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'Amrit Kaal' vision to see India among top 5 countries in defence production: Def Secy

NEW DELHI (PTI): Efforts are being made to "unleash the energy" of the Make-in-India initiative in the defence sector and the country's Amrit Kaal vision is to see India among the top five countries globally in defence production, a senior official said on Thursday.

During an interaction held at an event here, Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar also said that in the last 75 years, India has continued to be one of the largest importers of defence products in the world, and this is the situation the government wishes to change.

The defence production in the world is being done by a handful of countries, and if one looks at the defence industry globally, five countries account for a very large chunk of the defence production.

"And, these countries are the five permanent members of the UN Security Council," he said.

"So, the aspiration of India to become an influence in the world in the next 25 years is closely linked to development of defence industry capabilities," he said, adding, the overall influence the defence industry creates in the world is huge.

"Efforts are being made to unleash the energy of the country's Make-in-India initiative as a whole, both in terms of production and the innovation ecosystem, in the defence sector. And, we have already started seeing fruits of that," Kumar said.

The defence secretary said there is a "lot of optimism" in the defence industry, and India has gathered a "tremendous momentum" and "we see the momentum growing in the next 25 years".

"This is going to be driven by the changing nature of the warfare, which is increasingly moving to contactless and non-kinetic warfare," he said.

Today, the new form of warfare is more going to be in digital domain, areas where India has inherent strengths, and the country has the opportunity to leverage that to become a world leader in building new defence technologies, the top defence official said.

And, this is particularly being seen in the start-up ecosystem and the IDEX programme which have revolutionised the way things happen, in terms of both production and span of timelines, he said.

"The ability to unleash the energy of the Make-in-India initiative in the defence ecosystem, and when I say Make-in-India, it includes the private sector, the industry as a whole, and the energy of the start-ups and others, which will help us become one of the top five countries in the defence industry ecosystem, and that's where we wish to see ourselves, as part of this (Amrit Kaal) vision," Kumar said in response to a question on India's vision for the defence sector in the Amrit Kaal (next 25 years).

After speaking at the interactive session on "India: The New Hub of Global Manafacturing" organised by the Public Affairs Forum of India (PAFI), he elaborated on the sidelines that "India wishes to be among the top five countries globally in terms of defence production".

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