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Aero India 2023

Need to focus on developing dual-use technologies: Defence Minister

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh during his addresse at DRDO Directors' Conclave at DRDO Bhawan, in New Delhi, on Monday. Photo: PTI

NEW DELHI (PTI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday called for greater synergy among key stakeholders to boost India's defence manufacturing and cautioned against working in "silos" as he emphasised identifying "cost and time over-runs" in key projects to ensure their timely implementation.

In an address at a DRDO-hosted event, Singh said that India needs to focus on developing dual-use technologies for both military and civilian agencies and special attention should be paid to research and development for manufacturing state-of-the-art defence platforms.

He exhorted the domestic defence industry to take full advantage of the policies of the government and create an "organic synergy" with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and other government agencies.

Noting that the transfer of technology from the DRDO is bearing fruit, he hoped that in the times to come the industry would develop in-house research and development on its own.

Singh said the demand for military equipment is increasing around the world in view of global security concerns, border disputes and developments in the maritime sphere, and India must focus on enhancing its domestic defence industry.

The Defence Minister cautioned against working in "silos" and emphasised on identifying cost and time over-run in projects, and said delivering them efficiently in a time-bound manner was important.

He called for strengthening the linkages between academia, industries and the DRDO, saying such a collaborative approach would ensure overall development.

The Defence Minister also released two policy documents of the DRDO which were aimed at providing a framework for establishing advanced technology centres and research cells in academic institutes.

Singh also handed over a sonar performance modelling system and two other products developed by the DRDO to the armed forces.

The Defence Minister felicitated the winners of the 'Dare to Dream 2.0' contest organised by the DRDO to promote emerging defence and aerospace technologies and systems.

Singh also gave away the DRDO Young Scientists awards for the year 2019 at the event. Sixteen DRDO scientists, under the age of 35 years, were awarded for their "outstanding contribution" in areas of their expertise.

In his address, Singh said that no corner of the world is left untouched by the changes seen in areas of strategic affairs, military power, trade, economy and communication.

He, however, did not specifically elaborate on the changes that he was talking about.

"Countries around the world are focusing on military modernisation and demand for military equipment has gone up in view of global security concerns, border disputes and developments in the maritime domain," Singh said.

"Today, when we are talking about private sector participation for development of defence equipment, it is our utmost concern to strengthen, equip and make them ready for the new role," he added.

The Defence Minister underlined the need for giving special attention to research and development for manufacturing military equipment.

"We need to develop dual-use technologies so that both military and civilian sides benefit. We have to put special attention on research and development to provide state-of-the-art equipment to our armed forces," he said.

Singh said work is underway with a focus on futuristic technologies like nano-technology, quantum computing, artificial intelligence and robotic technologies.

"We have moved rapidly in the direction of not only meeting our domestic security needs but also exporting technology and equipment to foreign countries," he said.

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