I am happy to be here amid the lush green surroundings of Sahyadri mountain range. This place offers a tranquil experience of immersion in nature thanks to forests, waterfalls, lakes and hills around it.
I would like to congratulate all officers and sailors on parade for their immaculate turnout, smart drill and precision in movements. The energetic parade this morning and your conduct speak volumes of the high standard of training imparted at this premier technical training establishment of the Indian Navy.
It is a proud moment for me to present the President’s Colour to INS Shivaji. This establishment was commissioned in 1945 as HMIS Shivaji. Since then, it has dynamically evolved into a premier technical training institution of the Indian Navy with state-of-the-art training facilities. The institution has kept pace with the rapidly changing technologies in all aspects of marine engineering.
I am glad to note that more than two lakh officers and sailors of the marine engineering branch of the Navy, Coast Guard and friendly foreign countries have been trained in this fine institution till date.
The President’s Colour, as you know, ranks high among the honours bestowed upon a military unit in recognition of the exceptional service rendered to the nation, in peace or war. INS Shivaji has distinguished itself with stellar service to the nation over the years. It has a proud record of professional excellence, and has discharged its responsibilities with distinction. The nation salutes you for your dedication and devotion to duty. We are all proud of your achievements and appreciate your remarkable contribution to the Indian Navy.
On this momentous occasion today, let us remember all those who toiled tirelessly over the decades to build this fine institution. Let it serve to remind us of our duty to continue to strive for excellence in all our endeavours so that the Indian Navy surges on to greater heights and glory.
As INS Shivaji completes 75 years of excellence, let us introspect and reflect on the journey so far and also glance at the future. Technology is leapfrogging to produce autonomous vessels. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are being deployed for decision-making and warfighting. The training of marine engineers will also need to be tailored to train them to work with evolving technologies, while maintaining competence in the core engineering profession. I am confident that INS Shivaji would impart the skill set required in the future to all trainees passing out through its portals.
A nation’s maritime interests are usually also linked to its economy and the well-being of its people. I am told about 90 per cent of our trade, by volume, is handled by sea routes. This enhances the role of the Indian Navy not just in national security but also in economic security, and thus in the wider process of nation building. The Navy is India’s chief instrument of its sea power. It is also the guardian of the nation’s maritime interests, both military and civilian. The nation is proud of the Navy’s commitment in protecting our maritime frontiers, securing our trade routes, and also extending a helping hand in times of civil emergencies.
Considering the entire world as one family and moving forward with the spirit of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbkam’ (world is one family), India is constantly meeting its global responsibilities. I am glad to know that recently, the Indian Navy launched ‘Operation Vanila’ to provide Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief to the affected population of Madagascar post devastation caused by Cyclone Diane. India and Madagascar are connected through Indian Ocean Region. I had the honour of visiting the island nation in 2018. I am particularly happy that India was one of the first respondent to come to the rescue of our Malagasy brothers and sisters.
As a leading power, India plays a crucial role in shaping the global paradigm with respect to international security, trade and commerce. India’s rise in the international order has been fuelled by many factors including the capabilities and valour of our armed forces.
Today, the geopolitical situation in the world and in the Indo-Pacific in particular demands greater vigilance. I am aware that the Navy has adopted mission-based deployments in the Indian Ocean region. High quality training of marine engineers is crucial for sustained deployments and presence in our areas of interest. The future will also see great diversity in the propulsion systems ranging from conventional to nuclear and electric and hybrid propulsion. Concepts of maintenance will also undergo a paradigm shift with increased requirements on operational availability of platforms. INS Shivaji will need to impart the requisite skills to all trainees to prepare them to meet future challenges.
The motto of INS Shivaji is, ‘Karmasu Kaushalam’. It means “Skill at Work”. It is indeed an apt motto. I am confident that INS Shivaji will continue to excel and grow in stature and accomplishments while discharging its role and responsibilities with professionalism and competence.
I once again compliment the Indian Navy and INS Shivaji on this proud occasion and urge all the men and women to continue their selfless and dedicated service to the nation. I wish you and your families a glorious future and convey the good wishes of every citizen of India.