PRIVATISATION TO ‘MAKE-IN-INDIA’: DEFENCE DISCUSSION IN PARLIAMENT - The Daily Guardian
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PRIVATISATION TO ‘MAKE-IN-INDIA’: DEFENCE DISCUSSION IN PARLIAMENT

The information was tabled in a written reply by Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik to questions asked by Members of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha.

Ashish Singh

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The ‘Make in India’ initiative in the defence sector is implemented through various policy initiatives which promote indigenous design, development and manufacture of defence items. These initiatives, inter-alia, include priority to procurement of capital items from domestic sources under Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020; notification of ‘Negative list’ of 101 items for which there would be an embargo on the import beyond the timeline indicated against them; simplification of Industrial licensing process; liberalisation of FDI policy; simplification of make-in-India procedure; launch of Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) scheme; and implementation of “Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India), Order 2017.

During the last two financial years i.e. from 2018-19 to 2019-2020 and the current financial year 2020-21( till December 2020), the Government has accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) to 112 defence proposals, worth Rs 1,99,860 crore approximately, under the various categories of capital acquisition, which promotes domestic manufacturing as per the Defence Acquisition/Procurement Procedure.

Many significant projects including 155mm Artillery Gun system ‘Dhanush’, Bridge Laying Tank, Thermal Imaging Sight Mark-II for T-72 tank, Light Combat Aircraft ‘Tejas’, ‘Akash’ Surface to Air Missile system, Submarine ‘INS Kalvari’, ‘INS Chennai’, Anti-Submarine Warfare Corvette (ASWC), Arjun Armoured Repair and Recovery Vehicle, Landing craft utility, etc. have been produced in the country under ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Government in last few years.

Based on the export Authorisations/Licenses issued by Department of Defence Production and actual exports done by Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) & Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) and private industries, some of major items exported in the past few years, are Fast Patrol Vessels, Coastal Surveillance System (CSS), Light Weight Torpedoes, Light Weight Torpedo Launcher and Parts, Do-228 Aircraft, Wheeled Infantry Carrier, Light Specialist Vehicle, Mine Protected Vehicle, Passive Night Sights, Battle Field Surveillance Radar Extended Range, Integrated Anti-Submarine Warfare, Advanced Weapons Simulator, Personal Protective items, 155mm Artillery Gun Ammunition, Small Arms and Ammunitions, Weapon locating Radars, Identification of Friend or Foe (IFF) –Interrogator etc. Considering the strategic sensitivity of the matter and in the interest of national security, the country-wise details of exports cannot be divulged.

The contracts for various capital acquisition requirements of the Government in the defence sector are awarded to domestic, public and private sector companies including those situated in State of Uttar Pradesh, as per the extant provisions prescribed in Defence Acquisition Procedure. In addition, the OFB and DPSUs place orders on Indian vendors including those situated in Uttar Pradesh for supply of various items, components etc. as per their requirements. Moreover, the Government has established a Defence Industrial Corridor in Uttar Pradesh with 6 nodes at Aligarh, Agra, Chitrakoot, Jhansi, Lucknow and Kanpur to develop defence manufacturing ecosystem and promote indigenous manufacturing.

This information was tabled in a written reply by Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik to a question asked by Rajmani Patel in the Rajya Sabha.

PRIVATISATION OF DEFENCE PSUS

The government is planning to decrease shareholding in Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) namely, BEML Ltd, Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited (GRSE) and Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited (MIDHANI). The completion of a transaction depends on market conditions. Therefore, it is not possible to predict a timeline.

Details of PSUs making defence-related equipment in which Government has already decreased its shareholding and funds collected by decrease in shareholding through each one of the PSUs in last five year:-

Policy of disinvestment of minority stake without transfer of management control is being followed for priority sector including defence to unlock value, promote public ownership, to meet the minimum public shareholding norms of SEBI and for ensuring higher degree of accountability.

This information was tabled in a written reply by Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik to a question asked by Santanu Sen in the Rajya Sabha.

STEPS TAKEN TO ENHANCE CAPACITY OF SECURITY FORCES

The government has taken several policy initiatives and reforms to promote indigenous design, development and manufacture of defence equipment in the country and enable development or transfer of technologies in the country.

