The Indigenisation of India’s Defence Industry

  • Nirbhay Sharma

Despite several initiatives undertaken by the government, the stated goal of achieving self reliance in defence production still remains elusive. In continuation with ORF's ongoing endeavour on the subject, a seminar was organised recently to discuss the way ahead. This publication, by ORF Distinguished Fellow Lt. Gen. Nirbhay Sharma, provides a comprehensive summary of the discussions and recommendations.

The demand for state-of-the-art weapons systems is poised to take a quantum leap in the future. India has already missed two acquisition cycles and any let-up at this stage in carrying out major structural and procedural changes in the Government's policy would result in heavy dependence on foreign sources, defeating the goal of achieving self-reliance. It is understood that the complexities and sensibilities of the matter demand a balance in its process–transparency, probity and fair competition with quality control, cost effectiveness and timely delivery.

Despite several initiatives undertaken by the government, the stated goal of achieving self reliance in defence production still remains elusive. In continuation with our ongoing endeavour on the subject, the Observer Research Foundation recently held a seminar to discuss the way ahead.

The participants included Mr. Ravindra Gupta (Chairman of the Task Force on Defence Modernisation and Self Reliance), Mr. Vinod Mishra (former Secretary, Defence-Finance), Dr Manoj Joshi (Distinguished Fellow at ORF and former Member National Security Advisory Board), Lt. Gen (Retd.) JP Singh (former Deputy Chief of IDS and Consultant, DRDO), Air Marshal (Retd.) NV Tyagi (former Deputy Chief of Air Force), Cmde (Retd.) Sujeet Samaddar (Director, Shin Maywa Industries), Dr Vivek Lall (President, Reliance New Ventures), Brig (Retd.) Khutub Hai (former CEO, Mahindra Defence Systems), Mr. Jayant Patil (Executive VP, Larsen & Toubro-Defence & Aerospace), Mr. RP Singh (Defence Analyst and Project Leader, Arms Procurement Decision Making, SIPRI) and other experts from the armed forces, corporate sector and academia. The proceedings were chaired by Lt. Gen (Retd.) Nirbhay Sharma (Distinguished Fellow at ORF, former Master General of Ordnance and Member, Union Public Service Commission).

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