Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the ‘Make In India’ pavilion in the upcoming DefExpo- 2018, showcasing India’s self-reliance in the defence sector. This will be the first time the prime minister is attending the DefExpo, which will be the tenth edition of Asia’s biggest international land, naval and internal homeland security systems exhibition.
The event, organised by the defence ministry, will be held at Thiruvidandai in Kanchipuram district, near Chennai, from April 11 to 14.
Delay over the confirmation of the presence of PM Modi at the event by the Prime Minister’s Office had put defence ministry officials in a quandary as the inauguration of the event will be done by the defence minister on April 11. PM Modi will be attending the event on April 12.
The defence ministry officials maintained that after PM Modi’s office confirmed his participation, a special pavilion has reportedly been set up, which will have products from all the defence public sector undertakings along with some domestic private sector players in the defence sector, showcasing India’s might in the defence industry.
“Due to his hectic schedule, the prime minister will be attending the event on day two. Inauguration of the event will be done by the defence minister,” said an official of the defence ministry.
Anticipating over 80 companies showcasing their products, nearly 50 countries have already confirmed their participation in the event. The ministry official claimed that this will be the biggest ever DefExpo.
DefExpo, a biennial event, used to happen in the national capital. However, Manohar Parrikar, took it to his home-state, Goa, in 2016 and now Nirmala Sitharaman moved it to Tamil Nadu. In fact, uncertainty over its venue delayed the event, which normally used to take place in February and March.
The ministry said DefExpo 2018 will, for the first time, project India’s defence manufacturing capabilities to the world. It will brand India as a defence exporter of several defence systems and components for all three services—Army, Navy and Air Force, according to the statement issued by the ministry.
It said showcasing the potential of India’s public sector as well as private industries to manufacture components and sub-systems of major platforms will also be a focus area.