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President Droupadi Murmu visit WB; Inaugurated INS Vindhyagiri & ‘My Bengal, Addiction-Free Bengal’ campaign

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President Droupadi Murmu visit to West Bengal - 17 August 2023On 17th August 2023, Droupadi Murmu, President of India, visited West Bengal(WB). This mark’s her 2nd visit to West Bengal as President of India.

  • During her 1-day visit to Kolkata, WB, she launched the ‘My Bengal, Addiction Free Bengal’ Campaign and INS (Indian Naval Ship) ‘Vindhyagiri‘(Y – 3024), a Project 17A Frigate (Shivalik Class).

Note: Previously, she visited the state in March 2023, her maiden visit to WB as President.

Launch of Advanced Naval stealth frigate ‘Vindhyagiri‘ in Kolkata

President Droupadi Murmu launched the Indian Naval Ship (INS) Vindhyagiri, the sixth ship of project 17A of Indian Navy (IN) at Garden Reach Shipbuilders Engineers (GRSE) Limited facility on the banks of Hooghly river in Kolkata, WB.

  • This marks a step forward in enhancing India’s maritime capabilities.

About INS Vindhyagiri:

Named after the mountain range in Karnataka, it is the sixth of seven ships being built under Project 17A (Alpha) Frigates. These warships are follow-ons of the Project 17 Class Frigates (Shivalik Class), with improved stealth features, advanced weapons and sensors and platform management systems.

Therefore, INS Vindhyagiri is a technologically advanced version of its predecessor, the erstwhile INS Vindhyagiri, the Leander Class ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) Frigate. The old Vindhyagiri served nearly 31 years of service from July 8, 1981 to June 11, 2012.

What is Project 17A program?

Under the Project 17A program, four ships by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) and three ships by GRSE are under construction for IN. The first five ships of the project were launched by MDL & GRSE between 2019 and 2022.

  • The P17A ships, classified as guided missile frigates, have been designed in-house by IN’s Warship Design Bureau, an organisation for all warship design activities.
  • INS Vindhyagiri is also the third and last stealth frigate that GRSE was contracted to build for the Navy under the project.

Key Points:

i.Indigenous firms, including Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), account for 75% of the orders placed for equipment and systems of P17A ships.

ii.P17A ships have a length of 149 meters, a displacement around 6,670 tonnes, and a speed of 28 knots. These vessels have the capability to counter threats across all three dimensions of air, surface and sub-surface.

Launch of ‘My Bengal, Addiction-Free Bengal’ campaign in Kolkata

The President launched ‘My Bengal, Addiction Free Bengal’ Campaign under the ‘Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyan‘, organized by Brahma Kumaris at Raj Bhavan, Kolkata.

  • It aims to address the drug abuse issue in society and India.
  • It will raise awareness and promote efforts to combat addiction, especially among the youth.

Recent Related News:

i.On 8th June 2023, West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation(WBIDC), Amazon Global Selling and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry(FICCI) have jointly organised an e-Export Haat at Silpa Sadan, Kolkata, WB to help small businesses and entrepreneurs from WB expand their businesses globally through e-commerce exports.

ii.On June 9th, 2023, The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved a USD 148 million loan to support WB, India, in improving irrigation practices in rural areas. The loan will help the region harness (utilize) the surface and groundwater resources more effectively for agricultural purposes.

About Garden Reach Shipbuilders Engineers (GRSE) Limited:
Chairman & Managing Director– Cmde PR Hari
Headquarters– Kolkata, West Bengal
Parent Ministry– Ministry of Defence