Utilizing phased-out fighter aircraft for educational purposes

There’s little the Bharatiya Janata Party government of Narendra Modi and the Ministry of Defence under Manohar Parrikar, under a cloud after their studied non-response to the latest Pakistan-supported terrorist provocation (in Uri), can do, considering the Indian military has been criminally negligent in doing the basic things right, like having strong perimeter security even around their own encampments and depots in the extended Kashmir “covert war” zone (which includes Pathankot) and left them with no choice worth the name.

May be Parrikar, who has allowed himself time and again to be railroaded into wrong decisions usually by Modi and his PMO (LEMOA, Rafale, prospectively EMALS), can do something imaginative and good for the country for a change! Here’s a suggestion that takes him far from the immediate concerns but which would have tremendous consequences in terms of seeding a huge aerospace engineering base in the country and propelling not, “Make in India” effort which will merely reinforce the licensed manufacture tendency in the indigenous defence industry in both public and private sectors, but a genuine design-to-delivery capability for all manner of combat aviation platforms, from fighter planes to fighting drones.

It will simply require Parrikar, an IIT alumunus, to instruct his Ministry that, hereafter, no phased out aircraft — combat or transport, will be sold as scrap but rather transferred with its full complement of avionics and communications suites to the aerospace engineering departments functioning in the numerous Indian Institutes of Technology, the National Institutes of Technology and, foremost in this group, the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. It will enable undergrad and graduate students in these departments to gain familiarity with just deactivated/near-operational combat and transport platforms, and gain knowledge of diverse technologies through intense laboratory study as a means, down the line, of reverse engineering every part and component, sub-assembly, so that in time and as part of their course work for their advanced degrees they are capable of innovating the machine designs they have dissected and put together on a series of MiG-21, MiG-23 and MiG-27 aircraft. Imagine the high quality skills engineers and designers will have acquired along with their degrees, instead of just being armed with bookish knowledge. This manpower could step right into high-pressure jobs and begin producing for DRDO labs and DPSUs in the government sector, and increasingly, for private sector defence industrial ventures, which, hopefully, will have a larger role in the future.

This endowing by the government of advanced technology and platforms is normal in the more advanced societies where universities are the intellectual seedbeds for nursing and generating skilled manpower for the national aerospace/aviation sector. The Aerospace Depts at Caltech, Pasadena, and Purdue University, specializing in engineering sciences, which produced Neill Armstrong — first man on the moon who, after his astronaut career returned to his alma mater as professor of aerospace engineering, are famous for their achievements. Purdue, for instance, has its own aircraft and even an air strip!

Of course, babus up and down the chain in MOD who have long benefited from the selling of demobilized aircraft as scrap will be angry and upset. But, perhaps, Parrikar will risk their ire and take the decision to dispatch the decommissioned MiG fighter aircraft to the educational institutions, for the greater good of the country.

About Bharat Karnad

Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, he was Member of the (1st) National Security Advisory Board and the Nuclear Doctrine-drafting Group, and author, among other books of, 'Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security: The Realist Foundations of Strategy', 'India's Nuclear Policy' and most recently, 'Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet)'. Educated at the University of California (undergrad and grad), he was Visiting Scholar at Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies, and Henry L. Stimson Center, Washington, DC.
This entry was posted in corruption, Defence Industry, domestic politics, DRDO, Great Power imperatives, India's strategic thinking and policy, Indian Air Force, society, South Asia, Technology transfer, United States, US.. Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to Utilizing phased-out fighter aircraft for educational purposes

  1. Yes all technical/science universities can benefit from such a grant for their labs. But how will the suppliers react to talk of reverse engineering? The purpose should not be reverse engineering but lab study. Electronic, mechanical, aerospace, producation engineering departments should theoretically benefit from access to high tech equipment.

    But I am quite convinced that to utilize our talent pool fully we should have access to higher education in sciences/techonology/medicine and management in Indian languages also. Starting with IITs IIMs and AIIMS.

    Without doing this we will remain a mediocre force. Don’t remove English but introduce Indian language medium technical courses and treat them at par with English. Produce new knowledge in Indian languages too.

    Teach Sanskrit in every Institute of higher learning as an elective subject with credits.

    More on this by Sankrant Sanu an IIT Kanpur graduate here. Not one of the top most developed 20 countries transact business or educate their people in a foreign language he highlights.


    • “Laboratory study” is correct. Incorporating it in text. Thanks.

    • S3 says:

      “introduce Indian language medium technical courses”

      Translate Misner Thorne Wheeler into any Indian language and I will take you seriously.

      “Teach Sanskrit in every Institute of higher learning”

      Why not Greek and Latin as well?

      “More on this by Sankrant Sanu an IIT Kanpur graduate here”

      Nobody on this forum is impressed by Parrikar.

      “Not one of the top most developed 20 countries transact business or educate their people in a foreign language he highlights.”

      The term of art here is cargo cult thinking.

      “Without doing this we will remain a mediocre force”

      With this you will have people from Punjab unable to converse with people from Odisha.

      ” utilize our talent pool fully”

      There is no talent pool. Only rote learning. Fix the schools first before you talk about universities.

