Blue economy is ‘marine-based economic development that leads to improved human wellbeing and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.’
—Admiral Sunil Lanba (Retd) at Maritime Power Conference, 2017
Oceans cover three-quarters of the Earth’s surface, contain 97% of the Earth’s water, and represent 99% of the living space on the planet. Oceans are claimed to be the “last frontiers” of growth and development and yet their vast potential remains to be tapped fully. At the same time any plan to realise ocean potential needs to be progressed judiciously, with attention to preservation and health of Oceans, along with adherence to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal.
The concept of ‘blue growth’, which aims to promote the growth of ocean economies whilst holistically managing marine socio-ecological systems, is emerging within national and international maritime policy. Historical analogies that exist today, provide insights for contemporary planning and implementation of the blue economy. The objective of the Blue Economy has been to promote smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and opportunities within the Indian Ocean region’s maritime economic activities and initiate appropriate programs for the sustainable harnessing of ocean resources; research and development.
India has very recently articulated its own comprehensive Blue Economy policy framework, which aims to cover the coastal economy, tourism, marine fishery, technology, skill development, shipping, deep-sea mining, and capacity building in a holistic manner. K.M Panikkar observed how the control of the seas surrounding the Indian landmass have shaped Indian history. The narrative of this history reveals an uncontested medium for centuries and a cosmopolitan confluence of commerce and culture-defining oceanic connectivity. The colonial era brought power dimension to the milieu with the greatest blow felt on the maritime component of the economic well-being of indigenous efforts and political aspirations. Post Independence, India’s maritime journey has witnessed an evolving convergence of the Blue Economy and Maritime Power. In expanding India’s maritime activity towards the blue economy, we are developing a collaborative and macro approach to address these issues and manage them sustainably through maritime awareness and initiative.
WHY DO WE NEED BLUE ECONOMY?
Source: National Maritime Foundation, https://maritimeindia.org/blue-economy-a-catalyst-for-indias-neighbourhood-first-policy/
The oceans cover a large proportion of the earth’s surface and make up more than 95 per cent of the biosphere. They provide much of the world’s population with food and livelihoods and are a significant means of transport in global trade. Statistically, at least 3-5% of global GDP is derived from oceans.
Today, the seabed is a major source of hydrocarbons, and exploration in this area is expanding. New technologies are advancing the frontiers of marine resource development, including bio-prospecting and the mining of seabed mineral resources. The sea also offers vast potential for renewable “blue energy” production from wind, wave, tidal, thermal and biomass sources and maritime global trade. The potential of the oceans to meet sustainable development needs is enormous, but only if the oceans can be maintained and restored in a productive state.
The blue economy here, through sustainable use of oceans, has great potential for boosting economic growth by providing opportunities for income generation and improving livelihoods. Also, with that, advocating ocean development strategies for higher productivity and conservation of ocean ecosystem health. Although the term “blue economy” has been used in different ways, it is understood here as comprising the range of economic sectors and related policies that together determine whether the use of oceanic resources is sustainable. An important challenge of the blue economy is thus to understand and better manage the many aspects of oceanic sustainability, ranging from sustainable fisheries to ecosystem health to ocean economy. A second significant issue we try to comprehend is the realization that the sustainable management of ocean resources requires collaboration across nation-states.
THE GENESIS OF BLUE ECONOMY
Though Blue Economy as a term has entered the arena of regular international debate and discourse for the past several years, no commonly accepted definition has emerged so far. The idea of Blue Economy gained prominence with the publication of Gunter Pauli’s book in 2010. This was essentially his report to the Club of Rome. Here, we try to commiserate the evolution of this concept and various definitions given in the past few years.
The semantic articulation by Gunter Pauli- The UN University (UNU) first conceptualised Blue Economy in 1994. A Belgian born economist and entrepreneur, Gunter Pauli, was invited by the University to establish a think tank with the objective of creating a new economic model that added jobs and value to society without increasing polluting waste, emissions or cost of investments. He first established something called the Zero Emissions Research and Initiatives (ZERI) in Switzerland. ZERI’s focus was to move commerce and industry towards sustainability and has a sustainable development approach.
In 2010, ZERI narrowed down its proposal to 100 innovations (Annexure) and presented it in a report to the Club of Rome titled ‘The Blue Economy’. Thus ZERI could be considered the cradle of the Blue Economy. Pauli’s seminal work advocated Blue Economy as a business model that has the potential to transform society from scarcity to abundance with ‘what is locally available’. Gunter Pauli claimed that the success of the Blue Economy depends entirely on the intent of business leaders, industrialists, governments and the society at large.
