The Defence Minister was speaking at the Annual DRDO Awards function held at DRDO headquarters here today. Speaking to the galaxy of top defence scientists and technologists, he said for decades we have lived with a disturbed neighbour, as a result of which our national security has to be an issue of topmost national priority. Adding further that our preparedness is the best guarantee of peace in this region,
the Minister said, “over the last five and half decades, undoubtedly DRDO with its high intellectual talent pool has grown and it has grown into an indigenous laboratory for the Government and the people of India”. “Where there is intellectual talent available this has to lead obviously to next step and the next step has to be that they have to become a hub for defence manufacturing”, he remarked. “So far we have lived with an error, where we were quite satisfying partly researching and partly manufacturing ourselves and substantially relying on equipment from outside. I think that equation is slowly changing; but this slow pace needs to be expedited and it is an expedition itself”, he added.
Highlighting the various measures taken recently by the Government to open the Defence manufacturing sector to private industry with greater inflow of foreign funds, he said, this new healthy competition will now make indigenous defence base more competitive and will make available many new cutting-edge technologies. He also disclosed that DRDO’s demand for more funds and introduction of performance linked incentives schemes are under active consideration of the Government.
On this occasion Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented DRDO Awards 2013 to some outstanding scientists/teams/institutions for their significant contribution in path breaking research and technology development in different areas.
In his welcome address, Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister and Director General DRDO Avinash Chander gave a brief presentation on the recent achievements of the Organisation and proposed initiatives for the future. He threw light on two major initiatives of DRDO to improve its performance. Firstly activating a cohesive multi-layered interactive system with Armed Forces, Defence Production and Industry and secondly by involving students and academia to create a workforce of five to 10,000 students in academic institutions working for defence through Centres of Technology, which will fuel the technology innovation boom in the country.