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Mumbai, Dec 5 – Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday announced that the ranks in the Indian Navy will be renamed according to Indian culture.

“With pride in our heritage, I am proud to announce that the ranks in the Indian Navy would be renamed according to the Indian culture. We are also working on increasing women power in our defence forces. I want to congratulate the Navy for appointing the country’s first woman commanding officer on a naval ship.”

Speaking at the ‘Navy Day-2023’ event at Tarkarli Beach in this coastal district of Maharashtra, the PM said the country is engaged in a massive ‘port-led development’, boosting merchant shipping, the ‘Sagar Mala’ for maritime trade and transport involving the coastal communities in a big way.

Lauding the naval prowess of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (1630-1680), the PM said the great Maratha ‘veer’ was a visionary who had realised in that era that anybody who could command the oceans would become the most powerful ruler.

“Through the ‘Sagar Mala’, the port-led development is being implemented for the ‘maritime vision’ to exploit the full potential of the oceans,” said Modi, adding that the country is getting inspired by the ideals of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

Dwelling on the ‘Make in India’ initiative, the PM said it has become the topic of discussion the world over, and now India’s contribution is visible in all spheres, whether space or the oceans, from Tejas aircraft to ‘Kisan Drones’. In every field, the mark of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ is seen.

PM Modi also unveiled the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj at Rajkot Fort and paid homage to HIS rich maritime heritage. The Maratha ruler constructed several coastal and sea forts, including the Sindhudurg Fort.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also addressed Navy personnel on the occasion and said, “A decade ago, it was believed that the threats faced by the country are only land-based. And the Navy was not given much importance.

“But when PM Modi came to power, he rose above this limited mentality and focused on the Navy along with the Army and the Air Force. Today, the Indian Navy is moving towards indigenisation rapidly.

“A few months ago, the first indigenous aircraft carrier was commissioned by PM Modi. Earlier, most equipment used to be imported, but now we have become a builder Navy from the buyer Navy. We are making the Indian Navy a blue water Navy from coastal navy,” he said.

Present on the occasion were Admiral R. Hari Kumar, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, MSME Minister Narayan Rane, state ministers, top naval officers, dignitaries from different fields and other invitees.