Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated the Indian Navy for successfully conducting repatriation mission “Operation Samudra Setu” during Covid-19 pandemic. He complimented the men and women of Indian Navy for their role in protecting the maritime interests of the nation and expressed confidence in the Indian Navy’s preparedness to meet any challenge through a proactive response in deploying its ships and aircraft.
The Defence Minister was addressing Naval Commanders on the inaugural day of the Naval Commanders’ Conference here in New Delhi. On arrival, Shri Singh was received by Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh and was briefed on the innovations carried out by Indian Navy in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. These included various equipment developed or designed by the Navy and these are being utilised by various agencies.
Speaking on the unprecedented challenge posed by Covid-19 pandemic , Rajnath Singh congratulated the Navy, on the conduct of the biggest ever “Operation Samudra Setu”, which has contributed extensively to the national interest. Despite the difficult sea conditions and the challenges of dealing with an unseen enemy in the form of the Coronavirus, the Navy was instrumental in bringing home almost 4000 people from neighbouring countries in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
Moreover, under ‘Mission Sagar’, medical assistance and aid was provided to the countries of South West Indian Ocean Region (Maldives, Mauritius, Comoros, Seychelles and Madagascar). Shri Singh also lauded the efforts of all Naval Commands in setting up of the quarantine facilities to aid the civil administration in managing Covid-19.
He said that accepting the challenges arising out of the Covid 19 situation in the current financial year Indian Navy has continued to progress the operational, administrative and modernization efforts. Notwithstanding these fiscal challenges, the government has invoked the Emergency Powers to meet the emergent requirements of the services, he added.
Speaking on Indian Navy’s proven commitment towards ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ in consonance with the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Government, Defence Minister appreciated that the Navy has been at the forefront of the indigenisation process. He also stated that it is important that we keep pace with the successes which have been achieved so far. The recently inaugurated NIIO (Naval Innovation and Indigenisation Organization) is one such step.
Wishing success to the Conference, the Defence Minister expressed confidence that the key focus areas and strategies would be deliberated threadbare.
This three days conference is the apex level event for interaction between the Naval Commanders of Indian Navy. Naval Chief Admiral Karambir Singh, with the Commanders-in-Chief, will review major operational, materiel, logistics, training , human resource and administrative activities undertaken during the year and deliberate upon the course to be steered in the future.
The Conference assumes greater significance in the backdrop of recent events on our northern borders, coupled with the unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19 and would provide the higher naval leadership a forum to discuss conduct of operations, sustenance and maintenance of assets, procurement issues, infrastructure development, human resource management etc. within the ambit of the new normal established by the pandemic.
The conference is also the forum for interaction of Naval Commanders with other senior government officials.
This is the first Naval Commanders’ Conference since the institution of Department of Military Affairs (DMA) and Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). “The conference would discuss ways to optimise joint planning structures,Tri-Service Synergy, and operational readiness, also functional reorganisation within the Indian Navy to improve efficiency”, said a press release.