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Commissioning of the INS Kalvari in Indian Navy will further strengthen our defence sector: PM
INS Kalvari a fine example of ‘Make in India’ initiative, says PM Modi
Guided by the principle of SAGAR – Security And Growth for All in the Region, we are according highest priority to Indian Ocean region: PM

Governor of Maharashtra, Shri Vidya Sagar Rao, Defence Minister, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Devendra Fadnavis, Minister of Defence for State, Shri Subhash Bhamre, National Security Advisor, Shri Ajit Doval, Ambassador of France, Mr. Alexander Jigaral and other French guests, Chief of Navy, Admiral Sunil Lamba, Commanding in Chief, Western Naval Command, Vice Admiral Girish Luthra Ji, Vice Admiral D.M. Deshpande Ji, CMD, MDL, Mr. Rakesh Anand, Captain S.D. Mehndale, other officers and staff of Navy, Officers and staff of MDL (Mazgaon Dock Shipbuilders Limited), other dignitaries present here in the program.

Today is an important day for 1.25 billion Indians, a day full of pride. I heartily congratulate all my countrymen on this historic achievement. Dedicating INS Kalvari submarine to the nation is a very auspicious opportunity for me. I also offer a lot of good wishes to the Indian Navy on behalf of the people of the country.

After a gap of about two decades, India is getting such a submarine. Kalvari's addition to Naval fleet is a big step taken by us in the defence sector. Indians have shed sweat to manufacture it, they have used their energy. This is a great example of Make in India. I heartily congratulate every worker, every employee involved in the making of Kalvari. I thank France too for contributing in the making of Kalvari. This submarine is also an excellent example of the rapidly growing strategic partnership between India and France.

Friends, this year is the golden jubilee of the Indian Navy's Submarine Arm. Just last week, Submarine Arm has been awarded President's Color. Power of Kalvari, or it could be said that the power of Tiger Shark will strengthen our Indian Navy. Friends, India's maritime tradition is very old, five thousand years. Lothal of Gujarat was one of the world's earliest sea-ports. Historians say that trade with 84 countries was conducted through Lothal. Our relationship with other countries of Asia and Africa has progressed through these sea waves only. Not only for business but culturally also Indian Ocean has linked us with other countries of the world and helped us to stand with them.

Indian Ocean has carved the history of India and now it is giving strength to modern India. Our coastline of more than 7500 kilometers, about 1300 small islands, about 25 lakh square kilometers of Exclusive Economic Zone, creates such a maritime power that is unmatched. The Indian Ocean is very important not just for India but for the future of the whole world. These oceans shoulder the burden of two-third of the world's Oil Shipments, one-third of the world's bulk cargo and half of the world's container traffic. Three-fourths of the traffic passing through it and goes into other parts of the world. Waves rising in this ocean reach to 40 countries and up to 40 percent of the world's population.

Friends, it is said that the 21st century is the century of Asia. It is also decided that the path of development of the 21st century will pass through the Indian Ocean. And hence Indian Ocean has a special place in the policies of our government. This approach is reflected in our vision. I also mention it by a special name - S. A. G. A. R.- or if I may say SAGAR i.e. Security and Growth for All in the Reason, "SAGAR". We are fully aware and cautious about our global, strategic and economic interests in the Indian Ocean and therefore the modern and multi-dimensional Navy of India is leading for peace and stability in the entire region. The way India's political and economic Maritime Partnership is increasing and regional framework is being strengthened, it makes it easier to achieve this goal.

Friends, the powers vested in the sea gives us economic power for nation building, and therefore, India is also serious about those challenges which are not only faced by India but also by other countries in this region. Whether it is terrorism coming through the sea or the problem of piracy, smuggling of drugs, India is playing an important role in dealing with all these challenges. Our mantra of Development of Everyone Together is the same be it water, air or land.

Considering the entire world as one family and moving forward with the spirit of Vasudhaiva Kutumbkam (world is one family), India is constantly meeting its global responsibilities. For its fellow countries India is the first responder in their time of crises and therefore when Sri Lanka is flooded, Indian navy is the first to reach their promptly for offering help. When there was a water crisis in the Maldives, ships filled with water were sent from India immediately. When a cyclone hits Bangladesh, Indian navy rescues the stranded Bangladeshi people in the middle of the sea. On humanitarian grounds Indian navy never lagged and promptly came forward to help the victims of typhoon in Myanmar with all their might. Not only this, when the Indian Navy rescued more than four and a half thousand Indian citizens during Yemen crisis then it also rescued people from other 48 other countries safely and securely from that crisis. Humanitarian aspect of Indian diplomacy and Indian security system is the specialty of India, it is our distinctiveness.

I remember when an earthquake hit Nepal, how Indian Army and Air Force took over the relief operations. Over 700 flights, more than a thousand tonnes of relief material, taking thousands of earthquake victims from one place to another, extricating hundreds of foreign nationals, this "amiability" is in India's psyche, it is in India’s nature. India can never stay without doing the work of humanity.

