KOCHI, JANUARY 2, 2022
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday called for making India fully self-reliant in all areas, including strategic domains.
Addressing scientists and staff of the Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory at Kochi, the Vice President stressed the need for increasing indigenous content in the defence sector and cutting down on imports.
“To achieve that, we need to not only give greater thrust to R & D activities, but also allow private collaboration, wherever it is possible and feasible, with stringent quality controls,” Naidu observed.
On this occasion, the Vice President virtually laid the foundation stone of the “Towed Array Integration Facility”, essential for the development of towed array sonar systems, which is critical to underwater defence. The towed array sonar system is expected to enhance the Navy’s capabilities to detect quieter enemy submarines underwater.
Asserting that India is strongly marching ahead on its way to becoming a global superpower in the coming decades, he lauded the scientists in defence, space and other areas for doing excellent work in strengthening India’s security.
Referring to the fact that India is still one of the largest importers of defence equipment, the Vice President said, in this context, the contribution of a small lab like NPOL in empowering the nation in its defence needs is truly commendable.
Keeping in view the geo-political scenario in our neighbourhood, Naidu said NPOL’s role towards national security is paramount as all warships or conventional submarines in the fleet of the Indian Navy are installed with NPOL-developed sonars. “Besides bringing in the socio-economic gains by stopping imports in this niche domain, NPOL has been able to master a very complex and critical technology that is giving a strategic edge to the Indian Navy in anti-submarine warfare capabilities,” he added.
Lauding the laboratory for establishing itself as a leading Research & Development centre in the area of underwater surveillance systems, he noted that it is currently working on ambitious mission mode projects and technology demonstration projects, besides undertaking a major Flagship Programme, the INTEGRATED MARITIME SURVEILLANCE (INMARS) Programme for Indian Navy’s future requirement for the next 15 years.
Appreciating NPOL for building strong network with industry and contributing towards improving financial performance of PSUs, the Vice President noted that NPOL has also nurtured more than 100 local industries, including MSMEs and Start-ups, for developing niche technologies.
On the occasion, the Vice President also inaugurated Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam memorial and an installation on the occasion of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav near the laboratory. Describing the memorial as “truly befitting”, he said that it will inspire countless people from all walks of life every day.