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Need to maintain peace and stability in Indian maritime zone: Rajnath Singh at Naval Commanders' Conference

Need to maintain peace and stability in Indian maritime zone: Rajnath Singh at Naval Commanders' Conference

New Delhi, Oct 18 (UNI) Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday stressed the need to maintain peace and stability within the Indian Maritime Zones in order to boost the trade and economic activities, as he addressed the top commanders of the Indian Navy.
Speaking at the Naval Commanders' Conference that started today, Rajnath Singh also stressed on indigenisation, and said two-third of the Navy's procurement in the last five years have been local.
Reiterating India's stand on freedom of navigation, Singh said as a 'responsible maritime stakeholder', India supports consensus based principles and a peaceful, open, rule based, stable world order.
His comments come in the backdrop of China's continuing presence in the Indian Ocean Region for over a decade now. India, US and several other nations have expressed concern over the number of Chinese naval ships and submarines patrolling the region.
He said India "envisions 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". He lauded the Indian Navy for effectively carrying out these responsibilities.
Singh also said amid rapidly changing economic and political relations across the world, economic interests do cause some stress in the relations.
"Therefore, there is a greater need to maintain peace and stability within the Indian Maritime Zones in order to boost the trade and economic activities. Indian Navy’s role in ensuring maintenance of this peace and stability in the region is going to increase manifold in the times to come," he said.
"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.
The minister stressed on self-reliance and indigenisation, and said that two-third of procurement by Navy in last five years have been sourced domestically.
"In consonance with PMs vision of ‘Aatma Nirbhar Bharat’ our 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.” Rajnath Singh said.
"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," he said.
The Defence Minister also launched ‘Integrated Unmanned Road Map for Indian Navy’. This publication 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 ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’ mission, the Indian Navy said.
The five-day conference will focus on addressing the contemporary security paradigms while seeking ways to enhance combat capability of the Navy and make operations more effective and efficient.
The conference would include detailed review of the performance of weapons, readiness of Indian Navy’s platforms; ongoing Naval projects - with focus on ways to enhance indigenisation through ‘Make in India’ will also be undertaken by the Commanders. The conference would also dwell upon dynamics of the geostrategic situation of the region in the backdrop of recent events.
The Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane, and Indian Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal VR Choudhari would also interact with the Naval Commanders to address convergence of the three Services vis-à-vis the operational environment.
The top officials of the three forces would also discuss avenues for augmenting Tri-Service synergy and readiness towards defence of the nation and India’s national interests.
UNI AO SHK1855

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