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Saturday September 21, 2019

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Defence Is Not FUN

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Procurements for the Defence and Security forces have always been in a state of acute and critical exigency; and have always been a perplexing and tricky challenge for India. The governments post-Independence have overlooked these procurement concerns, which have eventuated in our National Security being grievously and dangerously compromised.

 

 

It is sadly beyond comprehension as to why, when almost every other sector in our country has well defined norms, policies and road maps, the Defence and Security sector continues to suffer a step treatment. Evidently, one of the reasons for such a negligent attitude towards the defence sector is the nexus between some greedy foreign companies and our corrupt politicians … a nexus that has stalled and denigrated the Defence procurement procedures and this has been brought to cognizance through the Bofors Scam. An error in hindsight is the second reason … which is a complete absence of the private sector from the supply chain. Over the past decade, efforts have been made to rectify the disastrous situation by encouraging private sector to invest in military related production. The current NDA government led by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken control of the helm with greater vigour. Amendments have been made to the procurement policy with exports central to a stratagem of Make in India. The biggest hurdle which has been perceived in the procurement procedures is the dragged-out trials of any technology which usually takes from 3 to 5 years and by the time one is shortlisted, either the technology becomes outdated or there is a complaint scandal involved against the company, bringing the entire process to a fatal halt. Such protracted steps have alarmingly hampered India’s defence system due to failure of timely procurement of essentials.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has envisaged this implosion and has taken things within his purview to address the whole scenario directly. He has been monitoring the situation in three separate phases:

 

  • He has been motivating the Indian companies to get involved with international Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) for Joint Ventures for the production of military hardware required by the Defence and Security forces.
  • He has been boisterously inviting all Defence Giants to start manufacturing defence and security equipment in India and offer their technologies under the ‘Make in India’ programme.
  • During the last two years of his tenure as the Prime Minister, he has been extensively travelling around the globe and inviting the Heads of States and Governments of all such countries that are prominent manufacturers of various military technologies and equipment.

 

The opposition along with a considerable quantum of our population has been making a mockery of the Prime Minister’s foreign tours. But I feel that such an attack has materialised only because of the opposition’s inability to envisage his vision to diminish procurement complexities and convince the national and international stakeholders for joint ventures. The Prime Minister’s sole goal is to make India a world leader and his efforts ought to bring a sense of pride to every nationalist along with adequately curbing nonsensical remarks from the opposition and biased media.

Under the conducive and impactful leadership of our Prime Minister, I am optimistic that all challenges and hurdles will be minimised or eradicated and all miscellany of deficiencies in Defence and Security will be expunged in a holistic manner. His bona fide efforts prove that defence is not FUN. His unflinching focus on defence strategies and plans display an urgency, sincere concern and priority of this nationalist government for a safe and secure nation.

This edition, dear reader, highlights and deliberates upon challenges and mounting deficiencies in the Defence and Security sector and commends possible solutions from stalwarts, making this a reference edition on the subject. I am sure that the same will be zealously considered by the powers that be.


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

 

Jai Hind


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