The salient steps undertaken to achieve self sufficiency in defence sector are:

i. Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP)-2016 has been revised as Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) -2020, which is driven by the tenets of Defence Reforms announced as part of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’.

ii. Opened North & South Defence Industrial corridors to promote setting up of industries supporting defence equipment.

iii. Permitted acceptance of “Suo Moto” proposals from industry for undertaking indigenous design & development for items needed for defence services.

iv. Formulated the iDEX (Innovation in Defence Excellence) framework to provide an ecosystem for Startups/individual innovators/MSMEs to engage with Ministry of Defence/Academia and other such agencies for manufacture of defence-related items.

v. Institutionalised the Technology Development Fund and its processes to facilitate the DRDO to engage with Indian industry for technology development needs.

vi. Army Design Bureau (ADB): Indian Army (IA) launched the ADB on 31st August, 2016. The role of the ADB is to act as a facilitator for research & development efforts and procurement of indigenously developed weapons and equipment extensive outreach programme for industry, MSMEs, Startups and Academia across the country for promoting ‘Make in India’. The outreach programmes, apart from generating awareness about the modernisation requirements, will help to meet the technology needs of the IA from within the confines of domestic resources and talent

vii. Army Technology Board (ATB): The ATB enables indigenous Research and Development efforts in accordance with the operational needs of the IA.

viii. Technology Development Fund (TDF): TDF has been launched by the Government to giving impetus to research and development projects beyond the proof of concept stage. It has been provided with a budget of Rs 100 crore.

ix. The Indian Navy in coordination with Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) is pursuing the indigenous development and acquisition of a Twin Engine Deck Base Fighter (TEDBF).

x. Ministry of Defence has notified a ‘First Positive Indigenisation List’ of 101 items for which there would be an embargo on the import beyond the timeline indicated against them. This is a big step towards self-reliance in defence. This would offer a great opportunity to the Indian defence industry to manufacture these items using their own design and development capabilities to meet the requirements of the Armed Forces in the coming years.

Modernisation, upgradation and sustenance of military equipment and weapons is a continuous process and constant endeavour to equip the Armed Forces with modern weapon systems/ equipment being carried out under various procurement provisions (DAP & DPM). Also in emergencies as in the prevailing situation, special procurement powers to enhance the operational capability are given to Service Headquarters.

DRDO has played a major role in the development of state-of-the-art platforms, weapon systems and sensors and upgradation of defence equipment in the country which in turn has enhanced capacity of the armed forces to tackle the present security scenario of the country efficiently.

This information was tabled in a written reply by Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik to a question asked by Vijay Pal Singh Tomar and Harnath Singh Yadav in the Rajya Sabha.

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Defence

‘ARMY CAN MEET ANY CHALLENGE TO SAFEGUARD COUNTRY’

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The Army is fully prepared to meet any challenge like the use of drones and social media by adversaries to safeguard the country, said Commandant of Chennai-based Officers Training Academy (OTA) Lieutenant General M K Das. Lt Gen Das, who is also the colonel of the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI) regiment, said the situation in J&K is getting better with the Army and other security agencies working together to stamp out terrorism. Speaking to media on the sidelines of the maiden attestation parade of 460 new recruits of the 126th batch after a successful 40-week training period at Dansal here, he said the Indian Army is aware of the challenges and prepared to give a befitting response to the enemies of the nation.

Talking about the need to introduce special training courses for soldiers in the aftermath of the developments in Afghanistan, he said, “Our training is very contemporary as it caters for all the contingencies and unforeseen situations. My young soldiers, who have taken the oath to defend the constitution and the country, will live up to all the challenges. One of the unique things of this regiment (JAKLI) is all our troops hail from J&K and Ladakh. They have ingrained quality to be security conscious much more than others.” Lt Gen Das said, “All the situations unfolding in the country or in our neighbourhood, the JAKLI regiment will continue to excel and be the lead agency in the fight against terrorism.” Asked about the challenges posed by the use of drones to hit targets and deliver weapons and narcotics from across the LoC and International Border, he said a capsule course on anti-drone measures has been introduced. “On Army Day on 15 January, our chief took the threat seriously and our soldiers are being prepared to deal with the challenge in a better way.” During recruitment training, Lt Gen Das said that besides the arms handing and exercises, thrust is also given on science and technology, cybersecurity and other new challenges. He said the misuse of social media by “anti-national” elements is a reality and the new recruits are being trained in cybersecurity during their basic and orientation courses.

On attempts by Pakistan to mislead the youth of J&K, Lt Gen Das said, “The youth of J&K is showing keenness to be a part of the regiment which is a message to those who think they can mislead our youth. Joining the regiment is the best way to serve the nation, the youth live like a family and there is complete communal harmony.” He said the regiment is increasing the number of local youth from Ladakh and would also go for recruitment in J&K to provide an opportunity to the local youth to become part of this regiment. Asked about his message to the misguided youth, he said, “J&K is the crown of India but if I focus as a soldier, I feel they (misguided youth) have not understood their country… the situation has not gone out of hand and the Army has kept its window open to allow them to surrender and join the national mainstream.”

