VISAKHAPATNAM: President Ram Nath Kovind has said the Indian Navy is becoming increasingly self-reliant and has been at the forefront of the ‘Make in India’ initiative. Speaking after the 12th President’s Fleet Review (PFR) held off Visakhapatnam coast on Monday, he said about 70% of components of warships and submarines are under construction in various public and private shipyards in the country are indigenous.
“It is a matter of great pride that India has built nuclear submarines and soon the indigenously built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant will be commissioned. Development of indigenous naval shipbuilding capabilities is a tremendous contribution to Atmanirbhar Bharat,” he asserted.
The President said the parade showcased the preparedness of the Indian Navy for any contingency. “Excellent parade of ships showcased the professional competence and determination of the maritime services of the nation,’’ Ram Nath Kovind averred.
The Indian Navy regularly engages with several other navies in the world by taking part in exercises. “The aim is to enhance interoperability, gain from best practices, develop common understanding and build mutual confidence to address maritime issues,’’ he explained.
“A significant portion of our trade and energy needs are met through the oceans. The Navy’s constant vigil, prompt response to incidents and untiring efforts have been highly successful,’’ he noted. During the Covid pandemic,
The Indian Navy had provided aid to friendly nations by supplying medicines and evacuating stranded Indian citizens and foreign nationals in different parts of the world under ‘Mission Sagar’ and ‘Samudra Setu’. He congratulated the Indian Navy for the splendid conduct of this historic event, overcoming all challenges imposed by the pandemic.
Praising the beauty of Visakhapatnam, the President said the city has been an important port for centuries. “Historically, it has been known as a crucial hub of trans-national trade and commerce. From the 6th century before the common era to the 21st century, Vizag continues to be an important centre for industry and economy. Its strategic importance is underlined by the fact that the headquarters of the Eastern Naval Command of the Indian Navy is located here,’’ he said.
Vizag made a glorious contribution during the 1971 war. The golden jubilee celebrations of India’s victory in that war under ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’ concluded recently. He recalled the heroic action of the Eastern Naval Command in the naval blockade of the then East Pakistan and the sinking of Pakistan submarine Ghazi. “
"That was a decisive blow to Pakistan,’’ he remarked. Complimenting the State government and citizens of Vizag for extending all support to the Navy for conducting the fleet review successfully, he said as the Supreme Commander of Armed Forces, this was a moment of immense satisfaction for him.