Def Min Rajnath sets $26B target for Defence industry by 2025, urges DRDO to cooperate

New Delhi: The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) organised DRDO Industry Synergy Summit 2019 in Hyderabad on 22 November. In a video message, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh welcomed the synergy being created for boosting the indigenous development of Defence systems and technologies. He said that DRDO is taking crucial steps for attaining self-sufficiency in the area of Defence systems development. 

DRDO has been contributing towards research, design and development of many Defence technologies in the areas of missiles, fighter aircraft, naval systems, electronic warfare, radars, sonars and armament systems since its inception. 

Singh said that under the Defence Production Policy and Make in India initiative, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has set a target of $26 billion for aerospace, Defence services and goods by 2025. In this, approximately $10 billion is targeted for creating job opportunities for 20-30 lakh people. 

Highlighting the various initiatives of Government to encourage innovation and self-sufficiency in the Defence sector, Singh stressed on the need for excellence in the field of Defence innovation and their adoption. He said that the Defence Public Sector Units (DPSUs), industry, research institutes and services need to work in tandem to achieve the target of incorporating at least 25 Artificial Intelligence-based products into Defence in the near future. 

Singh appreciated that DRDO has nurtured more than 1,800 industries which are actively working together to produce Defence systems. He urged DRDO and the industry to explore new ways for enhancing synergy to achieve the goal of self-sufficiency. 

In his address, G Satheesh Reddy, Secretary, Department of Defence, Research & Development and Chairman, DRDO elaborated the latest policies of DRDO like Zero Transfer of Technology (ToT), Zero Royalty for Development-cum-Production Partners (DcPP) and free usage of DRDO patents by the domestic industry. Expressing confidence in the Defence industry, he said that a healthy scenario needs to be fostered for closer interactions between the industry and DRDO to overcome the gaps. 

Reddy highlighted that of late the industry base has greatly widened from mere manufacturing to development and designing of components and sub-systems. He said that the Indian industry has matured from ‘Build from Print’ to ‘Build from Specifications’.

A panel discussion chaired by Reddy was also held. Many concerns were raised and suggestions were given by the industry participants. It was communicated that constructive suggestions will be duly taken into account in the upcoming policies for the improvement of the functioning of the system. 

Some industry representatives shared their experiences of working in the Defence sector and spoke about the challenges faced by startups and MSMEs in manufacturing and exports. Senior officials of DRDO and around 300 industry representatives were also present on the occasion.

Earlier this week, Union Defence Minister Shripad Naik revealed that Rs 1,812 crore FDI has been channeled into the Defence sector since 2014.

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The ID Staff

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