‘Make in India, for India and for the world’: PM Modi

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Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi said the transformation of Indian defence in line with the changing technology is paramount and that the country was trying to become a major defence export power which was also tied up with its $5 billion economy ambition.

In his inaugural speech at the DefExpo in Lucknow on 05 February, 2020 he coined a new mantra, “Make in India, for India and for the world,” and said this policy is being adhered to by his government to prepare robus defence infrastructure in the country.

“Digital transformation of defence, this subject is very important for the future of the Indian military,” PM said and added, “Our aim is to develop 25 products based on artificial intelligence in the next 5 years.”

He said all the forces in the world are evolving in the light of new technological challenges and India was trying to keep pace.

“In the last five years India has made remarkable progress in indigenising the production of military equipment under the Make in India initiative,” he said.

The Prime Minister listed his government’s initiatives in this regard and said that while only 270 defence licences were issued till 2014, his government had taken it to 460 in the last five years.

“Be it artillery guns, aircraft carrier, frigates, submarines, light combat aircrafts, combat helicopters many such equipments are being manufactured in India,” Shri Narendra Modi said.

The Prime Minister said there was special emphasis on cutting down defence import and increase export.

“India’s defence export is growing; it stood at Rs 17,000 crore in the last two years. The defence export target for the next five years is Rs 35,000 crore,” he added.

PM Shri Modi said even Indian Industry can benefit free of cost from the relevant transfer of technology by the DRDO (Defence Research Development Organisation), made possible by his government.

He said the licensing regime has been made liberal so that Indian manufacturers, especially SMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) can participate in the sector.

“Our target is to take the number of MSMEs in defence production to 15,000 in the next five years,” he said.

“The target is to have 200 defence start-ups that can help in creating at least 50 new indigenous technologies,” Modi said and added that the government plans to identify the most essential technological advancements and work towards it.

He said that the government was also working to attract foreign investment in the sector. “FDI rules have been made easy and liberal by this government. The path to 100% direct investment has been cleared and 49% of this can be done through the indirect route. This has the potential of inviting Rs 17,000 crore in FDI in the near future,” said Shri Modi.

DefExpo is India’s biennial military exhibition that showcases the country’s potential to become a global defence manufacturing hub.

Delegates from 70 countries and 172 foreign military manufacturers are attending the five-day exhibition. 856 Indian defence firms are also showcasing their wares at the event.

The main theme of the 11 DefExpo is ‘India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub’ and the focus will be on ‘Digital Transformation of Defence’.

The fifth India-Russia Military Industry Conference is also being held on the sidelines of the DefExpo, over 100 Russian and over 200 Indian industry leaders are expected to participate in the conference.