The upcoming Aero India exhibition in Bengaluru will not only display the country's growing prowess in the aerospace sector but will also demonstrate the rise of a strong and self-reliant "New India", Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday.
The 14th edition of Aero India, billed as Asia's largest aerospace exhibition, will be held in Bengaluru from February 13 to 17.
Singh made the remarks while chairing a high-level meeting where he reviewed the preparations for the mega exhibition.
Officials said 731 exhibitors have registered for the event so far.
"The five-day event on the theme 'the runway to a billion opportunities' will be the largest-ever aero show organised at Air Force Station, Yelahanka in a total area of around 35,000 sq metres," the defence ministry said.
It said Singh exhorted all the stakeholders to ensure "foolproof" arrangements for the participants.
"He said Aero India 2023 will not just be an event, but a display of the growing prowess of the defence & aerospace sector and the rise of a strong and self-reliant 'New India'," the ministry said in a statement.
It said the defence ministers' conclave, with the theme 'shared prosperity through enhanced engagement in defence (SPEED)', and a CEOs' roundtable are among the marquee events being organised as part of the Aero India.
"The Manthan start-up event and Bandhan ceremony, which witnesses signing of MoUs, will also be part of the event, along with a fabulous air show on all the five days. It will showcase the paradigm shift the government has brought in the aim of organising such events," the ministry said.
"The events have been restructured with focus on increasing defence exports and forging partnerships rather than merely import of weapons/equipment," it said in the statement.
Singh also pointed out that the Indian defence industry is going through a transformational phase and the active participation of the private sector is the biggest catalyst to that change.
"Not just the private sector, but R&D establishments and academia are also working together with the government. Aero India is a medium to provide a platform to all the stakeholders to jointly strengthen the defence & aerospace sector and contribute to nation building," he added.
The defence minister said though Aero India is a business event, it also aims to strengthen the country's relations with other nations.
He commended Bengaluru for successfully organising several editions of Aero India, saying that the event is shaping Karnataka as an epicentre of aviation and aerospace industry.
Singh described Karnataka as one of the leading states which contributes to the economic growth of the country.
"The state is known for its skilled manpower and robust defence manufacturing ecosystem. It is a preferred centre for manufacturing and R&D activities for domestic and multinational defence and aviation companies," he said.
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