Rio+20 consensus, 2012 – Another discourse where the Blue economy was defined was Rio + 20 Conference, 2012. The idea of the “blue economy” was conceived at the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012. The conference addressed key themes comprising the further development and refinement of the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development and the advancement of the “blue economy” concept. The outcome of the meeting reaffirmed its focus on the blue economy as a tool to achieve sustainable development and coastal community development.
VARIOUS OTHER DEFINITIONS AND DISCOURSES
Blue Economy Enabler: Case Study of Alang, India
The blue economy has diverse components, including established traditional ocean industries such as fisheries, tourism, and maritime transport, trade but also new and emerging activities, such as offshore renewable energy, aquaculture, seabed extractive activities, shipbuilding, shipbreaking and marine biotechnology, port development. Shipbuilding and the shipbreaking industry can contribute largely towards the blue economy. India has a maritime history of shipbuilders since the Indus Valley civilisation and continues to practice the traditional craft. The Ship Breaking Industry in India started blooming in the first decade of the 20th century. Presently, Alang, the largest ship breaking yard in the world, scraps more than half the ships of the world. The industry is being promoted as part of the Government’s Sagarmala project for the benefit of coastal communities and sustainability.
The government is exploring the options for promoting the industry, thus bringing in more buyers to sustain the industry. India has the capability to take initiatives in the field of tourism, culture, and sustainable development among others to her Indian Ocean neighbours and enhance collaborations in the multilateral forum.
CORRELATION OF BLUE ECONOMY AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development or Rio+20 took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 2012, where member states decided to launch a process to develop a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They agreed to establish a high-level political forum (HLPF) for sustainable development. Rio+20 eventually evolved into SDG 2016 and was known as Agenda 30, with a 15-year implementation time plan up to 2030.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provided a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for all member countries, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries — developed and developing — in a global partnership.
For example, the UN Sustainable Goals Report in line with the Blue Economy asserts that the ocean economy has an estimated turnover of between US$3 and 6 trillion. This includes employment, ecosystem services provided by the ocean, and cultural services. It is also estimated that fisheries and aquaculture contribute $US100 billion per year and about 260 million jobs to the global economy.
SDGs have greatly contributed to making a sustainable future for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Coastal Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Oceans and their related resources are the fundamental base upon which the economies and culture of many SIDS and coastal LDCs are built, and they are also central to their delivery of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A blue economy provides SIDS and coastal LDCs with a basis to pursue a low-carbon and resource-efficient path to economic growth and development designed to enhance livelihoods, create employment opportunities, as the SIDS and coastal LDCs often lack the capacity, skills and financial support to better develop their blue economy.
CONVERGENCE OF MARITIME POWER & BLUE ECONOMY
For any economic development to be sustainable, it has to be socially inclusive and environmentally viable. Thus, India’s growth as a Maritime Power has to be sustainable. India is naturally endowed with most constituents of Maritime Power arraying from Maritime geography, Maritime economy, Security, Resources and others.
Panikkar in his seminal work had exhorted that a Naval Power, however well organised, cannot count for much unless it is supplemented by a great national mercantile marine. He had lamented that the complete lack of attention to the sea by the British Indian authorities in the 19th century had led to the monopoly of foreign mercantile fleets in this subcontinent. Alfred Thayer Mahan, too, has pointed out the importance of indigenous mercantile marines to nations in his seminal work, The Influence of Sea Power upon History. He has famously written that the profound influence of sea commerce upon the wealth and strength of countries is clearly seen before the true principles which govern their growth and prosperity are detected. Though he has been emphatic about the need for Naval Power, he has also acknowledged that the economic elements of the seas are indeed significant for Maritime Power and so has Panikkar. Somen Banerjee in his monograph titled, ‘Maritime Power through Blue Economy in the Indian Context’ has succinctly captured the interplay between Maritime Power and Blue Economy and its development constituents.
Since 2014, India’s rise as a Maritime Power has begun to be visible in all its maritime assets like ports, inland waterways, fisheries, shipping, and tourism. The resurgence can be seen in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of Sagarmala, Neel Kranti and Sagar (India’s vision document for the region). Underlining the linkage between Blue Economy and Maritime Power, the government today is focusing on the development of eight key industrial sectors, namely, shipbuilding, shipbreaking, cruise tourism, inland waterways, seabed mining, port-led development, fishing.
Blue Economy: Navigating India’s Indian Ocean Vision
The blue economy concept was strongly advocated by the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in 2012, with an approach to transform traditional ocean economies into an ecosystem driven harnessing of oceanic resources. As the concept is still evolving internationally, with varying stakeholders adopting various definitions, India has reoriented itself, and is looking to develop its blue economy considering the country has a long coastline of 7,517 km with an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 2.02 mn. Sq.km.
