“If the world is coming up with a defence platform in 2020, do we have it in us to deliver it by 2018,” he asked. That’s a big ask for an organisation that took 35 years to deliver a tank to the army. The light combat aircraft, a project conceived in 1983, hasn’t got final operational clearance yet. “Even before we conceptualise a system… someone, somewhere launches it and we are left behind,” Modi said.
But the PM also tempered his criticism with some praise, comparing the scientists’ hard work to the ‘tapasya’ of rishis (sages).