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Prime Minister Inaugurates DefExpo

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi opened the 11th edition of DefExpo in Lucknow with a call to boost defence exports.

“Today’s DefExpo is a living proof of India’s vastness, its pervasiveness, its diversity and its wide participation in the world. This is proof that India is moving ahead with a strong role in the field of security and defence. This Expo reflects not only the industry related to defence, but also the world’s confidence towards India as a whole. Those who know about defence and economy surely know that India is not just a market; India is also an immense opportunity for the whole world,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister said that the sub theme of DefExpo ‘Digital Transformation of Defence’ reflects the worries and challenges of tomorrow. As life is becoming technology driven, the security concerns and challenges are becoming increasingly serious. It is not only important for present but for our future as well. Globally, the defence forces are evolving newer technologies. India is also keeping pace with the world. Many prototypes are also being developed. Our goal is to develop at least 25 products of Artificial intelligence in the defence sector during the next five years.

“In the last five-six years, our government has made research & development a major part of our nation’s policy. Necessary infrastructure is being prepared in the country for defence R&D and manufacturing. Joint ventures are being worked out with other countries. An attempt has also been made to eliminate all silos with a focused approach. It has led to an environment that is ready for investment and innovation”, Prime Minister stated.

He said that two large defence manufacturing corridors are being constructed in India. One in Tamil Nadu and the other in Uttar Pradesh. Under the Defence Corridor of UP, Nodes will be established in Aligarh, Agra, Jhansi, Chitrakoot and Kanpur besides Lucknow. In order to give further impetus to defence manufacturing in India new targets have been set.

“Our goal is to bring the number of MSMEs in the field of defence production beyond 15 thousand in the next 5 years. In order to expand the Idea of I-DEX, it is targeted to start 200 new Defence Start-Ups to scale-up it. The effort is to develop at least 50 new technologies and products. I also suggest that the major industry bodies of the country should create a common platform for defence manufacturing so that they can take advantage of both the development and production of technology in the field of defence”, the Prime Minister added.

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