President of India Ram Nath Kovind said on Monday that no country can aspire to become an economic or regional powerhouse while being dependent on defence imports.
Speaking at a function organised here on the occasion of the presentation of the President Colour to Indian Naval Aviation, Kovind also said that the prompt and effective deployment of the Indian Navy in the time of crisis has underscored India’s vision of being the ‘Preferred Security Partner’ and ‘First Responder’ in our region.
“As we move towards becoming a five trillion dollar economy, we must remember that no country can aspire to become an economic or regional powerhouse while being dependent on imports to defend itself,” Kovind said.
“The Indian Navy has been at the forefront of indigenisation and this is well reflected in the Navy’s current and future acquisition plans, which are powered by indigenisation. In pursuance of the Government of India’s vision of ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’, Indian Naval Aviation has also made steady progress in consonance with the ‘Make in India’ drive,” he added.
The President of India also said that it was a matter of pride that India’s newest aircraft carrier, the new Vikrant had started sea trials.
“It is a matter of great pride for the Indian Navy, that the indigenously built aircraft carrier, the new Vikrant has started sea trials. This gives a unique distinction to the Indian Navy, of being the only Navy in the region and one of the three navies of the world, that has maintained continuous carrier operations over the last six and a half decades,” he said.
He also said India had made significant efforts in meeting all regional commitments and furthering our diplomatic engagements with friends and partners in the Indo-Pacific.
“While the natural tendency during Covid-19 pandemic was to look inwards, India and the Indian Navy have looked outwards. The Navy was a key instrument of India’s Covid outreach, delivering assistance and support to our maritime neighbours and partners in the Indian Ocean Region. I have no doubt that the prompt and effective deployment of the Indian Navy in the time of crisis, has underscored India’s vision of being the ‘Preferred Security Partner’ and ‘First Responder’ in our region,” Kovind also said.