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EDITORIAL JAN-FEB 2018

During the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's high-profile visit, India and Israel have signed nine agreements to boost cooperation in the areas of space, cyber security and oil and gas between both countries. The Indo-Israel relation go beyond military relations. Currently Israel is the third largest supplier of defence items to India. However, looking at the defence contracts in pipeline, it is gearing to be the top supplier for Indian requirement for defence weapons and ammunition in near future. In case India is to become a  start up nation, we need to think differently to build technology that could address our critical security needs. Like Israel, we need to create incubation centres, an interface between the Indian military, entrepreneurs and technologist to give design solutions that meet the requirements.

            The flipflop by MoD on DefExpo2018 dates and venue has kept the global arms industry on tenterhooks for over more than 2 months. Similarly, cancellation of the defence deal at advanced stage has been quite a regular feature of the procurement system in India. Beside Services not having the equipment in time, such acts do not add to credentials of MoD and do not go well for the image of the country. At last fast track procurement of Rifles and Carbine for Infantry has been long overdue. Let us hope timelines are adhered this time.

            Some of the development in facilitating Indian industry have been well received. The amended RFP for the production of a range of critical nature ammunition is indicative of shifting focus and MoD willingness to provide long-term commitments and firm orders of multiple types of ammunition to private players, at competitive prices.

            The Government of India has decided to transfer Army Base workshops presently being operated by the Central Government, on the lines of Government Owned Contractor Operated (GOCO) Model.

            Army Technology Seminar organized by CII, SIDM and Army Design Bureau with focus on Technology as a key enabler in Indigenisation and infusion of emerging technologies to overcome challenges of military operations. The changes in Make-II categories in order to promote indigenous design and development of Prototypes of high technology is welcome.

            The MoD has taken initiatives to promote defence innovations in private industries, particularly MSMEs. The Technology Development Fund (TDF) has been established to promote self-reliance in Defence Technology as a part of the 'Make in India' initiative.

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