      • You seem to be still stuck in Macaulay induced colonized state of mind. I don’t want to engage with you on point by point debate. You are clearly ill informed about India’s intellectual tradition and role of Sanskrit in it.

        India has 10 times more manuscripts than all the rest of the world combined. 35 million is estimated in India.


        Sanskrit is the primary language of Indian knowledge and a link language for all Indian and South east Asian languages.

        It has application in computational linguistics, machine language translation and only natural language with application in artificial intelligence.

        More on computational linguistics application here http://sanskrit.jnu.ac.in

        Math field medalist Manjul Bhargawa started his trist with math from Sanskrit works he read in his childhood. Listen to how he praises Sanskrit and Indian Ganita in any of his interviews and talks.

        Sanskrit is essentially a language of science. Read works of C K Raju(ex CDAC), M D Srinivas(CPRS), Dr Girish Jha(JNU), Prof K RamaSubramanian (IIT-B)

        It is thanks to singular effort of our traditional scholars that we have our heritage left yet they are still not recognized enough.

        To utilize Indian talent fully you need to do science in Indian Languages. Once higher professional education becomes accessible in Indian langs then good schools will also switch to Indian language education and vise versa. Utilize your talent pool fully. Else you remain a middle power also ran.

      • You seem to know a thing or two about Physics then perhaps you should read works of Prof C K Raju on Einstines’s theory of relativity and gravitation. He by the way is also a great votary of decolonization of universities.

        On the translation of a physics book you mentioned. If it can be translated in Japanese and Russian then it can be translated in Indian languages too.

        And proves my point on how science has to be made accessible in Indian langs. If you can’t translate books what is this talk of reverse engineering technology from finished products?

        West has copied Indian knowledge and translated Indian works throughout history. How else did people stuck in dark ages and Roman number system suddenly start doing science? Even today they continue to extract applicable knowledge from Sanskrit works/traditional Indian knowledge and plagerise it.

      • S3 says:

        “colonized state of mind”

        If pride were a substitute for brains reservations would work like magic.

        “more manuscripts than all the rest of the world combined”

        Because quantity has a quality all of its own.

        “Sanskrit is the primary language of Indian knowledge”

        Who speaks it anymore?

        “Sanskrit is essentially a language of science”

        How many papers are published in it per year?

        “only natural language with application in artificial intelligence.”

        Closer than physics to my area. I call it Professor Humphrey Appleby.

        “To utilize Indian talent fully you need to do science in Indian Languages”

        Explain why.

        “If it can be translated in Japanese and Russian then it can be translated in Indian languages too.”

        What would be the point?

        “How else did people stuck in dark ages and Roman number system suddenly start doing science?”

        Why did you not suddenly start doing science?

        “Even today they continue to extract applicable knowledge from Sanskrit works”

        Because every Tom, Dick, and Harry is a Sanskrit scholar. Return the favour and learn English.

    • &^%$#@! says:

      @Primeargument: The objective should be to train competent engineers, and not translators.

  2. ~!@#$%^&*()_+ says:

    @BK, IAF had 72 of the Avro HS 748. Not one landed in the inventory of the National Disaster Management Authority. Because……….. IAF management needed to hog the limelight doing disaster management just the way the IA management hogs the limelight when Indian soldiers are killed in COIN operations.

    Its not like these people could not have figured these things out for themselves. They did and then the ignored it to bury these needs in paperwork to ultimately benefit their own camp followers. If this is how the state of disaster management has been kept, deliberately, where the needs of the nation are clearly visible, then what is the chance that Parrikar will release aircrafts for educational purposes as you suggest.

    Education will allow Indians to stand on their own feet. That is an anathema for both NDA and UPA. Indians must look at American faces for khairat. Didn’t we secure as military offsets, a run down second hand wind tunnel from the US for training and use by DRDO. If that is the status of DRDO then what confidence do your own wishes yield for you.

    Disaster relief is the only way IAF can justify the buying of C-17s so it is their birth right and they must have it. A management that has survived on Seva Medals and Water Carrier duties.

  3. K Vasudevan says:

    I have always been a big fan of the idea of reverse engineering foreign military tech and integrating it with what we manufacture.

    This is a great idea, Bharat. I hope the RM listens to you. Please do let him know of your views personally. India needs an indigenous aerospace industry very badly.

  4. You have a winner in this idea. Real-life models to tinker around with would be a tremendous boost to students. Even better would be allot it to colleges with better projects-more NTSE toppers….

  5. andy says:

    There is a fine line between re-inventing and reverse engineering.The Chinese are a prime example of using reverse engineering ,they are now building passenger jets alongwith fighter aircrafts.The point being, they are not blindly copying, but are applying aeronautical engineering principles as well.So there is a lot of applied engineering that is going on.While I agree that most of the work going on china is patented and designed in the US orJapan and only manufactured there, but this provides China access to these technologies and their manufacturing processes.Keep in mind this is how Japan started in the automobile industry.It has grown to a point that even the big 3 US automobile makers are feeling the heat .

