Defence Expo 2018
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TOPIC: General Studies 3:
- Indigenization of technology and developing new technology
Tagline of DefExpo this year is: “India: The emerging defence manufacturing hub,” with the hope of branding India as an exporter of defence systems and components.
India’s defence production has increased from Rs 43,746 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 55,894 crore in 2016-17, according to defence ministry figures.
Government will give a boost to defence manufacturing by
- Expediting the process of licence procurement
- Drafting simpler FDI rules
- Creating two defence corridors (UP & TN)
Defence PSUs: Will play a major role
- Meet the requirement of armed forces in the country
- Export to other countries
Need to improve efficacy and performance to enable them to perform to their fullest potential.
Issues while exporting to other countries:
Political issues: implication on relations with other neighbours
Drawbacks in the equipments: Need to address the drawbacks in the equipment’s designed and made or MoD need to put things into perspective for the importer to have the confidence that whatever he/she is importing is best of the class across the world.
Foreign units with Indian partners: Foreign units brought in technology awareness and technology transfer. Indian companies should become a part of the supply chain. It gives them a chance to acquire new skills, grow them and take off from there. We have to enter the big league and we need to compete against the best in the world. Therefore, we need a quantum jump to a stage where Indian companies acquire capabilities to become system integrator, original equipment manufacturer. This transition need to happen on an immediate basis.
Launch of iDex, Innovation for Defence Excellence scheme:
- Set up innovation hubs particularly for the defence sector across the country
- Incubate ideas and provide support through infrastructure for defence related start-ups.
The Way Forward
Importance of Private players: There is a need to bring in the private sector as it is difficult to create parallel capacity. Unless production and research (barring a few sensitive technologies) move out to private sector, India’s potential as a defense manufacturing hub will remain stymied.
Networking is very important – a serious effort needs to be made to map the competency of the Indian industry. In the absence of mapping, companies are left to get together and discuss other possibilities. Networking leads to prospective clients and is an ice breaker for two people who want to join hands and collaborate.
Budget constraints should not become a hurdle and needs to be addressed by the highest level functionary.
Connecting the Dots:
- Indigenisation of defence procurement is critical for both strategic reasons and for the success of Make in India. Discuss.