Unveils HTT-40 indigenous trainer aircraft designed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
Launches Mission DefSpace
Lays foundation stone of Deesa airfield
“This is the first defence expo where only Indian companies are participating and it features only Made in India equipment”
“Defense Expo is also a symbol of global trust towards India”
“Relationship between India and Africa is deepening and touching new dimensions”
“With operational base in Deesa, the expectation of our forces is being fulfilled today”
“Various challenges in space technology have been reviewed and identified by the three services”
“Space technology is shaping new definitions of India's generous space diplomacy”
“In the defence sector, new India is moving ahead with the mantra of Intent, Innovation and Implementation”
“We have set a target to reach 5 billion dollars i.e. 40 thousand crore rupees of defence exports in coming times”
“India sees defence sector as an infinite sky of opportunities”

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the DefExpo22 at Mahatma Mandir Convention and Exhibition Centre in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, today. At the India Pavilion, the Prime Minister unveiled HTT-40 - the indigenous trainer aircraft designed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. During the programme, the Prime Minister also launched Mission DefSpace and laid the foundation stone of Deesa airfield in Gujarat.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister welcomed the delegates to an event of the capable and Aatmnirbhar Bharat both as a Prime Minister and as a son of Gujarat.

Remarking on the organisation of the DefExpo2 2022, the Prime Minister said that it paints a picture of New India and its capabilities whose resolve is being forged at the time of Amrit Kaal. He further added that it is an amalgamation of the country’s development as well as states’ cooperation. “It has the power and dreams of the youth, it has the resolve and capabilities of the youth. It has hopes for the world and opportunities for friendly nations.” the Prime Minister said.

Underlining the uniqueness of this edition of Defexpo, the Prime Minister said “this is the first defence expo where only Indian companies are participating and it features only Made in India equipment.” He announced “From the land of Iron Man, Sardar Patel we are setting an example of the capabilities of India before the world. The Expo has more than 1300 exhibitors which include the India Defence Industry, some joint ventures associated with Indian Defence Industry, MSMEs and more than 100 startups. The Prime Minister remarked that it provides a glimpse of the capability and possibility of India in one single frame. He further informed that more than 400 MoUs are being signed for the first time ever.

Noting the positive response from various countries, the Prime Minister expressed happiness that when India is giving shape to its dreams, 53 friendly countries from Africa are walking with us. The second India-Africa Defence Dialogue will also take place on this occasion, the Prime Minister informed. “This relationship between India and Africa is based on time-tested trust that is further deepening and touching new dimensions with the passing of time”, the Prime Minister added. Dwelling upon the old ties between Africa and Gujarat, the Prime Minister recalled that the first railway lines in Africa had the participation of people from Kutch. Many words used in daily life in Africa have their origin in the Gujarati community in Africa. “Even for a global leader like Mahatma Gandhi, if Gujarat was his birthplace, then Africa was his first ‘Karmbhoomi’. This affinity for Africa is still central to India's foreign policy. During the Corona period, when the whole world was worried about the vaccine, India delivered the vaccine giving priority to our friendly countries in Africa”, he said.

The 2nd Indian Ocean Region+ (IOR+) Conclave will also be held during the Expo, which will provide a stage for a comprehensive dialogue to promote defence cooperation amongst IOR+ nations to foster peace, growth, stability and prosperity, in line with the Prime Minister's vision for Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR). The Prime Minister said, “Today, from international security to global trade, maritime security has emerged as a global priority. The role of the merchant navy has also expanded in the era of globalisation.” He continued, “The world's expectations from India have increased, and I assure the world community that India will fulfil them. Therefore, this Defense Expo is also a symbol of global trust towards India”

The Prime Minister acknowledged Gujarat’s identity with regard to development and industrial capabilities. “This Defence Expo is giving a new height to this identity”, he said. He further added that Gujarat will emerge as a major centre of the defence industry in the coming days.

The Prime Minister who also laid the foundation stone of the Deesa airfield in Gujarat said that the forward airforce base will add to the security architecture of the country. Noting Deesa’s proximity with the border, the Prime Minister said that now India is better prepared to respond to any misadventure on the western borders. “After coming to the government, we decided to set up an operational base in Deesa, and this expectation of our forces is being fulfilled today. This region will now become an effective centre of security of the country”, Shri Modi added.

