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‘Bharat Is A Statement of Independence’: Jaishankar Emphasises Building Strong ‘Bharat’ Narrative

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‘Bharat Is A Statement of Independence’: Jaishankar Emphasises Building Strong ‘Bharat’ Narrative


New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday underscored the importance of building a comprehensive narrative for ‘Bharat’, asserting, “Bharat is a statement of independence.”

In an address during the ‘Knowledge India Visitors Program’ organised by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), the EAM expressed his gratitude for the ICCR’s initiative and commended the dedication of the participants to India.

Jaishankar began by shedding light on the diverse symbolism of the term ‘Bharat’ in various domains.

“The subject, which I thought would be appropriate at this time, is building a Bharat narrative, because in many ways that is exactly what is happening in India. Now, what does it mean to build a Bharat narrative?” said Jaishankar.

“People sometimes see it as politics; sometimes they look at the word play and think that this is some kind of linguistic message but if you really look at the term Bharat, it today actually has multiple symbolisms in different domains,” he added.

The EAM emphasised that beyond politics and linguistic nuances, ‘Bharat’ holds economic significance, encapsulated in the concept of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat.’ This, he noted, reflects resilience, self-sufficiency, and the expression of talent.

“Economically, we would speak about Aatmanirbhar Bharat. So it has a connotation of a certain, resilience, a certain self-sufficiency, a contribution, a talent out there, which is expressing itself,” he also said.

Developmentally, Jaishankar pointed out that ‘Bharat’ signifies a commitment to creating an inclusive, just, and fair society, ensuring that no one is left behind–a true test of development.

“Developmentally today, when we speak about Bharat, it also implies a commitment to creating an inclusive, just, fair society where no one is left behind and that is actually, in many ways, the true test of development,” he added.

Jaishankar also said that politically, Bharat affirms that India’s engagement with the world need not adhere strictly to external frameworks but should allow the nation’s unique personality and qualities to shine.

“Politically, Bharat is a statement of independence. It is a declaration that as India engages the world, it doesn’t have to be done necessarily in terms set by others or in frameworks determined by others; our objective in that engagement is in many ways to actually let our own personality and qualities come out,” the EAM said.

In terms of culture, ‘Bharat’ encompasses languages, traditions, heritage, and practices. Jaishankar highlighted the global image India aspires to project–a ‘Vishwamitra,’ a friend that steps up in crucial moments, defying conventional expectations in international relations.

“And then there is, of course, the cultural domain. When we speak about Bharat, we could be speaking about our languages, our traditions, our heritage, and our practices. And when it comes to the world, really, the Bharat that we seek to set the narrative about is a Bharat that would like to be perceived as a ‘Vishwamitra’, as a friend, which at crucial moments has really stepped up in a way that countries and societies normally don’t do in international relations,” he added.

Reflecting on India’s role on the global stage, Jaishankar cited the success of India’s G20 presidency. He emphasised India’s ability to bridge gaps between the East and West, North and South, showcasing a culture that harmonises amidst a deeply divided world.

“At the G20, we did it with a cause and commitment for the global South… During the G20, we showed a culture that can harmonise. At a time when the world is so deeply divided, not everybody expected us to succeed in our G20 presidency. We were able to find a bridge between the East and the West and the North and the South,” said EAM Jaishankar.

Jaishankar further outlined India’s ambitious vision for the future–an ‘Amrit Kaal,’ a 25-year plan focused on addressing historical challenges and establishing a significant position in the international order.

“Bharat today is linked to how we look ahead. Typically, governments look at the term that awaits them. The thinking of a government runs from an election to an election. And in that country, at best, that is a 5-year plan that you can have. Today, we are talking about an Amrit Kaal. A 25-year vision where we actually think that we will see a remarkable transformation in our country. We will be able to address a lot of historical problems while establishing our place in the international order,” he also said.

Minister for Ports, Shipping Waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal, inaugurated the ICCR’s ‘Knowledge India Visitors Programme’.

During his inaugural address, the minister highlighted the global achievements of the Ministry of Ayush in promoting traditional medicine.

MoS for External Affairs and Culture, Meenakshi Lekhi, also addressed the programme. She said, “If we go back to the knowledge systems, we will find far more in common in the world than the differences, everybody is connected.”

The ICCR-organised ‘Knowledge-India Visitors’ Programme’ brought together over 80 eminent academicians, mainly heads of departments teaching subjects of Indian Knowledge Systems, in Delhi from December 4 to 6.

This initiative of ICCR fosters cross-cultural dialogue, aiming to elevate the standard of higher learning in Indian knowledge systems on a global scale.





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INS Arihant’s Nuke-Capable K-4 Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile ‘Ready To Roll’

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INS Arihant’s Nuke-Capable K-4 Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile ‘Ready To Roll’


NEW DELHI: India tested its nuclear capable K-4 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), designed to have a strike range of 3,500 km, for the second time in six days on Friday. The missile test, as the one conducted on January 19, was undertaken from an undersea platform in the shape of a submersible pontoon off the coast of Andhra Pradesh according to a report by Rajat Pandit of TOI.

