No trophy for the runners up: NSA Doval reminds DRDO

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval during the National Investigation Agency(NIA)'s national conference of Chiefs of Anti-Terrorism Squad/ Special Task Force, in New Delhi on Monday. (PTI Photo)

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Tuesday asked defence scientists to stay ahead of competitors, as there is “no trophy for the runners up.”

“Armies that were better equipped always called the shots and decided the destiny of mankind. They were always the one which had higher technologies. India's own historical experience on this has been sad. We were the runner-up, but there is no trophy for the runner up,” Doval said at the Defence Research and Development Organisation's annual director's conference here.

“Either you're better than your adversaries or you are not there at all. In the modern world, technology and money are the two things, which influences the geopolitics. Who'll win, depends upon who has preponderance over their adversaries on these two,” said Doval.

“Technology is more important out of the two. Niche technologies are something that make India more secure. It has to be need based. Our defence services and intelligence agencies have to make a hard assessment on what are those needs that will give India an edge over our adversaries.”

Doval gave an example of Alan Turing and several other code breakers who made the difference between victory and defeat during the World War-II.

“DRDO scientists are as important as these scientists and can make a big difference in crucial situations. But there is a need to improvise and innovate based on an understanding of capabilities of adversaries, knowledge of battlefield conditions,” he added.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also flagged the critical need of bridging the technology gap for India to become a global leader in research and development.

The scientists were to focus on technologies that provide cutting edge capability and remain relevant for the next 15-20 years, he said.

Besides Singh and Doval, three Service Chiefs were also present at the conference attended by the directors of 52 DRDO laboratories.

While Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat said that he hoped to fight and win the next war with indigenised systems and equipment, Navy chief Admiral Karanbir Singh suggested that DRDO should take a closer look on the DAPRA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) model of the USA, besides encouraging small time innovators and push a set of niche technologies.

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