Quitol (South Goa), March 31: It was curtains down on the largest edition of DefExpo held in the country on Thursday with thousands of schoolchildren witnessing war machines upclose, probably for the first time in their lives.
The four-day exhibition, targeting land, naval and internal homeland security systems, was held in Goa for the first time, thanks to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar's initiative. The expo was organised by Defence Exhibition Organisation, Ministry of Defence.
The last day at the expo saw a massive turnout, with the aerobatic display capturing the imagination of most of the spectators.
Terming the public day at DefExpo as a ‘grand success,' the MoD said the visitors had even travelled from adjoining districts of Goa to catch a glimpse of war machines that were on display in large numbers.
"Even the local population too visited in large family groups. Enthusiasm was also evident among organised groups from schools and colleges, who showed keen interest in defence technologies," says MoD spokesperson.
Live demonstration of Sarang Aerobatic Display team of the Indian Air Force, Light Combat Aircraft, Main Battle Tanks Arjun Mark I and II and Scandinavian Aerobatics Team enthralled the spectators. With Make in India being the core focus, around 1055 companies from 47 countries, attended the expo.
While a small section of staged a silent protest near the venue on all four days of the show, accusing the state government for going back on their promises, Parrikar had dismissed them as a ‘typical phenomenon in Goa.'
According to Dr Ravi P Singh, Secretary General, Quality Council of India (QCI), the DefExpo helped furthering their mission.
"Our aim is to lead nationwide quality movement by involving all stakeholders. We are keen to see that everyone adheres to quality standards in all spheres of activities primarily for promoting and protecting the interests if the nation. DefExpo has been a huge success and there is hope among all stake-holders that thing are moving in the right direction now," Dr Ravi told OneIndia.
Dr Ravi and his team have been propagating the vision of Prime Minister Naraendra Modi, who had coined the term ZED - Zero Defect, Zero Effect.
"The PM's ZED mantra says that India's manufacturing should be with zero defect so that our goods are not returned from the international market. He also wants the manufacturing to be with zero effect, so that there is no negative impact on the environment. At DefExpo, we could meet so many players from the defence industry and we are confident on the road ahead," adds Dr Ravi.
Col H S Shankar (Retd), Chairman & Managing Director, Alpha Design Technologies Pvt Ltd, one of the largest exhibitors during this year's DefExpo told OneIndia that the event has certainly made an impact among global players as well.
"The sheer size of this year's DefExpo and the number of prominent players who participated in it is a pointer towards the impact Make in India campaign had globally," says Col Shankar (Retd), one of the key private players in defence sector.