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Defence Primer



Defence Primer: India at 75 7 Pranav Kulkarni, “Fleet Review: When the President Rules the Waves,” Indian Express, February 8, 2016. 8 “Indian Army Steals the Show at Moscow’s Victory Day Parade,” Mail Today, May 9, 2015. 9 See, for example, Julie Aurelio, “Indian Navy Ship in Manila for Goodwill Visit,” Philippine Daily Inquirer, November 2, 2015. 10 Geoffrey Kemp, The East Moves West: India, China, and Asia’s Growing Presence in the Middle East (Washington: Brookings Institution Press, 2010), p. 199. 11 Vijay Sakhuja, “India’s Yemeni Evacuation,” Indian Defence Review, Vol. 30, No. 2, April-June 2015. 12 Amit Agnihotri, “Yeman Crisis: India Gets Evacuation Request from 26 countries,” India Today, April 7, 2015. 13 Sarabjeet Singh Parmar, “Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) in India’s National Strategy,” Journal of Defence Studies, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, Vol. 6, No. 1, January 2012, pp. 91-101. 14 “Expenditure Budget, Vol. II,” Union Budget 2015-2016, Government of India (http://indiabudget. 15 “PM Chairs Combined Commanders Conference on Board INS Vikramaditya at Sea,” Press Information Bureau, Government of India, December 15, 2015. 16 Laxman K. Behera, “India’s Defence Budget 2015-16,” Issue Brief, Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses, March 2, 2015. 17 Shashank Joshi, “Indian Power Projection: Ambition, Arms and Influence,” Whitehall Paper 85, Royal United Services Institute, December 27, 2015. 18 Anit Mukherjee, “Civil-Military Relations in Crisis,” India in Transition, Center for the Advanced Study of India, University of Pennsylvania, September 24, 2012. 19 Nitin A. Gokhale, “India’s Erratic Defence Diplomacy: In Need of a Booster Dose,” in Harsh V. Pant, ed., Handbook of Indian Defence Policy: Themes, Structures and Doctrines (New Delhi: Routledge India, 2016). 20 Pradip R. Sagar, “PM Gets Diplomat in MoD to Bloster Defence Ties,” New Indian Express, October 11, 2015. 21 Happymon Jacob, “Civilian Supremacy and Defence Reforms,” The Hindu, October 28, 2014. 24

Reinvigorating Defence Procurement and Production in India Amit Cowshish A former Financial Advisor (Acquisition) with the Ministry of Defence, Amit Cowshish is presently a Distinguished Fellow with the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. More than five decades after becoming an independent nation and despite fighting at least four wars with its hostile neighbours, India was still not militarily well prepared when it was forced into a virtual war by Pakistan in 1999 in Kargil and other areas along the Line of Control (LoC). According to the Kargil Review Committee, the military operations were impacted, among other things, by critical gaps in the inventory of the armed forces. In the wake of the war and during the past fifteen year since then, several steps have been taken by the government to fix the problem besetting defence procurements. These range from creation of an exclusive procurement organization, promulgation of a Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) and allowing the private sector in defence production to raising of the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) cap in defence through the automatic route and beyond that with the approval of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB). However, the voids persist. The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) continues to struggle in procure artillery guns, air defence systems, fighter aircraft, submarines, night vision capabilities, just to mention a few pressing items from the long shopping list. To add to the woes, a large proportion of the requirement continues to be met through imports. In fact, last year India emerged as the largest importer of defence equipment, accounting for 15 per cent of the volume of global arms imports over the previous five year. Defence preparedness is critically dependent on an efficient system of defence procurement and indigenous production capability to sustain modernization of the armed forces. Realising that India faces a challenge on both these counts, the government set up a committee of experts in May 2015 to recommend the contours of a policy framework to facilitate ‘Make in India’ in defence and suggest concomitant changes in the existing procedures. The committee submitted its report in July 2015 which has since been under the consideration of the Ministry of Defence. It is somewhat disconcerting that six months down the line, neither the policy nor the revised procurement procedure is in place. Some decisions were taken by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), the apex decisionmaking body in MoD in its meeting of January 11, but these decisions – widely reported in the media – do not add up to a comprehensive policy framework or a composite array of procedures to steer defence procurements 25

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