Udhampur- The Northern Command of the Indian Army on Friday began a two-day symposium in Jammu and Kashmir's Udhampur district to identify cutting-edge technologies it needed for solving operational challenges.
General Officer Commanding in Chief (GoC-In-C), Northern Command, Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi said the seminar will pave the way to identify suitable technologies and products for subsequent trials and inductions into the command.
He said the Ministry of Defence has set a target for indigenous defence manufacturing of items worth USD 25 billion, including an export target of USD 5 billion, by 2025.
"I am extremely delighted to be here to unfold and be part of one of the most awaited events both for the Northern Command and the Industry -- the North Tech Symposium 2022 -- after a gap of two years," Lt Gen Dwivedi said.
The Northern Command is most actively engaged in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations in Jammu and Kashmir besides strategic areas in eastern Ladakh.
The theme of the symposium self-reliance in defence through Atmanirbharta and infusion of new technologies to meet operational challenges of the command' is quite apt and conveys our pressing needs of the day, Lt Gen Dwivedi said.
He said the symposium is aimed at enabling greater engagements with the Indian private sector, R&D organisations and academia, which are Army's potential partners in development, fabrications and induction of technologically-advanced systems to meet the operational needs of the Northern Command.
"The intervening period has made us realise the importance of Raksha Atmanirbharta or self-reliance in defence manufacturing. A large number of initiatives have been undertaken by the government to give the requisite impetus to the domestic defence industry with a view to attain self-reliance," he added.
Over 10 top companies are showcasing their products in defence, surveillance and security sectors at the symposium to enhance the Atmanirbhharta' drive of the government in defence technology.
The Army commander said the symposium will pave the way to identify suitable technologies and products for subsequent trials and inductions into the Northern Command, besides facilitating interface with the field army to orient its products towards specific operational requirements.
"It will also enable all ranks to enhance their technological knowledge and threshold for conduct of efficient and smooth operations, he added.
The primary objective of the symposium is to bridge the gap between user requirement of critical defence products and technologies and the capabilities of Indian OEMs and vendors to address the same through their products, leading to speedier procurement by the Northern Command, Lt Gen Dwivedi added.
He said at this stage, alternative solutions are also most welcome.
"The solutions that we seek with respect to the border guarding and internal security challenges will lead to operational convergence of CAPFs such as BSF, CRPF, ITBP and state police co-employed within the Northern Command.
Many initiatives taken thus far, under the able tutelage of the lieutenant governors of both J-K and Ladakh, have been co-opted and integrated by us in our efforts to foster synergy, he said.
The Army commander said this year the event is being conducted in two parts.
"On the first day i.e. today, the seminar is being conducted with the theme self-reliance in defence through atmanirbharta and infusion of new technologies to meet operational challenges of northern command'.
Concurrently, a two-day equipment display and exhibition is being conducted today and tomorrow, wherein Indian industry has joined hands with us to display its products and technologies, he added.
"I am sanguine that the elites present here will optimally utilise this opportunity. We must interact freely with the academia and industry experts and designers to work towards the common objective of enhancing our technological threshold and imbibe the best for our immediate operational requirements," Lt Gen Dwivedi said.
Let us kindle our minds with new ideas and collective approach towards fulfillment of these common objectives," he said.
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