New Delhi: Just ahead of Aero India 2009 in Bangalore, defence scientists in the country got a sharp rap for being extremely slow.
The criticism came from none other than Defence Minister A K Antony himself.
Antony was addressing the International Seminar on Aerospace, where he publicly snubbed the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for being lackadaisical in their work.
"While complimenting you, I realise, you are far, far behind in fulfilling the dream of former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. His dream - of self-reliance in defence - is still far away. We're only producing 30 per cent of our needs from the public and private sector. We import 70 per cent. I don't visualise a day when there is zero import, we have to import. But a country like India claims it has the fourth largest scientific community and we're growing like anything but still we're depending for our support, for our defence needs on foreigners," he said.
"This is not suitable to us. I'm sure you'll be guilty when you see growth is very slow. I request DRDO and the scientific community to deliver more quickly. We will give you all support. In design, development and ultimately delivery, you're taking too much time. While acknowledging your achievements - I'll still tell you including the public sector units and the private sector - to be more speedy in delivery," he added.