The modernisation/reforms of defence forces is a continuous process based on threat perception, operational challenges and technological changes to keep the Armed Forces in a state of readiness to meet the entire spectrum of security challenges. In order to reduce arms dependency and promote indigenous manufacturing of defence equipment, a comprehensive revamped ‘Make and Innovation’ procedure has been introduced in DAP-20 to facilitate indigenous design and development of defence equipment by private participation both with Government funding and industry funding.
Progressive Promulgation of Positive Indigenisation Lists: A series of Positive Indigenisation Lists of defence weapons & equipment which would not be imported from abroad have been promulgated. 1st Positive Indigenisation List comprising of 101 items was promulgated in August 2020, 2nd Positive Indigenisation List comprising of 108 items was promulgated in May 2021 & 3rd Indigenisation List comprising of 101 items was promulgated in April 2022.
The impact of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ in defence manufacturing is as given below:
- In line with the budget announcement for F.Y. 2022-2023 of allocating 25% of the Defence R&D budget for industry led R&D, 18 major platforms have been approved by the Government for industry led Design & Development under Make I, Make II, SPV Model and iDEX routes.
- An innovation ecosystem for Defence titled Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) has been launched in April, 2018 to foster innovation and technology development in Defence and Aerospace by engaging Industries including MSMEs, Start-ups, Individual Innovators, R&D institutes and Academia, and provide them grants/funding and other support to carry out R&D which has potential for future adoption for Indian defence and aerospace needs. So far, 125 problems have been opened, 136 start-ups have been engaged, 102 contracts have been signed.
- iDEX route of procurement have been simplified and timelines have been compressed from 2 years earlier to just 5 months by reforming the trial process.
- The Government has approved a Scheme with an outlay of Rs 498.78 crore (2021-22 to 2025-26) to push innovation and support start-ups in Defence & Aerospace sector. This will enable more than 300 start-ups to participate in the new design and development projects and also support 20 partner incubators.
- As part of the efforts to achieve self-reliance in Defence manufacturing and minimize imports by the DPSUs, a positive indigenisation list has been notified by the Department. The list contains 2,500 imported items which have already been indigenized and 351 high value imported items which will be indigenised in next 3 years. Out of 351 items, 147 items have already been indigenised.
- Another list of DPSUs for indigenization of 107 Line Replaceable Units (LRUs)/Sub-systems of high value platform was notified on 28.03.2022. As on date, 4 LRUs have been indigenised; 5 LRUs are at trial stage and 31 LRUs are at design and development stage.
- An indigenisation portal namely SRIJAN has been launched in August, 2020 for DPSUs/OFB/Services with an industry interface to provide development support to MSMEs/Start-ups/Industry for import substitution. So far, more than 21,000 defence items, which were earlier imported, have been displayed on the portal. 388 private vendors have expressed interest in indigenising more than 4,700 items and so far 410 items have been indigenised.
- Separate procedure for ‘Make-II’ category (Industry funded) has been notified to encourage indigenous development and manufacture of defence equipment. Number of industry friendly provisions such as relaxation of eligibility criterion, minimal documentation, provision for considering proposals suggested by industry/individual etc. has been introduced in this procedure. So far, 72 projects relating to Army, Navy & Air Force, have been accorded ‘Approval in Principle’. 38 Acceptance of Necessity (AONs), 05 prototypes developed and 2 procurement contracts have been signed by the Services.
- Further, Make-II route of procurement have been simplified and timelines have been compressed from 2 years earlier to just 5 months by reforming the trial process.
- As part of ease of doing business, the export procedure has been simplified and made completely online. This has resulted in an exponential increase in the number of Export Authorizations issued.
- Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme (DTIS) has been formulated for creating 6 to 8 Greenfield Defence Testing Infrastructures in the country and attain ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in the Defence Testing Infrastructure for the domestic industry.
- As part of the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’, the Government organised an event ‘AiDef’ on 11th July, 2022 where for the first time 75 defence specific Artificial Intelligence (AI) products were launched by Raksha Mantri. During the event, three AI products of DPSUs were also launched for the market.
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