In June 2016, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), the prestigious apex business chamber of India, decided to establish a Task Force, composed of top domain experts and business leaders, for crafting a business model for the nation’s engagement with the Blue Economy. This came in the global context of the growing importance accorded to the Blue Economy as well as articulation of the Indian government’s vision during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Mauritius and Seychelles in March 2015.
Historically, two instances illustrated the emergence of the Blue Economy in India even before its conception. First, India was among the first in the world to create a Department of Ocean Development in 1981, now the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES). Based on the experience of more than three decades, India today has come a long way with the launch of new programmes such as “Deep Ocean Mission,” “Oceanography from space” and “Launching of the data buoys” along the Indian coastline. These initiatives have enabled satellites to transmit data on various oceanographic features including weather for scientific analysis.
Second, Nili Kranti started by Hiralal Chaudhuri and Dr. Arun Krishnsna and launched during the 7th Five Year Plan (1985-1990) during the sponsorship of the Fish Farmers Development Agency (FFDA) by the Central Government of India refers to the time of intense growth of the worldwide aquaculture industry from the mid-1960s to the present day. Since then, the aquaculture industry has been growing at an average rate of 9% a year and India is one of the fastest growers. Today, the Ministry of Fisheries is managing the objectives under the initiative – Blue Revolution.
Initiatives and Maritime Developments by Government
Sagarmala Project: The centrepiece of India’s push for the blue economy is the Sagarmala project launched in 2015, that includes constructing ports, augmenting coastal infrastructure, developing inland waterways, intensifying fishing, and creating special economic zones and tourism promotion.Sagarmala is a key to comprehensive port-led coastal development. To promote port-led industrialization, the Govt. has identified 12 major ports and 14 Coastal Employment Zones (CEZs) as part of the National Perspective Plan under the Sagarmala program.
India has an umbrella scheme by the name of O-SMART which aims at regulated use of oceans, marine resources for sustainable development.Integrated Coastal Zone Management focuses on conservation of coastal and marine resources, and improving livelihood opportunities for coastal communities etc.Development of Coastal Economic Zones (CEZ) under Sagarmala would become a microcosm of the blue economy, wherein industries and townships that depend on the sea will contribute to global trade.
The Blue economy presents India with an unprecedented opportunity to meet its national socio-economic objectives as well as strengthen connectivity with neighbors and helps in focusing on livelihood generation, achieving energy security, building ecological resilience, and improving health and living standards of coastal communities. Blue economy is reinforcing and strengthening the efforts of the Indian government as it strives to achieve the SDGs along with sustainable use of marine resources by 2030.
Macro and Collaborative Approach: SAGAR Policy
The protection of the world’s oceans is a global challenge and each country – even a landlocked one – has to contribute towards finding solutions to this issue. The concept of Blue Economy is certainly well equipped to tackle this global challenge by providing a unique and highly relevant approach which combines economic aspects with maritime sustainability.
At the Commissioning of Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) Barracuda in Mauritius, 2015 India’s Prime Minister observed, “To me the Blue chakra or wheel in India’s national flag represents the potential of the Blue Revolution or the Ocean Economy. That is how central the ocean economy is to us.” He endorsed Blue Economy as a new pillar of economic activity in the coastal areas and linked hinterlands through sustainable tapping of oceanic resources and announced his vision for the seas through “Security And Growth for All in the Region” (SAGAR). As the future lies in ‘blue diplomacy’, India’s ocean access and maritime know-how renders an opportunity to take a substantial lead in the seabed platform.
Maritime-related production is an integral part of the Indian economy. While it is crucial for the Indian economy that this sector is promoted further in future, the Indian government has effectively recognized the importance of preserving oceans’ sensitive ecosystems and contributing as well as committing to a sustainable use of maritime resources. This is why India is envisaging its way to become one of the largest contributors to the “Blue Growth” as a part of the long term strategy to support sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors as a whole.
In conclusion, as this article is written for World Oceans Day it is important to recognize that the Blue Economy serves as a framework and policy for sustainable marine economic activities as well as new marine-based technologies. Today, at the core of the Blue Economy concept is the de-coupling of ocean economic development from environmental degradation. It is vital for nation states to acknowledge a subset of the entire ocean economy that has regenerative and restorative activities that have immense potential to enhance ocean ecosystems, including maritime security and creation of sustainable livelihoods.
Krishna Kataria is a Project Research Associate with the Maritime History Society. This article is part of the Society’s work in contemporary ocean issues of significance. She can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org.
In January 2014, the participants of Blue Economy Summit adopted the Abu Dhabi Declaration, which describes it as: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
The IORA’s Mauritius Declaration on Blue Economy of September 2015 defined it as: “The Blue Economy paradigm is founded on the ecosystem approach, including science-based conservation of marine resources and ecosystems, as a means to realise sustainable development.” It encouraged member-states to consider formulating measures for the development of Blue Economy in a sustainable manner.
