Published: Wed, May 09, 2018
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Funds to address critical shortfalls in Navy will be provided: Nirmala Sitharaman

Funds to address critical shortfalls in Navy will be provided: Nirmala Sitharaman

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today said that women were performing extremely good in several key areas and it was matter of satisfaction that their job was being acknowledged.

Making this point here while addressing the bi-annual Navy Commanders" Conference, she said the Government is also promoting the medium and small scale enterprises in the "Make in India' venture to gain access to world class technology. "This is the big change". Over the years, the region has witnessed increasing Chinese presence.

Calling for exploring best opportunities for women in different sectors, she said women engagement in the fields of enterprise and entrepreneurship should be encouraged.

But persisting budgetary constraints will prove a major hurdle for the Navy to realize its original plan of becoming a 212-warship and 458-aircraft force by 2027 to become a powerful three-dimensional blue-water force capable of effectively guarding India's expanding geo-strategic interests as well as deterring China and Pakistan.

The Indian Navy has also offered a permanent commission to women officers.

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On the issue of critical capability shortfalls that the Navy is facing in ship-borne multi-role helicopters, reconnaissance aircraft, unmanned platforms, conventional submarines and surface ships which need urgent redressal to maintain the combat edge, she assured the Commanders that these issues are being given due impetus at the ministry. On April 16, the Indian Navy on Twitter welcomed China's PLA Navy in the Indian Ocean Region.

The death of R Thirumani, a 22-year-old resident of Chennai, in a stone-pelting incident near Narbal outside the outskirts of Kashmir yesterday was "absolutely unfortunate", Sitharaman said.

"I don't know whether it (the incident) was inadvertent or (committed) knowingly but it is completely condemnable".

"I am sure the chief minister (Mehbooba Mufti) herself is keen on getting more tourists to Kashmir because that will also help in restoring normalcy".

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