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Sunday, 17 August 2014

From Today's Papers - 17 Aug 2014

India Beefs up Defence Ministry Representation in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO: Apparently in view of the strategic importance of Sri Lanka in the context of the increasing influence of China on it, and the existence of strong ties with Pakistan, India has beefed up the Defence Ministry’s representation at the Indian High Commission here.

Col Gurinder S Klaire has been appointed as Deputy Defence Advisor to assist Defence Advisor Capt Prakash Gopalan. With this, for the first time, there is an army man in the Defence wing of the mission. Traditionally, Defence Advisors in the Colombo mission have been only from the navy.

Sri Lanka has lately seen high profile military leaders from China, Pakistan and India visiting it. In May this year came General Xu Qiliang, Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and the commander of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force from 2007 to 2012.

Also in May, came the Chief of Staff of the Chinese People’s Armed Police, Lt Gen Niu Zhizong. Gen Niu requested the Lankan Army Commander Lt Gen Daya Ratnayake to send the “maximum number” of officers to China for training in anti-terrorism. 

The visit of high level delegations from China coincided with the discovery that Lanka had entered into a contract with a Chinese government company to build an aircraft repair and maintenance facility at Trincomalee for its air force. This led to concern in New Delhi as it impinged on the 1987 India-Sri Lanka Accord regarding the military use of Trincomalee.

Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had enquired about it from her Lankan counterpart, GL Peiris, when the latter met her in New Delhi recently. Subsequently, Peiris told the parliament that the location of the facility had not been decided. In April, Pakistan’s Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee, General Rashad Mahmood, visited Lanka.

There were visits from India too. In December 2012, the then Army Chief, Gen Bikram Singh, was in Lanka. In July this year came the Air Force Chief, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha. ACM Raha and Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa discussed the possibility of holding joint air exercises. It is learnt that India’s National Security Advisor, Ajit Kumar Doval, will be participating in the Lankan Defence Ministry’s prestigious ‘Galle Maritime Dialogue’ in November.
The Indian Army’s ‘welfare’ malaise
The wife of a Major in the Indian Army, posted in an artillery unit in Faridkot, has shot off a complaint to the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the South Western Command alleging that she and her husband were threatened, harassed and humiliated by the Brigade Commander when she refused to attend rehearsals for a fashion show. The show was being prepared by the women of the station in anticipation of the visit of a senior officer’s wife. Vidhya Anappa Karajagi’s missive is now the most shared document on social media within Army circles and posts appreciating her courage to stand up to intimidation by her husband’s senior are flying thick and fast.
Widespread resentment

That the men in olive green are applauding Ms. Karajagi more is indicative of the widespread resentment generated by official and unofficial activities of the Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA) in recent times. In March 2009, a ruling of the Central Information Commission (CIC) specified that AWWA is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) which assists in the welfare of Army families but is not a part of the Indian Army. Subsequently, its central office was shifted out of the Army Headquarters in South Block and now operates out of an AWWA hostel in Delhi. Following the CIC order, AWWA activities, which were well-defined till the battalion level, are now restricted to the Corps level or area headquarters commanded by a Lieutenant General. No serving officer will be a member of AWWA and where an officer is required to assist in its functioning, it will be purely on a voluntary basis.

In practice, AWWA is very much a part of the system, perhaps even more so after the CIC ruling, and though it is not defined as such at the battalion or brigade level, the lines between ‘welfare’ activities and AWWA activities are blurred.

The ambiguity is explained by the conduct of the Brigade Commander in Faridkot and the commanding officer of Ms Karajagi’s husband’s unit, who pulled her up for refusing to join what he described as an “AWWA activity.” According to Ms Karajagi’s complaint, the Brigade Commander said: “I will make sure it is understood well. Got the issue? Both of you.” He went on to say, “You must understand what your commander is thinking. That’s it.” And the final warning: “If the boundary’s four lines are crossed, I will not accept it…Fine, Mrs. Anappa. I had to speak today because if I don’t nip it in the bud, this malaise will continue.”

Ms Karajagi’s complaint raised three questions. In what capacity did the Brigadier call her for an interaction on an AWWA issue? How is he related to AWWA activities and why is he protecting an institution which is an NGO and not related to the Army? The Army has since deputed a Brigadier to inquire into the matter and submit a report.

