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DIALOGUE FOR CHANGE

Women Entrepreneurs Critical To ‘Aatma-Nirbhar Bharat’

Women entrepreneurs still face obstacles in their business endeavours due to gender bias and discrimination.

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(This article belongs to League of India’s ‘Readers’ Opinions‘ Initiative)

For entrepreneurs to thrive in an economy, a stable and supportive political system has to prevail. A liberalized economic environment offers the space and confidence for people to take up commercial activities. Though pre-colonial Indian society possessed classy village and town economies that supported indigenous artisans, handicrafts, and commerce by trade guilds and business communities, the British occupation subverted the Indian economy to serve the interests of the rulers. After independence, there was a capital crunch that prevented proper growth of individual small and medium scale businesses.

The liberalization of the economy in 1991 opened up space for small and personal commercial activities to grow well. Indian women entrepreneurs have also been part of this development process.


The growth of women entrepreneurs has not only reduced the gender gap in socio-economic participation but has also been instrumental in ensuring balanced and equitable development an economic upliftment at women, benefits her family surrounding and community.

Nevertheless, women entrepreneurs still face obstacles in their business endeavours due to gender bias and discrimination.

Indian women entrepreneurs are significantly less aware of govt schemes policies available for them. According to the 2011 Census, around 34% of Indian women are illiterate, which prevents them from accessing information and training opportunities. Most women do not inherit their ancestral properties; It goes only to the male children.

So it is very tough for them to arrange initial capital, finance, and working capital since angel investors show gender bias in their evaluation and investment decisions. Inequitable access to the labour market and lack of networking-cum-market understanding discourage them for a start-up.


Women entrepreneurs choose to keep their businesses small since they have to juggle family responsibilities too. They are expected to balance and manage family work and everything else; even they contribute equally to family’s finance.

According to the Sixth Economic Census released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, women constitute around 14 per cent of the total entrepreneur base in India, i.e. 8.05 million out of the total 58.5 million entrepreneurs.

While some are accidental entrepreneurs due to the lack of other work opportunities, many others are driven by a specific mission or goal. Of the total 20%, women-owned MSMEs, 20.44% are micro-enterprises, 5.26% are small and 2.67% medium enterprises.

States such as Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, and Kerala have a higher number of women entrepreneurs, while Chandigarh, Arunachal Pradesh, Diu, and Daman have a low number of women entrepreneurs.

Significant obstacles to women in MSMEs are gender bias exhibited by investors, lack of credit access and unsupportive family.

Census 2011 data shows that 32.8 per cent of women are engaged in the agriculture sector. 33 per cent cultivators and 47 per cent of agricultural labourers are women. In rural India, 84 per cent of women depend on agriculture for their livelihood.


According to Economic Survey 2017-18, the number of women engaged in agriculture as cultivators, agri-entrepreneurs, and labourers is increasing. This feminization of agriculture can enable women to play a decisive role in ensuring food security and preserving local eco-biodiversity. It necessitates access to resources such as water, farm credit, land, technology, and information to women.

However, only 12% of the land is owned by women.

Women employed in the agriculture sector face gender wage disparity, mostly work in low skilled jobs, and many of them work as unpaid subsistence labourers.

Intels Women and Web Study (2013) found that women’s access to the Internet helps them acquire new knowledge, learning. However, there is a 34 per cent gender gap in online access in India. Indian women mainly use it for banking and financial activities. Over 30 per cent of girls drop out before completing secondary education in India.

Further, due to the lack of access to technical knowledge, women mostly occupy low and medium-skilled jobs. It makes them vulnerable to the effects of automation, which may force job layoffs shortly, resulting in further marginalization of women.

Loss of employment can restrict their economic independence and development.

The concept of ‘Vocal for Local’ is possible only when women, whose population is almost half of the total, are made to be the part of the program and participate equally in terms of economic activities.

The government ought to organize a survey on the post-COVID impact on women’s livelihood across sectors. There must be a special allocation of funds to women start-ups and proper incubation process.

MSME ministry, in collaboration with NGOs, should also provide research support and technical inductions to rural women entrepreneurs.

Most importantly, We (govt., administration, society and you) have to ensure an inclusive, no favouritism, and sexual harassment-free workplace.

