BENGALURU: Curtains come down on 3-day Aero India President hails air show as unprecedented success held amid pandemic Event will help India establish itself as manufacturing hub for the entire world, says Kovind who becomes first Prez to attend show
Resident Ram Nath Kovind on Friday hailed Aero India 2021 an “unprecedented success”, adding that the event was “an ideal place for exchange of ideas and forge partnerships.” Kovind — who became the first Indian President to grace the event physically (despite the pandemic) in the history of Aero India — was addressing the valedictory ceremony of the biennial air show at the Air Force Station Yelahanka.
He said the past year presented hardships due to the Covid-19 pandemic and its adverse impact is being felt across the world. But despite the challenges, Aero India 2021 was held without compromising its spirit and by following all protocols. “It was an ideal place for exchange of ideas and forge partnerships,” he added.
Meanwhile, curtains came down on the three-day event on Friday, recording the mega event to be the very first in the world to be conducted in a hybrid mode and also roping in the President of India for the very first time since the event started in 1996.
The President emphasised India’s ability and potential to be a manufacturing hub for the whole world, saying India was not just a market but a land of immense opportunities for the whole world, and the three-day event would further help the country to establish itself as a manufacturing hub for the entire world. “India has always been an ardent advocate of universal peace and development. IOR as an important region because of its rich natural resources and strategic location. We have floated the idea of SAGAR, which stands for Security And Growth for All in the Region, to promote cooperation in the Indian Ocean region,” he said.
While the emphasis of the show was on “Atmanirbhar Bharat” (self-reliant India), Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, at the valedictory, made it clear that by self-reliance they did not mean to be isolated from the world, “but actually seek to promote globalisation by making India a more competitive player on the global stage and inviting global companies to set up shops in India.” “Aero India will help achieve a turnover target of Rs 1.75 lakh crore and Rs 35,000 crore in export of aerospace and defence products by 2024,” Singh said, adding that the government will invest $130 billion over the next seven to eight years to enhance security.
The President and his family were treated to a sparkling display of aerobatics and flypasts, which had not failed to enthral even those who had repeatedly watched the performances over the last three days.Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defence appeared to have conducted the event with a degree of vengeance and a challenge in the face of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic which even forced the scheduled Paris Air Show (June 21-27) to be cancelled owing to the pandemic.
While apprehensions were expressed ahead of the show over how many would participate, whether the show would take off at all, or even if it did, whether it would be a success, the event drew around 16,000 people in physical attendance while about 4.5 lakh participated in it in the virtual mode, including participants in seminars as well as those witnessing the flying display.
At least 540 companies, including 34 foreign firms, participated in the event, during which 201 MoUs were signed, apart from 19 transfer-of-technologies, 13 product launches, and 32 major announcements were made. The MoUs were signed between domestic and foreign firms as well as state governments. The Indian Ocean Region (IOR) Defence Ministers conference and Chief of Air Staffs conclave were the highlight of the event. Also, Rs 203 crore worth orders were given to 45 MSMEs during theshow.However, due to Covid restrictions, the event had to be cut down to just three business days - unlike the five-day in the past with the last two days being open for the public.
Despite Covid-19 pandemic, Aero India 2021 has been immensely successfulRajnath Singh,Defence Minister
SHOW IN NUMBERS
16,000 people attended the event physically/
4.5 lakh virtually
540 firms, including 24 foreign firms participated
Nearly 200 MoU, agreements signed
18 Product launches
32 Major announcements