HomeIndian Defence IndustryDefence Minister Urges Investment in R&D to Foster India’s Technological Growth

Defence Minister Urges Investment in R&D to Foster India’s Technological Growth

India’s Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh, delivered a compelling message at the North Tech Symposium, emphasizing the critical importance of research and development (R&D) in shaping India’s future in the evolving global landscape. The symposium, jointly organized by the Northern Command of the Indian Army, the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM), and IIT Jammu, provided a platform for industry partners to exchange knowledge on contemporary technologies and hardware solutions within the framework of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India).

In his address to the symposium, Rajnath Singh called upon domestic defence manufacturers to increase their investments in R&D, underscoring the significance of innovation to keep pace with a rapidly changing world. He acknowledged the inherent risks associated with R&D, as it often demands unconventional thinking and may not yield immediate results. However, he emphasized that R&D remains a foundational element for a nation’s development, making capital investment in this sector a necessity.

Singh acknowledged that India is currently undergoing a transformative phase. While he acknowledged the value of acquiring technology through imitation or transfer, he stressed that India’s journey toward becoming a developed nation necessitates the creation of original patents. Achieving this requires substantial investments in R&D.

The Defence Minister encouraged industry partners to cultivate a culture that promotes R&D, underpinned by a pool of skilled human resources. He suggested strengthening connections between prestigious institutions like IITs, IIMs, and IISCs with the defence sector to establish a robust R&D ecosystem.

Furthermore, Singh emphasized the need to engage with Indian talents working abroad in universities, companies, space agencies, and research organizations. Encouraging their participation in India’s growth story is vital for harnessing top-tier expertise.

Singh stressed the importance of modernizing work culture and human resources practices. He advocated for a shift from traditional hierarchical structures to an environment that values the quality of work over the number of hours worked. He called for a culture based on seniority rather than superiority and inferiority.

To bolster the credibility of Indian defence manufacturers on a global scale, Singh suggested that SIDM (Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers) create an independent body comprising scientists and industry experts to conduct transparent evaluations of products. This quality assurance system, complemented by internal vigilance mechanisms, will enhance trust in Indian institutions.

Rajnath Singh highlighted the government’s efforts to support the domestic industry, including demand assurance and technology transfer policies. He noted that the collaboration between the government and domestic companies has resulted in record defence production and exports. He expressed confidence that India’s defence exports would soon surpass the Rs 20,000 crore mark, aligning with the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative.


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