While India's military is hugely dependent on equipment from abroad, the country is aspiring to self-sufficiency in defence manufacturing.
The goal was set soon after the NDA government came to power -- it was a key facet of PM Modi's Make in India initiative. DefExpo, the four-day exhibition which the Prime Minister inaugurated this morning, is a step towards achieving it.
The 10th edition of exhibition, held first in 1999, has been titled "India: The emerging defence manufacturing hub". From offering a platform to foreign firms to showcase their products, the exhibition this year is focusing on India's ability to successfully manufacture defence systems.
In his address at the DefExpo, held near Chennai, PM Modi said the government has worked to reduce entry barriers, especially for small and medium enterprises. The system is now "more transparent, more predictable and more outcome oriented".The government, he said, is committed to building a defence industrial complex, "with room for everyone". "We are committed to building two defence industrial corridors - one here in Tamil Nadu and one in Uttar Pradesh. We have also established defence investor cell. Venture capital and startups in defence sector will be encouraged," he said.Aiming at the previous Congress-led governments, the Prime Minister said, "We have seen damage that laziness, incompetence and hidden motives can cause to the nation. Issues that should have been addressed by previous governments are being addressed now."