The Union Minister of State for Science & Technology, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said India’s jump in the space sector is phenomenal as today the country’s Chandrayaan has found water on the moon and has shared those images with NASA.
Jitendra Singh participated as chief guest at the India Defence Conclave 2023 organised by ETGovernment in New Delhi on Friday.
When we started our space journey, the US and the Soviet Union were already planning to land on the Moon. From that modest stage, due to the vision of Prime Minister Modi, we have made great progress today. While America was the first to land a man on the Moon, India’s Chandrayaan was the first to discover water on the moon. We found water on the moon and provided information on this to NASA, Singh said.
Dwelling deeply on India’s space journey, the minister said, “We have set up a SAARC satellite. Today the space technology is used across sectors, our government has successfully opened up the space sector to further realise its commercial benefits. We have launched 385 foreign satellites since independence and among this 352 satellites were launched in last nine years.”
Setting the tone for the day-long debate on India’s progress in defence sector, senior journalist TK Arun said sharp geopolitical divisions which are manifesting in the world. Defence budgets of most nations are rising. NATO countries have increased their defence spending. The belligerence of North Korea has forced Japan and South Korea to increase their own capabilities. More and more countries are finding it necessary to stand on their own feet when it comes to defence. India too has to stand on its own feet, he said.
Dr Sanjay Kumar Jha, Chairman and Managing Director, Mishra Dhatu Nigam Ltd (Midhani), said, iDEX is playing a vital role in the defence space by encouraging startups which are working with emerging technologies to build new high-tech weapon systems. The country is looking for ways of becoming self-reliant in defence. The iDEX initiative could reduce India’s dependence on other countries for weapon systems.
Jha said the materials for the defence equipment are most essential, which Midhani is able to produce in sufficient quantities for defence manufacturing needs of the country today.
Lazar Vukadinovic, Deputy Head of the Mission, Republic of Serbia, complemented the government of India for taking steps for improving self-reliance in defence. “Our positive partnership will open areas of new opportunities for Indian companies looking to invest in Serbia. We are really excited to share opportunities in defence, medical and other areas of cooperation,” he said.
Atul Dinkar Rane, Director General, BrahMos, said the future of the defence sector in India is bright. “The defence ecosystem is expanding. Brahmos has become the first weapon system in the country to be exported to other countries,” Rane said.