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Monday September 16, 2019

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MSMEs - Backbone Of Industrial Growth

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After the current government came to power, a new and welcome dimension was introduced to the industry sector by the flagship initiative of Prime Minister Modi, called Make in India. It found immediate resonance in the multitude of micro, small and medium enterprises collectively known as the MSME (especially among those in the Defence sector) which have helped, as much as their intrinsic expertise allowed, to keep the Indian military Laviathan functional in the face of international embargos and restrictive control regimes. Their moment to contribute more to the national security architecture had arrived.

India has been into Defence production right from its Independence in 1947. The several ordnance factories that the British had set up in India to support the war effort in Burma (now Myanmar) and South East Asia theatre against the Japanese penetration needed ancillary support from the MSME sector. Even as the Defence Public Sector Undertakings and connected laboratories and factories grew in a monopolistic regime, there was a felt need for encouraging ancillary units in close proximity to such dedicated DPSUs engaged in developing weapons platforms, to bolster a national policy of self-reliance. This had become imperative to avoid becoming prey to the calculated manipulation of the geostrategic environment by the infusion of the most modern weapons systems, into Pakistan and encouraging it into military misadventures against India. A clear indicator of how deleterious has been the effect on the nation is the fact that today it has the dubious distinction of being the largest importer of weapons from foreign sources.

Part of the foreign gameplan to destabilise the governments of the day were the successive scams in Defence acquisitions involving artillery and submarines which led to a stasis that paralysed Defence acquisitions in the wake of the scandals enveloping the Swedish Bofors 155mm howitzer and German HDW submarines. For decades thereafter production of these platforms lay in limbo.

We all know what happened with the delayed commissioning of the aircraft carrier Vikramaditya by Russia and what continues to afflict the Rafale medium multirole combat aircraft from France. Some or the other reason persists and our national security is in danger which gives an indication towards some bigger conspiracy involving the manufacturers, bureaucrats, politicians and some businessmen who are not letting India’s own Defence Industrial Base (DIB) to develop.

To support the Defence Industrial Base, it is equally very important that the Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises also be made strong to provide the best ancillary products of their acknowledged knowhow to the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) so as to strengthen both the national security as well as the economy. The existence of the Offset policies in the Defence sector is another very important aspect for the OEMs as well as the MSMEs to flourish.

Even as we are trying to improve our national security apparatus new dangers are emerging on the horizon. Team DSA has focussed on the threat posed to the world, and particularly India, by the ISIS that has set up a fundamentalist Islamic Caliphate in Syria and Iraq and has threatened a ‘final war’ in India. Given the brutality and mindlessness that ISIS has displayed in the areas under its control, the threat from the ISIS to India can be worse than the LeT, the Taliban and Red Terror.

Our experts on terrorism have highlighted all aspects of this new perceived threat and have offered solutions which should exercise the minds of our readers.

The recent arrests across the country are self-explanatory of how the network of ISIS has been expanded in India by a few black sheep. It is very essential now that we all should be united against such elements. It is not only the responsibility of the government to secure its people from the ISIS but it is the time when our print as well as the electronic media, police, cyber cells, the Intelligence agencies and society should support each other to create a bigger action plan to eradicate any further expansion of the ISIS network in any part of India.

I hope you will like this edition as always and I look forward to your candid feedback to make DSA more readable and acceptable.


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