Sunday, June 05, 2005
India Defense Quiz
1. Who were India’s defense ministers in the 1965, 1971 and 1999 (Kargil) conflicts against Pakistan?

2. Which famous Special Forces group was formed in 1986 to fight the increasing menace of terrorism that was evident in the aftermath of Operation Bluestar in Punjab? It is probably the most well known special forces unit in India and has seen action in more than 100 missions since, including the clearing of the Akshardham complex in Gujarat (operation Vajrashakti)? They were conspicuous by their lack of action in the hijacking of IA flight IC-814 and its abduction to Kandahar airport in Afghanistan.

3. Amongst the following missiles from India’s missile armory, which is the anti-tank guided missile? Agni, Prithvi, Trishul, Nag, BrahMos and Akash.

4. Who was the Army chief during Operation Bluestar in 1984, when the Indian Army launched the assault on the Golden Temple in Amritsar? He too suffered a similar fate as Indira Gandhi a couple of years later, when Sikh terrorists assassinated him in Pune in 1986.

5. ‘Operation Shakti’ in 1998 was a defining moment in India’s military history and permanently changed the rules for all future conflicts. What was Operation Shakti?

6. A week ago, India opened its new naval base INS Kadamba, which when fully operational will be India’s largest naval base, and one of the largest in Asia. Where is this base located?

7. Which French-made aircraft of the Indian Air Force (named ‘Vajra’) was a key player in the high altitude bombing operations in the heights of Kargil in 1999? The IAF obtained 49 of these aircraft from manufacturer Dassault in 1985.

8. Named ‘Tejas’, this aircraft being developed jointly by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. and the Aeronautical Defense Agency (ADA) has seen long delays and cost over runs. Development started in 1983, and its first maiden flight was in 2001, but is nowhere close to production. What are we talking about?

9. Between 1987 and 1990, the Indian Army was thrust into a civil war on foreign soil, where it suffered severe losses of personnel, material and a big loss of face, thanks primarily to a big political gaffe by the government of India. It has come to be referred to as India’s Vietnam – what are we referring to?

10. Name the highest battlefield in the world, whose ownership was left undecided by the 1972 India-Pak Simla agreement because it was thought to be uninhabitable. Since 1984, this has not been true, and it is estimated that both sides currently deploy about 3000 soldiers each in the frozen heights. It has cost us more than 2000 soldiers, mostly from weather issues and not from the conflict itself.

11. What is the premier inter-services institute for training of officers of the armed forces? Setup initially in Dehradun in 1948 as the Joint Services Wing and moved to its present destination in 1954. Recruitment takes place after the 10+2 examinations, and cadets graduate with scientifically designed academic training for BA/B. Sc. degree of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

12. This special forces unit is the only one in the Indian military where non-Sikh personnel are allowed to grow a beard! Sounds rather hilarious, but these are some of the best special forces units – having started out with 3 officers sent for training with US Navy Seals and British special forces. What are they commonly known as?

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