Kevadia: Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said India is taking big strides towards 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' and the country will soon achieve self-reliance in the defence sector.

Rajnath Singh and Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Thursday jointly reviewed the preparations of DefExpo-2022, at Kevadia in Gujarat.

The 12th edition of DefExpo, which is India's flagship event showcasing the land, naval, air as well as homeland security systems, will be held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat between March 10 and March 13, 2022.

Singh urged all the stakeholders to ensure maximum participation in the upcoming event. He hoped that not just domestic but international representation will be much greater at DefExpo-2022 than its previous edition.

Emphasising the government's resolve of 'Make in India, Make for the World', the Union Defence Minister said, "We are taking big strides towards 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' as envisioned by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We will soon achieve self-reliance in defence. Our aim is to reduce dependency on imports and increase defence exports."

On this occasion, an MoU was signed between the Ministry of Defence and the Gujarat Government for organising DefExpo-2022.

According to the Ministry of Defence, the DefExpo-2022 will be a hybrid business event, with the exhibition planned at the Helipad Exhibition Centre and seminars at Mahatma Mandir Convention and Exhibition Centre. A live demonstration of weapons and defence platforms is also being planned at the Sabarmati River Front in Ahmedabad.

The objective of DefExpo-2022 is to make India a major destination of land, naval, air and homeland security systems and defence engineering. Keeping with future warfare in mind, the event aims to recognise the impact of disruptive technologies on conflicts and its consequent impact on the equipment and platforms required.

The Ministry said DefExpo-2022 will be organised in keeping with the COVID-19 protocols and aims to ensure maximum international and domestic participation.

During the event, a conclave at the level of Defence Minister to accelerate the decision-making process. A hybrid system for attendees to join the events virtually and participate in seminars, hold B2B meetings, view products and exchange ideas/business propositions, etc will be there.

Further, Live demonstrations by the Services, Defence Public Sector Undertakings and industry to showcase land, naval, air and homeland security systems will be held.

Business seminars by both international and Indian industry chambers to capture the intellectual capital of renowned subject matter experts will also be conducted.

The DefExpo 2020 was held in Lucknow that witnessed a footfall of over 12 lakh people. The event also witnessed the participation of 70 nations. Defence Ministers of 40 different countries were present at the event.

Notably, in February 2021, India was the first country to conduct a hybrid aerospace exhibition, Aero India-2021 at Bangalore.