New Delhi: Delivering the inaugural address at the second edition of the three-day Naval Commanders’ Conference of 2021 on October 18, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said Indian Navy’s role in ensuring maintenance of peace and stability in the region is going to increase manifold in the times to come.
The Defence Minister said that rapidly changing economic and political relations across the world do cause some stress in the relations and so emphasized that there is a greater need to maintain peace and stability within the Indian Maritime Zones in order to boost the trade and economic activities.
“Only those nations have been successful in gaining dominance across the world, whose Navies have been strong and I am happy to say that our Navy is playing an important role in our maritime and national security,” he said.
“This conference is a very important opportunity to share our views on the key issues facing our country and our Navy,” the minister said.
“The geographical location of our country is something that makes it unique in many ways. Surrounded by the vast expanse of ocean from three sides, our country is very important from the point of view of strategic, trade and resources,” he said.
The minister said that as a responsible maritime stakeholder, India supports consensus based principles and a peaceful, open, rule based and stable world order and envision Indian Ocean Region (IOR) with the universal values of rule based freedom of navigation and free trade in which the interests of all participating countries are protected. Being an important country in this maritime route, the role of Indian Navy becomes more important in ensuring the security of this region. He expressed happiness at the Navy effectively carrying out these responsibilities.
On Indian Navy’s contribution towards Atmanirbhar Bharat Mission, the minister was pleased that “in consonance with the PM’s vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ Navy has already been ahead in the field of self-reliance, indigenisation in shipbuilding and manufacturing of submarines etc. It is worth mentioning that in the last five financial years, more than two-thirds of the Navy’s Modernisation Budget has been spent on indigenous procurement.”
“It is a matter of great pride to know that out of 41 ships and submarines ordered by our Navy, 39 are from Indian shipyards. This is a testament to the Navy’s commitment to ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. It is important for us to maintain the momentum of the success we have achieved so far and I am sure that the steps taken by the government will give it more strength,” he said.
Singh was confident that the Commanders would “get an opportunity to brainstorm about the efforts and progress of Navy so far, to debate on new ideas”.
Singh interacted with them on matters pertaining to the national security. The conference is attended by all Operational and Area Commanders of the Indian Navy to review major operational, materiel, logistics, Human Resource Development, training, and administrative activities.
The Minister also launched the ‘Integrated Unmanned Road Map for Indian Navy,’ which aims to provide a comprehensive Unmanned Systems Roadmap in consonance with the Indian Navy’s Concept of Operations and chart out a capability development plan for the Indian Navy. A reference version of this Roadmap will also be promulgated for the benefit of industry, which will promote India’s ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ mission.