Chief of Naval Staff Admiral D.K. Joshi on Friday said India has to increase expenditure on defence research and development with focus on innovation, to achieve the goal of indigenisation.

India spent only 0.9 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product on defence R & D compared to two per cent by China, he said, pointing out that considering that China’s GDP was about four times more than India, the defence R & D spend by the country’s neighbour worked out to nearly eight times.

Admiral Joshi was delivering the keynote address marking the inaugural of ‘Swavalamban III’ at the College of Defence Management (CDM) here on ‘Indigenisation through Innovation in Indian Defence Sector’. It is being held together with the Indian School of Business.

About the Indian Navy’s strides in indigenisation, he pointed out that 42 of the 44 ships and submarines on order were in various stages of fabrication in Indian shipyards. “This is surely a matter of pride,” he said and added “No nation can aspire to be power to reckon with, on borrowed strength’, quoting from the approach paper to ‘Swavalamban-III’.

In his welcome address, CDM Commandant Maj. Gen. N.P. Gadkari explained how a public-private partnership and synergy would work wonders in the Indian context. Between 2007 and 2011, he said import of defence equipment from Russia alone went up by 30 per cent. Currently, 70 per cent of India’s defence equipment needs came from the West, he said.

Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff, Vice-Admiral R.K. Pattanaik said continued dependence for equipment and technology would make India vulnerable, while also hitting growth. Independence would also increase national pride, he said.

Dean of Indian School of Business, Ajit Rangnekar, said & D in defence invariably spawned its use in civilian society too, he said, citing the ‘Akash’ tablet as an example and how the electronic slate was helping young students.