India shouldn’t shy away from realigning structures for enhancing national security: Doval

India shouldn't shy away from realigning structures for enhancing national security: Doval

NEW DELHI: Technology is key to winning in geopolitics and India should not shy away from revisiting basics and realigning its structures in line with emerging realities for enhancing national security, NSA Ajit Doval said Tuesday while stressing on the need for defence modernisation.

In an address at a DRDO conclave, the NSA lamented that India had been a runner-up when it came to defence technology. He observed that the country’s security vulnerabilities “are much greater today” and are going to be “even more greater in the times to come”.

The National Security Adviser said the armies that were better equipped always called the shots and decided the destiny of mankind.

“They were always the one which had higher technologies. India’s own historical experience on this has been sad, we were the runner-up. There is no trophy for the runner up,” he said.

“Either you’re better than your adversaries or you’re not there at all. In modern world, technology and money are two things which will influence geopolitics. Who’ll win will depend upon who has preponderance over their adversaries on these two. Of the two, technology is more important,” he said.

He said that India should asses expertise available with all centres of excellence ISRO, CSIR, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and the private sector, and see how these can be collectively used to develop core technologies for national security.

“India needs to enhance its capabilities for technology absorption not only in the laboratories but also in production of systems,” Doval said.

The NSA said niche technologies need to be need based and affordable and that identifying them should be done in consultation with stakeholders.

He said constant adaptation and change is progress and therefore the country should not be shy to revisit basics and realign our structures in line with emerging realities.

“Technology is going to remain at the forefront… And, for a strong and secure country, the role of the DRDO is going to be of great importance. And, if you succeed, we will remain invincible. So, the scientific community has to play a lead role,” Doval said.

“The DRDO has a very seminal role to play in making India strong and secure,” he said.

He pitched for revisiting the fundamentals and said, “just because something has been done for too long, it does no validate it being right”.

“Moreover, it might have been right when it was thought of, but probably it required change. And, all progress is change. So, don’t be shy of changing the system, procedures, process,” he said.

Doval concluded his talk by giving example of young scientists like Alan Turing and other data scientists or code breakers who made the difference between victory and defeat during the wars.

DRDO scientists were as important as these scientists and can make a big difference in crucial situations, he said.

He emphasised on the need to redefine niche technology, saying, “It will be a good thing to identify in consultation with all stakeholders as to what technology that they want. And, thereafter focus on them and do it within the real time”.

This time overrun is something that should be totally shunned, particularly by organisation like the DRDO, he said.

“Because, what we say is relevant today. It does not have an indefinite life span, it is relevant in a certain space of time. Beyond that time, probably, if we cannot achieve that, our adversaries are able to get an edge over that and then it is a redundant technology.

“It doesn’t matter much. So, either we do it in real time, and if we feel is something that it is not doable for us, let us go for the higher thing and redefine our niche technology,” Doval said.

He said, a lot of new, emerging technologies are coming up in various diverse areas and in certain areas “we have got a very definite advantage”.

“In defence technology, equipment is so complex and expensive that we are in regime of a distributed production. So, we need to identify those critical components, critical technology, which we would like to have a control over and improve upon.

“That is where the integration of the system comes in. And, capability of integration of system is probably more important than mastering of all the systems, he said.

“This integration of systems for defence purposes and security, except the DRDO perhaps, no other institution which is competent for doing it. So, systems integration is extremely important, and we should be probably focussing more on that”. PTI

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