Defexpo 2020 - Inauguration
Roadmap for Artificial Intelligence in defence sector soon: PM Modi
By R Chandrakanth
The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi today said the government is coming up with a roadmap for Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the defence sector. In the next five years, it is intended to launch over 25 products in AI as India is already in the forefront of AI technologies compared to any other country in the world. Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data Analytics and digital technologies are future and the government understands this and is investing heavily in Research and Development.
Inaugurating in Lucknow, the 11th edition of DefExpo 2020, India’s premier biennial land, naval and homeland security systems exhibition, the Prime Minister said technological innovations will drive Indian defence industries which in turn will boost exports which till some years was almost non-existent. “India’s share in global exports is increasing. In the next five years, defence exports alone should be touching Rs. 25,000 crores (5 billion USD), from the present Rs. 17,000 crores.
The Prime Minister said after Independence we did not focus on research and development and supporting Indian industries. “We believed in imports and we became one of the world’s biggest importer of defence equipment, besides other goods.” To become a 5 trillion economy, it is necessary for India to be driven by its own manufacturing.”
Since 2014, the government has radically changed track and initiated reformist policies which helped ease of doing business. The focus is on ‘Make in India’ for the world. The government, he said, is clear that defence manufacturing is not going to be limited to government undertakings but will continue to encourage private sector to invest more in defence industries. One of the initiatives, he mentioned, is by the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) which does transfer of technology free of cost to anyone who wants to commercialise it. It also has 5 new labs for the country’s youth who are managing them.
There are plans for setting up 200 start-ups launching 50 new technologies in the defence realm and work is on in that direction. A defence manufacturing body, common platform for the sector, will soon be set up.
Talking about defence manufacturing hubs, Mr. Modi said the defence production corridor in Uttar Pradesh is going to be one of the top most in the years to come. The corridors, one in Tamil Nadu and the other in Uttar Pradesh, will not only create thousands of jobs, but also boost defence exports. “India is not just a market, it is a great opportunity.”
The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath said the State Government is putting all its might in making the defence production corridor in Uttar Pradesh pride of India. The infrastructure for setting up the corridor is falling in place. Expressways, connecting Agra to Lucknow; the Purvanchal Expressway from Jhansi to Chitrakoot and the Bundelkhand Expressway would interconnect the corridor which will spur economic activity, creating large scale employment.
The Minister of Defence, Rajnath Singh said the government was further simplifying policies and procedures to encourage private sector investment in the defence sector. The Make in India initiative is a building block and there has been substantial progress in that direction as the government is laying emphasis on innovation and ideation.