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India's defence exports to rise up to Rs 40,000 cr by 2026: Rajnath Singh


PUNE (PTI): India would be exporting defence equipment and materials worth Rs 35,000 to Rs 40,000 crore by 2026, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday.

The Defence Minister was delivering the Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw memorial lecture in Pune on 'The Role of Youth in Nation Building', organized by Symbiosis International University.

"First, there should be a sense of self-confidence that we will make India ‘atmanirbhar' (self-reliant). In 2014, we used to do defence exports of only Rs 900 crore, but since India has adopted Indianization (programme), today we are doing defence exports worth of Rs 15,000 crore to Rs 16,000 crore," he said.

By 2026, defence sector exports would rise to Rs 35,000 to Rs 40,000 crore, the Defence Minister said.

"There is a need to create an eco-system, and more than the eco-system, there is a need to generate self-confidence among ourselves, as with self-confidence, anything is possible," he added.

He was proud of the country's defence forces which are now meeting 80 per cent of their needs through indigenous procurement, Singh said.

The Union Minister also called upon the youth to ideate, innovate and set up new companies and R&D establishments to help realise the government's vision of transforming India into one of the most powerful nations in the coming times.

Reforms have been carried out on a large scale in R&D establishments such as the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), he said.

The government has established a link between academia and the industry, so research generated by universities reaches the industry for the development of state-of-the-art technologies and products, Singh said.

“India is today home to over 90,000 start-ups, of which more than 100 are unicorns and this has been made possible due to the zeal and energy of the youth," he said.

Just like nuclear energy requires direction for its best use, the energy of youths needs to be directed towards nation-building and social welfare. This energy can be moderated through values, cultures and traditions, Singh said.

Addressing the management students in the audience, he spoke about the steps taken for retail investors by the government.

“We curbed insider trading, promoted technology and digital architecture in the trading process and made the trading process transparent. Now even people living in villages and remote areas with a mobile, understanding the risks, are ready to invest in the market. In this way, due to the large number of retail investors coming into the market, the depth and resilience of the market has increased,” he said.

Stating that the country is now the fifth largest economy, he cited a report by Morgan Stanley that by 2027 India could be in the top three economies of the world.

"A few years ago, when India spoke on the international forum, the world never used to listen to it seriously, but today, when India speaks on the international forum, the world listens to it with ears open. This is India's stature in the world," Singh said.

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