Global Counter-Terrorism Council (GCTC), an international think-tank based in New Delhi, in line with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision on Make in India &Atmanirbhar Bharat, organized a webinar titled “Defence and Security Conference 2021” in association with Ministry of Defence, Department of Defence Production. The conference successfully probed into the intricacies of Geopolitical threats and Indigenization and Self Reliance in India’s Defence Industries.
The webinar was spaced over 14 sessions and 24 keynote sessions within three days. It was preceded by an Inaugural Session wherein the Chief Guest of the conference, Shripad Yesso Naik, presented the welcome address. The webinar was further divided into 14 sessions focusing primarily on key important elements inclusive of: 1. Changing Geo-Political Realities and Readjustment for India; 2. China’s Militarisation and Political Warfare; 3. Maritime Cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region; 4. Cyber and Information Warfare: Changing Contours of War Fighting; 5. India-US Cooperation: US Defence companies in Make in India; 6. India-France Defence Industry Cooperation; 7. CBRN Threat and Response; 8. Digital Defence and the potential applications of big data analytics and AI/ML in defence; 9. Army, Navy and Air Force perspective on the ground covered and future requirements of the armed forces; 10. Industry perspective on government support required for setting up eco-system of defence industry, R&D plan, TOT with foreign companies; 11. Plan for Production & Maintenance of Aerospace, Land Systems, Maritime, Cyber Space and Outer Space; required for defence industry; 12. DPSU’s: Opportunities and challenges and the road ahead; 13. MSME perspective on their support to major defence contractors & direct contribution to armed forces; 14. Financial, Infrastructure & Testing needs of the Industry; The first day began with insightful keynote sessions by Dr. Yogendra Narain, (IAS) Retd., Dr. Shekhar Dutt, SM, IAS(Retd.), Ashish Rajvanshi, President and CEO, Adani Defence & Aerospace and Raj Kumar, Secretary (Defence Production). The Chief Guest Address was delivered by The Minster of State for defence, Shri Shripad Yesso Naik. Lt. General Syed Ata Hasnain, MP Suresh Prabhu, Ambassador Gautam Bambawale, Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Shokin Chauhan, Prof. Madhav Das Nalapat and IPS Anju Gupta broadened our understanding on the Geopolitical challenges for India and India’s counter strategy to China’s Aggressive approach globally. Chief of Army Staff General MM Naravane PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, ADC and Lt. General Anil Puri AVSM, SM, VSM, Additional Secretary, Department of Military Affairs delivered a keynote address. This was followed by a session on China’s Militarisation and Political Warfare wherein Prof. Kerry K Gershaneck and Mr. Richard (Rick) Fisher enlightened us on Military reforms of China and it’s global expansionist approach. This was further followed by an interesting and informative session on Maritime Cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region wherein different perspectives i.e. Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India, were discussed by panel members Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage, Vice admiral Shekhar Sinha, Vice Admiral Sanjay Jasjit Singh, Rear Admiral Md. Khursheed Alam. This session was an eye-opener in terms of Maritime security Cooperation and emerging challenges in the Indian Ocean Region. The trend was in line with the next session where Lt. Gen Rajesh Pant (Retd.), Rear Admiral Mark Montgomery, Rear Admiral (Dr.) Sanatan Kulshreshtha and Amit Sharma Advisor (cyber) shared with us the importance of cyber security in 21st century and how information is playing a huge part in new hybrid form of warfare. Paul Syzmanski, World Famous Scholar and Space Expert, delivered a session on Outer Space Weaponization & Militarisation. Day 2 started with a keynote address by Dr. I Chung Lai who briefed us on the threats and challenges regarding the Taiwan Strait. This was followed by the first session for the day India-US cooperation – Defence companies in Make in India wherein speakers such as Rear Admiral Eileen H Laubacher, Ashmita Sethi, William Blair discussed and shared their observations on how US defence companies are making a contribution towards Make in India intiative. The next session for the day was based upon India-France Defence Industry
Speakers Ashish Saraf, Alain Biard, Rahul Shrawat and FrenchAmbassador to India H.E. Emmanuel Lenain shed light on how France based defence companies and industries are making contributions to making India self reliant.