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Siachen takes the life of one soldier every month

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New Delhi: Since 1984, India has lost about one soldier every month in Siachen Glacier due to avalanches or extreme climatic changes. The death of Lance Naik Hanumanthappa and his nine comrades is the latest one.

It started since first sending soldiers to Himalayan area to counter Pakistani army 32 years ago.

According to Lok Sabha’s data, total 869 Indian troops died at Siachen between 1984 and Dec 2015. 10 soldiers were buried under avalanche at an altitude of 20,500 feet on 3 Feb 2016 in Madras regiment and three others this year which increases the number to 883.

The troop includes 33 officers, 54 junior commissioned and 784 other rankers. All these are the result of extreme climatic conditions and not enemy fire, said Lok Sabha.

However, the death rate is declined from 24 in 2011 to 5 in 2015.

Siachen Glacier is considered as the world’s highest battlefield, but the battle is mostly with the weather. It is located in Himalayan region astride India-Pakistan border.

India has spent 6,556 crore between 2012-13 and 2014-15 for soldiers at Siachen, mostly on clothing and mountaineering equipment.

Many Pakistani soldiers also died due to Siachen’s extreme climatic conditions . An avalanche killed 140 people at a Pakistani camp , including 129 soldiers in 2012.

Siachen’s altitude reach 22,000 feet (The highest peak Mount Everest is at 29,000 feet), and temperature minimize upto-45 degress Celsius.

Soldiers faces many problems like lung damage, memory loss, serve depression and blurred speech. They also have to deal with long cracks and fractures in ice surface especially in summer.

Transporting is the most toughest task in these conditions, with some is possible only by helicopters and some needs pulleys to hoist the supplies up the mountainside.

Light Cheetah helicopter is the only mean of transportation during winter as the land route close.

3,000 to 4,000 Indian soldiers from three battalions serve every year, where each battalion spends three months on Glacier.

“The decision on Siachen is based on the security of the nation”, said Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar recently. “I am disturbed by the loss of life, but I think that due to this, some other solution (withdrawal) would not be the proper analysis.’’(IANS)(image:defenceforumindia.com)

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Big reforms made India fastest growing major economies globally: Garg

It also has enormous implications for emerging markets and developing countries

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The RBI building in Mumbai. Photo credit: AFP/Sajjad Hussain

The major reforms undertaken by the Indian government for raising economic growth and maintaining macroeconomic stability have made the country one of the fastest growing major economies in the world, said Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA).

Garg was addressing the Special Event hosted by US-India Strategic Partnership Forum on ‘Indian Economy: Prospect and Challenges’ in Washington D.C on Friday.

Indian economy needs big reform.

He said the launch of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) represented an “historic economic and political achievement, unprecedented in Indian tax and economic reforms, which has rekindled optimism on structural reforms.” He further emphasized that India carried-out such major reforms when the global economy was slow.

“With the cyclical recovery in global growth amid supportive monetary conditions and the transient impact of the major structural reforms over, India will continue to perform robustly,” Garg said.

During his meetings, Garg highlighted that the digital age technologies have profound implications for policies concerning every aspects of the economy. It also has enormous implications for emerging markets and developing countries.

Also Read: Biggest Bank Frauds Which Shook The Indian Economy

He expressed that the response to such a transformation will have to shift from ‘catch up’ growth to adoption/adaption of digital technologies for development and growth.

Garg also informed that India has started adopting policies and programmes for transforming systems of delivery of services using digital technologies and connecting every Indian with digital technologies and access through Aadhaar and other such means.

Indian economy should be on rise. www.mapsofindia.com

While citing the example of expanding mobile data access, he mentioned that India is now the largest consumer of mobile data in the world with 11 gigabytes mobile data consumption per month. He informed that India is investing in digital technologies, encouraging private sector to adapt these technologies and also addressing the taxation related issues by introducing equalisation levy.

Garg is currently on an official tour to Washington D.C. to attend the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and other associated meetings. He is accompanied by Urjit Patel, Governor, Reserve Bank of India and other senior officials. IANS

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