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No substitute to self reliance: Antony

Defence minister AK Antony on Saturday complimented the top brass of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for their remarkable achievements in recent years, most notably, for Agni-5 and the BrahMos missile systems. Inaugurating the 37th Directors’ Conference of DRDO here, Shri Antony said, ‘Though we have been making efforts at indigenisation, we still continue to be over-dependent on imports to meet our requirements.  We need to reverse this trend at the earliest possible and ensure that a amajority of our requirements are met through indigenous production.’

Referring to some recent developments which have put the defence acquisition process under the scanner, Antony said, such incidents highlight the need to look within and make us realise that there is absolutely no substitute to self reliance.

‘If our indigenisation goals are to be realised, DRDO will have to take the lead in this regard. Other stakeholders, for instance, the Services, the Ministry of Defence and private industry in the defence sector too must cooperate to ensure quick, honest and transparent acceptance of the systems’.

Antony said, all the stakeholders must meet at regular intervals to undertake periodic reviews and suggest corrective action. Both DRDO and the Services must place more trust and confidence in each other’s abilities and work with close synergy.

‘The concept of block acceptance and spiral development that is being followed in most leading countries of the world must be embraced after due deliberations and required changes’, he said.

Responding to the DRDO’s request for enhanced budget, Antony said, ‘Continuous funding is required for Research & Development to survive, but I am sure that with more emphasis on indigenization and self-reliance, we might have to invest more to begin with, but we would save a lot of money in the long run.'
Agencies

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