SRINAGAR: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has called upon domestic defence manufacturers to invest more in Research & Development (R&D) to keep up pace with the continuously-evolving world.
Singh was addressing the North Tech Symposium, jointly organised by the Northern Command of the Indian Army, Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM) and IIT, Jammu on September 12, 2023.
“Despite R&D being a risky venture as it requires out-of-the-box thinking and sometimes does not give desired results, it still remains one of the basic elements for the development of any country. Hence, capital investment in R&D becomes a necessity,” he emphasised.
Stating that India is passing through a transitional phase he said, “There is nothing wrong in acquiring a technology through imitation or transfer, but we cannot become a developed nation on these grounds alone. We need to file our own patents, for which a lot of investment in R&D is needed. Capital investment in R&D may reduce today’s profits, but it will prove to be beneficial to the industry and the country in the long term,” the defence minister said.
He urged the industry partners to focus on creating a culture that encourages R&D, based on skilled human resources. He suggested linking the work of institutes such as IITs, IIMs and IISCs with the defence sector in order to create an R&D ecosystem in the field.
He added that efforts should be made to connect with the Indian R&D sector, the engineers and scientists who work in top universities, companies, space agencies & scientific research organisations abroad and wish to be a part of India’s growth story.
He also recommended hiring of top managers, legal experts and financial experts from within the country and abroad to create a culture conducive of R&D.
Rajnath underlined that fact that to obtain the services of top talents, there is a need to create a good work culture & positive environment and adopt new HR standards.
“We cannot run our workforce in the 21st century on the basis of the HR policy of 19th century. The quality of work is more important than the number of hours worked. Focus should be on intellect and innovation. A work culture needs to be developed where there is a concept of senior and junior; not superior and inferior. There is a need to involve women in R&D with more effectiveness,” he said.
Rajnath Singh also suggested SIDM to create an internal vigilance mechanism to counter the potential cases of corruption and favoritism.
“If any company affiliated with you is indulging in any wrongdoing or passing wrong information, then you should bring it before the government. Such actions will further increase people’s trust in the institutions,” he said.
The North Tech symposium is an event conducted annually and this year it was organised at IIT, Jammu. The event witnessed an enthusiastic participation of around 200 Industry partners and provided an opportunity for knowledge diffusion among various stakeholders to create awareness of contemporary technologies and hardware solutions available with the manufacturers under ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.
On the occasion, the defence minister also gave away SIDM Champion awards 2023 to a number of industry partners, including Bharat Forge Limited, TATA Advanced Systems Limited, Larsen & Toubro Limited and IdeaForge Technology Limited.
Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology and Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office Dr Jitendra Singh, Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr Samir V Kamat, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi and SIDM President SP Shukla were among those present on the occasion—(KNO)