[Answered] India’s defence tech indigenization should be via an ecosystem involving companies, universities, and IITs. Discuss

Introduction: Contextual introduction.

Body: Explain how India’s defence tech should be indigenized.

Conclusion: Write a way forward.

India’s defence manufacturing sector has been witnessing a CAGR of 3.9% between 2016 and 2020. The Government of India has set the defence production target at US$ 25 billion by 2025 (including US$ 5 billion from exports by 2025).

The following measures are needed for the indigenization of India’s defence tech:

  • Government must help create a network of big companies that can manufacture weapon systems and components, technology entrepreneurs who will experiment with new tech and IITs and the better universities that can provide talented young researchers and scientists.
  • Government should gradually expand the positive indigenization listso that greater support is provided to domestic manufacturers.
  • The proposed SPV in budget 2022-23should be duly established to enable better private sector participation in defense manufacturing.
  • The success of the Made in India brand necessitates rigorous testing and trials of Indian products as per international standards. An independent nodal umbrella body should be created for meeting “the wide-ranging requirements of trial, testing and certification.
  • monitoring mechanismunder DG-Acquisition should be created to monitor the budget earmarked, specifically for private industry and start-ups. It should have representatives from all the three services.
  • Joint projects with a commitment of technology transfer should be encouraged as done in case of Brahmos Missile with Russia. This would augment independent and indigenous production in future.

iDEX is the right step for the modernization of defence industry as it empowers a culture of technology co-creation and co-innovation in the sector and boost innovation among the start-ups and encourage them to be a part of the ecosystem.

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