Indian Navy is one of the best in the world: PM

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Panaji, Dec 28 (UNI) Navies of the world are reaching out to engage the Indian Navy and work with it to ensure the security of the sea-lanes of communication, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said today.

''We are proud of our Navy. It is one of the best Navies in the world today and offers maritime security in the waters around our sub-continent,'' Dr Singh said, while speaking at the 20th Annual Convocation of Goa University, before winding up his two-day visit to Goa.

He said the Indian Navy will always be viewed as a source of security for all those, who traverse the wide oceans around as traders, travellers and tourists.

''Unlike in the past, the Government has now been paying greater attention to both the maritime economy and maritime security. We have modernised our ports, improved port efficiency and increased investment in port development. The country has also increased investments in our Coast Guard and the Indian Navy,'' Dr Singh said.

In this background, he said, Goa should emerge as an important centre for maritime research and marine business even as the Centre has set up National Fisheries Development Board to unleash a ''blue revolution'' along our coastline, inland water bodies and rivers.

Calling for modernising fisheries business, infrastructure and empowering fishing communities, he said Goa had the potential to further develop deep sea fishing using application of modern science and technology to maritime business.

''Time has now come for the people of Goa to set sail and take advantage of the forces of globalisation and transform the state into a knowledge based economy. The sea will inspire you to sail forth to reach out to new horizons and take our country to new heights of prosperity and progress,'' the Prime Minister told the Convection.

There will be a demand for a range of skills associated with maritime business, tourism business, IT industry along with agro-based industries and other dynamic sectors. The Goan youth should take advantage of the initiatives in education and infrastructure development, he said.

''Goa must emerge as a knowledge based economy and the world's most attractive and environment friendly tourist destination. The Centre will bear Goa's desire in mind for an equitable share of facilities for higher education while locating new institutions for higher learning in the 11th plan period,'' Dr Singh added.

UNI

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