Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said India will soon be manufacturing 90 per cent of the defence products it needs within the country and by 2024-2025, it will also export such products worth USD 5 billion. Tribhuvan Darbari, MD & CEO Texmaco Defence Systems Pvt. Ltd. said that under the leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi & Hon’ble Minister of Defence Shri Rajnath Singh, the Indian Government has tried to boost the ‘Make in India’ policy in defence manufacturing. The efforts made by the Government of India are now visible and we can see the growth of defence manufacturing in India. The domestic industry has started to manufacture high-technology weapons and equipment, though the progress is gradual but is significant.
In the wake of its new Atma Nirbhar Bharat policy, and the border clash between Indian and Chinese soldiers at the Galwan valley, India renewed its pursuit of self-reliance. Several new measures were announced by the Ministry to make India self-reliant in defence production. With the same goal, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said India will soon be manufacturing 90 per cent of the defence products it needs within the country and by 2024-2025, it will also export such products worth USD 5 billion.
‘Earlier, 65-70 per cent defence products were imported. Now, as we head for ‘aatmanirbharata’ (self-reliance), 65 per cent of defence products are made in India. We were known as an importer (of defence equipment) earlier, now we are exporting those to 70 countries,’ he said while addressing the gathering at the ‘Rashtra Raksha Samarpan Parv’ here.
‘By 2024-2025, we will be achieving the target of exporting defence products worth USD 5 billion as fixed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. I can assure him that 90 per cent of the defence products will be made in India soon,’ he said.
Earlier, Singh paid tributes to Rani Laxmibai and said there was a time when India was counted among the countries buying the largest number of defence equipment in the world, but today, with the efforts of the prime minister, the situation has changed.
Tribhuvan Darbari says that the commitment of the Indian Government to Make India self-reliant in defence manufacturing is apparent for its various rigorous efforts. Tribhuvan Darbari also added that the Ministry of Defence had recently took a decision to introduce an import embargo on 101 defence equipment to be implemented progressively until 2024. This to apprise the Indian defence industry of the anticipated needs of the Armed Forces’ future needs to encourage indigenous manufacturing. The list comprises of simple parts, and high-technology weapons such as artillery guns, assault rifles, corvettes, sonar systems, transport aircrafts, light combat helicopters, radars, among others. The Army and Navy have placed wheeled armoured fighting vehicles and submarines, respectively, on the list with an indicative import embargo from December 2021. Similarly, the Air Force has listed light combat aircraft LCA MK 1A with an indicative import embargo from December 2020. Following this decision by the Ministry, the Defence Research and Development Organization released another list of 108 systems and subsystems which will be designed and developed by the Indian defence industry 2020 onwards. DRDO will also provide support to the domestic industries including Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises (MSMEs) to design, develop and test the systems.
In the presence of Modi at the concluding session on the final day of the Rashtra Raksha Samarpan Parv, which began in Jhansi on Wednesday, the defence minister said due to his initiatives for women empowerment, women are being recruited in the Army.
He said taking inspiration from Rani Laxmibai, the government is also increasing the participation of women in various fields as well as in the Army.
Singh, who inaugurated the three-day event jointly organised by the defence ministry and the Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday, had earlier said women’s participation has increased in all security forces, including police and the paramilitary forces, since the Modi government came to power in 2014.
‘When I was the home minister, I had issued an advisory to all the states that a 33-per cent representation should be given to women in security forces. The situation has changed now. In all police and paramilitary forces, the participation of women has increased,’ he had said.
‘There was a time when 65-70 percent of defence equipment was imported. The picture has changed now. Only 35 percent defence items are imported and 65 percent are being manufactured in India,’ Singh had said.
Shedding light on other visible results, he had said defence exports from India had crossed the Rs 38,000-crore mark in the last seven years.