President Ram Nath Kovind, on December 8, awarded President's Colour to the submarine arm of the Indian Navy in a ceremony held at the headquarters of the Vishakhapatnam based Eastern Naval Command.
The submarine arm is celebrating 2017 as its golden jubilee year. On December 8, 1967, the first Indian Naval Submarine, INS Kalvari received Naval Ensign and hoisted National Flag.
Appreciating the service of the submariners to the nation, President Kovind, in his address, said, "In the past 50 years, 25 submarines have been in commission at various points. These submarines and their crew members have been a crucial part of the Indian Navy's operations."
Speaking on the operational success of the submarine arm, he said, "Quietly and without much fanfare, our submarines have had major operational achievements - in the 1971 War, during Operation Vijay in 1999, and then Operation Parakram, 2002. To date, 17 submarines of the Navy have been awarded the Chief of Naval Staff's "Unit Citation" for exceptional service."
Talking on the convergence of maritime interest and economic security, President said, "Today, our maritime interests are directly linked to India's economy and security, and to the well-being of our people."
"Over 90 per cent of our trade by volume uses the sea route. All this enhances the role of the Indian Navy not just in national security but in the wider process of nation building," he added.
After 50 years, INS Kalvari will appear again as the first submarine of the six French Scorpene submarines being built at the Mazagon Dock Limited. On December 14 Prime Minister Narendra Modi will commission INS Kalvari into Indian navy, first conventional submarine to be inducted in last 17 years.
The event was attended by the Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba, Andhra Pradesh Governor ESL Narasimhan, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Flag Office Commanding-in-Chief of ENC Vice-Admiral Karambir Singh.
Earlier during the day, upon his arrival at the ENC headquarter, President Kovind was given 21 gun salute and ceremonial guard of honour.