DefExpo, the flagship event of the Ministry of defence, has got a new destination. The next edition of DefExpo— Asia’s biggest land, naval and internal homeland security systems exhibition—will take place at Gandhinagar in Gujarat from March 11 to 13, 2022.
The 12th edition of DefExpo will be the first-ever major defence show in Gujarat.
The last edition of the event was held in Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh. Incidentally, Lucknow is the parliamentary constituency of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. During the Lucknow edition of DefExpo, emphasis was given to the Uttar Pradesh defence corridor, and the main theme of Defence Expo 2020 was: ‘India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub’. The focus of the 2020 event was: ‘Digital Transformation of Defence’.
Traditionally, DefExpo was always held at New Delhi’s Pragati Maidan, the usual venue for such exhibitions. It travelled to Goa in 2016 when the then defence minister Manohar Parrikar decided to take it to his home state. Then, in 2018, Nirmala Sitharaman moved the mega event to Chennai. In fact, uncertainty over its venue had delayed the Chennai event, which normally takes place in the month of February and March.
In April 2018, Sitharaman, who hails from Tamil Nadu, chose a site along the East Coast Road, near Kanchipuram. While shifting the venue, she had argued that the NDA government at the Centre was not Delhi-centric and had taken many prestigious events out of the national capital to other parts of the country. In the Chennai edition of DefExpo, over 50 countries had showcased their products and saw the participation of 702 companies.