New Delhi: A strong military not only secures the borders, but also protects the culture and economy of a country, said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday.
The goal is to build a strong, self-reliant and prosperous nation, which caters to its own needs as well as the requirements of friendly countries. This is an era of renaissance. It is time to re-establish India as a global superpower," said the Defence Minister at an event here.
"India is not only an emerging but a resurgent power which is regaining its place on the global economic map," said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. He began his address by stating that until the 17th century, India had a remarkably strong economy, constituting over a quarter of the world's GDP, but it lost its glory due to a weak military and political slavery." Singh asserted that the government was working on both these fronts to ensure that India regains its old glorious status.
He stated that no stone is being left unturned to create a strong, young and tech-savvy Armed Forces on the back of robust defence industry which indigenously manufactures state-of-the-art weapons and equipment, while efforts are also being made to get rid of the colonial mind-set. Citing a report by Morgan Stanley, he said that after naming India among the 'Fragile 5' economies in 2013, the investment firm recently stated that the country will be the third largest economy by 2027. Rajnath Singh listed out a number of reforms undertaken by the government to facilitate the economic growth of the country. These include direct tax reforms, GST and steps to enhance ease of doing business. There has been a revolutionary transformation in all sectors and foreign investors today see India as an attractive destination, he said.
The defence minister said that a number of steps have been taken to achieve complete 'Aatmanirbharta' in manufacturing of weapons and technologies. The major decisions include notification of four positive indigenisation lists of 411 items on behalf of the Armed Forces and four other lists of 4,666 items for DPSUs, besides setting up of Defence Industrial Corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Shedding light on the positive results achieved due to the government's efforts, Rajnath Singh stated that a record over Rs one lakh crore defence production and all-time high defence exports of almost Rs 16,000 crore in Financial Year 2022-23 are proof of the massive growth of the defence sector. He added that the startup friendly ecosystem created by the government has led to the creation of over 100 unicorns in the country, with the defence R&D and manufacturing sector witnessing a significant increase in the number of start-ups. Rajnath Singh also envisioned a developed India which ensures that universal values like democracy, religious freedom, dignity and world peace are established across the globe.
"Together, let us dream of an India where people have the same feeling of nation building, where all Indians work together without any discrimination. Let us dream of an India where people are judged not by their caste and religion, but by their knowledge and character, where every Indian has access to human rights and has commitment towards their duties. Let us dream of an India which is strong enough to defend itself and be ready to stand against any injustice anywhere in the world," he said.