New Delhi. 11 May 2020. As the country celebrated National Technology Day while calling upon the country’s pool of experts to contribute to make India a technological powerhouse Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reiterated that the Government and people fully support their future endeavours in this direction.
He stressed the need for India to become self-reliant and “net exporter of technology”. He addressed the scientists of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on the occasion of National Technology Day (NTD) through video conference.
The Minister said, “In the last five years, we have set new targets, and worked hard to formulate the right policy framework to achieve them. I am sure that you can see this change in every field of defence research, development and manufacture.” He added, “We always have to keep in mind that there is no alternative to indigenous technology and indigenous manufacture. We will be truly self-reliant only when India succeeds in becoming a net exporter instead of a net importer of technology.”
Defence organisations are tackling the challenges posed by COVID-19 using state-of-the-art technology. India’s defence forces and Research & Development efforts have contributed significantly in finding solutions to the challenges posed by this invisible enemy. He added, “DRDO has developed more than 50 products in the last 3-4 months, like bio suit, sanitiser dispenser, PPE kits, etc through its continuous efforts to contribute to the fight against COVID-19. The indomitable spirit of our defence industry has increased the opportunity for mass production of these high quality products in record time.”
The NTD is observed on 11 May commemorating the nuclear tests conducted at Pokhran in 1998 that symbolised successful achievements of home grown technologies and stressed the need for self-reliance in critical areas.
Speaking on significance of the occasion he said, “This day is dedicated to the knowledge, talent and perseverance of our Indian scientists, especially those who have made their valuable contribution in finding solutions to the complex national security challenges of the country”. He further said, “National Technology Day is an opportunity to take stock of our technological advancements and if we are to emerge as a technological force then we should know what to do. Such introspection is necessary because science and technology have become the most important drivers of a nation’s economy.” The day reminds us of the continuous effort to achieve self-reliance in important technologies, encourage innovations and maintain technology flow for product realisation, he added.
National Technology Day 2020 was celebrated at DRDO to commemorate and pay tribute to the dedication, determination, and sacrifice of scientists and engineers, who have worked for achieving a national technological identity with the success of Shakti-Pokhran 2. On this occasion, a webinar was held and a Presentation on DRDO technologies to fight against COVID-19 was given.
Member NitiAayog Dr VK Saraswat in his address congratulated DRDO for outstanding work done during the first 45 days in fight against COVID-19.He stated that the country has energised S&T infrastructure in this fight.He further advised DRDO to provide more focus on life sciences laboratories and must revive work on bio-defence programme. He emphasised the need for the development of more robotic devices where DRDO has strong base.
Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA) to the Government of India Prof K VijayRaghavan in his speech appreciated DRDO and said that it is extraordinary for it to rise to the occasion in the fight against COVID-19. He said that we should develop indigenous capability in all technology areas. He also emphasised the need of developing IT enabled technologies and applications.
Secretary DDR&D & Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy congratulated all the teams for their innovative efforts in supporting the fellow citizens, Armed Forces and Corona Warriors in combating COVID-19. He appealed to all to rededicate themselves to the service of the nation by providing cutting edge technologies for making the country strong and self-reliant.
Dr Reddy said that during lockdown, products should be supplied all over the world. Delayed delivery is no delivery. The DRDO has developed 53 products to fight COVID-19. He added that some of the systems were inducted in record time.