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  • India and France are in talks for a bilateral tri service military exercise

    India and France are in talks for a bilateral tri-service military exercise. This is to take forward the strategic cooperation while exploring ways to operationalise the logistics agreement. These issues were discussed during the visit of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to Paris last week.  An agreement has been signed to identify specific aspects to implement it.  This will be India’s third such joint exercise. The first joint tri-service exercise was held with Russia in October last year and has finalised one with the U.S. to be held next year. India and France currently hold bilateral exercises between individual services, Shakti, Varuna and Garuda respectively for the Army, Navy and Air Force.

    First India US special forces exercises to be take place in 2019

    The first India-U.S. tri-services exercise will be taking place in 2019. The talks are on to include the special forces of the two countries in the drill. The focus of the drill will be on a United Nations (UN) based scenario and the overarching mission of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief measure. The three forces of both the countries have already taken part in bilateral exercises separately. In that bilateral exercise, their Armies participated in an annual drill called Yudh Abyaas, their Air Forces take part in a bilateral drill called Cope India and the Navies participate in an exercise called Malabar, involving Japan.

    Union Government sanctions 5 new battalions of Rapid Action Force (RAF)

    Five new battalions of Rapid Action Force (RAF) were sanctioned by the central government in January 2018 and their new bases have been sanctioned now. Key Points: The 5 new Rapid Action Force (RAF) battalions will be based in: Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh Jaipur in Rajasthan Mangalore in Karnataka Hajipur in Bihar Nuh in Haryana

    Website for Aero India 2019 launched by Minister of Defence

    The Website for Aero India 2019 is: https://aeroindia.gov.in/Aero-India The portal facilitated payment of registration fee online for business visitors. Furthermore, it has been integrated with multi-currency Payment Gateway where Indian companies would be able to pay in Indian Rupees using Credit Card/Debit Card/Net Banking/UPI/NEFT/RTGS and foreign companies would be able to pay in US dollars using credit card/debit card.

    IAFs upgraded MiG 29 showcased its combat capabilities at Admapur, Maharashtra

    The upgraded MiG-29, Indian Air Force’s beast, has gained in strength and ferocity. It has been a much-needed boost. The upgraded MiG-29 showcased its combat capabilities at Admapur, Maharashtra. MiG-29 is a Russian-origin aircraft, now capable of effecting mid-air refuelling, is compatible with latest missiles and can launch multi-dimensional attacks.  It should be noted that the previous ‘legacy version’ of MiG-29 played an important role as the IAF stamped its supremacy over the Pakistani force during the Kargil War of 1999.  New features of MiG-29:  ♦ Mid-air refuelling facility that increases its range  ♦ It has the ability to launch the latest missiles and multi-dimensional attacks  ♦ It is capable to take off vertically ♦ It has the ability to take off possible within 5 minutes of spotting a hostile jet ♦ It is featured with the glass cockpit with ‘Multi-functional Display’ screens

    Coast Guards Of India, Vietnam Hold Joint Exercise Sahyog HOP TAC-2018

    A Vietnam Coast Guard ship, on its maiden visit to Chennai, undertook joint exercises with the Indian Coast Guard 'Sahyog HOP TAC-2018', off the city coast aimed at strengthening the working level relationship between them.      Coast Guard ships Shaurya, Arnvesh and interceptor boat C-431 along with a Dornier aircraft and Chetak helicopter participated in the joint exercise.

    Modi and Putin to discuss S400, Kamov at the summit in New Delhi

    Before the bilateral summit that is to be held in the first week of October between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the discussions are still underway between the two sides to conclude a final deal for 200 Kamov-226T utility helicopters.  India and Russia have already concluded an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) for 200 helicopters estimated to cost over $1 billion. Under the deal, 60 helicopters will be imported from Russia and at least another 140 will be built in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) with technology transfer. As part of this, a joint venture was set up in India which will build the helicopters.