    There are advantages in reverse engineering but its not very easy.It takes a lot of perseverance and intelligence to reverse engineer, if those processes are documented, can give an insight on how to improve the technology being reverse engineered. India has reverse engineered too.India bought the first PHWR reactors from Canada, and then reverse engineered it later on. After this,indian scientists started work on the fast breeder program,which still utilizes the PHWR technology.US and Russia will scoff at China, not because they are copying their technology, but because the Chinese are becoming self sufficient in defence design and production.

    In fact even the Russians and Americans have a history of reverse engineering,the Brits gave 40 Rolls Royce engines to the Soviets but were rightly mortified when they found copies of the same engine on MiG-15s in Korea, shooting down Americans by the dozen.Reverse engineering of Military application really started after World War –II, When US and Russia used German V-2 Rocket designs to build up their Missile and Space rockets At the height of World War II, Russians copied the American B-29 strategic bomber which had crash landed after a bombing mission over Japan, made a perfect copy and named it Tu-4. Americans used the Messerschmitt ME262 Schwalbe technology and German engineers to seed their own supersonic jet fighter industry.

    But why not just simply buy such technology?Unfortunately the sad truth is no country will part with their cutting edge technology ,doesn’t matter how much money you are wiling to spend.For example ,the situation in Semiconductors.India doesn’t have any facility for producing integrated circuits.This is because India doesn’t have any expertise in semiconductor processing.Such technology (single crystal generation, chemical diffusion, metal deposition, surface metrology, nm lithography etc) is listed under the US export control list. So you can not buy unless US Govt allows the companies to sell ,the truth is they simply don’t part with such technology.Same is true for several other countries like European Union.

    So naturally even in ISROs Magalayan vehicle( Mars orbiter mission )every integrated IC, every gyroscope was made in US, as India doesn’t have the wherewithal to make space hardened (cosmic ray proof) micro controllers or the gimbal mount and electronics for Gyroscope. Unfortunately its a miserable and sad situation .

    But reverse engineering could rectify these shortcomings to a certain extent.India needs to do it too.Innovation is important, for e.g. use of composites by India was good in LCA, but when we are stuck, why not reverse engineer and meet deadlines rather than scrapping the entire project (Kaveri)? There has to be a combination of both innovation and reverse engineering.But innovation is easier said than done and reinventing the wheel all the time will cost Indian’s lots of time,effort and money.There needs to be a healthy balance between innovation and reverse engineering.

    • I had no clue that electronic hardware in Indian space program is all imported. We made the cryogenic engine on our own did we not?

      Reverse engineering will irk weapons suppliers hence I don’t expect DRDO to copy Rafale for example. Phased out equipment is not cutting edge but it is high tech nonetheless and useful for university students and hacker engineers.

      That’s why lab study is what I said is great Idea.Reverse engineering whoever does it never admits and can’t be a government policy either.

    • andy says:

      GOI has been trying to set up semiconductor fabs for quiet some time now but with little success,
      See more:

      As Wikipedia States semiconductors even for TV sets have to be imported by India:
      ‘In 2014, the level of localized input/value addition for televisions was around 25-30% as the panels, semiconductors and the glass needed for manufacturing LCD/LED TVs had to be imported.’

      • &^%$#@! says:

        There has been a vested interest in trying to ensure that India’s semiconductor fabrication labs never get off the ground.

  6. andy says:

    Prime argument @
    Since you mentioned the GSLV there is a controversy regarding this,with some people saying it’s just a reverse engineered Russian engine, here are certain facts about it:

    GSLV stands for Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle used for launching satellites to the Geo-synchronous orbit at a height of 36,000 km that has the advantage of having the same revolution period of 24 hours as the earth’s rotation period . .

     ISRO has developed GSLVs consisting of GSLV MK-1 that used seven Russian made cryogenic engines, while GSLV MK-2 uses Indian made cryogenic engine in the third stage.Cryogenic engine is used only in the third stage while the first and second are solid/liquid engines that are also used in PSLV.

    Indian made cryogenic engine used in GSLV-D5 is CE-7.5.It is a cryogenic engine using a gas generator cycle system.On the other hand the KVD-1 cryogenic engines provided to India by Russia for GSLV MK-1 uses staged combustion cycle.Hence the Indian cryogenic engine based on gas-generator cycle is entirely different from Russian engine using staged combustion cycle.Even though they are identical.

    A little bit of history to understand why Glavkosmos KVD-1 and ISRO CE 7.5 are “identical”.

    ISRO began experimenting with cryo engines back in the 80s.A small 1-ton pressure-fed cryo engine was developed in 1986 to gain hands-on experience with cryo fuels and technology.

    In 1988, General Dynamics of USA offered their RL-10 engine at a price of $800M for two engines without technology transfer. And, in 1989, Arainespace offered their HM7 engine with technology tranfer for $1200M. Both deals didn’t go through as they were expensive.So, under the direction of Prof UR Rao, ISRO decided to develop their own 12-ton cryo engine with a 8-year timeline based on their experience with 1-ton experimental cryo engine and Vikas liquid engine, even though it meant a delay in GSLV project.

    In 1990, Glavkosmos of USSR offered their KVD-1 (RD-56) engine and CS-12 upper stage with technology transfer at an attractive price. ISRO decided to buy these to expedite GSLV project (and thereby shelving their 12-ton engine project!!).So, GSLV was designed to have Russian cryogenic upper stage and engine.

