India’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC-1) was commissioned into the Indian Navy on Friday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The warship, the largest ever built in India’s maritime history, will be christened ‘Vikrant’. Speaking at the ceremony at Cochin Shipyard Limited in Kochi, PM Modi said, “The commissioning of INS Vikrant is analogous to a new sunrise in New India. This aircraft carrier is a testament to our strong resolve for an Aatmanirbhar Bharat.”
PM Modi, the chief guest at the event, said INS Vikrant was not just a warship, but evidence of the hard work, talent, impact and commitment of India in the 21st century. With the commissioning, he said, every Indian was becoming a “witness today to the sunrise of a new future”.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and other dignitaries were present at the event.
The Navy, meanwhile, said it marked a “historical milestone of realisation of Nation’s commitment towards AatmaNirbharta (self-reliance)”.
Earlier, PM Modi unveiling of the new Naval Ensign ‘Nishaan’ for the Indian Navy. The new flag replaces the present ensign that carries the Saint George’s Cross with the Tricolour in the canton (top left corner of flag). This ensign is essentially a successor to the pre-Independence ensign of the Indian Navy which had the red George’s Cross on a white background with the Union Jack of the United Kingdom on the top left corner. The design of the new ensign has not yet been made public.
After Independence, on August 15, 1947, the Indian defence forces continued with the British colonial flags and badges and it was only on Jan 26, 1950 that a changeover to Indianised pattern was made. The Navy crest and flag were changed but the only difference made to the flag was that the Union Jack was replaced with the Tricolour, and the George’s Cross was retained.
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