Tag Archives: Navy

Babru Bhan — warrior Who Annihilated Karachi Harbour

Babru Bhan, affectionately known to all simply as Babru, was born into a military family at Bharawas village in Gurgaon district of then undivided Punjab. Bharawas is now in Rewari district. Babru grew up listening to the stories of valour of ‘Veer’ Ahirs from his father Major Bhagwan Singh, a decorated soldier who served with distinction in the British Indian Army and was awarded the Order of British Empire (OBE) during World War I. Young Babru knew he was destined to be a soldier. He did his matriculation from BS Ahir High School, Rewari. He graduated in the science stream from the prestigious St Stephen’s College, Delhi, and was selected as a Direct Entry Graduate. He served onboard HMS Devonshire as Midshipman for two years and was commissioned into the Indian Navy, the multi-dimensional combat force for blue waters tasks, on January 1, 1951.

Babru was quick at uptake and ever exuberant and was soon learning the nuances of the sea warfare. His brilliant aptitude at all matters of marine did not go unnoticed by his superiors. With just four years into service, Babru was nominated to attend the Anti-Submarine Warfare course in the United Kingdom in 1955; a specialised course done mostly on front line ships. As Commander (equivalent to Lieutenant Colonel in the Army), Babru Bhan had a one-year challenging tenure on missile boats in the USSR.  Commander Babru Bhan became an anti-submarine warfare specialist and with one year on missile boats, he was considered most suitable to command a frigate.

With war clouds hovering, Commander Babru Bhan, on December 2, 1971, was given the command of 25th ‘K’ (Killer) Squadron composed of three missile boat task force, namely INS Veer, INS Nipat and INS Nirghat. And who knew just two days later, during the 1971 war with Pakistan (Operation Cactus Lily), the Karachi harbour would be witness to the onslaught and fury of this Killer Squadron led by daredevil Babru Bhan. The Killer Squadron led by Babru Bhan annihilated the Karachi Harbour with a fleet of just three missile boat task forces. Commander Babru Bhan was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra for his conspicuous act of bravery in the face of the enemy against all possible odds during the 1971 war on the western water front. He was the first recipient of Maha Vir Chakra in the Indian Navy.

The summary of gallant action in Naval Archives reads…

.On the night of December 4, 1971, Commander Babru Bhan as Squadron Commander of a three missile boat task force was ordered to carry out an offensive sweep on the enemy coast of Karachi. The Karachi harbour, being strategically important, was heavily guarded by the enemy. With a narrow mouth covered by formidable coastal defence, the harbour seemed impregnable. Notwithstanding the threat of surface and submarine attack by the enemy, Commander Babru Bhan, onboard INS Nipat, led his squadron deep into enemy waters and encountered two groups of large enemy warships. Despite heavy fire from the enemy destroyers and at great risk to his personal safety and of his personnel, Commander Babru Bhan fearlessly led his squadron towards the enemy in a swift and determined attack. In that daring Indian marine assault, two enemy destroyers (ships) and one minesweeper were sunk. After completion of the mission assigned to his task force, and before sailing back to Bombay, Commander Babru Bhan bombarded the Karachi harbour and fearlessly sailed back, leaving the harbour in flames. Babru Bhan was promoted to the rank of Captain and in turn to Commodore (equivalent to Brigadier in the Army) a year later. Before hanging his Navy Whites, Commodore Babru Bhan had an eventful two-year tenure as Deputy Director General, National Cadet Corps (NCC), in Chandigarh looking after the NCC in Punjab, Himachal, Haryana and the Union Territory of Chandigarh. Commodore Babru Bhan never married. Even after retirement, he remained wedded to his first and only love — the Indian Navy. He breathed his last on January 22, 2010. 

Manohar Prahlad Awati – Indian Navy’s Greatest Heroes & Father of Indian Navy’s Circumnavigation Adventures

In November 2018, India bid farewell to one of its most legendary and decorated war veterans, Vice Admiral (retired) Manohar Prahlad Awati. His demise indeed marks the end of an era for the defence forces. Aged 91, Admiral Awati breathed his last in Vinchurni, his native village, located in the Satara district of Maharashtra. He leaves behind an irreplaceable abyss in the history of Indian Navy.

Also known as the father of Indian Navy’s circumnavigation adventures, he had quite an eventful and illustrious career which ranged from capturing three enemy ships carrying contraband goods to the destruction of an enemy submarine.

Born on September 7, 1927, Awati first donned the uniform when he was selected for the Royal Indian Navy in 1945. An expert in signal communication, the iconic naval officer also had the credit of serving in many naval vessels like INS Ranjit, INS Venduruthy, INS Betwa, INS Tir and INS Mysore. However, it was during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, when Awati’s commandership played a significant role in determining India’s fate.

