Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport & Highways and Shipping, Government of India, said here last evening that a self-reliant defence force was crucial for development of the country. Fast-track decision making, transparent processes, level playing field, time-bound delivery, result-oriented approach and reasonable understanding by all stakeholders were needed to accelerate the pace of of development of India's naval force.
Addressing the valedictory session at the second edition of International Seminar on 'Building India's Future Navy: Technology Imperatives', organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) jointly with the Indian Navy, Gadkari said that science and technology, research and development, innovation and entrepreneurship were needed to be encouraged in defence to enable development of cutting-edge technologies. He added that there was a need to amend the policies with respect to these to convert knowledge into wealth.
Gadkari said that the public sector defence capabilities did not have the capacity to meet the demands of the sector. Therefore, it was necessary to engage private sector and speed up the modernization process of the Navy. He added that the government was initiating various steps such as relaxation in FDI and schemes to facilitate private sector's participation in the development of the defence.
The Minister said that there were immense opportunities in defence for employment generation and giving a boost to the manufacturing sector. Also, commercialization of research endeavours and scaling them up could help in ensuring reduction in the cost of production. Besides, it could allow India to explore export avenues.
The Valedictory Session was also addressed by Ashok Kumar Gupta, Secretary, Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence, Government of India; Vice Admiral Karambir Singh AVSM, Vice Chief of Naval Staff; Suman Bose, Managing Director & CEO, SPLM, Digital Factory Division, Siemens; Mr Bernard G Buisson, Managing Director, DCNS India Pvt Ltd.; Admiral RK Dhowan PVSM, AVSM, YSM (Retd), Chairman, National Maritime Foundation, and former Chief of Naval Staff, Indian Navy; Vice Admiral DM Deshpande AVSM, VSM, Controller of Warship Production & Acquisition (CWP&A); and Jyoti Vij, Deputy Secretary General, FICCI.
Day 2 of the conference witnessed focused sessions on 'Make in India': Opportunities for Coastal States; Surveillance and Detection Systems; Transformation in Aviation Sector: Challenges and Opportunities for the Aerospace Industry; Autonomous Vehicles; Disruptive Technologies and a panel discussion on Warship Building in India.