Share
 
Comments
PM unveils ‘SPRINT Challenges’ - aimed at giving a boost to usage of indigenous technology in the Indian Navy
“ Goal of self-reliance in the Indian defence forces is very important for the India of the 21st century”
“Innovation is critical and it has to be indigenous. Imported goods can’t be a source of innovation”
“Wait for commissioning of the first indigenous aircraft carrier will be over soon”
“Threats to national security have become widespread and the methods of warfare are also changing”
“As India is establishing itself on the global stage, there are constant attacks through misinformation, disinformation and false publicity”
“The forces that harm India's interests, whether in the country or abroad, have to be thwarted”
“Like the ‘whole of the government’ approach for a self-reliant India, the ‘whole of the Nation’ approach is the need of the hour for the defence of the nation”

My colleagues in the Union Cabinet Shri Rajnath Singh Ji, Shri Ajay Bhatt Ji, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Chief of Naval Staff, Defence Secretary, President of SIDM, all colleagues associated with industry and academia, other dignitaries, ladies and gentlemen!

The goal of self-reliance in the Indian armed forces is very essential for the India of the 21st century. I think this is a very important step to organize the first ‘Swavlamban’ seminar for a self-reliant navy, and for this I congratulate all of you very much and I wish you all the best.

Friends,

Joint exercises in military preparedness, especially in the Navy, play a major role. This seminar is also a kind of joint exercise. In this joint exercise for self-reliance, every stakeholder, including the Navy, Industry, MSMEs, academies, i.e. people from across the world and representatives of the government, are contemplating about the goal of coming together. The goal of this joint exercise is maximum exposure for all the participants, greater understanding towards each other and adoption of the best practices. Therefore, the goal of this joint exercise is very important. The resolution to develop 75 indigenous technologies for the Navy by August 15 next year is a huge step in itself, and your efforts, experiences and knowledge will definitely help in realising it. Today, when India is celebrating 75 years of its independence through the Amrit Mahotsav, the achievement of such goals will provide further impetus to our goal of self-reliance. By the way, I would also say that the development of 75 indigenous technologies is, in a way a first step. We have to keep working to increase this number continuously. Your goal should be that the Navy should be at an unprecedented height when India celebrates 100 years of its independence.

Friends,

Our seas and coastal borders are great custodians of our economic self-reliance and also provide impetus to it. Therefore, the role of the Indian Navy is continuously increasing. Hence, it is very important for the Navy to be self-supporting not only for itself but also for the growing needs of the country. I am sure the essence of this seminar will go a long way in making our forces self-reliant.

Friends,

At a time when we are discussing a self-reliant future in the defence sector, it is also necessary that we learn lessons from what happened in the past decades. This will help us in paving the way for the future. When we look back, we find we had a rich maritime heritage. India's rich trade route has been a part of this legacy. Our ancestors were able to dominate the ocean because they had very good knowledge about the direction of the wind and space sciences. The knowledge of our ancestors regarding the direction of the wind during different seasons, and how to get to the destination by utilising the wind’s direction was a great strength.

A lot of people in the country are not aware that the defence sector of India used to be very strong, even before independence. At the time of independence, there were 18 ordnance factories in the country where different types of military equipment including artillery guns were made. We were an important defence equipment supplier during World War II. Our Howitzers and machine guns made at the Ishapore Rifle Factory were considered the best at that time. We used to export a lot. But what led us to become the world's biggest importer in this field? If we look back, the First and the Second World War caused a lot of destruction. Major countries of the world were hit by many crises, but they tried to turn those crises into opportunities. To capture a huge global market, they found a way in the manufacture of armaments as an approach towards the wars. They became manufacturers and big suppliers in the world of defence. Even though they suffered in the wars, but they found a new way out. We also faced a huge crisis during the Corona period. We were at the bottom as far as arrangements were concerned. We did not have PPE kits, vaccines were a far-fetched dream. But exactly like the countries that created an opportunity from the First and Second World War and paved a way towards becoming major defence powers, India also did everything which never happened before, like developing vaccines and other equipment during the Corona period. I am giving you an example because it is not that we don’t have potential or talent. It is also not wise to equip our soldiers with the same weapons which soldiers of ten other countries have. Maybe they have better talent, they have good training, or they make better use of those weapons. But for how long will I keep taking the risk? Why would my young soldier carry the same weapons? He must have the weapons which he had not even imagined. This temperament is not just to prepare soldiers, but it also depends on what kinds of weapons are given to him. And that's why Aatma Nirbhar Bharat is not just an economic activity; we need to change it completely.