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INDIAN NAVY & IDFC FIRST BANK OFFER HONOUR FIRST BANKING SOLUTIONS TO NAVAL PERSONNEL
IDFC FIRST Bank announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Navy to offer Honour First, a premium banking solution, to serving personnel and veterans of the Indian Navy. Honour First is specially designed keeping in mind the needs of the Armed Forces community. It includes a zero balance salary Honour First salary account with unlimited free ATM transactions from any location, free fund transfers through IMPS, RTGS, and NEFT, free lost card liability protection and purchase protection. It has an accident insurance cover of Rs 46 lakh which include a children education grant of Rs. 4 lakh for wards of age up to 23 years and an additional Rs 2 lakh for girl child marriage cover for daughters in the age bracket of 18 years to 25 years. The MoU for Honour First was signed at the Naval Headquarters in New Delhi between Commodore Neeraj Malhotra, Commodore – Pay and Allowances, Indian Navy and Colin D’Souza, Head – Corporate Salary, IDFC First Bank.
Indian Navy is responsible to safeguard the maritime frontiers of the country including the island territories against external aggression as also assist in the safety of the world sea lanes in the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. Speaking on the occasion, Amit Kumar, Head-Retail Liabilities & Branch Banking, IDFC First Bank, said, “It’s a proud moment for us. The association couldn’t have come at a better time as the Indian Navy celebrates the Golden Jubilee of the 1971 war. The Honour First solution is customised to the needs of Naval personnel and stands rooted in our customer-first and nation-first approach. We are constantly improving our offerings using state-of-the-art technology for a superior customer experience. It is a privilege for us to now serving the Indian Navy with an array of our convenient banking services, digitised financial solutions and enhanced access.” Malhotra said, “I welcome the initiative of IDFC First bank to offer customised banking solutions to suit the needs of Indian Navy and its personnel.”
FLEET AWARD CEREMONY OF WESTERN NAVAL COMMAND HELD AT MUMBAI AFTER ONE-YEAR GAP
The Fleet Award Ceremony each year marks the end of the operational cycle of the Western Fleet, the Sword Arm of the Western Naval Command. The ceremony was held at Mumbai after a gap of a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This year, the ceremony was hosted by Rear Admiral Ajay Kochhar, Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet. The ceremony marked the operational achievements of the Fleet from April 2020 to March 2021. The event was attended by Flag Officers of Western Naval Command with Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command as the Chief Guest.
The ceremony hosted this year was a modest one in adherence to Covid norms. While the attendance was in limited numbers, the achievements of the Fleet were numerous as expected of the Sword Arm. A total of 20 trophies were given away covering a myriad spectrum of naval operations, safety practices and morale. INS Kolkata was awarded the ‘Best Ship’ among the capital ships for exhibiting immaculate grit whilst undertaking a plethora of maritime operations. INS Tarkash was awarded the ‘Most Spirited’ ship for an awe-inspiring display of enthusiasm and morale in all Fleet activities, exercises at sea and indomitable spirit. INS Deepak won the award of ‘Best Ship’ in the category of Tankers and OPVs.
The year covering the operational cycle from April 2020 to March 2021 was anything but ordinary. While the norm of the hour was to work from home, the Western Fleet remained mission deployed and poised for action during the challenging period last year. The Western Fleet also contributed immensely to Covid relief missions in support of the National effort to fight the pandemic. The ships and aircraft of the western fleet also undertook daring rescue operations to save innumerable lives when cyclone Tauktae struck the western coast of India. Today’s ceremony also paid a tribute to the sacrifices of the men and their families who put the call of duty before themselves for all these missions. The Sword Arm remains the first responder, operationally deployed, combat-ready and stood too.
US STATE SECRETARY BLINKEN ARRIVES IN NEW DELHI ON A TWO-DAY VISIT
The USA State Secretary Antony J. Blinken has landed in New Delhi on a two-day visit to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to strengthening Indo-US partnership and underscore cooperation on shared priorities. Secretary Blinken will meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar to discuss a wide range of issues, including continued cooperation on Covid-19 response efforts, Indo-Pacific engagement, shared regional security interests, shared democratic values, and addressing the climate crisis. On Indo-US ties, Secretary Antony J. Blinken has said, “The US and India are working together on so many of the most important challenges of our time and ones that are having a profound impact on the lives of our citizens. The partnership between the US and India is vital, it’s strong, and it’s increasingly productive.”