    After the well known cryo technology transfer controversy due to MTCR(yes the same group India got membership of some time back) clauses in 1992, ISRO ended up getting 7 fully-qualified KVD-1 engines in 1997 and no further technology transfer.In the mean time there are some  conspiracy theories as well:

    A few ISRO scientists flew to Russia before the deal was inked between US and Russia and got what ever ToT was possible.This was assisted by the Russian President postponing his travel to US by a couple of months.

    US derailing the Indian Cryo program by Nambi Naraynan espionage episode.

    So, ISRO (re)started their indigenous cryo stage and engine project in 1997. Since GSLV was already designed with Russian cryo stage and engine, ISRO decided to develop an identical stage and engine that can be a  “drop-in” replacement in GSLV (otherwise, the whole of GSLV needed to be redesigned if the upper stage changes, which would mean further delays and cost overruns).This in-house engine is christened as CE 7.5 (a drop-in replacement for KVD-1) and indigenous CS-12 (a drop-in replacement for Russian CS-12).

    So, yes, CE 7.5 is indeed identical to KVD-1 in terms of specifications. However, I’d say it’s not a blatant copy.

    Actually, a lot of iterative improvements were done on KVD-1 itself to reduce its weight, and increase payload capacity.Similarly, a lot of improvements were done on CS-12 and CE-7.5 to enhance thrust, payload capacity and payload fairing diameter (check wikipedia for a comparison between KVD-1 and CE 7.5, there are quite a few differences)

    For more history on this check out an excellent book “India’s Rise as a Space Power”, by Prof UR Rao.Also refer “A Brief History of Rocketry in ISRO” by PV Manoranjan Rao and P Radhakrishnan.

    • primeargument@ — you have perhaps gone off on a jag. Having warplanes gifted to educational institutions has nothing whatsoever to do with sanskrit being made the language of science education and research in the country. Airplanes are surely not Macauleyesque contrivances, are they?

      • ~!@#$%^&*()_+ says:

        @Primeargument is not completely wrong either just as the stand taken by yoy and me is not. Sanskrit like Ayurveda are good life practices that should be done regardless. But once you know you are suffering from Chickungnya, you have to look around for symptomatic treatments. There are or were within the system people whose knowledge of Dharm would put Baba Ramdev and his teachers in Patanjali Yogpeeth to shame but when the time came to support Indian efforts they ended up supporting foreign products. So yes it is easy to lose grip. Has happened to me too, cannot just blame others.

        The truth also is that no country can survive as a recognizable country if they do not protect their own heritage. And languages like Sanskrit are something that should be transmitted and received even if the whole world turns against it. A bunch of people who have never known their own history will end up reciting history written by others. And such people can never be expected to stand up for the efforts of own country. At least not for the required length of time. Same is the status of religion and several other things.

        But as I admit, we are suffering from Chikungunya so a measure of symptomatic treatment is required.

      • andy says:

        History, unless it’s of the recent past or within the life span of an individual(unless you are 1500 years as you have repeatedly mentioned this number) has to be recited using what’s written by others or its to be recited to give credence to an argument using knowledgeable sources,otherwise who’s going to believe what’s being said!If you think anyone believes or even takes seriously what’s being written by an anonymous non entity,without giving references for the points mentioned you need to think again.Who cares for a convoluted,rambling point of view,unless it’s backed up by credible sources.

      • andy says:

        Prime argument going off on a jag can still be understood since he’s espousing Sanskrit’s cause, but there are others on this forum who will write away incessantly and also incoherently ,bringing in a mind boggling array of unrelated illogical matters,in fact every topic under the sun with little or no connection to the topic at hand.Infact becoming prime examples of beating around the bush if ever there was one,taking up space and wasting others time.God needs to grant some semblance of sense to such senseless netizens!Plus He needs to grant us some more patience to put up with such nonsense!

      • Mr Karnad,

        Firstly my apologise for hogging your blog with a somewhat tangential issue. Rest assured this is my last post on this issue. Thanks for allowing me the liberty.

        Language of higher education was on larger point of empowering universities and building them into world class institutions.

        Sanskrit as elective is needed, since we need experts from all technical fields, to contribute to not just rewriting history of India’s contribution to science, but also to be able to revive our own tradition of scientific learning. To build self-confidence and creativity in our students & researchers we need to open up our top Institutes for Indian Lang education.

        Ex the designer of our first Param supercomputer Prof C K Raju is proposing a different way of doing math that gains inspiration from our own Ganita tradition which he calls Zeroism. He is also rewriting India’s scientific history.

        Making IITs was a great idea, making English glass ceiling in them was not.
        Sending students to study abroad is also a good idea but not the best.

        Both of these are also recepies for brain drain. Eg the interesting story of Narinder Singh Kapany inventor of Optical fiber as brain drain. Of course your example is an good exception.

        Small country Israel could have chosen to make English its language of technical education to ‘link’ with advanced USA & Britain but chose to revive a dead lang Hebrew and today we are spending $1.7 billion on putting Israeli equipment in 36 Rafale.

