[Answered] “There is a need to build a “defence industrial ecosystem” in India.” In light of this discuss the need and significance of establishing a Defence Industrial Corridor in India.

Demand of the question
Introduction. Contextual Introduction.
Body. Need of defence industrial corridor and it’s significance.
Conclusion. Way forward.

A defence corridor refers to a mechanism through which domestic productions of defence equipment by public sector, private sector and MSMEs are lined up to enhance the operational capability of the defence forces. The government has now opened up private investment in defence production including liberalising foreign direct investment. The Defence Industrial Corridor has the potential to attract investment worth Rs 50,000 crore and create 2.5 lakh job in the next 5 years.

Need of defence industrial corridor:

  1. It is important to indigenise the defence production, because of high expenditure on defence equipments from outside.
  2. Dependence on other countries for defence products, jeopardise India’s abilities to negotiate.
  3. With China and Pakistan as adversaries, there is a need to keep our armed forces modernised.
  4. India is the largest arms importer in the world and spends annually on an average about $3.6 billion, which is more than the combined imports of both Pakistan and China.

Significance of defence industrial corridor:

  1. Defence industry is one of the 25 identified sectors under the Make in India programme, and is also part of the 10 ‘Champion Sectors’ that will generate significant employment opportunities.
  2. The setting up of Defence Corridor will facilitate the development of internationally competitive enterprises to manufacture and maintain all major defence ecosystem and platforms within the country in order to become strategically independent in defence manufacturing.
  3. The development of these corridors will not only help in accelerated growth and regional industry agglomeration, but will also facilitate a well-planned and efficient industrial base which will lead to increased defence production in the country and the region.
  4. This will also help the industry to integrate with the global supply chain of Defence manufacturing.
  5. It has potential to become engine of economy and drive double digit growth in leading India to $5 trillion economy.
  6. It will improve the technological abilities and connectivity of the defence forces.
  7. It will encourage domestic production of defence equipments and benefit all small and medium manufacturers along the corridor
  8. It will make the Nation self-reliant for meeting our defence needs.
  9. Industry, particularly the private sector, has long demanded special incentives such as infrastructure status for their investment, and deemed export benefits for certain types of procurement, to incentivise their entry into the defence production sector.

India at present does not have a structured framework and a robust system to prepare its human resources to address all issues connected with building and sustaining defence systems. Thus it is important to bridge the skills gap that include measures like changes to academic curriculum to setting up institutions that specialise in defence and security to raising a new generation of system integration managers. The government must consider these carefully.

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