KERALA

Navy Chief gives away gallantry awards

KOCHI, APRIL 24. The Indian Navy is poised to commission a few mega projects in the next few years. While the Naval Academy at Ezhimala will become functional from early 2006, the Karwar Naval Base will be completed by the next year. This was announced by the Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Madhvendra Singh, at a Naval investiture ceremony held at the Naval Base here today.

Admiral Singh said that indigenous stealth ships of Shivalik class would be ready by 2007. Mig-29s and the aircraft carrier, Gorshkov, will be pressed into service by 2008, he said.

The Navy has launched a special education scheme for children of the naval personnel who die in harness. He said the Navy would take care of such children's education up to college level.

The Naval investiture ceremony took place at the Southern Naval Command here after several years. Admiral Singh gave away the gallantry awards which had been announced on Republic Day. The awards included four Yudh Seva Medals (YSM), eight Nao Sena Medals (NSM) for gallantry, seven NSMs for devotion to duty, 16 Vishisht Seva Medals (VSM), and one Jeevan Raksha Padak. Two gold medals and seven unit citations were also given away on the occasion.

The Naval parade ground wore a festive look with 30 platoons of officers and sailors and the Naval Band in their sparkling white uniforms facing a large gathering of dignitaries who had come from various destinations across the country.

After laying a wreath at the War Memorial, the Naval Chief arrived at the ground and was received by the Vice Admiral, Yashwant Prasad, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Southern Naval Command. The Admiral inspected a 50-men guard of honour and reviewed the parade. Cdr. T.S.R. Nagesh led the parade. Cdr. Nawaz Ahmed and B.G. Powar, leading seaman clearance diver, were posthumously awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal and the Nao Sena Medal respectively. Nawaz's widow, Fiza Ahmed, and Powar's widow, Surekha Powar, received the awards from the Naval Chief.

Those who received the Yudh Sev Medal were R.Admiral D.K. Joshi, Cdr. S.V. Bhokare, Cdr. Kuldeep Mittal and Lt. Ravi Kumar. The Nao Sena Medal (gallantry) winners were Cdr. Shoukathali Sheikh, Cdr. Umed Singh Charan, Lt. Cdr. Shailesh Kumar Dhaka, Arun Dobhal, Baiju K.R., Ramesh Chandra and Himmat Singh.

Nao Sena Medals were awarded to Cmde. M.P. Muralidharan, Cmde (retd.) E.G. Govindan, Cmde. Namburi Krishna Rao, Capt. K.N. Mohandas, Capt. A.K. Chawla, Cdr. Sukhdev Singh Virk, Cdr. Sunil Jain, Cdr. Jaiveer Singh Malik, Cdr. Vidyut Kak, Cdr. T.V. Thomas, Cdr. M.V.S. Negi and Cdr. (TS) S.N.C. Srivastava.

The Naval Chief gave away the Vishist Seva Medals to Cmde. Fai Homi Dubash, Cmde. A.K. Patnaik, Cmde. Bola Radhakrishna Rao, Cmde. Paras Nath, Cmde. S.P.R. Reddy, Cmde. Sankaran Mampully, Cmde (retd) S.K. Chandra, Cmde. Rakesh Bajaj, Cmde. Venkitaraman Srinivasan, Cdr. Jasbir Singh Gandhi, Cdr. J.V.R. Murthy, Cdr. P.S. Verma, Cdr.-at-Arms S.K. Minhas, Surg. Lt. Cdr. P.K. Srivastava, and Birender Kumar Rai.

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