        Israel’s Technion is consistently ranked in top 100 by various listings. None of Indian universities do.

        Narayan Murthy on one hand praises English education for making India IT services hub on other he laments that India had made not one world changing original invention in 60 years(from his reckoning).

        By the way IIT Bombay does have an excellent Sanskrit cell where Mathematical traditions of India are being researched under the able I would say genius Prof K Ramasubramanian.

        While west mines our Sanskrit texts for new insights we are ignoring them. Have a personal anicdotal story of how an Indian bio/pharmaceutical researcher who went to Germany was given the task to mine such information from our own manuscripts. But this is hear say fact is Germans are studying Sanskrit and are short of faculty in their universities.

        To build our comprehensive national power we need to build our civilizational power.We are primarily a knowledge civilization and a cuvilizational state. We need to map the innovations of last 200-300 years back into our own knowledge traditions. For this Sanskrit is the key any other nation with such a civilizational heritage would have pounced on this. A minor Greece which was forgotten and destroyed in the European dark ages is projected as the bases of western thought and civilization and we ignore a living heritage.

      • S3 says:

        C. K. Raju has a blog. Excellent. Everything he has written demonstrates that he is crank.

        K Ramasubramanian does not have a blog. In fact, I can’t find anything to his name except a history book. Is he even a scientist? You call him a genius! What standing do you have to call him that? What is the extent of your mathematical education?

        You think Israel could have chosen English? What do you know about the history of Israel? When the War of the Languages broke out the most advanced industrial nation in the world was Germany. The two opposing sides were Hebrew and German. And don’t think that Hebrew won. Every technical term in Hebrew they teach at Technion is of German etymology.

        You want to build self-confidence and creativity? Anybody smart enough to be a real scientist is more than smart enough to learn a second language. I asked you what was the point of translating textbooks. You did not answer. So let me answer my own question. It is an employment program for fifth rate scholars.

        This is a strategic blog. How dare you even suggest that you can build self-confidence and creativity? The heads of the GRU — Soviet military intelligence, in charge of spetsnaz, or special forces — considered special training necessary for every function — except that of leader:


        “A leader cannot be produced by even the best training scheme. A leader is born a leader and nobody can help him or advise him how to manage people. In this case advice offered by professors does not help; it only hinders. A professor is a man who has never been a leader and never will be, and nobody ever taught Hitler how to lead a nation. Stalin was thrown out of his theological seminary.

        “Marshal Georgi Zhukov, the outstanding military leader of the Second World War, had a million men, and often several million, under his direct command practically throughout the war. Of all the generals and marshals at his level he was the only one who did not suffer a single defeat in battle. Yet he had no real military education. He did not graduate from a military school to become a junior officer; he did not graduate from a military academy to become a senior officer; and he did not graduate from the Academy of General Staff to become a general and later a marshal. But he became one just the same.

        “There was Khalkhin-Gol, Yelnya, the counter-offensive before Moscow, Stalingrad, the lifting of the Leningrad blockade, Kursk, the crossing of the Dnieper, the Belorussian operation, and the Vistula-Oder and Berlin operations. What need had he of education? What could the professors teach him?”

        END QUOTE

        ~!@#$%^&*()_+ put it better than I ever could. He wrote, “There are Hindi speaking traitors and English speaking patriots. Main point is loyalty and that cannot be taught.”

        Loyalty cannot be taught. Leadership cannot be taught. Creativity cannot be taught. You know what else cannot be taught? Skepticism. The basis of a scientific attitude. You expect us to believe that Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, could not afford faculty in anything? If they have a shortage of Sanskrit scholars why don’t they just hire your pathetic K Ramasubramanian for an European professor’s salary? Did you just make this whole thing up? Or are you repeating some sweet little nothings told to you by some foreigner in the manner of Obama charming Modi? Then again, if this country had any scepticism in it would have elected Modi and Kejriwal in the first place? Would it have failed to produce anything original ever since it got independence?

        primeargument, you are not the solution. You are the problem.

  7. &^%$#@! says:

    Such a scheme could also serve to provide employment to experienced ex-IAF engineering ground staff and maintenance crew, and keep them and their hard earned skills in the system should the need arise.

  8. Vivek says:

    encountered once article online. Which justifies your claim for NW test of North Korea.

    Does our Govt even aware of this ?? If this is true India is in serious trouble now.


    • ~!@#$%^&*()_+ says:

      George Fernandez said this after the Kargil war regarding Pakistani hopes of presenting a fait accompli, to India in Dras-Kargil sector – “But it had not absorbed the real meaning of nuclearisation; that it can deter only the use of nuclear weapons, but not all and any war.”

      Op. Parakram OTOH showed that Paki deterrence is very much on the minds of Indian leadership. Its not like Vajpayi would have started the war had he any moblized faster. Modi has already handed over the baton back to the Indian Armed Forces since his election – Army bolti nahi hai, karti hai, only people and politicians bolte hain….:). Saabji apne baare mein bhali-bhaanti janate hain.

      That is also why Pakistan must look or be made to look like its irrational etc. etc. even while data from tests should be forwarded to it by any route possible.

      That is why too Indian deterrence must be downplayed internationally.

