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Security challenges require India to become defence manufacturing hub: Jaitley

Union minister said bringing in private players is vital to strengthen India’s defence capabilities.

pune Updated: Jun 12, 2017 16:57 IST
Anany Barua
Anany Barua
Hindustan Times, Pune
Arun Jaitley,Union Minister,DIAT
The 9th Convocation of Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT) at Girinagar, near Pune.(HTPHOTO)

Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said India’s neighbourhood has thrown up an important challenge of national security with the country facing insurgency and war. The challenge requires India to become a hub for defence manufacturing.

“We are destined to have neighbours as permanent. We can’t change them. And that neighbourhood itself has thrown up an important challenge of national security,” Jaitley said on Sunday while speaking at the 9th Convocation of Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT) at Girinagar, near Pune.

The defence minister said that India’s growth is yoked to the technological growth, especially in the field of manufacturing. He stressed that India needs to be independent in manufacturing, particularly with respect to defence technology.

“No country perpetually continues to secure itself against wars, by only depending on others for its armaments and equipment, which are of extreme importance to them. And therefore, the dictates of national security are that we become an important manufacturing hub. So, if economy requires us to become a manufacturing hub, security requires us to become a hub for defence manufacture,” Jaitley said.

The Union minister encouraged both government and private institutions to positively use India’s large population by training these “human minds” in technology. This, Jaitley said, needs to be done to cover up the critical gap of growth that has been created over the years by conservative policies of the previous governments.

Adding that it is no more a governmental prerogative, but also a private-sector prerogative to strengthen India’s technological base, Jaitley said, “The new India is confident and not defensive. It is willing to globally integrate, share knowledge and also get it from outside, to improve upon itself, from within. We are blessed with the IITs and DRDO institutions, and a very large number of private institutions with the infrastructure for the creation of technology-oriented minds.”

The defence minister while taking a dig at previous government, said that the change has been facilitated by the policies formulated by the present government, as they “have broken away from the restrictive past, with intent to unleash both public and private entrepreneurship and innovative minds of India, so that they can corroborate amongst themselves and also with the rest of the world.”

Praising DIAT’s efforts in research and practice in advanced defence technology, the minister said the institution’s endeavours for training manpower for ‘Make in India’ programme of the Government of India is commendable.

Suggesting the relevance and urgency for the need of advancement and self-reliance in manufacturing of defence technology, something which the institution strives for, Jaitley quoted former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who during his trip to Lahore had opined, “We can change the course of history but not geography.”

First Published: May 30, 2017 13:44 IST