Citing border tension with China, Army Chief General MM Naravane on Thursday said that 2020 was a unique year with twin challenges of the COVID pandemic and the belligerence on the northern borders.
"The events of the past year have brought to the fore the vulnerability of global supply chains, underscoring the need for self-reliance," General Naravane said.
He said self-reliance in Defence has become a strategic necessity and it is imperative for us to invest in building long term indigenous capabilities for application across the entire spectrum of conflict.
"Niche technologies, including artificial intelligence, autonomous unmanned systems, log range precision technology, quantum computing, swarm drones are a better few and all these will certainly need to be acquired and absorbed as part of our deliberate and continuous process," Naravane said.
"Considering the quick pace of Defence modernisation being undertaken by our adversaries, we're lagging behind slightly. Continuous & heavy dependence of Indian armed forces on equipment of foreign origin needs to be addressed through indigenous capability development," he added.