THE INDO-PACIFIC FRONT
India is a leading global power and a key US partner in the Indo-Pacific and beyond. At the inaugural Quad Leaders’ Summit in March, President Biden and Prime Minister Modi joined their Japanese and Australian counterparts in pledging to respond to the economic and health impacts of Covid-19, combat the climate crisis, and address shared challenges, including in cyber-space, critical technologies, counterterrorism, quality infrastructure investment, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and maritime security.
DETERRING ADVERSARIES AND DEFENDING INTERESTS
US-India defence cooperation is reaching new heights, including through information sharing, liaison officers, increasingly complex exercises like Malabar, and defence enabling agreements, such as the secure communications agreement COMCASA. As of 2020, the US has authorised over $20 billion in defence sales to India. Through the US-India Defense Technology and Trade Initiative, the US and India work together on co-production and co-development of defence equipment. The US and India are also closely coordinating on regional security issues, such as Afghanistan.
STRENGTHENING THE US-INDIA PARTNERSHIP
The US and India have a strong strategic partnership founded on shared values and a commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region. The US has supported India’s emergence as a leading global power and vital partner in efforts to ensure that the Indo-Pacific is a region of peace, stability, and growing prosperity and economic inclusion. The US and India cooperate on a wide range of diplomatic, economic and security issues, including defence, non-proliferation, regional cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, shared democratic values, counterterrorism, climate change, health, energy, trade and investment, peacekeeping, the environment, education, science and technology, agriculture, space, and oceans. In 2008, the US and India signed an agreement, making India a full partner in the governance and funding of the Fulbright Program. An increase in exchanges under the agreement has allowed for the development of new and innovative programs, and India now has the largest Fulbright Scholar (faculty) program in the world. In FY 2019, this funding provided opportunities for 61 U.S. Scholars, 66 Indian Scholars, 80 US students, including 29 English Teaching Assistants, and 55 Indian students, including 13 Foreign Language Teaching Assistants. The US and India are working to expand cooperation in international organisations. The US welcomed India joining the UN Security Council in January 2021 for a two-year term. In October 2020, India hosted the third 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, and the US looks forward to the next 2+2 later this year.
COMBATING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
The US has contributed more than $200 million to India’s Covid-19 relief and response efforts since the pandemic began, including more than $50 million in emergency supplies and training for more than 218,000 frontline health workers on infection prevention and control, benefitting more than 43 million Indians. Earlier this year, the US and India initiated the renewal of a memorandum of understanding to collaborate through an International Center of Excellence in Research focused on infectious diseases, including Covid-19 and other emerging threats. The US and India are partnering to strengthen the global response to Covid-19, on issues ranging from addressing infectious disease outbreaks to strengthening health systems to securing global supply chains. The US pharmaceutical companies have coordinated with Indian companies since the beginning of the pandemic. This cooperation includes voluntary licensing and technology transfer agreements to increase global manufacturing capacity for Covid-19 vaccines, therapies, and conducting clinical trials.
TACKLING CLIMATE CRISIS
The US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry travelled to India in April of this year and met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They discussed the importance of two of the world’s largest economies leading together to address the climate crisis. At the Leaders’ Summit on Climate in April, President Biden and Prime Minister Modi launched the US-India Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership to strengthen cooperation on strong actions in the current decade to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and to help each country achieve its respective climate and clean energy goals. Under the new Agenda 2030 Partnership, the US and India look forward to launching the new Climate Action and Finance Mobilisation Dialogue, led by Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, and relaunching the Strategic Clean Energy Partnership, led by Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, later this year. The US looks forward to furthering cooperation with India on tackling the climate crisis and rising global ambition ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, UK, in November.
22ND KARGIL VIJAY DIWAS CELEBRATED ACROSS THE COUNTRY
The nation remembers the supreme sacrifices of soldiers killed during the Kargil War when India successfully recaptured the covertly occupied few outposts inside the Line of Control on this day twenty-two years ago. Ever since the victory in Operation Vijay, 26 July is celebrated the ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas’ every year. Kargil Vijay Diwas is commemorated every year as a saga of gallantry and valour of a battle fought in the most inhospitable terrain in the World in the area of Kargil-Drass Sector of Ladakh. On this day the Indian Armed Force braving most difficult terrain, battling extreme weather conditions fought valiantly on the steep slopes of icy peaks with grit and valour thus defeating the evil designs of the enemy and throwing the intruders out from Indian soil. The Kargil War – Operation Vijay was fought at an altitude of approximately 16,000 feet. The ceremony was attended by a limited number of serving personnel from all three services following all COVID-19 safety precautions and guidelines.