He added, “We have a unit of 162 Infantry Territorial Army who are former militants but have become upright soldiers.” Lt Gen Das said the Army and other security agencies are working in close coordination and the situation in J&K is getting better and the “day is not far when this region will make our country proud.”

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Defence

SOUTHERN NAVAL COMMAND OBSERVES INTERNATIONAL COASTAL CLEAN-UP DAY IN KOCHI

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The Southern Naval Command observed International Coastal Clean-up Day on Saturday with a focus on mangrove plantation and clearance of plastic/non-biodegradable waste along with waterfront areas in and around Kochi, said a press release from the Ministry of Defence.

Pursuant to the global campaign of keeping coastlines clean, more than 600 Naval personnel and the families of Southern Naval Command undertook clearance of plastic and non-biodegradable waste at different locations spread across the city, coastal areas such as Fort Kochi beach, Thevara waterfront, Willingdon Island, Cherai beach, Bolgatty and around 2 km stretch of the Venduruthy channel while restoring around 1 lakh sqm of mangroves to the pristine condition. In addition, 80 mangrove saplings were also planted along the Venduruthy channel. Similar coastal cleanup drives and lectures/webinars/competitions emphasising protection of the coastal and marine environment were undertaken with the enthusiastic participation of the Naval community at other outstation Naval units located at Lonavala, Jamnagar, Chilka, Coimbatore, Goa, Ezhimala and Mumbai.

Being the Training Command of the Indian Navy, the Southern Naval Command has always been at the vanguard in promoting environmental conservation activities both at the Command Headquarters, Kochi as well as at Naval stations spread across the country.

Mandated to oversee naval training, the Southern Naval Command has conceptualised and implemented a variety of green initiatives. Keeping environmental preservation as one of the Key Result Areas, the Command has constantly endeavoured to motivate young officer and sailor trainees of the Indian Navy to imbibe the habit of protecting mother nature as part of their grooming efforts in preparing them to become responsible future Naval leaders and dependable citizens of India.

Particular attention has also been given to create more awareness among the families and more importantly the children.

During the last three years, the Command has adopted a multi-dimensional approach towards conservation of the environment and implementation of energy conservation methods.

To highlight a few, the personnel of the Command were actively involved in the rejuvenation of 4.5-km-long Venduruthy Channel near Kochi Naval base, creating awareness in and around Naval establishments.

Efforts were undertaken to enhance green cover by conducting mass plantation drives which included planting more than 75,000 trees, using the fast-growing Miyawaki forestation method. In addition, regular coastal clean-up drives, mangrove plantation drives, in-house handling and recycling of bio and non-biodegradable waste, adopting efficient energy and water-saving methods etc were also undertaken. The Command has also earnestly endeavoured to continue all the efforts for protecting and conserving the environment and natural resources. Towards achieving the same, the Command has implemented a Green Initiative and Environment Conservation Roadmap with a prime focus on Carbon footprint reduction.

With the personal involvement of Vice Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command is committed to creating a clean, green and healthy environment in line with the visionary environment conservation policies of the Govt of India. On the occasion, Adv M Anilkumar, Mayor, Kochi Municipal Corporation and staff also participated in Kochi.

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Defence

IAF TO HOLD AIR SHOW OVER DAL LAKE IN SRINAGAR ON 26 SEPT

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An air show will be held here on 26 September where IAF’s skydiving team Akash Ganga and Suryakiran Aerobatic and Display Team and paramotor flying will manoeuvre the skies over the famous Dal Lake, officials informed on Saturday.

The air show will be organised by the Air Force Station Srinagar and the Jammu and Kashmir administration as part of the ongoing celebrations commemorating ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, they said. The main aim of the exercise—under the theme ‘Give Wings to Your Dream’—is to motivate the youth of the valley to join the Indian Air Force (IAF) and to promote tourism in the region, the officials said.

The event will be flagged off Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha at the Sher-e-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC) overlooking Dal Lake.

More than 3,000 college and school students are expected to participate in the programme to witness the impressive manoeuvres of the IAF, which will motivate them to dream about a career in the force and in the aviation sector, the officials said. “The show will also develop passion among the students to give wings to their dreams. Along with the students, 700 teachers will also be present at the venue,” they added.

During the demonstration, students will also be familiarised with the new technological advancements achieved and incorporated by the IAF while flying aircraft in the sky over the world-famous Dal Lake, the officials said. Stalls will be established at SKICC where students will be familiarised with the achievements of the Air Force, employment opportunities in the IAF, recruitment rules and eligibility criteria, they added.

