Time to decrease dependence: Rajnath Singh

Urging the DRDO officials at the 41st DRDO Directors’ Conference, Defence Ministe Rajnath Singh said that the time is right for India to become self-reliant in the field of critical defence technologies.

New Delhi: Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday urged the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) officials to focus on research work in order to make India a global leader in the defence sector.

“We will have to focus on research work to emerge as the global leader in defence technologies. And for this, it is important to improve continuously in order to maintain operational superiority,” Singh said at the 41st DRDO Directors’ Conference. The Union Defence Minister was joined by the chiefs of the three services and DRDO Chairman G Satheesh Reddy at the inauguration of the two-day conference.

Urging the DRDO officials, Rajnath Singh said that the time is right for India to become self-reliant in the field of critical defence technologies.

“It is also the right time to decrease our dependence on imported systems and create an indigenous innovation ecosystem, to be completely self-reliant in the field of critical technologies,” Singh said.

Singh began his address by paying a tribute to the late former President APJ Abdul Kalam for his service to the nation and urging others to follow the path shown by him.

“I express my gratitude to Dr APJ Abdul Kalam on his 88th birth anniversary. He was an acknowledged scientist. His contribution to research and missile development brought India to the top list of countries which are nuclear-capable and are known for their indigenous capabilities,” Singh said.

“I would urge all the people present here and those of the DRDO community to follow the work ethos of Dr Kalam. We all should work together to fulfill his dream of making India a developed nation,” Singh added.

The Defence Minister also thanked the chiefs of three services by saying, “The speeches of the three chiefs were very educative for me as I got to know of new ideas and suggestions from them.”

Next war will be won through indigenised weapons systems: Bipin Rawat

Army Chief General Bipin Rawat while speaking at the 41st DRDO Directors Conference, Rawat said: “The DRDO has made strides in ensuring that requirements of the services are met through home-grown solutions. We are confident that we will fight and win the next war through indigenised weapons systems and equipment.” With a network of 52 laboratories, the government agency DRDO is charged with the military’s research and development covering various fields like aeronautics, land combat engineering, armaments, electronics, missiles, and naval systems.

The Army chief said that the Defence industry of India is a budding industry and the time has now come to look at the development of systems for future warfare and start preparing for “non-contact warfare.” Rawat asserted that along with artificial intelligence, the future lies in development of cyber, space technology, electronic warfare and robotics.

Necessary for us to have technologically updated force: Navy Chief Admiral

Indian Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh stressed on the need of having a technologically up-to-date force and said that maintaining the right technological mix is crucial.

Addressing a seminar at the 41st DRDO Directors’ Conference here, Singh said, “Both warfare and technology is synonymous. When we speak of warfare, it is changing at a rapid pace because it is being driven by technology. It is very necessary for us to have a technologically up-to-date force. For us, maintaining the right technological mix is crucial.” He said that the DRDO is “extremely important” to the Navy for maintaining the technological edge which is crucial to naval warfare.Underlining the need to leapfrog in technology, the Navy Chief listed three suggestions.“One is that impetus has to be on niche technology. Second, we must take a closer look at models such as DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) in the US.

Core technologies need to be developed for national security: NSA Doval

National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval on Tuesday said that India should assess technologies available within the county to develop core ones for national security.

“India should assess core technologies available with all centres of excellence in the country like Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and private sector and see how these can be collectively used to develop core technologies for national security,” said Doval. Addressing the 41st conclave of Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) directors, he said that India’s security vulnerability is “much greater” today and is going to be “much more greater” in times to come.

“India’s security vulnerabilities are much greater today and they are going to be much more greater in times to come,” said Doval.

He said that historically, India has always remained a runner-up in terms of defence technology and in this field “there are no trophies for the runner-ups.” “The armies that were better equipped always called the shots and decided the destiny of mankind. They were always the one which had higher technologies. India’s own historical experience on this has been sad. We were the runner-up. There is no trophy for the runner up,” said Doval. The NSA closely supervises DRDO’s projects.