Service No: 999
Last Rank : Lieutenant
UNIT: (INS Khukri) Surface Ships
Operation : Op Cactus Lily
Date of Martyrdom : Dec 09, 1971
Lt Vinod Kumar Jain was a a young officer of the Indian Navy when the war with Pakistan broke out in 1971. He was a brilliant Electrical Engineer who was on board INS Khukri when it was torpedoed on 9 December 1971.
Lt Jain’s academic brilliance was evident right from his early childhood days. When studying in junior classes, with his photographic memory he could recall verbatim the contents of any book page after quietly reading it for a minute or so. And, therefore, no surprise that he got double promotion and passed matriculation at the age of 13 years in the 1st Division. He continued his studies and joined I.I.T Kharagpur for pursuing Electrical Engineering, from where he graduated with Honours. In final year at I.I.T, he was selected by Indian Navy, a career which he believed as prestigious and glamorous in preference to other lucrative corporate assignments that were offered to him.
His inclination towards research in Electrical Engineering led to his assignment for a year-long advanced course with the Royal Navy in England. On completion of his assignment, he hired a scooter to tour European countries as the history of Naval prowess of these countries always fascinated him. When he returned home, he was assigned to the Bhaba Atomic Research Centre (BARC) for a project to improve weapon systems on naval ships.
Lt. Vinod Kumar Jain had always cherished idealistic thoughts and goals in his life which he used to express to his family members and colleagues often. He confided to his parents and rest of the family that he was engaged in very operationally important work for the Indian Navy, and when he would successfully complete it, he would be famous. When his youngest brother was admitted to a Medical College, he sent his brother an air ticket to come and see him in Bombay. Lt. Jain advised his brother, “Don’t be a show piece in drawing rooms but show to the world that you can do something great. Lt. Jain always had the urge for doing ‘good to others’ and would often extend a helping hand to his colleagues and juniors. There are number of instances when he sacrificed his belongings to help needy persons.
Lt Vinod Kumar Jain was a jovial, happy-go-lucky man who enjoyed his sessions of dance, music and sports. He was also a true leader and had exhibited leadership qualities even as a child during his stint as a patrol leader of Bharat Scouts and Guides. His multifaceted approach to life made him a favourite of his seniors, colleagues, friends and family members. As a result his old teachers, class fellows, friends, neighbors all remember him with profound affection.
On 09 Dec 1971 two ships of the Indian Navy under the command of Captain M.N. Mulla, the senior officer of frigate squadron, were assigned the task of locating and destroying a Pakistani submarine in the North Arabian Sea. During these operations on the night of 9 December 1971, INS “Khukri” was hit by torpedoes fired by the enemy submarine and sank. Lt V K Jain was on board that ship and made the supreme sacrifice in the highest traditions of Indian Navy.
Lt V K Jain was awarded Nao Sena Medal posthumously for his service to the nation.
Lt V K Jain Memorial Gold Medal
To keep Lt V K Jain’s research endeavors alive, his parents and family decided to institute a gold medal named as ‘Lt V K Jain Memorial Gold Medal’ in his memory, to be awarded to any Naval Officer adjudged by Indian Navy for commendable research in the field of weapon improvement and/or Electrical Engineering for Indian Navy. Till date Lt V K Jain’s family has been keeping this gesture alive and has all the intention to continue doing so.
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