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Why defence indigenisation fails

'Make' procedure, which involved real indigenisation and capability creation, has been unwisely killed

defence, make in India
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Illustration by Ajay Mohanty

Ajai Shukla New Delhi
Defence  industry experts wonder about India: Why has a country with a thriving space programme, a world-class information technology industry and a leading automotive components industry failed so conspicuously to build an indigenous defence industry? An examination of the “Make” initiative brings out some lessons.

In 2004, the newly elected United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government appointed Vijay Kelkar to plan a strategy for indigenisation. Nine months later, the Kelkar Committee submitted a report titled “Towards strengthening self-reliance in defence preparedness”, which laid out an excellent roadmap for building genuinely Indian weaponry, while nurturing a national military-industrial complex. Over the years, successive
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First Published: Jul 30 2018 | 11:47 PM IST

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