Defence minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday that India’s national security issues are growing more complicated due to the fast-changing geopolitical and security situation in the world.
By Vaishali Pandey/TheNewster
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh called for a strong, capable, and totally “self-reliant” Indian defence sector, noting that India’s national security problems are rising and more “complicated” in light of the changing geopolitical scenario globally.
Rajnath Singh’s statements come amid rising fears in India and worldwide about the Taliban’s advance through Afghanistan and fall of the US-backed government.
Rajnath Singh said, without mentioning anything in particular in his statement, “today, the security scenario in the whole world is changing very fast. Because of this, the challenges to our national security are increasing and becoming complex. There are constant changes in the global geopolitical situation.”
This statement comes when he was addressing media after launching the ‘Defence India Startup Challenge 5.0’, an initiative under the Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) umbrella organisation that promotes technology development for the defence industry.
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He further stated, “it is necessary that we not only create strong, modern and well-equipped forces, but also develop our defence industry, which is equally strong, capable, and most importantly, completely ‘self-reliant.”
The Minister of Defense called on the private sector to contribute to the improvement of the defence industrial industry by investing in new equipment and technology. While addressing this issue, he stated, “while assuring all possible cooperation from the government, I call upon the private sector to come forward and contribute in building a strong and self-reliant defence sector.”
He also addressed the issue of lack of a common platform, “there is neither a shortage of talents in our country, nor is there a lack of demand for talents. But in the absence of a common platform, the two could not match. ‘iDEX’ platform has been successful to a large extent in bridging this gap.”
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He went on to highlight the government’s goals and accomplishments, mentioning that in the last couple of years, the government has unveiled a series of reform measures and initiatives to make India a defence manufacturing hub.
In August, he announced that India will stop the import of 101 weapons and military platforms like transport aircraft, light combat helicopters, conventional submarines and solar systems by 2024. 108 military weapons and systems, including next-generation corvettes, airborne early warning systems, tank engines, and radars, were recently placed on a second negative list.
He further highlighted the government’s decision to increase the FDI limit from 49% to 74% in the defence sector.
He also highlighted the government’s efforts in reducing the country’s reliance on foreign military platforms and encouraging the indigenous defence industry. It includes a $5 billion (Rs 35,000 crore) goal for military gear exports by 2025, which is part of the defence ministry’s 25-billion-dollar turnover goal.