India’s defence sector status
- India was the world’s largest importer of arms in the period from 2017 to 2021, along with Saudi Arabia.
- It accounts for 11 per cent of the total imports across the world, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
Challenges in indigenisation of military hardware
- Insufficient research budgets
- Closely guarded technologies of foreign manufacturers
- Delays in delivery
- Lack of faith in indigenous hardware among the end users, the armed forces.
- China is possibly the second biggest weapon manufacturer in the world after the United States, overtaking Russia to reach that spot.
- It is the fifth biggest importer in the world, but its procurement from abroad is only a small share of its requirements.
Need of the hour
- Huge infusion of funds into research
- Massive technological strides
- Zero error quality
- Involvement of the private sector.
- Backing and support of India’s armed forces.
Government initiatives for defence indigenisation
- To boost indigenous manufacturing, the Government had issued “positive indigenisation lists” consisting of items that cannot be imported and can only be procured from domestic industry.
- The Department of Defence Production has created an indigenization webpage, srijandefence.gov.in, titled ‘opportunities for Make in India’ in Defense, that would provide information on things that can be indigenized by the private sector.
- Defence Procurement Procedures (DPP) 2020
- It allows for the publication of a list of weapons or platforms that cannot be imported
- It focuses on FDI in defence production and indigenization of manufacturing costs.
- Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti
- The Ministry of Defence launched it in 2018 with the goal of increasing Intellectual Property (IP) in the Defense Production Ecosystem.
- The liberalisation of foreign direct investment in defence manufacturing, raising the limit under the automatic route to 74%, should open the door to more joint ventures of foreign and Indian companies for defence manufacturing in India.
- State-owned defence manufacturing companies such as HAL must now show 25 per cent of turnover as export.
How far have we progressed?
- India’s arms exports have increased from $200 million in the year 2016-17 to $1.54 billion in FY 2020-21.