Develop technologies and master it - Manohar Parrikar, Defence Minister of India

Monday, December 5, 2016

New Delhi: Mr Manohar Parrikar, Defence Minister of India urged the industry not to just develop technologies but also master them in India. Speaking at the inauguration of the Army Seminar on Common Technologies and Advanced Materials for Land Systems” jointly organised by the Indian Army and Confederation of Indian Industry in New Delhi the Hon’ble Minister stressed for joint collaborative efforts by DRDO and industry and, also the users to not only develop and master technologies for the future, but also develops command over the current technologies. The Hon’ble Defence Minister also released a compendium of Future Technologies and Statement of Problems prepared by the Indian Army

The Compendium is an outcome of detailed iterations carried out with major stakeholders, namely, the Field Army, Training Institutions and Planning Establishments. The ‘Felt Needs’ and ‘Future Core Technologies’ as pertaining to various domains have been dwelled upon appropriately for all players to explore suitable solutions for the same. These included Armoured Fighting Vehicles, Night Vision & Power Packs / Engines, Combat Soldier, Artillery, Combat Engineering : Future Technologies, Information & Communication Technology, Army Air Defence and Army Aviation. The compendium also included 50 Problem Definition Statements related to these technologies.
Speaking at the occasion the Chief of the Army Staff General Dalbir Singh re-iterated the Indian Army’s quest for modernisation through indigenisation. He emphasised that for a robust and sustainable security apparatus, a very sound technology base and an equally strong industry base are pre-requisites. Technology is a non-linear tool which can bring fundamental changes in the level of economic competitiveness. The COAS also echoed the views of the Hon’ble Defence Minister and highlighted that a large number of items essential for keeping equipment operational are being imported, therefore ‘functional level technologies’ are also important to create indigenous support. Numerous interactions have been carried out with the Academia, R&D Establishments and Industry to seek their views on the modalities of identifying and defining our major challenges which could then be worked upon by them with greater lucidity.

Dr S Christopher, Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman, DRDO spoke about the needs of the Indian armed forces and dependency on imports. He emphasised that DRDO can only help in the development of defence equipments however, it is for industry who have to convert it to production. The inclusion of Private Defence Industry Partners in the strategic technology acquisition process needs no elaboration.
In his Keynote Address Lt Gen Bipin Rawat, Vice Chief of the Army Staff spoke about the Indian Army’s commitment to achieve greater self- reliance through indigenous research and development efforts. He mentioned that the technology threshold of a nation is also a tool of strategic dominance in the sphere of Global Power Play. Hence, it can neither be overlooked nor understated. Technology development has to stride through research and development, acquisition, absorption and production besides improvements in performance, quality and cost effectiveness.
Mr Baba Kalyani, Chairman of the CII National Committee on Defence and Chairman, Bharat Forge Limited spoke about what technology could play a crucial role in the development of capabilities and systems to meet desired future operational efficiency. The strategy should be to ensure that there are linkages between capability development, military systems and technology. He mentioned that Technological change is not new, it is a process of change to develop new technologies. He stressed on understanding the existing technologies and how to find ways to make amendments as per future needs.

Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII in his opening remarks congratulated the Indian Army for taking path breaking and industry friendly measures in the last two years. He also complimented Indian Army for bringing out such a publication of problem statements which would pave the way for the Indian Industry to jointly work with the Indian Army in developing solutions.