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Defense Minister Rajnath Singh to attend India-ASEAN Defence Ministers meeting during his visit to Cambodia on November 22-23

Defense Minister Rajnath Singh Urges Industry cooperation to take Indian defence sector to new heights

At the invitation of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence of Cambodia Samdech Pichey Sena TEA Banh, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh will pay an official visit to Cambodia from November 22-23, 2022. Cambodia, as the chair of ASEAN Defence Ministers Plus (ADMM Plus) meeting is hosting the 9th annual meeting at Siem Reap, Cambodia and the Raksha Mantri will address the forum on November 23, 2022. He will also call on the Prime Minister of Cambodia.

To commemorate 30 years of India-ASEAN relations, India and Cambodia will co-chair the maiden India-ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting on November 22, 2022, presided over by Rajnath Singh. Various initiatives to boost India-ASEAN partnership are planned to be announced during the meeting.

India became the dialogue partner of ASEAN in 1992 and the inaugural ADMM-Plus was convened in Hanoi, Vietnam on October 12, 2010. Since 2017, ADMM-Plus Ministers have been meeting annually to further the dialogue and cooperation amongst ASEAN and the Plus countries. India and ASEAN have elevated their relationship to ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ in November 2022.

Apart from the ADMM-Plus meeting and India-ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting, the Raksha Mantri will hold bilateral discussions with Defence Ministers of the participating countries. During the talks, Rajnath Singh will discuss defence cooperation matters and ways to further strengthen the mutually beneficial engagements.

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Amit Shah chaired the first session of the 3rd ‘No Money for Terror’ Ministerial Conference

Union Home Minister Amit Shah chaired the first session of the 3rd ‘No Money for Terror’ Ministerial Conference on ‘Global Trends in Terrorist Financing and Terrorism’ theme in New Delhi today. In his opening address, the Union Home Minister said that terrorism is, undoubtedly, the most serious threat to global peace and security, but, the financing of terrorism is more dangerous than terrorism itself, because the ‘Means and Methods’ of terrorism are nurtured from such funding. Furthermore, the financing of terrorism weakens the economy of countries of the world.

Amit Shah said that India condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and we believe that no reason can justify an act, such as taking innocent lives. While expressing his sympathy for the victims of terrorist attacks all over the world, he said that we should never compromise with this evil.

Union Home Minister said that India has been a victim of terrorism for several decades, which is sponsored from across the border. He said that Indian security forces and civilians have had to deal with incidents of extremely serious terrorist violence perpetrated in a sustained and coordinated manner. Amit Shah said that the international community has a collective approach that terrorism must be condemned in all its forms, but, the forms and manifestations of terrorism are continuously evolving due to technological revolution. He said that today, terrorists and terrorist groups understand the nuances of modern weapons & information technology, and the dynamics of the cyber & financial space very well, and use them. He said that this transformation of terrorism from “Dynamite to Metaverse” and “AK-47 to Virtual Assets” is definitely a matter of concern for the countries of the world, and, we all have to work together to formulate a common strategy against it. Amit Shah added that we also recognize that the threat of terrorism cannot and should not be linked to any religion, nationality, or group.

Amit Shah said that to confront terrorism, we have made significant progress in fortifying the security architecture, as well as the legal and financial systems. He stated that in spite of this, terrorists are constantly finding new ways to carry out violence, radicalize youth and raise financial resources. Amit Shah maintained that the ‘Dark Net’ is being used by terrorists to spread radical content and conceal their identities. Additionally, there is an increase in the use of virtual assets like cryptocurrency. He said that we need to understand the patterns of these Dark Net activities and find their solutions.

Union Home Minister said that unfortunately, there are countries that seek to undermine, or even hinder, our collective resolve to fight terrorism. He said that we have seen that some countries protect and shelter terrorists, protecting a terrorist is equivalent to promoting terrorism. He said that it will be our collective responsibility that such elements never succeed in their intentions. Amit Shah said that after August, 2021, the situation in South Asian region has changed and the regime change and the growing influence of Al Qaeda & ISIS have emerged as a significant challenge to regional security. He stated that these new equations have made the problem of terror financing more serious. Amit Shah said that three decades ago, the whole world has had to bear the serious consequences of one such regime change, the result of which we all have seen in the horrific attack of 9/11. He said that in this background, last year’s changes in the South Asian region are a matter of concern for all of us. He added that along with Al Qaeda, organizations in South Asia like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed continue to spread terror.