    India is to gift three MiG-21 fighter jets to Russia

    India is to gift three MiG-21 fighter jets to Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin is to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi be in New Delhi on October 4 and 5 for the annual summit. The handing over of 3 MiG-21s is based on a request from Russian Defence Minister to Indian Defence Minister. The gifts comprise of one Type 75 aircraft and two Type 77 aircraft.  This is a major symbolic gesture to showcase the all-weather friendship and deep strategic partnership between India and Russia, which has been put to test in recent times due to changing geopolitical conditions. About MiG-21:  Design Group:  Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau in the 1950s  Type: Fighter and interceptor aircraft National Origin: Soviet Union MiG-21 is a product of the Soviet Union  It made first flight in 1956 and entered service in 1959. From 1985 Russia stopped producing the aircraft while India continued operating the upgraded variants.

    Indian Navy signs contract with Hindustan Shipyard Ltd for construction of 2 Diving Support Vessels

    The first vessel will be built in 36 months. It will be followed by the second vessel, 6 months later. The vessels will be based at Visakhapatnam and Mumbai respectively. It will have 118 m length and 7,650 T displacement. The DSV has a Deep Submergence Rescue Vessel (DSRV) that will improve its Submarine Rescue Capabilities. M/s James Fisher Defence, United Kingdom, delivered the first non-tethered DSRV with the capability of submarine rescue up to depths of 650 m, in April 2018, in Mumbai.

    IAF successfully test fired BVRAAM Astra

    The Indian Air Force (IAF) successfully test fired the indigenously developed Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) Astra from a Su-30 aircraft. It was tested at the Kalaikunda Air Force Station. The test missions included engagement of target at very long range, engagement of high manoeuvring target at medium range and multiple launches of missiles in a salvo to engage multiple targets.  India has attained a high level of capability in the indigenous design and development of advanced weapon systems. This effort for building a state-of-the-art BVRAAM by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) together with IAF completed the development phase of the weapon system successfully. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) played a role in modifying the aircraft for weapon integration.

    India seeks DAC approval to procure SPIKE missiles from Israel

    The Army has brought its idea to buy the Spike anti-tank guided missiles from Israel before the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) for approval. DAC is to conduct some validation trials for the procurement process. The deal is for 170 launchers, 4,500 missiles and 15 simulators.  Spike is a fourth-generation, man-portable missile, fire-and-forget Israeli missile manufactured by Israel’s Rafael.  Earlier in January, the deal was cancelled saying the requirement can be met through the indigenous man-portable missile being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

    DRDO Successfully Flight Tested Tactical Missile Prahar

    It is a contemporary weapon system capable of carrying multiple types of warheads and neutralizing a wide variety of targets. About DRDO  Headquarters: New Delhi,  Founded:1958.  Chairman:Dr G Satheesh Reddy

    Indo-Russian Air Force exercise Aviaindra-18 commences at Lipetsk

    Bi-annual Exercise Aviaindra 18 is being conducted at Lipetsk, Russia from 17 Sep to 28 Sep 18 and the second session will be conducted in Jodhpur, India from 10 Dec to 22 Dec 18. The aircraft that would participate in the exercise include Su-30 SM, Mig-29, Su-25, Mi-8, and An-26. First Aviaindra was conducted in 2014.

    Indian Air Force plans to set up a 'strategic base' in Andhra Pradesh

    The Indian Air Force (IAF) has proposed to the Andhra government its plans to establish a drone manufacturing facility in Anantapur district, a cyber security centre in Amaravati, and turn Rajahmundry and Vijayawada airports into asset positioning bases. IAF also plans to set up a major helicopter training facility at Donakonda in Prakasam district. IAF currently has a base at Arakkonam near Chennai, while the Navy has INS Dega in Visakhapatnam.

