New Delhi: Noting that India imports defence equipment in large quantity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday emphasised on indigenous manufacturing to help slash the defence budget by 50 per cent within a decade.
Addressing an event here, Modi also stressed on developing "local" technology to help people deal with daily challenges as well as the need to provide a proper environment and mobilise resources to encourage "innovation".
"Today our nation imports defence equipment in large quantity. Is it not possible that our institutions concentrate in the area of defence and research and prepare a human resource development pool which will help in making equipment cheaper to the extent that outside importers use this talent for manufacturing. India can be a global market if we do it.
"If our institutions decide today that we will be able to cut down defence import by 50 percent in next 10 years, then the amount we save on our defence budget will be pumped into the education sector. Will it not be a big gain? We will be self-reliant," he said.
Society is becoming technology driven and it is essential to look towards affordable technology, Modi said addressing 'Visitors' conference at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
He also released an 'IMPRINT India' brochure and handed over the first copy to President Pranab Mukherjee. 'IMPRINT India' is a Pan-IIT and IISc joint initiative to develop a roadmap for research to solve major engineering and technology challenges in ten technology domains relevant to the country.
Modi said there could not have been a century where technology played an important role as much as it does now. "As long as we are dependent on outside technology, issues will continue to remain and therefore, science is universal but technology is local. This is needed," he said.
The Prime Minister also stressed on the need for
strengthening primary as well as higher education.
"If primary education is necessary as it helps in making one's character, we should also concentrate on strengthening higher education as it is important so that one can aspire to touch the sky. If primary education makes the foundation strong, higher education helps in building the nation," he said.
"We have to think how we can consolidate on sustainable technology and for that innovation has to be promoted. Millions and millions of challenges are there but a billion minds are also there. But as long as these minds are not linked to innovation, I don't think we can even feed these minds.
"We are grateful that we have billions of minds but as long as we do not give a proper environment, develop a mechanism, mobilise resources, then these minds will be useless and therefore, there is one way to make realise our dreams and that is only through innovation," Modi said.
He said these days global warming and environment are being talked about in the world. For some countries, global warming is an issue of concern and for some it is an area of marketing.
"They have already decided to convert global warming into a marketing opportunity. For India it has become mandatory for future generations to bring forth innovation which are cheap, good and also easily adaptable by common people and if we are able to do this, billions of people will be able to adopt it," Modi said.