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Anil Dhasmana appointed as new chief of Research and Analysis Wing

The Union Government has appointed senior IPS officer Anil Dhasmana as new chief of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India’s external intelligence agency.

 He succeeds Rajinder Khanna who completes his two year tenure on 31 December 2016. He will have tenure of 2 years.

About Anil Dhasmana 

  • He is a 1981-batch IPS officer of the Madhya Pradesh cadre. Prior to this appointment he was Special Secretary in the agency.
  • He has been with RAW for the last 23 years during which he has served on important desks including Pakistan. He had also served in key foreign capitals such as London and Frankfurt.
  • His domain of expertise is considered to be Balochistan, counter-terrorism and Islamic affairs. He also has experience in handling Pakistan, Afghanistan, Europe and SAARC desks.

About Research and Analysis Wing (RAW)

  • RAW is the primary foreign intelligence agency of India. It was established in 1968 following the intelligence failures of the Sino-Indian and Indo-Pakistani wars.
  • It is under the direct command of Prime Minister and reports on an administrative basis to the Cabinet Secretary of India, who reports to the Prime Minister.
  • Its primary function is gathering foreign intelligence, engaging in counter-terrorism, advising Indian policymakers, promoting counter-proliferation and advancing India’s foreign strategic interests.
  • Headquarters: New Delhi.
  • Motto: धर्मो रक्षति रक्षित: (English: The law protects when it is protected.)

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Seychelles government allows India to build Naval Base on its Assumption Island

Seychelles government allowed India to build its first Naval Base on the Assumption Island in the Indian Ocean region (IOR) as a joint project between both countries.

In this regard, Seychelles government has allocated a plot of land on in its Assumption Island which will help to enhance mutual security along our western seaboard in IOR.

India’s first Naval Base project has acquired significance following China acquiring its first African naval base in Djibouti (near Horn of Africa) in November 2014.

Significance

  • On completion, the naval base would be used by the defence forces both countries. It would help India to exercise greater control over the strategic western region of IOR to the piracy-prone eastern African coastline that commands vital energy (oil) sea transport lines.
  • This naval base will be staging posts for a large maritime security network that India is setting up with the help of the various IOR partner countries.

Other developments

  • From March 2016, India is also set to acquire a fully operational coastal radar system (CRS) in Seychelles. It would further enhance India’s ability to gather intelligence and assist in surveillance operations in IOR especially vital energy lanes near Seychelles.
  • India is also steadily increasing its maritime and security cooperation with Seychelles. It is also providing new patrol vessels to Seychelles in mid-January 2016.
  • Security operation in the IOR also has helped Seychelles to secure itself in the Contact Group for Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS), which will hold its first meeting in Mumbai (Maharashtra) in January, 2016.

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Indian Navy conducts large scale fleet exercise on eastern seaboard

Indian Navy has conducted a large scale Fleet exercise on the eastern seaboard to maintain high levels of combat readiness and counter emerging threats.

The exercises were conducted across a vast geographical area on the eastern seaboard extending from Northern Bay of Bengal to Andaman Sea.

Key facts

  • In this large scale naval exercise as many as 24 ships, over 10 aircraft and 2 submarines participated.
  • The exercise fleet included the nuclear submarine Chakra as well as units from India’s strategic Andaman and Nicobar Command.
  • The P8I Long Range Maritime reconnaissance aircraft and Hawk Fighter aircraft were also integrated into the exercise.
  • A ship with the Kamov 31 Air Early Warning helicopter from the Western Naval Command was also deployed for the exercise.
  • Two weeks exercise mainly was to hone war fighting skills and concepts of Indian Navy. It also dove-tailed various aspects of maritime warfare.
  • A wide range of weapons were fired from various platforms including Surface to Surface missiles (SSMs), Surface to Air missiles (SAMs) and Land Attack Missiles (LAMs).

Chinese activities in IOR

The large scale naval Fleet exercise comes amid of increasing Chinese activities in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). In the past few years, there have been increased sightings of Chinese submarines in the IOR region including a nuclear attack boat.

Indian security establishment have been sceptically about the Chinese presence in IOR, though they are claiming that they have deployed submarines and attack boats as part of their anti-piracy task force.

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