A total of 71 MoUs, 13 product launches, 18 transfer of technology and six major announcements formed the key takeaways of the 11th edition of DefExpo 2020 held in Lucknow, taking the total number of agreements signed at the expo to more than 200. Of these, 23 MoUs worth Rs 50,000 crore were inked with the Uttar Pradesh (UP) government alone through the UPEIDA. These 23 MoUs will provide employment to over 3 lakh people.
The pacts are aimed at forging and renewing partnerships for innovative collaboration and transformation of defence manufacturing in the country. Addressing the delegates and entrepreneurs during the MoU signing programme, termed ‘Bandhan ceremony’ to create an emotional bond, chief minister Yogi Adityanath said as a state partner for this programme, UP has made the country and the world aware of new possibilities that lie unexplored in the state.
Assuring entrepreneurs that their investment will be safe and UP will set new dimensions in the field of defence production, the chief minister said during the last two years, the state government has gone all out to organise various programmes related to the Defence Corridor with the Ministry of Defence. “We have not only formulated a defence and aerospace policy in UP, but have also prepared a policy of different focus centers and increased possibilities of investment,” Adityanath said.
Of the six nodes on the UP Defence Corridor, the entire land bank in Aligarh and Jhansi has already been booked. “We now have lands available in the remaining four nodes – Agra, Chitrakoot, Kanpur and Lucknow – only,” he said.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh said the investment of the entrepreneurs who signed 23 MoUs with UP will not only help in taking forward India’s defence research and industry, but also make a major contribution to the development of the state.
“The signing of so many MoUs is a step in the direction to achieve $5-billion defence exports target in the next five years,” Singh said and expressed hope that UP would soon become a defence manufacturing hub. “The defence PSUs and the private Indian defence industry is better placed today to lead India as an emerging R&D hub of the world leveraging the sharp minds of Indian youth,” Singh said. Speaking on the occasion, Sateesh Reddy, chairman of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), said a technological partnership agreement has also been signed between the DRDO and the state government.
“It is DRDO’s duty to ensure that the Defence Corridor in Uttar Pradesh flourishes. The DRDO has, therefore, signed a technological partnership agreement with the state government, imparting skill training, hand-holding and providing guidance in all aspects related to technology,” Reddy said.
Defence secretary Ajay Kumar said the order for 83 Tejas Mk1A being placed on HAL is in advanced stages of price negotiation and will happen shortly. The final price and package details will soon be disclosed.