Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said that if India achieves advancement in technology, it can become a superpower.
He said this while addressing students and researchers here at the Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT), a deemed university of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
Singh said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is committed to taking the country on the path of progress in research and innovation.
"Some initiatives have been started by the defence ministry to make progress in research and innovation through collective efforts from armed forces, industries and academia and it can happen only through mutual understanding and by sharing knowledge and best practices," he said.
Singh said that the defence ministry has created a platform called "iDEX" (innovation for defence excellence) to engage and attract new talent and to get field experience and inputs from the armed forces personnel from the field as it has got security importance.
He added that the Centre has allocated Rs 1,000 crore for iDEX. Besides that the government has also allocated Rs 500 crore to push research and innovation in aerospace and defence by supporting 300 startups, he added.
Talking about his recent visit to Nagpur and giving an example of the successful delivery of one lakh hand grenades produced by a private player to the Indian Army in five months, Singh said that the firm had exported similar hand grenades to Indonesia at a higher cost.
The Indian cost for each hand grenade is Rs 3,400 and the company exported similar grenades to Indonesia at over Rs 7,000 apiece, he said.
"My point is that if we achieve advancement in technology, India can become a superpower. It can become a super economic power," he said.
Singh also appreciated the efforts of the institutes for taking nine patents in the COVID research area.