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Aero India 2023

More women to be inducted in Armed Forces: PM Modi


Operational demonstration by the Indian Navy during Navy Day celebrations, in Sindhudurg district, on Monday, Dec. 4, 2023. (A PTI Photo)

MALVAN, MAHARASTRA (PTI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday asserted his government is committed to increasing the strength of women in the Armed Forces and said Indian Navy ranks would be renamed according to the country's culture.

Paying tributes to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj for his vision and warfare strategy, he noted the 17th century Maratha king knew the importance of naval power.

The PM was speaking at a Navy Day event held at Malvan in coastal Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra, around 500-km from Mumbai.

"We are emphasising on increasing the number of women in the Armed Forces," he said.

PM Modi lauded the Navy following the announcement that a woman officer would be commanding a Naval ship for the time time.

He said ranks in the Indian Navy would be renamed according to the Indian culture.

The PM also announced the epaulettes adorned by naval officers will have reflection of Chhatrapati Shivaji, credited for building the country's first modern Navy.

The legendary Maratha Empire founder knew the importance of naval power for a country and built a strong maritime force during his reign, said the PM.

Taking inspiration from Chhatrapati Shivaji, India has left behind the mentality of slavery and racing forward on all fronts, he asserted.

PM Modi maintained today, India is setting bigger targets for itself and utilising its full potential to achieve those goals.

The world is seeing India as a 'Vishwa Mitra' (universal friend), the Prime Minister said.

PM Modi said India is giving an unprecedented support to port-led development. "Merchant shipping is also being encouraged. India is moving towards utilising the potential of its oceans," he said.

Shortly before taking part in the Navy Day event, the PM unveiled a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj at Rajkot Fort in Sindhudurg district.

PM Modi later witnessed 'operational demonstration' conducted by Indian Navy ships, submarines, aircraft and Special Forces from the Tarkarli beach.

The small coastal town of Malvan also witnessed an impressive demonstration of the Navy's prowess. The Navy deployed an array of its assets – frontline warships, submarine, aircraft and helicopters for the drill.

Warships INS Vikramaditya, INS Kolkata, INS Kochi, INS Visakhapatnam, INS Chennai, INS Brahmaputra, INS Beas, INS Betwa, INS Tabar, INS Subhadra, INS Vinash and INS Vipul were part of the drill.

The Navy also deployed submarine Khanderi, helicopters Chetak, Kamov 32, Seaking 42B, Dornier, P8I surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft, Light Combat Aircraft and MiG-29K during the display of its operational prowess and capabilities.

Earlier in the day, the PM extended greetings on Navy Day, saying the commitment of navy personnel in safeguarding India's seas is a testament to their unwavering dedication to duty and love for the nation.

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