The Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu has said that the only matter to be discussed with Pakistan is the handing over the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) to India and asserted that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India.

Speaking at the golden Jubilee Celebrations of Naval Science and Technological Laboratory at Visakhapattanam, Andhra Pradesh today, the Vice President said that the government had only made administrative changes with regard to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. “We will not tolerate anybody’s interference in our internal affairs,” he added. 

Urging all Indians to speak in one voice on matters of security and national integrity, Shri Naidu said that India was a peace loving country but would give a befitting reply if anybody tried to attack India.  Shri Naidu accused a neigbouring country of aiding, abetting and funding terrorism from across the border.

Shri Naidu lauded NSTL for carrying out Research & Development in core areas related to torpedoes, underwater mines, decoys and stealth and for their research on emerging and futuristic technologies. He said that world class facilities set up by NSTL laboratory for hydrodynamic evaluation of marine platforms would help the nation in achieving self-reliance in marine platform design.

Calling for efforts to make India a strong and self-reliant nation, especially in terms of defence technologies the Vice President said that a special focus was needed to develop advanced systems for our armed forces through indigenous technologies. He opined thata nation’s strength lies in the strength of its academic, economic, scientific and technological prowess.

The Vice President complimented the outstanding achievements of scientists, especially missile and space technologies and said that it reflects India’s inherent S&T strengths.

‘The success of Geo-Synchronous Launch Vehicles, Agni Series of Missiles, nuclear submarine INS Arihant, fighter aircraft and the Chandrayaan and Mangalyaan missions have propelled us into an elite club of nations possessing ‘niche’ technologies,’ he added.

The Vice President urged DRDO, R&D institutes, academia and industry to work hand-in-hand and provide quality products and services. He also wanted them to make good use of programmes such as ‘Make in India’, to design, develop and produce state-of-the-art systems within India. He also asked the private sector to step up investments in R&D in specified areas and produce the sub-systems and systems  

The Vice President also went around the exhibition displaying the work carried out by NSTL in the design and development of various weapons and associated systems. He appreciated the contributions of NSTL and DRDO in meeting the requirements of the Indian Navy. He complimented NSTL for the success story of VARUNASTRA, a heavyweight torpedo.

On the occasion, the Vice President launched a postal cover on NSTL and laid foundation stone for construction of Sports, Swimming Pool and residential accommodation for married officers. He also inaugurated a technical exhibition displaying the products of DRDO and NSTL developed in collaboration with the Public and Private Sector companies.

The Minister for Tourism, Culture and Youth Advancement, Andhra Pradesh, Shri Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao, Dr G. Satheesh Reddy, Secretary Deparment of Defence R& D and Chairman DRDO, Vice Admiral A K. Jain, AVSM, VSM, Dr. Samir Venkatapati Kamat, Director General, Naval Systems and Minerals DRDO and others were present at the event attended by Sr Scientists, Scientists and researchers of NSTL and DRDO. 

Following is the text of Vice President’s address:

“I am delighted to be here with you all at this golden jubilee celebrations of Naval Science & Technological Laboratory, a prestigious institution of the Defence Research and Development Organization. Thisindeed is a moment to cherish and rejoice for the entire NSTL fraternity.

Completion of five decades marks an important milestone in the journey of any organization. My heartiest congratulations to the NSTL employees and their families on this momentous occasion!

As you recollect your successes and achievements over the past five decades, you must also reflect and introspect over the shortcomings and chalk out plans that will effectively meet the future challenges.

The success of any institution lies in the success of its working force. I am sure, that under the aegis of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the Scientists, Officers and Staff of NSTL have had great success, both, on  personal as well as professional fronts.

Before I entered this auditorium, I witnessed the excellent work carried out by you in the design and development of various weapons and associated systems. It was heartening to note that a number of systems developed by the Lab have been handed over to the user, Indian Navy. The success story of VARUNASTRA heavyweight torpedo is commendable, and I congratulate Team NSTL for this excellent effort.

I am also glad to note that world class facilities have been set up by this laboratory for hydrodynamic evaluation of marine platforms, which will help the nation to achieve self-reliance in marine platform design.

With your contributions to R&D in core areas related to torpedoes, underwater mines, decoys and stealth, I am sure that NSTL will leave its mark in research on emerging and futuristic technologies.

Dear Sisters and brothers,

A nation’s strength lies in the strength of its academic, economic, scientific and technological prowess. All of us need to put in our best efforts to make our nation strong and self-reliant.

