India no risk or will get threatened by anybody: Defence Secretary

KV Prasad
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, December 3

Emphasising that India’s defence relations with other countries is based on free, open and inclusive, rules-based order, the government on Thursday said emergence of the country is neither a threat to any country nor does New Delhi get threatened by anyone.

“Our defence relationships are based on free, open, inclusive and rules based order, economic growth to meet aspirations of 1.3 billion people of India and about 2 billion people of the region; emergence of India is not a threat to anyone. Nor do we get threatened by anyone,” Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar said delivering the annual YB Chavan Lecture at the Manohar Parrikar Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses on “Defence Policy- Contours and Challenges”.

The remarks came both in the backdrop of continuing stand-off with China in Ladakh region and the recent expanded Malabar naval exercise that added Australia back to the trilateral India-US-Japan trilateral annual engagement.

The previous exercise in 2007 resulted in China raising a flag of protest and later Australia pulled out of such an engagement. The expanded Malabar also comes in the wake of reinforcing of Quad meeting at the Foreign Minister-level·

Visualising a major potential for India to increase its share in the multi-billion dollar defence and aerospace sector and establish the country as player of consequence, the government wants to promote private sector while improving efficiency of public sector undertakings.

“The defence and aerospace sector is US $300 billion opportunity of which presently we form a small pie. India needs to increase its share in the sector. For India to be able to make its mark in a global stage of defence production ecosystem, we need to promote our private sector in defence and aerospace while increasing the efficiency and productivity of our public sector,” he said.

Information technology and software development, he said is one field where the country has expertise and can leverage.

He said many international defence manufacturers source information communication technology from India. There is scope for India to step up engagement in the field of both Artificial Intelligence and Block Chain technology.

A country with large scale of defence requirements, he said, cannot afford to continue with being dependent on others for its equipment and remain one of the biggest importers of arms

“The answer lies in greater self reliance. Atmanirbhar Bharat is a key foundation of our defence policy. India cannot emerge as a major defence player, unless we create the requisite self-reliance within the defence industry and emerge as a manufacturing hub. Indigenous production of our defence requirements is the ideal situation and has to be the long term vision for India,” he said.

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