New Delhi, 15 October: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday that the goal of self-reliant India is to make the country the biggest military power of the world. For this, the private and government sectors are moving ahead on the National Defence Mission (NDM).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a program organized by the Ministry of Defense to dedicate seven new defense companies to the nation today on Vijayadashami and the birth anniversary of former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.
Defense Minister, National Security Advisor, Minister of State for Defense and representatives of Defense Industry Associations were present on the occasion.
Prime Minister Modi said that in the last seven years, India has made great progress in the direction of becoming self-reliant in the defense sector with the mantra of ‘Make in India’. The country’s defense exports have grown 350 times in the last five years. A list of over 100 strategically important equipments has been prepared, which will no longer be imported. The country has already given orders worth Rs 65,000 crore to the newly formed defense companies, this shows India’s confidence in the country’s defense industry.
He said that the world believed in the strength of India’s Ordnance Factories during the World War. We had better resources and world class skills at that time. After independence, special attention was not paid to upgrading these factories and bringing new technology and defense requirements started being met from abroad. The present government is paying special attention in this area.
Modi said that today there is more transparency, trust and technology based thinking in the defense sector than ever before. For the first time after independence, such major reforms are taking place in the defense sector and instead of the policy of hanging, a ‘single window’ system has been prepared.
Underlining the importance of research and innovation in the defense sector, the Prime Minister said that India not only has to compete with the world’s biggest companies, but also surpass them. For this it is necessary to encourage innovation in the defense sector.
He emphasized on giving special attention to this through new start-ups and new seven companies.
Speaking on the occasion, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said that the Government has decided to convert the Ordnance Factory Board from a Government Department to seven hundred percent State-owned Corporate Companies as a measure to increase self-reliance in defense preparedness of the country. This step will ensure better functional autonomy and efficiency and will pave the way for new growth opportunities and innovation.
The seven new defense companies that have been listed include: Munitions India Limited (MIL); Armored Vehicles Corporation Limited (Avni); Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited (AWE India); Troop Comforts Limited (TCL), Yantra India Limited (YIL); India Optel Limited (IOL) and Gliders India Limited (GIL).