India must always be wary of threats to national Security: Vice President

New Delhi/ PIB News: The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that India must always be wary of threats to national security as the country makes giant strides towards development with a booming economy.

Observing that a safe and secure environment was a necessary precondition for growth and development, he said “We must keep our defence preparedness at its peak always”.

Speaking at the Society for Applied Microwave Electronics Engineering and Research (SAMEER) after visiting it’s Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) and EMI facilities, in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh today, the Vice President referred to the potential of EMP to disrupt, degrade and damage technology and critical infrastructure systems.

Shri Naidu “Human-made or naturally occurring EMPs can affect large geographic areas, disrupting elements critical to the nation’s security and economic prosperity and could adversely affect global commerce and stability”. Shri Naidu stressed that it was crucial that the country develops futuristic defence mechanisms and create EMP- resistant infrastructure to avert threats such as an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) attack.

Shri Naidu said that SAMEER with its vast experience in the areas of EMI, EMC and EMP could put the expertise to the benefit of Defence services, academic institutions, public and private industries.

The Vice President appreciated SAMEER for its frontline research in the areas of Radio Frequency/Microwave, Electromagnetic Interference, Compatibility and Pulse (EMI/EMC/EMP), millimetre wave technology, communications other areas.

Shri Naidu said that advancement in Science and Technology and a culture of innovation were of paramount importance for a nation to surge forward with greater momentum on the path to inclusive and sustainable development.

Referring to Official Telugu Language Day of Andhra Pradesh, the Vice President called upon the people to protect, preserve and promote their mother tongues or native languages. He suggested that the medium of education should be in local language up to primary level and also advised State Governments to issue all orders and communications in the languages.

Referring to the abrogation of Article 370, he said the decision was only an internal administrative arrangement.

Observing that India was a peace-loving country and not a warmonger, he said: “We don’t anybody to interfere in our internal affairs” and added that India would give a befitting reply if anybody tried to intervene in its affairs.

The Minister for Tourism, Culture and Youth Advancement of Andhra Pradesh, Shri Muttamsetti Srinivas Rao, Dr. Sulbha Ranade, Director-General SAMEER, Dr. B. Subba Rao, Program Director and officers of Indian Navy were present at the venue.

An Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) has the potential to disrupt, degrade, and damage technology and critical infrastructure systems. Human-made or naturally occurring EMPs can affect large geographic areas, disrupting elements critical to the nation’s security and economic prosperity and could adversely affect global commerce and stability.

In a world ridden with conflicts, phenomena as powerful as electromagnetism can be misused and weaponised.

An EMP attack could affect car and truck engines, aircraft ignition systems, hospital equipment, pacemakers, commu­nications systems and electrical appliances. Road and rail signalling, industrial control applications and other electronic systems are all susceptible to EMP. Our smart cities which are run on Information and Communication Technologies are also extremely vulnerable to such threats.

Beyond critical infrastructure, the potentially devastating effects of an EMP could also directly or indirectly permeate the national security establishment, including the military and intelligence community, undermining their ability to respond to the national command authority and provide for the country’s security.

As India takes giant strides towards development with a booming economy that is seeing consistent and rapid progress across sectors, we must always be wary of such threats to our national security. We must keep our defence preparedness at its peak always. A safe and secure environment is a necessary precondition for growth and development.

It is therefore crucial that we develop futuristic defence mechanisms to this futuristic technology. The threat of an EMP attack necessitates the creation of infrastructure that is EMP- resistant.

SAMEER has been working towards this objective, focusing on identifying critical functions and infrastructure at risk, improving the understanding of EMP effects, evaluating approaches to mitigating EMP effects, strengthening existing infrastructure to withstand EMPs and improving the response to EMPs.

Your research plays a critical role in fortifying national security.

SAMEER has indigenously developed Linear Accelerator for Cancer therapy and established Stratosphere Troposphere (ST) Radar at the Guwahati University Campus.

