Shri Rajnath Singh assumes charge as Raksha Mantri for the second consecutive term

OV Desk

Shri Rajnath Singh assumed charge as the Raksha Mantri for the second consecutive term on June 13, 2024. He was welcomed at South Block, New Delhi by Raksha Rajya Mantri Shri Sanjay Seth, who was accompanied by Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan; Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande; Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari; Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Dinesh Tripathi; Defence Secretary Shri Giridhar Aramane; Secretary (Ex-servicemen Welfare) Dr Niten Chandra; Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr Samir V Kamat and other officials of Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Talking to reporters on the occasion, the Raksha Mantri outlined his vision for the next five years and stated that focus would be on carrying forward the priority areas with renewed thrust to establish a more secure, self-reliant and prosperous nation. “Under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, our aim will be to further strengthen the security apparatus of the country, with focus on achieving self-reliance in defence manufacturing. Armed Forces modernisation and the welfare of the soldiers, both serving and retired, will continue to be our main focus,” he said.

Shri Rajnath Singh added that the objective will be to increase defence exports in the times to come. “Defence exports had touched a record Rs 21,083 crore in Financial Year 2023-24. It was historic. Our target will be to export over Rs 50,000 crore worth of defence equipment by 2028-2029,” he said.

The Raksha Mantri asserted that the Armed Forces are being equipped with state-of-the-art weapons/platforms and they are ready to face every challenge. He commended the military personnel for protecting the unity, integrity and sovereignty of the nation with valour & commitment.

Immediately after assumption of charge, Shri Rajnath Singh chaired a review meeting on the first 100 days’ Action Plan of MoD under the new government led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The meeting focused on the welfare of veterans, wherein major issues pertaining to the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare were discussed. He instructed the officers to re-dedicate themselves to fulfill the agenda laid out in the 100 days’ Action Plan.

With a view to enhance defence preparedness and continued thrust on Aatmanirbharta in Defence, the Raksha Mantri stated that he will be conducting regular review meetings to fast-track the progress of the flagship schemes and the initiatives of MoD. Emphasising the growing salience of the Indian Ocean Region in the defence calculus, the Raksha Mantri has decided on his first visit in this tenure to the Eastern Naval Command, Visakhapatnam, wherein he will be interacting with the officers and sailors.

After being elected to the Lok Sabha from Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh for the third consecutive time, Shri Rajnath Singh took oath as a Union Cabinet Minister on June 09, 2024. He was allocated the portfolio of Ministry of Defence for the second consecutive term on the back of a successful tenure from 2019-2024. Under his leadership, the Ministry will march ahead with renewed vigour with the aim to realise the Prime Minister’s vision of making the country ‘Viksit Bharat’ by 2047. The focus will be on attaining self-reliance in defence, further modernising the Armed Forces, innovation in cutting-edge technology, strengthening border infrastructure, and ensuring ex-servicemen welfare, among others.

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