Navy’s Role is Not Only Vital for National Security, but also for National Prosperity and Development: Admiral RK Dhowan 

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The second edition of this years’ bi-annual Naval Commanders’ Conference was conducted at New Delhi from 26-28 Oct 15. Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral RK Dhowan chaired the conference and addressed the Navy’s top leadership on à host of issues including enhancing operational readiness of the Commands, infrastructure development, human resources management, coastal security, cyber security in the Indian Navy and foreign cooperation initiatives, amongst others.

Emphasising upon India’s geographic location and the prevailing security situation which demands continuous vigil and readiness to respond to any contingencies in our area of interest, the Admiral urged the Commanders’ to maintain highest combat readiness of our platforms and diligent monitoring of developments in the maritime domain. He complimented all ranks of the Navy in maintaining a high tempo of operations with our ships deployed at extended ranges from our coasts, spanning from the South China Sea and Sea of Japan in the East to the Persian Gulf and the Atlantic Ocean in the West and at the same time remaining focused on maritime and coastal security in close liaison with other national authorities and agencies.

The Admiral lauded the efforts of the Navy for its focused action in deterring piracy attempts off the Gulf of Aden and closer to our islands in the Arabian Sea. Indian Navy’s presence and proactive operations in the area have instilled a sense of confidence in the shipping industry and has been a major contributory factor in the recent decision by CGPCS to shift the eastern limit of High Risk Area from 78 Degrees East to 65 Degrees East. He highlighted that not even one Indian owned ship has been hijacked since Oct 2008 due to the Indian Navy’s proactive anti-piracy stance.

The Naval Commanders’ discussed the numerous initiatives taken by the Navy to usher in E- governance for providing greater impetus to the Indian Navy’s integration with the ‘Digital India’ initiative wherein measures to further strengthen cyber security in the Navy were also examined.

The Naval Commanders’ deliberated on the key technological enablers for transformation of the Navy. The CNS complimented the Commanders for good pace of modernisation with focus on ‘Indigenisation’ and urged continued and sustained efforts with progressive substitution of imports by ‘Make in India’. These discussions should serve as a roadmap for the future Navy till 2030 as Indigenisation, in line with the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Hon’ble Prime Minister, is the key driver for this roadmap. The Navy has been at the forefront of indigenisation with 47 ships currently under construction at Indian shipyards.