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”

Governor of Gujarat Acharya Devvrat ji, Defence Minister of the country Shri Rajnath Singh ji, Popular Chief Minister of Gujarat Shri Bhupendrabhai Patel ji, Minister in Gujarat Government Jagdish Bhai, all other senior members of the Council of Ministers, CDS General Anil Chauhan ji, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R. Hari Kumar, Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pande, all other dignitaries, all foreign dignitaries, ladies and gentlemen!

A warm welcome to all of you in this festival of a strong, capable and self-reliant India on the soil of Gujarat. While welcoming you as the Prime Minister of the country, I feel equally proud to welcome you all as the son of this soil. This event of DefExpo-2022 is painting a grand image of New India, the resolution for which we have taken in ‘Amritkaal’. This not only showcases the development of the nation but also the participation of the states. It also holds the power of the youth, their youthful dreams, determination, courage, and their strength. Moreover, it has hope for the world and a plethora of opportunities for cooperation with friendly countries.


Defence Expo used to take place in our country earlier too, but the Defence Expo this time is unprecedented! It signifies a new beginning. This is the first ever Defence Expo in the country where only Indian companies are participating with only 'Made in India' Defence equipment. For the first time in a Defence Expo, we are presenting to the world the various different products developed on the soil of India with the sweat and hard work of the people of India, the Indian companies, Indian scientists as well as the power of our youth today from the land of iron man Sardar Patel. It includes more than 1300 exhibitors comprising Indian industries, some joint ventures related to Indian industries, MSMEs and more than 100 startups. In a way, all of you here and the countrymen and the people of the world are getting a glimpse of both our potential and possibilities at once. To realize these possibilities, for the first time, more than 450 MoUs and agreements are being signed


We wanted to organize this event a long time back. The people of Gujarat know this very well. Due to certain circumstances we had to change the timings, due to which there was a slight delay. The guests who were to come from abroad were also inconvenienced, but the biggest ever Defence Expo of the country has marked the beginning of a strong new future. I know that this has caused inconvenience to some countries, but a large number of countries have supported us with a positive attitude.


I am glad that 53 friendly countries from Africa stand shoulder to shoulder with us as India is shaping up these future opportunities. The second India-Africa Defence Dialogue is also going to start on this occasion. This friendship or relationship between India and African countries rests on that old trust, which is getting stronger with time and is touching new dimensions. I want to inform my friends from Africa that the land of Gujarat where you have come today has a very old and close relationship with Africa. During the construction of the first train in Africa, the people from Kutch of Gujarat had gone to Africa, and under challenging circumstances our workers had worked diligently and had played a major role in laying the foundation for modern railways in Africa. Not only this, if you go to Africa today, the word 'dukan' that is originally a gujarati word is commonly used there. 'Roti', 'Bhaji' too are the words associated with African life now. Even for a global leader like Mahatma Gandhi, Gujarat was his birthplace while Africa was his first-ever work place. This love for Africa is still there in the heart of India's foreign policy. During the Corona period, when the whole world was worried about getting vaccines, India prioritised our friendly African countries and delivered the vaccines there. We have tried to stand shoulder to shoulder with Africa in every need, from medicines to peace missions. Now the cooperation and coordination between us in the Defence sector will take these relations to a new height.


The Defence Ministers' Conclave of 'Indian Ocean Region Plus' (IOR+) is an important dimension of this event. 46 of our friendly nations are participating in this event. Today, from international security to global trade, maritime security has emerged as a global priority. In 2015, I had also put forward the vision of Security and Growth for All in the Region i.e. 'SAGAR' in Mauritius. As I said in the Shangri La Dialogue in Singapore, India's engagement in the Indo-Pacific region, from the African coasts to the America, is inclusive. Today the role of the merchant navy has also expanded in the era of globalization. The world's expectations from India have increased manifold, and I want to assure the world that India will continue to make every effort to meet your expectations. We will never stop. Therefore, this Defence Expo is also a symbol of global trust in India. With the presence of so many countries, a huge potential of the world has gathered on the soil of Gujarat. I heartily welcome all the friendly nations of India and their representatives to this event. I congratulate the people of Gujarat, especially Chief Minister Bhupendrabhai Patel and his entire team for this grand event. Today's Defence Expo is giving a new height to the identity of Gujarat in terms of its development and industrial capability in the country and around the world. I am sure that in the coming times, Gujarat will also become a major centre of the Defence industry, which will also contribute a lot to the security and strategic capability of India.


