DPP needs to be tweaked
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.