Home » Defence Minister Emphasises On Self-Reliance, in Navy Commanders’ Conference

Defence Minister Emphasises On Self-Reliance, in Navy Commanders’ Conference

by Raju Vernekar
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By Raju Vernekar
Mumbai, April 29:

While addressing the concluding session of the first conference of Indian Navy Commanders in New Delhi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh emphasized on the self-reliance without dependencies on Thursday.
The Commanders’ Conference was held from April 25 to April 28, in the newly set up state-of-the-art facility at the IHQ MoD (Navy) offices at Defence Offices Complex at Africa Avenue, New Delhi. This Complex was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September last year, as part of Phase I of the Union Government’s Central Vista Project.
The Minister of State For Defence Ajay Bhatt, Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar, and other senior officials of the Ministry of Defence also attended the conference.
Singh referred to the ongoing Russia and Ukraine conflict and stated that this has once again highlighted that self-reliance. He complimented the Indian Navy for being at the forefront of the ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’ initiative of the Government and said that the Navy must continue to lead the way and remain a necessary guarantor of India’s Maritime Trade, Security, and National Prosperity.
“It is heartening to note that in consonance with the ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’ initiative of the Government, the Navy has re-invested over 64% of its Capital budget into our economy and the percentage share of modernization budget is bound to grow up to 70 percent towards indigenous procurement, in this current financial year” Singh added.
Expressing happiness that out of 41 ships and submarines which are on order, 39 are being built in Indian shipyards. It is important to leverage the momentum that has been gained he said and urged the senior leadership to maintain their focus on futuristic capability development, to ensure that the nation’s maritime power grows in tandem with the nation’s economic interests.
On the progress of the first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier and the successful completion of the three sea trials, Singh stated that the delivery of, “Vikrant”, would be another milestone event and that an all-out effort need to be made so that the ship is delivered and commissioned in the 75th year of our Independence, which would be a fitting tribute to the ‘AzadikaAmritMahotsav’. The festival will conclude on August 15, 2023.
He also commended the Navy on the commissioning of major Naval units since the last Commanders’ Conference namely INS Visakhapatnam, the first ship of the P15B project, the fourth P75 submarine INS Vela and the Navy’s second P8I squadron INAS 316 at INS Hansa, Goa.
He appreciated the Indian Navy’s numerous initiatives to progress military diplomacy, which included gifting of two Fast Interceptor Craft to Mozambique, technical support towards refit of ships from Friendly Foreign Countries, Joint Surveillance of the Exclusive Economic Zone of friendly nations, and conduct of bilateral and multilateral exercises in the last six months.
Stating that he has interacted extensively with officers and sailors of the Indian Navy in the last three years, Singh commended the sea warriors for their professionalism and dedication with which they continue to perform the duty of safeguarding the maritime interests of the nation and for maintaining a high operational tempo. He also congratulated the Navy for the successful conduct of MILAN with the participation of 39 Friendly Foreign Countries.
The Defence Minister appreciated the Navy for having a visible, credible, and responsive presence in the Indian Ocean Region and establishing itself as the ‘Preferred Security Partner’ and complemented the Navy for the successful rescue operations of Seychellois national at sea, the anti-Narcotics operations in February this year and deployment of the Navy’s Flood relief teams in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
Expressing confidence that the Conference and the deliberations over the last three days would have presented the opportunity to Commanders to introspect on the ongoing activities; take stock of progress made, debate fresh ideas and reflect on how best to achieve objectives in the future, Singh wished Indian Navy success in all its endeavours.
The conference presented an opportunity to the Naval Commanders to introspect on important Maritime matters at the Military Strategic level. They also shared views on key issues that confront our National Security with Senior Government Functionaries. The Chief of Army Staff and the Chief of Air Force Staff also interacted with the Naval Commanders and discussed avenues of augmenting Tri-Services synergy and readiness, in the prevailing Security environment. The Naval Commanders, during the conference also interacted with ‘Think Tanks’ on Strategic issues, along the sidelines of the conference.

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