A 2011 letter from the Army’s Adjutant General Branch clearly states that “welfare meets” at the battalion level are forums to address the welfare-oriented problems of families. The meets are to be conducted with dignity and without any frills, which by no stretch of imagination can include a fashion show.
System of kinship

But the Army has an age-old system of kinship which includes the women and families of those serving in it. It is perhaps one of the few organisations where families are made to feel a part of it and bonds extend across ranks and even after retirement. No social function is complete without the participation of women. If an officer’s wife has not turned up for a formal event, her husband is pulled up for it. What many women do not appreciate is the benign institutional assistance for many of their domestic and personal problems. In no other organisation is it incumbent on a senior officer’s wife to attend to complaints of domestic abuse by any woman in her husband’s formation.

As the same letter points out, “welfare” is the responsibility of the commanding officer and it involves “not only those personnel under the command but also their families, whether residing in station or away at home/forward area family quarters.” In addition, formation commanders are instructed to look into family welfare activities during inspection of the units under them and “get feedback on genuine welfare.” In its truest sense “family welfare” is serious business because with the menfolk away on long and stressful duties, the families, particularly of persons below officer rank (PBOR), need a caring and responsive mechanism for their problems. It hardly needs to be reiterated that the assurance that their families are well looked after in their absence makes for a healthier, motivated workforce.

That said, AWWA has in recent years become the biggest bugbear, not only for the wives but for officers too, when the so-called welfare activities are stretched to include fashion shows, tombolas and coffee mornings for wives of visiting senior officers for which the Army unit’s resources are freely used. Ms. Karajagi’s outburst is illustrative of just how easily such activities subsume the Army’s prime professional duties and are seen as a vehicle for professional advancement. Her husband had taken leave to study for the crucial staff college course when the two were summoned by the Brigade Commander. With scarce domestic help, it fell on Ms. Karajagi’s husband to look after their two small children while she attended the rehearsals. She did it for about a week and eventually threw up her hands. The duo’s anger at being threatened is shared by many other silent sufferers. The “malaise” as the Brigadier in Faridkot described, is perhaps of another kind.
 Navy’s largest warship lacks missile punch
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, New Delhi, August 16
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today commissioned India’s biggest indigenously built warship INS Kolkata into the Navy.
This is the first of three destroyers which have been designed by the Naval Design Bureau and built at Mazgaon Docks Ltd, Mumbai. The Kolkata Class Destroyers, as they will be known, will weigh 6,000 tonnes and have an operating range of 15,000 km. The other ships in the series will be called INS Kochi and INS Chennai.

However, INS Kolkata lacks a potent long-range missile – a primary weapon for such class of warships — that will strike down incoming airborne targets. Chinese Navy’s equivalent warships– Type 52D class destroyers, of which the first one, Kunming, commissioned this year — have the capacity to carry 64 long-range surface-to-air-missiles (LR-SAMs). Indian Navy’s LR-SAM, jointly built by India and Israel, is slated for a ‘hot test’ in September.

This missile will be installed on board several Indian naval warships, including the newly acquired seaborne aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya and the Kolkata class of warships.

“INS Kolkata, entirely built in India, is a symbol of our self-reliance in the field of defence. It is a worthy example of the country’s technical abilities and will send a strong message around the world,” Modi said at the event where the ship was commissioned. The Prime Minister hoped that the construction of INS Kolkata would be the first step towards indigenous defence building. “We have a vision to make India self-reliant so that we import now, but will be able to export in future,” Modi said.

Sounding conciliatory towards India’s neighbours, Modi said India was not looking for war with anyone. “But we have to be alert and prepared — INS Kolkata will ensure safety of the people of this country,” Modi said.

The Navy has fitted INS Kolkatta with Israel-made MF STAR, an advanced active array radar that can track incoming missiles and aircraft as far as 250 km away. The radar will guide the LR-SAM missiles when they are fitted.

