|HOME | NEWS | THE KARGIL CRISIS | REPORT|
August 6, 1999
Develop technology for mountain warfare: Vajpayee
In an obvious reference to problems faced by the armed forces during the Kargil conflict, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Defence Minister George Fernandes today asked the Defence Research and Development Organisation to accord highest priority to technology needed for mountain warfare.
Vajpayee was speaking after inaugurating a two-day meet of DRDO directors, which aims to come up with a technology profile for the year 2010.
''The conference is taking place at a very important moment in the history of India's national security, perhaps a turning point in our destiny as a free nation,'' Vajpayee said.
He said the DRDO scientists had proved that in spite of technology denials by Western countries, the nation was competent enough to produce high-tech systems.
''Such actions will provide strength to our political system to conduct an independent foreign policy, derived from the ability of the nation to underpin self-reliance in defence systems,'' the prime minister said.
''The indigenously developed systems are making me confident about the guaranteed technological support available from our laboratories to the armed forces. In addition, the technology needed for mountain warfare must be given the highest priority,'' he added.
Earlier in his inaugural address, the defence minister said the Kargil episode had exposed the need for India to develop technology for mountain warfare.
While complimenting the scientists, he said more attention was needed to be paid to stick to production schedules. ''It's foolish to think that the enemy will strike only when we are ready.''
The prime minister said the nation's prosperity and security and all-round wellbeing of its citizens, depended crucially on its indigenous strength in science and technology.
''Some countries have joined together and proclaimed technology denials for various political and commercial reasons. In the name of dual-use technology, many technologies are being denied to our civilian sector industries. It is indeed a challenge for the science and technological community of India,'' he said.
Vajpayee said a national movement with a consortium of laboratories, academic institutions and industries should meet such challenges in a time-bound manner. ''I am sure you can spearhead this movement to make India a self-reliant and secure nation,'' he said.
Vajpayee said two events -- India becoming a nuclear weapons state in 1998 and the operationalisation of the Agni missile system in 1999 -- had historical, technological and strategic significance, making the country self-reliant in the strategic sector.
The DRDO, he said, now had a leading role to play in generating technologies and secured systems in the field of information technology which could change the quality of life for humans.
The prime minister said it was heartening to note that the development of critical components and devices which had come out of India's foundries were the backbone to the state-of-the-art electronic systems.
''The availability of these devices had ensured that our efforts in realising complex systems have not been jeopardised by the technology denials and control regimes enforced by the developed countries. The DRDO's culture of intense partnership with R&D establishments, academic institutions and industries has enabled to overcome this problem,'' he said.
BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL RESERVATIONS | WORLD CUP 99
EDUCATION | PERSONAL HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | FEEDBACK