“Space technology is an example of what security will mean for any strong nation in the future. Various challenges in this area have been reviewed and identified by the three services. We have to work fast to solve them.” “Mission Defence Space”, he continued, “will not only encourage innovation and strengthen our forces but also provide new and innovative solutions.” The Prime Minister highlighted that space technology is shaping new definitions of India's generous space diplomacy, giving rise to new possibilities. “Many African countries and many other small countries are benefiting from this”, he added. The Prime Minister informed that there are more than 60 developing countries with whom India is sharing its space science. “The South Asia satellite is an effective example of this. By next year, ten ASEAN countries will also get real-time access to India's satellite data. Even developed countries like Europe and America are using our satellite data”, he added.

In the defence sector, the Prime Minister said, new India is moving ahead with the mantra of Intent, Innovation and Implementation. Till 8 years ago, India was recognized as the world's largest defence importer. But New India showed intent, showed willpower and 'Make in India’ is becoming a success story in the defence sector today. “Our defence exports have grown 8 times in the last 5 years. We are exporting defence materials and equipment to more than 75 countries of the world. In 2021-22 Defence exports from India reached $1.59 billion i.e. about 13 thousand crore rupees. And in the coming time, we have set a target to reach 5 billion dollars i.e. 40 thousand crore rupees’” he added.

The world is relying on India's technology today because India's armies have proved their capabilities. The Indian Navy has inducted state-of-the-art aircraft carriers like the INS-Vikrant into its fleet. This engineering giant and colossal masterpiece has been made by Cochin Shipyard Limited with indigenous technology. ‘The induction of the Prachand Light Combat Helicopters developed under the ‘Make in India’ initiative by Indian Air Force is a clear example of India’s defence capability, he said.

Throwing light on making India's defence sector self-reliant, the Prime Minister highlighted that the armies have also finalised two lists of equipment which would be procured only within the country. This list of 101 such items is being released today. These decisions also show the potential of a self-reliant India. After the list, there will be 411 such equipment and equipment of the defence sector, which will only be bought under the “Make in India’. The Prime Minister informed that such a huge budget will strengthen the foundation of Indian companies and take them to new heights. He further added that it will be the youth of the nation that will benefit the most from it.

The Prime Minister highlighted that reliable options are now mushrooming to replace the monopoly that few companies have created in the field of defence supply. “The youth of India has shown the power to break this monopoly in the defence industry and this effort of our youth is for the global good.”, Shri Modi said. He underlined that the small countries of the world who are left behind in their security due to lack of resources will now reap great benefits from this.

The Prime Minister underlined, “India sees the defence sector as an infinite sky of opportunities, as positive possibilities.” Speaking on investment opportunities in the defence sector, the Prime Minister informed that India is building two defence corridors in UP and Tamil Nadu and many big companies of the world are coming to invest in India. He also highlighted the might of the MSMEs in the sector and informed that these big companies will be supported by our MSMEs while creating a large network of supply chains behind this investment. “Investments of such scale in this sector will generate huge employment opportunities for the youth in those areas which were not even thought of earlier”, the Prime Minister added.

The Prime Minister called upon all the companies present at the Defense Expo and urged them to give shape to these opportunities keeping the India of the future at the centre. “You innovate, take a pledge to be the best in the world, and give shape to the dream of a strong developed India. You will always find me there supporting you”, he concluded.

Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Bhupendra Patel, Governor of Gujarat, Shri Acharya Devvrat, Union Minister of Defence, Shri Rajnath Singh, Chief of Defence Staff, General Anil Chauhan, Chief of Army Staff, General Manoj Pande, Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari, Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral R Hari Kumar, and Defence Secretary to Government of India, Dr Ajay Kumar were those present on occasion among others.

