In today’s era, a country can command respect and clout in multiple manners. They are economic, control of data, control of technology, soft power and hard power. While these are all relevant in geopolitics it is as important to be feared as is it is to be loved. That’s why without a powerful military-industrial complex, no country can aspire for a seat at the high table.
India’s MIC journey has been one of a roller coaster. From servicing military hardware in WW1 and 2 to becoming one of the world’s largest importers; this road has been fraught with foreign interference and strong import lobbies that have ensured indigenous developments are deferred if not delayed completely.
Despite having such strong intellectual minds and educational institutes, India was even importing something as insignificant as bullets! That’s why today’s announcement by India’s Defence Minister about putting an embargo on 101 items in defence procurement effective December’20 is most welcome.
With contracts worth Rs 4lakh crores up for grabs, the domestic defence industry has received a huge boost under the aegis of Prime Minister Modi’s Atmanirbhar Bharat. Manufacturers can now produce items themselves or adopt technologies developed by DRDO. Initiatives include sophisticated Electronic Warfare Systems, trawl assemblies for T-72/ T-90 tanks to provide de-mining capabilities. Indian partners for collaboration to construct 6 conventional submarines in India have also been announced. These steps along with the production of other hi-tech goods will help in creating a vibrant defence corridor with enhanced R&D capabilities.
Ultimately as action in Asia and IOR increases, an alliance of powerful democracies will become essential. India by virtue of its strength is aptly positioned to lead. This cannot happen without a powerful MIC. Finally, the Great Indian Elephant has announced its intent to enter the global landscape.
Here is a list of 101 defence items banned for import by India:List-of-Defence-Weapons-Platforms-Placed-Under-Import-Embargo-by-India