“We focused on self-reliance in defence sector,” says Rajnath Singh at NDTV’s mega summit

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New Delhi:

The Narendra Modi government has prioritised the defence sector and encouraged self-reliance, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said today in his address in the NDTV’s maiden Defence Summit.

“In 2014, when Prime Minister Modi’s government came to power, we put defence sector as our main priority. Atmanirbharta (self-reliance) was encouraged and we introduced many Make-in-India initiatives. Our focus was on military modernisation,” he said.

“I am not saying that previous governments did not put emphasis on defence sector. But we brought atmanirbharta in the defence sector,” Mr Singh added.

The Defence Minister said India now imports technology “only when our own innovation falls short”.

Underlining the government’s vision to reduce dependence on other countries, he said, “As a nation, adopting a mindset of technological dependence on other countries can be detrimental to our overall well-being, impacting various facets such as literature, daily life and every aspect of our existence. Prime Minister Modi is striving to break free from this mentality.”

“We must break free from thinking that we are dependent on others and change the way we approach progress,” he said.┬áTo drive home his point, the Defence Minister quoted lines by poet Sarveshwar Dayal Saxena. “Lik par ve chalen jinke charan durbal aur hare hain, hamein to jo hamari yatra se bane aise anirmit panth pyare hain.” (Those whose feet are weak and defeated should follow the trodden path, we like the path created by our journey),” he said.

He said the government had put its trust in indigenous companies such Hindustan Aeronautical Limited to boost the defence sector.

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