Blitz India congratulates Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his 72nd birthday and takes note of the fortnight-long celebrations being held to honour the builder of a New India, on the front page of this issue. On the Centrespread, it celebrates the many milestones studded across his life via a visual retrospective that traces his grounded, humble childhood to his rise to a powerful orator, leader and thinker.
The Cover Story is about India’s maritime milestone of commissioning the first indigenously-built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant. With this historic feat, the country has now joined the elite club of six nations – the US, the UK, Spain, Russia, France, and China – that have the capability to design and build an indigenous aircraft carrier.
Besides ushering in major naval prowess, the project also demonstrates the strength of the public-private partnership as nearly 550 firms, including about 100 small and medium enterprises, were involved in it. Highlighting the significance of the achievement, our story emphasises that India must now expedite the completion of its second indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vishal. India’s indigenous naval capacity-building, it says, holds more promise than that of many other countries and it must tap it to the fullest.
The naval milestone package includes two more reports. The first is about the key role that the Indian Navy is playing in the Atmanirbhar Bharat Mission through the development and up-gradation of its weapon systems and platforms. In alignment with its modernisation under a rejuvenated national focus on selfreliance, a 10-year Integrated Capability Development Plan (ICDP) has been adopted, informs our report. It then elaborates multiple steps initiated by the Government towards self-reliance in the Navy’s capacity-building and increased involvement of private sector in this regard. The second story is about another historic development – Indian Navy adopting a new ensign that reflects the New India. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Till today the Indian Navy flags carried a sign of slavery, which has been replaced with a new one inspired by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.” Our report traces the origin of the insignia and the changes it has undergone till it acquired its present form.
Saudi Arabia, part of the great Mesopotamia civilisation, is our Globetrotting choice this week. Besides dwelling on the glorious history of the country, our report explains how its ancient ties with India have developed over the past seven decades. Quoting experts, it says the two countries have now begun to look like natural strategic and economic partners with many growing convergences.
More importantly, the report stresses that the high-level political visits between India and Saudi Arabia are a sign of greater political attention and demonstration of the intent on both sides to shed their traditional approach, in which Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir were significant sticking points. An interesting side-story focuses on the unique architectural heritage of Saudi Arabia, which is dictated by climate, geography and resources available at a particular time.
Over to you!