Covid-19 or border challenge, India capable on every front: PM Modi
- In his customary address at the National Cadet Corps rally, the PM said whether it was the protective cover of the vaccine or dealing with those who challenge India, the country was capable on every front.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said last year India showed it was capable of taking strong steps for its security, be it Covid-19 or the border challenge. His comments came at a time India and China are locked in a lingering border row in the Ladakh sector.
In his customary address at the National Cadet Corps rally, the PM said whether it was the protective cover of the vaccine or dealing with those who challenge India, the country was capable on every front.
He made a mention of the Rafale fighter jets while talking about the military’s modernisation. He said the three Rafales that landed in India on Wednesday were refuelled mid-air by “India's friend UAE, helped by Greece and Saudi Arabia.”
He said it reflected India's deepening ties with Middle East countries. The new jets will bolster the strength of the Indian Air Force’s only Rafale squadron, which is based in Ambala. India ordered 36 Rafale jets from France in September 2016 for ₹59,000 crore. Of these, 11 have arrived and the remaining planes are expected by the year-end.
The PM said the government has taken various steps to boost self-reliance in the defence sector and India will be known as a producer of military equipment, instead of being a market. India has set a target of $5 billion worth of defence exports by 2024.
The PM spoke about more girls being inducted into the NCC. “NCC has seen a 35% increase in girl cadets. Every front of our defence forces is being opened for girls. India's strong daughters are ready to battle it out against enemies,” the PM said.
He said modern simulators being given to the NCC will improve its training standards. “The government has increased the number of firing simulators from 1 to 98, micro-light flight simulators from five to 48 and rowing simulators from 11 to 60.”
The PM paid tributes to the heroes of the 1971 India-Pak war at a time India is marking its golden jubilee. He recalled spending time with soldiers at Longewala on Diwali.
“In the 1971 war, our jawans won a strategic and decisive battle in Longewala.
In that war against Pakistan, India defeated the enemy on the borders. Thousands of Pakistani soldiers surrendered before India.”
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