Pune, February 06, 2019: Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA) on Tuesday organized a one-day symposium on “Defence Industry Indigenization: Opportunities and Challenges. This symposium aimed at providing a platform for interactions between the Defence segment and Industry and to boost cooperation between these two sectors.
The program was inaugurated by Dr Subhash Bhamre, Union Minister of State for Defence. Also present on the occasion were Mr Pradeep Bhargava, President, MCCIA, Mr Nitin Gokhale, Founder, BharatShakti.in, Mr Prashant Girbane, Director General, MCCIA and Mr Baba Kalyani, Chairman, Kalyani Group.
Sharing his views on defence industry indigenisation, Dr Subhash Bhamre, MoS, Defence said, “Over the past few years I have traversed across the country in order to understand the difficulties that our defence industry and especially MSMEs face. The defence sector has a few requirements. Firstly, sophistication in design is an extremely important issue. Technology upgradation is extremely rapid and cost of importing technology is very expensive. The latest technology more often than not is not easily available. Hence the government, industry, R&D establishment and the academia have to come together to evolve Indian technologies for Indian requirements.” He added that in terms of production and marketing of defence equipment, the market is limited. Hence a huge thrust is required to boost exports. “To be able to make a dent in the export market we require quality equipment that is cost competitive,” said Dr Bhamre.
While delivering the welcome address, Mr Pradeep Bhargava, President, MCCIA said, “India always had an agenda of no private sector manufacturing for defence even as we imported a lot of equipment from private companies in other countries. This has slowly changed and today there are initiatives like ‘Make in India’, ‘Start-up India’ which will help in defence industry indigenisation. It has to be understood that Indian industries have shown their remarkable potential in developing state of art technologies for various industries including India’s Space Industry. Hence there is no reason why the industry should not contribute to the defence sector.”:
Sharing his views, Mr Nitin Gokhale, Founder, BharatShakti.in said, “In the past few years, the government has brought in place several policies which aim at defence industry indigenisation. The Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) has also been path-breaking in this regard. Yet what needs to change is the mindset of some of the decision makers, bureaucrats to make these policies operational.” Mr Gokhale further said that presently there are 8-10 countries who dominate defence manufacturing. “There are several countries who want to import basic defence equipment. India can look at this and increase its exports in this area.”
While delivering the keynote address, Mr Baba Kalyani, Chairman, Kalyani Group said, “During the end of 2014, Indian manufacturing had reduced to 15.5% from 17% which created a lot of turbulence in the ability to create jobs and technology. Hence indigenisation needs to be a national endeavour.” Speaking of how Pune can help in defence industry indigenisation, Mr Kalyani said, “Pune is endowed with a huge amount of talent and has an ecosystem designed for defence R&D. Pune has over 8-9 labs of DRDO doing fabulous work in developing the technology. Pune also has around 11 universities. Pune has an industry built by technocrats who understand the know-how and more importantly the know-why. Hence Pune is a pot boiling with knowledge and technology and it can be used for producing anything.” Speaking about DPP, Mr Kalyani said that DPP is path-breaking and it gives a timeline of defence products to be made in India. He added that it is very important that the government follows DPP in its true spirit. Mr Kalyani also emphasized that there is a need to have a national goal of creating a top-notch defence industry in India.
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