Kohima, Dec 8 (PTI): Chief of Naval staff, Admiral R Hari Kumar, on Wednesday called upon the youths of the northeastern states to join the Navy and serve the nation in various capacities.
The Indian Navy, for the first time, set up a pavilion at the ongoing Hornbill Festival site at Kisama in Nagaland as part of its outreach programme with a focus on providing local youths with information about the Navy, its contribution to national security and various opportunities for employment as officers and sailors.
“We are here to create more awareness in Nagaland and the northeastern states on what the Navy does,” the Navy chief said, while addressing a press conference at Kisama after attending the seventh day of the 10-day festival.
He said around 200 people from Nagaland are serving in the Navy in various capacities but the number is very less as compared to the state’s population.
He said the Navy has been interacting with students of various schools in Nagaland, calling upon them to join the armed force.
Kumar said a naval biking expedition is underway in the Northeast and the Navy’s pavilion in Kisama showcases the efforts towards innovation and indigenisation.
He said the Agniveer scheme is also being implemented by the Navy, whereby youths can serve for four years and thereafter choose to continue or choose other professions.
Noting that the scheme is open to women and they can join the Navy in all ranks, he said, “All officer ranks are also open to women and this is a revolutionary change that the Navy has brought about.”
Kumar hoped more youths from Nagaland and the Northeast will take the opportunity to join the Navy and serve the nation.
Earlier, speaking as the chief guest of the evening cultural programme of the festival, Admiral Kumar said, “It is truly fascinating to see the diverse display of culture, tradition, customs, songs, art and food in just one place.”
He said that over the years the festival has grown exponentially in scope, scale and stature and has become a landmark event in the tourist calendars across the globe.