DPP needs to be tweaked

SP's MAI - - FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK - Jayant Baran­wal Pub­lisher & Editor-in-Chief

For ac­cel­er­at­ing in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment, specif­i­cally the de­fence in­dus­try in In­dia, it is im­per­a­tive for the gov­ern­ment of the day to cre­ate an ecosys­tem. The Naren­dra Modi Gov­ern­ment has be­gun in right earnest and has started work­ing on re­forms post-haste. Cru­cial to the de­vel­op­ment of the de­fence in­dus­tries is the de­vel­op­ment of the mi­cro, small and medium en­ter­prises (MSMEs). They are a ma­jor cog in the wheel of the ‘Make in In­dia’ ini­tia­tive.

Re­cently, SP Guide Publi­ca­tions in as­so­ci­a­tion with FISME or­gan­ised a seminar on ‘Op­por­tu­ni­ties for MSMEs in De­fence Sec­tor’, in keep­ing with its se­ries of com­mit­ments to­wards the up­lift­ment of ev­ery sin­gle as­pect of aerospace and de­fence. Inau­gu­rat­ing the seminar, the Min­is­ter of De­fence Manohar Par­rikar as­sured the MSMEs that the gov­ern­ment would sup­port the sec­tor and it was aware of the com­plex­i­ties in the sys­tem. The com­fort­ing an­nounce­ment by the min­is­ter was that the De­fence Pro­cure­ment Pro­ce­dure (DPP) would be sim­pli­fied fur­ther, bring­ing in a lot more clar­ity to the pro­ce­dure.

In this is­sue, we have a gamut of ar­ti­cles by our ex­perts, one of which is about the think­ing that is go­ing on in gov­ern­ment cir­cles to ac­quire the light com­bat air­craft to re­place the MiG-21 fleet of the In­dian Air Force. The Min­istry of De­fence in end-May in­vited the global aerospace ma­jor Saab and the Rus­sian com­pany Rosoboronex­port to make pre­sen­ta­tions on their pro­posal. Air Mar­shal B.K. Pandey (Retd) in his anal­y­sis states that given the wors­en­ing se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion in the re­gion and es­pe­cially the ris­ing level of threat from In­dia’s ad­ver­saries, restor­ing the com­bat po­ten­tial of the IAF re­quires a high de­gree of ur­gency.

Con­tin­u­ing on In­dia’s for­eign pol­icy is­sues, it is note­wor­thy to men­tion that Naren­dra Modi has given it a ma­jor fil­lip, net­work­ing with ma­jor pow­ers, the neigh­bours and other trad­ing na­tions. The re­cent visit of the US De­fense Sec­re­tary Dr Ash­ton Carter high­lighted how the two coun­tries have em­barked upon strength­en­ing re­la­tions. The re­newal of the de­fence frame­work agree­ment for 10 more years, till 2025, builds upon the pre­vi­ous frame­work and suc­cesses to guide the bi­lat­eral de­fence and strate­gic part­ner­ships. The new frame­work agree­ment pro­vides av­enues for high level strate­gic dis­cus­sions, con­tin­ued ex­changes be­tween armed forces of both coun­tries and strength­en­ing of de­fence ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

Closer home, the en­gage­ment of the Prime Min­is­ter with his Bangladeshi coun­ter­part is another step in tak­ing In­dia’s lead­er­ship to the next level. The rat­i­fi­ca­tion of the In­dia-Bangladesh Land Bound­ary Agree­ment (LBA) is per­haps the top most strate­gic achieve­ment with neigh­bour­ing coun­tries by the Modi Gov­ern­ment. The Prime Min­is­ter also ex­tended a $2-bil­lion credit line to Bangladesh and an­nounced that power sup­ply from In­dia to Bangladesh will grow from 500 MW to 1,100 MW within two years.

Another sig­nif­i­cant event that hap­pened dur­ing the last fort­night has been In­dian op­er­a­tives hunt­ing down ter­ror­ists in neigh­bour­ing Myan­mar af­ter they had am­bushed an In­dian Army pa­trol and killed sol­diers. The covert op­er­a­tion has been likened to some ma­jor cross-bor­der in­ter­ven­tions and In­dia has been ac­knowl­edged as hav­ing its own ca­pa­bil­i­ties to weed out ter­ror­ist el­e­ments, even if that means they have gone into ‘safe havens’.

All this and more as we con­tinue to an­a­lyse the se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion in the coun­try and in the neigh­bour­hood.

Happy read­ing!

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