Technology must follow investments into defence sector: Expert
Jayarama Emani | The Dollar Business The government, which is looking for foreign direct investment (FDI) in the defence sector and has increased the FDI limit to 49%, must also ensure that there is an increase in technology transfer component too, said a defence expert. Speaking exclusively to The Dollar Business on FDI and domestic growth on the inaugural day of the two-day ‘Make in India -Opportunities and Challenges’ National Seminar organised by the Federation of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FTAPCCI), on April 24, 2015, Dr G Satheesh Reddy, Director, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), said “Naturally, I don’t want our industries to be just BTA, BTP fellows, so you are given a drawing and then produce as per the drawing.” On the balance of trade situation, Reddy said that the situation is bad but not worse as projected. “Today we are importing a lot and that is why the Prime Minister has called for the ‘Make in India’ programme to increase domestic manufacturing to reduce imports. However, the Indian market is not sufficient or competent enough to sustain or grow itself. Our industry must look for markets with export potential and tap those markets with international vendors. To achieve exports, the industry must first maintain and sustain quality of the equipment and service. So ‘Make in India’ or ‘Made in India’ has to end with an export only. One cannot survive producing for the Indian markets alone,” Reddy said. Earlier, in his presentation, “Opportunities in Defence Manufacturing – Accelerating growth in Telangana (Initiatives & Implementation), Reddy said that the government must promote industry – DRDO partnership by identifying potential industries that can undertake development, outsource various development tasks by placing developmental contracts, allow industries to use DRDO facilities/infrastructure and support the industry in creating production infrastructure. He also added that the government should position DRDO scientists to production facilities during technology transfer, allow industry to participate in system integration, system qualification and field trials. The government must also work on commercialization of spin-off technologies of DRDO through FICCI ATAC programme and provide hand-holding support to industries till production is stabilized, he said.
This article was published on April 25, 2015 – 1:20 pm IST.