New Delhi: Noting that India`s competitors
have moved faster, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday asked
Defence scientists to speed up research to achieve
self-reliance and deliver critical technologies on time.
"It is a fact our current level of self-reliance in
Defence R&D is less than our capabilities and it needs to be
stepped up significantly," he said addressing Defence
scientists on the occasion of National Technology Day.
In many areas Indian scientists have moved fast, "but our
competitors have often moved at a faster pace," Singh said,
adding that scientists must make sure they have the capacity
and the will to compete, to innovate, to deliver and to
deliver on time.
Exhorting scientists to stay ahead and be open to new
ideas, the Prime Minister also asked them to learn from
mistakes and setbacks.
"We should be able to acknowledge and learn from our
setbacks. It is a fact that some Defence projects have been
delayed and others have faced difficulties during the stage of
operational induction," he said.
Singh stressed that it was essential that DRDO learnt from
these experiences and worked more closely with the Armed
Forces, as well as the industry.
Observing that greater participation of the industry was
a must in the Defence sector, he said, "The government will
encourage public-private partnerships as a catalyst towards
achieving this objective."
He said the offset scheme in Defence procurement must be
used to fill the technological gaps in the country`s
Acknowledging the findings of a committee to revamp the
DRDO, Singh said, "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 R&D in Defence
technologies. I would urge all of you assembled here today to
think big and to act with a strong sense of self-belief,
nationalistic spirit and the desire to excel," he said.
The Prime Minister said he would encourage research and
development organisations and laboratories to develop a closer
interface with the academic world.
"It is essential that we motivate and incentivise our
youth to focus on research activities...An integrated approach
to building a broad base of scientific talent, production
capacities and a long-term vision are key elements to
success," he said.
The Prime Minister also gave away DRDO Awards to
laboratories, scientists and industry for their contribution
to the Defence research sector.