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Editorial (Sep-Oct 2015)

This issue is dedicated to Dr APJ Abdul Kalam as our humble tribute to son of India, whose concern for developing India has no parallel. He articulated his visions to new generation to transform India from “developing country” status to “developed country” status by 2020. He visualized that issues of national security are no longer simple considerations of defence but are closely intertwined with many aspects of trade, commerce, investment as well as creation & use of a knowledge base. He always believed and shared if a country does not learn to master these new realities of life, all aspirations to ensure the prosperity of people may come to naught.

A lot is being said about changing the Defence Procurement Procedures. Let us be clear changing procedures wont help. In the present context, there is need for fundamental shift in the Indian Government's approach to its defence industry. Till now the plank of change has been bogged down by bureaucracy and politics, miles of red tape, months of delays and the hassles, anguish and corruption that the system has built over a decade. Comprehensive structural reforms, change in the mind set and need to end realm of public sector monopoly is the key to growth. Guaranteed jobs, tenures, insulation from accountability and performance and the employees do not bother to respond to the competitive climate.

We have seen how private sector involvement has enhanced the overall efficiency, revolutionized the banking & tele-communication, and airlines etc, which till recent past were dominated by Govt. sector. The story is no different for Govt. sector in defence production. Torturously slow pace of decisions and the norm of taking two steps forward one step backward has been hindering investment and capability creation resultantly bleeding the economy. The defence industry needs to be competitive to be able to integrate with global supply chain. There is also the need for bold reforms, and political leadership has to be enthusiastic about the drive rather than rhetoric of reforms as in the past.

The passions and pursuit of excellence of the changing generation and learning environment must be capitalized to create value by innovation in the knowledge economy. This will be a real tribute to Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.

Maj Gen Dr. Bhupinder Yadav (Retd.)

Maj Gen Dr. Bhupinder Yadav (Retd.)

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