With almost 70% of the Defence equipment still being imported, the goal of self reliance is distant dream in our country. What steps do you suggest towards self reliance in Defence production? Discuss.
Indigenous defence production is the essential component of long term strategic planning of a country. The heavy reliance on imports for defence is not only disturbing from the perspective of strategic policy and the role India has to play in the security of the region, but is also a matter of concern from the economic point of view in terms of the potential for growth and employment generation.
Steps which are needed for achieving self reliance in defence production
- Increasing capital acquisitions: About 60% of the defence expenditure in India is revenue expenditure and the capital expenditure is about 40%. India needs to improve the quality of spending to build the base for indigenisation.
- CAG reports have shown various lacunas in realizing the full potential under the technology transfer agreements. Strategically modifying the technology transfer clause to aid the indigenisation.
- Restructuring the defence offset policy on the lines of Brazil which always viewed the growth of arms industry as a significant long-term goal. The Brazilian government has been able to leverage its defence buys to get state-of-the-art military technology from outside through licensed production and joint ventures.
- Augmenting the human capital, government must improve the skill sets of the engineers of the country who can aid India in achieving the indigenisation.
- Reorganisation of DRDO. DRDO has failed in many fronts. The premier agency for defence research and development DRDO must be revamped as per recommendations of committee headed by Dr. P. Rama Rao.
Indigenisation of the defence technology and production is vital from countries strategic security point of view. The helpless situation of India during the Scorpene leaks episode is an example of India vulnerability due to its overdependence of Imports for defence requirements.