Defence R&D will be opened up for industry, startups and academia
As we all know, R&D and development of technologies are integral to Aatmanirbharta in Defence. The time has now come that the Defence Industry, R&D organizations, Startups, academia come together and leverage capabilities of each other for development of modern Defence technologies so that India can be self-reliant in defence technologies as well.
With this thought in mind, in the annual budget of 2022-23, it has been announced that Defence R&D will be opened up for industry, startups and academia. 25 per cent of Defence R&D budget has also been earmarked for this purpose. I am happy to see that there has been extensive discussion during the webinar today on the various aspects of the Budget announcements with respect of MoD.
Detailed deliberations were also held regarding the SPV model for undertaking indigenous R&D. I am confident that in the near future we will see many projects being undertaken by the Private industry for Design & Development of military platforms and equipment in collaboration with DRDO and other organizations through SPV model.
The potential growth of Indian Defence Industry and opening up of Defence R&D for the private industry, startups and academia warrants adequate facilities and infrastructure for testing, trial and certification of indigenous products. Creating a ‘Made in India’ brand also necessitates rigorous testing/trials of Indian products as per international standards. For meeting the wide ranging requirements of trial, testing and certification, the Government has decided to set up an independent nodal umbrella body.It gives me immense satisfaction that the stakeholders have openly discussed about numerous ways to making an effective body, which would guide the Government in finalising the contours of this body. I envisage this body to play a critical and important role not only in themaking our country self-reliant but also in becoming a global manufacturing hub.
The Government’s commitment towards reduction in imports and modernise our armed forces with our indigenous technology has been given further impetus in this budget. We have been progressively increasing the Capital procurement budget for the domestic industry, with 68 per cent of the capital procurement budget earmarked for 2022-23. I am sure that the domestic industry is fully capable to absorb this enhanced budget. I assure them that the Government will continue its pro industry policy initiatives for promoting Make in India with greater zeal.
I am sure that the Department has noted all the valuable suggestions received and deliberated during this webinar and has also drawn an action plan for time bound implementation of the budget announcements for Atmanirbharta in Defence.
By Rajnath Singh
(The write-up is based on Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh’s valedictory address during the Post Budget Webinar, held on 25th February, 2022)