Need to make fast progress in tech to deal with non-kinetic warfare: Rajnath Singh
There is an urgent need to move fast towards technological advancements in line with the changing times. This responsibility lies with our institutions, says Singh
Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said that research institutes should speed up innovation in advanced technology and achieve progress to make India fully capable of dealing with emerging threats related to cyberspace.
He was addressing the 12th convocation ceremony of the Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT) in Pune.
“Science and technology and methods of warfare are evolving at a rapid pace and there is a need to make fast progress in advanced technology to deal with non-kinetic or contactless warfare, which the world today is witnessing, in addition to the conventional methods,” he said.
“If our adversary possesses more advanced technologies, it can be a cause of concern for us in the future. There is an urgent need to move fast towards technological advancements in line with the changing times. This responsibility lies with our institutions,” he said.
Singh also shared insights on the continuously changing political and economic equations among nations in the current global scenario.
Explaining the government’s understanding of the concept of ‘self-reliance,’ the minister said, “Self-reliance has a very broad meaning and for us, it does not mean that we remain isolated from other countries in a globalised world. The aim of self-reliance for us is that we must fulfil our basic needs and build necessary equipment and platforms with our own capacity; we should also be able to export to other countries. Today we are exporting defence equipment to many countries, our exports have increased manifold in the last few years. Countries outside are showing interest in our defence equipment. We need to speed this up further,” he said.
Urging for reducing dependency on defence imports, the defence minister said, “A country like India cannot depend on imports in any case. If we only import defence equipment and platforms, it will make us dependent on other countries in the defence sector. This dependence can also be a hindrance to our strategic autonomy. Along with self-reliance, we are also emphasizing innovation. India today is the second largest hub of startups, which means that more and more innovations are happening in our country.”
Urging the gathering to incorporate innovation in their research, Singh said, “We are constantly innovating in the defence sector as well. The result of these steps taken by the government is that today India is manufacturing everything from Rifles to BrahMos missiles, and from Light Combat Aircraft to indigenous aircraft carrier in its own country. So, we are becoming self-sufficient in every big and small technology,” he said.
“India has seen a dream under the leadership of the Prime Minister and that dream is to build a developed India by 2047. This dream of ours will be fulfilled only when we all harness our full potential,” he said.
The defence minister also advised the defence scientists to take rapid strides in the advancement of technology amid a rise in cyberspace threats in the defence sector.
Singh said, “India has witnessed a manifold rise in defence exports during the past few years. The defence exports during 2014 was around ₹900 crore but now it has gone up to ₹16,000 crore. India has reduced its dependency on defence imports significantly and is now the biggest hub of start-ups and we are bringing innovative ideas regularly,” he said.
Secretary, department of defence R&D, chairman Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and chairman governing council (DIAT) Samir V Kamat, scientific advisor to the Raksha Mantri G Satheesh Reddy, vice-chancellor, DIAT, CP Ramanarayanan and directors general and directors of various DRDO labs attended the event.