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Enhancing surveillance along borders with China, Pak: Govt

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A file photo.

NEW DELHI (PTI): The government on Monday said it is enhancing military infrastructure including surveillance facilities along the borders with China and Pakistan in view of threat perception.

Replying to a question in Rajya Sabha, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said a "holistic review" of the military modernisation programme has been undertaken along the borders.

"A holistic review of our infrastructural development and military modernisation programme has been undertaken along the borders, keeping the threat perception in view," she said.

The defence minister said new surveillance assets are being installed besides deploying unmanned aerial vehicles and Advanced Integrated Obstacle Systems.

"Indian government is fully seized of the military (and) security needs of the country in the border areas, and steps as required have been undertaken for strengthening the forces," she said.

Meanwhile, to a separate question Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre said a policy for permanent commissioning of women officers in law and education and naval constructors' branch has been finalised.

"In Navy, the policy for setting up of Permanent Commission for women officers in Law and Education and Naval Constructors branch has been finalised," he said.

In sync with existing policy, he said women officers have not been inducted in direct combat role in the Army. "Women officers in the Indian Navy are employed in combat, combat support and support roles. In their capacity as pilots and observers onboard maritime reconnaissance aircraft, women are being employed in a combat role," he said.

Bhamre said in case of Indian Air Force, the government had issued prospective policies for grant of permanent commission to women officers in certain branches whereas in the Army, a policy for grant of permanent commission to women officers is yet to be finalised.

Asked about privatisation in defence production, he said 348 licenses to 210 Indian companies for manufacture of various defence items were approved till February.

"Till February 2018, 70 companies covering 114 licenses have reported commencement of production," he said.

To another question on whether any corporate which has contributed to non-performing assets of the banks are being allowed in defence manufacturing sector, Bhamre said such details are "not collected and maintained".

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