Urging the country's only defence research agency to give more opportunities to the youth, the Prime Minister suggested that DRDO should take initiatives in projects which would help in easing the lives of the armed forces personnel.
"The time demands... the world will not wait for us. We have to run ahead of time. That is why whatever we do, we should try hard to do it before time. It should not be so that a project is conceived in 1992 and in 2014 (we say) it will take some more time. The world will go ahead," Modi said in his address to DRDO in its award function.
The Prime Minister said technology in defence sector was changing fast and even before we conceptualise a system, "products which are two steps ahead come in the market and we are left behind."
"That is why the challenge before India is that how do we complete work before time. If the world is coming up with some products in 2020, can we come in the field prepared with products in 2018," he said. Modi said the, "DRDO has to decide whether it has to respond to the situation or it has to be proactive and set agenda for the world and we have to set agenda for the global committee... We can be the world leader by not following but by showing the way."
He said it was not that India lacked the talent pool but "I think there is this 'chalta hai' (lackadaisical) attitude". Several DRDO projects such as the Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, Nag missile, Long-range Surface-to-Air missile project and the Airborne Early Warning and Control System projects have been delayed by many years and seen several cost overruns.
Drawing parallels between his government and the DRDO, the Prime Minister said, "People say that Modiji, we have lot of hopes and expectations from your government. People will have hopes from people who work as nobody would have hopes from people who don't do anything. I have hopes from DRDO because I know that DRDO has the capability to perform."