Achieve self-reliance in critical defence technologies: Antony

New Delhi, Feb 23 (Calcutta Tube) Defence Minister A.K. Antony Tuesday urged all stakeholders in the sector to come together to achieve self-reliance in critical defence technologies.

‘The need of the hour is for all stakeholders in the defence sector – both in the public and private domain, to come together to achieve self-reliance in critical defence technologies,’ he said in his address at the DRDO Technology Day Awards Ceremony.

‘The industry must show more confidence in the capacity of indigenous technology. At the same time, the public and private sector need to come up with modern facilities with a large manufacturing base,’ he maintained.

Similarly, DRDO ‘should strengthen its core competence and create newer ones. It also needs to reduce the long gestation periods and cut down time and cost overruns’, the minister said.

He also urged the defence industry to ‘further sharpen its competitive edge’ by ‘blending creative thinking and innovative approaches in producing high quality products and executing projects on time’.

Noting that it was ‘also high time’ that DRDO ‘shed its reticence in working in tandem with the private industry’, Antony added: ‘We need the maximum possible synergy between various production agencies.’

Reiterating the need to reverse the trend of over-indulgence on imports, Antony said the offsets policy had been formulated to provide an incentive to export defence products.

‘However, policies by themselves can mean little, till all the partners in the defence industry, including our armed forces, show confidence in indigenous capabilities,’ he added.

Contending that R&D was ‘a must’ for robust defence preparedness, Antony said industry and academia in the defence sector ‘need to play a far more proactive role in broad-basing R&D activities’.

‘We can achieve our objective of self-reliance only through greater investment in indigenous R&D. Besides investing in physical infrastructure, we also need to invest time and money in human resource development,’ the minister added.

Pointing to India’s leadership in the fields of IT and pharmaceuticals, he expressed confidence of replicating this in the defence sector too.

‘We possess both natural resources, as well as the skilled manpower to realise this potential. If organisations like DRDO come out of old, monopolistic mindsets, there is no reason why we cannot translate this potential into reality,’ Antony maintained.

In this context, he noted that the modern day world thrives on competition and that a healthy competitive spirit is ‘imperative’ for the all-round growth of any sector – defence being no exception.

‘Today, customers the world over are more knowledgeable than ever before. They expect the products to be of a high-quality, cost-effective and better performing. It is therefore all the more difficult to achieve customer satisfaction,’ Antony maintained.

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