· Mr GC Pati, Secretary Defence Production, Ministry of Defence said that policy reforms like setting up of order of priority of defence procurement from Indian companies, higher FDI cap and liberalized Industrial licensing regime would accelerate indigenization. Components and sub-systems have been taken out of licensing regime. We have significantly reduced entry barriers for the SMEs. Technology Development Fund (TDF) would help SMEs in particular. Mr Pati was speaking in the Inaugural Session of DEFTECH 2014 jointly organized by Confederation of Indian Industry and Centre for Joint Warfare Studies at Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Headquarters, Rajaji Marg, New Delhi.
· Mr Sumit Mazumder, President Designate, CII said that Indian industry both in public and private sector has developed fair amount of capabilities. However, Ministry of Defence should encourage these companies to graduate from their current level to a higher level. This can be made possible if Indian companies are given incentives to acquire state-of-the-art and critical technologies.
Mr Mazumder mentioned that many Indian companies, especially new entrants into defence, are yet to understand the finer details of the Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP) and its public version Technology Perspective Capability Roadmap (TPCR). Ministry of Defence should consolidate the orders for the sake of economy of scales. This move would be beneficial to the End-users as well as industry. MoD’s procurement procedures are still very cumbersome and time consuming. In the best interest of everyone, the procurement cycle should be shortened.
· DRDO has done marvelous work despite the technology denial regimes. The good work done by DRDO laboratories should be made available to the Indian industry for productionisation and commercialization.
· No businesses can be sustained without exports in the long term. Therefore, Government should take corrective measures to allow defence exports as well as promote exports of defence items from India, said Mr Mazumder.
· Broad R&D framework in the defence sector is Long Term Integrated Perspective Planning (LTIPP) & Technology Perspective Capability Roadmap (TPCR) driven. Several incentives are available to the industry including 200 percent tax rebate on R&D investment. We expect industry to come forward and invest in R&D. While responding to the suggestions of Mr Sumit Mazumder, President Designate, CII, Mr Pati said that MoD is taking steps to reduce the procurement cycle and simplifying export policy.
· Dr Sudarshan Kumar, Chief Controller Research & Development (CCR&D), DRDO said that if India has to become a global power by 2020 then we need to have a clearly defined roadmap for self-reliance through technology driven indigenization. Technology helps during peace as well as war. During peace it provides deterrence and during war time technology provides an edge over the adversaries. For transfer of technology, R&D base in industry is must. Indian R&D spends are very low compared to the US and China. National initiatives on self-reliance in the form of Self-reliance Mission 2025 having the clearly laid down milestones should be launched. “We should also start working on filling up the technology gaps especially in the areas of engines, materiel and infrastructure and so on,” said Dr Kumar.
· Dr PS Ahuja, Director General, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) said that defence technology has been at the centre of civilizational change. Internet, Space Exploration and Atomic Energy are few of the important examples. Defence technology is the biggest money earning machine in the world. 16 CSIR laboratories have been associated with defence research. CSIR labs have contributed in Tejas, BrahMos and Drushti programmes of DRDO. Dr Ahuja said that “We need to get together to leverage existing technologies and capabilities in the country.” There is a need to integrate capacities, knowledge base and industrial strengths to PPP mechanism. Bangalore with the presence of DRDO Laboratories, HAL, BEL, private industry and several research institute is a good example of the existing eco-system in the country. This eco-system should be replicated in the other parts of the country as well.
· Maj General (Retd) K B Kapoor, Director, Centre for Joint Warfare Studies said technology has both hard and soft components. Whilst India is very strong as far as soft components are concerned, India still lacks in the hard components of technology which necessarily means military hardware. Long Term Integrated Perspective Planning (LTIPP) & Technology Perspective Capability Roadmap (TPCR) have laid down the requirement of the Indian Armed Forces for the next 15 years.
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