School children and people of Goa lined up on Thursday to witness the largest ever land, naval and internal security exhibition held for the first time in this coastal State. Curiosity factor was uppermost in the minds of young enthusiastic school children as they visited ten pavilions, laid their hands on show dailies, and looked in awe at some of the weapons, vehicles, and electronic gadgets displayed at DefExpo 2016. They also ran outdoor to catch a glimpse of flypast by roaring fighter jets, Ã aerobatics by smaller aircraft and demonstration of firing by small weapons – all these happened for the first time in the ninth edition of the DefExpo which was inaugurated on March 28.
Even families from the North and South Goa took time out to visit the exhibition which was put up at Quitol near Betul in South Goa. Preparations on the ground started three months ago, fields were levelled, roads were constructed and huge airconditioned tents were put up to host the exhibition. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, a former Goa chief minister, was keen to bring the DefExpo to his home State though many international exhibitors were seen cribbing about lack of proper infrastructure for organising such an event at this scale. A land of mesmerising backwaters, serene beaches and world heritage monuments, Goa played host to DefExpo 2016 for the first time and will also host the prestigious BRICS summit in October this year.
Enthusiasm was also evident among organized groups from schools and colleges and visiting youth who were curious and showing keen interest in defence technology. Live demonstration of Sarang Aerobatic Display team of the Indian Air Force and India’s very own Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) , Main Battle Tanks Arjun Mark I and II, Wheeled Armoured Platform and display by Scandinavian Aerobatics Team enthralled the spectators. The DefExpo, with an underlined theme of Ã¢ÂÂMake in IndiaÃ¢ÂÂ, saw participation of Ã Ã 1055 Indian and foreign companies, over 900 delegation visits. As many as 47 countries participated in the event.”