Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said that India is not an emerging but a resurgent power that is regaining its place on the global economic map under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Singh's remarks came while he was addressing an event here in New Delhi.
He began his address by stating that until the 17th century, India had a remarkably strong economy, constituting over a quarter of the world's GDP, but it lost its glory due to a weak military and political slavery.
The Defence Minister asserted that the government is working on both these fronts to ensure that India regains its old glorious status. He stated that no stone is being left unturned to create a strong, young & tech-savvy Armed Forces on the back of a robust defence industry that indigenously manufactures state-of-the-art weapons/equipment, while efforts are also being made to get rid of the colonial mindset.
"A strong military not only secures the borders but also protects the culture & economy of a country. The goal is to build a strong, self-reliant and prosperous nation, which caters to its own needs as well as the requirements of friendly countries. This is an era of renaissance. It is time to re-establish India as a global superpower," he said.
Citing a report by Morgan Stanley, Singh said that after naming India among the 'Fragile 5' economies in 2013, the investment firm recently stated that the country will be the third largest economy by 2027.
He termed it as a testament to the growth of the Indian economy in recent years. He was of the view that the phrase 'emerging power' can be used for India in the immediate perspective, but for the long term, he views it as a resurgent power, which is regaining its place on the world economic map.
Singh listed out a number of reforms undertaken by the Government to facilitate the economic growth of the country. These include direct tax reforms, GST and steps to enhance the ease of doing business. "There has been a revolutionary transformation in all sectors and foreign investors today see India as an attractive destination, he said.
On the transformative changes brought about in the defence sector in the last few years, the Defence Minister stated that a number of steps have been taken to achieve complete 'Aatmanirbharta' in the manufacturing of weapons and technologies. The major decisions include notification of four positive indigenisation lists of 411 items on behalf of the Armed Forces & four other lists of 4,666 items for DPSUs, besides setting up of Defence Industrial Corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Shedding light on the positive results achieved due to the Government's efforts, Singh stated that a record of over Rs one lakh crore in defence production and all-time high defence exports of almost Rs 16,000 crore in the Financial Year 2022-23 are proof of the massive growth of the defence sector.
He added that the start-up-friendly ecosystem created by the Government has led to the creation of over 100 unicorns in the country, with the defence R&D and manufacturing sector witnessing a significant increase in the number of start-ups.
The minister also shared his insights on the Prime Minister's vision for India to be a developed nation by 2047, which he voiced during his 2022 Independence Day address from the ramparts of Red Fort.
"The Government is focusing on all sectors, including health, education, road transport, railways and border development to realise the Prime Minister's vision," he said.
Singh spelt out his vision for India@2047, which includes a robust government machinery; help to every person in need; social harmony; equal participation of women and an ecosystem that creates more & more employment opportunities.
He also called for further increasing the capacity of the economic infrastructure to ensure a high quality of life for the country's population, while developing the abilities of the youth. He envisioned growth with an efficient market economy, where people have the freedom to start any business/job.
The minister added that emphasis should be laid to maintain the standard of life of those who unfortunately are unable to fulfil their dreams due to physical/mental illness or family reasons.
"We need to build a welfare state. A state with high-quality nutrition, housing, education and healthcare for its people. For this 'social safety net', both public and private sectors need to work together," he said. He visualised an India, where the citizens take pride in their culture and civilization, respect values and traditions and welcome new ideas.
Singh also envisioned a developed India which ensures that universal values like democracy, religious freedom, dignity and world peace are established across the globe.
"Together, let us dream of an India where people have the same feeling of nation-building; where all Indians work together without any discrimination. Let us dream of an India where people are judged not by their caste and religion, but by their knowledge and character; where every Indian has access to human rights and has a commitment towards their duties. Let us dream of an India which is strong enough to defend itself and be ready to stand against any injustice anywhere in the world," he said further. (ANI)