The solid-fuelled K-4 missile is being developed by DRDO to arm the country’s nuclear-powered submarines in the shape of INS Arihant and its under-development sister vessels. INS Arihant, which became fully operational in November 2018 to complete India’s nuclear triad, is currently armed with the much shorter K-15 missiles with a 750 km range.

“The K-4 is now virtually ready for its serial production to kick-off. The two tests have demonstrated its capability to emerge straight from underwater and undertake its parabolic trajectory,” said a source.

India has the land-based Agni missiles, with the over 5,000-km Agni-V inter-continental ballistic missile now in the process of being inducted, and fighter jets jury-rigged to deliver nuclear weapons. But INS Arihant gives the country’s deterrence posture much more credibility because nuclear-powered submarines armed with nuclear-tipped missiles are considered the most secure, survivable and potent platforms for retaliatory strikes.

Once the K-4 missiles are inducted, they will help India narrow the gap with countries like the US, Russia and China, which have over 5,000-km range SLBMs. The K-4 missiles are to be followed by the K-5 and K-6 missiles in the 5,000-6,000 km range class.

The 6,000-ton INS Arihant, which is propelled by an 83 MW pressurised light-water reactor at its core, in turn, is to be followed by INS Arighat, which was launched in 2017. The next generation of nuclear submarines, currently called S-4 and S-4*, will be much larger in size.





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After Upgradation, Sukhoi Su-30MKI Indigenisation To Reach 78%

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After Upgradation, Sukhoi Su-30MKI Indigenisation To Reach 78%


India has received clearance to upgrade 84 Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jets, which will result in 78% indigenization after the upgrade

In a significant step towards bolstering its military might with indigenously developed technology, India is poised to witness its Russian-origin Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jets evolve into a domestic platform. Speaking at a recent lecture.

The upgrade program is being led by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in partnership with the Indian Air Force and other partners. The upgrade is expected to cost US$7.5 billion.

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) granted Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for the upgrade. The upgrade is part of India’s efforts to improve the capabilities of its primary fighter aircraft, it refers to as the “Super Sukhoi”.

This initiative is a part of a larger effort by the Indian Air Force to modernize its ageing fleet. Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari asserted the critical role of an offensive air force as demonstrated in current global conflicts and emphasized India’s move towards an indigenized arsenal. To this end, the IAF has been proactive, from upgrading its Mirage 2000 to enhancing its MiG-29 fleet.

In summary, the IAF’s commitment to updating their combat forces with the latest technology, including shifting to fifth-generation fighter jets, ensures operational preparedness and a strong deterrence capability. The gradual indigenization of its air fleet marks a pivotal shift in India’s defence landscape, reducing dependency on foreign imports and fostering technological sovereignty.





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Akash Weapon System Exports For The Armenian Armed Forces Gathers Pace

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Akash Weapon System Exports For The Armenian Armed Forces Gathers Pace


According to unconfirmed reports, Armenia is a top contender for an export order for Akash SAM system manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL).

While there is no official confirmation because of the sensitivities involved, documents suggest that the order for the same has already been placed the report further added.
There are nine countries, in turn, which have shown interest in the indigenously-developed Akash missile systems, which can intercept hostile aircraft, helicopters, drones and subsonic cruise missiles at a range of 25-km. They are Kenya, Philippines, Indonesia, UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Vietnam and Algeria reported TOI.

The Akash export version will also be slightly different from the one inducted by the armed forces. The 100-km range air-to-air Astra missiles, now entering production after successful trials from Sukhoi-30MKI fighters, also have “good export potential”, said sources.

Akash is a “tried, tested and successfully inducted systems”. Indian armed forces have ordered Akash systems worth Rs 24,000 crore over the years, and MoD inked a contract in Mar 2023 of over Rs 9,100 crores for improved Akash Weapon System

BDL is a government enterprise under the Ministry of Defence that was established in 1970. BDL manufactures surface-to-air missiles and delivers them to the Indian Army. BDL also offers its products for export.

Akash Weapon System

The AWS is a Short Range Surface to Air Missile (SRSAM) Air Defence System, indigenously designed and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). In order to meet aerial threats, two additional Regiments of AWS with Upgradation are being procured for Indian Army for the Northern borders. Improved AWS has Seeker Technology, Reduced Foot Print, 360° Engagement Capability and improved environmental parameters.

The project will give a boost to the Indian missile manufacturing industry in particular and the indigenous defence manufacturing ecosystem as a whole. The project has overall indigenous content of 82% which will be increased to 93% by 2026-27.

The induction of the improved AWS into the Indian Army will increase India’s self-reliance in Short Range Missile capability. This project will play a role in boosting the overall economy by avoiding outgo of precious foreign exchange to other countries, increasing employment avenues in India and encouraging Indian MSMEs through components manufacturing. Around 60% of the project cost will be awarded to the private industry, including MSMEs, in maintaining the supply chain of the weapon system, thereby creating large scale of direct and indirect employment.





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