Friends,

In the first one and a half decades after independence, we did not build new ordnance factories. In fact, old factories also lost their capabilities. After the 1962 war, there were some changes in the policies under compulsion and work began on augmenting ordnance factories. But research, innovation and development were not emphasised while setting up these factories. The world at that time was relying on the private sector for new technology and innovations, but unfortunately, the defence sector in our country was kept under the government domain. I come from Gujarat and I have spent a long time in Ahmedabad. Many of you must have worked on the coasts of Gujarat at one point. There were huge chimneys and mills all around Ahmedabad. Ahmedabad used to be dubbed as the Manchester of India because of its textiles. But what happened? There was no innovation, technology was not upgraded and there was no technology transfer. As a result, huge chimneys came crashing down. We have seen all this in front of our eyes. It is not so that if it happens in one place, it will not happen in another place. And therefore, innovation is a must and that too indigenous innovation. There can be no innovation from imported goods. There are many opportunities for our youth in foreign countries, but at that time there were limited opportunities for them in the country. As a result, the Indian Army, once the world's leading military power, had to depend on foreign countries for even a simple weapon like a rifle. And gradually, it became a habit. If one is used to a mobile phone of a foreign make, he will prefer that to a better mobile phone irrespective of the availability in the country. It becomes a habit and we need to organize a psychological seminar to come out of that mindset. The root of the problem is psychological. Hold a seminar of psychologists to find out how Indians can get rid of foreign products. As drug addicts need training sessions to get rid of drugs, we need similar training across the board. If we have self-confidence in ourselves, we can enhance the potential of weapons in our hands.

Friends,

There was another problem as most of the defence deals became questionable. There are so many lobbies in this field. If one lobby is preferred, then other lobbies would gear up against that deal, and abusing politicians is very common in our country. As a result, the deals would get stuck for two to four years and our armed forces were made to wait for decades for modern weapons and equipment.

Friends,

Dependence on foreign countries for every small need related to defence is not just a serious threat to our country's self-respect but also strategically, besides causing economic loss. After 2014, we started work on mission mode to get the country out of this situation. Learning from the approach of the past decades, today we are developing a new defence ecosystem with the efforts of all. Today defence R&D has been opened to the private sector, academia, MSMEs and start-ups. We have strengthened our public sector defence companies by organizing them in different sectors. Today we are also ensuring how to link our premier institutions like IITs with defence research and innovation. The problem in our country is that no defence related courses are taught in our technical universities or technical or engineering colleges. Whenever there is a need, it is provided from outside. Where is the need to study here? That is, the scope was very limited. We have constantly tried to bring changes in this regard. Efforts are being made to give maximum opportunities to our youth and start-ups by providing them with the cutting edge facilities of DRDO and ISRO. We removed the silos to accelerate the development of missile systems, submarines, Tejas fighter jets, etc which were running many years behind their targets. I am happy that the wait for the commissioning of the country's first indigenously built aircraft carrier is also going to end very soon. Be it Naval Innovation and Indigenization Organization, iDEX or TDAC, all these are going to give impetus to colossal resolutions of self-reliance.

Friends,

In the last eight years, we have not only increased the defence budget, we have also ensured that this budget is used in the development of the defence manufacturing ecosystem in the country itself. Today, a major part of the budget earmarked for the purchase of defence equipment is being spent in procurement from Indian companies. And we must realize this as you are a family man and understand the importance of a family. If you don’t give love and respect to your child at home, how can you expect your neighbours to love them? If you keep calling him useless every day, how can you expect your neighbour to call him good? If we do not respect our indigenous weapons, then how can we expect the world to respect our weapons? It is not possible. We have to start with ourselves. And BrahMos is an example of this indigenous technology. India developed BrahMos and today the world is in a queue to embrace BrahMos, friends. We should be proud of everything that we develop. And I would congratulate the Indian armed forces for preparing a list of more than 300 weapons and equipment which will be made in India and will not be imported. I congratulate all the comrades of the three services for this decision.

