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Future conflicts unpredictable, need to keep constant vigil on borders & coastline: Rajnath Singh

The defence minister said if one wants to see India among the top economic powers of the world, 'We need to take bold steps towards becoming a defence superpower'.

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New Delhi: Noting that the constantly-evolving world order has forced everyone to re-strategise, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said Monday that India needed to keep a constant vigil on the Northern and Western borders as well as on the entire coastline.

Singh was addressing top Naval commanders, along with Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan and other Service chiefs on board INS Vikrant off the coast of Goa. He described secured borders as the first requirement to ensure social and economic progress.

“Future conflicts will be unpredictable. The constantly-evolving world order has forced everyone to re-strategise. Constant vigil on the Northern & Western borders as well as the entire coastline must be maintained. We need to be ready to deal with all future challenges,” he said, addressing the Naval commanders’ conference.

He asked the Indian Navy to continue focussing on futuristic-capability development to effectively overcome the emerging security challenges in the maritime domain.

In the Union Budget presented last month, the capital budget for the Navy increased from Rs 47,590.99 crore to Rs 52,804.75 crore for the next fiscal.

The revised estimates for the current fiscal put the capital outlay at Rs 47,727 crore, which meant that the Indian Navy spent Rs 137 crore more than what was originally allotted.

The comments by Singh comes at a time when China is investing big on its defence capabilities, with particular focus on naval prowess.

Incidentally, On 5 March, China presented its annual budget in which it boosted defence spending by 7.2% this year, slightly outpacing last year’s increase and faster than the government’s modest economic growth forecast.

The Defence Minister also underlined the “credible and responsive presence” of the Navy in the Indian Ocean Region.

He stated that mission-based deployments of the Navy have strengthened India’s position as a “Preferred Security Partner” of friendly foreign countries in the region, a statement by the Defence Ministry said.

He said a huge country like India needed to be completely self-reliant and not dependant on others for its security.

Singh added that the defence sector has emerged as a major demand creator, which has boosted the economy and ensured the country’s development.

“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.

He said if citizens wanted to see India among the top economic powers of the world, “We need to take bold steps towards becoming a defence superpower”.

Singh also witnessed the operational demonstrations at sea. This included complex aircraft carrier and fleet operations, weapon firings by ships and aircraft besides underway replenishment at sea. In addition, there was a demonstration of indigenous products, including a spotter drone, remote-controlled lifebuoy and fire-fighting bot.

Also read: Why Navy plan to fit Scorpene subs with made-in-India propulsion tech won’t materialise before 2024


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