Aatmanirbharta in Defence: India First Soars as PM Modi Takes Flight in LCA Tejas

Published By : Admin | November 28, 2023 | 15:40 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in Bengaluru today, as the state-run plane maker experiences exponential growth in manufacturing prowess and export capacities. PM Modi completed a sortie on the Indian Air Force's multirole fighter jet Tejas.

According to the latest reports, HAL has transformed into a formidable 1.35 lakh crore company under PM Modi's leadership. The fact that its share prices have multiplied by five times since 2013 stands as a testament to its remarkable growth. In addition to expanding its global footprint—such as the recent opening of a regional marketing office in Malaysia—HAL is also in the process of setting up a business division to boost exports.

The transformation of HAL, which is known as the backbone of the Indian Air Force, is part of a broader plan—Modi government’s resolute push towards Aatmanirbharta in defence. This thrust has combined multiple factors ranging from developing indigenous technologies, establishing a robust domestic manufacturing ecosystem, implementing structural reforms and enhancing overall combat strength.

Before 2014, the defence sector had been plagued by issues like lack of investment, stagnant innovation and research environment, and the absence of an overall vision to utilize the potential of a strategically important field. This led to an increased dependence on foreign imports for the country’s defence requirements. However, PM Modi's government's commitment to self-reliance in security and strategic capabilities has had a positive impact on the defence sector.

Along with Make in India, the Defence Acquisition Procedure (2020) has tremendously pushed domestic manufacturing by maximizing acquisition of defence equipment through indigenous sources. The government has also introduced four ‘positive indigenization lists’ of defence equipment and platforms besides earmarking separate funds for procurement from indigenous sources. Going further, two defence industrial corridors have been set up in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu to catalyze indigenous production of defence and aerospace equipment.

A positive shift in India’s defence procurement behavior is evident:
• The expenditure on defence procurement from foreign sources has decreased from 46% in the fiscal year 2018-19 to 36% in the fiscal year 2021-22.
• Concurrently, the share of domestic procurement in the total procurement has seen an upward trend. It has risen from 59% in the fiscal year 2019-20 to 64% in the fiscal year 2020-21.
The changing dynamics in the FDI inflow in the defence sector are noteworthy:
• From 2001 to 2014 (14 years), the FDI flow was reported as Rs 1,382 crore.
• Since 2014 the FDI inflow has increased almost 2.5 times, amounting to Rs 3,378 crore.

The landscape of research and innovation has also undergone a profound shift, bringing in a new era of novelty and dynamism. Defence R&D, including DRDO test facilities, has been opened up for industry, startups and academia with 25% of defence R&D budget allocated for this purpose. Initiatives like iDEX engage startups, MSMEs, and individual innovators among others, and help activate the local industry and enterprise. An amount of Rs. 1,500 crores have also been earmarked towards procurement from start-ups, in particular. In addition, DRDO is involved in equipping the youth with relevant skills for defence industries.

The government’s concerted push has propelled us to a juncture where we are actively producing our own defence aircrafts and equipment. INS Vikrant, light combat aircraft Tejas, Akash and BrahMos missiles, main battle tank Arjun, artillery gun system Dhanush, and Pinaka rocket are among the many shining examples of India becoming self-reliant.

Defence exports have also registered an impressive eight-fold growth in the last six years—from Rs. 1,521 crores in 2016-17 to around Rs. 16,000 crores in 2022-23. Notably, the private sector contributes almost 70% of total exports. The recent deal with the Philippines for the export of indigenous BrahMos supersonic missiles attests to India’s potential and heightened credibility in defence exports.

In addition to these efforts, the government has addressed structural hindrances to the growth of the defence industry. Changes like introduction of Chief of Defence Staff and corporatization of the Ordnance Factory Board have been key in this area. Other reforms like One Rank One Pension and entry of women into combat roles have boosted social sentiment and expanded the potential recruiting pool by about 100%. In addition, the Vibrant Villages programme adds another layer to the government’s artillery towards building security infrastructure.

Most importantly, the surgical strikes after the Uri attack and the Balakot strike on terrorist camps inside Pakistan are not only unique reflections of PM Narendra Modi’s New India but also provide much-needed confidence to the armed forces to serve their country with vigor and valor.

