VP lauds DRDO scientists for taking India close to self- reliance in missile technology

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Hyderabad, Jan 25 (PTI) Lauding DRDO scientists for taking India close to self-reliance in missile technology, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday said attaining self- reliance in the defence sector is not only of strategic importance, but also essential in terms of national pride.

Naidu, who was speaking after inaugurating two facilities at the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Missile Complex here, said he was glad to note that scientists of DRDO's missile cluster continued to maintain his legacy and have developed new generation state-of-the-art missile systems.

He also visited the Exposition of Technologies by Missile Complex Laboratories and said that he was elated to see the indigenous products, according to an official release.

'I felt reassured about the security and capability of the country, given the tremendous progress made by DRDO scientists in developing self reliant missile technology, Naidu said.

He expressed confidence that DRDO scientists and technologists, with their caliber and commitment, would make India so self-reliant that Atma Nirbhar Bharat will attain a position where the world will be 'Bharat Par Nirbhar (dependent on India)'.

Naidu said self-reliant technologies give a boost to local industry, generate employment opportunities and earn valuable foreign exchange.

Noting that the Akash missile system has recently been put into the negative list of items for import by the Defence Ministry, he called it a commendable achievement by DRDO.

'It means that India is now self-reliant in this kind of missile system and so the armed forces need not import similar missile systems, he said.

On the limitations faced by the country in having access to high end missile technology of developed countries prior to the signing of Missile Technology Control Regime in 2018, Naidu saidDRDO had turned this crisis into an opportunity by developing a range of indigenous missile systems.

He said he was happy that India was now trying to shift its status from being one of the largest importers of defence products to one of the top exporters.

Observing that defence exports are still very low despite the recent seven fold increase, he said there is a lot of scope in developing defence technologies of export value.

He urged scientists and technologists to not only identify the futuristic defence needs of the country, but also the technologies that can be exported.

Referring to the rapidly changing technological landscape, the Vice President asked DRDO to redefine its focus on strategic defence technologies and outsource activities which can be carried out by capable private sector participants.

He said he was happy that DRDO has set up eight advanced technology centers for research on futuristic military applications.

Naidu also said women should be encouraged to participate in the field of science and technology.

He appreciated DRDO's role in India's Missile technology development ever since its inception in 1961.

Hailing the contribution of stalwarts like Kalam in the success of Integrated Missile Development Program (IGMDP), he recalled his personal association with the former President and said he was struck by Kalam's simplicity, depth of knowledge and his deep desire to make India a superpower.

He praised the scientists for working hard to meet important milestones of the missile development programmes despite the COVID-19 pandemic challenges and mentioned several commendable achievements like the successful trials of QRSAM (Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile) and others.

Lauding the scientists for coming up with the COVID-19 vaccine in record time, he hoped that it would reach every citizen of India very soon and the pandemic would end.

The new facilities inaugurated by Naidu were a Missile System Review Hall and Air Commodore V Ganesan Integrated Weapon System Design & Development Center. PTI SJR APR ADMINISTRATOR APR ADMINISTRATOR