Addressing the Naval Commanders' Conference aboard INS Vikrant, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said "secured borders" are the first requirement to ensure economic progress

New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday (March 6, 2023) reviewed the operational capabilities of the Indian Navy and told the top Naval commanders "to be ready" as future conflicts will be "unpredictable". During the Naval Commanders' Conference held aboard India's first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier INS Vikrant, he examined the operational demonstrations at sea and highlighted the Navy's capability to undertake multi-dimensional missions towards safeguarding the maritime interests of the country.

"Future conflicts will be unpredictable. The constantly-evolving world order has forced everyone to re-strategise. Constant vigil on the Northern and Western borders as well as the entire coastline must be maintained. We need to be ready to deal with all future challenges," Singh said.

In his address to the Commanders, the senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader lauded the Indian Navy for "standing firm" and protecting national interests with "courage and dedication".

He exhorted them to continue focussing on futuristic capability development to effectively overcome the emerging security challenges in the maritime domain.

'Secured Borders' First Requirement To Ensure Economic Progress

Rajnath Singh asserted that "secured borders" are the first requirement to ensure social and economic progress and said that India -- under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership -- is moving forward in 'Amrit Kaal' with renewed thrust and zeal to achieve this objective.

"In the next 5-10 years, orders worth over $100 billion are expected to be placed through the defence sector and it will become a major partner in the economic development of the country. Today, our defence sector is on the runway, soon when it takes off, it will transform the country’s economy," he said.

"If we want to see India among the top economic powers of the world by the end of ‘Amrit Kaal’, we need to take bold steps towards becoming a defence superpower," Singh added.

Huge Country Like India Needs To Be 'Completely Self-Reliant'

Rajnath Singh said that a huge country like India needs to be "completely self-reliant" and not dependent on others for its security.

The BJP parliamentarian, who also celebrated 'Holi' with the naval personnel on board INS Vikrant, termed the recent announcement of an earmarking record 75% of the defence capital procurement budget for the domestic industry in 2023-24 as a testament to the Government’s "firm commitment to achieve self-reliance in defence manufacturing".

He listed out numerous steps taken by the Modi Government to achieve 'Aatmanirbharta' in defence, including notification of four Positive Indigenisation Lists, increase in FDI limit and creating a favourable environment for Indian vendors including MSMEs.

On the commissioning of INS Vikrant, Singh said that it has further reinforced the belief that India’s Naval designing and development is at a promising stage and more progress will be made in the times to come.