    DAC approved for the enhancement of Akash missiles

    The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC)  gave its approval for the upgradation of the indigenously developed Akash short-range surface-to-air missile (SRSAM) system. Akash missile was to be inducted by the Army. This approval will let Akash missile to be upgraded. The upgraded version will have the seeker technology and the coverage will be of 360-degree. It will have a compact configuration. To provide protection to vital assets, the operation of the missile has been made critical. About Akash Missile: It was developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme initiated in 1984 It was manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) The range of the missile is 25 km and can engage multiple targets at a time in all-weather conditions It has a large operational envelope, from 30 meter to a maximum of 20 km All regiment in the missile consists of six launchers, each having three missiles

    INSV Tarini Crew Bestowed With Tenzing Norgay Award

    This award is awarded for beating the odds in water with their enduring skills and sailing across the world for eight long months. It is the award which is the highest national recognition for outstanding achievements in the field of adventure on land, sea and air.   

    DAC Approves Procurement Of Equipment Worth Rs 9,100 Crores

    The procurement of two Regiments of Akash Missile Systems under 'Buy (Indian)' category from M/s BDL.  The equipment is being developed by DRDO and will give an indigenous solution to the Test Equipment used for checking the Guided Weapon System of Tank T 90.   

    India Joined Elite Group Of Countries Capable Of Air-To-Air Fuel Transfer

    The first ever mid-air refuelling of the indigenously developed light combat aircraft Tejas was successfully carried out placing India among a group of companies having air-to-air refuelling capacity for military planes. It is a force multiplier for the Indian Air Force giving the aircraft the potential to stay airborne for much longer periods of time.

    Pakistan could become World's 5th largest nuclear weapons state

    According to the recent report, Pakistan could become world’s 5th largest nuclear weapons state after Russia, United States, France and China in terms of possession of total nuclear warheads. Pakistan currently has 140 to 150 nuclear warheads and the stockpile is expected to increase to 220 to 250 by 2025.

    India-Mongolia Joint Exercise 'Nomadic Elephant 2018' held in Ulaanbaatar

    The 12 days long Nomadic Elephant-2018 has begun at Mongolian Armed Forces (MAF) Five Hills Training Area, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Nomadic Elephant is an annual bilateral military exercise, started in the year 2006, and this was the 13th edition of the exercise.

    India, US annual combat exerciseYudh Abhyas 2018to be held at Uttarakhand

    The 2-Week long Yudh Abhyas 2018 exercise will be condcuted at Chaubatia in Uttarakhand from 16 to 29 September, 2018. It will be fourteenth edition of exercise in Yudh Abhyas series which was started in 2004 under US Army Pacific Partnership Program. Last year, Yudh Abhyas was held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in the US.

    Nepal not to join 1st ever BIMSTEC military drill in India

    The Nepal government's decision came after strong criticism from different quarters, including influential leaders from the ruling Nepal Communist Party. The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a regional grouping comprising seven members states - Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal. The first ever military exercise is slated to begin from September 10 in Pune, Maharashtra. ♦ Nepal Prime Minister - Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli, or K.P. Oli.

    Thailand police academy bans women from enrolling

    Since then about 700 women have graduated as officers from the RPCA, which is more than 100 years old.Since then about 700 women have graduated as officers from the RPCA, which is more than 100 years old. There are already too few female police officers, and now this rule will further reduce those numbers

    Indo-Kazakhstan joint military exerciseKAZIND 2018

    KAZIND 2018 will be held in Otar region, Kazakhstan from 10 to 23 September 2018. This is the third joint military exercise between the two countries. The second edition of the KAZIND exercise was held in India in 2017. Aim:- To build and promote bilateral Army to Army relations and exchange skills and experiences between Kazakhstan Army and the Indian Army.

    India successfully carried out first ever mid-air refuelling of Tejas combat jet

    A Russian-built IL-78 MKI tanker transferred fuel to a Tejas MK I aircraft. The Indian Air Force (IAF) currently operates nine Tejas fighters built to an Initial Operating Clearance (IOC) standard. These jets are being flown by No. 45 Squadron, the Flying Daggers, based at Sulur Air Force Station in Tamil Nadu.

