On Saturday, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh pointed out the government policies to help the domestic shipbuilding industry to become world-class and further said that the country has great potential in becoming an indigenous shipbuilding hub.
He attended a ceremony in Chennai to mark the commissioning of the coast guard ship ‘Vigraha.’ The Defence minister stated “As per reports, in the next few years by 2023 the investment and expenditure on boosting security around the world will rise to 2.1 trillion US dollars. The majority of the countries don’t hold such a budget for an entire year!”
He further added “Today India has plenty of scopes to fully utilize the capabilities, harness the policies, and progress towards making India an indigenous shipbuilding hub. I am delighted to state that keeping in view these possibilities, the Indian government has introduced policies that will help enhance the domestic industry to be highly beneficial world-class players.”
About Vigraha, the defence minister stated, “The term ‘Vigraha’ has significant interpretations in our texts. Where on one side it means to be ‘free from any bondage’, on the other side it means specific ‘bondage of a person’s duty and responsibilities.” He further added, “I have an utmost firm belief that ‘Vigraha’ will be free from any shackles and challenges and will harness deep bonds of service and duties towards the country, it will become a successful watchdog of coastal borders of India.”
The Defence Minister praised the efforts of the coast guards saying “I am delighted to see that Coast Guard’s successful cooperation with bordering countries in the last few years to recover goods worth several crores. They have also effectively dealt with restricting and tackling smuggling activities.”
The 98-metre long ship has been designed and built by Larsen & Toubro Shipbuilding Limited which can accommodate 11 officers and up to 110 sailors.
The ‘Vigraha’ houses advanced technologies like radars, navigation and sensor tools and high-end communication equipment. It is capable of functioning in tropical sea conditions too. The vessel will have its base in Visakhapatnam. Vigraha also has specialized arms like a 40/60 Bofors gun, two 12.7 mm Stabilised Remote Control Gun and an efficient fire control system.
Rajnath Singh also spoke about India’s relation with other countries and said “The world is ever-changing and fast. As such, the relations between countries on the economic, political, and trade front is constantly fluctuating. We can never predict what news we get from another country. India will not remain untouched by the advancements. As interests of India links to the Indian Ocean, strategies like advancement in defence tools and equipment is more necessary.”
He further added, “The region of Indian Ocean that covers more to two-thirds of the global oil shipment, one-third of cargo and more than half of the global container traffic is a primary marine route in achieving the global interests.”
“Changes that occur around the globe is a concern for India too. As a nation, India must always be prepared and keep guards up during times of uncertainty. Because of global security significance, border issues, and maritime dominance, countries are spearheading towards developing and strengthening the military and defence power. The ever demand for military upgrade and equipment is continuously rising,” he said.