Indian Defence Ministry's Annual Report: “India is conscious and watchful of the implication of China's evolving military profile”; Agni ballistic missile to be test-fired later this year
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  • The Indian Defence Ministry's Annual Report for 2010-11 noted, “India is conscious and watchful of the implication of China's evolving military profile in the immediate and extended neighborhood. India’s policy is to engage with China on the principles of mutual trust and respect and sensitivity for each other’s concerns". However, taking note of the recent political developments in West Asia and North Africa, the reports states, “The impact of these developments on the security situation in the region and on the security of energy supplies is of global concern.” While underscoring India’s vibrant ties with all countries in the region, according to the report, New Delhi will continue to engage with them on the basis of mutuality of respect and interests. “India has also been actively involved in peacekeeping operations in Africa under the UN mandate and seeks to consolidate its relations with many countries in the region with which we have historical linkages”. Meanwhile, the defence ministry has proposed a proactive role under the United Nations flag to tackle the threat to maritime traffic from piracy. “India is in favour of strengthening multilateral cooperation under a UN framework to meet the complex challenges of maritime security,” says the Annual Report which was laid in Parliament on Monday. However, the report noted the increased incidence of piracy in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) “is an issue of serious concern.”1

    India’s Defence Minister A K Antony said that India is developing a 5,000 km-range Agni ballistic missile. He ststed, "India has reached an appreciable level of competence in missile technologies, with a reach capability of 3,500 kilometres. Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is developing Agni missile with a capacity to reach 5000 kilometres,". In his address, the Defence Minister asked the DRDO to speed up the development trials and induction of Interceptor Missile as part of the credible Ballistic Missile Defence ( BMD). To reduce cases of suicides and fratricides in the armed forces, Antony asked the DRDO to undertake a detailed research program to make an assessment of stress profile and mental health of the soldiers.2