Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that in the span of last 4-5 years, India's Defence imports have decreased by around 21% and that our soldiers will have weapons what opponent won't even think of. PM Modi was speaking at the NIIO (Naval Innovation and Indigenisation Organisation) Seminar 'Swavlamban', at Dr. Ambedkar International Centre, Delhi.
During his address, the PM highlighting 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' campaign said, "Aatmanirbharta' (self dependence) in defence is very crucial for the India of 21st century."
"Creating 75 indigenous techs for Navy by August 15 next year is the first step and goal should be to take India's defence to unprecedented heights by the time we celebrate 100 years of independence," he said.
Highlighting the necessity of upgraded weapons for soldiers, PM Modi said that it's not smart to let our soldiers go to the field with the same 10 weapons that the world has.
"I can't take the risk. My jawan will have what the opponent won't even think of...," the Prime Minister said.
Further the PM said, "to change this mindset, we worked on mission mode after 2014, after learning from the approach of the past, to create a new ecosystem of Defence with the help of 'Sabka Prayas'.
"We developed the habit of being dependent on foreign countries for even the simplest products and like drug addicts, we were addicted to the products imported from abroad," Modi said taking a swipe at previous non BJP govts.
Then speaking on 'Vocal for Local' policy, Modi said, "When we invested in Indian toys, when the whole of India came together to encourage Vocal for Local, the toy imports were reduced by 70% within 2 years."
"Even the kids called each other to ask, 'tere ghar mein videshi khilona toh nahi hai na?', the PM said.
During the event, PM Modi also unveiled 'SPRINT Challenges', which are aimed at giving a boost to the usage of the indigenous technology in the Indian Navy.
The seminar aims to engage Indian industry and academia towards achieving self-reliance in the Defence sector. The two-day Seminar (18-19 July) will provide a platform for leaders from Industry, Academia, Services and Government to come together on a common platform to ideate and come up with recommendations for the Defence Sector. Sessions dedicated to Innovation, Indigenisation, Armament and Aviation will be held.
The second day of the Seminar will witness outreach to the Indian Ocean Region, in line with the government's vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region).