Raksha Mantri launches Artificial Intelligence powered grievance management application;

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh launched an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered grievance management application in New Delhi on July 15, 2021, developed by Ministry of Defence with the help of IIT-Kanpur. Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions Dr Jitendra Singh graced the occasion. 

This is the first AI based system developed to improve grievance redressal in the Government. The AI tool developed as part of the initiative has capability to understand the content of the complaint based on the contents therein. As a result, it can identify repeat complaints or spam automatically. Based on the meaning of the complaint, it can categorise complaints of different categories even when key words normally used for such search are not present in the complaint. It enables geographical analysis of complaints in a category including analysis of whether the complaint was adequately addressed or not by the concerned office. Easy user-friendly search enables user to formulate his own queries/categories depending on management requirements and seek performance results based on the query. Given that lakhs of complaints are received on CPGRAMS portal of DARPG, this application will have great use in understanding the nature of complaints, geographies from where they emanate and policy changes which can be introduced to create systemic improvements to address these grievances. 

 Speaking on the occasion, the Raksha Mantri described the application as a product of good governance, which reflects the growing synergy between the Government and academia. He said this initiative is another citizen centric reform of the Government that aims to empower the people at large. 

Shri Rajnath Singh lauded Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances (DARPG) for playing an important role in the reform of the Public Grievances Redressal System, saying that resolving the grievances of people is a great service in itself. He added that the active involvement of reputed institutions like IIT Kanpur will further bolster the system and resolve the grievances of people in a transparent and effective manner. 

The Raksha Mantri was briefed that this AI-powered application will automatically handle and analyse the complaints of the people and would reduce human intervention, save time and bring more transparency in their disposal. 

A tripartite MoU for the project was signed among Department of Defence, MoD, DARPG and IIT, Kanpur on August 04, 2020.   

The release of this application marks the introduction of AI-based innovations into governance and administration. This project is first of its kind initiative of the Government for using AI, data science and Machine Learning techniques in grievance redressal. The success of this project in MoD will pave the way for extension of this application across other Ministries. The MoD and IIT, Kanpur intend to drive their collaboration forward in the coming years, seeking to better leverage the use of AI for the disposal of citizens’ complaints. The web-based application has been jointly developed by Department of Defence, MoD; DARPG and a team of IIT Kanpur comprising of Professors Shalabh, Nisheeth Srivastava and Piyush Rai. 

Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar; Additional Secretary, DARPG Shri V Srinivas, Additional Secretary MoD Smt Nivedita Shukla Verma, Director, IIT Kanpur Prof Abhay Karandikar and other senior officials of MoD were present on the launch of the application. 


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Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh reviews progress of construction of first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier at Kochi;

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh reviewed the progress of construction of first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) built by M/s Cochin Shipyard Ltd., at Kochi on June 25, 2021. Shri Rajnath Singh was accompanied by Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh and Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command Vice Admiral AK Chawla. The Raksha Mantri visited the construction site and was briefed about the successful Basin Trials completed during November 2020. He was also appraised of the progress achieved on integration of a number of other navigational, communication and operational systems since then, as it prepares for its maiden Contractor Sea Trials (CST) which is expected in the forthcoming months. 

The IAC would be commissioned as INS Vikrant in the first half of 2022, which would be the most potent sea-based asset. The ship shall operate MiG-29K fighter aircraft, Kamov-31 Air Early Warning Helicopters, the soon to be inducted MH-60R multi-role helicopter and the indigenously manufactured Advanced Light Helicopters. It would offer an incomparable military instrument with its ability to project Air Power over long distances, including Air Interdiction, Anti-Surface Warfare, offensive and defensive Counter-Air, Airborne Anti-Submarine Warfare and Airborne Early Warning. 

During the visit, an exhibition showcasing Indian Navy’s various ongoing innovations, indigenisation and operations aligning with the nation’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic was also organised for the Raksha Mantri. The major exhibits included the Oxygen Recycling System (ORS), which is currently under clinical trials at Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Science and Technology; Navrakshak PPE and masks currently being used in PM CARES Hospitals; Remote Patient Monitoring System and several such other innovations which had provided affordable, effective and user-friendly medical solutions. The Raksha Mantri was also apprised about the assistance rendered to civil agencies such as the Fire Safety Audit of hospitals and specialised training on PSA Oxygen Plants in addition to an overview of the Samudra Setu II and Oxygen Express Operations. The Raksha Mantri also interacted with 10-year-old Veer Kashyap, a student of Navy Children School Kochi, who had won the Pradhan Mantri Bal Puraskar 2021 for developing an innovative board game ‘Corona Yuga’ for educating and creating awareness about the pandemic among the public at large. 

