Raksha Mantri Nirmala Sitharaman addressed a meeting of India's Defence Attaches (DAs) here today. It was the first such conference held with our DAs, with a view to enhance their role towards implementation of India's defence cooperation and engagement with foreign countries. India has Resident Defence Attaches in 44 countries, who are accredited to a total of 95 countries.
Addressing the DAs, Raksha Mantri complimented their efforts to expand and strengthen India's defence engagement in bilateral, regional and multilateral frameworks. Raksha Mantri outlined India's interest in building stronger military to military cooperation, training and capacity building as well as cooperation on defence industry and technology with our partners. She encouraged the DAs to play a more pro-active role in this process, highlighting India's views and positions on the evolving regional and global security scenario as well as its rapid economic, technical and military advancements.
Enumerating ongoing efforts to expand defence manufacturing in India under Prime Minister's Make in India initiative, Raksha Mantri also stressed the need for DAs to engage effectively with all stakeholders in the defence sector, including DPSUs as well as private industry, to expand broader defence cooperation linkages.
The programme for the Conference today included interactive sessions between DAs and Services HQs, Secretary (Defence Production) and Chairman DRDO as well as discussions with defence industry representatives. Deputy National Security Adviser and senior officials of Ministry of External Affairs will address the conference tomorrow. Thereafter, the DAs would be attending the DEFEXPO 2018 in Chennai.