‘Man-o-logue’ with Parrikar

By on November 09, 2015
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The Rotary Club of Panaji organised its ‘Man-o-logue with Manohar Parrikar’, a conversation with Senior Editor of India Today Group Gaurav Sawant to raise funds for vocational centres for children with special needs. The event in Bambolim included a light-hearted tête-a-tête with the Defence Minister and entertainment performances. During the conversation, Parrikar revealed that the defence ministry was “working out on how to assign combat roles for women in the armed forces”.

He said that women will be trained on how to overcome psychological barriers and that they would be transformed into the best pilots so they can fight the enemy confidently. Stating that women in the armed forces could also be used in counter terrorism, he added that it may not be possible overnight and could even take years. It could be done in a phased manner.

His biggest achievement after taking over as Defence Minister is that the Arjun battle tank is being built by India’s defence research indigenously, he stated. He also said that he has instilled confidence in the armed forces. The air force has shown its willingness to get 120 modern aircraft, he said.

Parrikar said, ‘Make in India’ is a must for defence because we spend `250,000 crore every year on our preparedness for any eventuality. No one likes eventualities like a war. If during an emergency, your so-called friends do not give you the equipment; then you will be helpless. We suffered in 1971. There were superpowers and a blockade against India. If you prepare arms outside India, you may find yourself in a difficult situation. For defence, it is very important that you develop your requirements in India.”
He said that ‘Make in India’ cannot be realised overnight as defence platforms are complex. “While modified Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas was accepted by the air force, I could not wait for the replacement of the
Mig-21. We need high-quality aircraft too. So, the Prime Minister and I decided to get 36 Rafale aircraft. We also went into further enhancement. On the one hand, we are trying to stress on ‘Make in India’ while on the other, we are making sure that our preparedness is not compromised,” Parrikar added.

“The Defence Minister has kindly consented and accepted to be the Ambassador for RI District 3170’s TEACH & WinS (Wash in Schools) project. By doing this, the project would gain huge momentum, as in the interior districts especially of Maharashtra and Karnataka toilets and washrooms in schools have always been a serious concern. Rotary, having taken cognizance of this, has started an awareness wherein school students would be taught the importance of using toilets, washing their hands for hygiene purposes thereby ensuring that girl child drop out rate is reduced,” said President of Rotary club of Panjim Shashank Mahatme

Siddharth Kuncalienker

Shubham Chodankar

Parag Sardessai

Joe Luis

Hema Sardesai

Dr Wilfred Misqueta

Dinesh & Supriya Sinari

Avdoot & Sunanda Parrikar
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