    ISRO plans to set up its First Overseas Ground Station at North Pole

    The ground station will augment the Indian Remote Sensing (Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) operations crucial not just for civilian needs like disaster management but also for the armed forces. However, ISRO has already two ground stations-IMGEOS at Shadnagar and AGEOS in Antarctica.

    Bangladesh Naval Ship Somudra Joy arrives at Visakhapatnam on a goodwill visit

    BNS Somudra Joy, a Hamilton Class frigate commissioned on 23 December 2013, is one of the largest ships of the Bangladesh Navy. The ship earlier visited Visakhapatnam in Feb 2016 and participated in the International Fleet Review hosted by Indian Navy.

    Indian Navy beats 22 other teams to win KAKADU Cup 2018 in Australia

    Kakadu Cup 2018 was organised by the Australian Navy as part of its multi-nation maritime exercise. INS Sahyadri had participated in the Kakadu Cup 2018 which involved swimming, running, crossing water and land obstacles. The name KAKADU is derived from Kakadu National Park, a protected area in the northern territory of Australia, 171 km south-east of Darwin.

    Defence Minister visited Governor Satya Pal Malik

    Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman met J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik and discussed the security situation in the State. They also discussed the issues of security along the Line of Control (LOC) and in the hinterland.  During her visit, the Minister visited the Balbir forward post in Kashmir and interacted with the troops of 28 Infantry Division. She was accompanied by the Chief of the Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat. She is the first Defence Minister to visit the post.

    Russia to launch Vostok 2018, a joint military exercise

    Russia will be conducting Vostok-2018 (East-2018) military exercise in central and eastern Russian military districts from September 11 to 15, 2018. In this military exercise participation of units from the Russian Army, Air Force and Navy will be involved. More than 300,000 troops, 36,000 tanks, armoured personnel carriers, armoured infantry vehicles, over 1,000 military aircraft, two naval fleets and all its airborne units will participate in this military exercise.  China and Mongolia will also participate in Vostok 2018. It is expected that it will be the biggest war games ever conducted by Russia since Zapad-81 (West-81) exercise. Zapad-81 was conducted by the Soviet Union in 1981 which had seen involvement about 100,000 to 150,000 troops.

    Exercise Peace Mission 2018 ended in Russia

    Exercise Peace Mission 2018, the joint military exercise of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), ended in Russia. Eight-member states participated in this joint training on combating terrorism. The exercise began on August 24 at the firing ranges in Chebarkul. This is the first time India and Pakistan participated in the exercise.  India, China, Kazakhstan and Russia showcased their armoured and mechanised forces while Pakistan has sent only Special Forces personnel. The Indian delegation was led by Lt. Gen Satish Dua, Chief of Integrated Defence Staff.  Shanghai Cooperation Organisation:  ♦ Founded on: 15 June 2001 ♦ Headquarters: Beijing, China ♦ Members: 8 member states ♦ The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), or Shanghai Pact, is a Eurasian political, economic, and security alliance. ♦ The Heads of State Council (HSC) is the supreme decision-making body in the SCO, it meets once a year and adopts decisions and guidelines on all important matters of the organisation. ♦ Military exercises among members are also regularly conducted to promote coordination against terrorism, and to maintain regional peace and stability.

    DAC approved Procurement For Services Amounting To Rs 46,000 Crores

    This is the first project under the Defence Ministry's Strategic Partnership, SP Model that aims at providing a fillip to ‘Make in India’ programme. Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) also approved other proposals amounting to around 25 thousand crore rupees. It includes procurement of 150 Indigenously Designed and Developed Advanced Towed Artillery Gun Systems for the Indian Army at a cost of around 3,365 crore rupees.   

    Misa Matsushima became the first woman fighter pilot in Japan

    First Lieutenant Misa Matsushima, 26-year-old, of Japan Air Self Defence Force, finished her training to fly F-15s. She is the first woman fighter pilot in Japan.  The Japan Air Force decided in 1993 to open all positions to women, except for pilots of fighter jets and reconnaissance aircraft. But the limit was lifted in 2015, opening the way for Matsushima to join the elite group of fighter pilots, with three other women now going through training.

