Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday called for the country to develop an ecosystem so that it is completely self-reliant with respects to critical technology.
Speaking at the 41st DRDO Directors Conference, Singh said, “It is time that we reduce our dependence on imported systems and we develop such an indigenous innovation ecosystem that can make us completely self-reliant in critical technologies.”
The minister said defence and disruptive technologies are being developed at an unprecedented pace in the defence sector. “In such a situation, we need to focus on our research so that we can emerge as a global leader in defence technology… It is imperative that we continue to improve to maintain operational superiority in technology.”
Singh appreciated DRDO’s role in developing cutting-edge technology and systems. The technologies developed by DRDO have provided the Indian forces with “internationally competitive systems” Singh said.
He said DRDO was a centre of indigenous research and development and is dedicated to the progressive enhancement of self-dependence and strategic defence systems and infrastructure.
Since the conference was held on former President A P J Abdul Kalam’s 88th birth anniversary, Singh credited him with propelling India to the club of nuclear powers.
Also present at the event were National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, along with the chiefs of the Army, Navy and Air Force.
Doval said, “Armies that were better equipped always called the shots and decided the destiny of mankind…” He adding that “technology and money are two things which will influence geopolitics” in the modern world. Whoever has “preponderance over their adversaries on these two” wins, he said.
Stressing the importance of indigenous technology in defence, Army chief General Bipin Rawat said, “We are confident that we will fight and win the next through indigenised weapons systems and equipment.” Meanwhile, Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh mentioned the various DRDO developed systems being used by the Navy; while Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria appreciated DRDO’s role in developing technologies like ASTRA, Light Combat Aircraft and radars, among others.