Amit Shah said that we should never ignore terrorists’ safe havens or their resources. He said that we also have to expose the double-speak of such elements who sponsor and support them, and therefore, it is important that this Conference, the participating countries, and the organizations, should not take a selective, or complacent perspective of the challenges of this region.

Union Home Minister said that the problem of financing of terrorism has become widespread. He said that in the last few years, India has succeeded in cracking down on terror financing. India’s strategy against the financing of terrorism is based on these six pillars:

  1. Strengthening the Legislative and Technological Framework
  2. Creation of a Comprehensive Monitoring Framework
  3. Actionable intelligence sharing mechanism and strengthening of the investigation and police operations
  4. Provision for confiscation of property
  5. Prevent misuse of legal entities and new technologies, and,
  6. Establishing international cooperation and coordination

Amit Shah said that in this direction, India has strengthened the fight against terrorism and its financing, with the amendment of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), strengthening the National Investigation Agency (NIA), and giving a new direction to financial intelligence. He stated that it is the result of our continuous efforts that terrorist incidents in India have come down drastically, which in turn, has also resulted in a drastic reduction in the economic losses caused by terrorism.

Union Home Minister said that India believes that the most effective strategy to deal with terrorism is International coordination and real-time and transparent cooperation among nations. He opined that cooperation among countries in areas such as extradition, prosecution, intelligence sharing, capacity building and “Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT)”, is important in the fight against terrorism. Amit Shah said that our mutual cooperation becomes even more important given that terrorists and terrorist groups easily coordinate and conjoin their resources across borders.

Amit Shah said that the emerging trends of the illegal trade of narcotics, and the challenge of narco-terror, have given a new dimension to terror financing. He said that in view of this, there is a need for close cooperation among all nations. Amit Shah said that multilateral institutions such as the United Nations and the presence of platforms such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) are most effective in terms of preventing terrorism in the field of ​“Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT)”. He said that FATF is playing an important role in setting and implementing global standards to prevent and combat, money laundering and terrorist financing.

Union Home Minister said that we have a new challenge in the form of Virtual Assets before us as new methods of virtual assets are being used by terrorists for financial transactions. He said that to crack down on the use of virtual asset channels, funding infrastructure and Dark Net, we need to work coherently towards developing a “robust and efficient operational system”. Amit Shah said that the United Nations, IMF, Interpol and other stakeholders such as Law enforcement agencies, financial investigators, and regulators of various countries can have a more positive impact in this regard. He said that we must understand these challenges in-depth and make efforts globally to curb the new techniques of terror financing, as was done in the recently concluded Interpol General Assembly in New Delhi.

Amit Shah said that India remains committed to all efforts to combat terrorism, by sharing intelligence, capacity building for effective border control, preventing misuse of modern technologies, monitoring and preventing illicit financial flows, and cooperating in investigative and judicial processes. He said that to achieve the goal of “No Money for Terror”, the global community must understand the “Mode – Medium – Method” of Terror Financing and adopt the principle of ‘One Mind, One Approach’ in cracking down on them.

Union Home Minister said that we have started this conference today with the address of the PM Narendra Modi and in these two days there will be a meaningful discussion on various dimensions of Terror Financing and meaningful solutions will be ideated for the present and future challenges. Amit Shah said that as the Home Minister of India, he assures the Conference that our commitment towards the objective of ‘No Money for Terror’ is as strong as your enthusiasm to participate in this event! Amit Shah said that it will be great to hearing from fellow panelist speakers and tomorrow, in the concluding session, Amit Shah would like to put forth his views on some pertinent issues.

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Innovate, develop new technologies & set up companies for a strong & self-reliant ‘New India’: Defense Minister

Defense Minister Rajnath Singh has called upon the youth to innovate, develop new technologies and set up companies, research establishments & start-ups in the country to realise PM Narendra Modi’s vision of a strong and self-reliant ‘New India’. Addressing the convocation ceremony of Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) in Udupi, Karnataka on November 18, 2022, Rajnath Singh stated that the world is acknowledging the power of the country’s young ignited minds, with major companies such as Google, Microsoft, Adobe and IBM hiring Indians at respectable positions.

“If Indians can help major firms grow across the globe, why can’t we set up top companies here?” the Raksha Mantri asked around 5,000 students in attendance, urging them to introspect and bring a transformative change in the country. He credited the growing prowess of the Indian start-up ecosystem to the capabilities, talents and ignited minds of the youth. “Earlier, there was no start-up ecosystem in the country. Before 2014, there were only around 400-500 start-ups. Today, the number has crossed 70,000. Of these, over 100 have become unicorns,” he said.

