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Govt's determination has pushed Make in India in defence: DRDO Chief

NEW DELHI (PTI): DRDO Chairman Samir V Kamat said the Indian government's determination to make India self-reliant in defence production has led to a leap in the sector.

Asked about what made the 'Make in India' a success story, Kamat said, "Several factors have made this story possible, the first amongst it is government determination to make Aatmnirbharta happen. I think that is the most important factor which has changed the storyline."

"We have been talking about self-reliance for a long time but there was no determination on the part of the government. Once the present government has come to power they have really made a strong push to enforce Aatmnirbharta," Kamat saidlast Saturday at the Firstpost Defence Summit 2024.

"The list that the government has published, which services now have to buy from Indian companies, has given a push to Indian companies to invest and start making the systems within the country... Also speeding up of the acquisition process with DAP 2020, has given fillip to this process. The key factor that has resulted in the optimism currently seen is the government policy and determination to make it happen," he said.

The DRDO chief stressed on building research and development (R&D) ecosystem in the country.

"First thing we need to do is to build the R&D ecosystem in the country. For far too long, R&D was only focused on by DRDO, but now steps have been taken to ensure the R&D system includes start-ups, MSMEs as well as academia," Kamat said.

"This will help us in bringing innovation much quicker to the market. We also now have the private sector participating in the defence manufacturing. Now that the private sector is coming they will bring in the dynamism that is needed. They will produce the systems quicker, in a more cost effective manner, as well as better quality," he added.

Kamat further said India's defence exports will increase in the coming days.

"The kind of interest that we are getting in our systems reflects that the potential for export is far more than what we have achieved so far," he said.

According to government data, the value of defence production in financial year (FY) 2022-23 crossed the figure of Rs one lakh crore for the first time ever and stood at Rs 1,06,800 crore.

The value of defence production in FY 2022-23 was a rise of more than 12 per cent over FY 2021-22, when the figure was Rs 95,000 crore.

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