Various action plans taken by Indian Govt. to strengthen defence ecosystem: An Update

The Indian Government has drawn various action plans to strengthen the country’s defence ecosystem.

Indian industry, both public and private, is encouraged to participate in design, development and manufacture of Defence Systems under ‘Make Procedure’ prescribed at chapter-III of Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020 (DAP-2020) wherein provisions to provide financial assistance for prototype development are also incorporated.

A Green Channel Policy for procurement of Defence stores and spares has been launched for awarding Green Channel status to firms having predefined financial and quality credentials.

Grant of Green Channel Certificate provides waiver of pre-dispatch inspection and acceptance of stores under supplier’s guarantee/warranty against the contracts concluded by various Procurement Agencies under Ministry of Defence.

Further, two Defence Industrial Corridors (DICs) – Uttar Pradesh Defence Industrial Corridor (UPDIC) and Tamil Nadu Defence Industrial Corridor (TNDIC) – have been set up aimed at attracting investment for defence industries, developing the domestic supply chain and strengthening defence manufacturing ecosystem in the country.

Also, Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme has been launched to boost domestic defence and aerospace manufacturing with primary aim to set up Greenfield Defence Testing Infrastructure as a common test facility for government assistance to promote indigenous defence production with special focus on participation of MSMEs and start-ups by bridging gaps in defence testing infrastructure in the country.

Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) has been launched to bring start-ups & MSMEs to innovate, develop technologies and solve problems related to defence and aerospace aimed at creation of an ecosystem to foster innovation and technology development in Defence and Aerospace, R&D institutes and Academia.

Notably, iDEX also provide them grants/funding and other support to carry out R&D which has potential for future adoption for Indian defence and aerospace needs.

DSPUs are having tie–ups with various Centres of excellence/Academic Institutes viz IITs, IISc, IIMs etc. for various developmental projects.

The DRDO has laid down a procedure by which its developed technologies are transferred to industries by entering into Licensing Agreement for Transfer of Technology (LAToT). DRDO has evolved a new ToT policy and procedures with zero ToT fee for its industry partners (Development cum Production Partners (DcPP)/Development Partner (DP) and zero royalty for supply to Indian Armed Forces and Government Departments.

Test facilities have now been opened for industries in DRDO labs. DRDO has launched Technology Development Fund (TDF) which provides financial support to the Indian industries for the design development of innovative defence products.

In June 2023, DRDO released 75 priority technology areas/products/systems to encourage Defence R&D in Industry that DRDO will not do.

Youth are connected as start-ups under iDEX scheme in innovation, technology development and problem solving related to defence and aerospace.

Young Engineers are involved through tie-ups of Defence PSUs with the Centres of Excellence/ Academic Institutes for various projects that include R&D and manufacturing.

DRDO has established 15 DRDO Industry Academia-Centres of Excellence (DIA-CoEs) at various IITs, IISc, Central and State Universities, of which six have been operationalised in 2023.

The DPSUs and private sectors are hiring trained youths having specialisations for various projects in the defence sector.

This information was given by Minister of State in the Ministry of Defence Shri Ajay Bhatt in a written reply to Shri S Jagathrakshakan in the Lok Sabha on 4th February 2024.