President Ram Nath Kovind praised Indian Navy's constant vigil, prompt response to incidents and untiring efforts to succesfully maintain the safety of the seas as India believed in security and growth for all in the region, with focus on cooperative measures for sustainable use of oceans.
Addressing the Naval fleet during the President's Fleet Review-2022 off the Visakhapatnam coast in Bay of Bengal, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces said the excellent parade of ships, aircraft and submarines showcased the professional competence and determination of the maritime services of the nation.
"A large part of global trade flows through the Indian Ocean Region. A significant portion of our trade and energy needs are met through the oceans. Safety of the seas and of the maritime commons, therefore, remains a critical requirement," Kovind noted.
"As the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, this is a moment of immense satisfaction for me. The nation is proud of our brave navy personnel. I am pleased to review the readiness of the Indian Naval ships, submarines, aircraft and other elements of our maritime power today. Indian Navy is becoming increasingly self-reliant and has been at the forefront of the 'Make in India' initiative,” he added.
The President noted that about 70 per cent of the contents of several warships and submarines under construction in various public and private shipyards across the country were indigenous."It is a matter of great pride that India has built nuclear submarines and soon we will have our indigenously built aircraft carrier, ‘Vikrant’, joining the service. Development of indigenous naval shipbuilding capabilities is an impressive contribution to the making of an 'Atmanirbhar Bharat'," Kovind observed.
Commending the Navy’s role during the Covid-19 pandemic, he said it provided aid to friendly nations in the form of medicines supply.The Navy also evacuated stranded Indian citizens and foreign nationals in different parts of the world under 'Mission SAGAR' and 'Samudra Setu.'
"The prompt and effective deployment of the Indian Navy in the times of crisis has underscored India's vision of being the 'Preferred Security Partner' and 'First Responder' in the Indian Ocean Region," the President remarked.
Kovind said the city of Visakhapatnam "made a glorious contribution" during the 1971 war. "I recall the heroic action of the Eastern Naval Command in the naval blockade of the then East Pakistan and the sinking of Pakistan's submarine 'Ghazi'. That was a decisive blow to Pakistan. The 1971 war remains one of the most emphatic victories in our history," the President observed.
Noting that the Indian Navy regularly engaged with a large number of other navies of the world through bilateral and multilateral exercises, Kovind said the aim was to enhance interoperability, gain from best practices, develop common understanding and build mutual confidence to address maritime issues.
He conveyed his best wishes to Indian Navy for the multi-national naval exercise MILAN 2022, scheduled to begin in Visakhapatnam on February 26.
( With PTI Inputs)