Self reliance important for defence needs: Singh

Army Chief Gen V K Singh, who raised the issue of battle preparedness of the force, today said there was a need for attaining self reliance in meeting defence needs.

Updated: Mar 30, 2012, 15:25 PM IST

New Delhi: Army Chief Gen V K Singh, who
raised the issue of battle preparedness of the force, today
said there was a need for attaining self reliance in meeting
defence needs.

Addressing an aerospace and defence conference organized
by ASSOCHAM here, the Army Chief spoke in favour of a sound
industrial base with increased participation of private sector
and increased coordination among industries, government and
the defence forces.

"We need a strategic vision for ensuring self reliance
and maintaining an independent capability, because of the two
pillars our policy is based on. These two pillars are that our
country has got no extra territorial ambition and it does not
want to transplant its ideology on anybody," Gen Singh said.

He noted the requirement to develop a capability to equip
the armed forces without getting influenced by external

"This demands that we have independent capability to
equip our armed forces, a capability that does not get
influences by too much of dependence on external factors," he

The Army Chief had written a letter to the Prime Minister
raising concerns over the preparedness of the Indian Army,
modernisation and acquisition process.

Noting that the Indian defence industry has come a long
way since its early days and is now capable of developing
complex systems and technologies, the Army Chief asked them to
understand the policies properly.

"The private sector participation has been debated for a
long time. While in the national economic policies there have
been institutional and policy oriented changes, we need to
ensure that our industry understands the complex web of
linkages which determine national policies in defence
industrial sector," he said.

Observing that joint ventures need a greater analysis to
ensure indigenous production, Gen Singh said, " Joint ventures
must go to joint design and development as well as
co-production if we want to enhance the scope of participation
in defence related ventures."

On challenges being faced by private industry, he said,
"First is access to the proven technology, how do we get it
and who will give it you? What kind of arrangement you will
make to get this technology and ensure that our human resource
is capable of going ahead with this technology."

He said the research and development aspect also needs to
be factored in for producing cutting edge technology.

On Transfer of Technology, he said the focus should be
on value addition and improvement of the product.

"We need to look at value addition and product

improvement and understand the need of the armed forces and
have a much closer interaction so that we can take it
forward," Gen Singh said.

For meeting business and profit requirement of private
industries, he prescribed a closer coordination between
industry, government, ministries and armed forces.

He said the Offset Policy has been designed to assist
domestic defence industry which needs to be analyzed in
greater details to promote greater interaction between
industry and government.

On imports substitution, the army chief said that "We
need to ensure that this becomes in the ratio of 70-30, in
favour of own industry".