efence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said developing new technologies indigenously was the need of the hour, as he gave out awards to young scientists and innovators, and also handed over new technologies developed by the DRDO to the armed forces.
“Developing new technologies indigenously is the need of the hour. Our vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ is to ensure that advanced technologies are developed domestically. It is extremely important not just for strengthening national security but also ensuring overall development of the country,” Rajnath Singh said according to an official statement.
The Minister was speaking after felicitating the winners of ‘Dare to Dream 2.0’ Contest of Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) here. Awards were given to 40 winners – 22 in Individual category and 18 in Startup category.
Dare to Dream is DRDO’s pan-India contest to promote Indian academicians, individuals and startups to develop emerging defence and aerospace technologies/systems. DRDO provides technical and financial support to the winners for realisation of their ideas under the Technology Development Fund (TDF) scheme.
Singh also gave away DRDO Young Scientists awards for the year 2019. Sixteen DRDO scientists, under the age of 35 years, were awarded for their outstanding contribution in areas of their expertise.
Speaking at the event, the Minister stressed that the government has resolved to build a strong and self-reliant ‘New India’ which, he said, can only be achieved through a collaborative effort.
Pointing out that global security concerns, border disputes and maritime affairs have forced the world to focus on military modernisation, Singh reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to modernise the Armed Forces and equip them with latest machinery to deal with any challenge.
Describing private sector participation as crucial to achieving the goal, Singh said that the government has taken a series of reform steps to increase the participation of private industry in the defence sector which has created a suitable growth environment and provided a big boost to indigenous defence capabilities.
He said bringing in new categories of acquisition in Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020, provision of a specific budget for defence modernisation, notifying two Positive Indigenisation lists and increasing FDI in defence as some of the important steps.
Top priority has also been given to capital procurement and Buy Indian – Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured (IDDM) to promote indigenous design & development of defence equipment, the Minister said.
He also lauded DRDO for playing a central role in the Government’s efforts of achieving self-reliance in defence manufacturing.
“DRDO is not only trying to match the capabilities of technologically advanced countries, but is also equally engaged in innovation of new technologies. The new generation programmes of DRDO will upgrade our Armed Forces in future as well,” he said.
Three products indigenously developed by DRDO were also handed over to the Armed Forces.
This included ARINC818 Video Processing and Switching Module developed for the Indian Air Force, which is a state-of-the-art module with high bandwidth, low latency, channel bonding, easy networking and will cater to 5th generation aircraft development programmes.
Sonar Performance Modelling System developed for the Indian Navy was also handed over which would be useful for Indian Naval ships, submarines and underwater surveillance stations etc.
A Bund Blasting Device Mk-II, developed for the Indian Army, was handed over to the Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen CP Mohanty which will reduce the height of Ditch-cum-Bund obstacles to enhance the mobility of mechanised infantry during wartime.