Deployed as the commanding officer of INS Kamorta, his name went down in history for gallantly holding the fort against the enemy forces for almost a fortnight—a successful feat for which he was awarded the Vir Chakra. Operating in the extremely dangerous territory with constant danger to his ship from enemy mines and submarines, an undeterred Awati went on a probing spree across the enemy- defended harbours of Bangladesh before finally striking a massive blow. Awati not only attacked and captured three enemy ships with contraband goods but also gained an enemy submarine contact that was to meet a brutal end at his hands. Anecdotes from Admiral Awati’s war days would be incomplete without mentioning the iconic .38 calibre Webley Revolver, a token of surrender that was handed over to him by two senior Pakistan Navy officers during the 1971 War. He presented the revolver to National Defence Academy as a souvenir in 2015, and it now rests in the museum of the premier tri-services military training institution.

Between 1976 and 1977, Admiral Awati served as the Commandant of the National Defence Academy (NDA) and even after being posted out and shouldering other responsibilities, he made it a point to attend every passing out parade of the Academy; a practice he continued till the year of his death.

Completing his duty-watch in active service as the Flag-Officer-Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command in 1983, Awati’s post-retirement contribution for 35 years had a national resonance. With little or no resources, he created the Maritime History Society in Mumbai and instilled an awareness about India’s rich maritime heritage in a tenaciously sea-blind society.  The most significant contribution that Awati made was to instil in India the spirit of adventure and the forgotten tradition of sea-faring.

The legacy left behind by Admiral Awati would continue to inspire not just the officers serving in the force but also those aspiring to serve the country.

Rising Bharat Swadeshi News Feed: August 11th 2020

Planning of the Central Government to manufacture in Bharat

Rs 42,000 crore stealth submarine plan for the Indian Navy to finally kick off
Key points:

India is now finally getting set to issue the formal tender for the long-pending over Rs 42,000 crore project to make six new-generation stealth submarines domestically with foreign collaboration.

Defence ministry (MoD) sources on Monday said the tender or RFP (request for proposal) “should be issued by next month” to defence shipyard Mazagon Docks (MDL) and private ship-builder L&T for the submarine programme, called Project-75 India (P-75I).

It will be the first project to be launched under the strategic partnership (SP) policy promulgated by the NDA government in May 2017 to boost indigenous production under the overall “Make in India” platform.

The two Indian shipyards or SPs will have to submit their technical and commercial bids in response to the RFP after they tie up with their preferred original equipment manufacturer (OEM) from the five short-listed by the MoD earlier.
(Economic Times, 11 August 2020) News Link

  • DAC approves procurement of 106 Basic Trainer Aircraft, clears proposals of over Rs 8,722 crore
    Key points:
  • The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) on Tuesday approved proposals of about Rs 8,772.38 crore for capital acquisition of various equipment and platforms, including 106 Basic Trainer Aircraft from Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) for IAF.
  • “Post-certification 70 Basic Trainer Aircraft will be initially procured from HAL and balance 36 after operationalisation of HTT-40 fleet in IAF,” the release said.
  • To improve the firepower of Indian Navy, the DAC approved procurement of an upgraded version of Super Rapid Gun Mount (SRGM), which is fitted as the main gun on board Navy and Indian Coast Guard (ICG) warships, from (BHEL).
  • The DAC also approved procurement of 125 mm APFSDS (Armour Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot) ammunition for Indian Army as a ‘Design and Development Case’. The ammunition being procured will have a 70 per cent indigenous content.
    (Economic Times, 11 August 2020) News Link

Investment in Bharat by Other Countries

  1. Japanese firm Amperex Technology Limited acquires 180-acre at Rs 550 crore in Haryana
    Key points:
  2. Amperex Technology Limited (ATL), a manufacturer of rechargeable Lithium Ion Polymer (LIP) batteries, has acquired a 180 acre land at Rs 550 crore near Gurugram, Haryana in one of the largest land deals of the year.
  3. A global leader in supplying LIP batteries across the world, ATL has two cell manufacturing facilities in China but because of India-China border tension, it has decided to invest in an Indian manufacturing unit by the name of ATL India technology private ltd.
  4. The reserve price of Rs 3.05 crore per acre was fixed for allotment of the site lies about 46.6 km away from International Airport, New Delhi.
  5. According to a report by Savills, industrial landlords in India are reporting an uptick in industrial occupation in their parks after manufacturers starting diversifying operations from China.
  6. The report highlights that trade conflict between US and China will influence cross-border activity for many years regardless of US leadership, thereby strengthening opportunities for real estate investment in markets including India, Vietnam and mainland Europe.
    (ET, 11 August 2020)
    News Link
  • Medtronic’s Rs 1200-crore investment to turn Hyderabad into hub of medical devices

Key points:

  1. With an investment of Rs 1,200 crore, Hyderabad will host Medtronic’s largest global research and development center outside the United States of America.
  2. The investment is planned over five years and is aimed at making Hyderabad the hub of medical devices in the country.
  3. The company will expand their current R&D Center for Medical Device Software and Engineering Solutions facility with an investment of Rs 1,200 crore into a ‘state of the art engineering and innovation center’ in Hyderabad.