The Science and Technology landscape has seen great changes with rapid developments in electronics, computer science and information technology. Never in the past has mankind been empowered in such a powerful manner. And never in the past have technologies evolved at such a rapid pace. Therefore, the scientists working in crucial sectors must not only keep abreast of the evolving technologies but must also plan to meet futuristic requirements.

Technologies involving robotics and artificial intelligence, stem cell research, renewable energy generation and storage, augmented reality, space travel, space tourism and space mining, nanotechnology, anti-matter, to name a few, are beginning to play a greater role in our lives.

Speaking of Defence technology, the nation is focusing hard on the development of advanced systems for our armed forces. Lot of innovative research is being carried out across the country for indigenization of technologies. The outstanding achievements of our nation in missile and space technologies reflect our inherent S&T strengths. The recent success of DRDO’s ASAT mission has made the entire nation proud.

The success of Geo-Synchronous Launch Vehicles, Agni Series of Missiles, nuclear submarine INS Arihant, fighter aircraft and the Chandrayaan and Mangalyaan missions have propelled us into an elite club of nations possessing ‘niche’ technologies.

Since 1958 Defence R&D has grown to be capable of delivering strategic missile systems, Electronic Warfare, Electronicsl and complex platforms such as the Light Combat Aircraft.

I am happy to note that India is today one of the five nations with ICBM capability, one of the four countries to have a multi-level strategic deterrence capability, one of the five countries to have its own BMD program and underwater missile launch capability, one of the seven countries to have developed its own Main Battle Tank & an indigenous  4th generation Combat aircraft, one of the six countries to have developed a nuclear powered submarine and one of the few countries to have its own Electronic warfare  & multi Range radar program.

Defence R&D led to the development of Bullet proof jackets, breathing systems, farming in high altitude areas, Dengue & Chikungunya control technologies,  multi insect repellent, food poison detection kit which have been put to use. In the field of Nuclear Biological and Chemical technologies, a large number of DRDO systems including Reconnaissance vehicles, dosimeters are in use. Bio-digester for human waste management primarily developed for glaciers has found its potential in the civilian sectors and has become a significant part of Swachch Bharat movement.

Sisters and brothers,

The Government of India has embarked on a very important programme ‘Make in India’, which encourages design, development and production of state-of-the-art systems within India, thereby encouraging in-house capability, and reducing dependence on external sources.

This programme would also boost the country’s exports and thereby help the economy grow. Make in India programme requires R&D institutes, academia and industry to work hand-in-hand and provide quality products and services. I am sure that DRDO will contribute its best to this programme.

Focus is to be made on futuristic technologies to become a world leader. From nurturing and working on denied technologies, we need to leapfrog in capability and lead in relevant hi-tech areas. Establishing focused research centres in the specific technologies at R&D centres and academic institutes with state-of-the-art infrastructure is the first step in that direction.

Innovations by Small and Medium Scale industries should be encouraged and supported. The country needs to have innovative manufacturing institutes with public and private partnership. Also, these technologies must be devised for exports to earn valuable foreign exchange for the country. Bio-sensors, Photonics, NEMS (Nano-electromechanical systems), MEMS (Micro-electromechanical systems), high energy materials, futuristic power supplies, stealth technologies, advanced materials and high power computing are few such priority areas.

To encourage and support research in advanced materials, the Government is formulating a National Material Policy.  This policy provides a blueprint on harnessing the strengths of the knowledge capital in relevant areas of material science and make India one of the 21st century leaders in technology.

There exists an immediate need to synergize the capabilities of all stakeholders to foster innovation that would result in the overall development of the nation. R&D institutes should focus more on basic and translational research and the public sector units need to play a vital role as lead integrators for development and subsequent production.

The private sector also needs to invest in R&D in specified areas and produce the sub-systems and systems. This will enable such industries to transform their capabilities to the level of lead integrators. 

The new policies of the Government of India are enabling many overseas enterprises to start operations and set up manufacturing units in India with large investments. This is a major driver for development and potential creator of employment. The response to ‘Make in India’ call is overwhelming.

DRDO has a significant role to play in fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. Collaboration and teamwork is important for innovation and creativity. Focus must be laid on setting up incubation, innovation and research centres. Proper mentoring by experts must also be provided.

Youngsters can be groomed to take up interesting, innovative projects under the Startup India programme. Providing required facilities and guidance will surely help them achieve breakthrough solutions.

Let us all work together to build a strong Bharat. Let us leave a legacy that will make the future generations of this land, proud citizens of New and Inclusive India.

My best wishes to all present here today at the Golden Jubilee of NSTL. May NSTL and DRDO achieve greater success in the years ahead!

Jai Hind!!