India aims to become self-reliant in defence sector: Punjab Governor

Chandigarh, December 13

Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore on Friday said the country is striving to become self-reliant in manufacturing defence equipment with cutting-edge technology. 

Badnore made the remark while addressing a gathering after inaugurating the third edition of annual Military Literature Festival (MLF) here.

The nation has come a long way since Independence in 1947 and it is no longer dependent upon food or aid from abroad, said Badnore, adding the country, in fact, now provides aid to other weaker nations.

“We have had to rely upon war material from other countries but slowly, we aim to become self-reliant in making our own weapon systems with cutting-edge technology,” said the governor.

“For defence systems, ‘Make in India’ is no longer a mere slogan but a reality. Very soon we shall be securing our nation with a totally indigenously designed and manufactured weapons and equipment inventory,” said Badnore who is also the Chandigarh UT administrator.

Badnore also appreciated that one of the panel discussions during this festival is focussing upon the aforesaid issue and urged defence manufacturers to utilise the platform provided by this event to make people aware of this reality.

Perhaps a defence and security exposition showcasing domestic and international weapons systems and equipment should become a part of this festival next year, he further said.

On the occasion, the governor also paid tributes to the martyrs of Parliament attack, who made the supreme sacrifice while defending the ‘temple of democracy’ on this day in 2001.             The Punjab government organises MLF, an annual event, in collaboration with the Chandigarh administration.

Referring to the 150th birth birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and the 550th of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev, the governor said these occasions remind that the way of nations must be that of non-violence and a universal brotherhood where war is never an option.

But at the same time, he said India, as a strong nation, was capable enough to deal with any kind of insurgency threatening peace, unity and integrity of the country from within or across borders.

“Our armed forces have demonstrated this with a surgical strike in the mountains across the Line of Control and an air strike deep in Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province,” he said.

“Our country has exhibited that it was competent in reaching targets in space, are evolving own global positioning system and have the ability to watch its frontiers and beyond with our satellite systems,” he said.

Talking about the MLF, the governor recalled that he mooted the idea to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to start a literary festival, like Jaipur and other areas, in Chandigarh with sole focus on defence and war, which was accepted by him.

The festival is an excellent way of educating citizens and youths of the country about the country’s armed forces, their discipline and culture, their sacrifices and unique unity in diversity for the good of the nation, he said.

The governor said the event would surely provide a healthy platform for children to acquaint themselves with war stories, besides an opportunity to interact with the veterans and serving officers.

He said despite several odds, the people of Punjab “came out of their misfortunes” and turned the state into “the bread basket of India”.

Prominent amongst those present on the occasion included former Chief of Army Staff General VP Malik, ex-Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa, Former Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba, British Deputy High Commissioner in Chandigarh, Andrew Ayre, and Canadian Consulate General Mia Yen. — PTI

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