Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ got a big push, with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launching scores of products developed by defence PSUs and OFB on Sunday.
The Defence Minister launched four products each by Ordinance Factory Board (OFB) and Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML), two by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and one each by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), Mazgaon Dockyard Limited (MDL), Garden Reach Ship Builders & Engineers Ltd (GRSE) and Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL), developed by respective Defence Public Sector Units (DPSUs)/OFB as part of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.
Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Bipin Rawat, Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar, Secretary Defence Production Mr. Raj Kumar and senior officers from Department of Defence Production (DDP) were present on the occasion. CMDs of DPSUs and Chairman OFB participated in the event through video conference links.
Addressing on the occasion, Rajnath Singh said “Self-reliance in defence manufacturing is one of the key objectives of the ‘Aatmanirbhar Abhyaan’. He expressed confidence that the drive for ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ to realise the goal of self-reliance would give the necessary impetus to India’s defence production. “The concerted efforts being put in by Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence, to streamline the procurement procedures, production policies and indigenization initiatives would assuredly lead to the development and manufacture of indigenous defence products bringing down our dependence on imports thereby restricting outflow of Foreign exchange, encourage development of domestic Industry, insulate India from external pressure and ensure lifetime spares and service support to the defence equipment,” he added.
Referring to corporatization of OFB, Rajnath Singh said “if government owned defence industries are to compete at national and international level, then the outdated practices will have to be done away with. We need to have modern management techniques, technology infusion and collaborative efforts to help aid the state defence industries serve the country efficiently. With this purpose, the government has initiated steps towards corporatisation of OFB. I am sure this step will not only help do away with the constraints of controlled pricing, but will also infuse corporate management practices and efficient systems. I understand that it will be a challenge for OFB to reinvent itself but I hope they will succeed in it.”
Among the products launched today included the prototype of Nag Missile Carrier (NAMICA) developed by Ordnance Factory Medak in association with DRDL, Hyderabad. NAMICA has the potential for import substitution to the tune of Rs. 260 Cr in the first phase, which may go upto more than Rs 3000 Cr. The other products of Ordnance Factory Board such as the fully indigenous 14.5 mm Anti Material Rifle being manufactured with the existing facilities at Ordnance Factory Trichy, the upgraded Commander’s Thermal Imager Cum Day Sight for T90 Main Battle Tank and the prototype of 8.6×70 mm Sniper developed by Rifle Factory Ishapore for engaging long range targets, were also launched.
Raksha Mantri appreciated BEML for the products launched today saying their endeavours towards indigenization and reduction in imports are impressive. He said “The 150 Ton payload capacity Dump Truck, one of the biggest Electric Mining Dump Trucks, and Super Giant Mining Excavator of 180 Ton Capacity, both indigenously designed and manufactured with cost benefit of over 20% than the imported equipment and with expected foreign exchange savings of Rs. 1500 Crs and Rs 220 crore respectively are true ‘aatmanirbhar’ products.” He added “GAUR, the BEML Medium Bullet Proof Vehicle built on a high mobility chassis, with impressive features and customizable protection levels and custom-built Heliport-able 100 HP Dozer, with very high indigenization levels of 85 % and 94% respectively, are remarkable products.”
The roll out of the 150th Do-228 aircraft by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, HAL, is a milestone in the indigenous manufacture of the proven platform. The christening of the 150th aircraft as IN-259 and customising it as a dedicated platform for Indian Navy in the Maritime Reconnaissance & Intelligence Warfare role is a true reflection of the technical prowess of HAL. Further, HAL and IISc have joined hands to establish a Skill Development Center at IISc’s Challakere campus in Karnataka. The goal of this Center is to create a model facility that would provide skill development programmes for various beneficiaries ranging from local community members to high-end engineering professionals in line with the Make in India mission.
