Self-reliance Not an option but a Necessity, says Rajnath

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Delhi, 18 June (CNI) :Emphasising that India will have to become self-reliant in the defence manufacturing sector to be a military power at the global level, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said self-reliance is not an option but a necessity with India facing a double threat on its borders and new dimensions of warfare emerging in today’s fast-changing world.

Speaking at a defence dialogue on ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ organised by STRIVE think-tank, a veterans’ initiative, and a media organisation here on Saturday, Singh said dependency of any nation and society for its safety on others was not appropriate.

“Without a stronger army, you cannot protect your borders, civilisation and culture. And if the army is dependent on others, the situation can become uncontrolled in an emergency. Hence, self-reliance of the army is an important step towards making the country powerful,” he said. “Most of the weapons today are electronic-based systems, then can this possibility be ruled out that the equipment and platforms we are using could have any chip or other systems installed which can reveal our position and sensitive information to the adversaries?” Singh said.

“If we need equipment and platforms with the most advanced technology to protect the sovereignty of the country, then we will have to develop it inside our own country,” he said.

“As imported equipment has certain limitations, we need to go beyond the horizon and achieve self-reliance in niche technologies. The latest weapons and equipment are equally important as the bravery of our soldiers. If India wishes to become a military power at the global level, there is no other option than being self-reliant in defence manufacturing,” said the Defence Minister.

On the UP Defence Industrial Corridors, Singh said that the work was going on in mission mode and 95 per cent of around 1,700 hectares has been acquired to date. Of these, 36 industries and institutions have been allotted nearly 600 hectares. 109 MoUs have been signed, with an estimated investment value of more than Rs 16,000 crore.

So far, a total investment of about Rs 2,500 crore has been made in UPDIC by various entities. The corridor will not only produce spare parts but also manufacture and assemble Drones/ Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Electronic warfare, Aircraft and BrahMos missiles.

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