India is on the brink of transfiguring from a top regional player to one with global clout. As India’s geo-political and economic ambitions grow, it needs to germinate robust indigenous manufacturing potency and propitious ecosystem to secure its ambition for self-reliance to meet its strategic needs.
Amid stewing tensions with neighbours and unsettled border issues, India must incorporate and implement the essence of the “Make in India” initiative in all its future procurements to do away with the excess expenditure and hassles of imports from foreign lands.
Following are the three areas, where indigenisation is a strategic necessity:
- ENERGY SECTOR:
More than 70% of India’s energy demands depends largely on imports. This not only incurs huge expenditure, but also makes us reliant upon other nations for our energy needs. Surging demand for coal and the existing mines not able to cope with the demand-supply equilibrium, has resulted into increase in coal imports by 12.5% growth per annum. Again, owing to the rise in demands for petrol and diesel, India currently relies more than 80% on imports to meet its oil needs, ensuing a likely 25% hike in import bill. To make the situation more critical, several geo-political conflicts and turbulence in middle-east (which of course is the largest suppliers of raw materials), a secured supply is not ensured.
- Thrust for Renewable energy: With the aim of achieving 175 gigawatts of operational renewable energy capacity by March 2022, India is heading in the right direction, with the Govt of India introducing commendable policies and programs to popularise the use of renewable energy or the clean energy.
- Again, The National Mineral Exploration Policy (NMEP) spells out the strategy and outlines the action plan that the Government is adopting to ensure comprehensive exploration of country’s mineral resources (non-fuel and non-coal)
- The government has also laid out plans to kick off an innovative initiative, titled as Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT), with PSU Oil Marketing Companies inviting Expression of Interest (EoI) from potential entrepreneurs to set up Compressed Bio-Gas (CBG) production plants to make CBG available in the market for use in automotive fuels, which will pave the way for more affordable transport fuels, better use of agricultural residue, cattle dung and municipal solid waste, as well as will provide an additional revenue source to farmers
- DEFENCE SECTOR
Being in the list of top five spenders in the defence sector in the world, self-reliance in defence technology and production has become extremely important for us. Inability to build a robust defence production industry has ensured India to remain in a strategically vulnerable position with India being the largest global arms importer, which is indeed alarming.
- Promotion of Indigenous defence manufacturing under the ‘Make in India’ campaign.
- With the new changes in policy, foreign investment beyond 49 per cent has now been permitted through government approval route, in cases resulting in access to modern technology in the country or for other reasons to be recorded, paving the way for an open economy as far as defence sector is concerned.
- Govt of India (GOI) launched Defence Procurement Policy (DPP) to ensure faster pace in procurement, especially through newly introduced categories under indigenously designed, developed and manufactured (IDDM) provisions, which has been accorded prior importance for the procurement of capital equipment.
- Besides this, preference has been accorded to ‘Buy (Indian)’ and ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’ categories of capital acquisition over ‘Buy (Global)’ & ‘Buy & Make (Global)’ categories.
- Government has notified the ‘Strategic Partnership (SP)’ Model which envisages establishment of long-term strategic partnerships with Indian entities through a transparent and competitive process, wherein they would tie up with global Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to seek technology transfers to set up domestic manufacturing infrastructure and supply chains.
- ICT — Information and communication technology (ICT), not only forms the basis of rapid and effective communication at all levels (individual, business and government), but also playing an increasing role as an enabling mechanism for the delivery of efficient and effective government services. So indigenisation of ICT will help India to avoid the hassles of conventional way of doing things. The latest example being the e-governance, digital India.
- Cyber security policy has been introduced, to deal with any kind of cyber threats, which may compromise country’s security and integrity.
- India has launched its indigenous GPS navigation satellites, bearing the names of Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (NavIC), GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN).
- ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) has launched several indigenously-built satellites to enhance proper communication.
- India is currently in a position to create a vibrant indigenous manufacturing ecosystem, which will help it become self-dependent and reduce its import bearing. With ‘Make in India’ being the top priority of GoI, India could make use of its potential to create a self-reliant and indigenous manufacturing environment.