Defence Minister Rajnath Singh this week hailed the role of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, big data and blockchain in modern warfare.
Addressing an envoy of over 80 countries in the backdrop of India’s upcoming defence exposition DefExpo 2020, Singh said that the character of warfare is changing and in this information age, the challenge was not just to prepare for contingencies but also to repel threats from multiple sources.
Singh said, “India has a robust defence industrial base and has become a hub for repair, maintenance, overhaul and servicing industry for various platforms.”
He urged the Defence Ministers of the countries present at the event to participate in the Defence Expo to be held in Lucknow from 5-8 February next year.
Earlier this year in September, Singh had talked at an interactive session attended by 150 defence officials and had touched upon the need to use AI and cyber systems in modern warfare.
All throughout his tenure as the defence minister, Singh has always placed importance on AI and emerging technologies like robotics. He has also talked about how they can help prepare India for future challenges. He had also emphasised the need to harness emerging technologies to bolster Indian defence forces capabilities across the board.
Of late, Indian policymakers have taken a decisive stand on using AI. In early 2018, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) constituted a task force for implementation of AI. The multi-stakeholder task force worked towards laying down an institutional framework on capacity building and guidelines for defence machinery. In February 2019, the Ministry of Defence set up a Defence AI Council (DAIC) to provide strategic directions on how to bolster AI capabilities in defence and provide recommendations on building public-private partnerships with industry and startups.
The role of AI and robotics was especially demonstrated during the surgical strikes carried out by the Indian Army against suspected militants in Pakistani-administered Kashmir.
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