      See anybody can argue gears within gears and escape the conclusion presented by the facts on the table today and on several such occasions since the Parliament Attack. In fact if anything the Americans have played the game better then our people – if you have the TN then there should be no worries about not signing this or that. While our leadership will say – nako bai, no need to sign NPT for NSG. Obama simply washed his hands off – I didn’t force you or fool you into signing anything ji. If you ended up signing LEMOA that’s your problem.

  9. SP says:

    We could start with IIT Kanpur which, like Purdue, already has its own aircraft and air strip!

  10. ~!@#$%^&*()_+ says:

    IIT Kanpur would be interesting. In the early 60s an IAF officer started to design two aircrafts Kanpur-1 and Kanpur-2. Then the usual must have happened and that got forgotten. Today there are IAF chiefs that believe BRDs can make MMRCAs.

    But never would you hear a phased out plane or ship or other piece of technical equipment (NVG or radars) being given to some educational institution. If smaller stuff like an engine or vehicles or elector optical instruments or radars or generators have not been donated to the large number of engineering schools in India. then what chance an aircraft or ships.

    Net results we have an army of engineers that are never going to invent anything and may become managers instead while India will import everything. So much so that all 3 aircrafts in IIT Kanpur labs has, are imports.

    Why even BSF can usefully deploy the aircrafts being phased out. Esp. the transporters which have a very long life and are not used much. That too is never going to happen. But even BSF can import.

    I will be more than happy to support this suggestion should it be put up formally to Parrikar. Even though I have no hope. Probably, engineering schools have a much better chance of simply approaching NAL and CSIR labs for some kind of tie up.

    I am aware of lesser periods for Islamic dominance (100 or 150 years or thereabout). Usually these periods are cited to show how Hindu kings kept challenging foreigners. Just that I cannot forget that battle ground was India itself and not some foreign land. My reckoning starts from Raja Dahir and is running still, hence 1500 years for me. Also I had seen your earlier posts on the matter too and I agree we both can have different views on the matter.

    • S3 says:

      “I will be more than happy to support this suggestion should it be put up formally to Parrikar”

      I take it you are part of the defence ministry?

    • &^%$#@! says:

      True! The “divinely gifted” Charlie Brown had mentioned quite authoritatively and incorrectly about building MMRCA’s in BRD’s. If one goes to the HAL museum in B’lore, one can see a two-seat version of the HF-24 Marut. It is dusty, un-cared for, and in total neglect. In stark contrast is the state of the same a/c in the Flugwerft Schleissheim near Munich. A visit to the UK Imperial War Museum at RAF Duxford near Cambridge will immediately reveal the justifiable pride with which British aviation is showcased/preserved for posterity and some samples even undergoing restoration. There’s a long list of people offering volunteer help in restoration projects all over the UK of iconic British a/c like the Lancaster, Shackleton, Halifax, Vulcan,…… …. ranging from scientists and engineers in academia and industry to school kids. I just don’t see any pride in Indians. Ego, yes. I see that in plenty!

    • &^%$#@! says:


      And one can add NRI’s in their various forms to the list of people with huge ego’s and no pride.

  11. @S3 I have promised Mr Karnad not to post on this topic again so I will let your latest rant pass. We have many like you a product of our education system. Go write your critique of Prof C K Raju’s work to him on his blog, email or write a review of his published books and send him. May be you will learn something in exchange. Or if you are so great then he will learn & you will get bragging rights. He is a supposed ‘crank’ who made India’s param Supercomputer when US denied it tech. His son also a ‘crank’ is doing his loyal ‘crank’ stuff in TIFR too rather than Harvard/MIT.

    You are a currently a nobody unless you prove him wrong. Let’s stop polluting Mr Karnad’s blog misusing his generosity.

  12. andy says:

    Not the point,point is none of us were born with historical knowledge or any other knowledge for that matter, it was either learnt through books or transmitted verbally by someone, so when you deride people by stating ‘A bunch of people who have never known their own history end up reciting history written by others’ you deride everyone, including your own self,because even you were not born with historical knowledge, just like everyone else you also had to learn it.If you say this,it’s only natural for someone to turn around and ask you whether your historical knowledge was a revelation by the Almighty or did you write it yourself?So no point in making such sweeping statements.

    Plus,you are plain wrong when you start Islamic history in India with Raja Dahir, because he was not the first Indian to face off against the against the Islamic hordes, that honor belongs to Rutbil King of Zabulistan in Sistan in 643 Ad,The kingdoms of Kapisa-Gandhara in modern day Afghanistan, Zabulistan and Sindh(which then heldMakran) in modern day Pakistan, all of which were culturally and politically part of India since ancient times,were known as “The Frontier of Al Hind”.In this you are clearly following the Islamic historians who tend to glorify Mohammed bin qasim who defeated Dahir in 712AD.

    Plus Islam already had a foothold in the deep south with the Cheraman Juma Masjid in Kodungallur Taluk of Kerala being the first mosque in India, constructed in the seventh century (629AD)When the Prophet was still alive.PM Modi recently gifted a replica of this Masjid to the Saudi King)

    So you need to add another 83 years to your timeline going back from 712AD (Raja Dahirs defeat)to 629AD (construction of the first Mosque in India)

    • ~!@#$%^&*()_+ says:

      I was born with my history, grew with it and eventually that history will give birth to many more even when I am dead. Any part of life or any date or any reckoning that is not part of that history is not on my priority list, ever.

