InfoDigger: A source of simple and sequential news


Open seas and respect for international law essential for security for Indian Ocean Region, says Rajnath Singh

The Indian Ocean Region (IOR) Defence Ministers' Conclave began with a keynote address from Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today on the sidelines of Aero India 2021 in Bengaluru. 

Several Defence Ministers, Ambassadors, High Commissioners and senior officials from 27 out of 28 IOR countries attended the event either physically or in virtual mode. 

Outlining the agenda, Mr Singh said that as the largest nation in the IOR region with a vast coastline of 7500 km, India has an active role to play for peaceful and prosperous coexistence of all countries. The Defence Minister stressed that the Indian Ocean is a shared asset and a lifeline to international trade and transport due to its control of major sea-lanes carrying half of the world’s container ships, one-third of the world’s bulk cargo traffic and two-thirds of the world's oil shipments.
Referring to India's growing Aerospace and Defence sector and its emergence as a global R&D hub with one of the world's largest startup ecosystems, The Defence Minister said IOR countries can leverage these sectors for mutual benefit. He said the recent order from the Indian Air Force to buy 83 Advanced Light Helicopters Mk-1A from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is a milestone in India's indigenization of defence manufacturing capabilities. Mr Singh stated that India is ready to supply various types of weapons systems to IOR countries. He said that in consonance with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of SAGAR, Neighbourhood First and Act East policies, India has adopted a cooperative approach through capacity-building assistance in partner countries. This was reflected in India's supply of Indian made ships, maritime aircraft and setting-up of Coastal Surveillance Radar Systems, he said.

Mr Singh said vaccine supplies under grant assistance to Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles have already highlighted India's commitment to protecting humanity from COVID-19. He said that India was conducting training programmes for immunization managers, cold chain officers, communication officers and data managers of the recipient countries before delivery of the vaccines. He highlighted the development of effective response mechanism to humanitarian crisis and natural disasters in the IOR region as one of the most visible elements of India's Indian Ocean strategy.

27 out of 28 countries from the IOR region attended the conclave either physically or in virtual mode. In his closing remarks, Mr Singh said the enthusiastic participation was a symbol of the collective desire of the nations of the IOR region to work together. He applauded the dynamism, ideas and conviction for a brighter future displayed at the conclave. 

Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar delivered the welcome address at the conclave. 

Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of Army Staff General M M Naravane and Secretary (Defence Production) Raj Kumar were also present.

#AeroIndia2021 #RajnathSingh

Defence Minister inaugurates HAL's Second LCA Plant


Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the second plant of HAL's LCA Division in Bengaluru today.

He lauded the efforts made by HAL to increase the production capacity of LCA which is going to be the backbone of IAF fighter fleet in years to come.

"HAL's new LCA facility is an example of how 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' is shaping and HAL deserves the largest indigenous order of 83 LCA Mk-IA. LCA is the pride of India and sends the right message to others that India can make fighters of class in-house. The fighter is superior in many ways when compared to other fighters in its category besides being cost-effective. I compliment HAL for working through the COVID times and bringing out this facility. The Company has a lot of talent and more orders should come in its way in future. We cannot depend on others on security issues and therefore will make HAL stronger, whatever it takes," he added.

Mr R Madhavan, CMD, HAL said the Defence Minister's visit is a great moral booster to HAL. The phase -1 of the facility getting ready on 35 acres of land will enable HAL to enhance its production capacity to 16 from the current eight aircraft every year.

#Bengaluru #HAL #RajnathSingh

Foreign Minister of Nepal Pradeep Kumar Gyawali meets Defence Minister Rajnath Singh


The Foreign Minister of Nepal Mr Pradeep Kumar Gyawali called on Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi today. 

Highlights of the meeting:

  1. The Foreign Minister has come to India for the 6th India-Nepal Joint Commission Meeting. 
  2. During his interaction with the Raksha Mantri, the Foreign Minister conveyed his greetings from the leadership of Nepal, and expressed his desire to deepen the bilateral relations. 
  3. He also expressed gratitude for all the assistance provided by India. Mr Singh reciprocated the sentiment and emphasised that India-Nepal relations are underpinned by unique people-to-people linkages.
  4. The Defence Minister conveyed his personal connect, long association with leadership and special regard for the people of Nepal. 
  5. Both the dignitaries expressed their satisfaction at the excellent military-to-military cooperation. 
  6. Mr Singh stated that India is ready to provide Humanitarian assistance & Disaster Relief (HADR) training & capacity building of Nepal.
  7. Nepal Foreign Minister congratulated India on success in developing the COVID-19 vaccine and expressed confidence that the pandemic will be soon overcome.
  8. Mr Singh stated that India is looking forward for further deepening and strengthening the special relationship between India and Nepal.

#Nepal #RajnathSingh #India

Defence Minister pays homage on Veterans Day

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh along with Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat placed wreaths and paid homage at the War Memorial as part of Veterans' Day Celebration at Headquarters Training Command, IAF in Bengaluru, today.  