    INS Vikramaditya to have marine hydraulic systems for the first time

    For the first time, India's only aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya will be fitted with a marine hydraulic system to boost the air operations of the ship. Technodinamika, a subsidiary of Russia's Rostec State Corporation, will install the system in the Indian Navy ship by May 2019. The INS Vikramaditya worth $2.3 billion, came to India from Russia in January 2014. INS Vikramaditya is 284 metres long and 60 metres high -- that's about as high as a 20-storeyed building. The ship weighs 40,000 tonnes and is the biggest and heaviest ship in the Indian Navy.

    Chinese defence minister finished his 4 day visit on India

    Chinese Defence Minister Lieutenant General Wei Fenghe has landed in New Delhi on August 21st for a four-day visit, with an aim to improve bilateral relations, especially on military ties. He met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. This was the first formal bilateral meeting between the two ministers since the Doklam standoff on the Bhutan China border during June to August last year. 

    Iran unveiled its first domestic fighter jet named 'Kowsar'

    The aircraft is nicknamed 'Kowsar', which in Islam is a river in paradise and also the title of a chapter in the Koran. This defence programme was motivated by repeated threats from Israel and the US. Iran celebrates National Defence Industry Day on August 22. Iran President - Hassan Rouhani

    Punjab police organized workshop to prevent cybercrime threats on real-time basis

    Punjab police organized the first-ever workshop in collaboration with National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre New Delhi (NCIIPC) with an aim to prevent cybercrime threats on a real-time basis. It was organized by IT&T wing to sensitize the senior police officers about vulnerable issues of cybercrime, hacking, cyber threats and auditing.

    India is building AMCA, a new fifth generation fighter jet

    Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), India's only fifth-generation fighter aircraft, will make its first flight in 2032. The AMCA will fly with two GE-414 engines. It is being designed in a way that it can deflect away maximum radar waves and thus minimize its radar cross-section. It can also absorb the radio waves thereby reducing the radar footprint.  The Indian Air Force (IAF) has given land and provisions to the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) to set up facilities for this project. IAF plans to produce a medium fifth-generation fighter aircraft based on the capabilities and expertise developed during the development of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA). This aircraft programme is after the decision by IAF not to go ahead with the fifth-generation project with Russia.

    India sent INS sahyadri to Fiji to boost ties

    Indian Naval Ship (INS) Sahyadri (F49) is the third and latest ship among the Shivalik Class of indigenously built stealth frigates and forms a part of the Eastern Fleet of Indian Navy. INS Sahyadri ship celebrated the 72nd Independence Day of India in the Port of Suva, Fiji on August 15. INS Sahyadri draws its name from the beautiful, age-defying Western Ghats (also known as Sahyadri ranges) stretching across 1,600 km along India's western coast.

    Indian Army to climb world's fifth highest peak Mt Makalu

    To achieve greater heights in the field of mountaineering, Indian Army is planning to attempt fifth highest mountain peak in the world - Mt Makalu (8,485 metres) in 2019. Under the protection of Army Adventure Wing, an expedition to Mount Kamet (7756 meters), Joshimath (district Chamoli, Uttarakhand), is also being conducted from August to September. Mount Kamet is the third highest peak of India after Kanchanjunga and Nandadevi and the only highest peak available to climb within the country.

    Taiwan develops missiles to counter the military expansion of China

    Taiwan is building up and developing missiles and interceptors in order to counter the military expansion of China. Since 2016, under the Presidentship of Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan has deployed one set of missiles, perfected another and sped production of a third. This development in its defence is to reduce Beijing’s military advantage over the self-ruled island.   As a training mission, Chinese President Xi Jinping has sent warships, bombers and fighter planes over the self-governed island in a show of strength.