DEFENCE MINISTER PAYS HOMAGE AT NATIONAL WAR MEMORIAL ON KARGIL VIJAY DIWAS
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh paid homage to the fallen heroes on the 22nd anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas at the National War Memorial in New Delhi on Monday. The Defence Minister laid wreath in the honour of the bravehearts who made the supreme sacrifice in the service of the nation during India’s victory in ‘Operation Vijay’ in 1999, also known as Kargil conflict.
In his message in the visitors’ book at the National War Memorial, Shri Rajnath Singh recalled the valour of the bravehearts of the Kargil conflict, saying that nation will never forget the sacrifice made by the gallant heroes of Indian Armed Forces. He added that the grateful nation will always be indebted to their courage and continue to follow their ideals. In a tweet, the Defence Minister said the supreme sacrifice of the brave soldiers will inspire the generations to come. Rajnath Singh also shared a video message on Twitter in which he saluted the valour and sacrifice of the brave Indian soldiers. Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, Chief of the Army Staff General MM Naravane, Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar and Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC) Vice Admiral Atul Kumar Jain also paid homage to the fallen heroes at the National War Memorial on the occasion. Senior civil and military officials of Ministry of Defence were also present on the occasion.
During the Kargil conflict, the gallant soldiers of the Indian Army, with the help of Indian Air Force, overcame insurmountable odds, hostile terrain and inclement weather to win against the enemy that had occupied dominating heights. On this momentous occasion, the proud nation is celebrating the victory by remembering the fallen heroes through various events across the country.
KARGIL VIJAY DIWAS CELEBRATED BY ANDAMAN & NICOBAR COMMAND
Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) celebrated Kargil Vijay Diwas at Birchgunj Military Station on Monday to commemorate India’s victory during the 1999 Kargil war. The wreath laying ceremony by a Joint- service guard, comprising all components of ANC, was organised to pay homage to the fallen heroes of the Kargil War, who made the supreme sacrifice, upholding the highest traditions of the Armed Forces. Commander-in-Chief Andaman and Nicobar Command (CINCAN) Lieutenant General Ajai Singh laid a wreath to honour the bravehearts. Veterans of all the three services residing in Andaman and Nicobar Islands were also invited for the function. The CINCAN also interacted with the troops. He called for jointness among the Armed Forces and preparedness at all times, saying that it provides an exponential advantage in the battle field. All COVID-19 protocol measures were followed by the personnel present at the event.
HOMAGE PAID TO KARGIL VEERS AT THE WAR MEMORIAL AT VISAKHAPATNAM
On the occasion of the 22nd Anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas, Eastern Naval Command paid homage to our brave soldiers who laid down their lives fighting for our country. Vice Admiral Sreekumar Nair, Director General Naval Projects, Visakhapatnam, Mr. Manish Kumar Sinha, Commissioner of Police, Visakhapatnam and Commodore Rahul Gokhale Commanding Officer INS Circars paid homage to the Veers of Kargil War in a solemn wreath-laying ceremony at ‘Victory at Sea’ War Memorial Visakhapatnam. A 50 men Guard of Honour was paraded on the occasion. The Guard performed the ‘Salami Shastra’ and Vice Adm Sreekumar Nair placed the floral wreath. While the bugler sounded the ‘Last Post’, a two-minute silence was observed.
HOMAGE PAID ON KARGIL VIJAY DIWAS AT SHAHEED SMARAK, MUMBAI
On the occasion of the 22nd Kargil Vijay Diwas on 26th July, a solemn wreath laying ceremony was conducted at Shaheed Smarak at Colaba, Mumbai to commemorate the victory of the Indian Armed Forces and to pay tribute to the supreme sacrifice of our martyrs. During the ceremony, wreaths were laid by Vice Admiral R. Hari Kumar, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, FOC-in-C Western Naval Command, followed by Lieutenant General S.K. Prashar, AVSM, VSM, General Officer Commanding Maharashtra Gujarat & Goa Area, Rear Admiral Atul Anand VSM, Flag Officer Commanding Maharashtra Naval Area and Group Captain Jitendra Dinkar Masurkar, VM officiating Air Officer Commanding, Headquarters Maritime Air Operations and other Senior officers from all three services.
SOUTHERN ARMY COMMANDER PAYS HOMAGE AT WAR MEMORIAL, PUNE
Headquarters Southern Command celebrated Kargil Vijay Diwas which commemorates the Indian Armed Forces victory over Pakistan in 1999. 26th July every year is celebrated as ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas’ across the nation as a mark of remembrance for those who fought bravely at the icy heights with valour, defeating the enemy. Lt Gen J.S. Nain, GOC-in-C Southern Army in a solemn wreath laying ceremony held at the National War memorial, Pune paid tribute to the brave hearts of Kargil War who made the supreme sacrifice in maintaining the territorial integrity of the nation. Maj Gen Hukkur A.K. (Retd) the senior most veteran from Pune also laid wreath and paid homage to the Kargil War heroes. A week long celebration activities were organised across all Military Stations in Southern Command wherein Gallantry Award winners, veterans and veer naaris were felicitated during various events.“Kargil veterans are a source of inspiration to all of us in the Armed Forces and the nation. Their supreme sacrifice and service can never be forgotten,” said the Army Commander. He also felicitated the veterans present at the National War Memorial. During his interaction he gave assurance to all the veterans that the Indian Army is moving very strongly in the right directions as set by them and is absolutely committed and ready for any eventuality. The ceremony was conducted keeping strict COVID protocols with limited attendance.
