For better defence capabilities

Dnyanada Palkar 8th December 2017

India should consider Net Assessment and Defence Economics Analysis as viable approaches

In the recently concluded 19th party congress of the Communist party of China (CPC), Xi Jinping has consolidated political and military power in China. He has, using a phased reforms approach and incremental policies, streamlined commands and reduced force size of the PLA but simultaneously also improved force efficiency and mobility. We need no further literature or numbers to remind us of the complete turnaround in China’s defence industry over the last decade. Foreign policy across the globe is being reordered as countries watch USA and North Korea’s interchanges warily. Changes in force structures, defence budgets and force reorganisations across different nations have been triggered by economic slowdowns and stagnation. All of which portend significant change to strategic, military and geopolitical objectives.

In contrast, India is still grappling with force modernisation plans. The government is in conversation with the private sector, both domestic and foreign OEMs, in order to push the Make in India objectives of indigenisation and self-reliance. Despite all these efforts there is little progress on ‘Make’ projects, no significant uptick in FDI and the strategic partnership model is only in the initial phases of implementation (with potential issues that need to be addressed in due course). As many as 65 of 99 (of a total of 188) recommendations of the Shekatkar committee have been approved by the ministry of defence (MoD) and the army, and these reforms are scheduled to be completed by December 31, 2019.

The pace of policy reform pursued by the government is necessary and commendable. However, one...

Note: Views expressed in this blog are those of the author.