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Narendra Modi to flag off 2015 air show in Bangalore today

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will flag off South Asia’s biggest air show Wednesday near Bangalore to showcase India’s air prowess and seek investments from global aerospace firms to realise his government’s ‘Make in India’ programme in the strategic defence sector.

“Modi will fly to Bangalore early Wednesday to unveil the five-day air show at the Yelahanka base of the Indian Air Force (IAF), witness the flying display, including aerobatics, address the gathering, open the expo at the venue and interact with visiting heads of overseas delegations and chief executives of global aerospace firms, including India,” a senior official told IANS here Tuesday.

Though Modi is the second prime minister – after H.D. Deva Gowda in February 1997 – to unveil the biennial Aero India expo, he will be keenly heard to know his government’s policy on attracting foreign and domestic investments in the capital-intensive defence equipment manufacturing

“As the theme of the air show is on Make in India in aerospace, defence, civil aviation, airport infrastructure and defence engineering , the focus will be on making global sellers and suppliers our industry partners, comprising state-run and private firms to achieve self-sufficiency in production and reduce imports gradually,” defence exhibition organisation director M.D. Singh said.

Besides Defence Minster Manohar Parrikar, Governor Vajubhai Vala, Chief Minister Siddaramiah, central and state cabinet ministers, at least 10 defence ministers from countries such as Britain, France, Germany, Israel and Russia are participating in the event with high-profile delegations, officials and chief executives.

“Modi and Parrikar will also attend a Global CEOs Conference and an Investors’ Meet on defence production in India at the venue,” Singh added.

Modi will also visit the National Centre for Biological Science campus in the University of Agricultural Sciences, Indian Institute of Science (IISc) to interact with scientists and attend the 19th convocation ceremony of the state-run National Institute of Mental Health and Sciences (Nimhans) during his day-long trip to the city.

In view of Modi’s visit and presence of delegates from over 100 countries, security has been tightened across the city.

“We have deployed about 4,000 personnel on routes the prime minister will take and at venues where he will visit. Vehicular traffic will also be regulated and diverted to clear the way for Modi’s convoy to pass through,” city Police Commissioner M.N. Reddi told reporters.(IANS)

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