ARMY CELEBRATES KARGIL VIJAY DIWAS
July 26 is observed as Kargil Vijay Diwas in memory of soldiers who sacrificed their life in Kargil War which took place from 3rd March to 26th July 1999. The day commemorates the success of “Operation Vijay” which was launched to recapture Indian territories occupied by Pakistani intruders in the Kargil-Drass sector in 1999. Kargil Vijay Diwas is a symbol of fearless determination and exceptional valour of Indian Armed Forces.
On the 22nd anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas, Sh Conrad Sangma, Chief Minister of Meghalaya and Lt Gen KC Panchanathan, AVSM, GOC 101 Area garlanded the busts of Capt K.C. Nongrum, MVC (P) and Maj David Manlun, KC (P), the two brave hearts from Meghalaya, who laid down their lives for honour of their motherland at Rhino Heritage Museum, Shillong. The Chief Minister interacted with the families of the heroes who were also present for the occasion. Later Air Marshal Amit Dev, AVSM, VSM, AOC-in-C Eastern Air Comd, Lt Gen KC Panchanathan, AVSM, GOC 101 Area and Lt Gen PC Nair, AVSM, YSM, DGAR laid wreaths at Rhino Prerna Sthal, Shillong in the memory of brave hearts who had made supreme sacrifice in Operation Vijay. The event was also attended by serving personnel and veterans.
GAJRAJ CORPS PAYS TRIBUTES TO WAR HEROES ON THE OCCASION OF KARGIL VIJAY DIWAS
On the occasion of Kargil Vijay Diwas, General Officer Commanding Gajraj Corps Tezpur Lt Gen Ravin Khosla laid wreath and paid tributes to the bravehearts of the Kargil War who sacrificed their lives to safeguard the sovereignty and integrity of the country, at Gajraj War Memorial in Tezpur on Monday. Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated every year on July 26 to commemorate India’s resounding victory over Pakistan in Operation Vijay in 1999.The Kargil war is regarded as a testimony of the Indian Armed Force’s grit and determination, in which the soldiers exhibited dauntless courage, resilience, valour and fought against all odds in the high altitude mountains in Kargil. Indian Army evicted the entrenched infiltrators from the icy heights and ensured a convincing victory for the country.
ASSAM RIFLES COMMEMORATES 22ND KARGIL VIJAY DIWAS IN MIZORAM
The battalions of 23 Sector Assam Rifles under the aegis of HQ IGAR(East) on Monday joined the nation in remembering the heroes of nation and celebrating 22nd anniversary of Indian Army’s victory in “Operation Vijay”. A grateful nation commemorates 26th July every year as “Kargil Vijay Diwas” to mark the victory of Indian Armed Forces against the intruders in icy heights of Kargil on this day. To pay tribute to the supreme sacrifice of our martyrs, a solemn wreath laying ceremony was organized at Assam Rifles War Memorial in Aizawl, Mizoram. Dr. Kambhampati Hari Babu, Governor of Mizoram graced the event as chief guest and also laid a wreath to honor the courage, valor and sacrifice of our martyrs.
The event also included visit of the Governor to the historical Quarter Guard of Assam Rifles. The construction of this historic building dates back to 1898, when this formed nucleus of ‘Aijal Fort’. The Aizawl city has developed with this building as its epicentre. Two majestic cannons used in the Battle of Waterloo placed in this building by Lt Col J Shakespeare, then superintendent of Lushai Hills add to the grandeur of the Quarter Guard. A motivational movie was screened at Serchhip showcasing the honour and valour of the martyrs during the Kargil war. An online quiz competition was organised at Lunglei for the kids as part of the Vijay Diwas celebrations.
KARGIL VIJAY DIWAS 2021 CELEBRATED AT KARGIL WAR MEMORIAL
The solemn ceremony to celebrate the 22nd anniversary of the Kargil Vijay Diwas at the Kargil War Memorial, Dras was held with Mr. R.K. Mathur, Lt Governor as the Chief Guest who laid a wreath and paid his tributes to the fallen soldiers in a ceremony held at Kargil War Memorial, symbolising ‘Shradhanjali’ from the entire nation to the bravehearts. This year’s Kargil Vijay Diwas celebrations were unique in two ways as the Kargil Vijay Diwas coincided with the ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh Victory Flame’ reaching the Kargil War Memorial. The journey of the Victory Flame across the country commemorates 50 years of triumph in the 1971 Indo-Pak War.
