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Manmohan Singh opens new Naval Academy in Kerala.

Byline: ANI

Ezhimala (Kerala), Jan 9 (ANI): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said that the Navy and Coast Guard should coordinate effectively with the intelligence agencies to counter all marine-related threats.

He recalled that the Mumbai terrorist attacks have highlighted the need for heightened vigilance and response to asymmetric threats emerging from the sea for which the Indian Navy will have play a paramount role to safeguard the country's vital security interests.

"It is essential for our Navy, for our Coast Guard and the intelligence agencies to coordinate their efforts much more effectively on a real time basis. We need to develop credible strategies to counter all threats from the sea," said Dr. Manmohan Singh at the inauguration of the Naval Academy of Indian Navy at Ezhimala in Kerala on Thursday.

The emerging maritime security environment has greatly enhanced the responsibilities of the Indian Navy as it has a coastline of over 7600 kilometres with over 1200 island territories spread across the Indian Ocean making it a large Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

"We have a vital interest in the Indian Ocean and a close relationship with countries of the Indian Ocean rim, and specially the Gulf region. We should also recognise that there will be other competing interests whose maritime presence in the sphere of our interest and our influence will have to be carefully monitored," added Dr. Singh.

He also strongly condemned the hostilities taking place in Gaza and expressed dismay at the unfortunate killing of hundreds of innocent civilians.

The Prime Minister reiterated the India's unwavering support to the just cause of Palestine.

Defence Minister A K Antony, Chief of Indian Navy Admiral Sureesh Mehta and Vice Admiral Sunil K Damle, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Naval Command were also present on this historic occasion of opening of the Naval Academy.

This Academy will be the premier officer-training establishment of the Indian Navy and will be the largest Naval Academy in Asia.

Commencing June 2009, all officers inducted into the Indian Navy, under various schemes, will undergo basic training at this Academy.

While Naval Orientation Courses are being conducted at Ezhimala since 2005, full-fledged training will commence from June 2009.

The Academy will conduct a four year ''B Tech'' programme for all newly inducted trainees. Courses would be offered in ''Electronics and Communications'' and ''Mechanical Engineering''.

The syllabus and the curriculum has been drafted keeping in mind the current technical advancements and the skill sets that will be required in handling the future acquisitions of the Indian Navy.

Naval Orientation Courses of 20 weeks duration for other direct entry schemes (after graduation) in various Branches of the navy, will also be conducted here.

The total envisaged strength of the Academy, in June 2009, would be approximately 450 trainees, which would progressively increase to about 1100 trainees by 2013. This would include officer-trainees from the Indian Coast Guard, friendly foreign countries.

The Naval Academy will be manned by a mix of uniformed and civilian personnel for the conduct of training and other administrative support functions.

There would be 161 officers, 47 professors/ lecturers, 502 sailors and 557 civilians. Along with the families of staff, the campus would have a population of about 4000.

The Academy would be supported by a Base Depot Ship (INS Zamorin), Base Hospital (INHS Navjeevani) and a Station Health Organisation. (ANI)

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Jan 9, 2009
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