Why is it in the news?
- Recently, Defence Minister has released the fifth Positive Indigenisation List (PIL) of 98 items. The list outlines items that will be procured by the three-armed services from indigenous suppliers.
- Items on the list include a futuristic infantry combat vehicle, unmanned aerial vehicles, precision kill systems, radars, and more.
- The Department of Military Affairs prepared the list after consultations with stakeholders.
More about the news
- At the Swavlamban 2.0 seminar of the Naval Innovation and Indigenisation Organisation (NIIO), 76 challenges were launched for industry players.
- These challenges are part of the 10th Defence India Start-up Challenges (DISC-10) and the Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) initiatives.
Navy’s Commitment to Self-Reliance
- Navy Chief Admiral emphasized the Navy’s commitment to becoming fully self-reliant by 2047.
- The Navy had set a target to develop 75 futuristic technologies in partnership with domestic micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and startups, surpassing the target with successful initiatives like SPRINT.
Indigenization of Defence
- Indigenization aims to develop and produce defense equipment within the country to achieve self-reliance and reduce imports.
- Self-reliance in defense manufacturing is a key objective.
- DRDO, DPSUs, OFB, and private organizations play a critical role in indigenization.
- India shifted from license-based production to indigenous design due to overdependence on the Soviet Union.
- R&D investments began in the mid-1980s.
Significant steps taken in defense indigenization
- In 1983, Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP) initiated to develop missile systems.
- In 1990, Self-Reliance Review Committee set targets for self-reliance index (SRI) to increase from 30% to 70% by 2005.
- Focus shifted to co-development and co-production with foreign partners.
- Partnerships with countries like Russia, Israel, and France for various projects.
- Reducing Fiscal Deficit: India is a major arms importer. India procures 60% of its weapon systems from foreign markets despite having a large defense budget.
- Export Potential: India can export indigenous defense technology to neighboring nations.
- Security Imperative: Indigenization is crucial for national security, maintaining technological expertise, and fostering innovation.
- Addressing Threats: A self-reliant defense industry helps counter threats like ceasefire violations and attacks.
- Employment Generation: Defense manufacturing leads to job creation.
- Strategic Capability: Self-sufficiency in defense elevates India’s global standing.
- Nationalism and Patriotism: Indigenous production boosts trust and confidence in the military.
- Defense Procurement Policy emphasizes “Buy Indian-IDDM” (Indigenously Designed, Developed, and Manufactured) as the preferred way of acquiring defense goods.
- Defense Acquisition Council can take a “fast-track” route for weapons procurement.
- E-Biz Portal streamlines industrial license application.
- Outsourcing and Vendor Development Guidelines promote private sector participation.
- Uniform custom duty ensures a level playing field.
- FDIpolicy in the defense sector which allows the FDI through automatic approval is increased from 49% to 74%.
- Preference to ‘Buy (Indian)’, ‘Buy & Make (Indian)’ & ‘Make’ categories in procurement.
- INS Vikrant, India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier.
- Development of indigenous Tejas aircraft.
- Project 75 initiated to build six advanced stealth submarines in collaboration with countries like France, Germany, Russia, Sweden, Spain, and Japan.
- Indigenous long-range artillery gun “Dhanush” with 38-kilometer strike range.
- Arihant, India’s first indigenous nuclear submarine.
- India’s ICBM status achieved with AGNI V.
- Indigenous missile systems like Dhanush, Nirbhaya, Prithvi, Akash, and the Pinaka Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher.
- Supersonic Cruise Missile BRAHMOS, a Joint Venture between India and Russia.
- Arjun Tank, a third-generation main battle tank developed by DRDO, with efforts to reduce weight through composites.
- Inefficiency, productivity issues, and low R&D.
- Delays and cost-overruns in projects like Battle Tank Arjun and LCA Tejas.
- Lack of military inputs in decision-making.
- Absence of a National Security Doctrine and long-term defense planning.
- Lack of institutional capacity and capability to effectively implement indigenization policies.
- The absence of a permanent arbitration committee for expeditious dispute resolution, as seen in the USA’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
- Inadequate infrastructure increases logistics costs, reducing cost competitiveness and efficiency.
- Challenges in acquiring land hinder new players’ entry into defense manufacturing.
- Establish a permanent arbitration cell to handle objections and disputes.
- Encourage the private sector’s involvement to bring in technology and human capital for indigenous defense modernization.
- Allocate substantial contracts to the private sector to boost confidence and reduce trust deficits.
- Ensure fairness between the private industry, DRDO, DPSUs, and OFB.
- Weapons systems must first be in service with the armed forces to achieve export capability.
- Leverage the software industry and technologies like AI and cyber security for indigenous chip manufacturing.
- Provide financial and administrative autonomy to DRDO to enhance confidence and authority.
- Train and offer longer tenures to staff at the Department of Defense Production for continuity.
- Structure investee/joint venture companies to be self-sufficient in product design and development, including maintenance and life cycle support.
- Improve in-house design capabilities among the three services, similar to the Naval Design Bureau’s success in the Navy.
- Develop a strong supply chain for optimizing costs.
- Recognize the role of Indian SMEs in the global supply chain of OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers).
- Implement the concept of 5 Is (Identify, Incubate, Innovate, Integrate, and Indigenise) for accelerated progress and cost reduction in defense procurement.