The Indian Army is capable of giving a befitting reply to any adversary and when it engages with China, it does so on an equal footing, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said here on Saturday.

Asserting this point at an event to release a five-volume book on Deendayal Upadhyay in presence of Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, he said, when China conducted first nuclear test in 1964, Deendayal Upadhyay was the first one who spoke in favour of India conducting its nuclear test, the minister said. When India carried out its first nuclear tests in 1998 in Rajasthan under the leadership of then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the idea was not to use the weapon against any country but to maintain a deterrent, he said. “Because of that deterrence, the Indian Army today has full confidence of self-defence. Today in 2022, when India’s army engages with China, it does so on an equal footing. If any power looks towards India with evil intention, Indian soldiers have the capability to give a befitting reply,” he said.

Rajnath said country’s goal is not only to make items for its needs, but also to export defence items to other countries. “I can say we are moving fast towards fulfilling dreams of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay,” he said.

The minister also said Defence Ministry has issued three “positive indigenisation lists” of 310 defence items which will not be procured from outside under any circumstances after a deadline.

He also said a major part of budget is earmarked for procuring weapons from domestic vendors.

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