Nagpur: The first batch of Multi-Mode Hand Grenades (MMHG), manufactured by Economic Explosives Limited (EEL) following transfer of technology from terminal ballistics research laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), was on Tuesday handed over to the Indian Army in the presence of Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in Maharashtra’s Nagpur city.EEL chairman S.N. Nuwal handed over a scale replica of MMHG to the Defence Minister to mark the first delivery of ammunition from the private sector.READ: PM Modi Discusses Afghanistan Situation With Russian Prez Vladimir PutinThe Defence Minister termed the handing over of MMHG as a shining example of the increasing collaboration between the public and private sectors and a big step towards self-reliance in defence manufacturing.“Today is a memorable day in the history of Indian defence sector. Our private industry is coming of age when it comes to defence production. It is an important milestone not only in the field of defence manufacturing, but also in achieving ‘Aatma Nirbhar Bharat’ as envisioned by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said.Lauding the DRDO and EEL for the speedy delivery of the order amid Covid-19 restrictions, Singh hoped of a faster delivery of the next lot.Addressing the gathering, he listed out the measures undertaken by the government to transform the defence sector into a self-reliant industry which can cater to the present and the future needs of the Armed Forces.Singh also made special mention of another initiative taken by the government i.e. technology transfer to industries by the DRDO.Describing the measure as the backbone of the defence industry, he lauded the DRDO for being an incubator which is undertaking free of cost transfer of technologies as well as providing access to testing facilities and over 450 patents.“This has not only enabled the industry to use ready-to-use technologies, but has also saved time, energy and money,” he said.Underlining the importance of Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX), Singh said it aims to achieve self-reliance and foster innovation and technology development in defence and aerospace sectors by engaging the industries, including MSMEs, start-ups, individual innovators, R&D institutes and academia.The Defence Minister commended the industry for indigenously developing products like ‘Multi-Mode Grenade’, ‘Arjun-Mark-1’ tank, ‘Unmanned Surface Vehicle’ and ‘See Through Armor’.ALSO READ: ‘PM, BJP Selling Crown Jewels Of Country’: Congress Tears Into Centre Over National Monetisation Plan“Such products are not just being produced but exported on a large scale. The number of online export authorisations during 2016-17 to 2018-19 was 1,210. It has increased to 1,774 in last two years. This has resulted in defence exports of over Rs 17,000 crore in the last two years,” he added while exuding confidence that India will soon manufacture defence products not just for domestic use, but for the whole world.Chief of the Army Staff General M M Naravane, Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and DRDO chairman Dr G Satheesh Reddy and DG Infantry Lt Gen A. K. Samantra were among those present on the occasion.