The Linear Variable Differential Transducer fully designed and developed by BEL, which is critical to attain accuracy & precision in guiding and seeking the target, and the launch of 1kW Transmitter Aerial Switching Rack which is an import substitution for HF Aerial switching Unit, for providing better long-term support to Indian Navy, are genuine indigenized products. The Konkurs Launchers Test Equipment designed and developed by Bharat Dynamics Limited, BDL, to check the complete functionality of Konkurs Launcher replacing the earlier imported system from Russia will save foreign exchange of US $ 17.7 Million.Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited, GRSE’s design and development of the Portable Pedestrian (Assault) Bridge, first of its kind made of Carbon Fibre Polymer Composite Material, to meet the requirements of the Indian Army is a genuine ‘aatmanirbhar product’. The indigenous development of Gearbox for the Indian Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Vessels project by GSL is a success story not only in Self-reliance but also in partnering with a private company, resulting in saving of Rs 37.50 Cr for 5 ship sets due to Indigenization. Underwater Remote Operated Vehicle by MDL which has completed laboratory trials commences its Field Evaluation Trials at Chennai today.
The minister unveiled these products by pressing a remote button. He congratulated the Management and Employees of DPSUs and Ordnance factories for their effort in churning out the indigenised products and applaud their commitment towards the cause of ‘aatmanirbharta’. Rajnath Singh specially congratulated Secretary, Defence Production and his team for the initiative taken to celebrate ‘aatmanirbharta’. He said “The impressive list of indigenous products and new products which have been launched today, gives me confidence that the DPSUs and Ordnance Factories would be the prime drivers of the ‘Aatmanirbhar Abhyaan’ and contribute immeasurably to the cause of national security and self-reliance.” He further added “some of the products launched today will not only cater to the needs of defence sector but will also be useful for the civil society when needed. DPSUs and Ordnance Factories are national facilities, created and strengthened over a long period of time and have considerable technical prowess and capacity. They also have well-structured R&D and testing facilities and manufacturing capability which should be fully used for indigenous design, development and manufacturing.”
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‘ARMY CAN MEET ANY CHALLENGE TO SAFEGUARD COUNTRY’
The Army is fully prepared to meet any challenge like the use of drones and social media by adversaries to safeguard the country, said Commandant of Chennai-based Officers Training Academy (OTA) Lieutenant General M K Das. Lt Gen Das, who is also the colonel of the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI) regiment, said the situation in J&K is getting better with the Army and other security agencies working together to stamp out terrorism. Speaking to media on the sidelines of the maiden attestation parade of 460 new recruits of the 126th batch after a successful 40-week training period at Dansal here, he said the Indian Army is aware of the challenges and prepared to give a befitting response to the enemies of the nation.
Talking about the need to introduce special training courses for soldiers in the aftermath of the developments in Afghanistan, he said, “Our training is very contemporary as it caters for all the contingencies and unforeseen situations. My young soldiers, who have taken the oath to defend the constitution and the country, will live up to all the challenges. One of the unique things of this regiment (JAKLI) is all our troops hail from J&K and Ladakh. They have ingrained quality to be security conscious much more than others.” Lt Gen Das said, “All the situations unfolding in the country or in our neighbourhood, the JAKLI regiment will continue to excel and be the lead agency in the fight against terrorism.” Asked about the challenges posed by the use of drones to hit targets and deliver weapons and narcotics from across the LoC and International Border, he said a capsule course on anti-drone measures has been introduced. “On Army Day on 15 January, our chief took the threat seriously and our soldiers are being prepared to deal with the challenge in a better way.” During recruitment training, Lt Gen Das said that besides the arms handing and exercises, thrust is also given on science and technology, cybersecurity and other new challenges. He said the misuse of social media by “anti-national” elements is a reality and the new recruits are being trained in cybersecurity during their basic and orientation courses.
On attempts by Pakistan to mislead the youth of J&K, Lt Gen Das said, “The youth of J&K is showing keenness to be a part of the regiment which is a message to those who think they can mislead our youth. Joining the regiment is the best way to serve the nation, the youth live like a family and there is complete communal harmony.” He said the regiment is increasing the number of local youth from Ladakh and would also go for recruitment in J&K to provide an opportunity to the local youth to become part of this regiment. Asked about his message to the misguided youth, he said, “J&K is the crown of India but if I focus as a soldier, I feel they (misguided youth) have not understood their country… the situation has not gone out of hand and the Army has kept its window open to allow them to surrender and join the national mainstream.”
He added, “We have a unit of 162 Infantry Territorial Army who are former militants but have become upright soldiers.” Lt Gen Das said the Army and other security agencies are working in close coordination and the situation in J&K is getting better and the “day is not far when this region will make our country proud.”
