The current ‘Policy Paradox’ in the Indian Defence Sector refers to the apparent discrepancy between India’s ambitious military modernization plans and its limited financial resources to fund them. Despite India’s growing economic power and increasing global influence, the country’s defence budget as a percentage of GDP has remained relatively low, and there is a significant gap between the military capabilities that India aspires to have and the resources that it currently has available to achieve them!
In one of our previous articles, ‘Why India Needs To Become 100% Atmanirbhar In The Defence Sector’ we highlighted India’s ultimate aim of becoming one of the largest Defence Export Nations of the world. In addition, we also mentioned some of the verified records highlighting the rise of India as a defence export nation. There is no denial that in recent years, India has made some incredible achievements in the defence sector however, sometimes things become heavily conflicting for India. Let me explain to you how India is facing so much of complications that too when we have started performing well in the military sector.
In simple words, on the one hand, India is looking to carry out the production of military equipment indigenously whereas on the other hand, we are still largely dependent upon foreign imports of the defence equipment. The challenging part is that even when we tend to develop some of our defence requirements indigenously still we need foreign technologies in our weapons. For instance, if we take the case of HAL Tejas, our light combat fighter aircraft then we shall find out that the engine of this jet fighter has been imported from an American defence manufacturing company, General Electric. Well, this was just one example, you can see a similar pattern followed in several of our defence manufactures. I guess, now you can easily understand the series of conflicts that we are facing in the defence-manufacturing sector!
Well, this scenario has led to a number of challenges for the Indian defence establishment, including delays in the development and procurement of new weapons systems, a shortage of spare parts and equipment, and an overreliance on imported arms. Furthermore, there is a backlog of pending defence acquisition and modernization projects, which are causing delays in the Indian armed force’s modernization. Additionally, the trend of defence offset policy and buy and make-in-India initiatives has been criticized for lack of clarity and implementation and can be considered as one of the reasons for the Policy Paradox.
In order to address this Policy Paradox, the current Indian Government, under the leadership of PM Shri Narendra Modi has taken steps to increase defence spending streamline as well as the procurement processes, and encourage domestic defence production. However, it is still a work in progress and it will take some time to see the results of these efforts and to bridge the gap between India’s military aspirations and its financial resources. As citizens, we should keep an eye on these issues, and as a Patriotic Indian; I fully support the Modi Government’s initiatives in the defence sector and hope that we succeed to achieve our target soon. Let me once again end with the slogans, Jai Hind and Vande Mataram!
Written By NEEL PREET – Author of the Books, Voice From The East (2016); Journey With Time Place And Circumstances (2018) & Indian Defence Files (2021).