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Analysis Of Sansad TV Discussion: ”Aatmanirbharta in Defence – Part III”

Analysis Of Sansad TV Discussion: ”Aatmanirbharta in Defence – Part III”

Relevance

”GS 3: Indigenization of Technology”

Introduction

  • In the last few years, the government has taken a series of measures to promote domestic defence production.
  • In the same spirit, the govt has recently released the third positive indigenisation list of 101 items, comprising major equipment/platforms.
  • These items will come under an import ban over the next five years and be developed indigenously, in a fresh impetus to the Indian armament industry.
  • It covers major equipment and platforms including sensors, weapons and ammunition, naval utility helicopters, patrol vessels, anti-ship missile and anti-radiation missiles.
  • The first such list of 101 items and the second list of 108 was earlier released in August 2020 and May last year respectively.

Which important items comprise in 3rd list?

  • The third list comprises highly complex Systems, Sensors, Weapons and Ammunitions like Light Weight Tanks, Mounted Arty Gun Systems, Guided Extended Range Rocket for PINAKA MLRS, Naval Utility Helicopters, Next Generation Offshore Patrol Vessels, Medium-Range Anti-Ship Missile, Medium Altitude Long Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle etc.

What does the release of the list signify?

  • The release of this list shows the fast pace of our self-reliance in the defence sector.
  • One important objective is promoting exports of military equipment.
  • The spirit behind issuing these three lists comprising 310 defence equipment slated to be manufactured locally, reflects the growing confidence of the Government in the capabilities of the domestic industry that they can supply equipment of international standards to meet the demand of the Armed Forces.
  • The release of this list will encourage indigenisation with the participation of the public and private sectors, and we will move fast towards achieving both of these goals.

About the previous two Positive Indigenisations

First

  • The first “positive indigenisation” was issued in August 2020.
  • It included 101 items that included towed artillery guns, short-range surface-to-air missiles, cruise missiles and offshore patrol vessels.

Second

  • In May 2021, the government approved restrictions on the import of an additional 108 military weapons and systems such as next-generation corvettes, airborne early warning systems, tank engines and radars under a staggered timeline of four-and-half years.

Are we working in isolation?

  • India’s self-reliance in the defence sector does not mean working in isolation from the rest of the world.
  • It means working in our own country with their (foreign firms) active participation and support.

Why Self Reliance in the defence sector is crucial?

  • India, facing tough challenges from neighbours on its northern and western frontiers, is one of the largest importers of arms globally.
  • According to estimates, the Indian armed forces are projected to spend around USD 130 billion (one billion is equal to ₹100 crore) in capital procurement over the next 5 years.
  • In this scenario, the government now wants to reduce dependence on imported military platforms and has decided to support domestic defence manufacturing.
  • The defence ministry has set a goal of a turnover of USD 25 billion ( ₹1.75 lakh crore) in defence manufacturing in the next five years which includes an export target of USD 5 billion ( ₹35,000 crores) worth of military hardware.

Key proposals in Budget 2022 for achieving self-reliance in the defence sector 

  • It has introduced multiple provisions to boost Atmanirbharta in the defence sector.
  • The integrated approach of design & development of defence systems with the participation of industry & academia will revitalise the defence ecosystem.
  • Provision for the formation of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for design development & production of major defence equipment.
  • The major announcement of 25% of budget earmarked for engagement of industry, startups & academia will provide the much-required boost for defence R&D.
  • These provisions will enable Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) to work vigorously with industry to give a quantum jump to self-reliance in defence.
  • The provision of 5.3% increase in capital budget allocation for DRDO & 68% of the capital procurement budget for the domestic defence industry will further enhance the induction of the indigenous system in our armed forces.

Conclusion

The 3rd list is one more step taken by the Modi Government to create a strong domestic arms industry and make India self-reliant in arms production. All eyes would now be on the MoD, particularly the DMA, as to how the projects are implemented.

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