Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Today in Parliament…Aerostats, NATO, F-35, and Eating Habits of Military

Posted by- Neelam Mathews
Nov 30, 2011

Defense Minister A.K Antony replies to queries-

The contract for procurement of two aerostats was signed with Rafael, Israel on 15lh March, 2002. The first Aerostat system was commissioned on 151h May, 2007 while the second Aerostat was commissioned on 15lh May, 2008.

While one aerostat system is working well, the other system was damaged due to sudden strong gust of wind on 27lh May, 2009 and became non-operational. Steps have been initiated for recovery of the system.

The CAG has commented on certain aspects of IAF's Aerostat Radars. Requisite action is being taken.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) has not invited India to become a partner in its missile defense program.

The US has not offered India a partnership in the development of the world’s most advanced fighter plane, F-35 joint strike fighter.

The survey "prevalence of pre-hypertension in young military adults and its association with overweight and dyslipidaemia” published in the August, 2011 issue of the Indian Journal of Medical Research was carried out by 2 doctors of the Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) and a Scientist from National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) Hyderabad in their personal capacity on their own accord.

This study involved limited number of Naval personnel and results of such a small sample size cannot be extrapolated to the entire Armed Forces as the sampling was not representative of the entire population.

Pre-hypertension is a stage with Systolic Blood Pressure (BP) varying from 120mm-139mm of Hg and Diastolic BP varying from 80mm-89mm of Hg. It is a stage, where non drug preventive actions like exercise, yoga, low salt low calorie diet may be initiated and it does not mean that individual is suffering from Hypertension. Body Mass Index (BMI) of >23.5 was used in this study for defining overweight, which is less than Body Mass Index of >25 being used in the Armed Forces for this purpose, which is also the standard of World Health Organisation.

Hence, the derivation, that 80 percent of population of Armed Forces is suffering from pre-hypertension, 30 percent are overweight and 67 percent of Armed Forces personnel have low HDL is factually incorrect.

The eating habits of the Indian Armed Forces personnel are based on authorized and laid down ration scales, which have been worked out by the specialists of the service in liaison with Defense Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) and the NIN, keeping in view their special and extra requirement owing to terrain, environment, physical exertion etc.

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