Self-reliance in defence manufacturing is crucial for India's strategic autonomy, says Rajnath Singh

By ANI
BENGALURU: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said that attaining self-reliance in manufacturing of defence equipment is a crucial factor for maintaining India’s strategic autonomy.

Addressing the ‘Startup Manthan’ at Aero India 2021, Defence Minister said, “Our Government is acutely conscious that startups being the latest entrants in the defence manufacturing sector require that extra push. With this aim in view, we have taken many steps to foster and encourage this partnership with private industry.”

“Attaining self-reliance in manufacturing of defence equipment is a crucial factor for maintaining India’s strategic autonomy. Innovation for Defence Excellence (iDEX) initiative stands out as one of the most effective and well-executed defence Start-up ecosystems created in our country,” said Defence Minister.

This comes after a contract to manufacture 83 LCA Tejas fighters was handed over to the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) by the Defence Ministry at the Aero India 2021 on Wednesday.

Further speaking on the Startup India campaign in India, he added: “Startup India was based on three major pillars — simplification and handholding, funding and incentives and industry-academia partnerships.”

“Rs 4500 crores of investment made in 384 startups through funds of fund scheme. Our economy is soon going to be driven by the startups,” said Rajnath Singh.

The Defence Minister said that the Start-up Manthan is going to provide a unique opportunity for start-ups to showcase their capabilities, products and services to the “targeted audience of industry leaders and business decision makers.”

“iDEX Open Challenge initiative creates opportunities for innovators to propose ways for harnessing their technological capabilities to strengthen our nation’s military capability. Anyone with an idea that can be used in defence and aerospace can apply under this initiative,” Singh added.

As 45 MSMEs received orders worth Rs 203 Crore, Singh said,”I am very happy to announce , that 45 MSMEs who have participated in Aero India have already got orders worth Rs 203 Cr. This is a very heartening news and I am sure it will grow further in the times to come.”

On Thursday, Defence Minister had said that India is ready to supply various types of missile systems, Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) and other weapons systems including missiles, helicopters, tanks and artillery guns to friendly foreign countries in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

“India is ready to supply various types of missile systems, LCA/helicopters, multi-purpose light transport aircraft, warship and patrol vessels, artillery gun systems, tanks, radars, military vehicles, electronic warfare systems and other weapons systems to IOR nations,” Singh had said at IOR Defence Ministers’ Conclave in Bengaluru.