All this has been made possible through a synergistic blend of historic decisions, calculated risks, and strategic reorganization. Laying out his vision for future, PM Modi has set out a target of achieving defence exports worth Rs. 35,000 crores in the next five years—making India a net exporter of defence equipment. As PM Modi punctuates India’s growth story with reforms and renewal, Aatmanirbharta in defence is a now living reality.

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“If today the world thinks India is ready to take a big leap, it has a powerful launchpad of 10 years behind it”
“Today 21st century India has stopped thinking small. What we do today is the best and biggest”
“Trust in government and system is increasing in India”
“Government offices are no longer a problem but are becoming allies of the countrymen”
“Our government created infrastructure keeping the villages in mind”
“By curbing corruption, we have ensured that the benefits of development are distributed equally to every region of India”
“We believe in Governance of Saturation, not Politics of Scarcity”
“Our government is moving ahead keeping the principle of Nation First paramount”
“We have to prepare 21st century India for its coming decades today itself”
“India is the Future”

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressed the News 9 Global Summit in New Delhi today. The theme of the Summit is ‘India: Poised for the Big Leap’.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said TV 9’s reporting team represents the diversity of India. Their multi-language news platforms made TV 9 a representative of India's vibrant democracy, the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister threw light on the theme of the Summit - ‘India: Poised for the Big Leap’, and underlined that a big leap can be taken only when one is filled with passion and enthusiasm. He said that the theme highlights India’s self-confidence and aspirations owing to the creation of a launchpad of 10 years. In these 10 years, the Prime Minister said, the mindset, self-confidence and good governance have been the major factors of transformation.

The Prime Minister underlined the centrality of the commission citizen in the destiny of India. He emphasized that a mindset of defeat can not lead to victory, in this light, he said that the change in mindset and leap that India has taken is incredible. PM Modi recalled the negative view exposed by the leadership of the past and the overhang of corruption, scams, policy paralysis and dynasty politics had shook the foundation of the nation. The Prime Minister mentioned the turnaround and India entering into the top 5 economies of the world. “India of 21st century India does not think small. Whatever we do, we do best and biggest. World is amazed and sees the benefit of moving with India”, he said.

Highlighting the achievements of the last 10 years compared to the ten years before 2014, the Prime Minister mentioned the record increase in FDI from 300 billion US dollars to 640 billion US dollars, India’s digital revolution, trust in India’s Covid vaccine and the growing number of taxpayers in the country which symbolizes the increasing trust of the people in the government. Speaking about mutual fund investments in the country, the Prime Minister informed that people had invested Rs 9 lakh crore in 2014 while 2024 has seen a meteoric rise to Rs 52 lakh crores. “This proves to the citizens that the nation is moving forward with strength”, PM Modi continued, “The level of trust toward self and the government is equal.”

The Prime Minister said that the government's work culture and governance are the cause of this turn-around. “Government offices are no longer a problem but are becoming allies of the countrymen”, he said.

The Prime Minister said that for this leap, a change of gear was needed. He gave examples of long pending projects such as Saryu Canal Project in Uttar Pradesh, Sardar Sarovar Yojana, and Krishna Koena Pariyojana of Maharashtra which were lying pending for decades and were completed by the government. The Prime Minister drew attention to the Atal Tunnel whose foundation stone was laid in 2002 but remained incomplete till 2014, and it was the present government that accomplished the work with its inauguration in 2020. He also gave the example of Bogibeel Bridge in Assam, commissioned in 1998 but finally completed 20 years later in 2018, and Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor commissioned in 2008 but completed 15 years later in 2023. “Hundreds of such pending projects were completed after the present government came to power in 2014”, he added. The Prime Minister also explained the impact of regular monitoring of the big projects under PRAGATI and informed that in the last 10 years projects worth 17 lakh crore have been reviewed under the mechanism. The Prime Minister gave examples of a few projects that were completed very quickly such as Atal Setu, Parliament Building, Jammu AIIMS, Rajkot AIIMs, IIM Sambalpur, New terminal of Trichy Airport, IIT Bhilai, Goa Airport, undersea cable up to Lakshadweep, Banas Dairy at Varanasi, Dwarka Sudarshan Setu. Foundation stones of all these projects were laid by the Prime Minister and he dedicated them to the nation also. “When there is willpower and respect for the taxpayers' money, only then the nation moves forward and gets ready for a big leap”, he added.