At the event, the Defence Minister and CDS interacted with the Veterans. Next of Kin, Veterans and representatives of various ex-servicemen organizations were also present on the occasion. This event was followed by a Veteran’s Meet at the Air Force Training Command which was attended by senior serving officers and Veterans/ representatives of ex-servicemen organizations. 

Indian Armed Forces celebrate Veteran’s Day on 14th January every year.  The day was chosen as recognition of the services rendered by the first Commander-in-Chief of Indian Armed Forces, Field Marshal KM Cariappa, OBE who retired on this day in 1953.  

#BipinRawat #VeteransDay #Bengaluru #RajnathSingh

Rs 27,000 cr worth defence acquisitions to be sourced from Indian industry

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh chaired the meeting of Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) today clearing acquisition proposals worth Rs 28,000 crore. 

Of the total, acquisitions worth Rs 27,000 crore are to be sourced from the Indian industry. Five cases valued at Rs 25,000 Crore are approved under indigenous design development and manufacture category. 

The particularly noteworthy ones are the DRDO designed and developed AEW&C systems for the Air Force and modular bridges for the Army.

#DAC #RajnathSingh

Defence Ministers of India and Vietnam hold talks


Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister of National Defence of Socialist Republic of Vietnam General Ngo Xuan Lich held bilateral talks via video-conferencing, today. 

During the talks, both Ministers reaffirmed the strong India-Vietnam Defence cooperation which is a key pillar of Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the two countries. They discussed various ongoing projects and the future trajectory of bilateral Defence engagements. The Defence Ministers expressed satisfaction that despite the COVID-19 situation Defence exchanges between both Armed Forces have maintained positive momentum. Both the Ministers discussed collaboration in Defence Industry capability building, training and cooperation in UN Peacekeeping Operations. 

In a further step towards deeper bilateral cooperation, both sides signed an Implementing Arrangement for cooperation in the field of Hydrography between National Hydrographic Office, India and Vietnam Hydrographic Office in the presence of the two Ministers. The Arrangement will enable sharing of Hydrographic data and assist in the production of navigational charts by both sides.

#Vietnam #RajnathSingh #India

Each responsible Indian citizen should have adequate knowledge of constitution: Rajnath Singh


Webinar on launch ceremony of Constitution Day Youth Club activities was inaugurated by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today in Bengaluru. NCC Cadets from all the 17 NCC Directorates of the country attended the webinar.

Air Commodore L K Jain, Deputy Director General NCC, HQ NCC Directorate Karnataka and Goa, Bengaluru and Staff Officers of the Directorate, ANOs (Associate NCC Officers), 33 cadets of various wings (Army, Navy, Air Force wings) attended the webinar from NCC Directorate Karnataka and Goa during the launch ceremony. During his speech on the occasion, the Defence Minister brought out the importance of fundamental rights and the responsibility of the citizens towards the nation.

"Each responsible Indian citizen should be in possession of adequate knowledge of the Constitution of India," he said.

#NCC #RajnathSingh

Peace can only be achieved through ability to deter war: Rajnath Singh

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today stated that peace can only be ensured through the ability to deter war. 

Mr Singh said, "Perhaps the most fundamental lesson that the roller coaster of the rise and fall of nations taught us was that peace cannot necessarily be achieved by a desire for peace but by the ability to deter war. Unfortunately, the mere desire to seek peace, if not reciprocated by others, does not necessarily succeed in building a harmonious environment in a world beset by conflicting ideas of security, sovereignty and national interests." 

The Defence Minister inaugurated Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the National Defence College (NDC) in New Delhi today. He delivered a keynote address while declaring open a two-day Webinar (05-06 Nov 2020) on the theme 'India's National Security - a Decade Ahead'. Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar and Commandant of NDC, Air Marshal D Choudhury also attended the Webinar.   

Mr Singh outlined four broad principles that are likely to guide India's quest for national security in the future.  

  1. The first is the ability to secure India's territorial integrity and sovereignty from external threats and internal challenges.  
  2. Second, the ability to create secure and stable conditions that can facilitate India's economic growth, thereby, creating the resources for nation-building and to meet individual aspirations.  
  3. Third, we remain steadfast in the desire to protect our interests beyond the borders in areas where our people reside and our security interests converge.  
  4. And finally, we also believe that in a globalised and interconnected world, a country's security interests are interlinked by shared and secure commons.   

Mr Singh emphasised that India has proved that countries that employ terrorism as an instrument of national policy can also be deterred through options that were considered un-implementable in the past. He said, "Pakistan continues to remain adamant in the use of terrorism as state policy. However, we have achieved substantial success in working with progressive and like-minded countries to not only expose Pakistan’s regressive policies but also make it increasingly difficult to continue with its previous business as usual approach." 

He outlined India's close relationships and partnerships with like-minded friends to further the common interests of countries in the region and beyond. "Our strategic partnership with the U.S. is stronger than ever before.” India’s friendship has also grown tremendously with Japan, Australia and Russia. India has also forged a very special partnership with reliable friends like France and Israel, he added.    

