Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh has said that technologically advanced military is crucial to protect the interests of the nation. Inaugurating a two day DRDO- Academia conclave in New Delhi on 25 May, 2023, Shri Rajnath Singh stressed that for a country like India, it becomes vital to have such military as it faces double threat on borders.
“Today we are one of the largest armed forces in the world, the bravery and valour of our military is praised all over the world. Countries across the world express their willingness to conduct joint exercises with our armed forces. In such a situation, it becomes imperative that we have a technologically advanced military to protect the interests of the country. For a country like India, it becomes very important because we are facing double threat on our borders,” Raksha Mantri said.
Underscoring the significance of the theme of the conclave “DRDO-Academia Partnership - Opportunities & Challenges”, Shri Rajnath Singh said, it is dire need that DRDO and Academia work in partnership with each other to find solutions to the challenges being faced by us in the 21st century. “This partnership will prove helpful in making India a leading nation in defence technologies,” he said.
Raksha Mantri underlined that the path to acquire advanced technologies traverses through research and development (R&D) which plays a key role in the development of any country.
“Unless we do research, we will not be able to adopt new technologies. R&D has the ability to convert ordinary substances into valuable resources. It has been a key factor in the development of civilizations throughout the history,” Shri Rajnath Singh added. He expressed confidence that as partnership between DRDO and Academia reaches new heights, the fruits of this partnership will unlock potential of many new resources, which will benefit the entire country.
“I don’t see the partnership between DRDO and Academia from the point of view of 1+1=2, but as 1+1=11. That is, when these two entities cooperate with each other, not only both of them will get double benefit, but the entire nation will be benefited greatly from this partnership,” Shri Rajnath Singh said.
Elaborating on the benefits of the DRDO – Academia partnership, Raksha Mantri stressed, through this synergy, the DRDO will get a skilled human resource base from eminent institutions like IISC, IITs, NITs and other universities from across the country as these institutions, nurture a large pool of talented and skilled youth.
“On the other hand, the academia will be benefited from the R&D fund of DRDO that it spends in developing new technologies, and will also get access to the advanced infrastructure and lab facilities of the defence research organisation. This symbiotic relationship will prove helpful in further enhancing the start-up culture in our country,” pointed out Raksha Mantri.
Shri Rajnath Singh further emphasised that such technologies developed through collaboration and collective efforts could have applications in both civil and defence sectors.
Raksha Mantri also urged the DRDO scientists and academia to deliberate on the option of deployment of the scientists of DRDO as faculty in the academic institutions for a specific period, which will give a new perspective to our Academia, whereas the intellectuals of Academia can also serve on deputation as a scientist within DRDO.
On the occasion, Raksha Mantri felicitated eminent scientists who have made outstanding contributions in the area of Aeronautics, Armaments, Life Sciences and Naval systems and other DRDO requirements through the grant-in-aid DRDO projects. He also released a Compendium of Invited talks about thrust areas for academia in understanding the requirements and opportunities in DRDO.
Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman of DRDO Dr Samir V Kamat, Scientific Adviser to Raksha Mantri Dr G Satheesh Reddy, Director General (Technology Management) Shri Hari Babu Srivastava, Former Secretary – Department of Science & Technology Prof Ashutosh Sharma, and senior officers of Ministry of Defence and senior scientists from DRDO and academia were present on the occasion.
The two-day conclave aims to create an interface between DRDO’s requirement and Academia’s capability by a synergistic dialogue between DRDO Directors, scientists and academicians. The Conclave will have one plenary session and four technical sessions on Aeronautics, Naval, Life Science and Armament. It is being attended by about 350 senior academicians across the country.