The delay in LR-SAM is due to upward revision of performance requirements mid-way during the development of the missile that included new technologies. However, the Kolkata class will carry 16 long-range BrahMos anti-ship missiles capable of striking targets 300 km away. However, it will be some time before the main air defense weapon of INS Kolkata becomes available for deployment.
Internal dissonance in Pak meets external effects
There are signals from Pakistan that are a mixture of opposites difficult to understand. However, a single strand runs through all of them — the rising strength of what is termed the ‘Deep State’ in all aspects of governance of Pakistan.
Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain (retd)

Last week was definitely a ‘Pakistan week’ in New Delhi with a series of discussions in various forums. The theme was the complexity of Pakistan’s internal dynamics marked by dissonance. The conclusion largely was that this dissonance was sending confusing signals on who exactly was in charge in Islamabad and its approach towards India.
These signals are a mixture of opposites difficult to understand. However, a single strand runs through all of them — the rising strength of what is termed the ‘Deep State’ in all aspects of governance of Pakistan. The Deep State is as yet struggling to respond adequately to Prime Minister Modi’s surprise gesture of inviting all SAARC leaders, including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, to the inauguration of India’s new government.

The opposing trends that make the situation difficult to assess are worth recounting. Heading the list is the seemingly stable, democratically elected government with a two-thirds majority, mostly won from the Punjabi heartland to which the majority of the Deep State belongs. The two are at odds on a very basic perception — how to deal with the radicalised thugs of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), or simply the Pakistan Taliban, who threaten Pakistan’s existence as a state. While Sharif favours negotiations, the Deep State wishes to militarily subjugate them.

Then there is Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) with a majority only in the Frontier province, which contests Sharif’s legitimacy to rule and has a soft attitude towards the TTP. It conducts street protests and accuses Sharif of having rigged the polls.

A maverick west-based cleric whose political mooring in Pakistan is deeply suspect also adds to the road show. Tahirul Qadri’s Pakistan Awami Tehreek hardly enjoys political legitimacy but the cleric returns ever so often as the supposed messiah of the moderate Muslim strain, the Barelvis, and to lend credence to some kind of a counter-movement against radicalism while expounding beliefs which the Barelvis themselves are at odds to understand. He is the favourite of the Deep State, which backs him while curbing Imran Khan because of his soft approach to the radicals. Qadri and Imran Khan’s movements may appear coordinated but actually aren’t, although their common objective is to weaken Sharif’s hold.

The Army is peeved at Sharif’s reluctance to retract the charges of treason against former President General Parvez Musharraf. Some months ago when General Raheel Sharif was appointed the Army Chief over the heads of two seniors it seemed that the ‘Sharif linkage’ had worked as much as the relationship built by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif during General Raheel’s tenure as GOC, 4 Corps, at Lahore. However, nothing seems to have worked and the case against General Musharraf continues while General Raheel Sharif has ensconced himself in the culture of the Deep State.

Behind much of Nawaz Sharif’s discomfiture with the various stakeholders of the confused polity is his avowed intent to improve relations with India. He is often accused of following a personal agenda which involves the Sharif business empire. Yet, he is the legitimately elected head of government. But neither does Imran Khan think that nor does the Deep State want him to follow his agenda. So, where does that leave the political authority? Quite obviously, in the hands of the Deep State led by the army whose interest lies in perpetuating the standoff with India, militarily defeating the TTP and retaining political power from behind. That means the perpetuation of the Sharif government but in a weakened state.

The picture gets even murkier because the TTP, a surrogate of the Afghan Taliban, should be a natural link towards establishing Pakistan’s hold over Afghanistan once the International Security Assistance Force pulls out. But it is battling the Pakistan Army internally to establish a radical state in Pakistan. The only organisations with which the army has a relationship based on a common agenda are the India-focused Jihadi groups, the Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammad; that is the only clear signal.

The Pakistan Army continues to receive support from the public and grudgingly from the US. The army has its Inter-Service Public Relations to oversee the perception management of the Deep State. The image transmitted to the world is that the Pakistan security establishment is under pressure of the Jihadis and the softness of Nawaz Sharif is preventing their annihilation. While a major part of the army is itself radicalised, the battle against the TTP is helping to prove that the Army is non-radical.

Where does that leave India in its relations with Pakistan? There can be nothing definitive. Any progress on peace with the elected Pakistan Government may well be diluted by the actions of the Deep State, within a few weeks. Everyone in India realises that the real challenge for the new government will come when the Deep State tests its will with a high-profile violent incident. The only way forward appears to be the way things are being currently handled: maintain a positive stance towards the peace process to strengthen democratic forces in Pakistan while continuing to give strong messages to the Deep State, just the way the Indian Prime Minister did at Kargil a few days ago. The balance must be tilted towards the peace process, which is recommencing with the Foreign Secretary level talks on August 25. At the same time, the Indian security establishment must ensure that our security remains foolproof, both at the LoC and in the hinterland.