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Background

The Prime Minister inaugurated the DefExpo22. The Expo, being held under the theme 'Path to Pride', is witnessong the largest-ever participation in Indian Defence Expo held to date. For the first time, it will witness a defence exhibition held exclusively for Indian companies including Indian subsidiaries of Foreign OEMs, Division of company registered in India, Exhibitor having Joint Venture with an Indian company. The event will showcase the expansive scope and scale of Indian defence manufacturing prowess. The expo will have an India Pavilion and ten state pavilions. At the India Pavilion, the Prime Minister unveiled HTT-40 - the indigenous trainer aircraft designed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The aircraft has state of art contemporary systems and has been designed with pilot-friendly features.

During the programme, the Prime Minister also launched Mission DefSpace - to develop innovative solutions for the Defence Forces in the Space domain through industry & startups. The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone of the Deesa airfield in Gujarat. The forward airforce base will add to the security architecture of the country.

The expo will witness the 2nd India-Africa Defence Dialogue under the theme 'India-Africa: Adopting strategy for synergizing Defence and Security Cooperation'. The 2nd Indian Ocean Region+ (IOR+) Conclave will also be held during the Expo, which will provide a stage for a comprehensive dialogue to promote defence cooperation amongst IOR+ nations to foster peace, growth, stability and prosperity, in line with the Prime Minister's vision for Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR). During the Expo, the first-ever Investors' Meet for defence will take place. It will also witness more than a hundred startups getting an opportunity to showcase their innovations at Manthan 2022, the defence innovation event of iDEX (Innovations for Defence Excellence). The event would also see the forging of 451 partnerships/launches through the event 'Bandhan'.

 

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PM Modi's interview to News X
May 21, 2024

In an interview to News X, Prime Minister Modi addressed the issue of toxic language in elections, explained why the Opposition frequently discussed him, and shared his views on job creation. He criticized the Congress' tax plans and appeasement politics.

Rishabh Gulati: A very warm welcome to the viewers of NewsX and India News. I’m Rishabh Gulati and with me is Aishwarya Sharma of The Sunday Guardian and Rana Yashwant. In today’s special episode, we proudly welcome a renowned ‘rashtra sevak’, and the Prime Minister of India in this Amrit Kaal, Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi. Mr Prime Minister, you took the time to speak to us, we are very grateful.

Prime Minister: Namaskar, my warm greetings to all your viewers.

 

Rishabh Gulati: Mr Prime Minister, the first question that comes to mind is about the Opposition, and it seems that the biggest item on their poll agenda is Narendra Modi. Why, in your opinion, do they talk so much about Narendra Modi?

Prime Minister: To understand why they discuss Narendra Modi, we must first understand the Opposition. To understand them, one can examine the administration between 2004 and 2014.

The Opposition has not been able to play a strong role. Even as the Opposition, the way they are falling apart, they did not play a constructive role of any kind. Despite deep discussions, they haven’t been able to bring serious issues to the public attention. They thought that by their antics, taking up space in the media, they would be able to keep their boat afloat. Even in this election, I have seen that they make fresh attempts every day to acquire media space, be it by making videos, nonsensical statements, or behaving in a way that people don’t normally behave. So they do this to acquire space in the media. Now abusing Modi is one such antic, where, if nothing else, they are guaranteed publicity. Even a small-time politician, if he bad-mouths me, will get about an hour of media attention. Perhaps they see Modi as a ladder to climb up in their political career.

 

Aishwarya Sharma: Mr Prime Minister, the I.N.D.I. alliance is talking about wealth redistribution. Do you think this is possible, and will the voters of the country be influenced by such a scheme?

Prime Minister: You can’t examine this in isolation. You must look at their overall thought process. When their (Congress) manifesto was released, I had said the manifesto had the imprint of the Muslim League. There was a statement made by Dr Manmohan Singh… I had attended the meeting in which he said that ‘Muslims have the first right to India’s resources.’ Now when I raised this in public, their media ecosystem raised a storm saying that ‘Modi is lying,’. So two days later, I brought Manmohan Singh’s press conference forward and put it in front of them. Then they stopped talking. So this was one example. Now in their Manifesto, they have said that they will give reservation (to Muslims) even when allotting government contracts.