The Raksha Mantri was also informed about the activities being conducted and planned by Indian Navy towards ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’ being celebrated by the Armed Forces to commemorate the victory of 1971 war and ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ to commemorate the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence. 

Shri Rajnath Singh also visited some of the training establishments under Southern Naval Command and appreciated the efforts of the Indian Navy for continuously providing professional training not only to the Officers and Sailors of Indian Navy but also to friendly foreign Navies even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. He interacted with the officers and sailors of the Kochi area over lunch traditionally called ‘Barakhana’. 

The Raksha Mantri expressed satisfaction at the progress of construction of Indigenous Aircraft Carrier, describing it as a shining example of ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’ envisioned by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. He stated that IAC has nearly 75 per cent indigenous content – from design to steel used in construction to key weapons and sensors. He recalled a recent approval accorded by the Defence Acquisition Council for RFP of Project 75-I under the Strategic Partnership model, which will give further fillip to indigenous development of niche manufacturing technologies. 

Shri Rajnath Singh highlighted the combat capability, reach and versatility of the aircraft carrier, saying that it will add formidable capabilities in the defence of the country and help secure India’s interests in maritime domain. Appreciating the fact that significant progress was made on the construction of IAC despite COVID-19, he said the commissioning of IAC will be a befitting tribute to 75 years of India’s independence. 

The Raksha Mantri reaffirmed the Government’s commitment towards a strong Indian Navy, saying that “IAC and Project Seabird at Karwar, which will be the Asia’s largest Naval Base, as the examples of our unwavering focus”. He listed out the measures being taken by the Government to modernise the Indian Navy, with emphasis on indigenisation, which will enhance the Navy’s operational reach and prowess. He assured all possible support to the Navy for bolstering their operational preparedness, saying that a strong Naval force is crucial for peace, security and prosperity. 

On the Galwan incident, Shri Rajnath Singh said Indian Navy’s proactive forward deployment signalled that the country wants peace but is ready for any eventuality. “Indian Navy remains poised and combat ready to tackle any challenge,” he said. The Raksha Mantri reiterated the Prime Minister’s vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) and the wider goal of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific to ensure peace and stability in the region. 

The Raksha Mantri lauded Indian Navy for its contribution in the fight against COVID-19 – from bringing back Indian citizens from overseas during Operation Samudra Setu I and ferrying in Liquid Medical Oxygen from abroad during Operation Samudra Setu lI – despite the danger of spread of the virus onboard warships. He also commended the Search and Rescue (SAR) efforts by Navy during Cyclone Tauktae and Cyclone Yaas. 

On June 24, 2021, Shri Rajnath Singh had visited the Karwar Naval Base and reviewed the progress of ongoing infrastructure development under ‘Project Seabird’, as part of his two-day visit to the Southern Naval Command.


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Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh reviews efforts of MoD & Armed Forces in fight against second COVID-19 wave;

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh reviewed the efforts of Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces to support the civilian administration in the fight against the current COVID-19 situation in the country, through video conferencing on May 01, 2021. The meeting was attended by Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria, Chief of Army Staff General M M Naravane, Secretary Department of Defence R&D and Chairman Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Dr G Satheesh Reddy, Director General Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) Surgeon Vice Admiral Rajat Datta, Deputy Chief Integrated Defence Staff (Medical) Lieutenant General Madhuri Kanitkar and Additional Secretary (Defence Production) Shri Sanjay Jaju and other senior officials of MoD.

Shri Rajnath Singh was briefed that approximately 600 additional doctors are being mobilised through special measures such as calling to duty those who had retired in the last few years. The Indian Navy has deployed 200 Battle Field Nursing Assistants to assist in various hospitals. The National Cadet Corps (NCC) has deployed 300 cadets and staff at various locations in Maharashtra, Uttarakhand and Haryana. A tele medicine service, to be operated by health veterans, will begin soon to provide consultation to those patients who remain at home. Indian Army has made available more than 720 beds for civilians in various states. The Raksha Mantri directed the Army to share the details with local administration at the state and district levels. General Bipin Rawat suggested that local Military commands have to be actively engaged in assisting the civil administration.

