Defence minister AK Antony today laid the foundation stone of the National Institute for Research and Development in Defence Shipbuilding (NIRDESH) at Chaliyam, near Kozhikode.
NIRDESH, which will function under the Department of Defence Production, will get funding from the defence ministry 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.
Gyanesh Kumar, joint secretary (naval systems) in the defence ministry has been concurrently appointed as the director general of NIRDESH.
Speaking on the occasion, Antony said the setting up of the institute would 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 said.
Coincidentally, the land assigned for the project 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.