Reddy recalled the decades of the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) development in the 1980s and 1990s, praising the role of scientists, including former President APJ Abdul Kalam, known as the “missile man” of India who worked on missile technologies enabled a “quantum leap” in the development of advanced systems and platforms.
He mentioned the five missiles –
, Agni, Akash, Trishul Nag – developed by India as part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP).
“We developed Prithvi, Agni, Akash, Trishul, Nag as part of the IGMDP. Agni was also a technology demonstrator for the country to leave the atmosphere and return to the atmosphere.
“And then we joined a select club of ballistic missile countries that can intercept and kill an enemy missile. And then many more long-range and more capable missiles,” he said.
“Today I can confidently say that we have a full ‘atmanirbharta’ in missile technology and can develop the most advanced missiles in the country,” said Reddy.
He also talked about the anti-satellite test (A-SAT) that India conducted in March 2019 to the US, Russia and China – which have such capabilities.
The lecture on Defense Technologies for National Security of India was organized by the JNU School of Engineering, and its Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar, several faculties and students also attended the online event.
Reddy, who is Secretary of the Department of Defense’s Department of Research and Development, also claimed that over the past six to seven years he had seen various students and innovators going beyond ICT and choosing subjects such as materials science, which are important to the defense technologies sector will be .
He advocated that academic institutions play a greater role in realizing the vision of “Atmanirbhar Bharat”.
“If our country has to be independent today, if we have to become ‘atmanirbhar’ and wealthy, we have to work on advanced technology, and this is where the role of academic institutions will play a big role,” said Reddy.
He spoke about centers of excellence that have emerged at various IITs and opportunities for students to work as Junior Research Fellow and Senior Research Fellow at DRDO.
In the area of advanced technology, he said, areas that DRDO works in include anti-drone systems, artificial intelligence (AI), cyberspace, secure systems and communications.
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