India cannot depend on foreign players for defence needs and such dependence is not compatible with the goal of a self-reliant India, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said while launching more than a dozen indigenously-manufactured products on Thursday.
As part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat week, Singh virtually launched 15 products developed by Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) and ordnance factories on Thursday. “We cannot depend on foreign governments, foreign suppliers and foreign defence products to meet our defence needs. It is not compatible with the objectives and feelings of a strong and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’,” he tweeted. “Security is its first priority for the development of any nation. It is known to all of us that the nations, which are able to protect themselves, they have been able to build their strong image at the global level.”
Singh said the country should “not only be able to ensure the fulfilment of our national interests but also be able to help other people in times of need”.
He also launched the Naval Innovation and Indigenisation Organisation, which will put in place “dedicated structures for the end users to interact with academia and industry towards fostering innovation and indigenisation for self-reliance in defence”, he said.
He said the government’s “concerted efforts” to “streamline the procurement procedures, production policies and indigenisation initiatives would assuredly lead to the development and manufacture of indigenous defence products, bringing down our dependence on imports, thereby restricting outflow of foreign exchange, to encourage development of domestic industry, insulate India from external pressure and ensure lifetime spares and service support to the defence equipment”.
Singh said if the DPSUs and Ordnance Factory Board have to compete at national and international levels, “then the outdated practices will have to be done away with” and “we need to have modern management techniques, technology infusion and collaborative efforts to help the state defence industrial complex serve India”.