New Delhi: The situation along Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir remained under control in the last one year due to the vigilance and indomitable valour of Indian Armed Forces, said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday.

In his radio address to Armed Forces on Independence Day eve, the Defence Minister said, "The situation along LoC in Jammu and Kashmir remained under control in the last one year due to our vigilance and indomitable valour. Ceasefire violations have also come down since Feb 2021. In Eastern Ladakh, efforts are being made to resolve the differences on the LAC through dialogue with China. The process of disengagement has been completed at some places."

Mr Singh said continuous efforts being made to increase the participation of women in all branches of the Indian Army. The first batch of Women Military Police has been inducted into the Indian Army.

Emphasising on the augmentation of the budget allocation to Defence sector, he said, "In the Union Budget for the financial year 2021-22, in a historic effort for modernisation of defence sector capital outlay has been increased from ₹ 1.13 lakh crore to ₹ 1.35 lakh crore which is 18.75 per cent higher than the previous financial year."

"You may recall that in order to maintain the Operational Edge of the Air Force, the Government of India had signed Government to Government agreement with France for procurement of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft. So far, 26 aircraft have arrived in India. On July 28, the Rafale was formally inducted into 101 squadron at Hashimara Air Force Station of Eastern Air Command. So far, only 101 squadrons have got the distinction of being equipped with Rafale after Air Force Station Ambala, 17 Squadron ''the Golden Arrow''. Soon the remaining Rafale aircraft will also arrive in India which will bring qualitative enhancement in the defence capability of our Air Force," stated the Defence Minister.

Mr Singh informed that the Union Cabinet decided to procure indigenous fighter aircraft 83 LCA Tejas MK-1A for the Air Force at the cost of about ₹ 46,000 crore. Light combat Aircraft MK-1A is a fourth-generation state-of-the-art fighter aircraft designed and developed in our own country. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited will manufacture these aircraft in India itself.

"Indigenous Aircraft Carrier IAC Vikrant completed its four days maiden sea voyage on August 8, 2021. Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) ''Vikrant'' designed by Indian Navy's Directorate of Naval Design (DND) is being built at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL). Built with more than seventy-six per cent indigenous material, the vessel is a major achievement of ''Atmanirbhar Bharat'' and provides thrust to Indian Navy's ''Make in India'' initiatives," he added.

Mr Singh said Armed Forces Medical Service was first to set up quarantine centres for Indians returning from COVID-19 affected countries. "At the time when Galwan Valley was in news, Forces extended a helping hand to civilians and showed solidarity in the government's fight against COVID-19," he said.

The Defence Minister further hailed Olympian Neeraj Chopra who is also a Subedar in Indian Army for bagging a gold medal for the country.

"Our Army Subedar Neeraj Chopra has made this year's Independence Day even sweeter by winning first Gold Medal in the Javelin Throw event of track and field events for the country at the Tokyo Olympics. Subedar Neeraj as well as other Olympic medallists of Indian athletes have been especially invited to the Independence Day celebrations at the Red Fort tomorrow. I thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji for this," said Mr Singh.