      I don’t care if Cheraman Juma Masjid is as old as it says, nor do I care if somebody was fighting in Sistan or not or if genetics prove this, that or everything else. If we meet a 100 years later my figure would not have moved to 1600 years. I find 1500 years, good enough to register a context and I use it. May be in 2000 years I would move to 500 years more but that time has not come yet. I am quite comfortable rounding off a few hundred years if I have to talk about long historical timelines, unless the observation itself is falsified by additional information/accuracy.

      I agree that you may have your own and valid and rational need to engage on the topic but you have to consider that there may be many more ways of using that piece of information, equally valid but less engaging.

  13. andy says:

    I do not care to engage with you on any topic, least of all this one ,you have nothing to say that matters for me.It’s you who seems to have a habit of making sweeping derisive statements about others!So don’t be surprised at being engaged if you continue in a similar vein.You say you were born with your history but don’t care about historical facts,just shows how ridiculous some people can get.

    Someones comfort level is their own concern, but if derogatory statements are put out by them they will surely be dragged out of their comfort zone.On an open forum even @Bharat is not immune from criticism, as the hue and cry raised by a few elements over some minor variance in his Uri terror attack post shows.So if you want to be comfortable and still make derisive statements about others knowledge of history, while at the same time compressing or stretching historical timelines as per your own conveniences,its not going to happen on a strategic affairs blog.

    • ~!@#$%^&*()_+ says:

      Re. “sweeping derisive statements”

      People who make sweeping derisive treaties and their fans should not be afraid of sweeping derisive statements. These sweeping derisive statements may be the last call for them and in fact they should be thankful for this favour. India has survived far too long to be dependent on a bunch of amateurs.

      I wonder if these ‘sweeping derisive statements’ made by me pained you in the context of Uri terror attacks.

      Ajit Doval used to say – ‘you can do a bombay, but you may lose balochistan’.
      Nirpender Mishra is the man for whom the legal procedures were re-written.
      That joker in MEA is a scion of a self-anointed family of experts in strategic affairs.
      Modi use to call himself the chowkidar of the nation.

      All 4 of them meet, ostensibly to plan Post-Uri strategy for Pakistan. And all they can manage to do is threaten to take the waters that already belong to India. This fate, these people have chosen for themselves.

      Pakis send across expendable worthless terrorists exactly because these terrorists are worthless fodder for them. And these 4 musketeers boast about having killed a few more in hot pursuit. No sir, this is not a fait accompli, this is a choice exercised. And these choices have consequences.

      What will these illustrious people do now? Will they dare to have some sort of commitment, even if to themselves only, that they will pull themselves out of this cesspit, they have dug themselves into. Or will they just plod along because, after all, FDI is important which ‘requires US alliance’. I would love to see these people explain this grand strategy to the families of the 18 soldiers in Uri.

      I was reading the news today and another colleague asked me what was happening. I told him that Indus water treaty was to be used to show some action. The guy got excited. He thought that we can take away all of Paki water if another Uri like attack happens. I had to temper his enthusiasm because at my urging had voted for these idiots. When he came to know that Modi has threatened to use the water that is already ours and that Modi cannot do no further because of Americans, he was puzzled. Asked me – Yeh amriki saale hote kaun hain? He just could not fathom what is the big deal in not being able to defend our own people – he thinks this is a natural capacity. Abhi kya grand strategy can be taught to this fellow. You may find this narration hard to believe and I cannot convince you about the truth of this interaction either. So it may not mean much between the two of us. But I know that this guy really does exist and I actually could not answer the fellow – something quite unnatural for me :).

      Actually there was another guy also who was exactly as enthused about Modi’s easy capacity to handle these things. He thinks there is some secret masala that these people were preparing and one day Pakis will be taught a lesson. He had not yet ask me about the reasons for the current phased of confused reaction and the role of Americans behind it. But I could see that he was not satisfied about the overall response. We can leave these mango man. But I would like to see what Modi ji does for these second guy, who thinks Modi is silent because Modi is planning something greater. This guy has decided to wager on Modi and it is typical of gamblers that they begin to imagine of even greater rewards to recompense for the losses they have sustained. Just that between greed and fear, fear always wins and gambling cannot do much provide against general cluelessness. So the wager is likely to fail. I know this guy is also real.

      And guess what there are going to be millions of people of the kind I described above.

  14. &^%$#@! says:

    I for one would have loved to have seen a flypast of the Tejas accompanied by at least 1 HF-24 Marut, to commemorate the formal induction of the Tejas into the IAF. However, I doubt whether there are any airworthy HF-24’s and with Feku’s bs Fake in India policy of acquiring the Rafale, Apache’s, Chinook’s, and now as people say the F-16 or the F-18, and whatever other museum items are given to India, there are some murmurs that the order for the Tejas might be drastically cut to a small token number because of “lack of funds”. This is still in the hearsay zone, so one will just have to wait and see.