I was looking at the screen and the people of Deesa seemed full of enthusiasm. There was excitement and vigour. The construction of Deesa Airfield is also a significant achievement for the security of the country and the development of the region. Deesa is only 130 km from the International Border. If our forces, especially our air force, are based in Deesa, we will be able to respond better to any misadventure on the western border. Brothers and sisters of Deesa, my best wishes to you from Gandhinagar! Now the future of Deesa, Banaskantha and Patan districts is shining bright! This land was given to Deesa on behalf of Gujarat for this airfield in the year 2000 itself. When I was the Chief Minister here, I constantly tried to start its construction work. I was repeatedly explaining its importance to the then central government. I had also given a lot of land for this purpose but nothing happened for 14 years. So many question marks were put on files that it took time to put things into the right perspective even after I went there (at the Centre). After we formed the government, we decided to make an operational base in Deesa and the expectations of our forces are being met today. My friends from the defence, the Chief of Defence and everyone used to always remind me of this and today this project has been accomplished under the leadership of Chaudhari ji. My heartiest congratulations to Deesa as well as to the Air Force! This area will now become an effective centre of defence and security for the country. Just as Banaskantha and Patan had emerged as the centre of 'Suryashakti' or solar energy in Gujarat, the same Banaskantha and Patan will now also become the centre of 'Vayushakti' for the country.


Space technology is a great example to ensure the future security of any strong nation. I am told that 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' will also give an opportunity to the private sector of the country to exhibit its potential. Looking at the future possibilities in space, India will have to ramp up its preparation further. Our Defence Forces will have to find new Innovative Solutions. India's power in space should not be limited, and its benefits should not be limited only to the people of India. This is also our mission and vision. Space technology is shaping up India's liberal-minded space diplomacy, giving birth to new possibilities. Many African countries and smaller countries are benefiting from the same. There are more than 60 developing countries with whom India is sharing its space science. The South Asia satellite is an effective example of the same. By next year, the 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. Besides, this field has an immense potential for maritime trade. Through this, we are getting real time information for better income and better security of our fishermen. We know that keeping the time limit and quality in mind, these space-related possibilities will be realized by the youth of my country who have infinite dreams. The youth building the future will take space technology to newer heights. Therefore, these subjects are the priority of the Defence Expo. The inspiration and glory of a scientist like Dr. Vikram Sarabhai are also attached to this land of Gujarat. That inspiration will give a fresh boost to our resolutions.

And friends,

Today, when it comes to the Defence sector and the future warfare, its reins are in a way in the hands of the youth. The role of innovation and research by the youth of India is huge in it. Therefore, this Defence Expo is like a window to the future for the youth of India.


In the Defence sector, 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. We used to buy defence equipment from all over the world and pay the money. But New India showed intent and willpower. Now 'Make in India' is becoming the success story of the defence sector today. Our Defence exports have grown 8 times in the past 5 years. We are exporting Defence equipment to more than 75 countries of the world. In 2021-22, India's Defence export has reached $ 1.59 billion i.e. about 13 thousand crore rupees and in the coming time we have set a target to take it to 5 billion dollars i.e. 40 thousand crore rupees. These exports are not limited to certain equipment and certain countries only. Indian Defence companies today are becoming an important part of the global supply chain. We are supplying 'State of the Art' Equipment of Global Standard. Today, on one hand many countries are showing interest in modern fighter jets like Tejas of India, while on the other hand our companies are also supplying parts of Defence equipment to countries like America, Israel and Italy.


Every Indian takes pride when he hears that the BrahMos missile 'Made in India' is considered the deadliest and the most advanced in its category. For many countries, the BrahMos missile has emerged as their preferred choice.


 The world is relying on India's technology today, because India's armed forces have proved their capabilities. The Indian Navy has inducted state-of-the-art aircraft carriers like INS-Vikrant in its fleet. This engineering giant and colossal masterpiece has been manufactured by Cochin Shipyard Limited using indigenous technology. The Indian Air Force has inducted the powerful Light Combat Helicopters manufactured under 'Make in India' programme. Similarly, our Army is also buying indigenous weapons and combat guns from Indian companies today. Modern artillery being built here in Hazira, Gujarat, is enhancing the security of the country's border today.


