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Indian Navy visits, ocean economy meet; India-Pacific Islands for closer ties


Jaipur: Outlining several steps to forge closer cooperation with the Pacific Island nations, India on Friday proposed to create a network of marine biology research stations on them, hold a conference on ocean economy in New Delhi next year and have good will visits by its navy. In his remarks at the second Forum for India-Pacific Island Countries, Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed climate change “a pressing concern for all” and proposed that India will work with the 14 countries “and others for a comprehensive, balanced and fair outcome at COP 21 in Paris”. On the proposed reforms of the UN Security Council, he asked the 14 countries to “help conclude negotiations at the UN General Assembly” that could see “long awaited reforms come to fruition”, said Anil Wadhwa, secretary (east) in the MEA, briefing reporters later. Modi also proposed setting up an Institute for Sustainable Coastal and Ocean Research in the region and a network of marine biology research stations on many island nations. He suggested that both sides could begin with research collaboration and capacity building with institutions in India.

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He also offered holding an International Conference on “Ocean economy and Pacific Island Countries” in New Delhi in 2016, and for the Indian Navy to provide “direct support and capacity building to island states”, especially for coastal surveillance and hydro graphic surveys, like it has done with some Indian Ocean islands. During goodwill visits, Indian Navy ships could also extend support in areas like healthcare through medical camps on the islands.

India also pitched for cooperation in the sphere of space, to help in making an inventory of land and water resources; fish zoning; forest resources management; coastal and ocean studies; weather and climate change; and, disaster management support. Modi said India could assist in establishing a Space Technology Applications Center in any one of the countries and enhance support for training in space applications. Referring to Fiji’s support for India’s Mars Mission, Modi said he hoped to continue receiving support for telemetry, tracking and command for India’s future missions. He said India would be pleased to create capacity in the Pacific Island States to deal with natural disasters, including through human resource development and application of space technology for early warning system and incident response. Referring to India’s help in capacity building through the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) scholarships, he said Fiji will get 110 slots, and the number of slots for the other 13 countries will be doubled from 119 to 238.

India would also offer two scholarships for college education in India to each of the 13 countries that do not receive them yet, while continuing with the 33 scholarships presently offered to Fiji. India will also expand training courses for Pacific Island diplomats and offer a two-week business management course at the Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore. Noting India has trained 43 rural women from eight island countries as solar engineers in the last three years, he now committed to training 70 more women and to provide solar electrification to 2,800 houses – 200 houses in each country. Modi also announced the setting up of one information technology laboratory in each Pacific Island country to help improve local IT infrastructure as well as enable India to fulfill its commitment of tele-medicine and tele-education. In the sphere of trade, Modi said that in addition to the FIPIC (Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation) Trade Office in New Delhi, India would support the development of micro, small and medium enterprises and also extend support for purchase of machinery for coconut processing and enhancing rice and sugarcane yields.

On the supply of generic drugs presently routed through third countries and thus very expensive, he offered setting up a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant and distribution center in the Pacific Island region. He also said India would offer a Line of Credit for this. During his visit last November to Fiji, Modi had announced electronic visas for Pacific Island countries and on Friday announced the visas would be gratis. He said Prasar Bharti, India’s national broadcaster, would gift television and radio programs on culture, entertainment, news, education, in English and Hindi as well as organised a specialized training programs over the next few months for local broadcasters. India would also support the creation of India Centers through e-libraries and supply books to university libraries. Modi said the partnership “demonstrates that geography is no barrier to productive partnerships of convergent interests and shared challenges. This partnership will be of great relevance to all of us in the 21st century”. “We see this as a partnership of equals, driven by similar aspirations, in which we will all be more successful by being together.”


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TU-142M, a long range Maritime Patrol aircraft of Indian Navy decommissioned after 29 years of service arrives at Vizag to be converted into Museum

TU-142M, a long range Maritime Patrol aircraft of Indian Navy decommissioned after 29 years of service arrives at Vizag , Wikimedia

Visakhapatnam, Apr 8, 2017: TU-142M, one of the long range Maritime Patrol aircraft of the Indian Navy which was decommissioned after 29 years of service, arrived here on Saturday, to be converted into a museum.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu received the aircraft at INS Dega. He presented bouquets to the five-member crew as the aircraft landed for the final time.

Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command, Vice Admiral HCS Bisht and other officials attended the ceremony.

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Earlier, the aircraft took off from INS Rajali, the air station of the Indian Navy at Arakkonam, Tamil Nadu.

The TU-142M aircraft is the heaviest, fastest and highest flying Turbo prop in the world which had been the mainstay of long range maritime reconnaissance and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Operations of the Indian Navy for close to three decades.

Authorities were making preparation to convert the aircraft into a museum on the lines of Kursura Submarine Museum on the Beach Road here. It is expected to be ready on one acre of land on Beach Road by June. The entire project is expected to cost Rs 10 crore.

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Officials said the technical evaluation of tenders by five companies for converting the aircraft into a museum was completed and financial bid would be opened soon.

The aircraft would be dismantled at INS Dega and shifted to the site for assembling and converting it into a museum. The district authorities have finalised the tender for dismantling and shifting the aircraft. (IANS)

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Indian Navy bids farewell to TU 142M patrol aircraft

The end of Tupolev 142M's illustrious and successful career with the Indian Navy was marked by the de-induction of the aircraft

Tupolev 142M aircraft, wikimedia

Arakkonam, March 29: The Indian Navy’s long-range maritime patrol aircraft TU 142M, which played a key role in a number of key operations including the IPKF mission in Sri Lanka, was de-inducted today after a long run of accident-free service of 29 years.

The aircraft made in Russia was bid adieu by the Indian navy including its Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba at a ceremony at INS Rajali here, about 90 km from Chennai.

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The end of Tupolev 142M’s illustrious and successful career with the Navy was marked by the de-induction of the aircraft.

Tupolev 142M fleet is being replaced by 12 P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft of Boeing which are well-equipped with rockets, newly developed radars, harpoon anti-ship missiles, lightweight torpedoes, new generation sensors and much more advanced technology.

In 1988, TU 142M was introduced in the Navy at Dabolim in Goa from Russia. It shifted base to INS Rajali in 1992 and became a part of several naval exercises and operations in it’s long service-period.

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Praising and remembering the services of the TU 142M, Admiral Lanba mentioned the key role played by the aircraft in several missions involving the Indian Navy including the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) operations in Sri Lanka in the late 1980s.

For Lanba and the navy, TU 142M stands as a proud symbol of pride and might, adding that the de-induction ceremony was an emotional moment for the personnel involved with it.

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According to PTI reports, he also mentioned that P-8i with its modern technology including new-generation sensors and radars will be a “force multiplier.

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang

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Indian subsidiary of French naval major DCNS contributes to Clean Ganga Fund

River Ganga, Wikimedia

New Delhi, March 24, 2017: DCNS India, the Indian subsidiary of French naval major DCNS, on Friday said it has contributed to the Clean Ganga Fund.

“DCNS India’s contribution will enable to tackle major challenges posed to Ganga, holy river of India, in a comprehensive approach adopted by Government of India, through four different modes – wastewater management, solid waste management, industrial pollution and river front development,” said a company statement.

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The firm’s contribution was handed over to Upendra Prasad Singh, Director General, National Mission for Clean Ganga.

In his remarks at the occasion, DCNS India Managing Director Bernard Buisson said: “DCNS India is proud to contribute to Swachh Bharat (Clean India) Mission, in order to ensure effective abatement of pollution and conservation of Ganga.

“As major partner of MDL and the Indian Navy through the P75 submarines programme, DCNS Group endeavours to create long-term added-value in its activities while respecting environment and ocean protection. The Group places corporate responsibility at the heart of its sustainable growth.”

The Scorpene submarines are being built by Mazagon Dockyard Ltd at Mumbai under Project 75 with transfer of technology from DCNS. Out of the six vessels, two submarines are ready. (IANS)