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1962 is past, India now capable of giving befitting reply to enemies: Bhatt

KOLKATA (PTI):  Union Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt said India has moved much ahead of 1962 when the country fought a war with China, and is capable of giving a befitting reply to its enemies in every field in the present day.

All corners of the country are safeguarded effectively in land, sea and air, he said on Sunday.

"We are capable of giving a befitting reply to our enemies in every field. There was once '62 and now we are in the present day," he said without naming any country.

The Indian Army, which suffered setbacks in the 1962 Sino-India war, has engaged in face-offs with the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China on quite a few occasions in recent years.

Bhatt was Speaking at the launch of an indigenously designed hydrographic survey vessel manufactured by Defence PSU Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) Ltd in Kolkata.

These survey ships are capable of full scale coastal and deep-water hydrographic survey of Ports and Harbor approaches and determination of navigational channels and routes. In addition, these ships can undertake survey of maritime limits and collection of oceanographic and geographical data for Defence applications, GRSE sources said.

Whether it is the Army, Air Force or the Navy, they are all alert round the clock and the country's borders are safe in their hands, Bhatt said adding that the government and the people of the country are always with them.

He said as part of achieving Prime Minister Narendra Modi's goal of self-reliance, the government has envisioned a dedicated defence production corridor for generating higher employment for the youth of the country and greater localisation of products.

"In various shipyards across the country, 39 warships and submarines for the Indian Navy are in different stages of construction," the minister said at the programme.

The hydrographic survey vessel is the first of four ships being built by GRSE under the Survey Vessel (Large) project for the Indian Navy, the minister said.

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