Indigenous defence capabilities are foundations to enduring peace: Rajnath

New Delhi (NVI): In the wake of India-China border face-off, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today said that self-reliance and indigenous defence capabilities are the foundations to enduring peace.

“We are a peace loving country. We remain committed to peace and stability across the world, we also remain committed to the belief that Self-Reliance and indigenous defence capabilities are the foundations to enduring peace,” Rajnath said while addressing the Ambassadors’ Round Table Virtual conference on Aero India 2021.

In his virtual address on the upcoming Aero India exhibition, the Defence Minister talked about various reforms taken by the Government.

According to an official release, the major reach-out effort by the Defence Ministry was attended by 200+ invitees comprising Ambassadors, Heads of Missions and Defence Attaches of over 75 countries. The huge participation indicated the growing stature of the 13th mega biennial event, to be held in Karnataka’s capital Bengaluru from February 3-7, next year, as per the official statement.

Addressing the conference, Rajnath said that Aero India-21 aligns with India’s vision to be among the top five countries of the world in defence and aerospace industries, with active participation of public and private sector fulfilling the objective of Self-Reliance as well as requirements of other friendly countries.

“Aatmanirbhar Bharat was the centerpiece of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision and towards this, Ministry of Defence has announced numerous government reforms such as increase in FDI to 74% through automatic route, the Defence Acquisition Procedure -2020, revised Offset guidelines to promote Investment in India for co-development and co-production as also formulated the draft Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy 2020 (DPEPP 2020) during the preceding pandemic months to steer the vision as also for ease of business,” Rajnath said in his address.

Rajnath said that India’s Aerospace and defence sector has matured and is exploring mutually beneficial partnerships with friendly countries to set up manufacturing industries in India and defence equipment produced in India to be exported abroad.

He further stated that “Aero India-21 will showcase Government’s intent to achieve a turnover of USD 25 billion with exports of USD 5 billion in aerospace and defence goods and services by 2025”.

The Defence Minister also urged the ambassadors to impress upon their leadership and Industry captains of their respective countries and defence industries to participate in Aero India-21 in a big way so as to “dive deep into the strategic and business opportunities available in India with the aim of establishing strategic partnerships”.

On the occasion, he also released the official Aero India 2021 inaugural film

The theme of the event ‘The runway to a billion opportunities’, encompasses the gamut of Aerospace and Defence manufacturing including opportunities in the civil aerospace domain. The Defence Minister expressed confidence that Aero India-21 will demonstrate India’s ability to take the lead and further build on our strengths in the post COVID world.

Department of Defence Production gave a detailed presentation on all aspects of Aero India-21 and built in assurances to be compliant with COVID-19 stipulations. The Government of Karnataka also gave a presentation informing the participants about the preparedness of the state to conduct the show in a controlled and safe environment.

Chief Minister of Karnataka, BS Yediyurappa also addressed the audience and assured them that Government of Karnataka would make all necessary preparations towards safe conduct of the Aero India-21 in February 2021 at Bengaluru keeping in mind the safety of the participants and in compliance with the COVID-19 protocols.

Minister of State for Defence, Shripad Yesso Naik; Secretary (Defence Production) Raj Kumar also addressed the gathering and echoed the resolve of the Ministry of Defence to steer the indigenous defence industry as one of the pillars of Atmanirbhar Bharat and invited the Foreign delegates to Aero India-21, as per the official statement.