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Speed up defence research: PM
NEW DELHI, MAY 26 (PTI/IANS):
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Published on 26 May. 2010 11:38 PM IST
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Noting that India’s competitors have moved faster, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today asked defence scientists to speed up research to achieve self-reliance and deliver critical technologies on time.
“It is a fact our current level of self-reliance in defence R&D is less than our capabilities and it needs to be stepped up significantly,” he said addressing defence scientists on the occasion of National Technology Day.
In many areas Indian scientists have moved fast, “but our competitors have often moved at a faster pace,” Singh said adding that scientists must make sure they have the capacity and the will to compete, to innovate, to deliver and to deliver on time.
Exhorting scientists to stay ahead and be open to new ideas, the Prime Minister also asked them to learn from mistakes and setbacks.
“We should be able to acknowledge and learn from our setbacks. It is a fact that some defence projects have been delayed and others have faced difficulties during the stage of operational induction,” he said.
Singh stressed that it was essential that DRDO learnt from these experiences and worked more closely with the Armed Forces, as well as the industry. Observing that greater participation of the industry was a must in the defence sector, he said, “The Government will encourage public-private partnerships as a catalyst towards achieving this objective.”
He said the offset scheme in defence procurement must be used to fill the technological gaps in the country’s capabilities.
Acknowledging the findings of a committee to revamp the DRDO, Singh said, “If we put our mind to it, there is no reason why our successes in the software sector cannot be replicated in the Defence sector.”
“We must strive for leadership in R&D in defence technologies. I would urge all of you assembled here today to think big and to act with a strong sense of self-belief, nationalistic spirit and the desire to excel,” he said.
The Prime Minister said he would encourage research and development organisations and laboratories to develop a closer interface with the academic world.
“It is essential that we motivate and incentivise our youth to focus on research activities...An integrated approach to building a broad base of scientific talent, production capacities and a long-term vision are key elements to success,” he said. The Prime Minister also gave away DRDO Awards to laboratories, scientists and industry for their contribution to the defence research sector.
Public-private
partnership a must
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday said the government will encourage the participation of India Inc. in the defence sector through public-private partnerships.
“Greater participation of Indian industry in the defence sector is a must. Our government will encourage public-private partnerships as a catalyst towards achieving this objective,” he said at an award distribution ceremony on National Technology Day 2010 here.
Pointing out that there were technological gaps in India’s military capabilities, the prime minister said these could be filled using the government’s offset scheme in defence procurement.
The private sector is a peripheral player in the country’s defence sector, which is dominated by state-owned giants and global defence vendors.
Defence experts say the offsets scheme allows the private sector not only get business from foreign vendors implementing high ticket projects but also helps sharpen its technological skill and manufacturing base. The defence procuement policy stipulates that for import orders in excess of Rs.300 crore, the suppliers must reinvest 30 percent in Indian companies.
The prime minister said the development of advanced technology could not be achieved in a day. “Integrated approach to building a broad base of scientific talent, production capacities and a long-term vision are key elements to success.”
He also stressed on greater partnership between the academic community and defence research institutes to synergise strategic planning and analyses, promote research and development, and inculcate a scientific attitude in young minds.
“I would also encourage our research and development organisations and laboratories to develop a closer interface with the academic world. It is essential that we motivate and incentivise our youth to focus on research activities,” Singh said.

 
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