India was the first nation to respond to the earthquake in Nepal by launching a full-fledged rescue and relief operation codenamed Operation Maitri. Within 15 minutes of the quake Prime Minister Narendra Modi responded, directing immediate dispatch of relief and rescue and medical teams, to Nepal.
The Indian Army sent a major general to Nepal to oversee the rescue and relief efforts. It also involved ex-servicemen from the Gorkha Regiments for interface for guidance, relief and rescue. The Indian Air Force mobilised its Ilyushin Il-76, C-130J Hercules, C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft and many Mi-17 helicopters. Nearly 1,000 National Disaster Response Force personnel were also pressed into service. The government deployed 35 buses to evacuate stranded Indians in Nepal via two routes – Sonauli and Raxaul – along the Indo-Nepal border. India started issuing goodwill.
visas to foreigners stranded in Nepal and mobilizing buses and ambulances to bring them to India by road. Indian Railways shipped 100,000 bottles of drinking water via the Air Force and Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu tweeted out that there were arrangements being made to supply 100,000 bottles every day. A 41-member medical team, along with medical supplies, was sent to Nepal from Rajasthan. The Sashastra Seema Bal dispatched over three dozen vehicles, including ambulances and water tankers to Nepal from its border camps. The Indian government dispatched a further 220 tons of food packets and dry rations, 50 tons of water, 2 tons of medicines, 40 tents and 1,400 blankets.
An Indian army mountaineering team recovered the bodies of 19 mountaineers from Everest base camp and rescued at least 61 stranded climbers from Mount Everest.
PRESIDENT CONFERS GALLANTRY AND DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARDS
The President and Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces Shri Pranab Mukherjee conferred two Kirti Chakras, eleven Shaurya Chakras to Armed Forces Personnel for conspicuous gallantry, at a solemn ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on 26 April 15. The Kirti Chakra awardees were JC-602970y Naib Subedar Kosh Bahadur Gurung 1 Gorkha Rifles, 15 Rashtriya Rifles and JC-531276a Subedar Ajay Vardhan 14 Garhwal Rifles (Posthumous).The Shaurya Chakra awardees were Shri Mushtaq Ahmad, Constable, Home Deptt, Govt. Of J&K (Posthumous), IC- 65352l Major Manohar Singh Bhati, SM Parachute Regiment, 31 Rashtriya Rifles, IC-73277f Major Vishal Singh Ragahv, 18, Rashtriya Rifles, Lieutenant Commander Kapish Singh Muwal (52360-Z) (Posthumous), 3005411L Sepoy Vikram, Rajput Regiment, 44 Rashtriya Rifles (Posthumous), Shri Manjeet Singh, Inspector/Gd, Indo Tibbetan Border Police, Consulate General of India, Herat, Afghanistan, 4572211A Naik Swarup Kumar Ghorai, 20th Battalion The Mahar Regiment, IC-70817K Major Ashutosh Kumar Pandey, Rajput Regiment, 44 Rashtriya Rifles, IC-72464N Major Bibhanshu Dhondiyal 5/5 Gorkha Rifles(Frontier Force), 13776150W Paratrooper Balvinder Singh 1 Parachute Regiment (Special Force) (Posthumous) and IC-58918L Lieutenant Colonel Sankalp Kumar 24 Punjab Regiment (Posthumous).
The President also conferred fourteen Param Vishisht Seva Medals, three Bar to Ati Vishisht Seva Medals and twenty six Ati Vishisht Seva Medals to senior officers of the Armed Forces for distinguished service.
FIRSTSHIP OF PROJECT 15B – VISAKHAPATNAM LAUNCHED
The First ship of Project – 15B,Guided Missile Destroyer, christened ‘Visakhapatnam’ was launched on 20 April 15 at Mazagaon Dock Limited (MDL) , Mumbai, achieving Indian Navy’s aim of transforming itself from a “Buyers Navy” to a “Builders Navy”. In keeping with the nautical traditions, the ship was launched by Smt Minu Dhowan,wife of the Naval Chief. After prayers, she broke a coconut on ship’s bow, named the ship and wished the ship and “crew to be”, good luck. The four ships of Project 15B ships being built at MDL,Mumbai have been designed indigenously by the Directorate of Naval Design,Delhi Achieving speed over 30 knots, the P15B destroyers incorporate new design concepts for improved survivability, sea keeping, stealth and manoeuvrability.
Enhanced stealth features have been achieved through shaping of hull and use of radar transparent deck fittings which make these ships difficult to detect. These ships will be equipped to carry and operate two multiple role helicopters and an array of state of the art weapons and sensors, including vertically launched missile system for long distance engagement of shore and sea-based targets.
INDIAN ARMED FORCES OP RAAHAT COMMENDED
With over 5000 Indians already evacuated from war-ravaged Yemen, INS Mumbai and Tarkash left Djibouti for Indian coast on 12 April 2015, while INS Sumitra continued to remain in the area for the final evacuation mission conducted on 15 April 15 and for expeditious response to any contingency.
During the evacuation operations at Aden, the ship reported bombing and gunfire and a general disorder, pandemonium, unrest amidst unsecure conditions. Marine Commandos (MARCOS) were on board all vessels. INS Sumitra resumed her Anti Piracy patrol duties and was available in the area for quick response to any untoward development. INS Mumbai reached Mumbai Harbour on 16 April 15 and INS Tarkash escorted the two MVs Kavaratti and Coral out of piracy ridden Gulf of Aden and returned Mumbai harbour on 18 April 15. The two MVs with evacuees on them entered Cochin on PM 18 April 15. The operation headed by Gen (Retd) VK Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs, was operationally controlled by Western Naval Command, headquartered at Mumbai under the directives and monitoring of Integrated Headquarters (Ministry of Defence) Navy. In an unprecedented show of synergy, the MEA and MoD (Inidan Navy and Indian Air Force) worked in absolute synch with real-time information exchanged with the ships on the scene through satellite communications. All ships arrived Kochi to a rousing welcome by political leaders, Naval and other Officials.