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Focus on "critical technologies" says Antony

A file photo of Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony with CEO of Brahmos Aerospace A Sivathanu Pillai during a visit to company headquarters. Antony was shown and briefed on technologies which are being jointly developed by Indian and Russian scientists at the BrahMos complex in India's capital.

New Delhi (BNS): India’s Defence Minister A K Antony has asked top scientists of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to focus on “critical technologies” of “strategic importance” to achieve self reliance.

Mr. Antony, who chaired a meeting of DRDO Research Council here Monday evening, asked the scientists to focus on high-end technology and critical sectors instead of venturing into projects like making juices, mosquito repellents, titanium and others, a according to a media report.

He urged them to set a goal of achieving 70 per cent indigenisation in defence products from the current level of 30 per cent within 10 years, saying, "over dependence on foreign suppliers is not conducive to national security in critical times."

The Defence Minister favoured involvement of Public Sector Undertakings and the Private Sector for the transformation and paradigm change of Defence industry in the country. He asked the Defence scientists to have continuous interaction and build synergy with the Armed Forces for greater success and acceptance of the products by the latter.

The minister had earlier constituted a high-level committee under defence secretary Vijay Singh, with the three Service vice-chiefs, DRDO chief and others as members, to "draw a roadmap" for implementation of the P Rama Rao committee report, which has called for a drastic overhaul of DRDO.

The report wants DRDO to concentrate only on 8 to 10 critical technologies of strategic importance. It also underlined the need to set up more joint ventures with other countries, like the one between India and Russia for making BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles, inducting top-notch scientists into defence research, rejuvenating the research culture within DRDO and ensuring more private sector participation in the entire process, according to The Times of India.

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