Ahmedabad, Jan 22: A batch of 10 officers from the Ministry of Defence has undergone a two-week intensive capacity-building training program at the Rashtriya Raksha University (RRU). The officers from the Acquisition Wing of the Ministry of Defence have gone through a rigorous training schedule covering the entire process of Defence Acquisition – through a carefully woven narrative by Academia, Practitioners and Industry.
Amrit Kaal, a period during which the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has heralded the national aspiration of India to become a developed Nation by 2047 is a very significant phase. While the aspiration stands true for all sectors, our Defence and Security sector is vital for achieving the goal. It is primarily the defence industry that has the potential to help India achieve its aspiration of becoming a 5 trillion economy by year 2026-27. Defence Acquisition, therefore, is not only about importing armaments, munitions and warfighting equipment in a cost-effective manner, but equally for setting up a dynamic and thriving Research and Development ecosystem, with requisite intellectual capacity enabling setting up of world class production facilities in the designated Defence Corridors. The manufacturing facilities must aim for economy of scales as also follow the twin dictums enunciated by the Prime Minister, viz., Zero Defect, Zero Effect.
Thus, the underlying themes pivotal to the Defence Acquisition Process are Atma Nirbhar Bharat and Make in India campaigns – launched by the Government of India. Further expanding on the vision of Atma Nirbharta, the Hon’ble Raksha Mantri, Rajnath Singh has spelt the Government policy to augment the participation of domestic industry. Out of the total defence capital budget outlay, 68 percent is reserved for indigenous procurement by domestic industry and 25 percent is reserved for the private sector. The RM has further emphasised this by asserting, “The world is waiting for the products made in India.”
Accordingly, the course content for the officers from the Ministry of Defence has been carefully curated under the guidance of Lt Gen Asit Mistry (Retd) at the School of Internal Security, Defence and Strategic Studies (SISDSS). RRU took the services of Lt Gen Sanjay Verma (Retd), who has rich experience in this field while having served as the Director General (War Equipment) at Army Headquarters and continues to serve as an Advisor to DRDO on these matters. As the Course Curator, he has provided the trainees with foundational learning on the Defence Acquisition Procedure. The University, in addition, has also taken the services of Satish Kumar Tegta, Dy Director at the Ministry of Defence.
The programme comprised two field trips, one to the South which included visited the L&T plant where trainees saw the production of the K9 Vajra howitzer and had the rare opportunity to explore the inside of a yet-to-be-commissioned Kalvari Class Submarine at the Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL), the Indian Air Force base and
EME School at Vadodara; and the other to Rajasthan where trainees visit included the Air Defence Brigade, a Special Forces Unit and a Corps Zone Workshop at jodhpur During the field visit to the Indian Air Force base at Jodhpur yesterday, the participants witnessed the take-offs and landings by Rafale and Su-30s fighter jets, as well as Rafales performing the vertical Charlie manoeuvres. They also witnessed the aerial formations of the Su-30. Trainees also visited to the historic battlefield of Laungewala and witnessed live firing by Indian Army tanks at Pokharan Field Firing.
In his valedictory address, the Vice-Chancellor of RRU, Prof. (Dr.) Bimal N Patel congratulated the officers of the Ministry of Defence and emphasised on the importance of comprehending the conceptual, structural and procedural dimensions of the Defence Acquisition process. Once the officers grasp the spirit of reforms ushered in by the Government of India, they will be able to create a conducive environment in which – both public and private stakeholders can thrive and meet the required operational and security needs; thus, playing a crucial role in the Defence Acquisition Process.
The enormous financial gains which could be made from the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the defence sector can be realised if each one of the trainees ensures that all stake holders in the process, including R&D, Think Tanks, Public Sector Undertakings and Private Industry get the much-desired Ease of Doing Business. The Vice-Chancellor expressed his hope that the officials would apply the knowledge and skills that they have assimilated during the course of the two-week program, to work towards building an Atmanirbhar Bharat by synergising the entire Defence Acquisition process. Based on the request from DG Acquisition , RRU will be conducting three more courses between April to June this year.