Shri Ajay Bhatt, the esteemed Raksha Rajya Mantri (RRM), engaged in a thought-provoking dialogue with senior naval leadership at the Bi-annual Naval Commanders Conference in New Delhi, commencing on September 4th, 2023. This marked the second edition of the conference, taking place outside Delhi in 2023, following a strategic decision. Its primary objective was to assess the progress of decisions made during the inaugural edition, which was hosted onboard INS Vikrant in March 2023.
During this remarkable interaction, Hon’ble RRM extolled the Indian Navy for its unwavering dedication to upholding a high operational tempo, a critical element in ensuring secure seas, vital for national security and prosperity. He applauded the Navy’s remarkable strides in indigenization and innovation, underlining its ambitious goal to become a fully Aatmanirbhar (self-reliant) Force by 2047. Recent achievements, such as the successful launch of indigenous stealth frigates, Vindhyagiri and Mahendragiri, showcased this unwavering commitment. He also praised the Navy’s consistent efforts in alignment with the Paanch Pran, as articulated by the Hon’ble Prime Minister.
A noteworthy highlight of the conference was a Tech Demo, where ongoing and planned indigenous projects were showcased, utilizing cutting-edge technologies across diverse domains. These encompassed Artificial Intelligence, Tactical Communications, Combat Management Systems, Cyber Security, Underwater Domain Awareness, and Combat Platform Integration. Additionally, the Navy unveiled newly designed uniform items aimed at enhancing comfort, hygiene, and functionality. This innovative range included high-absorption T-shirts, camouflage caps and jackets, high ankle shoes, and the National Civil Dress for Messes/functions.
Moreover, during this event, the Hon’ble RRM unveiled several pivotal documents:
- Maritime Infrastructure Perspective Plan 2023-37 (MIPP): This comprehensive plan outlines the Navy’s infrastructure needs for the next 15 years, in alignment with the Government of India’s vision for sustainable infrastructure. It also incorporates directives like the PM Gati Shakti Project, Disaster Resilience, and Transition to Net Zero.
- IRS Rules and Regulations Handbook (Revised): This updated handbook governs the construction and classification of Naval Combatants, embodying the principles of self-reliance in naval shipbuilding and adapting to technological advancements.
- Family Logbook for Defence Civilian Personnel: Designed as a valuable resource, this logbook contains vital financial information for the families of naval civilian personnel, including details on insurance, loans, investments, and more, serving as a lifeline during emergencies.
- Electronic Service Document Project: This pioneering initiative seeks to modernize HR record keeping and personnel management within the Navy, transitioning it into an efficient, digital, centralized, and transparent process in line with the Digital India Vision.
In his opening remarks, Adm R Hari Kumar, Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), emphasized the Navy’s core priorities, including mission accomplishments, readiness in the Indian Ocean Region and beyond, adapting to societal changes, and advancing jointness and integration with the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and other services to effectively address future challenges. This conference served as a testament to the Indian Navy’s continuous commitment to excellence and self-reliance on its path towards a secure and prosperous future.