New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unveil a new ensign of the Indian Navy during the commissioning of the country’s first indigenously-built aircraft carrier — INS Vikrant on September 2, the PMO said Tuesday.
The Prime Minister will commission INS Vikrant at Cochin Shipyard Limited in Kochi and during the event, he will also “unveil the new Naval Ensign (Nishaan), doing away with the colonial past,” the PMO said in a statement.
The new ensign will be “befitting the rich Indian maritime heritage,” it added.
INS Vikrant will contribute in ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific and Indian Ocean region, Vice Chief of Indian Navy Vice Admiral S N Ghormade had said on August 25, ahead of the warship’s commissioning.
Built at a cost of around Rs 20,000 crore, it will be commissioned into the Navy at a ceremony in Kochi.
“At 9:30 AM on 2nd September, the Prime Minister will commission the first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant at Cochin Shipyard Limited in Kochi,” the statement said.
“During the event, the Prime Minister will also unveil the new Naval Ensign (Nishaan), doing away with the colonial past, and befitting the rich Indian maritime heritage,” it said.
The Indian Navy draws its origin to the colonial period.
On October 2, 1934, the naval service was renamed Royal Indian Navy (RIN), with its headquarters at Bombay (now Mumbai), according to infirmation shared on a website of the Indian Navy.
With the partition of India, post-independence, the Royal Indian Navy was divided into the Royal Indian Navy and the Royal Pakistan Navy.
With India becoming a Republic on January 26, 1950, the prefix ‘Royal’ was dropped and it was rechristened as the Indian Navy.
The current ensign of the Navy is a white flag with horizontal and vertical red stripes, with the Emblem of India emblazoned at the intersection of the two stripes. The tricolour is placed in the canton.
On 26 January 1950, the Crown in the naval crest, depicted with an anchor, was replaced by Ashokan Lion for the Indian Navy’s Emblem. The invocation to Lord Varuna (The Sea God) in the Vedas was adopted by it for its emblem, with the Motto: “Sam no Varunah”, meaning: ‘Be auspicious unto us Oh Varuna’. The inscription of ‘Satyamev Jayate’ below the State Emblem was included in crest.
The PMO in it statement said, the Prime Minister has been a “strong proponent of ‘Aatmanirbharta’, especially in strategic sectors. In what will mark a significant step towards self-reliance in the defence sector, Prime Minister will commission the first indigenously designed and built aircraft carrier as INS Vikrant”.
Designed by the Navy’s in-house Warship Design Bureau (WDB) and built by Cochin Shipyard Limited, a public sector shipyard under the Union Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways, Vikrant has been built with with “state-of-the-art automation features and is the largest ship ever built in maritime history of India”, it said.
The indigenous aircraft carrier is named after her illustrious predecessor, India’s first aircraft carrier which had played a vital role in the 1971 war. It has a large number of indigenous equipment and machinery, involving major industrial houses in the country as well as over 100 MSMEs. With the commissioning of Vikrant, India will have two operational aircraft carriers, which will bolster the maritime security of the nation, the statement said.