Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat on Sunday (April 26) said that the Indian Armed forces are capable of undertaking any mission despite budgetary challenges arising due to Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic

"Whatever budget has been given to us, we must spend it pragmatically avoiding any wasteful expenditure. We don`t see any major drop in our operational preparedness as far as the three services are concerned," the CDS told ANI.

General Rawat asserted that COVID-19 outbreak has taught us a lesson to be self-reliant. "COVID-19 has taught us a lesson that time has come to be self-reliant. In times of crisis, nations will have to live by themselves. In fact, a country like India, when we are looking at becoming a regional power, we will have to support other nations and not be dependent on others," the CDS said.

The CDS said that the time has come for India to start addressing the issue of in-house manufacturing, the CDS said: "That is why it becomes very important that we start addressing the issue of in-house manufacturing through Make in India and make sure that whatever we are importing, gradually we should start depending on Make in India. If we start depending on Make in India, we will also reduce our ab initio holdings," he noted.

Highlighting the role of the scientists and other agencies during these challenging times, the CDS said: "The scientists and other agencies involved in medical research have come up with innovative ideas to produce medical equipment in the country which we were so far importing to help us tide over COVID-19 has been amazing."

"There is a very major lesson for us. We have been importing our weapons and ammunition from abroad but I think if we can give this challenge to our industry, academia and research and development organisation. I think if we can start manufacturing our own weapon, ammunition in the country, we may not have to be dependent on imports," he added.