Rajnath Singh exhorted the students to focus on gaining wisdom more than just acquiring knowledge from books. “Obtaining knowledge from books isn’t enough. Wisdom ensures optimum use of that knowledge, which is crucial to take the country to greater heights. It frees from limitations such as incapacity, poverty, unemployment and backwardness. It widens the scope of thinking and sensibilities. It helps a person rise above selfish interests and work for social, national and global welfare,” he said.

The Raksha Mantri also urged the students to get acquainted with the rich cultural traditions of the country and strive to restore its glorious past. “India was a pioneer in many fields such as science, economics, history, political science and public administration. It slowly lost its glory due to foreign invasions. We must restore our past glory, for which economic progress is central,” he said.

Describing the present era as knowledge-intensive and constantly-evolving, Rajnath Singh called for upgrading the quality and quantity of human capital, pivotal for the development of a country. Technological capabilities and innovative flair of the citizens is the most decisive factor in taking a nation forward, he said, stressing that the Government is providing proper educational and employment opportunities to the youth.

On the National Education Policy 2020, the Raksha Mantri stated that the objective is to shape the young generation as global citizens through traditional and modern knowledge. “Youth is our most valuable asset and engine of growth. Our youth army will play an important role in achieving the target of $5 trillion economy by 2025. According to a report by US banking group Morgan Stanley, India is set to become the world’s third-largest economy in the next 5-6 years. This emerging power of India has been termed as ‘once-in-a-generation shift’. This is just the beginning. I am confident that India will become the largest economy by 2047,” he said.

Shedding more light on India’s transformed global image under the visionary leadership of PM Narendra Modi, Rajnath Singh stated that New Delhi is now listened to with attention and seriousness on international platforms. “India has led the world on issues like terrorism and has been successful in garnering support to root out the menace. The countries, which use terrorism as a tool, are now well aware of India’s capabilities. India does not provoke any country, nor does it spare anyone who tries to harm its unity and integrity,” he said.

The Raksha Mantri lauded Manipal Group of Educational Institutions for their contribution to education and research. He congratulated the graduating students, encouraging them to move forward despite hurdles to create a better future. He extended special congratulations to the girl students, exuding confidence that they will be the pillars of a strong and prosperous ‘New India’.

Pro-Chancellor, MAHE Dr Hebri Subhaskrishna Ballal, Vice-Chancellor, MAHE Lt Gen (Dr) MD Venkatesh (Retd) and Vice-Chancellor, Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, Nashik Lt Gen (Dr) Madhuri Kanitkar (Retd) were among the dignitaries present on the occasion.

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ISRO makes history today by successfully launching India’s maiden private Vikram-suborbital (VKS) rocket to grace the skies

Soon after the successful launch of India’s first ever private Rocket launch, Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh, who was personally present at the launching site, in his very first reaction said , “Congratulations India! A new beginning in India’s Space journey ! Thanks so very much PM Narendra Modi ji for making this effort possible by opening the Space sector to public-private-participation. A turning point for India’s Start-Up movement! Kudos ISRO for a new feather in your much decorated hat”.

The Minister says, this is a major milestone in the journey of ISRO, after Prime Minister Modi unlocked the Space Sector in 2020 for private participation

ISRO says, “Mission Prarambh is successfully accomplished”, while the Skyroot Aerospace said, “Vikram-S makes history as the first private rocket of India to grace the skies”

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) made history today by launching successfully India’s maiden private Vikram-suborbital (VKS) rocket.

Union Minister of Science and Technology and MoS PMO, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh personally witnessed the momentous occasion from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

In his brief congratulatory address to the Team ISRO and Skyroot Aerospace, an Indian Space-Tech StartUp, Dr Jitendra Singh said, “A Historic landmark under PM Narendra Modi! A turning point for Indian Start-Ups! A new beginning for ISRO” as the first ever private Rocket “Vikram-S” is in Space.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, ISRO has added another feather in its glorious Space Journey, setting a new milestone in the 75 years history of independent India. The Minister said, the launch has put India among the frontline Space Powers of the World and many aspiring countries will look forward to take cues from Indian expertise. He described this as a major milestone after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had unlocked the Space Sector in India two years ago for private participation.

