(FM) -The Vice President, M. Venkaiah Naidu today emphasized the need to develop cutting-edge technologies indigenously to make India self-reliant in defence technology and emerge as an export hub of modern military hardware.
Addressing scientists and engineers of Hindustan Aeronautical Limited and Aeronautical Development Agency at HAL complex, Bengaluru, the Vice President said that indigenous products will play a key role in leapfrogging India as an Aerospace and Defence powerhouse in the coming years.
While noting India’s capability to manufacture the state-of-the-art missiles, satellites and space vehicles, he said, “the paradox remains that we are still among the largest arms importers in the world”. He called for changing this situation by quickening the pace of indigenous development of critical technologies.
Drawing attention to multiple security challenges faced by the country due to a highly complex geopolitical environment, the Vice President lauded the security forces for their exemplary courage and professionalism. “It is our duty to ensure that our armed forces are fully equipped to handle any challenge and repel any security threat firmly”, he said.
The Vice President said that India wants friendly relations with all its neighbours but some countries are funding and supporting terrorism against India and some harbour expansionist tendencies. “Therefore, security and safety of our borders is very important for the peace and prosperity of the nation”, he added. Stressing that India has never been expansionist in its outlook, Shri Naidu said that our approach is of peaceful coexistence and to deter the forces of terror and disruption. “India wants to become strong for the progress and development of its people,” he said.
Referring to several policy initiatives by the Government to promote indigenization and self-reliance in defence manufacturing, Shri Naidu underlined the need to involve private partners in defence projects for fruitful results. “We will have to depend on strategic partnerships, technology sharing and teamwork to ensure that we build competitive products which are comparable with the best from across the globe”, he said.
He said that measures such as an increase in the FDI limit for the defence sector, the decision to set up two defence corridors in UP and Tamil Nadu and notification of two positive indigenization lists by the Ministry of Defence offer a great opportunity to the Indian defence industry.