Rajnath: India’s maritime security demands have shifted

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In his remarks, the Defence Minister praised the ICG’s “professionalism and dedication,” stating that “its unparalleled performance” had made it one of the world’s best and largest coast guards….reports Asian Lite News

India’s maritime security demands have shifted as a result of the changing global circumstances, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday.

Addressing the Indian Coast Guard’s (ICG) 39th Commanders’ Conference in New Delhi, he emphasized the need to maintain maritime preparedness in the ever-changing global landscape.

He recalled the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, saying that the tragedy demonstrated that the country’s focus had been on land border security for a long time, with little attention devoted to coastline protection.

He praised the ICG for consistently improving its capabilities in recent years, in accordance with the government’s strategy, and for playing a critical role in boosting coastal security. He, however, also added that since the 2008 Mumbai attacks, the country has not seen any terror activity from the water route as a result of these measures.

In his remarks, the Defence Minister praised the ICG’s “professionalism and dedication,” stating that “its unparalleled performance” had made it one of the world’s best and largest coast guards.

He went on to say that the ICG’s role is not limited to coastal areas, describing them as “protectors of India’s national interests and sovereign rights” in the maritime boundary and Exclusive Economic Zone.

He expressed his understanding of the significance of “a free and open Indo-Pacific,” describing the region as critical to India’s maritime security.

He said, “The growing regional and global trade has brought forth new challenges. Geopolitical tensions and clash of strategic interests have led to traditional security challenges. Terrorism, drug trafficking and piracy are some non-traditional challenges in front of us today. The entire region is being affected by these challenges. Being a responsible maritime power, we have a clear interest to create a rule-based, peaceful and stable environment. Such a rule based environment is essential for both regional and global prosperity. In such a situation, the ICG has a big role to play.”

He added that keeping in view all aspects such as security, trade, environment and humanitarian assistance, Ministry of Defence has sanctioned a large number of projects, including acquisition of Pollution Control Vessels and mid-term Life Upgradation of Dornier Fleet, to modernise the ICG. He appreciated the ICG’s efforts towards achieving ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.

“Today, the manufacturing and servicing/repairing of ships and aircraft of ICG is being done indigenously. The ICG is spending almost 90 per cent of its capital budget on the development of indigenous assets,” he added.

The event was attended by Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar, DG ICG VS Pathania, and other senior officials from the Ministry of Defence and the ICG.

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