Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, on Friday, termed the commissioning of INS Vikrant as a testament to the resolve of the government to ensure the safety and security of the nation in the next 25 years.
Singh said Vikrant was a glowing symbol of an aspirational and self-reliant New India.
Speaking during the commissioning of the ship at the Cochin Shipyard limited in Kochi, Singh said Vikrant is an icon of pride, power and resolve of the nation.
"Its commissioning is an unprecedented achievement in the path of building indigenous warships. The navy's tradition is 'old ships never die'. This new avatar of Vikrant, which played a stellar role in the 1971 war, is a humble tribute to our freedom fighters and brave soldiers," Singh said.
Singh said it is a key responsibility of the navy to secure the country's maritime interests for uninterrupted maritime trade, amid the constantly-changing global situation.
He commended the navy for always being the 'First Responder' in times of any national or international crisis and exuded confidence that the commissioning of Vikrant would further enhance the capability of the defence force.
"This is an assurance to friendly foreign countries that India is fully capable of meeting the collective security needs of the region. We believe in a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific. Our efforts in this regard are guided by SAGAR' (Security and Growth for All in the Region) as envisioned by the Prime Minister," Singh said.
The Union minister listed out a series of steps taken by the ministry of defence in realising 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat', including setting up of defence corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, issuance of three positive indigenisation lists, earmarking of 68 per cent of capital procurement budget for domestic industry, defence production and export promotion policy 2020 and increase in FDI limit.
He said the aim is 'Make in India, Make for the World' and exports of more than $400 billion in the last year are a proof of this vision.