Aero India 2021, three-day mega event to showcase the prowess of the aviation industry, will begin from Wednesday at Bengaluru. The Curtain Raiser Press Conference chaired by the Defence Minister for Asia’s premier air show was held on 2 February. Aero India-2021 will be inaugurated by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and will commence with a flying display at Yelahanka Air Force Station. Rajnath Singh was felicitated by Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on the occasion.
Inspired by the Prime Minister’s call for Aatmanirbhar Bharat, the flying display will feature formations showcasing India’s cutting-edge technology and capabilities in the aerospace sector. Aero India 2021 is being organised this year amidst the challenging circumstances created by the Covid-19 situation. Rajnath Singh commended the organisation of the biennial event this year amidst such challenges. He hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat and said that the Ministry of Defence was relentlessly giving impetus to domestic manufacturing of defence equipment, not only to fulfil the demands of our armed forces, but also to make India a net exporter of defence equipment and platforms to friendly foreign countries. He appreciated the conducive ecosystem and climate for investors created in Karnataka through the entrepreneurial spirit of its people. He said that the award of a huge contract of Rs 48,000 crore to HAL was because of this spirit.
Rajnath Singh also spoke about the distinguishing takeaways of Aero India 2021. Technological base and presence of industry leaders associated with Aviation cement the bonds between Bengaluru and Aero India 2021. He said that set against the backdrop of Bengaluru, the event would offer opportunities for collaboration and cooperation between Indian and global industry leaders, academicians, visionaries, centre and state administrations. It would also bring together the defence ministers of various countries, service chiefs, policymakers, foreign OEMs, industry, entrepreneurs and academia to showcase, connect and collaborate as well as highlight policy reforms driving India’s new defence manufacturing revolution. He further said that Aero India would spark a renewed sense of pride in India’s defence manufacturing and take defence cooperation to the next level. Speaking on the Covid-19 pandemic, he added that countries were forced to impose restrictions to protect human lives. Raksha Mantri emphasised that while organizing Aero India 2021 all Covid-19 related advisories issued by the Union Home and Health ministries and state government regarding the use of masks, social distancing, RT-PCR tests would be strictly followed. He added that due to these restrictions this edition of Aero India would be a purely business event and there would be no public days. He said that limited access to the aero shows would be provided to the public based on online bookings. Rajnath Singh said that a dedicated virtual platform has been created to facilitate public participation. He said that Aero India 2021 promises to be the world’s first hybrid aero and defence exhibition with a concurrent exhibition integrating seminars, Business to business events, product displays etc. He said that since 2014, the government has brought in policy reforms to push indigenous defence manufacturing with an enthusiastic response from the global business community.
He further said that the world has now started to recognize India as a trusted defence investment destination. He added that hosting the event in Bengaluru, the IT capital of India, will consolidate not only the Karnataka’s position as a favoured investment destination, but also establish the state as the gateway for defence and economic engagement. Raksha Mantri said that Aero India will give further momentum to the Prime Minister’s clarion call for Aatmanirbhar Bharat, aimed at promoting indigenisation.
Rajnath Singh enumerated the highlights of Aero India 2021 including inauguration of India pavilion—based on the theme of Rotary wings, Conclave of Defence Ministers of Indian Ocean Region, Conclave of Chiefs of Air Staff of various countries, India-Russia Military Industrial Conference, Startup Manthan, etc. He said, more than 200 MoU partnership agreements are expected to be signed at the Bandhan event on 5th February. He added that the IOR Defence Ministers’ Conclave would reinforce the relevance of the region and its continued importance for stakeholders from the perspective of trade, security and freedom of navigation. He said the event would provide an opportunity to share perspectives on common values and interests in the region.
Chiefs of Air staff conclave will bring senior air force officers from across the world on a single platform enhancing cooperation and understanding of common threats and challenges. He highlighted, over 540 exhibitors would showcase their defence manufacturing prowess. The event would help forge paths for engagement with global defence industry for India. He added that the decision to hold Aero India during this time was not easy due to the twin challenges of COVID-19 and the security challenge thrust on India on the Northern border. He highlighted that India’s calibrated response and the bravery of the soldiers on the border led to sterilisation of the situation on the Northern border and the nation showed its resolve to defend its sovereignty and integrity. He said that the resolve of the government led by the Prime Minister, the state government and other stakeholders made it possible to organize the event. He hailed Aero India 2021 as an inspiring event and said that this year would witness the new initiatives of new India which have begun to change reality.
At the end of his address Defence Minister Rajnath Singh praised all stakeholders who put in efforts to make the event a success during these times. He expressed his gratitude towards the officials of the department of defence production, the armed forces and the organizing committee for their tireless efforts. Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa said that it was a moment of pride for the people of Karnataka in general and for the people of Bengaluru in particular that the city was hosting Aero India for yet another year. He added that it was also a moment of pride for the state that Hindustan Aeronautics Limited had obtained the business deal for Light Combat Aircraft “Tejas”. The Chief Minister applauded the efforts of centre and state administration and other stakeholders in organising the event amidst the difficulties posed by the pandemic. Chairman and Managing Director of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited R Madhavan also spoke about efforts to manufacture Light Combat Aircraft “Tejas”. Anurag Bajpai, Joint Secretary (Personnel & Coordination) gave a detailed presentation on Aero India 2021 events and arrangements.
This is the 25th year of Aero India and the 13th edition of the event. The President of India has graciously accepted to attend the valedictory function for Aero India 2021 on 5th February. Industry associations also felicitated Rajnath Singh at the curtain raiser event for Aero India 2021. Dr. Ashwathnarayan C.N., Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka, Jagdish Shettar, Industry Minister of Karnataka, Mr. Raj Kumar, Secretary, Department of Defence Production, Dr. G Satheesh Reddy, Secretary, DRDO, Kapil Mohan, Chief Secretary, Karnataka and other senior officials of the Ministry of Defence, Government of Karnataka, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and several industry associations were also present at the event.
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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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