The measures, recently announced by the Finance Minister, to promote self-reliance in defence production, address long-standing strategic and national security concerns about the extent of India’s external dependence for its defence-preparedness. For most of the past decade, India had the dubious distinction of being the world’s largest arms importer, accounting for about 12% of global arms imports. Saudi Arabia jumped to first place in 2018 and 2019, but India still takes over 9% of global imports. This external dependence for weapons, spares and, in some cases, even ammunition creates vulnerabilities during military crises. COVID-19 has, once again, focused minds on the impact of supply chain disruptions on both civil and defence sectors. It is a no-brainer that with its security environment, its great power ambitions and its technological capacities, India should have a robust defence manufacturing capacity.The facts that new Defence Procurement Procedures (DPP) 2020 are under formulation and that we now have a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) tasked with promoting indigenous equipment in the armed forces, provide a conducive backdrop to this initiative.Also read | CDS Rawat calls for leeway in defence procurementAn opportune momentThe decision to notify a list of weapons systems for sourcing entirely from Indian… Read full this story
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