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Monday September 16, 2019

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Reconstructing A Military- Industrial Complex

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It is ironical and somewhat heartbreaking that a nation that set up the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in 1942 with 37 laboratories and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in 1958 with 52 laboratories is still so heavily dependent on foreign imports of military equipment. We are the largest importer of military equipment in the world and this reflects in the state of preparedness of the Indian Armed Forces (the Indian Air Force Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa has recently described the situation as playing a football match with a sevenmember team when eleven are needed).

 

An attempt is being made by the present government to attract foreign investments in money and core technologies by tweaking the Defence Procurement Policy to encourage joint ventures between the foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and the Indian industries both State-owned (like the DRDO and the CSIR) and the private sector through a system of strategic partnerships.Through its multi-dimensional programme the ‘Make in India’, the government has ignited interest among private companies eager to dive into the reservoir of defence production, an access which had long been denied to them. That interest has been generated among many Indian business groups is evident in the activities of several top industries in defence production. Names like the Reliance, Wipro, Godrej, Punj Lloyd and Tata are enlarging the scope of their commitment to national defence and setting up research and development and integrative units that will facilitate the absorption or assimilation and improvement in acquired technologies in fields ranging from guns to aircraft to ships and submarines.

There are encouraging signs all around that ‘indigenous production’ will soon reduce the high percentage of dependence on foreign imports. Apart from the big business groups and the OEMs, the SMEs and the MSMEs will play a vital role in strengthening the Indian military-industrial complex dedicated to developing and producing whole weapons platforms and systems required by the Armed Forces.

This edition has been compiled with focus on all the deficiencies and possible solutions to counter them by our eminent contributors.

Happy reading!
Jai Hind!

 


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