Shri Rajnath Singh was briefed that the 500-bed hospital being set up DRDO in Lucknow will start functioning in the next 2-3 days. Another hospital is also being set up in Varanasi which is scheduled to be completed by 5thMay. The DRDO Chairman said the first four out of 380 Oxygen PSA (Pressure Swing Adsorption) plants being manufactured under PM CARES fund will be deployed in hospitals in New Delhi by next week.

Raksha Mantri appreciated the logistics support being provided by the Armed Forces in transporting oxygen containers from abroad as well as within the country between places of consumption and production. While transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out several sorties from Singapore, Bangkok, Dubai and within the country, Indian Navy dispatched four ships – two to Middle east and two to South East Asia – to transport filled oxygen containers to India. As on May 01, 2021, IAF carried out 28 sorties from abroad, airlifting 47 oxygen containers with 830 MT of capacity, while from within the country, it carried out 158 sorties, airlifting 109 containers with 2,271 MT capacity. The Navy and the Air Force have also supplied nearly 500 portable oxygen cylinders from their stores to various civilian hospitals.

Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) are procuring 28 oxygen plants and other medical equipment worth Rs 40 crore under CSR for supplying to various hospitals in states. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has set up a 250-bed hospital in Bengaluru. Another 250-bed hospital is being set up in Lucknow.

Shri Rajnath Singh reiterated that the Armed Forces should provide all necessary assistance to civilian administration and asked the officials of Ministry of Defence and the three Services to closely monitor the progress of various initiatives.


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Raksha Mantri Confers with Combined Commanders

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.


Raksha Mantri launches E-Chhawani portal & mobile app that provides online civic services to residents of 62 Cantonment Boards

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh launched E-Chhawani portal and mobile app in New Delhi on February 16, 2021. The portal (https://echhawani.gov.in/) has been created to provide online civic services to over 20 lakh residents of 62 Cantonment Boards across the country.

Through the portal, the residents of cantonment areas will be able to avail basic services like renewal of leases, application for birth & death certificates, water & sewerage connections, trade licences, mobile toilet locators and payment of different types of taxes and fees, with just a click of a button. The portal, jointly developed by eGov Foundation, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Directorate General Defence Estates (DGDE) and National Informatics Centre (NIC), provides a platform to the residents to avail these services from the comfort of their home.

Speaking on the occasion, Raksha Mantri reiterated the Government’s commitment of socio-economic development of the country by providing maximum facilities to the people and making the administration efficient & transparent. He said the government is striving to make the system citizen-friendly and provide services that facilitate ‘ease of living’ and ‘ease of doing’ for the people. Initiatives like ‘Minimum Government – Maximum Governance’, Digital India and E-Governance were launched by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to promote good governance and ease of living for the people, Raksha Mantri said, adding that the launch of the E-Chhawani portal is a big step in that direction.

Shri Rajnath Singh described the E-Chhawani portal as an innovative effort to transform the functioning of Cantonment Boards, in line with the vision of ‘New India’. He expressed confidence that the portal will ensure effectiveness and transparency of the services distribution system of the Cantonment Boards and provide time-bound solutions to the residents. Shri Rajnath Singh asked the concerned officers to periodically gather the feedback of beneficiaries in order to make the portal more citizen friendly.

Shri Rajnath Singh also stated that in the last few years, India has emerged as a global powerhouse and a land of opportunities due to its strong presence in the fields of defence, economy, trade, IT, agriculture & investment.

In his address, Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar said, on the portal, the process of availing the services has been simplified for the benefit of the residents of Cantonment areas. He said, more services like filing of property and building tax, collection of rent and booking of community centres will soon be added to the Aadhaar-enabled portal. Dr Ajay Kumar congratulated eGov Foundation, BEL, DGDE and NIC for completing the E-Chhawani project that encompassed 62 independent portals in a short time.

Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Director General Defence Estates (DGDE) Smt Deepa Bajwa and other senior civil and military officials of Ministry of Defence were present on the occasion.

To download the Echhawani app on your android mobile, click on the link below:-