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Preparedness our best defence to face multiple threats: Jaitley

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Union Minister for Defence, Arun Jaitley, pose for a photograph with Model of LRSAM with Secretary, Defence Production, Ashok Kumar Gupta, Vice Admiral Karambir Singh Vice Chief of the Naval Staff and others at the handing over the LRSAM to Indian Navy at BDL in Hyderabad on Sunday. A PTI Photo.

HYDERABAD (PTI): Defence Minister Arun Jaitley has said owing to its geographical location and in view of "multiple threats", India had to always remain prepared to defend itself as "it is our best defence".

He also underlined the need to equip the forces with the "required support system".

"In the current geopolitical situation, we are located at a place where we have multiple threats. And to face those multiple threats, our preparedness itself, as I was emphasising, is our best defence. There is no area that we can leave uncovered," he said on Sunday.

Jaitley added that even though the entire country had confidence in the armed forces, which represented some of the best traditions anywhere in the world, "as part of our preparedness, we obviously need to equip our forces with all the support system they require".

The Union minister was here to attend an event marking the handing over of a long-range, surface-to-air missile to the Indian Navy.

Lauding the Indian talents, Jaitley said that local human resources were now capable of offering services to other developed economies at a cheaper price.

"There is hardly any country in the developed world, where the presence of Indian minds is not visible, be it in the field of medicine, science or technology. And, therefore, not only do we have a large human resource pool, we have surplus resources which serve other countries too," he added.

The defence minister said India's resources, compared to other economies in the world, were available at a very competitive price.

"That being a reality, over the last few decades we have seen some of the best companies -- be it pharmaceutical or IT -- shifting their research and development bases to India," he added.

Jaitley also took part in a number of programmes, including the ground-breaking ceremony of the second phase of facility creation at the Bharat Dynamics Limited's (BDL) Ibrahimpatnam unit and inauguration of the ASTRA weapon system production at the BDL's Bhanur unit.

"As India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, it is very important to invest and emphasise more on defence research," he said, while lauding the services and performance of some of defence PSUs such as BEML, HAL, Bharat Electronics Limited, Midhani and BDL.

Noting that the public sector had played a vital role in manufacturing defence equipment, the Union minister said the government was now encouraging private sector as well.

"As part of a strategic partner policy, some platforms, where we were entirely dependent on equipment, were brought from outside. We are now advising Indian private sector, along with their foreign partners, to come and invest in India," he said.

Secretary, Defence Procurement, A K Gupta said BDL was in the process of setting up two manufacturing facilities in Amaravati in Maharashtra and Ibrahimpatnam in Telangana.

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