‘Mega push’ for ‘Make in India’ campaign at Aero India
Aero India 2015 to be held in Bengaluru from February 18 to 22 will be one of the biggest platforms for the aerospace and defence industry which is latching on to ‘Make in India’ mantra of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In the backdrop of the Prime Minister’s initiative, there is going to be aggressive selling of the initiative on the part of Indian companies, to the many original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) who will be descending on Bengaluru. And no less than the Prime Minister Modi will be inaugurating the show, a break from the tradition of the Defence Minister doing the honours.
The Prime Minister is expected to outline his vision for the aerospace and defence sectors in a five-point format (Panchsheel) which include: India to be a port of call for defence manufacturing; explore export potential; rationalising processes for industrial licensing and investments; push for joint development and co-production of private and public sectors; and improve skill sets of India’s growing youth population. The Modi Government has demonstrated so far that it means business and the nation believes that there will be transformational changes.
Aero India continues to be an important aerospace and defence event, though India selected the French Rafale for the medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) in 2012. Even while the final phase of negotiations crawl towards a logical conclusion, the French company is sending three Rafales to the show. Also to look out at the show will be the Israel pavilion considering that India and Israel have further strengthened their relationship, particularly in the realm of defence. The Israeli Minister for Defence Moshe Ya’alon will be leading the Israeli delegation.
The Americans are also going to be present in strong numbers, coming soon after their President Barack Obama’s visit to India and witnessing the Republic Day parade where India displayed her might. There were many takeaways from the visit, the biggest being the signing of the nuclear deal which was lying in cold storage for over six years. Indo-US strategic partnership has never reached such peaks and it is hoped that Aero India will be a platform where the firm handshake of the two leaders will materialise into partnerships on the ground.
There is going to be traction at different levels, not just for US companies but for all those who see a different India and a huge market. For instance, European consulting and technology multinational, Indra has shown clear intent of expanding its partnership model in India. It is, to borrow Prime Minister Modi’s phrase Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas (together with all, development for all), going to be a win-win for all.
Moving from India to the south, there is a change of guard in Sri Lanka and Lt General P.C. Katoch (Retd) states that the signals emanating from the island nation to rebalance foreign relations augur well for India, even as China can be expected to continue investing in Sri Lanka. In another article, Lt General Katoch underscores the importance of speeding up efforts for the perspective multi-role fighter and the advanced medium combat aircraft, while giving features of a fifth-generation fighter aircraft which India is developing, along with the Russians. Indeed, these are happening times. Happy reading !
Publisher & Editor-in-Chief