India has not matched pace with competitors in defence technology, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Wednesday asking scientists to speed up their research and deliver critical technologies on time for the nation to achieve self-reliance.
“In many areas, we have moved fast, but our competitors have often moved faster. It is a fact our current level of self-reliance in defence R and D (research and development) is less than our capabilities and it needs to be stepped up significantly,” Dr. Singh said, addressing defence scientists here on the occasion of National Technology Day.
Asking scientists to make sure they have the capacity and the will to compete, innovate and deliver on time in the wake of rapidly changing technology, Dr. Singh noted: “It is a fact that some defence projects have been delayed and others have faced difficulties during the stage of operational induction.”
He stressed that only the most competitive and resilient companies could expect to survive in the fiercely global market. “If our systems are strong and robust, the world will respect us and be willing to work with us. This was the lesson we learnt in the process of negotiating the civil nuclear deal with the international community”.
He said the scientists should learn from mistakes and setbacks and be open to new ideas to stay ahead in the competitive world.
“We should be able to acknowledge and learn from our setbacks,” he said and urged the premier Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to work closely with the armed forces and industry.
“It is essential that DRDO work more closely with the armed forces, as well as the industry,” the Prmie Minister said.
The Prime Minister also acknowledged the findings of the government-appointed defence review panel headed by former secretary for science and technology P. Rama Rao.
Some of the recommendations of the panel were implemented earlier this month following which the size of the DRDO was reduced and a watchdog set up to speed up the execution of defence projects and increase private participation in the sector.
“I am very glad to note that the ministry of defence is examining the recommendations of the (Rama Rao) committee on the functioning of the DRDO. I firmly believe that if we put our mind to it, there is no reason why our successes in the software sector cannot be replicated in the defence sector."
“We must strive for leadership in research and development in defence technologies. I would urge all of you to think big and to act with a strong sense of self-belief, nationalistic spirit and the desire to excel,” he said.