Friends, an able and strong India has an important role not only for themselves but for the entire humanity. Today we are working shoulder to shoulder with different countries of the world. Their armies are eager to share experiences and to increase the synergy with our army. Last year alone, naval forces of 50 countries were involved in the International Fleet Review. One can hardly forget the panoramic scene in Visakhapatnam at that time.

This year also the Indian Navy has attracted the world's attention with its valor in the Indian Ocean. Indian Navy performed brilliantly with the Navy of the US and Japan during Malabar Exercises, held in July. Similarly India has continued with a series of exercises during different months with the navies of Australia, Singapore, Myanmar, Japan and Indonesia. Indian Army has also conducted joint exercises with the countries like Sri Lanka, Russia, America, Britain, Bangladesh and Singapore.

Brothers and Sisters, this whole picture is a witness to the fact that the countries of the world today are willing and committed to move with India on the path of peace and stability.

Friends, we are also aware that the nature of challenges for the security of the country has changed. We are doing our utmost to develop our defence preparedness to meet these challenges, proactive steps are being taken. Along with military Power, Economic Power and Technical Power, power of International relations, power of public confidence and the soft power of the country, all these should have synergy in between them. This is a demand of the present times.

Brothers and Sisters, in the past three years a change has begun in the eco-system related to defence and security. A lot of new initiatives have been taken. While on the one hand we are addressing on priority the topic of essential goods, at the same time pro-active agenda is also being set to develop the necessary technology in the country itself. From the licensing process to the export process, we are bringing transparency and balanced competition across the system. Our government has taken several steps to encourage foreign investment. Now 49 percent FDI can be done through automatic route. The option to have 100% FDI in some areas of the defence sector has now been opened. We have also made major changes in the Defence Procurement Procedure which is also encouraging Make in India. This is also creating new opportunities for employment.

I have been told that it took around 12 lakh man-days to construct INS Kalvari. During the course of its construction, the technical competence that Indian companies, Indian industries, small entrepreneurs and our engineers have got is, in a way, a "Talent Treasure" for the country. This skill-set is an asset for us, which will continuously benefit our country in the future.

Friends, we have made radical changes in our defence exports policy, so that Indian companies can manufacture products of defence sector and export them all over the world. A list of about one hundred fifty non-core items has been created, so our military forces can easily purchase the defence products that are being made here. Military forces do not need approval from Ordnance Factories for their purchase, they can buy such products directly from private companies.

In order to make the country self-reliant in the defence sector, the government is implementing the Strategic Partnership Model with the Indian private sector. It is our effort that just like foreign countries, Indian companies should also manufacture, from fighter planes to helicopters and from tanks to Submarine in our country. These Strategic Partners will further strengthen India's defence industry in future.

The government has also taken several policy decisions to accelerate the procurement of defence related items. Financial powers have also been increased at the level of Ministry of Defence and Services Headquarters. The whole process has been made more simple and effective. With these important reforms, the strength of our defence system and the capabilities of the forces of the country will enhance further.

Brothers and sisters, our government's security policy is not only creating an impact outside but is also having a positive impact on the internal security of the country. You all know how terrorism is being used as a proxy war against India. It is the result of our government’s policies and the bravery of our soldiers that we have not allowed such forces to succeed in J&K. In Jammu and Kashmir, more than 200 terrorists have been killed so far in this year. There has also been a significant decrease in stone pelting incidents.

In the Northeastern states also, there has been noticeable improvement in the situation. Naxal-Maoist violence has also come down. This indicates that more and more people in these areas are now returning to the mainstream of development. On this occasion today, I am thankful to all those who have laid down their lives for the security of the country. State police forces, para-military forces, our military, all the agencies engaged in security and those working clandestinely, 1.25 billion people of this country are grateful to them. I congratulate them, I thank them.

Friends, the strength of the country is connected with the strength of our security forces and therefore, keeping in view the requirements of the security forces, taking decisions for them without delay, standing with them is the priority of this government and it is in the nature of this government. This was our own commitment, due to which the issue of One Rank One Pension, which has been pending since decades, that promise has now been fulfilled. So far nearly 11 thousand crore rupees have been paid as arrears to more than 20 lakh retired army personnel.

Brothers and Sisters, on this occasion, I would like to remember the 6 brave Indian Navy officers, who are on an all ocean revolution mission. I would like to honor them. With the inspiration of Defence Minister Smt. Nirmala Ji and message from India’s women power, a lot of courage these six brave hearts are marching ahead.

Friends, only you are managing these unfathomable Indian capabilities in land, sea and air. Today a new journey begins with INS Kalvari.

May the god of sea keep you strong and safe. “Shamah Nau Varunah” this is your only motto. With this wish, I salute you once again with good wishes. I conclude here while congratulating all of you for this new entry in this Golden Jubilee year.

Many many thanks.

Bharat Mata ki Jai. (Long live Mother India)

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சமூக வலைதள மூலை நவம்பர் 18, 2019
November 18, 2019
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