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Indian defence capabilities in last 10 years gone up substantially: NITI Aayog member Saraswat

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NITI Aayog member VK Saraswat

New Delhi: India's defence capabilities have gone up substantially during the past decade of the Modi government and now the country is dependent on arms import only for immediate requirements of the armed forces, NITI Aayog member VK Saraswat said on Wednesday.

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Saraswat, a former Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) chief further said at present 60 per cent of India's total arms and ammunition are indigenous.

"Indian defence capabilities in the last 10 years have gone up substantially," he told PTI.

Prime Minister Modi-led government came to power in 2014 and came back with a thumping majority in 2019.

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"India's complete ecosystem of defence is largely now indigenous. We are dependent on imports only for immediate requirements of the armed forces or something which we do not have technology for," Saraswat added.

He said that now big corporate houses like the Adani Group, Tata Group, and L&T are manufacturing indigenous radar systems and guns.

Commenting on Swedish think tank SIPRI's recent report, Saraswat said, "While our arms requirement is going up, the ratio of imports to our overall defence requirement is decreasing, despite a rise in the total value of imports." Swedish think tank SIPRI on March 11 had said India remains the world's top arms importer and its imports increased by 4.7 per cent between 2014-2018 and 2019-2023.

Asked if India faces a high risk of power cuts this summer, as there are heatwaves in parts of the country, the NITI Aayog member said that the country's installed capacity is sufficient for meeting the power requirements.

Saraswat said India's installed capacity is around 452 gigawatts and it is sufficient for meeting the power requirements of the country. "I do not expect major power cuts this summer because of the capacity problem," he said.

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