The government has been fixing the nuts and bolts of the economy and sign of growth are on horizon. IMF's latest world economic outlook projects that India's ranking would improve to seventh largest economy in the world with over $ 3 Trillions by 2019.

The cover story brings Make-in-India with specific reference to Defence Production. The productive outcome as a result of economic and technological expertise will depend on domestic conducive economic regulations and framework. Manufacturing defence equipment in India with transfer of technology from foreign companies is not the same as coming up with state-of-the-art equipment largely through indigenous efforts. If India is serious about making itself more self-sufficient in defence production, we need besides policy tweaks; an entirely new mindset from all stakeholders including the private sector. The Indian private sector has amply demonstrated its capability in IT, Pharma, Auto segments. It is pity that in defence production, we can trust private sector from foreign country and go on to import, but we are unable to trust our own private sector to produce Small Arms and Ammunition.

Notwithstanding above, the other issue to address is the piquant reality i.e, deeply embedded institutional flaws in India's higher defence management, the anomalous division of so called collective responsibility. The dysfunctional and inefficient broad construct where authority without accountability is the order of the day, needs to attended. Despite several expert committees recommendations to bring authority and accountability together, have been disregarded by vested interest.  In the excitement over the make-in-India push of the new government, the fate of MoD's own version of 'Make (India)' initiative seems to hang in balance since long. Number of projects are awaiting the procedures.  MoD need to realize it is easier to deal with a less-than-perfect procedure than to be confronted with uncertainty.

Recently the country lauded the achievement of ISRO a Govt entity achievements. Some of the major contributory factors such as autonomy, non interference from any vested interests, collaboration and free and frank knowledge based interaction between the stakeholders, have been attributed in ISRO's success in technology development and applications. Such factors have to be inculcated for emulation in  work culture in defence production so as to achieve  self reliance, Make-in-India in defence production a reality. The fact we have been glossing over that during the Arms export ban, Indian  self-reliance index rose much faster with indigenous developed product, comparable with the best at much lesser cost, is the way forward on self reliance.

With the initiative and enterprise to be self-reliant to a degree in defence production, it is expected the decisiveness and determination on adapting pragmatic policies will make a perceptible impact for creative accomplishments.

Maj Gen Dr. Bhupinder Yadav (Retd.)

Maj Gen Dr. Bhupinder Yadav (Retd.)

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