News Excerpt
To position India amongst the leading countries in defence and aerospace sectors, Ministry of Defence has formulated a draft Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy 2020 (DPEPP 2020).

Pre-Connect
•    India had been a major defence importer for many years. Post-Independence, there was lot of capability for defence manufacturing but it was unfortunate that it did not get the desired attention.
•    India now wants to build a major Defence Industrial Base (DIB) for self-reliance in weapon systems and exports to other countries within the next five years.
•    A similar draft policy in 2018 had set out similar goals, but nothing much came out of it.
•    The new draft is driven by the tenets of Defence Reforms announced as a part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.

Highlights
•    The DPEPP 2020 is envisaged as overarching guiding document of MoD to provide a focused, structured and significant thrust to defence production capabilities of the country for self-reliance and exports.
•    The policy has laid out following goals and objectives:
a)    To achieve a turnover of ₹1, 75,000cr (US$ 25Bn) including export of ₹35,000cr (US$ 5 Billion) by 2025.
b)    To develop a dynamic, robust and competitive defence industry to cater the needs of Armed forces with quality products.
c)    To reduce dependence on imports and take forward "Make in India" initiatives through domestic design and development.
d)    To promote export of defence products and become part of the global defence value chains.

Way Forward
•    The emergence of evidence of a rise in Indian defence exports, also accompanied by a decline in imports, is a welcome development.
•    The period between 2012-19 saw Indian defence exports experiencing a considerable jump sourced from Indian public and private sector enterprises.
•    In the last two fiscal years, 2017-18 and 2018-19, exports have witnessed a surge from ₹7,500 crore to ₹11,000 crore, representing a 40% increase in exports.
•    Indian defence exports, while showing a promising upward trend, still remain uncompetitive globally.
•    It is likely that Indian defence exports will take several years before they are considered attractive by buyers.
•    But green shoots are emerging in a sector that has long been devoid of any dynamism and policymakers should make the most of the opportunities this represents.
•    India has the capability to become a reliable weapons supplier to friendly nations and it will consolidate its position as the net security provider in the Indian Ocean Region.