Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Hails Success ASAT Missile Test & Regional Development Effort

By Staff Correspondent

India is on the rise, emerging as one of the strongest nations on the world stage under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Speaking at the ‘Rising India Conclave’ hosted by a private media organisation in New Delhi on March 30, 2023, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh lauded the transformation India has undergone recently, citing secure borders, self-reliance, and a strong economy as hallmarks of India’s success.

Singh attributed India’s success to the government’s bold approach and unwavering resolve, which has ensured secured borders and battle-ready Armed Forces backed by a self-reliant defence industry. He emphasised the importance of national security and self-reliance as the only means to achieve it, noting that the Ministry of Defense has taken several steps towards attaining ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in defence.

Singh listed some measures the Ministry of Defense took, including the notification of positive indigenisation lists and the earmarking of a record 75 percent of the defence capital procurement budget for the domestic industry in the financial year 2023-24. Additionally, he highlighted the government’s efforts to provide local companies access to international markets, which have contributed to a significant increase in domestic defence production in recent years.

Singh also touched on the start-up-based innovation ecosystem created in India, stating that the government’s efforts have resulted in the creation of over 100 unicorns, which is a testament to the success of this ecosystem. He lauded the Prime Minister’s visionary leadership, which has guided India to become the fifth-largest economy and transformed its global image into that of an agenda-setter.

Singh emphasised that India’s diplomacy is another facet of its rise. The presidency of G-20 and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) this year proves that India’s stature is continuously growing on the world stage. He added that many international surveys have named Narendra Modi the most popular leader, which is also the view of many world leaders. Singh lauded the Prime Minister, because of whom India’s image has transformed into an agenda setter and is listened to carefully on the international fora.

Singh described India’s success in leading the world on issues like terrorism, emphasising that countries that use terrorism as a tool are well aware of the fact that India never harms anyone unnecessarily and does not spare anyone who tries to hurt its unity, integrity, and sovereignty. He mentioned the surgical strikes, stating that the move broke the back of terrorists and sent a strong message to the world that India will eliminate terrorism on its own soil and, if need be, on foreign land. He added, “Whether it was the stand-off with China or ill intentions from Pakistan, our forces have been giving a befitting reply whenever required.”

Singh also highlighted the social development witnessed in India in recent years, stating that people from all sections of society, irrespective of religion, caste, and gender, are being ensured equal opportunities and fair representation in all kinds of work. He reiterated the government’s resolve to provide more and more opportunities to women at par with their male counterparts.

“From the construction of toilets for women & ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ to their growing role in the Armed Forces, women empowerment has been at the centre of the Government’s planning since the beginning. Women are today flying fighter aircraft and being inducted in artillery. Through this, we are empowering our women and strengthening the Armed Forces. This is another facet of Rising India,” Singh said.

The Defence Minister termed the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir as another example of the government’s strong will. The decision has brought about a new era of peace and progress, according to Rajnath Singh, and he credits the current government for carrying forward the vision of the late former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who led the nuclear test in Pokhran in 1998. The Defense Minister emphasised that this is a result of the strong political will of the current government, and as a result, the country is now capable of producing big missiles, tanks, weapons, and ammunition on its own soil.

Apart from the government’s emphasis on strengthening national security, Rajnath Singh also highlighted the government’s commitment to developing the North-east region. He stated that the government has ensured that the region, with its beautiful natural resources, is well-connected to the rest of the country. Additionally, the Defense Minister mentioned unprecedented peace in the North East, which has led to the withdrawal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act {AFSPA} from most areas.

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