What is needed are gender-neutral policies, as well as pro-women budgets that promote women entrepreneurship. Strong legislation and public awareness of these laws are required to enable easy conduct of business. Non-discriminatory access to credit facilities and banking is another pre-requisite to encourage female entrepreneurs.


Hopefully, we will see a new dawn of women empowerment in the nation in the coming decades as more and more women are coming into the centre stream of the economy across various sectors like IT, financial, e-commerce, biotechnology etc. which will also increase the productivity of women.

Disclaimer: The facts and opinions expressed in this reader-submitted article are strictly the personal opinions of the author. League of India does not assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information in this article.

This reader-submitted article has NOT BEEN EDITED by League of India and is published as received.

Omm Priyadarshi

Omm Priyadarshi is a Development Studies scholar from NIT Rourkela. He typically writes on socio-cultural, environmental and gender-related issues.

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DIALOGUE FOR CHANGE

RAISE 2020: Global Experts To Share Ideas On Artificial Intelligence

It seeks to create mass awareness about the need to ethically develop and practice AI.

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NEW DELHI: Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and NITI Aayog are organizing a Global Virtual Summit on Artificial Intelligence (AI), RAISE 2020- ‘Responsible AI for Social Empowerment 2020,’ from October 5-9, 2020.

The Summit will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the august presence of Minister of Electronics & IT, Communications and Law & Justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad, eminent global AI expert Professor Raj Reddy, Turing awardee, Padma Bhushan awardee, and former Co-Chair of the US President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee, Mukesh Ambani, MD and Chairman, Reliance Industries Ltd and  Arvind Krishna, CEO, IBM, among other dignitaries.

Professor Raj Reddy will hold a session about developing voice-enabled AI that removes linguistic barriers on October 6, the second day of the summit. Former Infosys CFO Mohandas Pai, and Brad Smith, President & Legal Head, Microsoft Global will also participate in sessions.


Pai will share his views about developments in data and AI-powered financial services in India, which have been key to driving financial inclusion. Smith will shed light on the regulatory framework for developing responsible AI that is trustworthy and non-discriminatory.

RAISE 2020 will have a dedicated session on building inclusive AI that empowers one billion-plus Indians. This session will have Jenny Lay Flurrie, Chief Accessibility Officer of Microsoft sharing her views.

Flurrie has vast experience of research and is an expert at formulating IT strategy. Anita Bhatia, Assistant Secretary-General, Deputy Executive Director, UN Women shall also deliver a keynote in this session, which will have an all-women panel and is being curated by UN Women.


On the afternoon of October 6, there will be a fireside chat between Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and IT, and Noshir Kaka, Senior Partner at Mckinsey, who will talk about the need to integrate AI while building public digital platforms. Kaka is the Managing Director of McKinsey’s India offices and the founder of its global Outsourcing and Offshoring Practice.

This will be followed by a session on Education and Awareness for Responsible AI by Urvashi Aneja, Founding Director, Tandem Research, and Rahul Sharma President, Amazon Internet Services Pvt. Ltd, Public Sector, India & South Asia.

A session on Unlocking Maps for Societal Impact will then be headlined by Dr LaliteshKatragadda, Founder, Indihood and Rohan Verma, CEO and Executive Director, MapmyIndia.

So far, more than 15,000 stakeholders from across academia, the research industry and government representatives from across the world have registered to participate in RAISE 2020.

Home to the world’s third-largest startup ecosystem, elite science and technology institutions like the IITs, robust and ubiquitous digital infrastructure, and millions of newly-minted STEM graduates every year, India is well-positioned to become a global leader in the development of artificial intelligence.


Industry analysts predict that AI could add up to USD 957 billion to India’s economy by 2035. In the spirit of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas, honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi plans to leverage AI for inclusive development, representing the country’s ‘AI for All’ strategy.

Directed by the Prime Minister’s vision, India will soon stand out in the international community not just as a leader in the Artificial Intelligence field, but also as a model to show the world how to responsibly direct AI for social empowerment.

From agriculture to fin-tech and healthcare to infrastructure, artificial intelligence can be a truly transformative force. India is uniquely positioned to become the AI laboratory of the world and contribute to inclusive development and growth through empowerment.