Dr Jitendra Singh informed that Vikram-S is a single stage fuel rocket meant to test most systems and processes in Skyroot Aerospace’s project ahead of the launch of Vikram-1 next year. He said, the rocket goes to the max altitude of 81.5 kilometres and splashes into the sea and the overall duration of launch is about 300 seconds only.

Dr Jitendra Singh said that Skyroot was the first StartUp to sign a MoU with ISRO for launching its rockets. He said, apart from being the nation’s first private launch, it is also the maiden mission of Skyroot Aerospace, named “Prarambh”.

ISRO said in a statement that Mission Prarambh is successfully accomplished, while the Skyroot Aerospace said that Vikram-S makes history as the first private rocket of India to grace the skies. It carried a total of three payloads in space, including one from the foreign customers.

Later, addressing the media, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the ambitious dream for India that Dr Vikram Sarabhai, the first Chairman of ISRO and the founding father of India’s Space Programme saw sitting in his primitive scientific set up, stands gloriously vindicated today.

Dr Jitendra Singh recalled that Dr Vikram Sarabhai always insisted on ISRO playing a meaningful role “nationally” and said it was a vindication that during the eight years of the Government led by Prime Minister Modi, the youth talent of India, which was waiting to be explored, got new outlets to give full play to their potential with a fiery zeal. He said, India was always having the huge talent pool and passion to dream big, but finally it was Modi who gave them a perfect outlet.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, Space reforms have unleashed innovative potentials of StartUps and within a short span of time, from a couple of Space Start-ups three -four years back, today we have 102 start-ups working in cutting-edge areas of space debris management, nano-satellite, launch vehicle, ground systems, research etc.

The Minister underlined that PM Modi has enabled India to earn universal recognition for India’s science, technology, innovation capabilities and our StartUps are much sought after. The whole world is looking at India as an inspirational place, as it is helping budding countries in capacity building and satellite building including nanosatellites, he said.

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PM Modi attends third ‘No Money for Terror’ Ministerial Conference on Counter-Terrorism Financing in New Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has strongly asked for avoiding any ambiguity in dealing with terrorism and also warned against nations that use terrorism as a tool of foreign policy. He was addressing the third ‘No Money for Terror’ (NMFT) Ministerial Conference on Counter-Terrorism Financing in New Delhi today.

Welcoming the gathering, the Prime Minister marked the significance of the conference taking place in India and recalled when the nation saw the dark face of terror long before the world took serious note of it. “Over the decades,” the Prime Minister said, “terrorism, in different names and forms, tried to hurt India.” He added that even though thousands of precious lives were lost, India fought terrorism bravely. The Prime Minister highlighted that it is an opportunity for all the delegates to interact with India and its people who have been firm in tackling terror. “We consider that even a single attack is one too many. Even a single life lost is one too many. So, we will not rest till terrorism is uprooted”, the Prime Minister exclaimed.

Highlighting the importance of this conference, the Prime Minister said that it should not be seen just as a gathering of ministers as terrorism impacts entire humanity. He said that the long-term impact of terrorism is particularly hard on the poor and on the local economy. “Be it tourism or trade, nobody likes an area that is constantly under threat”, PM Modi remarked. He further added that the livelihoods of people are snatched away as a result of terrorism. He pointed out that it is all the more important that we strike at the root of terror financing.

The Prime Minister warned against any ambiguity in tackling terrorism. He touched upon the mistaken notions of terrorism and said “the intensity of the reaction to different attacks cannot vary based on where it happens. All terrorist attacks deserve equal outrage and action. Further, sometimes, there are indirect arguments made in support of terrorism to block action against terrorists. He underlined that there is no place for an ambiguous approach while dealing with a global threat. “There is no good terrorism and bad terrorism. It is an attack on humanity, freedom and civilisation. It knows no boundaries”, the Prime Minister emphasised, “Only a uniform, unified and zero-tolerance approach can defeat terrorism.”

Throwing light on the difference between fighting a terrorist and fighting terrorism, the Prime Minister said that a terrorist may be neutralised with weapons and immediate tactical responses but these tactical gains will soon be lost without a larger strategy aimed at hurting their finances. PM Modi said, “A terrorist is an individual but terrorism is about a network of individuals.” The Prime Minister underlined that attack is the best form of defence and uprooting terrorism needs a larger, proactive, systemic response. He emphasised that we must pursue terrorists, break their support networks and hit their finances for our citizens to be safe.

