Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today strongly pitched for a strong, capable and completely ‘self-reliant’ defense industry in the country, saying India’s national security challenges are increasing and becoming “complex” in view of the changing geopolitical situation globally.
Rajnath’s comments came amid growing concerns in India and elsewhere over the Taliban sweeping across Afghanistan this month, seizing control of Afghanistan following the collapse of the US-backed government.
“Today, the security scenario in the whole world is changing very fast. Because of this, the challenges to our national security are increasing and becoming complex. There are constant changes in the global geopolitical situation,” Singh said, according to news agency PTI, without making specific references.
He was speaking after launching the ‘Defence India Startup Challenge 5.0, an initiative under the Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) that acts as an umbrella organisation to promote technology development for the defence sector.
“It is necessary that we not only create strong, modern and well-equipped forces, but also develop our defense industry, which is equally strong, capable, and most importantly, completely ‘self-reliant’,” the defence minister said.
He also called upon the private sector to contribute in strengthening the defence manufacturing sector.
The defence ministry has set a goal of a turnover of USD 25 billion (Rs 1.75 lakh crore) in defence manufacturing by 2025 that included an export target of USD 5 billion (Rs 35,000 crore) worth of military hardware.