Tuesday August 20, 2019
Home Uncategorized Glass ceiling...

Glass ceiling is broken in year that gave boost to defence manufacturing

0
//

New Delhi: The Make in India initiative got a huge push with Russia agreeing to manufacture upwards of 200 light helicopters in India, a move that once again made it India’s top supplier of military hardware while purchases worth over Rs.2 lakh crore ($30 billion) were also approved.

The year saw a glass ceiling being broken with the Indian Air Force’s decision to allow women into the fighter stream while the Indian Navy submitted a proposal for inducting women as surveillance pilots.

At the same time, going ahead with its new “offensive-defensive” policy, India launched a first-of-its kind surgical operation, attacking terror camps along the India-Myanmar border.

The year also witnessed diversification in India’s defence partners, with the US entering the field prominently in the beginning of the year. France was also in the limelight due to the still-to-be-concluded deal for 36 Rafale combat jets. Russia, however, reemerged as the key partner at the fag end of the year following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit. Russia, accounting for 70 percent of India’s arms imports in the 2010-14 period, will build the Kamov Ka-226 helicopters in India and will also fabricate 12 new nuclear reactors at two sites.

The year began with US President Barack Obama being the chief guest at the Republic Day parade and this was followed by a new Defence Framework Agreement being signed in June.

The two sides also agreed to pursue projects that will offer tangible opportunities for American defence industries to build a partnership with the Indian industries including manufacturing under the Make in India initiative.

On the acquisition front, a Request for Proposal (RFP) was cleared for six more Scorpene submarines under the P75 Project for around Rs.80,000 crore. This will add to the six that are currently being built at Mumbai’s Mazagon Dock Ltd.

The Indian Army got clearance to buy 145 BaE Systems M777 ultra-light howitzers for Rs. 2,900 crore through the Foreign Military Sales route.

This apart, a new Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) gives priority to indigenous products.

The defence ministry has said it has got a “positive response” from both within the country and globally – from countries like Israel, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the US – to the Make in India initiative. Since its launch some 18 months ago, 61 companies have obtained 81 Industrial Licences (ILs) for manufacturing of various defence equipment.

On his part, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar set an ambitious target of achieving 50 percent indigenisation by 2017, and up to 60-70 percent in next five years.

In Parrikar’s words, the mission in expediting defence procurement is also about changing a “mindset of mistrust” that he said developed over the last ten years.

And, in an important step targeting speedy indigenisation, the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) limit was raised from 26 percent to 49 percent through approval route. Proposals above this would be considered on a case-to-case basis.

Also, the defence products list for the purpose of industrial licencing was substantively shortened and notified, as was a defence exports strategy for faster clearances.

Interaction with industry was identified as a key area for pushing the domestic defence sector, and a Make in India website was launched for it, promising replies to queries in three days.

The private sector figured significantly in big-ticket deals.

The fag end of the year saw Boeing and Tata Advanced Systems announcing a joint venture to manufacture aerostructures for aircraft and collaborate on integrated systems while the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group signed an agreement with Russia’s AlmazAntey to work jointly on a range of air defence missile and radar systems for the Indian defence forces.

As for the western border, 2015 saw a decline in infiltrations to 92 (till September 30) from 264 in 2012 and 221 in 2014.

A number of joint exercises were witnessed. The Indian Army engaged in counter-terrorism and humanitarian aid exercise ‘Hand in Hand’ with China, Indra with Russia, and Yudh Abhyas with the US.

The Indian Air Force participated in Indradhanush-IV with the Royal Air Force and in a drill with the Republic of Singapore Air Force.

The Indian Navy engaged with France in exercise Varuna off Goa, SIMBEX with Singapore, Ausindex with Australia and Malabar with the US and Japan.

Indian Navy vessels also visited several countries for port calls and other engagements with Egypt, Iran, Israel, Japan, the Philippines, Qatar, South Korea, Spain, the UAE and Vietnam.

The defence ministry announced a long-awaited One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme, which takes 2013 as the base year and takes the average of the upper and lower pensions of a rank to fix new pensions, also protecting those who are above the average. Revisions will take place every five years. The veterans, however, continued their agitation, stating that the government scheme is not true to the definition of OROP. (IANS, Anjali Ojha), (image courtesy: upload.wikimedia.org)

Next Story

Make in India Most Beneficial For Mobile Manufacturers

How mobile manufacturing made the most of 'Make in India'

0
Mobile manufacturers
India is today the second-largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world after China. Pixabay

From just two mobile phone manufacturing units in 2014 to 268 mobile handset and accessories manufacturing units in 2019 which has led to 95 per cent of mobile phones sold in the country being produced domestically, the star in India’s “Make in India” story is indeed shining.

In fact, India is today the second-largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world after China. “India has achieved tremendous success in mobile phone and component manufacturing in the last four years with more than 95 per cent of domestic consumption now being produced in India,” Pankaj Mohindroo, Chairman, India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), told IANS.

“Our domestic market viz-a-viz domestic manufacturing is saturated and we have set our sights on a target of Rs 7.7 lakh crore of exports by 2025,” he added. According to a survey conducted by mobile industry body ICEA, the 268 mobile handset and accessories manufacturing units employ about 6.7 lakh people.

Mobile manufacturer
In India, 268 mobile handset and accessories manufacturing units employ about 6.7 lakh people. Pixabay

So today the phones that most Indians hold in their hands are made in India, thanks mainly to schemes such as Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (M-SIPS) to provide financial incentives across the ESDM value chain to compensate for cost disability in manufacturing and Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMC).

Launched in 2012, the M-SIPS, provides capital subsidy of 25 per cent for electronics industry located in non-SEZ (Special Economic Zone) areas and 20 per cent for those in SEZ areas.

The Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMC) scheme, which was also launched in 2012, encouraged entities, including state governments, to provide good quality infrastructure within a cluster.

mobile manufacturer
Uttar Pradesh has emerged as the new hub of mobile manufacturing in the country over the past few years. Pixabay

Under the scheme, 50 per cent of the project cost for Greenfield Electronics Manufacturing Clusters and 75 per cent for Brownfield Electronics Manufacturing Clusters is given as grant. Due to the focus on “Make in India” and “Digital India” programmes, Uttar Pradesh has emerged as the new hub of mobile manufacturing in the country over the past few years.

In July 2018, Samsung launched the world’s largest mobile factory in Noida. The new facility was set up with the aim of doubling its capacity for mobile phones in Noida from 68 million units a year to 120 million units a year, in a phase-wise expansion to be completed by 2020.

Besides Samsung, most Chinese smartphone makers which now dominate the Indian market – Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo — also produce their phones in the country. Apple has already started the assembling of iPhone 7 at its supplier Wistron’s facility in Bengaluru. Production of cellular mobile handsets in volume terms reached 225 million units in 2017-18, as compared to production of 60 million units in 2014-15.

Also Read: Why PM Modi Acted Now on Kashmir?

The National Policy on Electronics 2019 has set the aim of promoting domestic manufacturing and export in the entire value-chain of ESDM (Electronics System Design and Manufacturing) for economic development to achieve a turnover of Rs 26 lakh crore by 2025. This will include targeted production of one billion mobile handsets by 2025, valued at Rs 13 lakh crore, including 600 million mobile handsets valued at Rs 7 lakh crore for export.

India currently has over 450 million smartphone users. The number of smartphone users in the country is expected to reach 859 million by 2022, according to an ASSOCHAM-PwC joint study. (IANS)