The Prime Minister highlighted state support as one of the major sources of political, ideological and financial support to terrorism. Certain countries support terrorists as part of their foreign policy, he said. He also asked International organisations to be vigilant about proxy wars. “There must be a cost imposed upon countries that support terrorism. Organisations and individuals that try to create sympathy for terrorists must also be isolated. There can be no ifs and buts entertained in such matters. The world needs to unite against all kinds of overt and covert backing of terror”, he added.

The Prime Minister underlined organised crime as another source of terror funding and emphasised deep links between the criminal gangs and terrorist outfits “action against organised crime is extremely important in the fight against terror. At times, even activities like money laundering and financial crimes have been known to help terror funding. Fighting it needs global collaboration”, he said.

Highlighting the complex environment, the Prime Minister stressed that the United Nations Security Council, Financial Action Task Force, Financial Intelligence Units, and the Egmont Group, are boosting cooperation in the prevention, detection and prosecution of illegal fund flow. The Prime Minister highlighted that the framework is helping the war against terror in multiple ways over the past two decades. “This also helps in understanding terror funding risks” he added.

Commenting on the changing dynamics of terrorism in light of advancing technology, the Prime Minister said “new kinds of technology are being used for terror financing and recruitment. Challenges from the dark net, private currencies and more are emerging. There is a need for a uniform understanding of new finance technologies. It is also important to involve the private sector in these efforts.” However, he also warned against demonising technology while asking for technology to be used for tracking, tracing and tackling terrorism.

Stressing the need for physical and virtual cooperation, the Prime Minister said that the infrastructure used for cyber terrorism and online radicalisation is distributed while some entities also train the terrorists with weapons from remote locations as well as online resources. “Communications, travel, logistics – there are many links of the chain in different countries.” The Prime Minister urged each country to act against those parts of the chain that are within their reach.

The Prime Minister alerted that terrorists should not be allowed to misuse differences in legal principles, procedures and processes in different countries. “This can be prevented through deeper coordination and understanding between governments. Joint operations, intelligence coordination and extradition help the fight against terror”, the Prime Minister suggested. The Prime Minister stressed the need to jointly address the problem of radicalisation and extremism. “Anyone who supports radicalisation should have no place in any country”, he added.

The Prime Minister concluded by informing about recent efforts made by India to boost international cooperation against terrorism. Informing about the different conferences on various dimensions of security, the Prime Minister mentioned the General Assembly of the Interpol in New Delhi, a special session of the United Nations Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee that happened in Mumbai. He further said that India is helping build global momentum against terror funding through the ongoing ‘No Money For Terror’ Conference.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai, Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, and Director General of National Investigation Agency Dinkar Gupta were those present on the occasion.

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26th edition of the MALABAR 22 culminated in the seas off Japan

26th edition of the MALABAR 22 culminated in the seas off Japan

The 26th edition of the multinational maritime exercise MALABAR 22 culminated in the seas off Japan on 15 November 2022. This edition also marked the 30th anniversary of the exercise and was hosted by the JMSDF.

The Indian Navy was represented by Eastern Fleet ships Shivalik and Kamorta led by Rear Admiral Sanjay Bhalla, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet. Malabar series of exercises began in 1992 as a bilateral exercise between the navies of India and US and gained further prominence with joining of the navies of Australia and Japan.

The sea phase of MALABAR 22 was conducted over a period of five days near Yokosuka and witnessed live weapon firings, surface, anti-air and anti-submarine warfare drills and tactical procedures. Another highlight of the sea phase was the conduct of War at Sea exercise which enabled all four navies to consolidate interoperability and hone their tactical skills.

The high-tempo exercise saw the participation of eleven surface ships including a nuclear powered aircraft carrier with its integral air elements, alongwith four long-range maritime patrol aircraft, integral helicopters and two submarines. The exercise also involved exchange of ‘Sea Riders’ between various participating ships.

Apart from operational drills and exercises, the bilateral logistics support agreements between the participating countries were validated during this edition of exercise Malabar.

The exercise helped enhance understanding of each others operational methodologies and ability to co-operate to tackle myriad maritime challenges.

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IAF inducted a fleet of Tata Nexon Electric Vehicles

In order to achieve reduction in carbon foot print and in keeping with the Gol’s initiative on introduction of green mobility, IAF has inducted a fleet of Tata Nexon Electric Vehicles. A flag-off ceremony was held at Air Force Headquarters, Vayu Bhawan on 15 November 2022. Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, Chief of the Air Staff flagged off the first batch of 12 electric vehicles in the presence of other senior officers and staff.

