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SOURCE: ANI

Former Air Chief Marshal (retired) RKS Bhadauria spoke about the Central government’s initiative Atmanirbhar Bharat and asserted that atmanirbharta (self-reliance) in the defence sector is the strongest pillar India needs to work on for Viksit Bharat.

Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan or self-reliant India campaign is the vision of new India envisaged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The aim is to make the country and its citizens independent and self-reliant in all senses.

When asked whether due to indigenisation or Atmanirbharta in defence, a lot of defence deals are not going outside, which was the case earlier, Bhadauria said in an exclusive interview with ANI, “I think atmanirbharta in defence is the strongest pillar that we need to work on towards ‘Viksit Bharat.’ We should go more into indigenously designed and developed as it is not enough to manufacture. Our own design and then manufacturing are the key and I think we are moving in that direction.”

The retired Air Chief Marshal further said that in the last 10 years, a lot of change has happened in the defence industrial corridors and defence industrial capability.

Speaking more on the development in the defence sector, Bhadauria said, “Look at all the reforms. Now, there are talks that DRDO will undergo further reforms, DPSUs are evolving and private sector needs to come up in a big way.”

He added, “There are a lot of hurdles that the private sector faces and I know it firsthand. Our start-ups are even facing more hurdles on issues of finance and how do they step in, and in new tech development.”
He also asserted that there is a need to invest money in research and development.

The retired Air Chief Marshal further said that the Atmanirbharta in the defence sector will rattle the forces outside. “From our point of view as defence services, as an industry, as government, we need to take very strong steps in these directions that come what may, we will make our fight with our own … and have a target for that. And I think that this is what we are doing.”

Expressing his views on BJP’s performance in Uttar Pradesh in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, he said, “If you ask me were these the numbers that I expected, then obviously no. It was much lesser and it should have been much better.”

According to the Election Commission of India, the Samajwadi Party won 37 seats, the BJP won 33, Congress won 6, Rashtriya Lok Dal won 2, and Aazad Samaj Party (Kanshi Ram) and Apna Dal (Soneylal) won 1 seat each in the Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh.

Bhadauria also spoke about the tenure of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and asserted that the country has witnessed a lot of development. “Look at the development in the country that has happened in the last decade. Be it in infrastructure, technology, or financial infrastructure, we in many areas are leading the world.”