India must focus on advancements in defence technology to deal with a “double threat” along the borders, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday, in an oblique reference to the security challenges at the frontiers with China and Pakistan.
In an address at a conference organised by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Singh underlined the need for extensive research to develop defence technologies for the country to meet various security challenges.
“For a country like India, it becomes very important because we are facing a double threat on our borders. In such a situation, it is very important for us to move forward in terms of technological advancements,” he said in Hindi.
“Today, we are one of the largest armies in the world. The bravery of our army is discussed all over the world. In such a situation, it becomes imperative that we have a technologically-advanced army to protect the interests of the country,” he added.
The defence minister’s comments came in the backdrop of a lingering border row in eastern Ladakh and Pakistan’s continuous support to cross-border terrorism.
Hours later, addressing the annual session of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Mr Singh asked industry captains to help India become a “leader”, instead of an “imitator”, in developing futuristic technologies.
He said such an approach would help India deal with the challenges emanating from the current global security scenario.
Singh said security equations are changing at an unprecedented pace and countries are focusing more than ever on technological advancements in the fields of artificial intelligence, quantum computing and genetics.
“We need to set new goals and achieve them through innovative methods to keep ourselves prepared to deal with any challenges arising out of the ever-evolving global situation…. Technology improves the utilisation of the available resources. It acts as a force multiplier,” he said.
In his remarks at the DRDO conference, Mr Singh also called for a collaboration between the premier defence research organisation and the academia for ensuring the desired technological advancements.
“The only way for this advancement is research. It is the need of the hour that both the DRDO and the academia work in tandem,” he said.
“The more this partnership grows, I think India’s research sector will also grow in the same proportion. Scientists and experts from both the DRDO and the academia are sitting here,” he said.
“Although all of you will connect with each other through partnership, I want all of you to try to connect with each other at the individual and institutional levels as well,” Singh added.
Referring to various challenges facing the country, he said collective efforts and partnership are needed to confront those effectively.
“Today, we see many major challenges in front of us. When it comes to the defence of the country, these challenges become more widespread,” he said.
“No institution can deal with these challenges alone. The most important thing we can do to address these challenges is collective effort and partnership,” the defence minister said.
He said the partnership between the DRDO and the academia would also help the former develop dual-use technologies.
“In this way, if the partnership between the DRDO and the academia is established, then the DRDO will move towards the development of dual-use technologies,” Singh said.
Dual-use technologies are those used for defence as well as civilian purposes.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)