Chennai: Citing the fact that import of defence equipment is as high as oil and gold, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman has called for the need to achieve self-reliance in defence manufacturing.
Speaking at IIT Madras on Sunday on a topic of “The Future of Defence Manufacturing in India” she said, “The future for defence manufacturing is absolutely bright. The priority of our government is to underline the need for India to restore a lot of strength to its manufacturing sector. One of the segments within the manufacturing sector is defence related manufacturing.”
She said the defence manufacturing sector will create jobs and result in economic growth. “We had the tradition of setting up of ordnance factories and defence research labs exclusively looking at ammunition, heavy vehicles and aeronautics. But all of them do have their share of problems,” she explained.
She further said, “We are now inviting big international defence manufacturers who build submarines, fighter craft and battleships to come to India and start manufacture from here. This will have spillover effect on jobs, spill over into smaller and medium industry which can supply components and it will have the positive effect on the economy.”
Explaining the defence manufacturing corridor to be established in Tamil Nadu, she said, “The state has many advantages as already it has many defence manufacturing units such as heavy vehicles factory in Avadi and small arms factory in Tiruchi.”
She also explained the simplification f defence procurements. “Unlike the long delay in procuring the equipment earlier, now as soon as the forces established the necessity we can go for tender,” she said.
Answering a question on DRDO stopping campus recruitment she said, “The recruitment was not stopped. We want to make it attractive place students from top institutions.” IIT director Bhaskar Ramamoorthi and others also participated in the event.