Wednesday February 26, 2020
Home Opinion Make-in-India...

Make-in-India: How private sector investment can bolster defense

0
//

defence

By Ishan Kukreti

Given India’s geopolitical situation in the subcontinent, building a strong defense force is imperative for the country. The country is surrounded by neighbors who say things like ‘their nuclear warheads are not for the occasion of Shab-e-barat’ or those who are vocal supporters of military expansion and strategies like ‘String of Pearls.’ It’s time the country realized that we are not in a very peace loving company.

India’s defense budget  

In this regard, the recent defense budget of Rs 250 billion under Make-in-India (defense manufacturing) is an impressive amount. It is also impressive as it aims to make India self-reliant in terms of defense manufacturing.

This has been achieved with the investments of private players. Under Make-in-India, 46 licenses have been issued by the government for private players to undertake manufacturing of light armored vehicles, UAVs, artillery weapon systems, and underwater systems. Gautam Adani’s Adani Defense Systems and Technologies has applied for the license to manufacture helicopters while Anil Ambani has pledged an investment of Rs. 5,000 Crore into the defense sector.

The importance of Public-Private-Partnership in Defense

Importing technology and equipment from outside is not the best approach a nation can adopt to create a robust defense system.

India has been investing heavily in the defense sector for a long time but with little result. The red tape, the sluggish pace of R&D under government bodies, and structural contradictions in the defense manufacturing setup have all contributed to this. Moreover, the overstaffed bureaucratic bodies have more file pushers than innovators who can create a technically advanced defense system.

The presence of a substantial private stake in defense will bring much-needed vigor and accountability that the Indian defense sector needs today. The sloth of the bureaucracy in terms of efficient work and the ability to conceive out of the box ideas and solutions can only find an answer in a private investment which has a stake in the process.

The power relations in the sub continent

The power relations in the South Asian region have always been volatile. Disputes over the artificial border between Indian and Pakistan created by the British and instability in countries like Afghanistan and Bangladesh, when combined with the aggressive military ambitions of China, make the region very hostile.

Moreover, the increasing bonhomie between China and Pakistan, with the former making inroads into the disputed Gilgit-Baltistan region north of J&K, is reason enough for the country to be prepared for any future conflicts.

Given these circumstances, Modi government’s focus on defense is critical. From Babur to Luo Ruiqing, India has paid a heavy price for not taking technological advancements in defense seriously.

Postscript

Wars and conflicts are realities not to be shied away from. The long maintained rhetoric of peace and non-violence, although morally noble, has rendered India a gullible republic. With all due respect to Gandhian principles, the aversion to act aggressively when the situation demands and flexing muscles afterwards is no way to be a relevant player in international relations.

 

Next Story

China Uses Twitter and WeChat to Track Users Who Share Information About COVID-19

China using WeChat, Twitter to track people sharing COVID-19 info

0
China WeChat Twitter
China is making use of Twitter and WeChat to track down people who share information about the coronavirus epidemic. Pixabay

In a bid to hunt down novel coronavirus critics, China is making use of Twitter and WeChat to track down people who share information what officials consider as “negative information” about the deadly outbreak.

People who have shared information about the virus that originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan describe relatively tame social media interactions that nonetheless resulted in both direct and indirect responses from the Chinese government, the Vice reported on Monday.

The outbreak of novel coronavirus has become a subject of disagreement in China, also giving way to online protests like the one following the death of whistleblower Li Wenliang racking up angry reactions that are then swiftly taken down.

The hashtag “I want freedom of speech” spread on the Chinese social media site Weibo in the hours after Li’s death, racking up two million posts that were removed by the following day, The Verge reported quoting NPR.

China WeChat Twitter
People who have shared information on WeChat or Twitter about the virus that originated in Chinadescribe relatively tame social media interactions. Wikimedia Commons

According to reports, a man based in the country said that officials visited him at his home in the industrial city of Dongguan after he responded to a tweet that was critical of how the Chinese officials handled the spread of coronavirus.

The officials told him that his tweet was an attack on the Chinese government. His phone was confiscated, and he was forced to sign a statement saying he would not repeat the so-called threat, the Vice report added.

Meanwhile, the coronavirus outbreak has handed a blow to the tech industry. The MWC 2020 in Barcelona had to be cancelled after the outbreak spread.

Also Read- Samsung Admits to Leaking Personal Data of 150 Users Through a Notification Error

The coronavirus death toll in mainland China has increased to 2,663 with 77,658 confirmed cases, health authorities said on Tuesday.

The National Health Commission said that it received reports of 508 new cases and 71 deaths on Monday from 31 provincial-level regions on the mainland. (IANS)