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Indian defence exports surged in 2015

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Ministry Of Defence
New Delhi, March 28: As India focuses on enhancing domestic production of military hardware, a surge in its export was recorded in nine months to end-2015, with the net value touching almost $210 million (Rs.1,400 crore). According to the annual report of the defence ministry, the Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and the private sector companies exported products worth Rs.1,397 crore from April to December 2015. The final figures for the fiscal ending March 31 are yet to be tabulated.

Exports in the financial year 2014-15 were valued at Rs.994 crore. “The trend in export shows phenomenal growth by the industry,” the defence ministry report said. It also lauded the role of private companies in the defence sector, stating that the exports by the sector had shown “accelerated growth” by 12-14 companies. The major destinations for defence exports from India include Afghanistan, Algeria, Belgium, Ecuador, Indonesia, Israel, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Romania, Russia, South Korea, Sudan, Vietnam and the UK. Among the major items being exported are Offshore patrol vessels, spares for radars, Cheetal helicopters, turbo chargers and batteries, electronic systems, light engineering mechanical parts and personal protective items, which comprise articles like helmets, bulletproof jackets and other types of clothing. The report also observed that the online system for NoCs (No Objection Certificates) which was started in November 2014 is working satisfactorily. In August 2015, the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for issuing NOCs for export of military stores by public or private defence industry were also revised. Under this, the requirement of an End User Certificate to be countersigned or stamped by the government authorities has been done away with for the export of items like parts, components or sub-systems. As the government promotes participation of private sector in defence manufacturing, the report also said that the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has issued 319 Industrial Licences to 190 companies till January 2016. Of these, 50 companies with 79 licences have started production. The new Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) envisages providing a boost to the ‘Make in India’ initiative, enhanced role for private sector, and promoting medium and small scale industries. It also has a new category of Buy Indian — Indigenous Design Development and Manufacturing under which indigenously designed equipment with 40 percent content will be procured. According to Sweden-based think-tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), between 2011 and 2015 India was the largest importer of arms, accounting for 14 percent of the global trade. It, however, does not appear prominently in the list of defence exporters, with the top slot being taken by the US, which accounts for 33 percent of global arms export, according to SIPRI. According to the Institute’s analysis, adding together the data that states have made available on the financial value of their arms exports, the estimated total value of the global arms trade in 2013 was at least $76 billion. It adds that the true figure is likely to be higher.

Credits: IANS

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World’s Anti-Corruption Day

The U.S. Statement Department said in its Friday statement that it pledges "to continue working with our partners to prevent and combat corruption worldwide."

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Anti-Corruption
Bulgarian anti-corruption protesters march during a demonstration in downtown Sofia, VOA

Corruption costs the world economy $2.6 trillion each year, according to the United Nations, which is marking International Anti-Corruption Day on Sunday.

“Corruption is a serious crime that can undermine social and economic development in all societies. No country, region or community is immune,” the United Nations said.

The cost of $2.6 trillion represents more than 5 percent of global GDP.

The world body said that $1 trillion of the money stolen annually through corruption is in the form of bribes.

Patricia Moreira, the managing director of Transparency International, told VOA that about a quarter of the world’s population has paid a bribe when trying to access a public service over the past year, according to data from the Global Corruption Barometer.

Moreira said it is important to have such a day as International Anti-Corruption Day because it provides “a really tremendous opportunity to focus attention precisely on the challenge that is posed by corruption around the world.”

Journalist, Anti-Corruption
An activist places candles and flowers on the Great Siege monument, after rebuilding a makeshift memorial to assassinated anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, in Valletta, Malta. VOA

Anti-corruption commitments

To mark the day, the United States called on all countries to implement their international anti-corruption commitments including through the U.N. Convention against Corruption.

In a statement Friday, the U.S. State Department said that corruption facilitates crime and terrorism, as well as undermines economic growth, the rule of law and democracy.

“Ultimately, it endangers our national security. That is why, as we look ahead to International Anticorruption Day on Dec. 9, we pledge to continue working with our partners to prevent and combat corruption worldwide,” the statement said.

Moreira said that data about worldwide corruption can make the phenomena understandable but still not necessarily “close to our lives.” For that, we need to hear everyday stories about people impacted by corruption and understand that it “is about our daily lives,” she added.

She said those most impacted by corruption are “the most vulnerable people — so it’s usually women, it’s usually poor people, the most marginalized people in the world.”

Anti-Corruption
Anna Hazare raised his voice against corruption and went ahead with his hunger strike at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. Wikimedia Commons

The United Nations Development Program notes that in developing countries, funds lost to corruption are estimated at 10 times the amount of official development assistance.

What can be done to fight corruption?

The United Nations designated Dec. 9 as International Anti-Corruption Day in 2003, coinciding with the adoption of the United Nations Convention against Corruption by the U.N. General Assembly.

The purpose of the day is to raise awareness about corruption and put pressure on governments to take action against it.

Tackling the issue

Moreira said to fight corruption effectively it must be tackled from different angles. For example, she said that while it is important to have the right legislation in place to curb corruption, governments must also have mechanisms to enforce that legislation. She said those who engage in corruption must be held accountable.

“Fighting corruption is about providing people with a more sustainable world, with a world where social justice is something more of our reality than what it has been until today,” she said.

Anti-Corruption
It is important to have the right legislation in place to curb corruption

Moreira said change must come from a joint effort from governments, public institutions, the private sector and civil society.

The U.S. Statement Department said in its Friday statement that it pledges “to continue working with our partners to prevent and combat corruption worldwide.”

It noted that the United States, through the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development, helps partner nations “build transparent, accountable institutions and strengthen criminal justice systems that hold the corrupt accountable.”

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Moreira said that it is important for the world to see that there are results to the fight against corruption.

“Then we are showing the world with specific examples that we can fight against corruption, [that] yes there are results. And if we work together, then it is something not just that we would wish for, but actually something that can be translated into specific results and changes to the world,” she said. (VOA)