Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba today said the Indian navy has grown into a strong force and it was ready to face any eventuality. Lanba was here to present the President’s gallantry and non-gallantry awards to the naval personnel at a ceremony held at the Eastern Naval Command. “With the commitment and team work of the naval personnel, the Indian navy has grown into a strong force in the world and is ready to face any eventuality,” he said. “The navy has been playing an important role in safeguarding the country’s security needs. It is constantly on a vigil to protect the maritime interests of the country,” the Navy Chief said.
Replying to a question, he said several ships and submarines were being constructed indigenously. “All the ships and submarines are being constructed by the Indian shipyards, both in private and public sector yards,” he said.
Regarding the conversion of the decommissioned INS Viraat into a museum, he said the Centre had written to all coastal states and the Andhra Pradesh government has responded to it. “However, the Ministry of Defence has rejected the AP government’s 50:50 per cent share on the expenditure involved for the conversion of the ship into a museum,” the Navy Chief said. INS Viraat was decommissioned in March this year.
During the ceremony, Admiral Lanba presented awards to 33 naval officers and sailors. The awards include four Nao Sena Medals for acts of gallantry, eight Nao Sena Medals for devotion to duty, sixteen Vishisht Seva Medals as well as one each Captain Ravi Dhir Gold Medal, Lieutenant VK Jain Memorial Gold Medal, Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak and two Jeevan Rakshak Padaks. ‘Unit Citation’ was awarded to two ships, one Air Squadron and six shore units for exceptional services rendered and successful completion of all operational tasks and commitments by them in the past year.
The ‘CNS Trophy for Best Green Practices’ instituted last year to give an impetus to adoption of best practices for conservation of the environment, was awarded to Naval dockyard Mumbai (in industrial category) and INS Shivaji (in non-industry category). The Unit Citation for an operational units was awarded to INS trikand, Command clearance Diving Team, Mumbai, Indian naval air squadron 312 alpha and INS Sunayna. Rakesh Kumar, Hull artificer fourth class was awarded the Nao Sena Medal (Gallantry) and Commander Shishir Kumar Yadavannavar with Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak awards posthumously.