Overcoming all hurdles and finding new solutions, Indian Railways is continuing its journey of bringing relief by delivering Liquid Medical Oxygen(LMO) to various states across the country. Oxygen Expresses crossed mark of 27000 MT of LMO delivery in service to the Nation. So far, Indian Railways has delivered nearly 27600 MT of LMO in more than 1603 tankers to various states across the country. It may be noted that 392 Oxygen Expresses have completed their journey so far and brought relief to various States. Till the time of this release, 4 loaded Oxygen Expresses on run with more than 381 MT of LMO in 21 tankers. More than 3700 MT Liquid Medical Oxygen(LMO) offloaded in Tamil Nadu by Oxygen Expresses. Oxygen Expresses offloaded more than 2700, 3000 and 3300 MT of Liquid Medical Oxygen(LMO) in the state of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka respectively. It is worth mentioning that Oxygen Expresses started their deliveries 45 days back on 24th April in Maharashtra with a load of 126 MT. It is Indian Railways endeavour to deliver as much LMO as possible in the shortest time possible to the requesting states. Oxygen relief by Oxygen Expresses reached out to 15 states namely Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Telangana, Punjab, Kerala, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Assam. Till the time of this release, 614 MT of Oxygen has been offloaded in Maharashtra, nearly 3797 MT in Uttar Pradesh, 656 MT in Madhya Pradesh, 5790 MT in Delhi, 2212 MT in Haryana, 98 MT in Rajasthan, 3341 MT in Karnataka, 320 MT in Uttarakhand, 3773 MT in Tamil Nadu, 3049 MT in Andhra Pradesh, 225 MT in Punjab, 513 MT in Kerala, 2765 MT in Telangana, 38 MT in Jharkhand and 400 MT in Assam. Till now Oxygen Expresses offloaded LMO in around 39 cities/towns in 15 states across the country namely Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur, Bareilly, Gorakhpur & Agra in Uttar Pradesh, Sagar, Jabalpur, Katni & Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, Nagpur, Nashik, Pune, Mumbai & Solapur in Maharashtra, Hyderabad in Telangana, Faridabad & Gurugram in Haryana, Tuglakabad, Delhi Cantt & Okhla in Delhi, Kota & Kanakpara in Rajasthan, Bengaluru in Karnataka, Dehradun in Uttarakhand, Nellore, Guntur, Tadipatri & Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, Ernakulam in Kerala, Tiruvallur, Chennai, Tuticorin, Coimbatore & Madurai in Tamil Nadu, Bhatinda & Phillaur in Punjab, Kamrup in Assam and Ranchi in Jharkhand. Indian Railways has mapped different routes with Oxygen supply locations and keeps itself ready with any emerging need of the States. States provide tankers to the Indian Railways for bringing LMO. Criss crossing the country, Indian Railways is picking up oxygen from places like Hapa , Baroda, Mundra in the West and Rourkela, Durgapur, Tatanagar, Angul in the East and then delivering it to States of Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Telangana, Punjab, Kerala, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh & Assam in complex operational route planning scenarios. In order to ensure that Oxygen relief reaches in the fastest time possible, Railways is creating new standards and unprecedented benchmarks in running of Oxygen Express Freight Trains. The average speed of these critical Freight trains is way above 55 in most cases over long distances. Running on high priority Green Corridor, with a highest sense of urgency, operational teams of various zones are working round the clock in most challenging circumstances to ensure that Oxygen reaches in fastest possible time frame. Technical stoppages have been reduced to 1 minute for crew changes over different sections. Tracks are kept open and high alertness is maintained to ensure that Oxygen Express keeps zipping through. All this is done in a manner that speed of other Freight Operation doesn’t get reduced as well. Running of new Oxygen is a very dynamic exercise and figures keep getting updated all the time. More loaded Oxygen Expresses are expected to start their journeys later in the night.

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A webinar on India-Sweden Defence Industry Cooperation, with the theme ‘Capitalizing Opportunities for Growth and Security’, was organised on June 08, 2021. It was organised under the aegis of Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence through Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM) and Swedish Security and Defence Industry (SOFF). Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was the Chief Guest, while the Defence Minister of Sweden Peter Hultqvist was the Guest of Honour.

Ambassador of India to Sweden Tanmaya Lal; Ambassador of Sweden to India Klas Molin; Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar, Secretary (Defence Production) Raj Kumar; other senior officers of Defence Ministries of the two countries; representatives of Indian & Swedish Defence Industries and officials of SIDM & SOFF also attended the webinar.

In his inaugural address, Shri Rajnath Singh listed out several progressive policy and procedural reforms undertaken by the Government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, that have transformed the defence industry to meet domestic as well as global demand. The motto of ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan’ is ‘Make in India’ and ‘Make for the World’, he said, adding that the campaign envisages the defence sector to play a major role in India’s economic growth and focuses on manufacturing cost-effective quality products for India and for the world.

On the Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020, the Defence Minister said it encourages domestic manufacturing and has provided a strong foundation for India to emerge as the defence manufacturing hub. He highlighted that policy decisions such as FDI liberalisation and improved ease of doing businesses are attracting top defence companies of the world and have Joint Ventures establishments in India. Ease of FDI regulations and introduction of Buy (Global – Manufacture in India) in Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020 invite foreign OEMs to participate in the opportunities offered by the Indian Defence industry. “Foreign OEMs can set up manufacturing facilities individually or partner with Indian companies through a joint venture or technology agreement to capitalise on the ‘Make in India’ opportunity,” he said.

Rajnath Singh invited Swedish firms to invest in Defence Corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, saying that they can benefit from the unique incentives being offered by the state governments and the availability of a highly-skilled workforce in India. Stressing that there is a huge potential for more India-Sweden partnerships, he highlighted the strong capabilities of Indian defence industry in various fields and their willingness to collaborate with Swedish companies for co-development and co-production in areas of mutual interest.

“Swedish firms already have a major presence in India. There is a lot of scope for Swedish and Indian defence Industries for co-production and co-development. Indian industry can also supply components to Swedish Industries. Technology-centric FDI policy will enable Indian industries to collaborate with Swedish companies in the field of niche and proven military technologies,” stated Rajnath Singh.

The Defence Minister said India has a vast Defence Industrial Base with 41 Ordnance factories, nine Defence Public Sector Undertakings and expanding private sector Industries supported by an ecosystem of over 12,000 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, adding that Indian Defence Industries possess expertise on a wide range of high-tech defence systems for air, land, sea and space applications. “India has a robust shipbuilding industry. The ships constructed by Indian shipyards are of global standards and extremely cost effective. India and Sweden can collaborate in the shipbuilding industry for mutual benefit,” he said. Shri Rajnath Singh lauded the continuous efforts of SIDM, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and SOFF to strengthen the industrial cooperation between the two countries.

On the occasion, an MoU was signed between SIDM and SOFF to promote bilateral defence industrial relations wherein a dedicated Joint Working Group will be formed to take forward mutual objectives.

Rajnath Singh also released the first edition of the ‘SIDM Members Directory 2020-21’ – A 360º Overview of the Indian Defence and Aerospace Sector’. The Directory captures the capabilities of 437 companies in the Defence and Aerospace sector, facilitates ease of access to information on the Indian Industry and serves as a one-stop reference for the global defence community. The Directory also contains the latest 108 item 2nd Positive Indigenisation List.