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India in transitional phase towards self-reliance in defence: Rajnath

New Delhi : India is witnessing a transitional phase towards self-reliance in defence sector and active and collective efforts are central to realise the dream of Aatmanirbhar Bharat, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Wednesday.

Addressing the CMDs and non-official directors of defence public sector undertakings during the first of its kind workshop held by Department of Defence Production here, he exhorted them to ensure smooth implementation of various initiatives taken by the government towards achieving ‘Aatmanirbharta in Defence’.

He listed out various initiatives taken by Defence Ministry to achieve self-reliance including simplification of acquisition process of defence equipment or platforms under Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020, flexibility in offset guidelines, increase in FDI limit to 74 per cent under automatic route and up to 100 per cent under government route, simplification of process of obtaining license, launch of Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) initiative, and enhanced use of Artificial Intelligence in the defence sector.

Rajnath Singh said that the ministry has set a target of Rs 1.75 lakh crore of defence production by 2025, which includes export of Rs 35,000 crore. He exuded confidence that the DPSUs will play a major role in achieving this goal with a contribution of 70-80 per cent, and urged the CMDs & NODs to work hand-in-hand to ensure that these public sector companies find place among world’s best in different fields.

Terming NoDs as vigil keepers who keep a close watch on the strategy, performance, risk management, resources, key appointments, CSR, sustainable development and standards of conduct of DPSUs, he underlined their valuable contribution in helping the DPSUs reach their goals.

Singh also urged them to introduce best practices prevalent in the private sector and share insights & guidance in policy making. The NODs must encourage the DPSUs for greater R&D and motivate them for sensible risks, he added.

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