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India calls for calibrated global response to terrorism

Defence Minister AK Antony addressing a gathering at the opening of Aero-India 2009 International Seminar, in Bengaluru on February 9, 2009. PIB photo

BANGALORE (BNS): Indian Defence Minister A K Antony called for a calibrated international response to tackle terrorism and prevent attacks like the one witnessed in Mumbai recently.

The minister who was speaking at the inauguration of an international three-day seminar here on Monday organised by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), on ‘Aerospace-Perspectives and Trends in Technologies’ to coincide with Aero-India 2009, beginning February 11 said that the terrorists were now adopting new methods to wreak havoc on the civil society. Antony said that the methods used by terrorists required a collective and well-coordinated response.

“The dynamics of security are changing continuously across the world. The unconventional means of warfare used by the terrorists as seen in the 9/11 attacks and the recent terror attacks on Mumbai demand a calibrated international response. Technology has to be backed up by a proactive response from the government and the civil society,” Antony said.

Speaking about the modernisation of Indian Air Force (IAF), the Defence Minister said that the ongoing global economic downturn will not affect the IAF and assured that resources in full measure will be provided to modernise the force.

Antony called upon the private industry to come forward and spend more for R&D in defence sector. Giving the example of the development of missile systems in which a number of players, both in private and public sectors are stake holders, Antony said the all round development of the country needs committed and collective effort from all sectors-the scientists, engineers, industrialists, civil services and the Armed Forces.

He said the aviation sector is witnessing a large scale expansion. “In such a scenario, our scientists and manufacturers need exposure to the best international practices to hone their skills. Development in aerospace sector has triggered changes in related spheres like telecommunication and electronics,” he said.

Referring to the 'offset policy' of the government which is aimed at enhancing the technical and manufacturing potential, the Defence Minister said, “it would prove beneficial to both, the Indian industry and foreign partners”.

Appreciating the achievements of the Defence R&D establishments in the country, Antony stressed the importance of timely delivery of the products. Recalling the vision of Jawaharlal Nehru of a self-reliant nation in Defence technology, he reminded that the country had achieved only 30 per cent indigenisation and is still importing as much as 70 per cent of its requirements.

Air Chief Marshal FH Major said aerospace power will be the determinant in future conflict scenarios and the country must achieve this. Stating that the IAF has a focussed modernisation programme, the Air Chief urged the research organisations to include more 'user-interface' in technological developments.

Among others who were present in the inaugural ceremony included DRDO Chief M Natarajan, Secretary, Department of Defence Production, Pradeep Kumar and Chairman, HAL, Ashok Baweja.

Over 850 delegates from 12 countries are taking part in the seminar, which is focussing on futuristic trends in aerospace technologies. For the first time, nearly 150 students from various engineering colleges and institutions in the country are taking part.

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