Friends,

The results of such efforts are now visible. In the last 4-5 years, our defence imports have come down by about 21 percent. In such a short time, we have not only saved money, but created an alternative. Today we are moving fast from the biggest defence importer to a major exporter. Though no comparison can be made between apples and other fruits, I want to share the potential of the people of India. I had touched upon a small topic during the Corona period. At that time, I did not want to talk about issues which could burden the country. Therefore, I questioned the decision to import toys. It was a small issue. Why don’t we buy our own toys? Why can’t we sell our toys abroad? Our toy makers have a cultural tradition. It was a small issue. I organized a few seminars and virtual conferences and encouraged them a little. You will be surprised to see the results in such a short time. Look at the strength and self-respect of my country and the desire of common citizens. Children used to call their friends to know if they had any foreign toys in their house. This feeling was developed in them when there were so many challenges during the Corona period. One child was calling another to check whether he was keeping foreign-made toys or not. Such was the result that the import of toys came down by 70 percent within two years. Look at the temperament of society and the potential of our toy makers of the country. The exports of our toys grew by 70% that is a difference of 114%. Such a huge difference! What I mean to say is that toys can’t be compared. Therefore, I said earlier that apples can’t be compared with other fruits. I am comparing the power of the common human being of India and that can be useful for our toy makers. And that same power can also be useful for the military power of my country. We should have this trust in our countrymen. Our defence exports have grown 7 times in the last eight years. Not long ago, every countryman became proud when he came to know that we exported defence equipment worth Rs 13,000 crores last year. And importantly, the private sector’s stake is 70 percent in this regard.

Friends,

In the 21st century, it is necessary to pay attention to another aspect along with the modernization of the armed forces and self-reliance in defence equipment. You are aware that now the threats to national security have become widespread and the methods of warfare are also changing. Earlier the defence meant land, sea and sky. Now this scope is moving towards space, cyber space, economic and social space. Today every system is being converted into a weapon. Be it rare earth or crude oil, everything is being weaponised. The attitude of the entire world is changing. Now more than one-on-one fights, wars are becoming invisible, more deadly. Now we cannot formulate our defence policies and strategies keeping the past in mind. Now we have to move forward by anticipating the future challenges. We have to change ourselves according to what is happening around us, the new changes and our new fronts in the future. And this goal of self-reliance is also going to help the country a lot.

Friends,

We have to pay attention to another important aspect for the protection of our country. We also have to intensify our war against forces challenging India's self-confidence and self-reliance. As India is establishing itself on the global stage, there are constant attacks through misinformation, disinformation, etc. Information has also been made a weapon. Keeping faith in ourselves, we have to thwart every effort of the forces that are harming India's interests, be it in the country or abroad. National defence is no longer limited to borders, but is much broader. Therefore, it is equally necessary to make every citizen aware of it. वयं राष्ट्रे जागृयाम (we should be alert in the interest of the nation) -- this assertion should reach the masses. It is also necessary. Just as we are moving forward with the whole of the government approach for ‘Aatma Nirbhar Bharat’, similarly the whole of the nation approach is the need of the hour for the defence of the nation. This collective national consciousness of the people of India is the strong basis of security and prosperity. Once again, I congratulate the Ministry of Defence, our defense forces, their leadership for this initiative and their efforts to move forward. When I was visiting some stalls, it felt good that our retired navy colleagues have also put in their time, experience and energy in these innovations so that our Navy and defence forces could become strong. I think this is a great effort and I especially congratulate those who have worked in mission mode even after their retirement. You are being honored for your efforts and deserve to be congratulated. Thanks a lot! Many congratulations!

Explore More
Today's India is an aspirational society: PM Modi on Independence Day

Popular Speeches

Today's India is an aspirational society: PM Modi on Independence Day
PM Modi’s Digital India vision an accelerator of progress: Google CEO Pichai

Media Coverage

PM Modi’s Digital India vision an accelerator of progress: Google CEO Pichai
...

Nm on the go

Always be the first to hear from the PM. Get the App Now!
...
Social Media Corner 4th December 2022
December 04, 2022
Share
 
Comments

New India Wishes its Naval Personnel on Navy Day

Stories of Good Governance Delivered by The Modi Govt.