    • andy says:

      Great job ! When in a tough spot change the topic!Doesn’t matter, I’ve had my say regarding the so called knowledge of history and don’t wish to engage on a subject that’s not even tangentially related.But the outpouring of your imaginative thoughts would have much better impact if backed up by something tangible, unless the sole purpose is to hog space on this blog.

    • andy says:

      The above reply not meant for you.

  15. andy says:

    Some food for thought for GOI as Ambassador Bhadrakumar outlines the American interaction with Pakistan since the Uri terror attack. With Russia alienated,shown by holding military exercise with Pakistan and the US continuing business as usual, it’s time perhaps for GOI to take a pause and perhaps rethink where all this personalised diplomacy and cosying up with the US is leading.


  16. &^%$#@! says:

    I believe if Modi plays his cards well, he can face down the Pakistani threats concerning the WIT. Pakistan has gone too far in perpetrating terror against India while hiding behind a nuclear deterrent. India too has a nuclear deterrent in case Pakistan forgot, and Modi needs to: 1.) Pursue the Indian strategic program with vigor to make up for lost time, and 2.) ignore the “sage advise” from the US on exercising restraint and press ahead with abrogating the IWT. How much restraint can India exercise, and would the US exercise even the slightest restraint if such atrocities were perpetually perpetrated against it and/or its citizens and military? This is the time for Modi to come Shining Through!

    • &^%$#@! says:


      The first sentence above should read as:
      “I believe if Modi plays his cards well, he can face down the Pakistani threats concerning the IWT”.

      • ~!@#$%^&*()_+ says:

        Lets say India announces a series of dams on all tributaries of Indus. If you remember the 2010 and 2014 floods along this river system. This should keep Pakis reasonable for 1 month of monsoon rains in the himalayas and may be 4-6 months of agricultural season in the Indus basin inside Pakistan.

        Life is quite simple actually. Observe how Americans have subverted India like a python squeezing the breath, with every breath. Do the same to your opponents.

        Any kind of flow measurement under the Indus Water Treaty will have to be a bilateral affair to be considered as evidence – usually legal agreements are made like that. At least such things require prior notices or established procedures and all that. Don’t cooperate in these things. This will help stigmatize any paki accusation of Indian wrongdoing and act as dilatory tactic from our side. Then take away the water, completely illegally, in disregard to the treaty. Keep making holy noises.

        For the rest of the months keep the Paki side on the boil by killing their Generals, slowly like a halal butchery – one at a time – & overtly like the way Hanuman ji did to Ravan’s son inside Ashok Vatika. Lure their general into mistakes, kill them justifiably and take the justification to the people of the world – that is diplomacy. Americans kill other countries on cooked up charges and we cannot do even justifiable killings. WT_.

        Don’t own upto any accusation, deny, make things plausibly deniable, dilate, dissimulate, counter-accuse bigger. Claim that all this is being done for ‘world peace’ or ‘democraxy’ or any of the latest catchwords.

  17. ~!@#$%^&*()_+ says:

    Now this is diplomacy :D:

    For years kaan pak gaye they jhoot sun-sunkar that “Pakistan is equal victim of terrorist”.

    All world including Indians should commiserate with the victim. And to set things right the hot pursuit was done as part of India’s responsibility towards World Peace. Now the victim should no longer feel like one.

    Pakistan not the target :D. Love it man.


    Ok more to the point.

    Here is a link for those interested. It gives a series of Indian citizens now databased in foreign lands who have made efforts to create something different. Needless to say these databased Indians have nil hope from any kind of Indian institution – private or public. Govt led R&D is already too big and yet too sparce (DRDO and HAL have replied that they are deploying something like 2/3 engineers for every sub-project). Private sector has no real understanding of chasing an idea till its deployable.

    Ideally this sort of databasing should have been kept track of and may be given grants. But that is almost not possible in India. Net result these practicable ideas will be lost to India. Had our baniya giri and govt. gotten their collective acts together there is no reason why these people would not have had ended up making it big.

    Click to access in-tmt-innovation-ecosystem-of-india-noexp.pdf

    And just to show how these lost generations are going to cost us just in terms of opportunity costs:

    A system designed to have no respect for work done from the first principle and one that has allowed itself to vacillate between competing demands of technology-importers and product-importers will end up costing us our collective future.

    And this does not stop here. Because a bunch of people who do not find outlets within their countries will end up with crazy notions about what is wrong with the country and then come back with a vengeance against the native culture that ‘ignored’ them and could not ‘appreciate their talent’.

    @BK is asking for whole aircrafts to be given in Research grants. I don’t think Minister level people will even listen to these kinds of ideas. But should he listen, the fact is he does not even has to bet big political capital in such things. Just identify a small area that is currently not a big market in India (less lucrative) and then lobby for a complete ban on any kind of import in that one space. If the results from going completely indigenous are available then good if not then end if, end sub. Simple. Just make it time bound and give it all the resources that it deserves and not the one that competing budgetary considerations will allow. Modi has his ‘adopt a village’ scheme similarly Parrikar can have his ‘adopt a headache’ initiative. Don’t even need to start with difficult items.

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