Lucknow, Feb 5 (IANS) Emphasising India will a defence manufacturing powerhouse in the coming years, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that the government has adopted a new strategy known as 3P strategy which stands for Policy, Production and Partnership.
“We are focusing on this and it help us to make India a manufacturing hub,” he said at the inaugural ceremony of the 11th edition of Defence Expo 2020.
Welcoming all the stakeholders, Rajnath Singh said, “As Defence Minister and also the parliamentarian from here, let me once again welcome you to Lucknow, a city with a rich cultural heritage. It represents the best of Indian traditions of hospitality, as encapsulated in the ancient Sanskrit saying ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’.”
The minister stressed that in an era of a fast-evolving technological space, the spirit of Partnership and Production will take flight on the wings of innovation and foresight.
“Science and technology are making rapid strides into completely new domains that will change the character of future wars and battlefield conditions,” he said, adding that everyone should see the future of India by going into it.
The emphasis on technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Virtual Reality, Autonomous Systems, Internet of Military Things and Industry is a reflection of the priorities of India, the minister said.
He also said that the growth of defence production and export of Make in India platforms is well and truly underway. “Today, we have gathered here some of the best innovators, engineers, scientists and technical experts from around the world,” he said.
He expressed that as a responsible power, India also believes that the export of defence equipment should not seek to create strategic dependencies but instead should meet the legitimate needs of the importing nation and contribute to the cause of peace and security.
The minister pointed that supply chains today not work at the local level but are going global everywhere. “We realise that in an increasingly globalised world, no company or country can work in isolation based only on its indigenous and inherent strengths. Cooperation is a key element in defence manufacturing.”
Rajnath Singh pointed that due to the policy initiatives taken by the government, India has moved from a buyer-seller relationship to partnerships with countries around the world. “We are committed to enhancing our defence production through the combination of Make in India and the Offset policy. This aims at integrating India’s defence industry with major foreign OEMs, thereby providing Indian companies an opportunity to produce world-class components,” he said, noting that Indian defence exports have risen from $0.66 billion in 2017-2018 to $1.47 billion in 2018-2019.
“The Indian private sector is playing an increasingly important role in this endeavour,” the Defence Minister said.
Rajnath Singh also said that in the last five years, full emphasis was given to the programmes for the development of a new India and in this regard, work has been done with great sincerity and dedication.
“We have established two defence corridors – oneAeach in Uttar Pradesh and in Tamil Nadu. This reflects the vision of developing all the aspects of our defence industrial eco-system in one place and developing it as a cluster, which will be of great benefit to us in times to come,” he said.
He also said that single window clearance has been set up for the industries. “Alongside, we have made improvements in infrastructure development, skilling manpower and advancing connectivity,” he said.
“As part of our efforts to unleash the potential in defence production, we have liberalised Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) cap to 49 per cent through the direct route, and above that up to 100 per cent through the government route,” he said.
Rajnath Singh also stressed that Defence Expo India 2020 is unique in many ways, as it aims to integrate innovators and the manufacturers, the public and private sector, and the indigenous and foreign original equipment manufacturers in a manner that has never been attempted before.
He appealed to the delegates, “I can promise you on behalf of the Indian government that we will provide the necessary opportunities and conditions for the youth to be part of innovation in defence manufacturing.”