India's Needs Cannot be Met by Industries of Other Nations :Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane

India Defense

India's Needs Cannot be Met by Industries of Other Nations :Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane


Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane emphasized India's need for self-reliance in manufacturing and shipbuilding during Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited's 250th Foundation Day, highlighting the importance of domestic innovation and private sector involvement.

Mumbai, May 15, 2024 — During the 250th Foundation Day celebration of Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL), Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane emphasized the importance of India becoming self-reliant in the manufacturing sector. Speaking at the event, which included the release of a commemorative coin, a seminar, and a panel discussion on "Emerging Technologies and the Future of Shipbuilding," Aramane stressed that India's needs cannot be met by relying on foreign industries.

Aramane stated, "India is such a country that its needs cannot be met by the industries of other countries. It is impossible for us to depend on others for a consistent supply of anything—whether it's food grains or modern equipment. We have to manufacture for ourselves."

Highlighting India's extensive coastline and numerous island chains, Aramane pointed out the necessity of developing domestic capabilities. "We need several technologies which we do not have and we don't have any visibility of their being supplied by our friends from abroad," he said.

Aramane also underscored the importance of collaboration with academic institutions and young innovators. "Domestic solutions by innovation will be difficult to come by if we don't engage with the academic institutions and the young innovators who are very enthusiastic about starting their own companies and contributing to the country," he noted.

Reflecting on India's maritime heritage, Aramane mentioned that India has historically been a significant maritime nation. "India occupies a central role in the Indo-Pacific. India has been a maritime country for centuries. We forgot somewhere down the line. It was briefly revived during Chhatrapati Shivaji's time in Maharashtra. However, because our battles were fought on land, we didn't give so much importance to the Navy and shipbuilding practices. It caused immense harm to us for a period of time. From the 19th century onwards, we have been building up our capabilities again."

Aramane encouraged the integration of the private sector in shipbuilding. "Again, the time has come to give a free hand to our enterprise, where we encourage the private sector industry to acquire those instincts to contribute to the nation's growth. In this context, MDL has a major role. You (MDL) were a private company initially, and then you became a public sector company. Now again, you have to work with the private sector industry in a major fashion, build a consortium of shipbuilders, meet the needs of our country, and also contribute to our friendly countries, both to the west and east of our country."

Discussing India's role in regional security, Aramane said, "India is a member of the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative. Our Prime Minister gave importance as a concept to the Indo-Pacific, which has now been accepted by the US and other major players in the world. They consider India to contribute to the safety and security of this region—the entire Indian Ocean as well as adjoining areas of the Pacific Ocean. The Indian Navy is playing a major role."

Aramane highlighted the active role of the Indian Navy in Southeast Asia and the East African coast, emphasizing that India's geopolitical situation requires a strong shipbuilding industry. "We now send our ships and submarines to the entire Southeast Asia. Our ships constantly travel to the East African coast, and our role in the Arabian Sea has acquired a lot of laurels recently. We will continue to do this, and the situation in geopolitics is such that India has to play a major role which requires shipbuilders in India to contribute in a major fashion."

Addressing the impact of ongoing global conflicts on the defence industry, Aramane noted, "The Defence Industry worldwide is facing a capacity crunch, whether it's ammunition or land platforms, which are in great demand because of the Russia-Ukraine war. The new technologies and asymmetric warfare in the Red Sea and the Gulf indicate continued demand for the next several years to build up inventories and refurbish what is being destroyed in the two wars (Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Hamas). So, we must build the capacity to meet the security needs of ourselves and also the other friendly countries."

The event marked a significant milestone for MDL, reinforcing the critical role of self-reliance and innovation in India's defence and shipbuilding sectors.

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