Srinagar-based PRO Defence Col Emron Musavi said the display will include flypast by various aircraft of the IAF. The spectators would also get to witness paramotor flying and IAF’s skydiving team Akash Ganga in action. ‘Ambassadors of IAF’, Suryakiran Aerobatic Display Team, will be performing in the valley after a gap of 14 years, he said. Col Musavi said the symphony orchestra of the IAF would also be performing at the event. The event would also consist of a photo exhibition depicting the history of the

IAF, he said. 

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Defence

ARMY ORGANISES EXHIBITION IN JAIPUR TO COMMEMORATE INDIA’S VICTORY IN 1971 WAR

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JAIPUR : South Western Command of the Indian Army on Saturday organised an exhibition showcasing defence equipment at Chitrakoot Stadium in Jaipur to mark the 50th anniversary of India’s victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war.

Speaking to ANI, an Indian army official said, “We have displayed the defence equipment in this exhibition to make people aware of the Indian army achievements. We want to motivate the youth by showcasing these types of equipment.” “Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, these events had been started to make people aware of Indian Arm Forces. So, we are also continuing the move by organising these kinds of events,” he added.

Further, he said that India’s victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war is memorable for all the Indians, so, every citizen should be aware of this war.  

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Defence

BRO makes history, appoints woman Army officer in-charge of road construction unit

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The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has appointed a woman Army officer for the first as the Officer Commanding of its 75 road construction company (RCC) in Uttarakhand, the Defence Ministry said on Sunday.

The three platoon commanders under Major Aaina, Captain Anjana, AEE (Civ) Bhawana Joshi and AEE (Civ) Vishnumaya K became the first women RCC. The appointments were made on August 30.

BRO on Sunday recalled the list of women officers who were assigned higher leadership roles in the organisation in the current year.

According to a statement issued by the Defence Ministry, BRO has inducted a large number of women into its workforce over the years, right from officers to the level of commercial pilot license holders. “In this regard, a General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF) officer EE (Civ) Vaishali S Hiwase took over the reins of 83 Road Construction Company on April 28, employed on an important Indo-China road connecting Munisairi-Bughdiar-Milam, in an area full of adversity and challenges. The lady officer has taken control and is leading the charge with meticulous execution of her tasks,” the statement said.

“The BRO created history again on 30 August when Major Aaina of Project Shivalik took charged as Officer Commanding, 75 Road Construction Companies (RCC) at Pipalkoti in Chamoli district in Uttarakhand. She is the first Indian Army Engineer Officer to command a road construction company. Not only this, all three platoon commanders under her, Captain Anjana, AEE (Civ) Bhawana Joshi and AEE (Civ) Vishnumaya K are lady officers and they have together created a first-ever women RCC. The Border Roads plans to make four such all women-led RCCs, two each in North Eastern and Western Sectors.”

As India celebrates 75 Years of Azaadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, it also celebrates the ongoing efforts of our Nation towards women empowerment. Women today have started assuming their rightful, equal place as the frontrunners in nation-building and representatives of our strong national character, the statement read.

Over the last six decades, in a graduated and steady manner, the BRO has increased the number of women employed in various roles and duties of road construction. A consolidated effort is being made to empower them by giving them authority and responsibilities to undertake work independently. These women have become symbols of Nari Shakti in their respective areas.

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IN FIRST FOREIGN VISIT AFTER TAKING OVER AS CDS, GEN BIPIN RAWAT TO VISIT RUSSIA, US

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In his first visit abroad after taking over as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Bipin Rawat will be visiting Russia and the US.

Rawat took over his new office as CDS on 31 December 2019, and since then has been declining foreign invitations for focusing on the new assignment of integrating the defence forces as a combined fighting force. “There is a conference of the CDS-rank officers of the Shanghai Cooperation Agreement member countries. China and Pakistan are also part of this grouping,” senior defence officials said.

The CDS conference would be focusing on addressing the regional security issues and Afghanistan is also likely to come up for discussion, they said.

The CDS would also witness the activities of the respective armed forces taking part in the SCO peace mission drills being held in Russia. Indian Army and Air Force are also taking part in the exercise there.

The visit will take place in the coming week and soon after return from Russia, Rawat would be leaving for the US for meeting his counterpart and other American military leadership at the Pentagon.

The two countries have been coming closer militarily in the last few years and have been holding multiple military exercises and hardware cooperation.

The Indian military saw a major change in senior-level structures under the Narendra Modi government as the focus is now on the theatrisation of the fighting forces and bringing in more capabilities and jointness among the three services. 

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