Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said in Pune on Sunday that the country since its Independence, has been facing both insurgency and wars and that the national security requires us to become hub for defence manufacturing. He also said that the public and private sectors will have to be equal partners in the process. He was speaking at the ninth convocation of the Defence Institute of Advanced Technology in Girinagar near Khadakwasla in Pune. A total of 134 graduating students including 18 PhDs, three Master of Science by Research and 113 MTech students were conferred with their respective degrees.
Jaitley said, “The first industrial revolution impacted Europe and North America. The Asian economies caught up later, particularly after the Second World War. Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China and thereafter India. So, those who were left out initially, caught up by connecting themselves to the global markets with the help of technology. If we are to evolve as a manufacturing nation, which we are still to evolve fully, the backbone will have to be technology.”
Jaitley, who by virtue of his post of defence minister, is the Chancellor of the DIAT, said, “When our former Prime Minister Mr Vajpayee visited Lahore in the famous bus journey, he said that we can alter the course of history but not geography. We are destined to have neighbours as permanent neighbours. We cannot change them. And that neighbourhood itself has thrown up an important challenge of national security and therefore last 70 years, since Independence, we have continuously battled both insurgency and wars. No country can perpetually continue to secure itself in the wars by only depending on the others for its armaments and equipment, which are extremely important.”
He added, “If economy requires us to become a manufacturing hub, then security requires us to become a hub for defence manufacturing. The country will have to unleash national energy and use large resources which are there in the country. We will have to use a large number of academic institutions we have, for training human minds and cover up the critical gap that still exists. We have now entered a stage, where we have accepted that this is not just the government prerogative but also a prerogative of the private sector. And they have to be equal partners in this area.” Jaitly stressed that premier institutes like DIAT can play a major role in the process.
Before the beginning of the function, DIAT Vice Chancellor Surendra Pal, a distinguished Space Communication scientist welcomed Jaitley along with S Christopher, Chairman DIAT Governing Council and Secretary, Department of Defence Researcher and Development, G Satheesh Reddy, Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister and Baba N Kalyani of Kalyani Group, and other guests. A Radio Frequency and Electronics system laboratory was also inaugurated by the Defence Minister on Sunday.