New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday said the government is “vigilant” and that additional forces have been deployed at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) to protect the sovereignty of the country.
In his address to the joint sitting of Parliament on the opening day of the Budget session, Kovind, who is also the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, said that when India was grappling with the Covid-19 crisis last year, attempts were made to challenge its capability at the border.
“Efforts were made to disrupt the peace at LAC in utter disregard of bilateral relations and agreements. However, our security forces not only responded to these machinations with promptitude, force and courage, but also foiled all attempts to change the status quo at the border,” he said.
“The restraint, valour and courage displayed by our jawans, deserve utmost praise. In June 2020, twenty of our jawans made the supreme sacrifice and laid down their lives defending the country at Galwan Valley. Every citizen is deeply indebted to these martyrs.”
“My Government is vigilant and fully committed to safeguard the interests of the country. Additional forces have also been deployed at the LAC to protect the sovereignty of India,” President Kovind said.
In his address, President Kovind also talked about the government’s efforts to further boost India’s military preparedness.
“Keeping in mind the larger role that India is set to play in the future, my government is intent on strengthening our military preparedness,” he said.
“A range of modern armaments are being procured to enhance the capabilities of India’s armed forces. There is also a thrust on achieving self-reliance in the defence sector.”
The President also referred to the government approving a mega defence deal to procure 83 Tejas light combat aircraft from the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).
“Only a few days back, the government has placed an order with HAL for procurement of 83 indigenous fighter aircraft Tejas worth Rs 48,000 crore. Imports of more than 100 items linked to defence have been prohibited in order to promote ‘Make in India’,” he said.
Similarly, he said several advanced weapons including supersonic torpedoes, quick reaction missiles, tanks and indigenous rifles are being manufactured in India.