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India takes another step towards making defence industry self-reliant

The defence exports have crossed Rs 38,000 crore mark in the last seven years

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch several new initiatives of the Ministry of Defence, including the foundation stone laying of the first project of the Jhansi node of the UP Defence Industrial Corridor, in a ceremony scheduled to be held in the precincts of Jhansi Fort on Friday.  

The ceremony, being organised on the birth anniversary of Rani of Jhansi Laxmi Bai on November 19, will also witness the culmination of the three-day 'Rashtra Raksha Samarpan Parv' which was inaugurated by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday.

"Our country is facing many types of conventional and non-conventional challenges – from border threats to sub-conventional threats like terror and extremism. There is a need to create a strong, modern and well-equipped military, along with an equally capable, vibrant and self-reliant defence industry, which can provide low-cost yet top-quality equipment to our forces in a time-bound manner," Singh said at the inauguration of the festival.

He also listed a number of initiatives undertaken by the Modi government under the 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' initiative to strengthen the defence sector and ensure strategic independence.

This includes the structural and organisational reforms in the defence sector, including corporatisation of Ordnance Factory Board; setting up of defence corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu; increase in Foreign Direct Investment and draft Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy 2020.

Singh expressed confidence that these steps will not only increase the country's strength but also provide a roadmap to the Indian defence manufacturing for the future. Mentioning the Rs 50,000 crore order from the armed forces to Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL), he highlighted that the government's efforts have already started to bear fruit.

Shedding light on other visible results, the Defence Minister said that the defence exports have crossed Rs 38,000 crore mark in the last seven years.

Joining of more than 10,000 SMEs in the defence sector and increase in research and development, start-up, innovation and employment in the defence sector are a result of the policies rolled out by the government, he reflected.

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