Indian Army chief General M M Naravane has said that self-reliance in defence has become a strategic necessity. 

His remark came after India faced two major challenges last year, including Covid-19 pandemic and border standoff in eastern Ladakh with Chinese troops. 

"2020 was a unique year with twin challenges of the #COVID pandemic and the belligerence on the northern borders. The events of the past year have brought to the fore the vulnerability of global supply chains, underscoring the need for self-reliance," Gen Naravane said during a webinar on 25 years of Army Industry Partnership in New Delhi.

During the webinar, Indian Army's Army Design Bureau and SIDM inked an MoU on indigenisation and innovation partnership. 

"Considering the quick pace of defence modernisation being undertaken by our adversaries, we are lagging behind slightly. The continuous and heavy dependence of Indian armed forces on equipment of foreign origin needs to be addressed through indigenous capability development," he said. 

He also urged the industries to invest in building long term indigenous capabilities for application across the entire spectrum of conflict. 

"Niche technologies, including artificial intelligence, autonomous unmanned systems, log range precision technology, quantum computing, swarm drones are a better few and all these will certainly need to be acquired, absorbed as part of our deliberate and continuous process," the chief said. 

Stating that the army is for all-out support in the research and development sector, Gen Naravane also said that the Indian Army is committed to procuring indigenous technologies and weapons.