One of the most important elements of India's foreign and security policy is characterised by the "Neighbourhood First" initiative, he said. "Right from 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi invested substantial personal capital to ensure that this relationship was built and reinforced to create a positive and progressive partnership. The results of this initiative are evident. With the exception of Pakistan, given its agenda of fuelling terrorism, India has improved its relations with all neighbours. We have invested heavily to help and support our friends to forge a relationship of mutual-respect and mutual-interest." 

Talking about India's capability development and long-term policy of indigenisation, he said our recent procurement policies encourage "forging partnerships with major OEMs who are keen to invest and build in India." 

Talking about internal security challenges, he said a three-pronged approach has been undertaken. "This includes the development of areas affected by terrorism along with the provision of justice to the aggrieved. It also includes the ability and desire to go more than halfway to negotiate settlements with dissatisfied groups to enable a political settlement. And finally, we are also willing to challenge the status quo, if the status quo becomes a tool for the exploitation of helpless citizens and the provisions of governance," the Defence Minister stated.


Salient features of 3rd India - USA 2+2 Meeting

The 3rd India - USA 2+2 Meeting was held in New Delhi Delhi today. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, US Defence Secretary Dr Mark T Esper and others were present on the occasion. 

A press statement was issued by the  Defence Minister following the meeting. 

Following are the points he highlighted in the statement: 

1. During the meeting today, we have had comprehensive discussions on key aspects of our bilateral and multilateral cooperation. We considered the major challenges we face. The need for quick economic recovery and growth, prevention of the Pandemic, rebuild the global supply chains and related issues received obvious priority in our discussions. 

2. I met Dr Esper yesterday to discuss bilateral defence issues. We continued our discussions on larger regional and global perspective today over the 2+2. Signing of Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-spatial Cooperation, BECA, today after signing of LEMOA in 2016 and COMCASA in 2018 is a significant achievement in that direction. 

3. I would also like to highlight some of the other noteworthy steps taken by both India and US in follow up to our earlier discussions. These include Positioning a USN LO at IFC-IOR and Indian LO at NAVCENT, Bahrain; greater interaction and coordination with CENTCOM and AFRICOM; setting up of the COMSEC account and increasing the scope and complexities of our exercises. Now LO's at each other's establishments could be leveraged to enhance our information sharing architecture. To sum it up, our military to military cooperation is progressing well. 

4. In today's meeting we also explored the probable capacity building and other joint cooperation activities in third countries, including our neighbourhood and beyond. We have a convergence of views on a number of such proposals and will take those forward. 

5. I welcome the acceptance of our request for cooperation in the advanced field of maritime domain awareness. Both sides agreed to comprehend the requirements and initiate processes for joint development of requisite systems and expertise. 

6. In the Defence Industrial Cooperation area, we had a very candid and useful discussion. Recent initiative of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' in Defence sector was underlined as a key driver and a guiding factor of our Defence Industrial Cooperation. I highlighted the capabilities of Indian Defence Industry and their usefulness in the supply chain of major US platforms and systems. We have identified priority Near-Term projects for joint development between respective agencies, which need to be fast tacked under the DTTI and resolved to work together in Defence R&D more efficiently. 

7. In our meeting, we shared assessment of the security situation across the Indo Pacific. In that process, we reaffirmed our commitment to peace, stability and prosperity of all countries in this region. We also agreed that upholding the rules-based international order, respecting the rule of law and freedom of navigation in the international seas and upholding the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states are essential. Our defence cooperation is intended to further these objectives. Both sides welcomed Australia joining the forthcoming Malabar Exercise. 

#MarkTEsper #India-USA2+2Meeting #US #MikePompeo #RajnathSingh #SJaishankar #India

Rajnath Singh invites US firms to invest in Indian Defence Industry

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today had a bilateral meeting with US Defence Secretary Dr Mark T Esper at South Block in New Delhi. 

Dr Esper is on a visit to India for the 2+2 Ministerial Meeting.   

The two ministers reviewed bilateral defence cooperation spanning military to military cooperation, secure communication systems and information sharing, defence trade and industrial issues and also discussed ways to take bilateral cooperation forward. 

Both the Ministers expressed satisfaction at the close engagements between the respective Armed Forces. They discussed potential new areas of cooperation, both at Service to Service level and at the joint level.  

They called for the continuation of existing defence dialogue mechanisms during the pandemic, at all levels, particularly the Military Cooperation Group (MCG). They also discussed the requirements of expanding deployments of liaison officers. 

The two ministers expressed satisfaction that the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-Spatial Cooperation (BECA) will be signed during the visit.  US Secretary of Defence welcomed Australia’s participation in the exercise MALABAR 2020.  

Mr Singh elaborated upon the initiatives under the Atmanirbhar Bharat vision to encourage investments in the defence industry in India and invited US companies to make avail of the liberalized policies and the favourable Defence Industry ecosystem in India. 

#MarkTEsper #US #RajnathSingh #India