- 06 Apr 2022
- 4 min read
Why in News?
Recently, the President of India presented the prestigious President’s Colour to INS (Indian Naval Ship) Valsura.
What does the President’s Colour mean?
- It is the highest award bestowed on a military unit in India in recognition of its exceptional services to the nation.
- The Tradition: The origin of Colours in the military is as old as the service itself. In ancient India, the armies of various Kings carried the ‘Dhwaj’ or the flag whenever it went into a battle.
- The same is also true for the military traditions of ancient Egypt or Rome where the armies carried flags and the ‘Roman Eagle’ into battle.
- In India, as well as many Commonwealth nations, the tradition of Colours has been drawn from the British Army.
- Traditionally, there have been four kinds of symbols associated with Colours —Standards, Guidons, Colours and Banners.
- The Infantry regiments, army establishments, and Naval and Air Force units are all awarded Colours by the President while the Armoured Regiments are awarded the Standards.
- The battle honours of the regiments are displayed on the Colours and therefore serve as a link to the regiment’s past.
- The only exception is the Regiment of Artillery. In Artillery, the guns are considered to be the Colours and losing a gun in battle is similar to losing the Colour of the entire regiment.
What is INS Valsura?
- History: The name “Valsura” was derived from the combination of two Tamil words, ‘Vaal’ (meaning sword) and ‘Sorrah’ (shark). It was considered appropriate due to the variety of swordfish found off the coast of Saurashtra.
- Swordfish was also the name of the famous Second World War torpedo-carrying aircraft.
- The unit was commissioned as a torpedo training school during World War II to enhance the capability of the Indian Royal Navy.
- The establishment was commissioned on 15th December, 1942 by then Maharani Gulab Kunverba Sahiba of Nawanagar. After Independence, HMIS Valsura was renamed as INS Valsura on 1st July, 1950.
- Remarkable Outreach Activity: In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Gujarat, Valsura performed a remarkable ‘Outreach’ activity.
- It played an important role in the restoration of the earthquake-ravaged Moda village and the construction of a new Navy Moda village in record time.
- This achievement was recognised by the Navy when the Special Unit Citation was bestowed on the unit in December 2001, an honour normally reserved for operational units.
- Current Status of INS Valsura: The unit imparts quality training on contemporary and niche technologies through progressive augmentation of training infrastructure.
- The setting up of Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, and Medium Voltage labs in recent years exemplify its quest for technological excellence in contemporary technology and also in training officers and sailors.
- INS Valsura has also emerged as the preferred training destination for Friendly Foreign Navies.
- INS Valsura has also helped India strengthen bilateral ties with countries in the Indian Ocean region.