‘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 !

Jayant Baran­wal

Pub­lisher & Edi­tor-in-Chief

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