Indigenization-&-Modernization-of-Defense-Production-IASToppers
AIR Summary

All India Radio: Spotlight-News Analysis – Indigenization & Modernization of Defense Production

The past one week has seen important announcements made by Defense Minister who talked about modernization. He talked about having new comprehensive policies which will increase the capabilities in the defence manufacturing sector and he asked the foreign companies to come to India and set up their manufacturing units.
By IASToppers
August 22, 2019

Contents

  • Highlights of the Defense Minister’s announcements
  • Where does India stand in defence manufacturing facilities?
  • Challenges
  • Background
  • Why did the recommendation of Arun Singh Committee to form CDS were not given attention in the last two decades?
  • Way Ahead

Indigenization & Modernization of Defense Production

Highlights of the Defense Minister’s announcements

  1. Test facilities being allowed to private industries: Every equipment has to go through many levels of the test and if India succeeds in having good test facilities especially in aviation sector, then it can give rise to ‘hub and spoke’ model of facilities. For example, it can be a preferred place for the South East Asian nations for testing their equipment.
  2. Outsourcing vendor development guidelines
  3. Extension to license given to manufacturers or producers i.e. from 3 years to 15 years
  4. A requirement of a technology development fund scheme: Military orientation is towards high-tech domain, for example, cyberwar, space and spectrum and if India can attract technology development majors and provide with technology funding then India can provide the best of the minds, through its quality human resource to these sectors.
  5. Reducing dependence on imports: India has to bring in the political will to focus more on Make in India for reducing the excessive dependence on military weapon and equipment imports.
  6. Appointment of Chief of Defense Staff: to improve the efficiency of the Indian military, the CDS will be created. It will also bring harmony between the tri-services.
  7. Incentive of foreign partner: To create an ecosystem where there would be a certain incentive for the foreign partner in terms of investment of capital, investment in technology, investment in manufacturing facilities etc., has to be done in a composite way.

Where does India stand in defence manufacturing facilities?

  • There are two kinds of modernization which the Indian defence sector currently needs:
  1. Modernization of India’s military inventory (acquisition of weapons) and
  2. Modernization of the higher defence management
  • Wherever there is a small indication of intent that there is an entity that would like to partner with India, the government need to scale up both the quantum of manufacturing or technology and quality.

Challenges

  • The best Indian minds are working in space and cyber sector, but for foreign companies. Hence, India needs to create an ecosystem wherein these benefits would accrue to India in a long term.
  • Defining the role of the Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) concerning political executive i.e. defence ministers, Prime Minister, the Cabinet Committee on Security with the bureaucracy, the defence secretary, with the three chiefs and most importantly with the NSA (National Security Advisor)
  • Finance availability
  • Difficulty in acquiring land by a foreign entity
  • Center- state coordination
  • Lack of joint-ness and lack of common logistics and training

Background

  • The need for a unified command was made apparent following the 1962 war against China and the 1965 war with Pakistan.
  • A high-level committee set up in 2000 to examine the gaps in the country’s security system in the wake of the Kargil War in 1999 suggested for the appointment of a Chief of Defence Staff.
  • Moreover, the the post of CDS was recommended by Group of Ministers (GoM) in 2001 also.
  • Post the GoM recommendations, the Arun Singh Committee also suggested for the integration of armed forces by creating CDS post.

Why did the recommendation of Arun Singh Committee to form CDS were not given attention in the last two decades?

  • The government was deflected in the event of 2001, the Parliament attack and the attack of 9/11 in US.
  • The issues of India-US Nuclear Agreement too grappled the last government and it couldn’t give attention to the formation of CDS.

Way Ahead

  • The Defence minister should visit all the recommendations made both by the Atal Vajpayee government and Dr Manmohan Singh government.
  • He should also review recommendations of Kelkar Committee (set up to recommend changes in the acquisition procedures of private sector in defence production), Madhukar Gupta Committee (set up to strengthen border protection) and Dr. P. Rama Rao (to conduct a comprehensive review of DRDO).
  • He should review all of them and check how much of them can be implemented in the next 10 years.

 

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