The Raksha Mantri Hon’ble Rajnath Singh joined the Combined Commanders of the Armed Forces for the Vivechana Sessions at the ongoing Combined Commanders Conference 2021 at Kevadia in Gujarat. Soon after arriving at Kevadia, the RM visited the Statue of Unity to pay his homage to the Iron Man of India, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel.
Delivering the inaugural address, the Raksha Mantri dwelled on a wide spectrum of issues affecting the defence& security of the Nation. He spoke at length on the emerging nature of military threats, the critical role of the Armed Forces in meeting these threats and the anticipated changes in the nature of warfare in future. Hon’ble RM expressed his heartfelt appreciation and respect to the selfless courage displayed by the soldiers during the Eastern Ladakh standoff with PLA. Secretaries of Department of Defence, Defence Production, Department of R&D and Financial Advisor Defence Services also shared their thoughts on various relevant aspects with the Combined Commanders.
The two Vivechana sessions held over the day in the presence of the Defence Minister deliberated over a wide range of issues, some of them held behind closed doors. These deliberations addressed the ongoing modernisation of Armed Forces especially focusing on creation of integrated Theatre Commands and infusion of modern technology. Issues like morale & motivation and promotion of spirit of innovation in the Armed Forces witnessed enthusiastic participation with useful feedback and suggestions from the soldiers and younger officers of the three Services.
Directorate of Indian Army Veterans (DIAV) and Mrs Veena Nayyar, wife of Late Vice Admiral KK Nayyar, former Vice Chief of Naval Staff signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to pledge Rs Two Crores for welfare schemes run by the Army, Navy and Air Force. Mrs Veena Nayyar presented a Cheque of Rs 2 Crores to three Services which was received by Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of the Naval Staff, Gen MM Naravane, Chief of the Army Staff and Air Marshall VPS Rana, Air Officer In Charge of Administration at Army Headquarters, New Delhi.
The main objective of the MoU is to facilitate various welfare schemes instituted for Next of Kins of service personnel died in harness. The welfare schemes include Education Scholarships and Computer Grant for wards and widows of deceased service personnel, Grant for Higher Education of widows and Marriage grant for widows and daughters.
The Chief of the Naval Staff and the Chief of the Army Staff conveyed their gratitude to Mrs Veena Nayyar for her benevolent contribution to the three Services and said that her noble gesture would support more than one lakh widows and wards in leading a respectful life.
DIAV is one of the primary organisations of Indian Army which looks after the Rehabilitation and Welfare of the families of Service personnel who have died in harness. DIAV has disbursed approximately Rs 86 Crores to about 76,000 beneficiaries over the past 20 years towards various welfare schemes.
Lt Gen Harsha Gupta, Adjutant General and Mrs Veena Naravane, President Army Wives Welfare Association and Mrs Sudha Gupta, General Secretary, Army Wives Welfare Association were also present on the occasion.
Commodore M Goverdhan Raju, NM took over as Naval Officer-in-Charge (Andhra Pradesh) from Commodore Sanjiv Issar at an impressive ceremonial parade held in the Naval Base at Visakhapatnam on 26 Feb 21.
Cmde Raju is an alumnus of Sainik School, Korukonda and National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla. He was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 01 Jul 1989 and is a specialist in Navigation and Direction.
He held a spectrum of highly challenging operational, staff and training appointments viz; the commissioning crew of INS Sagardhwani, specialist and executive officer appointments on frontline warships, Joint Director Staff Requirements at Naval Headquarters, Director (Training & Policy) at HQ Integrated Defence Staff, Principal Director (Training) at the premier training establishment, Indian Naval Academy (Ezhimala) and Director, Maritime Warfare Centre (Vizag).
He has also carried out the duties of Fleet Operations Officer of Eastern Fleet during Dec 2014-May 2016, and he concurrently carried out the duties as the Chief Coordinator for Static Review, Operational Demonstration, Passage Exercise etc. during the prestigious International Fleet Review-2016 and contributed to its grand success.
He is also a graduate of Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, Army War College, Mhow and National Defence College, Mirpur (Bangladesh).
He has the distinction of commanding four IN Ships viz; Torpedo Recovery Vessel-71, Ocean Going Minesweeper Ratnagiri, Dhanush OPV Suvarna and Destroyer Ranvijay, as well as two shore units; the premier training establishment INS Chilka with concurrent charge as Naval Officer-in-Charge (Odisha), and the Forward Operating Base INS Sardar Patel with concurrent charge as Naval Officer-in-Charge (Gujarat).
He is a proud recipient of Nao Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) in 2014.