A meltdown in Pakistan is not in India’s interest and the protagonists of the ‘stable Pakistan theory’ must work overtime to convince their detractors.
3 Indians abducted by Taliban rescued

Kabul, August 16
Three Indian engineers, abducted by the Taliban, have been rescued in a special military operation in eastern Logar province while they were being taken to Pakistan, Afghanistan’s intelligence agency announced today.

The Indian nationals, working for OASIS company, were abducted by Taliban while they were on their way from Logar to Kabul, National Directorate of Security (NDS) said in a statement.

The Taliban militants were planning to take the three Indians to Quetta in Pakistan, before they were freed by intelligence operatives, Afghan news agency Khaama Press quoted the domestic intelligence agency as saying.

The NDS said the hostages were freed during a military operation yesterday from Babos area of Logar province.

The statement also added that the three abducted Indians were engineers and the Taliban militants were planning to take them to Quetta via Maidan Wardak province.

A suspect was also arrested in connection with the abduction, the NDS said, adding that the operation was launched after gathering enough intelligence information regarding the incident.

The Taliban has not commented on the report so far. — PTI|head
Too Early To Assess Indo-US Defense Ties

NEW DELHI — Although no defense projects were established during US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s recent visit to India, US-Indo defense ties are developing and announcements on new initiatives are antici­pated next month, Ministry of Defence officials and defense analysts said.

India and the US have been negotiating for a year about co-production of the Javelin anti-tank guided missile (ATGM). This would be the first joint US-India defense production at Indian facilities, and announcement of an agreement was expected during Hagel’s Aug. 7-9 visit, said defense analyst Mahindra Singh, retired Indian Army major general said.

An MoD official said the Javelin project remains under negotiation but the US has offered to transfer technology for the fourth generation of the Javelin ATGM, an upgrade from third-generation technology offered last year.

A diplomat at the US Embassy here confirmed that Washington offered to transfer fourth-generation technology for the co-production project.

Major announcements on defense projects, including co-production, are expected during the September visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the US, said defense analyst Venkataraman Mahalingam, retired Indian Army brigadier general.

“The US defense secretary’s visit was not intended to sign any agreement,” Mahalingam said. “The US has offered to co-produce and co-develop a number of military hardware systems, including Javelin anti-tank guided missiles, MH-60 Romeo multirole helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, mine-scattering systems, etc., under the Defense Trade and Technology Initiative [DTTI]. These proposals will need time to be evaluated. Agreements, if any, would be signed during Modi’s visit.”

Since a new government took charge in late May, there will be delays on reaching agreements on weapon buys or co-production, the MoD official said, but gave no details of projects being discussed.

India is not in a hurry to finalize the Javelin ATGM co-production and is insisting on technology transfer for all variants of the weapon, an Indian Army official said. India should seek co-production of the Javelin that has a range of up to 4.5 kilometers and not restrict itself to the 2.5-kilometer-range variant, he said — and adopt the latest improvements.

Talks between Hagel and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley set the DTTI rolling with the announcement of the Indian representative to the talks. The defense production secretary was named to represent India on DTTI, replacing the national security adviser, who had previously been the Indian representative.

The US has already named Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, as its DTTI representative.

“Actually, involvement of Jaitley in DTTI is a pretty hefty statement of Modi government’s intent to engage and consolidate relations at the highest levels,” said Bharat Karnad, research professor in national security studies at the Centre for Policy Research.

“The [national security adviser] could not have been there for this one, on account of the rank issue,” said Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan, senior fellow in security studies, Observer Research Foundation. “As I understand, it’s the defense secretary on the US side and therefore India’s representation would [have to include] the defense secretary as well.

“Second, India’s current [national security adviser] is also more of an expert on internal security and he could not have added much to the meeting in substance even if he were to represent India there,” he said.

Indo-US defense cooperation has been mainly based on purchase of weaponry but no co-production projects, Singh said.

India has bought weaponry worth more than $9 billion since US sanctions were lifted in 2001. In the last five years, the bulk of the orders, totaling over $6 billion, were conducted government to government.

India would prefer to develop defense ties that included more technology transfer and not simply the purchase of weapons, the MoD official said.

“India-US relations are in a limbo because the foundation blocks for ramped-up relations are missing, Karnad said. “Tech transfer is the big thing for New Delhi, for instance, but Washington is more interested in selling stuff, like any other vendor state.”

