The Indian Navy has assured the government that it will become AatmNirbhar by 2047, Admiral R Hari Kumar said here during his annual interaction with the media on Saturday ahead of Navy Day.
“Recent events like Russia-Ukraine war have demonstrated that we cannot remain dependent on others for our security requirements. The government has given us very clear guidelines towards AatmNirbhar Bharat,” the Navy Chief said.
“All our focus remains directed towards making the Indian Navy fully AatmNirbhar by 2047,” he added, elaborating on efforts to achieve indigenization.
Responding to increased movement of Chinese ships in the Indian Ocean Region, he said the navy keeps an eye on all developments in the region and ensures that Indian interests are protected.
“There are a lot of Chinese ships which operate in the Indian Ocean Region. Anything between 4 to 6 PLA Navy ships operate, also a large number of fishing vessels also operate. Nearly 60 odd extra regional forces are also present in the IOR. We keep a close watch on all developments in the IOR,” he said.
“Our job as Navy is that India’s maritime interests are protected and we see that they don’t do anything that goes against the Indian interests,” he added.
Terming the induction of Agniveers in the Indian Navy a transformational move, the Admiral said that 3,000 Agniveers have joined the force out of which 341 are women.
He said while women will join as sailors for the first time, all branches of the Navy will be opened for women officers from next year.
“The women sailors will be deployed on bases, ships and aircraft. They will be trained for everything,” he said.
Responding to a query regarding the status of eight naval veterans in confinement in Qatar, the Navy chief said the issue is being pursued at the highest level.
“After joining the Navy, you become a member of the navy family. Continuous efforts are being made by all the agencies at the highest level to resolve this matter. We hope a solution will be found,” he said.
The Admiral said that this year the Navy’s share in the defence budget is 17.8 per cent which is quite adequate. Capital to revenue ratio was 32:68 which is very good, he added.
Admiral Kumar said the last one year has been operationally very engaging and intense.
“Operationally we had a very engaging and intense time in the last year. Very high operational tempo was maintained over the last one year. Extensive operational deployment helps us in many ways, in honning up the skills,” he said.
December 4 is celebrated as Navy Day to acknowledge the role of the Navy and commemorate its achievements in ‘Operation Trident’ during the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war.
This year, the celebrations are being conducted in Visakhapatnam.