SOUTHERN NAVAL COMMAND OBSERVES INTERNATIONAL COASTAL CLEAN-UP DAY IN KOCHI
The Southern Naval Command observed International Coastal Clean-up Day on Saturday with a focus on mangrove plantation and clearance of plastic/non-biodegradable waste along with waterfront areas in and around Kochi, said a press release from the Ministry of Defence.
Pursuant to the global campaign of keeping coastlines clean, more than 600 Naval personnel and the families of Southern Naval Command undertook clearance of plastic and non-biodegradable waste at different locations spread across the city, coastal areas such as Fort Kochi beach, Thevara waterfront, Willingdon Island, Cherai beach, Bolgatty and around 2 km stretch of the Venduruthy channel while restoring around 1 lakh sqm of mangroves to the pristine condition. In addition, 80 mangrove saplings were also planted along the Venduruthy channel. Similar coastal cleanup drives and lectures/webinars/competitions emphasising protection of the coastal and marine environment were undertaken with the enthusiastic participation of the Naval community at other outstation Naval units located at Lonavala, Jamnagar, Chilka, Coimbatore, Goa, Ezhimala and Mumbai.
Being the Training Command of the Indian Navy, the Southern Naval Command has always been at the vanguard in promoting environmental conservation activities both at the Command Headquarters, Kochi as well as at Naval stations spread across the country.
Mandated to oversee naval training, the Southern Naval Command has conceptualised and implemented a variety of green initiatives. Keeping environmental preservation as one of the Key Result Areas, the Command has constantly endeavoured to motivate young officer and sailor trainees of the Indian Navy to imbibe the habit of protecting mother nature as part of their grooming efforts in preparing them to become responsible future Naval leaders and dependable citizens of India.
Particular attention has also been given to create more awareness among the families and more importantly the children.
During the last three years, the Command has adopted a multi-dimensional approach towards conservation of the environment and implementation of energy conservation methods.
To highlight a few, the personnel of the Command were actively involved in the rejuvenation of 4.5-km-long Venduruthy Channel near Kochi Naval base, creating awareness in and around Naval establishments.
Efforts were undertaken to enhance green cover by conducting mass plantation drives which included planting more than 75,000 trees, using the fast-growing Miyawaki forestation method. In addition, regular coastal clean-up drives, mangrove plantation drives, in-house handling and recycling of bio and non-biodegradable waste, adopting efficient energy and water-saving methods etc were also undertaken. The Command has also earnestly endeavoured to continue all the efforts for protecting and conserving the environment and natural resources. Towards achieving the same, the Command has implemented a Green Initiative and Environment Conservation Roadmap with a prime focus on Carbon footprint reduction.
With the personal involvement of Vice Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command is committed to creating a clean, green and healthy environment in line with the visionary environment conservation policies of the Govt of India. On the occasion, Adv M Anilkumar, Mayor, Kochi Municipal Corporation and staff also participated in Kochi.
IAF TO HOLD AIR SHOW OVER DAL LAKE IN SRINAGAR ON 26 SEPT
An air show will be held here on 26 September where IAF’s skydiving team Akash Ganga and Suryakiran Aerobatic and Display Team and paramotor flying will manoeuvre the skies over the famous Dal Lake, officials informed on Saturday.
The air show will be organised by the Air Force Station Srinagar and the Jammu and Kashmir administration as part of the ongoing celebrations commemorating ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, they said. The main aim of the exercise—under the theme ‘Give Wings to Your Dream’—is to motivate the youth of the valley to join the Indian Air Force (IAF) and to promote tourism in the region, the officials said.
The event will be flagged off Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha at the Sher-e-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC) overlooking Dal Lake.
More than 3,000 college and school students are expected to participate in the programme to witness the impressive manoeuvres of the IAF, which will motivate them to dream about a career in the force and in the aviation sector, the officials said. “The show will also develop passion among the students to give wings to their dreams. Along with the students, 700 teachers will also be present at the venue,” they added.
During the demonstration, students will also be familiarised with the new technological advancements achieved and incorporated by the IAF while flying aircraft in the sky over the world-famous Dal Lake, the officials said. Stalls will be established at SKICC where students will be familiarised with the achievements of the Air Force, employment opportunities in the IAF, recruitment rules and eligibility criteria, they added.