(The New indian Express, 11 August 2020) News Link

Manufacturing in  Bharat by Bhartiya Companies

‘Make In India’ Success: Tamil Nadu Textile Firm Produces Virus Barrier Product To Help Frontline Workers Combat Covid-19

Key points:

  1. A textile firm in Tamil Nadu’s Udumalpet town, about 70 km from Coimbatore, has come up with India’s first virus barrier products made of fabric that is considered safe for frontline workers engaged in tackling the spread of novel coronavirus (Covid-19).
  2. Sri Venkatalakshmi Spinners (SVS) has come up with this innovation that matches the American and European standards in preventing virus penetration through the coveralls worn by frontline workers, particularly doctors.

(SwarajyaMag, 11 August 2020) News Link

Exports

  • India’s exports of non-basmati rice in first two months of FY21 jumps 52.5%
    Key points:
  • India’s exports of non-basmati rice in the first two months of FY21 has jumped 52.5% to 11.13 lakh tonnes from 7.3 lakh tonnes in the same period of FY20.
  • Africa has emerged as the major buyer of non-basmati rice and exporters are hoping volumes will increase further when Bangladesh starts importing this variety.
  • Suraj Agarwal, CEO, Tirupati Agri Trade said a decision from the Bangladesh government on import of rice from India is expected by the end of this week or early next week.

(Economic Times, 11 August 2020) News Link

Startup in Bharat by Bhartiya

  1. Online climate school Terra.do raises $1.4M from Rainmatter Capital, BEENEXT, others
    Key points:
  2. Online climate school Terra.do has closed a $1.4 million seed round led by Stanford Angels and Entrepreneurs (India), BEENEXT Emerging Asia, Zerodha-backed Rainmatter Capital, and prominent angels from the Indian and US ecosystem.
  3. The five-month old company selects talented individuals who care about climate change. It takes them through an intensive 12-week bootcamp taught by top experts to teach all aspects of climate – science, policy, business, social justice.
  4. Terra.do’s mission has struck a chord with some prominent investors, including Zerodha’s Nithin Kamath’s climate-focused Rainmatter fund, Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs (India) led by Paula Mariwala, and Beenext, a $160million early-stage fund focused on Asia.

(Your Story, 11 August 2020) News Link

This Pune startup is disrupting food industry with its cloud-based solution
Key points:

Pune-based TechMainstay Software Pvt. Ltd is helping all types of food businesses leverage technology through its cloud-based end-to-end technology solution for managing restaurants.

Founded in 2014 by Rahil Shaikh, its restaurant management software, TMBill, allows food businesses – ranging from a standalone food outlet to large sized food chains – to manage several functions such as billing, CRM, QR code-based ordering, analytics, inventory management, waste management, customer loyalty, menu management, vendor management among many others. 

The startup currently has a team of 20 developers and over 35 support and sales executives working from across India

Rahil claims to be having over 3,000 restaurants from over 290 cities and nine countries using the startup’s technology platform. The clients are required to pay Rs 9,000 annually for availing TMBill’s complete restaurant package services.
(Your Story, 11 August 2020) News Link

With clients like ISB, this startup is changing the face of education by digitising colleges, universities
Key points:

iWeb Technologies is a cloud and SaaS ERP solutions company focussed on digitising end-to-end operations for educational institutes founded in 2005.

The startup has been providing enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution for multiple verticals. However, around 2013, the startup shifted its focus and started digitising end-to-end operations on the Cloud / SaaS for educational institutes, i.e. universities, colleges, and schools across India on a homegrown platform called PaaS Agilewiz.

Akshay says, the startup works on a B2B2C and freemium model. The current revenue is at Rs 150 per student per year. 
(Your Story, 11 August 2020) News Link

  • BITS Pilani students’ robotics startup is working towards mind-controlled wheelchairs and prostheses

Key points:

  1. Founded by two BITS Pilani students, robotics startup Nexstem uses EEG signals to predict users’ thoughts and bridge the gap between man and machine. It can be used to create mind-controlled wheelchairs, prostheses, and communication systems.
  2. It has created a headgear that captures electrical impulses of the brain and transmits them to its software platform, which analyses the data. Siddhant mentions that the cheapest EEG device that captures these signals costs around Rs 80,000.

It has received funding from HostelFund, a platform that helps student entrepreneurs, and also from BITS Spark Angels, a group of angel investors who are BITS Pilani alumni.
(Your Story, 11 August 2020) News Link