Govt. committed to increasing strength of women in armed forces: PM Modi

The Prime Minister was speaking in Maharashtra’s Sindhudurg district on the Konkan coast, on the occasion of Navy Day

Updated - December 04, 2023 10:45 pm IST

Published - December 04, 2023 09:26 pm IST - Pune

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inspects the Guard of Honour at the ‘Navy Day 2023’ celebrations, in Sindhudurg on Monday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inspects the Guard of Honour at the ‘Navy Day 2023’ celebrations, in Sindhudurg on Monday. | Photo Credit: ANI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 4 said the government was committed to increasing the strength of women in the armed forces. “Today, India is setting bigger targets for itself and is utilising its full potential to achieve those targets,” said the PM, speaking in Maharashtra’s Sindhudurg district on the Konkan coast, on the occasion of Navy Day.

The Prime Minister, who earlier unveiled a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji at Rajkot fort, said that the India of today was shaking off the “slave mentality” by moving forward, inspired by the ideals of the 17th century Maratha warrior king.

“The Sindhudurg Fort instils a feeling of pride in every citizen of India,” Mr. Modi said while lauding Shivaji’s foresight in recognising the importance of naval capabilities for any nation. He expressed happiness that the epaulettes donned by the Naval officers would now highlight the heritage and legacy of Shivaji, as the new epaulettes will be similar to the naval ensign.

“With pride in our heritage, I am proud to announce that the ranks in the Indian Navy will be renamed according to Indian culture. We are also working on increasing women’s power in our defence forces. I want to congratulate the Navy for appointing the country’s first woman commanding officer on a naval ship,” the PM said. Paying homage to the rich maritime heritage of Shivaji, the PM said that the warrior king’s seal had inspired the new naval ensign that was adopted last year when he had commissioned the first indigenous aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant.

He said that both Central and State governments were determined to preserve the forts built during Shivaji’s period, stating that hundreds of crores of rupees were being spent on the conservation of these heritage sites throughout Maharashtra, including the Konkan. Mr. Modi said this would increase tourism in the area and create new employment and self-employment opportunities.

“Heritage as well as development: this is our path to a developed India. Today, it is the priority of the Central Government to improve the life of every family living in coastal areas,” underscored the PM. He said that the country was giving unprecedented support to port-led development. “Merchant shipping is also being encouraged. India is moving towards utilising the potential of its oceans,” he said.

The Prime Minister also talked about the new tradition of holding armed forces’ days such as Army Day and Navy Day outside of Delhi as it expanded the commemoration to other places in India which could get attention as a result.

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