Prime Minister Narendra Modi will present a new outline for a self-reliant India in his address to the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on August 15, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Sunday.

The defence minister said various departments and ministries of the government are working seriously to implement Modi’s initiative for a self-reliant India and that it is an attempt to give a fresh dimension to Mahatma Gandhi’s push for ‘Swadeshi’.

Singh was speaking at an online event organised to pay tributes to revolutionary freedom fighter Udham Singh. Talking about the ‘Atmanirbhar’ initiative, the defence minister said that the coronavirus pandemic has shown that a country may not be able to effectively protect its sovereignty if it is not self-reliant.

“Our government will not allow any harm to India’s self respect and sovereignty at any cost,” he said.

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“Prime Minister Narendra Modi will present before the nation a new outline for a self-reliant India in his address from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the Independence Day,” Singh said.

Referring to the defence ministry’s decision to ban import of 101 military weapons and platforms, Singh said major and tough decisions are being taken to promote self-reliance in defence production.

He said big weapons systems will now be produced in India and the country will look for their export to make it a hub for defence manufacturing.

In a major push to promote the domestic defence industry, Singh on Sunday morning announced restrictions on import of 101 weapons and military platforms including light combat helicopters, transport aircraft, conventional submarines and cruise missiles by 2024.

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