On May 15, 2023, the Defence Minister of India, Rajnath Singh, at the 12th convocation of the Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT) in Girinagar, Pune said the concept of non-kinetic warfare has highlighted the need for advanced technology in the defence sector.
Non-kinetic warfare refers to an action against an adversary without direct and conventional military actions, such as cyber warfare, psychological operations, information warfare, cryptography warfare and electromagnetic offensives.
In his convocation address, Rajnath Singh said, “The political and economic equations between nations are rapidly changing. Over the last few decades, the dynamics and the methods of warfare are undergoing a transformation the world over.
In addition to the surface and air domains, we are facing threats in the cyber and space domains too. The concept of non-kinetic warfare also known as contactless warfare, has highlighted the necessity of advanced technology in the defence sector. Our adversaries having more advanced technologies than us will be a cause for concern.
We have to look at technological advancements amidst global perspectives. I look at the defence sector more as a river rather than a stagnant lake. We will have to keep moving forward the way a river does, conquering all obstacles.”
Referring to the research being done in governmental institutions like DIAT, Rajnath Singh said, “The frontier of research work that you can do, the private sector may not be able to do because of certain limitations that they have. First, for cutting-edge technology, the failure rate is more than the success rate. This is even more for futuristic technologies. Thus, the publicly funded defence research and development attains an even more important role.”
Concerning Self-reliance in the defence sector, he said, “Self-reliance for us does not mean we disconnect ourselves from the rest of the world. The aim of self-reliance is to meet the needs of the Armed Forces by building necessary and important equipment and platforms with our own capacity while fulfilling the security requirements of our friendly nations through exports.
A vast nation like India cannot be exclusively dependent on imports in any sector. If we only rely on imports for defence equipment and platforms, it will make us dependent on other countries in the defence sector. This dependence will be detrimental to our strategic autonomy. In addition, the more we import from other countries, it will have an adverse effect on the balance of trade.”
The Defence Minister listed several steps taken by the defence ministry to promote self-reliance, including the promulgation of four positive indigenisation lists for the Armed Forces comprising 411 systems and equipment and positive indigenisation lists for the DPSUs (Defence Public Sector Undertakings) comprising a total of 4,666 strategically important line replacement units, spares, sub-systems, components.
The defence exports are at Rs 16000 crores in 2022-2023 from Rs 900 crores that were in 2014. Rajnath Singh is also the chancellor of the DIAT and awarded degrees to 283 students, including 261 M. Tech and M.Sc. students, along with 22 PhD scholars from numerous disciplines.
Singh was given a presentation of various ongoing developmental projects at the DIAT, including space to undersea communication systems and biomedical healthcare devices set up by a startup in the DIAT, nano-diamond battery, drone interception and combat technology, among others.