Sansad TV Perspective: Atmanirbhar in Defence

In the series Sansad TV Perspective, we bring you an analysis of the discussion featured on the insightful programme ‘Perspective’ on Sansad TV, on various important topics affecting India and also the world. This analysis will help you immensely for the IAS exam, especially the mains exam, where a well-rounded understanding of topics is a prerequisite for writing answers that fetch good marks.

In this article, we feature the discussion on the topic: Atmanirbhar in Defence. 

Anchor: Teena Jha

Participants:

  1. Sunil Mishra, DG, Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers
  2. Jayant Patil, Director & Senior Executive VP (Defence and Smart Technologies), L&T
  3. Rear Admiral Kapil Mohan Dhir, Department of Military Affairs, Ministry of Defence

Context:  

India has ascertained an outstanding roadmap within the ambit of the visionary expression of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ which aims to transform the country into a self-reliant, self-sufficient, disaster-resilient and progressive welfare state with reduced dependence on imported defence purchases. 

A Brief Overview: 

The waves of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ reached the shores of multiple sectors accompanied by several initiatives taken up by the government. A significant impetus has been rendered to the defence sector in order to expand the gamut of self-reliance and elevate the production of indigenous equipment. The Prime Minister took an active step to deliver indigenous equipment to the chiefs of the armed forces. The defence sector thrives at the helm of all affairs related to security, peace, stability and integrity of the country and requires timely up-gradation to tackle future challenges. This accentuates a question on how far the government initiatives stand in the actual yardstick of self-reliance and what can be done to establish ‘Atmanirbharta’ in a holistic manner. This episode brings up all such important discussions into the limelight. 

Government Initiatives towards Atmanibhar in Defence:

  • The Prime Minister handed over the Light Combat Helicopter to the chief of the Indian Air Force during the Rashtra Raksha Samarpan Parv in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh. This is developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. These helicopters include upgraded technology and stealth features for effective combat roles accompanied by high load capacity with a unique feature of take-off and landing at an altitude of 5000 m. 
  • The Prime Minister also handed over the drones built by Indian startups to the chief of army staff. Besides, the Advanced Electronic Warfare Suite designed by DRDO and manufactured by BEL was rendered to the chief of the naval staff.
  • The Government of India stepped ahead to set up two defence industrial corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The UP Industrial Defence Corridor is a Rs 400 crore ambitious project of Bharat Dynamics Limited ensuring to provide employment to 150 people by direct means and 500 people through indirect means along with a massive boost to the MSMEs. In the recently inaugurated Jhansi node, a propulsion system for Anti-Tank Missiles will be established. 

Also Read: Defence Industrial Corridors

  • There have been efforts to develop defence R & D by increasing the collaboration with international firms and technology transfers and offering the private sector a level playing field. 
  • The strategic partnership model helps Indian companies with a better technology transfer process. 
  • The Defence Ministry has contributed enormously to promote Atmanirbhar in the defence sector. 64% of the capital procurement budget has been allocated for domestic industry and startups under the framework of the iDEX initiative.  Therefore, all these initiatives form an essential part of walking ahead at a faster pace towards achieving the dream of an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ accompanied by the vision ‘Make in India, Make for the World’ as India’s resources are never inadequate to subserve humanitarian causes.
  • Today India is among the top five nations in military spending as per the data released by SIPRI in 2019. India’s defence exports grew 334% in 5 years.

Looking at the Future: 

  • Remarkable efforts have been made by the Government of India in emboldening the foundation of strategic independence by intensifying the waves of ‘Atmanirbharta’ on the shores of defence.
  • Experts believe that the act of extending the defence corridors would be a significant march towards the indigenisation of the defence sector with the consolidation of defence establishments.
  • It was pointed out that there has been a fascinating consultation between the Government and the defence stakeholders which expedited the developmental projects, thus we witnessed a glimpse of success. 
  • It is envisaged by the expert that the research and development must be further expanded to the private sector to create a competitive and dynamic environment ensuring better technological development.
  •  India is firm with its vision intact towards becoming a global manufacturing hub with an immense emphasis on a sustainable Public-Private Partnership.

Read more summaries of Perspective in the link.

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