In the present day world, capacity building and outreach are equally important.

SAMEER is giving prominence to the development of pool of skilled manpower in the area of EMI/EMC through regular workshops, seminars and other educational and academic events.

India has been a country where learning was given a central place in the society and knowledge has been handed down through the generations.

One of the oldest civilizations in the world, India has a strong tradition of science and technology. Ancient India was a land of sages and seers as well as a land of scholars and scientists.

From making the best steel in the world to teaching the world to count, India has been actively contributing to the field of science and technology centuries before modern laboratories were set up.

Many theories and techniques discovered by the ancient Indians have created and strengthened the fundamentals of modern science and technology.

Our Ayurveda system of medicine can be traced back to 5000 BC, Indus Valley Civilization had irrigation and sewerage systems as far back as 2500 BC. By 200 BC, South India was making high quality wrought iron and, of course, the invention of ‘zero’ and contributions to astronomy are well known.

Let us look at some of the invaluable contributions made by our ancestors. Aryabhatta’s ‘Aryabhattiyam’ is considered a seminal work; equally pioneering work is Panchasidhhantika of Varahamihira. Of course, Charaka and Sushruta are known as Fathers of Surgery. Rishi Kanad first spoke of “anu’’ (atom) as an indestructible particle of matter in Kanada Sutra, while Patanjali is considered as Father of Yoga. There are innumerable legendary scientists of ancient India who have enriched the world’s scientific treasure.

Unfortunately, today, we seem to be lagging behind advanced nations in technology and research indicators. While both are improving with time, we need to make greater progress.

The advancements in science and technology will spur economic growth, which in turn will lead to alleviation of poverty and the amelioration of other challenges from climate change to poverty faced by mankind. 

The Government of India has envisioned several initiatives to promote the growth of Science and Technology and Innovation in the Country.

From the National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI), an umbrella programme for nurturing ideas and innovations into successful start-ups to the women scientists scheme that promotes women in Science to the Atal Innovation Mission that seeks to transform the innovation landscape of the country, a number of path-breaking initiatives now fortify our science, technology and innovation ecosystems. 

We are also striving to turn our schools and universities into hubs of technology and innovation. Nearly 8800 schools have been provided with Atal Tinkering labs under the Atal Innovation Mission in order to hone scientific temperament and kindle curiosity among children.

We have crossed a number of frontiers when it comes to technology, especially in the case of Space technology. In addition to launching 104 satellites in one go in February, we also recently launched the Chandrayaan 2. Gaganyaan, India’s first human space mission is to be realized by the 75th anniversary of independence by 2022. The Solar Mission, Aditya L1 is also set to be launched in 2022.

India has also taken great strides in renewable energy technology with an installed capacity of 78 GW in 2019.

As a major producer and exporter of software technology, India has announced the National Policy on Software Products 2019 that seeks to nurture 10,000 technology start-ups and generate employment for 3.5 million people by 2025.

India has also gone digital with over 413 Crore digital transactions happening via BHIM UPI since 2016.

To keep up the pace of these transformations, in addition to an enabling policy environment and investment, our educational institutions must serve as centres for excellence in basic sciences as well as cutting edge technology. They must be at the forefront of our research initiatives so that they can propel technology adaptation rapidly.

To meet this objective, the research projects that are undertaken by our universities must live up to international standards and benchmarks.

Let me also remind you that technology is meaningless unless and until it reaches the common man in the form of benefits and makes his life easier.

I hope that the research being carried out here at SAMEER will open new horizons for the use of electromagnetic technology, both for defence and development so that the fruits of technology can reach the last man in the queue.

I congratulate the scientists of SAMEER and the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology for having established and nurtured such a world-class laboratory for EMI/EMC and EMP.

I see that it is a young institution filled with young and enthusiastic people.

I wish you all a future filled with paradigm-altering discoveries that will earn India the laurel of being a technology leader among the nations of the world.