Other analysts said more time is needed for the new government to establish ties with Washington.

“At present, the main issue is establishing relationships and rebuilding contacts with the Modi government in New Delhi. The process has just begun and is likely to take some time before trust and mutually agreed processes are in place,” said defense analyst Rahul Bhonsle, a retired Indian Army brigadier general.

“There are also fundamental challenges in Indo-US defense ties given the gaps in technology, regulations, structure of defense industry, processes and so on, which I think not many on both sides are even aware of. So every time it appears to be a new learning experience,” he said.

Both countries agree there is great scope for improving defense relations.

“The state of the defense ties has reached nowhere close to its potential. The main stumbling blocks have so far been that the previous United Progressive Alliance government has been very uncertain about strategic ties with the US, especially its left-leaning Defence Minister A.K. Antony,” Rajagopalan said.
Challenges for the Indian Defence Sector
India’s Defence Sector includes the three Armed Forces (the Army, the Navy and the Air Force), and other Departments, primarily Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Defence Ordnance Factories. India has the third largest Army, the fourth largest Air force and the seventh largest Navy in the world but half of its defence equipment is considered to be largely obsolete. With Pakistan in the west and China in the east — both of whom India has fought wars with — India is banking on defence equipments that are more than 2 decades old and That puts the country’s defence readiness at its lowest since the 1980s. For instance, the Army’s light helicopters are more than 40 years old, it has not bought new artillery guns since 1987, and it is also short of nearly 600,000 hand grenades. The Indian Navy too is short of conventional submarines and its fleet of diesel-powered submarines is down to a single digit. Submarines in production in Indian shipyards are at least four years behind schedule. The Indian Air Force is down to 33 squadrons of fighter jets against the required strength of 39 squadrons and its eight-year-old plan to purchase 126 new combat jets is yet to come to fruition. India relies on foreign players for 70% of its defense needs and thus, there is an imperative requirement to upgrade the equipment profile by incorporating state of the art equipment into the arsenal and slowly phasing out the obsolete equipment.
The Indian Defence sector is also affected by the periodically surfacing allegations of corruption in weapons procurement. The main worry in Indian defence circles is that contracts take years to be signed, and then sudden controversies crop up, preventing deals from going through which leads to bottlenecks in weapons procurement. To date, blacklisted companies include Rheinmetall Air Defence, part of Germany’s Rheinmetall AG, Israel Military Industries and Singapore Technologies Kinetics. The problem that has emerged is two-fold in nature: namely, how to weed out the corruption before entering into a contract, and how to speed up decision-making once such cases have been found.
The authorities in the Indian Defence sector have taken cognizance of these issues and as such have devised policy formulations for the reform of the Defence Sector. Creation of Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) in 2002 to formalize the entire procurement process was a landmark step towards streamlining the procurement process. In 2008, a significant step was taken when the policy allowed participation of the private sector for manufacturing of defence products with the issue of an industrial license.
India’s recent national defence priorities – as evidenced by interconnected efforts such as the DPP, offsets, defence production policy (DPrP) and reforms in higher defence organizations reflect the military establishment’s effort to recalibrate India’s position in world affairs.
In this context, Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP)-2013 must be seen as a significant step towards the achievement of larger strategic aspirations. It is claimed that the DPP-2013 goes beyond the earlier DPPs in so far as eliminating the behind the scene “murky machinations” of brokers and middlemen. Perhaps the most significant among the changes suggested in DPP-2013 by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) pertains to providing the Indian defence industry the first right of refusal to take up a defence project and as such, the DPP-2013 would make it mandatory to explore indigenous options for military hardware and going in for imports only if the domestic players throw their hands up on the timely supplies of quality products. This, change, it is said, would help reduce import by boosting the indigenous production of defence hardware.
One of the methods of accruing benefits beyond price negotiations in any defence acquisition is offset, which in simplest terms is a process whereby the supplier undertakes programs to generate benefits for the economy of the buyer country. India too has included offsets in its DPP in year 2006 and has since constantly endeavored to evolve the policies governing discharge of offsets. The main features of DPP 2013 are permitting transfer of technology (ToT) as offsets, Allowing credit multipliers of up to 300 per cent for specified technologies that vendors transfer to the DRDO, widening the product and services list eligible for offsets, and incentivizing domestic private firms and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in defence sector. This policy is gradually bearing fruit to the advantage of indigenous defence industry and it is recommended by defence analysts that India can draw immense benefits with a well thought out and more importantly, an efficiently implemented offset policy.
For India to emerge as a major international power, or acquire a regional military edge, it must reduce its dependence on imports as besides sophisticated systems, India is today importing even basic defense items such as assault rifles and carbines. Dependence on imports can be lessened if the thrust is on knowledge creation, research, increase of FDI limit, tax incentives for indigenous production and increased indigenous content in defence goods. Therefore, another major policy restructuring is aimed at increasing the FDI limit in the defence sector. Currently the FDI in defence is at a limit of 26% and that impedes the transfer of technology through global Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM). India needs higher FDI in its defence industry to boost its local technological base, make the offset policy efficacious and derive economic benefits. In this respect, it is also noteworthy to mention the Kelkar Committee recommendations. In its 2005 report titled “Towards Strengthening Self Reliance in Defence Preparedness”, the Kelkar committee identified the following effects of the impact of an increased FDI in defence sector: Higher defence production will accelerate the overall growth of the manufacturing sector by 8-14 per cent; Increase of employment by 120,000-200,000 and savings of 30-50 per cent as result of import substitution and cheaper cost on account of spares and maintenance. In absolute terms, this translates into savings of more than Rs. 4,000 core per year. Thus, FDI has immense potential to raise technological threshold and kick-start India’s quest for self reliance in defence production.
Building domestic capability by connecting the private sector is an instant requirement. There is also a prerequisite to revamp India’s Ordinance Factory Board and factories as aspects of accountability and productivity require institutionalization in the entire defence production establishment. Similarly, the DRDO requires a new competitive dynamism when pitted against government-aided research and development by the private sector. The long-term solution lies in enhancing domestic capability.
The Defence sector has pinned high hopes from the visit of US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel’ where it is expected that Defence deals worth over Rs 20,000 crore, procuring 22 Apache attack helicopters, 15 Chinook heavy-lift choppers along with four P-8I anti-submarine warfare aircraft, intelligence sharing on counter-terrorist activities and steps to strengthen military ties would be discussed. Analysts believe this deal can play a major part in strengthening India’s military capabilities and eventually turn the world’s largest arms importer into a major arms manufacturer.
PM dedicates to nation indigenously built warship INS Kolkata - See more at:
Mumbai, Aug 16 (IBNS): Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday dedicated to the nation the indigenously designed warship INS Kolkata.

