly/2sB5Vhd

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Challakere ATR will be home for gen-next fighters, UCAVs

By Anantha Krishnan M
Challakere, May 28: The new address for testing India’s future manned and unmanned platforms will be: ATR, Co/DRDO, Voru Kaval village, Challakere taluka, Chitradurga District, Karnataka. From now on, fighter jets and unmanned platforms will jettison over the Challakere skies, undertaking missions to boost India’s military preparedness. 
Around 250-plus km from Bengaluru, the Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) inaugurated today, will be soon home for many ongoing and future aeronautical projects of DRDO.
With Indian Space Research Organisation, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and Indian Institute of Science too landing at Challakere, the togetherness of aerospace minds at close proximity augurs well for India’s future.
Read full report here: http://bit.ly/2ruTgR1

DRDO making ‘big, big’ planes inside, say villagers near Challakere ATR

By Anantha Krishnan M
Villagers of Voru Kaval and Navilekunte in Challakere (Chitradurga Dist, Karnataka), have very little clue about the activities inside the Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) being readied by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
They only know that DRDO is making ‘big planes’ inside.
“Nobody is allowed inside. They are making big, big planes,” says one of the villagers whom this Correspondent met while returning from the ATR, which will be inaugurated on May 28.
Under a massive peepal tree, the villagers had assembled for their regular chit-chat and chai. Giving them company was a couple of monkeys, who according to them, are the permanent residents at a nearby Hanuman temple.
Most of the villagers who spoke to Mathrubhumi said that they need jobs and were not ‘bothered’ about what goes inside.
“Even our MP (Member of Parliament) and MLA (Member of Legislative Assembly) are not allowed to go in,” says another man.
Read full report here: http://bit.ly/2qZbZTf

Photo essay on DRDO’s ATR in Challakere

See the complete essay here: http://bit.ly/2rbUqzL

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Challakere: From 'Oil City' to India's prime military base of future

By Anantha Krishnan M
@Deccan Herald
Oil and military matters have nothing in common. A sign board on the National Highway at Challakere says: Welcome to the Oil City (because of the numerous edible oil mills around the town). Another board points towards Voru Kaval village, the new home for Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) at Challakere taluk in Chitradurga district of Karnataka. 
On May 28, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley will inaugurate the ATR, being set up on the 4,290 acres of land provided by the Karnataka government. Following the completion of the first phase work, the range will be extensively used for testing and evaluating unmanned and manned projects of the DRDO.
The DRDO has already positioned two of its Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) — Rustom-1 and Rustom-2 TAPAS (Tactical Advanced Platform for Aerial Surveillance) — at the ATR. Once the range becomes fully operational, the DRDO will test air-to-ground weapons, parachutes, aerostats and electric warfare flares. Officials say no test flights of ballistic missiles and commercial airline operations will be conducted at the range, sticking with the guidelines given by the National Green Tribunal.

Read the full report here:http://bit.ly/2r5xWi4

Friday, May 26, 2017

#Over2Challakere: DRDO's ATR all set for official launch

Here's the 2nd prototype of #Rustom2 ready for 1st flight in a month from #ATR with reduced weight and a new engine. (Below) The front gate of ATR. Stand-by for more on Tarmak007.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Shashi Sinha: Madurai’s shy girl is now mother of interceptor missiles

By Anantha Krishnan M
Little Shashi along with her friends from neighbourhood cycled every evening towards a vantage point on Tadbund Road in Secunderabad to catch a glimpse of planes landing. With every touchdown, a little dream quietly took wing from the corner of the runway.
“We used to park ourselves and wait to see the big birds making touchdown. It was an awesome feeling to see planes comedown. There was this huge wall and the little opening gifted us close proximity to flying machines. We couldn’t afford to buy a ticket and see planes from close quarters. Enjoying everything from a distance was the norm then,” says Shashi Sinha.
Shashi locked on to the dream of dating flying machines for some time with the hope that she would become a pilot. To her, it was the most fascinating job on the planet. But, as she grew life charted a different flightpath and she completed her B.Tech in Electronics from Osmania University.

