Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday addressed a seminar titled 'Swavlamban' organised by the Naval Innovation and Indigenisation Organisation (NIIO) wherein he underlined India's goal of self-reliance in defence forces.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said that the goal of self-reliance in the defence forces is very important for India of the 21st century, and organising the first 'Swavlamban' (self-reliance) seminar for a self-reliant Navy is an important step in this direction.
The Prime Minister said that the resolution of creating 75 indigenous technologies in this period of making new resolutions for India is inspiring in itself, and expressed confidence that it will be fulfilled very soon.
"We have to work to continuously increase the number of indigenous technologies. Your goal should be that when India celebrates 100 years of Independence, our Navy should be at an unprecedented height," he said.
Referring to the importance of oceans and coasts in India's economy, the Prime Minister said that the role of the Indian Navy is continuously increasing and therefore self-reliance of the Navy is of critical importance.
Recalling the glorious maritime tradition of the country, the Prime Minister said the defence sector used to be very strong even before Independence as India was an important supplier of defence equipment during World War II.
"Our howitzers and machine guns made at the Ishapur Rifle Factory were considered the best. We used to export a lot. But then what happened that at one point in time we became the world's biggest importer in this field," Modi asked.
The Prime Minister said that a self-reliant defence system is critical for the economy and also from the strategic point of view.He said the country has worked in mission mode to reduce this dependence after 2014.
"Innovation is critical and it has to be indigenous. Imported goods can't be a source of innovation," he said.In the last eight years, the Prime Minister noted that the government has not only increased the defence budget, but "we have also ensured that this budget is useful in the development of the defence manufacturing ecosystem in the country".
"Today, a large part of the budget earmarked for the purchase of defence equipment is being spent on procurement from Indian companies," Modi said, as he complemented the defence forces for preparing a list of 300 items that will not be imported.
As India is establishing itself on the global stage, Modi said there are constant attacks through misinformation, disinformation and false publicity."The forces that are harming India's interests, whether in the country or abroad, have to be thwarted in their every effort," Modi said.
"As we are moving forward with the 'whole of the government' approach for a self-reliant India, a similar 'whole of the nation' approach is the need of the hour for the defence of the nation. The collective national consciousness is the strong basis of security and prosperity," the Prime Minister concluded.