On 26th July, at the Kargil War Memorial, the proceedings commenced with the reception of the ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh Victory Flame’ at the Kargil War Memorial by General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff in the presence of Lt Gen Y.K. Joshi, GOC-in-C Northern Command, Lt Gen P.G.K. Menon, GOC 14 Corps, Lt Gen D.P. Pandey, GOC 15 Corps and Lt Gen M.V. Suchindra Kumar, GOC 16 Corps, other officers, gallantry awardees, Veer Naris, NoKs of martyrs and civil dignitaries. It was followed by a solemn Wreath Laying Ceremony by esteemed civil and military dignitaries. The gallantry awardees of the Kargil War, next of kin of bravehearts, and veer naris also paid their tributes to the fallen heroes with tearful nostalgia. Every year on this day, the nation pays homage to the supreme sacrifices made by our bravehearts during Operation VIJAY in the Kargil War of 1999.
GAJRAJ CORPS PAYS TRIBUTES TO WAR HEROES ON THE OCCASION OF KARGIL VIJAY DIWAS
On the occasion of Kargil Vijay Diwas, General Officer Commanding Gajraj Corps Tezpur Lt Gen Ravin Khosla layed wreath and paid tributes to the bravehearts of the Kargil War who sacrificed their lives to safeguard the sovereignty and integrity of the Country, at Gajraj War Memorial in Tezpur on Monday. Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated every year on July 26 to commemorate India’s resounding victory over Pakistan in Operation Vijay in 1999. The Kargil war is regarded as a testimony of the Indian Armed Force’s grit and determination, in which the soldiers exhibited dauntless courage, resilience, valour and fought against all odds in the high altitude mountains in Kargil. Indian Army evicted the entrenched infiltrators from the icy heights and ensured a convincing victory for the country.
INS AIRAVAT REACHES JAKARTA WITH COVID RELIEF SUPPLIES FOR INDONESIA
Indian Naval Ship Airavat arrived at the Port of Jakarta, Indonesia, carrying essential COVID-19 relief supplies. The ship has brought five Cryogenic containers containing 100 MT of Liquid Oxygen and 300 Concentrates to support Indonesia in its fight against the ongoing pandemic.
INS Airavat is a Landing Ship Tank (Large) type of ship with a primary role to carry out amphibious operations and is capable of carrying multiple tanks, amphibious vehicles and other military cargo. The ship is also deployed for HADR relief operations and has been a part of various relief efforts across the Indian Ocean Region. India and Indonesia enjoy close cultural and commercial ties. Both countries have been working together in the maritime domain towards a safer Indo-Pacific. The navies regularly carry out joint naval exercises in the form of bilateral exercises and coordinated patrols.
22ND KARGIL VIJAY DIWAS CELEBRATIONS COMMENCE AT DRAS SECTOR IN KASHMIR
The celebrations of 22nd Kargil Vijay Diwas commenced at Kargil War Memorial, Dras on Sunday. Early in the morning, a special event narrating the stories of Operation VIJAY was organized by the Army at Lamochen near Dras where an account of the epic battles on Tololing, Tiger Hill, Pt 4875 and other prominent features was narrated with these very landmarks visible to the audience in front of their eyes. A number of military personnel including the gallantry award winners and families of Kargil War heroes attended the event. The narration took everyone down the memory lane showcasing the daring feat achieved by the valiant soldiers of Indian Army.
Later in the day, the venue of the celebrations shifted to the Kargil War Memorial. A Fusion Military Band put up a display which was followed by a solemn ‘Beating the Retreat’ Ceremony and a Memorial Service, where the attendees paid silent tribute to the fallen heroes. At the memorial, 559 Lamps were also lit, which were a symbolic reminder of lives sacrificed by 559 bravehearts for the Nation. The last event of the day was, ‘A Twilight with Brave Hearts’, with the soldiers at Polo Ground, Dras. In a special tribute to the heroes of Kargil War, musician Aman Chandra enthralled the audience with his musical performance during the eve. Later in the evening, a performance by the Fusion Band of Indian Army along with their lighted pipers was planned as a humble tribute to the valour of our brave soldiers. The trailer of Captain Vikram Batra’s biopic, ‘Shershah’ by Dharma Productions was also released and ‘Maa Teri Kasam’, a soulful and emotive song, conceptualised by Northern Command was screened.
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