Srinagar-based PRO Defence Col Emron Musavi said the display will include flypast by various aircraft of the IAF. The spectators would also get to witness paramotor flying and IAF’s skydiving team Akash Ganga in action. ‘Ambassadors of IAF’, Suryakiran Aerobatic Display Team, will be performing in the valley after a gap of 14 years, he said. Col Musavi said the symphony orchestra of the IAF would also be performing at the event. The event would also consist of a photo exhibition depicting the history of the
IAF, he said.
ARMY ORGANISES EXHIBITION IN JAIPUR TO COMMEMORATE INDIA’S VICTORY IN 1971 WAR
JAIPUR : South Western Command of the Indian Army on Saturday organised an exhibition showcasing defence equipment at Chitrakoot Stadium in Jaipur to mark the 50th anniversary of India’s victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war.
Speaking to ANI, an Indian army official said, “We have displayed the defence equipment in this exhibition to make people aware of the Indian army achievements. We want to motivate the youth by showcasing these types of equipment.” “Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, these events had been started to make people aware of Indian Arm Forces. So, we are also continuing the move by organising these kinds of events,” he added.
Further, he said that India’s victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war is memorable for all the Indians, so, every citizen should be aware of this war.
BRO makes history, appoints woman Army officer in-charge of road construction unit
The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has appointed a woman Army officer for the first as the Officer Commanding of its 75 road construction company (RCC) in Uttarakhand, the Defence Ministry said on Sunday.
The three platoon commanders under Major Aaina, Captain Anjana, AEE (Civ) Bhawana Joshi and AEE (Civ) Vishnumaya K became the first women RCC. The appointments were made on August 30.
BRO on Sunday recalled the list of women officers who were assigned higher leadership roles in the organisation in the current year.
According to a statement issued by the Defence Ministry, BRO has inducted a large number of women into its workforce over the years, right from officers to the level of commercial pilot license holders. “In this regard, a General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF) officer EE (Civ) Vaishali S Hiwase took over the reins of 83 Road Construction Company on April 28, employed on an important Indo-China road connecting Munisairi-Bughdiar-Milam, in an area full of adversity and challenges. The lady officer has taken control and is leading the charge with meticulous execution of her tasks,” the statement said.
“The BRO created history again on 30 August when Major Aaina of Project Shivalik took charged as Officer Commanding, 75 Road Construction Companies (RCC) at Pipalkoti in Chamoli district in Uttarakhand. She is the first Indian Army Engineer Officer to command a road construction company. Not only this, all three platoon commanders under her, Captain Anjana, AEE (Civ) Bhawana Joshi and AEE (Civ) Vishnumaya K are lady officers and they have together created a first-ever women RCC. The Border Roads plans to make four such all women-led RCCs, two each in North Eastern and Western Sectors.”
As India celebrates 75 Years of Azaadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, it also celebrates the ongoing efforts of our Nation towards women empowerment. Women today have started assuming their rightful, equal place as the frontrunners in nation-building and representatives of our strong national character, the statement read.
Over the last six decades, in a graduated and steady manner, the BRO has increased the number of women employed in various roles and duties of road construction. A consolidated effort is being made to empower them by giving them authority and responsibilities to undertake work independently. These women have become symbols of Nari Shakti in their respective areas.
IN FIRST FOREIGN VISIT AFTER TAKING OVER AS CDS, GEN BIPIN RAWAT TO VISIT RUSSIA, US
In his first visit abroad after taking over as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Bipin Rawat will be visiting Russia and the US.
Rawat took over his new office as CDS on 31 December 2019, and since then has been declining foreign invitations for focusing on the new assignment of integrating the defence forces as a combined fighting force. “There is a conference of the CDS-rank officers of the Shanghai Cooperation Agreement member countries. China and Pakistan are also part of this grouping,” senior defence officials said.
The CDS conference would be focusing on addressing the regional security issues and Afghanistan is also likely to come up for discussion, they said.
The CDS would also witness the activities of the respective armed forces taking part in the SCO peace mission drills being held in Russia. Indian Army and Air Force are also taking part in the exercise there.
The visit will take place in the coming week and soon after return from Russia, Rawat would be leaving for the US for meeting his counterpart and other American military leadership at the Pentagon.
The two countries have been coming closer militarily in the last few years and have been holding multiple military exercises and hardware cooperation.
The Indian military saw a major change in senior-level structures under the Narendra Modi government as the focus is now on the theatrisation of the fighting forces and bringing in more capabilities and jointness among the three services.
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