New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday reviewed the preparations of DefExpo-2022 scheduled to be held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat in March. DefExpo-2022 is going to be Asia’s Largest Exhibition on Land, Naval, Air and Homeland Security Systems. The event has gained significant traction since India relaxed its health protocols on February 10 due to falling cases of Covid-19. “The uncertainty on organizing such events due to the pandemic last year had not deterred India in its resolve to further the business interests of its indigenous Defence manufacturing sector and the Ministry’s decision of 31 July 2021 to go ahead with DefExpo-2022 appears not off mark in hindsight,” Defence Ministry said in a statement. 

The event will be held in hybrid mode, with stalls in both physical and virtual realms. The onboarding process of the virtual event has commenced with Ministry of Defence inviting greater participation from nations with different health protocols and the initiative will result in greater engagement and outreach as exhibitors can cater to those who are not physically present, the Ministry added. DefExpo-2022 is being planned in the largest ever area of approximately one lakh sqm at three venues: Exhibition at the Helipad Exhibition Centre (HEC), Events and Seminars at the Mahatma Mandir Convention and Exhibition Centre (MMCEC) and Live demonstration for the public at Sabarmati Riverfront. DefExpo-2022 will have 78 participating nations, 39 Minister Level delegations with other confirmations to be received in the days ahead and 1000+ registered exhibitors, the Ministry said. Rajnath Singh on February 18 had extended the event by one day noting that the relaxation in Covid protocols has generated greater interest in the exhibition.

The minister noted that such an extension will benefit the local students as dedicated trips for them are being planned. MoS Defence Ajay Bhatt, Army Chief Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane, Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar, Secretary DDR&D and Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy, Financial Advisor (Defence Services) Sanjiv Mittal and other senior officials of the Defence Ministry were also present during the review meeting.