Self-Reliance in Defence Production in India


The Government has taken several policy initiatives in the past few years and brought in reforms to encourage indigenous design, development and manufacture of defence equipment, thereby promoting self-reliance in defence manufacturing & technology in the country. These initiatives, inter-alia, include according priority to procurement of capital items from domestic sources under Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP)-2020; Announcement of 18 major defence platforms for industry led design & development in March 2022; Notification of  three ‘Positive Indigenisation Lists’ of total 310 items of Services and  two ‘Positive Indigenisation Lists’ of total 2958 items  of Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), for which there would be an embargo on the import beyond the timelines indicated against them; Simplification of Industrial licensing process with longer validity period; Liberalization of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy allowing 74% FDI under automatic route; Simplification of Make Procedure; Launch of Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) scheme involving start-ups & Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs); Implementation of  Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) Order 2017; Launch of  an  indigenisation  portal  namely SRIJAN to facilitate  indigenisation  by Indian Industry, including MSMEs; Reforms in Offset policy with thrust on attracting investment and Transfer of Technology for Defence manufacturing by assigning higher multipliers; and Establishment of two Defence Industrial Corridors, one each in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu; Opening up of Defence Research & Development (R&D) for industry, start-ups and academia with 25 per cent of defence R&D budget; Progressive increase in allocation of Defence Budget of military modernization for procurement from domestic sources, etc.

Three Positive Indigenisation Lists comprising of 310 (101+108+101) items were promulgated by the Department of Military Affairs (DMA), Ministry of Defence on 21st August 2020, 31st May 2021 & 7th April 2022 respectively. In addition, to minimise import by Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), Department of Defence Production (DDP), MoD has notified two Positive Indigenisation Lists (PIL) of sub-systems/assemblies/sub-assemblies/ components on 27th December 2021 & 28th March 2022 respectively. The 1st list contains 2,851 items out of which 2,500 items have already been indigenised. The 2nd PIL consists of 107 strategic important Line Replacement Units/major sub-assemblies.

All these lists have been placed in the public domain on the website of MoD/SRIJAN Defence portal of the Ministry of Defence. These lists include a wide range of defence products including Light Tanks, Helicopters, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles etc. for which there would be an embargo on the import beyond the timelines indicated against them.