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Defence Industrial Base - The Way Forward

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With the world fast levitating into the Fourth Generation Warfare syndrome, developing nations like India are on the anvil to bolster and toughen up their National Security. Threats and challenges have increased multifold and there is an urgency to pay attention to the discrepancies caused due to years of neglect in procurement of modern military wherewithal for our armed forces. India has been fortunately blessed with an unusual progeny of warriors in our Forces who have demonstrated that they can deal with enemies appropriately with ‘whatever we have’ ... as in Kargil!!

This laxity and inadvertence is now brimming up to intimidating parameters with urgently required weapons taking decades to reach our soldiers on the borders. Such negligence becomes self-defeating when not addressed on time. After the Chinese aggression in 1962, India had launched multiple programmes for the production of aircraft, tanks, guns and missiles. There have been some encouraging results in missilery and naval platforms but the gestation of projects to produce tanks, aircraft and guns has been excruciatingly long and troublesome, exacerbated to a large extent by periodic embargos and sanctions against Indian entities whenever India sought to tread a sovereign path. While DRDO, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and the Indian Space Research Organisation have skyrocketed India among the world leaders in missiles, atomic weapons and the exploitation of aerospace domain critical items required by the defence forces are still elusive. The accelerator needs to be on full throttle. The Modi-led NDA government has sought to rejuvenate the indigenisation of military hardware programme with a renewed accent on ‘Make in India’.

It is high time that our current government commits TOP PRIORITY to National Security and mobilises mandatory actions in this regard with continued momentum and implementation within time frames. An altogether new environment and a new work culture has to be infused in India for the ease of doing business in the defence and security industries that will attract overseas entrepreneurs and will strengthen India’s National Security.

I would like to suggest some crucial and imperative transfigurations:

  • Dedicated department under the Ministry of Industry consisting of experts in defence and security with hands-on experience to mentor private sector companies interested in producing weapons and equipment.
  • Permissions, approvals, licenses should be provided at one window.
  • Special tax holidays and rebates to such industries that produce products for National Security.
  • A Data Bank of capabilities along with their technical and financial strengths (by way of expertise and infrastructure) of Indian companies that are interested in tie-ups with foreign manufacturers should be developed at the earliest. This Data Bank should be circulated to all Indian High Commissions and Embassies around the world.
  • A match-making of such Indian and foreign companies should be done within established time frames and deadlines.
  • Special banking provisions should be made for credits and loans for such companies in the interest of the National Security by establishing a dedicated Defence and Security Development Bank (DSDB) on the pattern of IDBI.

DSA is savouring seventh year of its existence. An overwhelming support of all stakeholders illuminates our path as we march ahead in the interest of National Security. Your encouragement and feedbacks have ensured that DSA sustainingly endeavours to raise the level of consciousness in defence and security journalism and we assure you that we will always strive to exhibit the expected level of substance and excellence.

Team DSA joins me in wishing you a very happy and prosperous Diwali!


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