The Prime Minister illustrated the scale by listing the activities of just one week. He mentioned a massive educational push from Jammu with dozens of higher education institutes like IIT, IIMs and IIIT on 20th February, on 24 th February he dedicated 5 AIIMs from Rajkot, and more than 2000 projects including revamping more than 500 Amrit Stations was done this morning. This streak will continue during his visit to three states in the coming two days, he informed. “We lagged in the first, second and third revolutions, now we have to lead the world in the fourth revolution”, the Prime Minister said.

He continued by furnishing the details of the nation's progress. He gave figures like 2 new colleges daily, a new university every week, 55 patents and 600 trademarks every day, 1.5 lakh Mudra loans daily, 37 startups daily, daily UPI transaction of 16 thousand crore rupees, 3 new Jan Aushadhi Kendras per day, construction of 14 KM road everyday, 50 thousand LPG connections everyday, one tap connection every second and 75 thousand people came out of poverty everyday.

Referring to a recent report on the consumption pattern of the country, the Prime Minister highlighted the fact that poverty has reached its lowest level till date into single digit. As per data, he said that consumption has increased by 2.5 times as compared to a decade ago as people's capacity to spend on different goods and services has increased. “In the last 10 years, consumption in villages has increased at a much faster rate than that in cities. This means that the economic power of the village people is increasing, they are having more money to spend”, he said.

The Prime Minister said that the government has developed infrastructure keeping rural needs in mind resulting in better connectivity, new employment opportunities and income for women. This strengthened rural India, he said. “For the first time in India, food expenditure has become less than 50 per cent of the total expenditure. That is, the family which earlier used to spend all its energy in procuring food, today its members are able to spend money on other things”, the Prime Minister added.

Pointing out the trend of vote bank politics adopted by the previous government, the Prime Minister underscored that India has broken out of the scarcity mindset in the last 10 years by putting an end to corruption and ensuring that the benefits of development are distributed equally. “We believe in governance of saturation instead of politics of scarcity”, PM Modi emphasized, “We have chosen the path of santushti (contentment) of the people instead of tushtikaran.” This, the Prime Minister said, has been the mantra of the government for the past decade. “This is Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas”, the Prime Minister said, elaborating that the government has transformed vote bank politics into politics of performance. Highlighting the Modi Ki Guarantee Vehicle, the Prime Minister said that the government of today is going door-to-door and providing facilities to the beneficiaries. “When saturation becomes a mission, there is no scope for any kind of discrimination”, PM Modi exclaimed.

“Our government is moving forward keeping the principle of Nation First paramount”, the Prime Minister remarked, as he mentioned the critical decisions taken by the government to resolve old challenges. He touched upon the abrogation of Article 370, construction of the Ram Mandir, ending of triple talaq, Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam, One Rank One Pension, and creation of the post of Chief of Defense Staff. He underlined that the government completed all such incomplete tasks with the thinking of Nation First.

The Prime Minister stressed the need to prepare the India of the 21st century and threw light on the rapidly progressing plans. “From space to semiconductor, digital to drones, AI to clean energy, 5G to Fintech, India has today reached the forefront of the world”, he said. He highlighted India’s growing prowess as one of the biggest forces in digital payments in the global world, the fastest-growing country in Fintech Adoption Rate, the first country to land a rover on the south pole of the Moon, among the leading countries in the world in Solar Installed Capacity, leaving Europe behind in the expansion of 5G network, rapid progress in the semiconductor sector and rapid developments on future fuels like green hydrogen.

Concluding the address, the Prime Minister said, “Today India is working hard towards its bright future. India is futuristic. Today everyone says – India is the future.” He also drew attention to the importance of the next 5 years. He reaffirmed the belief to take India's potential to new heights in the third term and wished that the coming 5 years be years of progress and praise for India’s journey to Viksit Bharat.