New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh addressed the Naval Commanders’ Conference in New Delhi on Thursday. He said that despite all the challenges, the Navy is fully prepared to fulfill all the commitments and for the war. The ongoing conflict in Russia and Ukraine has once again highlighted how important it is for any military to be self-reliant. The Indian Navy has been at the forefront of the Government’s ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative.
The Naval Commanders’ Conference, which began on April 25 at the Defence Office Complex, Africa Avenue, concluded today. Addressing the senior leadership of the Indian Navy, the Defence Minister said that the conference discussed key issues in the maritime domain that face our national security. The sea warriors should be commended for their professionalism and dedication with which they are protecting the maritime interests of the nation. The Defence Minister also lauded the Indian Navy for appointing women officers in frontline flights and aircraft carriers, saying the Navy would also induct women cadets through the National Defence Academy from June this year.
The Defence Minister said that India’s maritime character and its important geo-strategic position have played a primary role in the development of civilization as a nation. With the increasing dependence on the sea for national development and engagement with the world, our Navy enables a secure environment in the region by safeguarding India’s maritime interests. The Indian Navy has established a reliable presence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). With these deployments, the Indian Navy has emerged as the ‘Preferred Security Partner’ in the Indian Ocean region. He commended the Navy for its anti-narcotics operations at sea, deployment of flood relief teams in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
He told the commanders that when it comes to the current security environment in the world, the ongoing conflict in Russia and Ukraine has once again highlighted that being self-reliant without dependence is a vital necessity. The Indian Navy has been at the forefront of the Government’s ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative. This is the reason that out of 41 ships and submarines, 39 are being built in Indian shipyards. In line with the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative, the Navy has re-invested more than 64% of its capital budget into its economy. In this current financial year, 64 percent of the modernization budget for indigenous procurement is set to increase to 70 percent.
He urged the senior naval leadership to keep their focus on future capability development so that the country’s maritime power can grow in line with our economic interests. The country’s first indigenous aircraft carrier ‘Vikrant’ has successfully completed three sea trials. Its induction into the Navy in the 75th year of independence will be another milestone. The Indian Navy has taken several initiatives to advance military diplomacy. The Indian Navy has trained over 19,000 personnel from over 45 friendly countries in the last four decades.