Our policies, reforms and ease of doing business played a major role in bringing the country to this point. India has earmarked 68 percent of its Defence procurement budget for Indian companies. That is, we have set aside 68% of the defence budget for domestic goods. This is a very crucial decision, and this decision has been possible due to the progressive leadership and the courage of India's armed forces. It is not propelled by political motives. This decision has been taken by the will of the military. Today I am proud of the fact that I have such soldiers and officers in my army who are taking such important decisions forward. Apart from this, we have opened the Defence sector to startups, industry and academia for research and innovation. We have taken a bold decision to hand over 25 percent of the research budget to the new generation in the private academic sector and I trust my country's younger generation. If the Government of India gives them Rs 100, I am sure they will give back Rs 10,000 to the country. This is the strength of the young generation of my country.

I am glad that along with the efforts of the government, our forces have also come forward and have decided that more and more equipment will be bought within the country for its Defence. The armed forces together have also come up with two lists of the various equipment. One list consists of only those equipment that will be purchased from the Indian companies while the other will include some equipment that we can purchase from other countries if needed. I am glad to say that today they have added 101 more things to the first type of list or the 'Made in India only' list. These decisions also show the potential of self-reliant India, and are also a symbol of the increasing confidence of the soldiers of the country in their country's military equipment. Now there will be 411 such equipment and products of the Defence sector, which India will buy only under 'Make in India'. Just imagine the way it will strengthen the foundation of Indian companies, boost our research and innovation and take our Defence manufacturing sector to a great height! This is going to bring a huge benefit to the young generation of my country.


In the midst of this discussion, I would like to mention one more thing. We have a lot of life experience. Let's take one example. In a train's berth, if four people are sitting on that seat, these four wouldn't allow any fifth person to sit there. The same situation has been observed with the defence manufacturing companies of the world. There used to be a monopoly of a few companies in the field of Defence supply in the world. They did not allow any new company to enter. But India has made its place with courage. Today, this skill of the youth of India is emerging as an option for the world, friends. The potential of the youth of India in the Defence sector is coming to the fore-front and it is for the welfare of the world. So, it is providing new opportunities and options to the world. I am sure that due to the efforts of the youth, the defence sector of the country will be strengthened in the coming days. But at the same time the strength of the country and the capabilities of the youth of the country will also increase manifold. I am able to see global good in the things we are exhibiting today in the Defence Expo. This will be of great benefit to the small countries of the world that are usually left behind in terms of defence and security due to lack of resources.


India sees the defence sector as an infinite sky of opportunities and positive possibilities. Today we have two Defence Corridors, one each in UP and Tamil Nadu that are moving ahead in the direction of development at a rapid pace. Several big companies around the world are coming to invest in India. A large network of supply chains is developing behind this investment. These big companies, our MSMEs and small industries are getting a boost due to this. Our MSMEs will cooperate; and I am sure that capital is going to reach these small industries as well. Lakhs of crores of investment in this sector is going to create huge employment opportunities for the youth in those areas. So, there is a possibility of achieving a new height of growth. I would also like to call upon all the companies present in the Gujarat Defence Expo to mould these opportunities keeping the India of the future in mind. Don't miss your chance! Innovate, take a pledge to be the best in the world, and give shape to the dreams of a strong developed India. I assure the youth, researchers and innovators that I am with you. For your bright futures, I am ready to work tremendously hard today.


The country is changing rapidly. I believe that you too can feel it. There was a time when this country used to release pigeons; but today we are releasing cheetahs. With this power the incidents may seem small but the message is strong. Words may be simple, but the power is unmatched. Today India's youth power, India's power is becoming a center of hope for the world. And today's Defence Expo is showcased in front of you in a similar form. I congratulate our Defence Minister Rajnath ji from the bottom of my heart for the hard work and effort he has put in. He speaks less, but his actions are solid. I congratulate him and his entire team. Wishing you all the very best and a very Happy Diwali! Happy New Gujarati Year to the people of Gujarat.

Thank you.


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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!