Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar calls for special attention to R&D

Bengaluru: Observing that there is a 'mad rush' for IT engineers, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Friday said Research and Development (R&D) is a very important field and it needs special attention.

Noting that former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam's greatest contribution was in building 'scientific temperament' by striking chord with young minds, which, Parrikar said, "is very important for any country particularly in the research and development field, because nowadays we have that mad rush for IT engineers, then the rush for engineers, but the basic sciences were left there." He said it was actually the research of basic science which probably laid the foundation for technological research.

"Dr Kalam created interest among young minds in pure science, scientific research and crated the scientific temperament. I think his biggest contribution was igniting interest among the young generation to consider science, technology as carrier; to consider science technology as what what would add to the nation's wealth."

Kalam also encouraged them to stay back so that they can contribute to the net national intelligence wealth, Parrikar said after inaugurating Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Memorial Seminar on 'Developing & Sustaining a Vibrant R&D for Indian Aerospace & Defence Sector' in Bengaluru.

Stating that probably due to Kalam's efforts some of them came back to serve the country, Parrikar said, "the current political leadership also goes in the same line which may result in some reverse exodus."

Complimenting Indian Aerospace and Defence Industry for organising the seminar, the Defence Minister said "... this is a very important beginning for a concept which my government under the leadership of (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi ji is trying to also formulate."

Parrikar further said that the 'Make In India' policy was one of the major components of the NDA government and could probably result in a sea change in the attitude of working.

"Make in India in defence and aerospace is particularly important more so because of its strategic requirement, it can save lot of foreign exchange, it can develop skillset, it can develop skilled manpower, it can contribute to the economy of the country, it can contribute to technology- mind you the space and defence are the two areas which while producing something for themselves have spillover effect," he added.

Stating that many times the technologies developed by organisations involved in defence, aerospace and aeronautics had resulted in spin-off to the civil and commercial sectors, Parrikar said, "R&D is a very important field and this field needs special attention."

"We need to focus on several areas so that we can really become independent or self sufficient in most of our major weapons and platforms used," he said.

ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC) Director M Annadurai, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) Chairman & Managing Director S K Sharma, Society of Indian Aerospace Technologies and Industries (SIATI) president C G Krishnadas Nair were among those present at the event.

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