Skip to main content

Reliance think-tank advises Modi govt: Involve private sector in defence manufacturing in big way

By Our Representative
Close on heels of the Government of India’s controversial decision to raise the foreign direct investment (FDI) limit in defence sector to 49 per cent, the powerful Reliance Industries Ltd’s New Delhi-based think-tank has asked the Modi establishment to make “a critical doctrinal shift in the country’s approach to national security”: transform the Indian defence sector by “encouraging the large-scale entry of the private sector into the defence research and development and industrial sectors.” And for this, it indicates, there is an urgent need to increase the country’s defence budget, which is allegedly very low.
The top think-tank, Observer Research Foundation (ORF), in its latest report titled “Rebalance and Reform”, authored by well-known policy experts C Raja Mohan, Manoj Joshi, Ashok Malik and Samir Saran, reminds the Modi government that the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) in consultation with the Ministry of Defence has already taken the first step in identifying “areas for private sector involvement in production of defence hardware such as radars, armoured combat vehicles, warships, electronic warfare and aircraft.”
Pointing out that right now the “private sector involvement has been restricted to small-value defence contracts and supply of low-tech equipment”, the think-tank suggests that the Modi government should not restrict to 49 per cent FDI in defence. “The government should encourage greater FDI in the defence sector and ensure that India’s defence production becomes commercially viable, with the country becoming a net exporter and entering global supply chains for defence weapons and systems”, it insists.
The think-tank further says, “The government should establish a Defence Research, Technology and Industry Commission comprising of top defence bureaucrats and private sector leaders to encourage public-private partnership across the spectrum in the area of defence.” It adds, “In particular, public-private partnerships for research on transformative and emergent technologies should be encouraged.”
An illustration from the report 
And for this, it favours India is in a unique position to cement its place as a global player in the defence sector. Pointing out that “India must have a strong and decisive leadership at the helm of the Ministry of Defence”, the think-tank wants the government to revive what Jawaharlal Nehru had abolished long time back in order to keep supremacy of democratic establishment over a centralized defence establishment.
It says, “The government should appoint a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) to assume charge of the Integrated Defence Staff headquarters. The CDS would head the tri-service institutions such as the Strategic Forces Command and the Andaman & Nicobar Command. He would be in charge of coordination and prioritisation involved in writing the armed forces Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP) and the five year plans”.
It further says, “He would lead the shift of the country’s armed forces to the concept of theatre commands and take charge of any out-of-area contingencies. The CDS would be the permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee and hence be the principal military adviser to the government”.
All this is important, the think-tank believes, because India is “today is confronted by a host of new security challenges”. While “some of these challenges lie in new domains, such as space and cyberspace”, others follow as a result of “new dynamics … within the domain of traditional security challenges, such as terror outfits operating in the country or the spreading Left-Wing Extremism (LWE).”
Declaring that “the Indian security apparatus is not adequately equipped to deal with these challenges effectively”, the report states, “The process of modernising and equipping of the armed forces and police has not progressed at the desired level.” It believes, “Ineffective management has led to the Air Force numbers declining significantly, the Navy suffering from a shortage of ships and submarines and obsolete weaponry for the Army. “ It would also strengthen India’s “position among the global powers”.
If all this happens, the think-tank indicates, “the government would be able to “fast track the delayed ongoing projects and acquisition plans of the three Services, such as the LCA Tejas, the Scorpene submarine, the IAC II aircraft carrier, the nuclear powered attack submarines; the modernisation requirements of the army such as battlefield management systems, night-fighting capabilities, enhanced firepower; and the deeper integration of technology in modern warfare.”
Only then would it be possible to fight LWE, which “continues to be the country’s biggest internal security challenge”, the think-tank says, reminding the government, “Nearly one-third of the country’s territories are affected by LWE, causing huge loss to the economy and compromising its service delivery machinery.”
It adds, “Security efforts need further reinforcement in terms of better coordination among states and the Centre and improved intelligence and policing. Developing a comprehensive surrender package is also the need of hour to neutralise threats from LWE.”

Comments

TRENDING

Ganga world's second most polluted river, Modi's Varanasi tops microplastics pollution

By Rajiv Shah  Will the new report by well-known elite NGO Toxics Link create a ripple in the powerful corridors of Delhi? Titled “Quantitative analysis of microplastics along River Ganga”, forwarded to Counterview, doesn’t just say that Ganga is the second most polluted river in the world, next only to Yangtze (China). It goes ahead to do a comparison of microplastics pollution in three cities shows Varanasi – the Lok Sabha constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi – is more polluted compared to Kanpur and Haridwar.

Madhya Pradesh tops India's 145 instances of 'anti-Christian atrocities' this year

Counterview Desk  A report prepared by the Religious Liberty Commission of the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI), founded in 1951 as the national alliance of evangelical Christians of the Protestant denomination, in its just-released report, “Hate and Targeted Violence against Christians in India: Half Yearly Report 2021”, has said that an analysis of 145 cases of violence it has documented against Christians, mainly by non-state actors, “stems from an environment of targeted hate.”

Demolition drive: Why aren't high-end hotels, farmhouses treated same way as Khorigaon?

By Our Representative A public hearing, sponsored by the civil rights group National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) to hear the affected citizens of Khorigaon, off Faridabad, Delhi NCR, has seen local people complaining how their houses are being demolished even as the entire area was converted into a prison through heavy police deployment.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Meaningful? Punjab govt's debt waiver offer for agricultural workers, landless farmers

By Dr Gian Singh*    On July 14, 2021, the Punjab government announced that it would hold a state level function on August 20 to waive the debt of agricultural labourers and landless farmers(pure tenants) of Punjab to the tune of Rs 590 crore. Prior to the 2017 elections, the Congress party had promised in its election manifesto and public speeches that the Punjab government would waive all the institutional and non-institutional debt of farmers and agricultural labourers of Punjab.

How real is Mamata challenge to Modi? Preparing for 2024 'khela hobey' moment

By Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury*  Third time elected West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee is on a whirlwind tour of Delhi, meeting everyone who matters within and beyond the government, the Prime Minister, the President, some Cabinet ministers, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, several other opposition leaders, et al.

How BSF, police, court turned Bangladeshi woman slave victim into accused in crime

Counterview Desk  Civil rights leader Kirity Roy has strongly objected to the manner in which the Border Security Force (BSF) , the police and the judiciary in West Bengal have treated a 35 years old Bangladeshi woman victim of human trafficking, who was subjected to sexual exploitation for 15 long years, has been declared guilty of violating the Foreigners Act, violating all human rights norms.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Pro-corporate? New GoI circular 'blatant attempt' to control Adivasi lives, livelihoods

By Hemant Das*  The Indian Community Activists Network (ICAN) condemns the anti-forest dwellers circular jointly issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and the (Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA), Government of India (GoI) on July 6. 

Covid impact on menstrual cycles? Young girls 'relapsing' back to unhygienic old-cloth rags

By Dr Sudeshna Roy*  Covid-19 pandemic has gripped the world in health and economic shock. Combating this public health crisis has diverted development resources earmarked for adolescents and the youth. India; having world’s second largest population; 1.38 crores as per UN mid-year 2020 estimation, also shelters the largest adolescents and young adult population, which at 243 million constitute 20% of the world’s 1.2 billion adolescent population.