Background & Concept
On 4 Oct 2020, Current and Strategic Affairs (CASA) held its first webinar on Atma-Nirbharta in the Defence Sector. It evoked a good response and generated lot of thought and discussion. As we reflected after the event, CASA members realized that if India is to be Atma Nirbhar, it cannot be business as usual in the fields of defence procurement, development, modernization, production or acquisition.
The current Sino Indian standoff, while enhancing India’s reputation as a net security provider in this region against Chinese assertion and aggression, has also indicated that there are some glaring deficiencies in our defense preparedness. Further, our economy has also taken a hit due to COVID-19. Hence defense budgets will be leaner than usual.
There is also a drive towards jointness which is overdue. The government on its part has also kickstarted some reforms. The first being corporatization of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and issue of a negative import list. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) too has opened its doors to the private sector and amended its procedures to enable this.
Lastly, technology, is disrupting military affairs as never before. It is indeed a very dynamic and fluid situation where change rather than business as usual will be the norm. There is a need to think anew if India is to achieve Atma Nirbharta.
After the last webinar, an internal brain storming was held to identify issues which needed thinking anew and to demand follow up ideation as well as action on the part of the entire defence sector – in or out of uniform, public or private. Based on this, it was decided that future webinars will be based on issues identified under: -
- Armed Forces - The Pivot of Procurement
- Examining successful models of Atma Nirbharta
- Policy, structural and organizational changes for Procurement
- Funding and Budgeting Procurement
- Research beyond DRDO-a PPP model
- Leveraging Startups for Disruptive Technologies
- Making DPSUs and OFB more responsive to the Armed Forces
- Future of Big players in the private sector in creating eco-systems for Defence Production
- Bridging gaps between DRDO and the Armed Forces
- MSMEs and Defence Corridors
These webinars will be conducted in the first/second weekend of each month. They will be conducted in partnership with Industry, Services and the Government. We will have people with proven track record participating in these seminars. The first webinar will be on Armed Forces – The Pivot of Procurement.
It has long been felt that the Armed Forces are not fully an integral part of the defense procurement, development, modernization, production or acquisition loop. The Armed Forces and the other organizations function without synergy, and, more often than not, in watertight compartments. As a result, our procurement system has suffered.
The emerging opinion is that unless the Armed Forces become pivotal in the defense preparedness of the nation, we will lag behind and remain suboptimal. For this to happen, we need to undertake some reforms in our thinking, attitude and behavior to make transformational changes in our organization and processes.
In this context it is important that some relevant questions are required to be answered before undertaking such an exercise. Some of the questions which come to mind are –
- What constitutes being a pivot to drive procurement and acquisition?
- How do we integrate the Armed Forces better with the MOD, DPSUS, OFB and private industry? What are the changes required?
- How will we get new technology on board?
These and many other related questions will be discussed in the webinar. the circular for the panel discussion is below. All those who are interested to make the difference are requested to register please.
Panel Discussion on 'Armed Forces - The Pivot of Defence Procurement'
8 November 2020 | 1700 Hours |Virtual Platform
The Society of Indian Manufacturers (SIDM) in partnership with the Current and Strategic Affairs (CASA) Forum is organising a panel discussion on 'Armed Forces-The Pivot of Defence Procurement' on 8 November 2020 at 1700 Hours on WebEx.
It has long been felt that the Armed Forces should be more involved in the defence procurement, development and modernisation processes in order to synergize the policy making process and the needs and requirements of the Armed Forces.
This shall help ensure better defence preparedness of the nation. The session shall aim to address this issue and discuss potential reforms around the subject.
The Session will be moderated by Lieutenant General Gautam Moorthy (Retd), former Director General of Ordnance Services (DGOS) and Lt Gen PR Shankar (Retd), former Director General Artillery (DG Arty) and will involve the following panelists:
- Mr G Mohan Kumar, Former Defence Secretary
- Lt Gen C A Krishnan (Retd), Ex DCOAS, Indian Army
- Lt Gen R S Panwar (Retd), Ex Comdt, MCTE
- R Adm Sharawat (Retd), Ex CMD Mazgaon Docks Ltd
- Mr Rahul Chaudhri, Ex CEO, TPSED
Special Address by Mr Jayant D Patil, President, SIDM after the Panel discussion
Interested members may register for the session using the link below:
Head over to 'Gunners Shot' for all things defence by Lt Gen Shankar