She drew inspiration from her father, a paratrooper 

Her hero was her father who was in the Army. She picked up early threads of discipline from him, while her mother, a Hindi pundit, taught her the power of patience.
“My mother walked 5 km to and fro every day to her school. She was such a live wire and participated in all activities in the school. Not even once in her life she cribbed. Not even once she said she was tired of cooking for us. Not sure if I can find a woman today, who doesn’t complain,” says Shashi, Project Director, Advanced Area Defence (AAD) Endo Atmospheric Interceptor Missiles, Defence Research and Development Oorganisation (DRDO).
While sharing interesting bits of her family details, Shashi said her father was a self-made man and never depended on anyone.
“He was a paratrooper and joined the Indian Army at the age of 15. He fought in the World War-II and often told me stories of USSR (Russia) and their military might. I grew up listening to these inspiring tales of men, war machines and their triumphs. Decades later in 2003 when I set my foot on Russian soil, I fondly remembered the stories my dad shared,” says Shashi, now 56 years old.
I wanted both my daughters independent 

She said the day when her father was born, he lost his mother. “That made my grandfather turn more superstitious, making my father not-so-welcome-soul in the family. But, over the years the neglect my father got from his own family made him so stronger,” she says.
Shashi too had her share of setbacks in life when she lost her husband Lt Cdr Gaurav Raj Sinha, a naval officer hailing from Allahabad, in a road accident in Hyderabad in 1997.
“Ours was a love marriage and he was my M.Tech coursemate at IIT Kharagpur. While pursing higher studies on radar applications, our signals and wavelength matched. But, his death really shook me hard because he took care of the family so much that I felt suddenly orphaned. With my two little daughters then only nine and seven years of age, I had to start a new life again,” says Shashi, who joined DRDO in November 2001.
Her contributions range over varied subjects such as development of flight vehicles, RF seekers, radomes and Radar Cross Section to name a few. In August 2012 she was made the Project Director and in 2015, she led the team successfully flight-tested the endo-atmospheric interceptor AAD, which incorporated many home-grown critical technologies.
The death of her husband and the additional responsibilities made Shashi to take a fresh look at her life and she chose to make both her daughters independent.
“I did not want to take any help from anyone. I did not want them to feel at any point that they are orphaned. It was tough for me. But I hung on to life. For many months, I used to sleep holding my husband’s photo closer to my chest. It gave me strength,” she adds.
Her elder daughter Pavitra is now a freelance artiste, while the younger one Roshani is pursuing her post-doctoral studies abroad.

Hit to kill AAD mission a great leap forward for India

When asked about the AAD project, Shashi said that India has now made huge inroads with the recent success of the mission. She said the systems are fine-tuned ahead of its induction.
“Elsewhere in the world, the missiles are lighter and smarter. We are also reaching there and with all the available technologies we could recently demonstrate a hit to kill mission, becoming the third nation after the US and France,” she said.
17, the AAD interceptor destroyed incoming ballistic missile satisfying all the mission objectives. Shashi and the team are currently engaged in the design and development of a multiple–role long-range interceptor that counters a wide range of threats, carrying onboard many new technologies.
On the challenges of heading such a sensitive project, Shashi says every job entrusted upon must be dealt with dedication.
“I want every woman to constantly push their limits. I want them to take on all the challenges head on. Enjoy the task given to you. Own them up,” says Shashi, who has been always inspired by Dr A P J Abdul Kalam and Dr V K Saraswat, whom she considers are the builders of the BMD programme in India.
“Dr Kalam’s encouraging words on my first day in DRDO were so inspiring so much that they are still my guiding mantras. If an ordinary girl from Madurai can come this far, I am confident there are many woman in India who can achieve much more than what I did. The idea is to lock on to your goals all the time,” says Shashi.
According to her visionaries like Dr Avinash Chander, Dr S. Christopher and Dr Satheesh Reddy have always encouraged her team to push the limits.

What’s the secret the family tattoo? 
Interestingly the top missile scientist and her daughters spot a tattoo on their hands and Sashsi has a small story to share behind it.
“These are a family tattoo designed by my daughters. I got it done this year at the age of 56 and was really excited to get my first tattoo. The written tattoo says ‘pure moon light’ -- which is a combination of our names together. Pure means Pavitra, Moon means Shashi and Light stands for Roshani. The symbol seen is a celtic Triquetra. A triangle is known to be the most stable structures, and so it signifies the three of us. The shape around the Triquetra is that of a guardian angel, signifying my late husband watching over us and protecting us,” says Shashi, with a child-like excitement.
So, what does the ‘Iron Lady’ while not adding teeth to her hit-to-kill toys? Well, she paints, swims, paints and hits her garden of hope.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

I am dreaming of my daughter joining Army and serving Siachen: Hanimanthappa's wife

The Hanumanthappa family at their Betadur home.
The Samadhi of Hanumanthappa.
Hanumanthappa’s daughter Netra.
Hanumanthappa’s wife Mahadevi.
 Read the complete report, here: http://bit.ly/2lrlA3x

For regular updates, visit: https://www.facebook.com/Tarmak007