So today, when a bridge is to be built somewhere, what is the criteria for awarding the contract? The company bidding is evaluated based on how resourceful they are, their experience, their capability, their ability to deliver on time, all these things. Now they say that they want to give reservations to the minorities, to the Muslims, in this process as well. It all adds up. Now when they say that they will impose inheritance tax, it means that taxes that go to the government, who will stand to benefit from it? It’s the same people that Manmohan Singh ji talked about. If you join the dots, this is the logic that comes from it. How will the country accept this? Secondly, has any developing country in the world indulged in such madness? Today, India needs to work hard to rise above its problems. We have made this attempt and pulled 25 crore people out of poverty. Where there used to be a few hundred start-ups, there are now over 1.25 lakh start-ups, and there are Unicorns. You must go among the people and work with energy, and that will bring the right result.

 

Rana Yashwant: Mr Prime Minister, the Ram Mandir has been built in Ayodhya, the consecration of Ram Lalla took place and there was joy among the people. In all this, there is Iqbal Ansari, who has fought the legal battle, and is an important person. He comes, holding a placard that says ‘Modi ka Parivaar’. Today, the minority community identifies with your policies and welfare schemes. Your opinion?

Prime Minister: Since you’ve brought up Ram Mandir and Iqbal Ansari, I will narrate an incident. Ram Mandir should have been built right after Independence. In all these years, it wasn’t built because they (Congress) felt it would affect their vote bank. Attempts were made in the Courts till the very end to stop it. It is a fact that Congress hindered the building of the Ram Mandir. Despite this, when the Supreme Court judgment came through, the Court constituted a trust, and the trust members, let go of all past differences and went to invite the Congress Party members to the consecration ceremony. They rejected the invitation. The same people went to invite Iqbal Ansari. The ironic thing is, that Iqbal Ansari, who fought the Babri Masjid case his entire life, respected the Supreme Court’s verdict and attended the ‘Shilanyas’ and the ‘Pran Prathistha’ ceremony as well. This is what I think, as far as Iqbal Ansari is concerned.

Now if you want to talk about secularism, it is my very serious allegation, that for over 75 years, through a very well-crafted conspiracy, a false narrative has been fed to the nation. It has been embedded in the nation from before our birth. Sardar Patel was targeted by this narrative, and maybe, today it may be my turn, tomorrow someone else… Why do they cry out ‘secularism’ over and over again? It’s because they want to divert the world’s attention from their communal activities.

They cry ‘thief’ over and over when they have defrauded the people, and they do this because they think crying ‘thief’ will divert the public’s attention. This is their ploy. I have called them out in front of everyone, that they are the ones who are communal. India’s constitution does not allow you to indulge in such sectarian acts, and I have brought out several such examples, like I mentioned earlier that they called the Muslims the rightful inheritors of India’s wealth. I am exposing them. They (Congress) hide behind their politics of appeasement and instead accuse me of being communal. I am talking about those communal parties that wear the ‘nikab’ of secularism and indulge in hardcore communalism. I find three things common among these people. They are hardcore sectarians, they are extremely casteist, and they are hardcore dynasts. They are so full of these three things that they can’t come out of it.

 

Rishabh Gulati: Mr Prime Minister, you have spoken about lifting 25 crore people out of poverty. 80 crore poor people are receiving ration – it is necessary now and will be so in the future as well. What do you have to say about how crucial it will be in the future?

Prime Minister: When Manmohan Singh ji was the Prime Minister, news was rife with reports of food grains getting spoilt. So, the Supreme Court asked the government as to why the grains were not being distributed among the poor. Manmohan Singh ji, who was the Prime Minister then, stated on record that they could not distribute the grains and that it was impossible to do it. That is the consequence of his thinking. I faced the same issue, especially during COVID-19. My first goal was to ensure that a stove should be lit in every poor household. So, I started working on it. I have stated this for the next five years as well because in the lives of those who come out of poverty…

For example, one returns home from the hospital. The treatment has been done but precaution is necessary. A doctor advises you to take rest for a particular duration after returning home, tells you what to eat and what to refrain from consuming, and what to take care of. Why? The illness has already been addressed, but if anything is jeopardized then the condition of the person would return to what it was. That is why poor people who escape poverty need handholding. They should not return to that state in any condition. Once they escape poverty, they should be empowered to stand strong. In my understanding, in the next five years, those who have escaped poverty should be able to firmly stand on their feet. Any unfortunate incident in their family, should not push them to poverty again. And only then will the country eradicate poverty.

