History has shown that powerful navies make powerful nations, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Naval Command Vice Admiral Anil Chopra said.

Delivering National Maritime Foundation Vizag Chapter Lecture here at GITAM University on Thursday, he said that Navy has a distinct feature that enables it to have a bearing on the battles on land. He noted that India lost its freedom and its past glory after successive rulers ignored the seas.

The rise of European nations can be traced to the development of navies of those countries. England, Portugal, Spain and The Netherlands dominated the seas in the 15th century and they prospered. He traced the history of major seafaring nations like China, Japan, the Arabic countries and India and explained how they looked inward and lost their dominance.

He noted how the US dominated the seas and became a major power after the Second World War.

Pointing out that a strong navy comes at a high price, he hoped that India will continue to build and maintain a strong navy.

Answering a question on restricted openings for women in the Navy, he said that entry of women was a recent phenomenon across the world and added that Indian Navy was slowly working towards taking women in active roles.

Women would have a major role in executive branch in near future, he said. The decision on permitting foreign direct investment in defence manufacturing sector would enable the manufacturers here access cutting-edge technologies, he said answering another question from a student in the audience.

He suggested the law students specialise in International Maritime Law as it was an emerging field and there was a lot of career opportunity in that field.

Regional Director National Maritime Foundation Vizag Chapter V.S.N. Rao Thatavarti introduced the chief guest. GITAM University Vice-Chancellor G. Subrahmanyam, director GITAM Law School Y. Satyanarayana, ENC Chief of Staff Vice Admiral Bimal Verma, Chairman and Managing Director Hindustan Shipyard Limited Rear Admiral (retd) N.K. Mishra, Commander Coast Guard M.A. Thalha, CEO Geo Marine Dynamics (India) Pvt Ltd J. Srinivasa Raju, and other members of the advisory board of the NMF regional chapter, serving Navy and Army officers, apart from students of GITAM Law School and Navy Children’s School were present.