Invent In India – on defence indigenisation in India

Source– The post is based on the article “Invent In India” published in The Times of India on 27th January 2023.

Syllabus: GS3- Security

Relevance– Defence reforms and modernisation

News– The article explains the need for defence indigenisation in India. It also explains the steps needed to be taken for defence indigenisation.

Why is there a need for strong focus upon defence indigenisation in India?

India’s neighbourhood isn’t a peaceful one. It has to be militarily strong, and indigenisation is the best way to do that.

India has largely relied on foreign defence platforms over the years. About 60% of India’s defence hardware is of Russian origin. The Ukraine war has thoroughly exposed this Russian arsenal.

GoI’s indigenisation move is a good start. However, the country is still confronted with gaps in indigenous development capabilities for high-tech platforms. For example, even the import content for the indigenous Tejas fighter continues to be around 50%.

What is the way forward for defence indigenisation in India?

The focus now ought to be on increasing the level of indigenisation. That can happen only through improving the quality of R&D.

Civilian and defence R&D can create a mutually reinforcing technology ecosystem. Many of the world’s widely used products and services have military-civilian dual applications.

The internet, space rockets, GPS and radar are merely the most famous examples.

Drones are the latest example of military research changing civilian life. Defence research has even had an enormous impact on healthcare.

There is a need for fiscal support for domestic weapons systems.

GoI must help create a network of big companies for manufacturing weapons, technology entrepreneurs to experiment with new tech and academia for talented young researchers.

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