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India's Defence: Achievements & Challenges in Self-Reliance



  May 13, 2024

India's Defence: Achievements & Challenges in Self-Reliance



The Indian defence industry has seen significant reforms and progress under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership through initiatives like 'Make in India' and 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' (Self-Reliant India). These initiatives aim to transform India from being the world’s largest arms importer to becoming a major exporter of defence equipment.

Achievements of India’s Defence Industry:

1. Increase in Production and Exports: There has been a noticeable increase in domestic defence production and exports. The industry has expanded its output across various sectors, including high-value defence equipment.

2. Expansion of Private Sector Role: The private sector now plays a significant role, accounting for about 20% of total defence production as of 2022-23. Major conglomerates like Tata, L&T, and Bharat Forge are actively involved in manufacturing critical defence assets.

3. Growth of R&D and Innovation: The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) along with private entities, are increasingly involved in research and development, pushing the boundaries of indigenous technology in defence.

4. Strategic Partnerships and Joint Ventures: Joint ventures like BrahMos Aerospace highlight successful collaborations between Indian and international defence entities, contributing significantly to technological advancements and production capabilities.

Challenges Facing India’s Defence Industry:

1. Scaling Up Production: Despite improvements, the industry needs to enhance its production capacity to meet the growing demands of the armed forces and reduce dependency on imports.

2. Technological Self-Reliance: There is a critical need for advanced R&D to develop indigenous technologies, reducing reliance on foreign technology and components.

3. Procurement and Policy Delays: The defence procurement process needs to be more efficient to reduce delays in the integration of reforms and actual production.

4. Expanding Export Capabilities: Although there is growth in exports, the industry faces challenges in competing internationally, particularly in markets that are also targeted by other major global players.

The Indian government remains committed to advancing these reforms to foster a robust, self-reliant defence industry that not only meets domestic requirements but also makes significant inroads into the international arms market.



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