Indian Air Force is planning to enhance the usage of electric vehicles in a progressive manner by procuring e-vehicles against downgraded conventional vehicles. Augmentation of the e-vehicles ecosystem, including installation of charging infrastructure at various Air Force bases, is also planned. The first batch of electric cars introduced today will be deployed in Delhi NCR units for performance monitoring and analysis.

To create a standardised inventory of vehicles, IAF has already joined hands with Indian Army in the ongoing procurement of Electric Buses and Electric Cars. These proactive measures reaffirms IAF’s commitment to the National objective of transformation towards environment friendly mobility.

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Indo-US joint training exercise “YUDH ABHYAS 2022” to commence in Uttarakhand

Indo-US joint training exercise “YUDH ABHYAS 2022” to commence in Uttarakhand

The 18th edition of Indo – US joint training exercise “YUDH ABHYAS 22” is scheduled to be conducted in Uttarakhand this month. Exercise Yudh Abhyas is conducted annually between India and USA with the aim of exchanging best practices, Tactics, Techniques and Procedures between the Armies of the two nations. The previous edition of the exercise was conducted at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, Alaska (USA) in October 2021.

US Army soldiers of 2nd Brigade of the 11th Airborne Division and Indian Army soldiers from the ASSAM Regiment will be participating in the exercise. The training schedule focuses on employment of an integrated battle group under Chapter VII of the UN Mandate. The schedule will include all operations related to peace keeping & peace enforcement. The troops from both nations will work together to achieve common objectives. The joint exercise will also focus on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations. Troops from both nations will practice launching of swift & coordinated relief efforts in the wake of any natural calamity.

In order to derive full benefit from the professional skills & experiences of both the armies, a Command Post Exercise and Expert Academic Discussions (EAD) on carefully selected topics will be carried out. The scope of the Field Training Exercise includes validation of integrated battle groups, force multipliers, establishment and functioning of surveillance grids, validation of operational logistics, mountain warfare skills, casualty evacuation and combat medical aid in adverse terrain and climatic conditions. The exercise will involve exchanges and practices on a wide spectrum of combat skills including combat engineering, employment of UAS/Counter UAS techniques and information operations

The exercise will facilitate both Armies to share their wide experiences, skills and enhance their techniques through information exchange.

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3rd edition of largest nationwide Coastal Defence Exercise ‘SEA VIGIL-22’ Commences

The third edition of the ‘Pan-India’ Coastal Defence Exercise ‘Sea Vigil-22’ will be conducted on 15-16 Nov 22. This National Level Coastal Defence Exercise was conceptualised in 2018 to validate various measures that have been instituted towards enhancing maritime security since ‘26/11’. Coastal Security being a major sub-set of Coastal Defence construct, the concept of ‘Sea Vigil’ is to activate the Coastal Security apparatus across India and assess the overarching Coastal Defence mechanism. The exercise will be undertaken along the entire 7516 km coastline and Exclusive Economic Zone of India and will involve all the Coastal States and Union territories along with other maritime stakeholders, including the fishing and coastal communities. The exercise is being conducted by the Indian Navy in coordination with the Coast Guard and other ministries entrusted with the task of maritime activities.

The scale and conceptual expanse of the exercise is unprecedented in terms of the geographical extent, the number of stakeholders involved, the number of units participating and in terms of the objectives to be met. The exercise is a build up towards the major Theatre Level Readiness Operational Exercise (TROPEX), which the Indian Navy conducts every two years. Sea Vigil and TROPEX together will cover the entire spectrum Maritime Security challenges. Assets of the Indian Navy, Coast Guard, Customs and other maritime agencies will participate in Ex Sea Vigil. In addition to the Ministry of Defence, the conduct of this exercise is also being facilitated by the Ministries of Home Affairs, Ports Shipping and Waterways, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Fisheries Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Customs, and other agencies of Centre/ State.

While smaller scale exercises are conducted in Coastal States regularly, including combined exercises amongst adjoining states, the conduct of exercise Sea Vigil at the national level is aimed to serve a larger purpose. It provides opportunity, at the apex level, to assess our preparedness in the domain of Maritime Security and Coastal Defence. Exercise Sea Vigil-22 will provide realistic assessment of our strengths and weaknesses and thus will help in further strengthening Maritime and National Security.