Private industry has big role in making modern equipment for Army
Greater participation by the private sector to meet the growing requirements of the Indian Army for indigenised, cost effective and innovative solutions to modernise its equipment and technology was the need of the hour, Lt. Gen. Philip Campose, PVSM, AVSM**, VSM, ADC, Vice Chief of Army Staff, Indian Army, said while addressing a two-day international seminar on 'Modernization Vision & Plan of Indian Army Indian, Industry Preparedness and Future Commitments' organised by FICCI in association with the Indian Army in New Delhi on June 4, 2015.
He said that the 'Make in India' campaign launched by the Government of India has been received with great enthusiasm by the Indian Army. The highly complex, technologically advanced and lethal battlefield of today requires India to be well equipped and operationally prepared, Lt. Gen. Campose said and added that there was need for a synergised approach by all stakeholders to ensure success of the 'Make in India' campaign.
On the occasion, FICCI–Q-Tech Compendium on 'Indian Defence – Land System Platforms' was released by Lt. Gen. Campose.
Vivek Rae, Member, 7th Central Pay Commission & former Director General (Acquisition), Ministry of Defence, Government of India, said that the government needed to be realistic about the capabilities of the Indian companies to play a lead role in the 'Make in India' campaign. He suggested that first the capacity of Indian companies, such as large system integrators, should be assessed. Accordingly companies must be identified as champions of industry through a transparent process and national consensus, for their capability to develop complex defence products. Then a mechanism could be created where these companies could be awarded orders so that they could become globally competitive.
Rae said that there was a need to boost cost accounting capability in the sector. Price discovery through bidding would have been an ideal situation but there were not many companies that would bid for defence projects in India. Hence, it was essential for Army to be able to probe the lifecycle cost of projects accurately and after adding a profit margin of 10-15%, they could offer a project to companies.
Dr. Jyotsna Suri, President, FICCI, said that the defence sector was increasingly occupying more space in the government's long term strategic planning with the defence cooperation agreements that India was signing with key nations. She added that historically institutions like DRDO, defence public sector units, ordinance factories and lately the private sector have contributed in achieving partial self-reliance. However, this is not commensurate with the aspirations of becoming a global economic power.
Rahul Chaudhry, Co-Chairman, FICCI Defence Committee & CEO, Tata Power SED, said that with 'Make in India' campaign, the Indian government had, for the first time, showcased a will to not only indigenise the Indian Army but also to export Indian defence systems. There was a need for the private industry and armed forces to create technology and weapons in India with a control over intellectual property, he added.
Lt. Gen. Philip Campose, PVSM, AVSM**, VSM, ADC, Vice Chief of Army Staff, Indian Army, addressing the seminar.