Bengaluru, Oct 16: Making weapons and platforms for the armed forces in India would enable the defence sector become self-sufficient, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Friday.
"When we make in India major weapons and platforms for the armed forces, we become independent and self sufficient, with spin-offs in civil and commercial sectors," Parrikar said at a seminar held in the memory of late former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam here.
Noting that technologies and products developed by the defence research organisations were benefitting the economy by way of investments and job creation, Parrikar urged the stakeholders to focus on research for innovation and self-reliance in meeting the needs of the three services - army, air force and navy.
"Our government's 'Make in India' thrust has strategic benefits as it saves foreign exchange, develops skill sets and trained manpower, besides contributing to the economy," Parrikar said in the inaugural address on the two-day seminar on "Developing and sustaining vibrant R&D for aerospace and defence sectors", organized by the Society of Indian Aerospace Technologies and Industries.
Recalling Kalam's contribution to the country's defence and aerospace sectors for over five decades, Parrkiar said the people's president had built a scientific temperament and inspired thousand of students across the country to take up science as a career when there was a mad rush to become IT engineers.
"Kalam struck a chord with young minds, created interest in science and research through talks, presentations and discussions. He not only prevented brain drain, but also influenced the diaspora to reverse the trend and make it brain gain," he said.
Bharat Dynamics Ltd chairman Udaya Bhaskar, Indian Space Research Organisation's satellite director M. Annadurai and Bharat Electronics Ltd chairman S.K. Sharma also addressed the gathering.