India is still far away from reducing its strategically-vulnerable dependence on foreign military hardware and software. With suitable examples, critically analyze where, to what extent and why "Make in India"initiatives have failed.

Make in India program was launched by government of India with an aim to make India as manufacturing hub of the world. One of the major objective of Make in India is to reduce imports and dependence from foreign countries but India is still far away from reducing its strategically-vulnerable dependence on foreign military hardware and software. Some of the examples are

  • India is depending on Russia for Light utility Helicopters. Rs. 6500 cr deal was signed with Russia in 2015 to buy 200 Kamov 226-T helicopters.
  • Recently Indian army issued request for information (RFI) to global armament giants for an initial 1,770 futuristic tanks called the future ready combat vehicles (FRCVs) which will helpful for “rapid dominance in an expanded battle space
  • Indian Air force also planning to buy 114 singe engine fighters soon.

Failure of Make in India initiative in defence:
Some of the reasons for failure of Make in India in defence are: Bureaucratic bottlenecks, long-winded procedures, commercial and technical wrangling, coupled with the lack of requisite political push and follow-through.  Most of the mega projects in defence related to Make in India, which worth over Rs 3.5 lakh core remain stuck at different stages without the final contracts being inked. For example, fifth generation fighter aircraft was approved in 2007 till now it is not finalised. Another example is FICV (Future infantry combat vehicles), the project was approved in 2009. The project yet to be finalised.

Question for UPSC Mains:
India is still far away from reducing its strategically-vulnerable dependence on foreign military hardware and software. With suitable examples, critically analyze where, to what extent and why "Make in India” initiatives have failed.

Published: December 10, 2017 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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