India needs deterrent power despite being responsible: President

Chennai, President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday said that India is a responsible power in a multi-polar and multilateral world but needs a strong deterrent against those who hinder the country’s progress and security.

He made the remarks after presenting the President’s Standard and Colours to 125 Helicopter Squadron and Mechanical Training Institute at Air Force Station Tambaram near here.

Addressing the gathering, Mukherjee said: “India is a responsible and emerging power in a multi-polar and multilateral world.”

“In the ever changing socio-economic and geo-political scenario in our region of interest demands a strong deterrent against those with nefarious designs affecting the progress, prosperity and security of our nation,” Mukherjee added.

He said the country’s armed forces also provides succour to citizens during natural disasters.

Mukherjee cited the Indian Air Force operations during floods in Uttarakhand, Kashmir Valley and Tamil Nadu.

He said the 125 Helicopter Squadron (Gladiators) formed in 1983 increased its operational capability and earned praise for its valour within and outside India.

Mukherjee said the Gladiators deployed under the UN flag was instrumental in freeing 232 Indian army personnel held in Sierra Leone.

Speaking about the Mechanical Training Institute Mukherjee said it was raised in 1935 and has undergone several changes and got its current name in 1980.

He said the unit imparts fundamental technical training in aircraft maintenance go young recruits.