Addressing naval officers and sailors at the Naval Dockyard, Mumbai after commissioning the ship, the Prime Minister described INS Kolkata as proof of India's "Buddhi Bal" (intellectual capabilities). He said India's aim is to achieve such prowess in its defence capabilities, that no one dares to cast an evil glance at India.

Modi emphasized that with changing times, the importance of prowess which came out of "Buddhi Bal" (scientific and technical intelligence) is as important for the armed forces as physical prowess (Baahu Bal).

The Prime Minister also described INS Kolkata as the biggest indigenous defence production. "As we dedicate this ship to the nation, we display to the world, our buddhi bal and our manufacturing capabilities," the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister remarked that being in Maharashtra, and talking about the Navy, one could not but remember Chhatrapati Shivaji, the great Maratha King, who conceived the navy as a means for securing India's maritime trade interests.

The Prime Minister said that today, maritime security was a vital aspect of global trade, and India was playing its part in securing global trade. He added that INS Kolkata is also a great communication platform, and will be useful in securing India's trade interests at sea.

Modi mentioned the provisions made in the recent budget for defence offsets, and said the world's best arms and equipment manufacturers would be invited to set up manufacturing facilities in India, and a day would come when India would be completely self-reliant in defence production.

The Prime Minister praised the valour of the Indian armed forces, and assured the jawans that the whole nation stood by them and was convinced that they would leave no stone unturned in defending the country.

Defence Minister  Arun Jaitley congratulated the Navy on the commissioning of INS Kolkata.

The Governor of Maharashtra  K. Sankaranarayanan, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra  Prithviraj Chavan, the Chief of Army Staff Admiral R.K. Dhowan, the National Security Advisor   Ajit Doval, the Defence Secretary  R.K. Mathur, and senior officers of the Army, Navy and Air Force were present on the occasion.

The Prime Minister also visited various facilities onboard INS Kolkata and also wrote in the Visitor's Book.

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