Seminar on Make in India & DPP 2013
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On May 27, 2015, the VIF put together a panel of eminent policy experts on defence, comprising, among others, serving and retired high ranking military officers, senior bureaucrats and representatives from the defence manufacturing industry for a seminar on ‘Make in India’ and DPP 2013. While the interaction aimed at giving a new thrust to ‘Make in India’ in the present DPP 2013, efforts were also made during the seminar to seek an institutionalised and integrated policy approach towards making defence acquisitions in India effective, time-bound and transparent as also removing the bottlenecks in the processes. Encompassing the entire spectrum under which the defence procurement in India operates – the civil-military interface, finances, regulations, contracts, offset provisions, military-industrial complex et al, the seminar not only brought out the existing lacunas in the defence acquisition processes but also suggested way forward in terms of policy guidelines.

In his opening remarks, General NC Vij, a former Army Chief and the VIF’s current Director, gave out a overview of the need to reform the defence procurement processes in India. While it has long been felt that defence procurement in India is in crying need for reform, not much headway has been made in this direction despite the Kelkar Committee’s recommendations. Not only the country continues to remain overly dependent on foreign arms suppliers to meet the critical requirements of its armed forces, in most cases it has to remain dependent on a single vendor, an unpalatable situation for any military in the world. With Import liabilities being increasingly prohibitive, there is also often a long time gap between the time a particular item is identified for import and the time it is actually procured. The seminar sought to address all these problems and many more against the backdrop of Prime Minister’s clarion call to ‘Make in India’.

While several useful recommendations were made, it was pretty evident that the long term solution to defence modernization in India can come only when weapons and weapon platforms are designed and produced at home. While the indigenous production remains the cherished goal, it should not obstruct the military getting the right equipment at the right time. Creating ownership for defence procurements in India, creating especially a permanent body of well qualified people and fixing responsibilities to them, creating infrastructure for education and training in procurement matters, bringing policy planners, research bodies, manufacturers, users and all other stake holders on the same page, creating level playing filed for the private industry, a higher intake for indigenous products in offset provisions, and involving the private partners from the planning stages and sustaining them through the entire life cycle of products were a few amongst the major takeaways from the seminar.

Mr. Shekhar Dutt, former Defence Secretary who later became the Governor of Chhattisgarh, Mr. Dhirendra Singh, former Home Secretary, Jayant D Patil, Executive Vice President - Defence and Aerospace, Larsen & Toubro, Lt Gen JP Singh, former DCOAS and Dr. VK Saraswat, former DRDO Chief and presently a Member of Niti Aayog, were among other key contributors to the seminar.

Event Date 
May 27, 2015
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