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Go beyond the Exclusive Economic Zone Defence Minister tells the Coast Guard

 Defence Minister Nirmala Sitaraman has asked the Indian coast Guards personnel to plan for operations not only in the country's Exclusive Economic Zone but beyond into the blue waters so that it stood relevant for the next twenty years, particularly by developing digital capacity.

The Defence Minister was speaking on the occasion of 36th Coast Guard Commanders Conference in the national capital on September 27. This is the first major address by the Defense Minister since she took over the ministry earlier this month.

The Minister's statement assumes significance in the light of frequent movements of Chinese Naval vessels in the Bay of Bengal area. The Chinese navy has acquired substantial assets in the Ocean including the Coco islands near Andaman. A Chinese company has taken over the Hambantota port in Sri Lanka close to the Indian coast where the Chinese Navy had docked a Nuclear Submarine two years ago.

Ms.Sitharaman has promised the Coast Guard all necessary help from the Ministry in matters related to Operational efficiency and those pertaining to the growth of the service, the maritime security agency said today.

The Defence Minister promised all assistance of the Ministry of Defence for cases relating to the operational efficiency and those pertaining to the growth of the service, be it the manpower or new acquisitions," the statement added.

Coast Guard Commanders Conference is held annually where all Regional Commanders put forth the road map for future, discuss various policy and strategic issues.

The Conference aims at carving out a futuristic vision for the service and to determine the modalities to overcome the challenges efficiently.


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