Defence before 2014? What Was It? PM Modi Makes a Poll Vault @ Military Meet
POKHRAN, Mar 12 (The CONNECT) – Presenting his government’s ten-year defence report card, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today told a military gathering that during this period defence production of the country has doubled to more than Rs 1 lakh crore.
In the last 10 years, more than 150 defence startups have started and defence forces have given them orders worth Rs 1800 crore, Modi said after witnessing a synergised demonstration of indigenous defence capabilities in the form of a Tri-Services Live Fire and Manoeuvre Exercise in Pokhran, Rajasthan today.
‘Bharat Shakti’ will have on display an array of indigenous weapon systems and platforms as a demonstration of the prowess of the country, premised on the nation’s Aatmanirbharata initiative.
“Aatmanirbharta for India’s defence needs is the guarantee of self-confidence in the armed forces”, PM Modi said. He underlined that the energy of the armed forces increases manifold when the weapons and equipment used during wars are made indigenously.
In the last 10 years, the Prime Minister said India has produced its own fighter jet, aircraft carriers, C295 transport aircraft and advanced flight engines.
(The PM did not mention that the work on India’s first made-in-India built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant project at Cochin Shipyard was started in February 2009. The warship with an overall indigenous content of 76% was commissioned in July 2022.)
The Prime Minister expressed happiness that in the last 10 years, equipment worth Rs 6 lakh crore has been procured from Indian companies.
Referring to the recent Cabinet decision to design, develop and manufacture 5th generation fighter jets in India, Modi envisioned the growth of defence sector and the numerous employment and self-employment opportunities to be created in the future.
Recalling the time when India used to be the largest defence importer in the world, the Prime Minister highlighted India’s emergence as a defence exporter and mentioned an eight-fold increase in the country’s defence exports compared to 2014.
Recalling the atmosphere of defence scams, scarcity of ammunition and deterioration of ordnance factories before 2014, the Prime Minister mentioned the corporatization of the ordnance factories into 7 big companies. Similarly, HAL was brought back from the brink and turned into a company with record profit. PM Modi also mentioned the creation of CDS, the establishment of the War Memorial and border infrastructure.

“Families of service personnel from the armed forces have experienced the meaning of Modi’s guarantee”, the Prime Minister said with pride, mentioning the implementation of One Rank One Pension. He informed that 1.75 lakh defence personnel from Rajasthan have received the benefit of Rs 5,000 crores under OROP.
Speaking about the test firing of the long-range AGNI missile equipped with advanced MIRV technology yesterday, the Prime Minister affirmed that only a handful of countries in the world have hold of this new-age technology and prowess and underlined that the testing is another feather in the cap for aatmairbhata in defence.
“The idea of Viksit Bharat is unimaginable without aatmanirbhar Bharat”, the Prime Minister said, underscoring the need to reduce dependence on others. Noting that today’s occasion is a step towards this resolution, the Prime Minister said that India is laying emphasis on aatmanirbharta from edible oils to fighter jets.
He said that the success of aatmnirbharta in defence can be seen with India’s tanks, cannons, fighter jets, helicopters and missile systems which reflect India’s strength. “We are experiencing the flight of Made in India with arms and ammunition, communication devices, cyber and space. This is indeed Bharat Shakti”, an elated Prime Minister said. He also mentioned indigenously made Tajas fighter jets, advanced light combat helicopters, submarines, destroyers, aircraft carriers, advanced Arjun Tanks and cannons.
Listing out the steps for making India self-reliant in the defence sector, the Prime Minister mentioned policy reforms and roping in the private sector and encouragement of MSME startups in the field. He talked about defence corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and informed about Rs 7000 crore investment therein. Furthermore, Asia’s largest helicopter factory has started working in India.
PM Modi emphasized that the strength of the armed forces increases in proportion to the economic muscle of the nation. He said that when we become the third largest economy in the world, defence prowess will also touch new heights. He acknowledged the role of Rajasthan in the process and said “Viksit Rajasthan will give strength to Viksit Sena”.