From a time when we would import materials required in the defence sector, India has now reached a point where we can not only make equipment ourselves but also export them to other countries, said Aeronautical Society of India president and scientific advisor to Raksha Mantri G. Satheesh Reddy.

Delivering the ‘E. Yarlagadda Sreeramulu 20th Endowment’ lecture, organised jointly by the Institution of Engineers (Andhra Pradesh Centre) and Malaxmi Group on the ‘Evolving Defence Ecosystem Towards Atmanirbhar Bharat’ in Vijayawada on Monday, Mr. Reddy said: “Be it submarines, surface-to-surface missiles, surface-to-air missiles, electronic warfare — we have made it all. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make In India’ initiative, the country has emerged self-reliant in the defence sector, as we no longer depend on equipment from other countries. Our next goal should be ‘Make for the World’.”

Up until 2000, there were not many defence sector-related industries within the nation, however, the number has now increased to 18,000, he said, adding that 500 educational institutes related to the sector and research centres have also been established in the last two decades.

“No longer does a student feel the need to travel abroad for studies. We have premier educational institutions in every State,” he said, encouraging the youth to come up with innovative ideas in the defence and technical fields.

He further said that Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has entered into a partnership agreement with 15 higher educational institutions for Industry Academia Centre of Excellence (DIA-CoE).

Malaxmi Group founder Yarlagadda Harichandra Prasad, who organises the lecture annually in memory of his father Yarlagadda Sriramulu, lauded Mr. Reddy for his services to the nation.