The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony today laid the foundation stone of the National Institute for Research and Development in Defence Shipbuilding (NIRDESH) at Chaliyam, near Kozhikode (Calicut). A part of the Department of Defence Production, NIRDESH will be funded by the Ministry of Defence and all the Defence Shipyards in the country. The Defence Minister will head the Board of Governors as the President, with representations from the Ministry of Defence, Indian Navy, Coast Guard and Chairmen of Defence Shipyards. Shri Gyanesh Kumar, Joint Secretary (Naval Systems) in the Ministry of Defence has been concurrently appointed as the Director General of NIRDESH.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Antony said that the setting up of the Institute will take the country towards self-reliance in this crucial area of defence technology. Modern Naval platforms are complex and technology intensive and hence it is imperative that the country has the technological base and skill sets within, to design and develop them, he noted.
A distinguished gathering was present at the Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony, including Shri Elamaram Kareem, Minister for Industries, Kerala, Shri Raj Kumar Singh, Secretary (Defence Production), Vice Admiral KN Sushil, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command, Vice Admiral AG Thapliyal, Commandant, Indian Naval Academy, Inspector General SPS Basra, Commander, Coast Guard Region (West) and the CMDs of Defence Shipyards.
Interestingly, the land which has been assigned by the government of Kerala for NIRDESH near Beypore has a glorious history of shipbuilding. The wooden ships called Uru, or dhow built by the local shipbuilders, was used for maritime trade by Arab merchants for centuries.