    Indo-Israel missile defence system Barak 8 to be procured by Israeli Navy

    The multi-purpose Barak 8 missile defence system, jointly developed by India and Israel, will be procured by the Israeli Navy to protect its economic zones and strategic facilities from diversified threats and the sales for it have exceeded USD 5 billion. Barak-8 is an operational air and missile defense system used by the Israeli Navy as well as by the Indian Navy and air forces. Barak 8 has been jointly developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), India's DRDO, Israel's Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure, Elta Systems, Rafael and some other Indian defence companies.

    Assam rejected Centres move in reducing area under AFSPA

    The government of Assam has declined the Centre’s move in reducing the ‘disturbed areas’ under the Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA).  On July 19, the parliamentary committee headed by P.Chidambaram, former Union Finance Minister and senior Congress leader, reported that by improving the security situation in most northeast States the government should gradually reduce the area under AFSPA, especially in the States of Assam and Meghalaya. But the Assam government did not concur as it said that was not the right time to reduce the area under AFSPA. AFSPA: AFSPA provides power to the Army and Central forces personnel deployed in disturbed areas to kill anyone acting in contravention of the law, arrest and search any premises without a warrant and provide cover to forces from prosecution and legal suits without the Centre’s sanction.

    British police returned the Bronze Buddha statue to ASI

    British police have returned a 12th-century bronze Buddha statue which was stolen from Bihar in 1961 to the Indian High Commission in London. The statue along with 13 other statues were stolen 57 years ago from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) site museum in Nalanda.  The bronze Buddha statue was identified at a trade fair in London in March 2018. The Metropolitan Police’s Art and Antiques Unit reviewed the idol and ASI confirmed the idol’s identity. The British Police has agreed to return it to ASI.

    India to participate in SCO Peace Mission 2018 exercise at Russia

    India will participate for the first time in the joint SCO Peace Mission Exercise, a part of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) initiatives, being conducted by Central Military Commission of Russia from August 22-29 at Chebarkul. India became a full member of the SCO in June 2017. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is an eight-member multilateral organization, established on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai, China. 8 members of SCO are:- China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan.

    CAG reported about the lack of facilities in Submarine training

    The Comptroller and Auditor-General (CAG) observed that there are no facilities available for training the Navy crew on various aspects of damage control and firefighting in a submarine.  CAG submitted a report in Parliament saying the government has not approved the proposal submitted by Submarine headquarters in April 2014 yet. The proposal indicated the necessary requirement of a simulator to train in damage control and firefighting, which are assumed with greater importance as India to set to acquire nuclear submarines into its fleet. Currently, the Navy is in the process of buying two deep submergence rescue vessel systems from a U.K.-based firm.  The report also highlighted delays in the completion of the Naval Academy Project at Ezhimala, non-availability of training equipment for new induction platforms, a deficiency in the quality of training and other issues.

    India gets its first all women 'SWAT' unit

    Ahead of the Independence Day, the Delhi Police inducted India's first all-woman Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team for anti-terrorist operations. 36 women commandos from the northeastern states have been inducted into this squad. While 13 members are from Assam, rest of them hail from Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Manipur.

    Maitree 2018 Joint Military Exercise between India and Thailand held inThailand

    Exercise 'Maitree' is a joint military exercise between Indian Army and Royal Thai Army and is running on in Thailand from 6 to 19 August 2018. Maitree 2018 was platoon level exercise that comprises of infantry component. Aim:- To develope mutual understanding and bonhomie between the two armies in order to counter terrorism.

    Defence Minister Launched Defence India Startup Challenge

    The India Startup challenge was launched with a vision to build an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship in defence sector and make India self-reliant for meeting defence requirements. The defence ministry also signed a MoU with 5 incubators. IIM Ahmedabad, IIT Mumbai, Forge IIT Madras, and T hub who will work in tandem to provide solutions for defence requirements in Airforce, Navy and for Army.  

    IWAI Launches Dedicated Portal FOCAL For Cargo Owners And Shippers

    The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has launched a dedicated portal to connect cargo owners and shippers with real-time data on the availability of vessels.  The portal has been named as the Forum of Cargo Owners and Logistics Operators (FOCAL). This is designed by the IT Department and the traffic wing of IWAI.  

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