 

Aishwarya Sharma: Mr Prime Minister, our country is the youngest country. Under your tenure, 10 lakh government jobs have been filled. Now, the Opposition has vowed to fill 30 lakh government jobs. In your third term, how do you plan to boost employment opportunities for the youth?

Prime Minister: You must have read the SKOCH report that was released. I hope your TV channel studies the SKOCH report in detail and conducts a TV debate on this. They have analysed some 20 to 22 schemes of the government. They have published statistics about how many person-year-hours have been obtained. They have revealed how many hours it takes to build 4 crore houses and how many people it employs. They have published data for about 22 different parameters.

They have stated that 50 crore people have accrued benefits. Secondly, we brought the Mudra Yojana. We give bank loans without any guarantee. We have disbursed loans worth Rs 23 Lakh Crore. 80% of those who have received these loans are first-timers. Some have started their businesses and have employed a few people in this process. Start-ups used to be in the thousands and now they are in lakhs. People have been employed in this process, right? Consider that a 1000-kilometre road is being built and think about how many jobs are created. So, if a 2000-kilometre road is being built more people will be employed, right? Today, road and rail construction has doubled, electrification has doubled, and mobile towers are reaching every corner of India. All this is being created by people who have received jobs. That is why a lie is being peddled.

 What’s important is that we must move towards creating jobs for ourselves. The youth in this country are in the mood to do something and be productive and we must help them. We must encourage them. Our Mudra Yojana does exactly that. We also run the SVANidhi scheme. There are countless street hawkers, who are poor people. But today, they are taking money from the bank to run their businesses. Due to this, they can save money and expand their business. Earlier, a street hawker would sit on the footpath and now his goal is to buy a lorry. One who would owned a lorry earlier now wishes to provide home delivery services. Their aspirations are rising. This is why I believe that while people receive the benefits of government schemes, which will eventually result in development, we must also focus on several other areas.

 

Rana Yashwant: Prime Minister, your government works on the principle of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’. Beneficiaries avail welfare schemes without any discrimination – caste, religion, or community. Yet, the Opposition maintains that Muslims do not accrue the same benefits from these welfare schemes.

Prime Minister: You are the first person from whom I’ve heard this. The unique aspect of my government, in terms of delivering welfare schemes, has not raised any questions regarding discrimination.

 

Rana Yashwant: The Opposition has to say this.

Prime Minister: Even the Opposition does not say this. You are the first person from whom I’ve heard this. I have never heard this from anybody because everyone knows… and Muslims themselves say that they receive all benefits.

The primary reason is that I have two principles. First, 100% saturation. For example, if poor people must be given houses, complete delivery must take place. If 100% delivery is the goal, then where does the scope of discrimination even arise? Whether it is providing gas connections, building toilets, ensuring tap water connections, I believe in 100% delivery. Yes, some people will receive the benefits in January, some in April and some in November, but the scheme will apply to all and 100%. I believe that true secularism is when 100% delivery is done. Social justice is when 100% is done. So, if my mission is 100% saturation… and nobody has made this charge yet. They don’t have the courage to say it. I have lived in Gujarat as well, and on this topic, nobody can prop up any charges against me.

 

Rishabh Gulati: Mr Prime Minister, you have taken out time to sit with us and relay your ‘Mann Ki Baat’. Thank you so much. Best of luck for the polls ahead.

Prime Minister: I thank you all. I have been campaigning day and night…

 

Rana Yashwant: You are constantly on the move. We see you morning until night on the run…

Rishabh Gulati: Today, you had a big rally at 8 in the morning.

Prime Minister: I started my day at 6 am and went to Jagannath Puri temple to offer my prayers. Since then I have been traveling and have at last got time to meet you.

 

Rana Yashwant: Where ever you go, Jagannath or Kashi, there is a sea of people that comes to greet you. You have experienced it yourself.

Prime Minister: I realise that my responsibilities are now increasing. I also see that the public has taken ownership of elections. Political parties are not fighting the elections. The public has taken ownership of this election. And the results will be as desired by the public.

Thank you!