New Delhi, Feb 3: In a bid to expand the horizon of India's Defence diplomacy, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday announced the creation of 10 new Defence Wings.
Speaking at the Defence Attaché Conference here, Mr Singh said, ''A large country like India cannot restrict it's defence cooperation to a few countries. Efforts should be made to expand it continuously. ''... creation of 10 new Defence Wings, so that 10 more Defence Attachés (DAs) could be appointed. This will further strengthen India's defence diplomacy,'' he added.
''The Government has introduced a new scheme to promote defence exports through DAs to their respective countries. Under this scheme, funds have been allocated for export promotion to 34 countries,'' the Minister said.
Mr Singh hoped that the DAs will use this fund judiciously to promote Defence exports. Talking about terror and related activities, he said it has posed a serious challenge to the international security environment and the inter-play between state and non-state actors as proxies to spread violence.
He said the continued presence of terrorist infrastructure and state support to terrorists in the neighbouring country have tested India’s patience. However, as a responsible and powerful nation, India had displayed that it was able to disrupt and deter the activities of terrorist groups and their patrons.
At the conference here, Mr Singh assured that India would continue to do so. Speaking on the threats in the Indian Ocean and the Indo-Pacific region, the Minister said, ''We need to be more focused to secure our interests. We have adopted proactive measures to promote peace and stability in the region as well as to increase defence and security cooperation with the Indian ocean rim countries so as to create a stable maritime environment.''
Turning his attention to DefExpo 2020 and opportunities provided by it, Mr Singh said, ''With the establishment of two industrial corridors in the states of Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, it is expected that this will increase defence manufacturing and exports.
''There is a lot of scope for DAs to work and attract FDI in these corridors. India has also offered several defence Line of Credits (LOC) to friendly countries to allow Indian defence exports and increase their presence in the global market,'' he added.
The Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) have also opened offices for their liaison officers in different countries like Vietnam, Singapore, Myanmar and Oman.
An Export Promotion and Investor Cell has been set up under the Department of Defence Production to facilitate Indian companies' efforts for exports.
The Notification of Open General Export License (OGEL) is also an important step in this context.
Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar, Chief of Army Staff Gen M M Naravane, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria, and DAs in various countries attended the conference. (UNI)