3 Good Things
  • Graded response in respect of China on the border incursions. Befitting riposte to Pakistan on cross
  • PM's monthly and Defence Minister's regular meetings with the three Service Chiefs to understand var
  • Fast tracking some of the cases for inducting much needed Defence equipment such as 36 Rafale aircra
3 Bad Things
  • No decision yet on One Rank One Pension
  • Delay in decision on key appointments such as the chief of defence staff need to be avoided as Opera

Future Planning
1.Early promulgation of Defence Procurement Procedure and Defence Procurement Manual is needed including the policy of 'off-sets'.
2.Linked to above is the early promulgation of Road map for Make in India with synergistic role for both Private and Public sector defence industries. We should also set in motion policy of 'Designed and Made by India' with due infusion of capital in R&D in private sector as well.
3.Govt needs to enable establishment of an ecosystem for encouraging participation by Tier-1, Tier-2 and Tier-3 companies. MSME should be given opportunities to be part of the supply chain both within India and globally.
4.There is a need to establish Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) as well as Joint Services Space and Cyber Commands to ensure integrated policy, commonality of equipment and inventory control as well as ease of operations and training.
5. There is a need to establish both Aerospace as well as Maritime Commissions to ensure integration of multitude of agencies working in similar or overlapping domains.
6. Govt needs to facilitate re-employment of defence personnel post retirement.
7. There is a need to improve our intelligence gathering to avoid surprises and to pre-empt acts of terrorism or border incursions.
8. There is a need to infuse military ethos amongst youth by making institutions like National Cadet Cops, Home Guards and Civil Defence more efficient.
Expert Comment
Bhushan Gokhale
Air Marshal (Retd)
While one can not expect magic in just one year especially in the Defence sector, a road map seems to be emerging for ensuring greater self-reliance and indigenisation of Defence equipment. A collaborative approach will need to be evolved with all the stake holders including Private and Public enterprises to infuse capital, increase manufacturing infrastructure as well as skill enhancement leading to job opportunities. Partnership with foreign companies must include clauses such as re-export. It is desirous that over the next few years imports are reduced substantially targeting reversal of present ratio from 70:30 (imported vis-a-vis Indigenous) to at least 40:60.
Although attempts were made to manufacture integrated weapon systems like HF-24 aircraft or Vijayanta tanks, the policies have not been consistent or sustained. Private players have not been able to participate in Defence production because of very restrictive approach of allowing only Defence PSUs to manufacture or market such systems.
However, some of the actions and pronouncements in the First year indicate that the government has the resolve to move ahead in a positive manner.
In terms of the budget, there is a need to find a balance between revenue and capital expenditure especially since presently it is skewed towards large revenue requirements resulting in less money for inducting newer contemporary weapon systems. With more thrust on Indigenisation and use of offsets there can be substantial savings in revenue expenditure.