The RAISE 2020 Summit (http://raise2020.indiaai.gov.in/) will serve as a platform for discussion and consensus-building to help create a data-rich environment, which is a stepping stone to eventually transform lives globally.

It will facilitate an exchange of ideas to create mass awareness about the need to ethically develop and practice AI.

RAISE 2020:

RAISE 2020 is a first-of-its-kind, global meeting of minds on Artificial Intelligence to drive India’s vision and roadmap for social transformation, inclusion and empowerment through responsible AI. Organized by Government of India along with Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and NITI Aayog, the event will witness robust participation from global industry leaders, key opinion makers, Government representatives and academia.

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DIALOGUE FOR CHANGE

ARCHIVES: Nagorno-Karabakh as a Reference Point for Stability in the Greater Caucasus, 2013-14

Apart from Armenia and Azerbaijan, Turkey, Russia and Iran play a significant role in the dispute.

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INTRODUCTION

Two decades of international community administered talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, a predominantly Armenian enclave inside Azerbaijani territory, have failed to reach a resolution. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan’s petro-dollar-aided exponential increase in defence expenditure amid pitched rabble-rousing and frequent sniper skirmishes in the region has led many to fear that the disputed landlocked mountainous enclave in the Greater Caucasus could be one of the most likely sites of Europe’s next war. The sense was reiterated on March 28 by Arayik Haroutiounian, the secessionist enclave’s prime minister, who said in Paris that Azerbaijan and Armenia are unlikely to reach a deal this year and there is a risk of the region sliding towards war.

But is peace such an imminent casualty in Nagorno-Karabakh, and by extension in the Greater Caucasus?


THE REGION

The Caucasus is largely a mountainous region lying between the Black Sea in the west and the Caspian Sea in the east, and is situated where Europe and Asia converge. Running from the west-northwest to the east-southeast are two parallel mountain chains: the Greater Caucasus and the Lesser Caucasus. While the mountainous terrain in itself impedes navigable waterways for trade and continuous stretch of arable land for large societies, the Caucasus region on the whole offers as much natural and strategic advantage as any comparable region in the world.

High peaks with glaciers and permanent snow nourish river streams that water plains both to the north and the south, where a variety of crops can be grown and livestock grazed. The ample river activity cut innumerable deep valleys into the Greater Caucasus range, resulting in those distinct, protected shelters getting occupied by a host of minority groups. Over a period of a couple of centuries, socially cohesive groups of countless ethnicity got firmly entrenched in their respective – and self-sufficient – valleys and fiercely resisted any outside interference.


But outside interest, and the resulting conflicts, could not be avoided by the region because of a host of reasons. The Caspian Sea on the east provides an easy waterway to Central Asia and, via the Volga, to the heart of Russia. The Black Sea provides a sea link to Turkey, Ukraine, the Balkans, and through the Turkish Straits to the Mediterranean region. Importantly, vantage position in the region allowed both opportunity for and defence against transcontinental (Central Asia-Europe) expansionist designs of the powers that were – like the Ottoman Empire and Russia.

That strategic aspect gets exploited even in the present era.

Currently, the region is critical to the United States and NATO’s military interests.

For example, the Northern Distribution Network (NDN) played an important role in transporting the United States and NATO supplies out of Afghanistan when in November 2011 Islamabad closed supply routes between Pakistan and Afghanistan following a United States airstrike that accidentally killed 24  Pakistani troops.

The Caucasus has also been noted for its mineral wealth since ancient times. In the previous century, Azerbaijan’s oil-fuelled much of the USSR economy during the Soviet period. Today, the region is a critical energy corridor for hydrocarbon resources en route to Europe from the South Caucasus and Central Asia. Three of the four major pipelines that transport Azerbaijani oil and gas to Europe lie close to the front line positions of Armenian and Azerbaijani forces stationed along both the Line-of-Contact between Azerbaijan and the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, and the Armenia-Azerbaijan border. In the event of a fresh war over Nagorno-Karabakh, these pipelines could become early targets for Armenian artillery, hitting Europe’s goal of diversifying its energy supply.

NAGORNO-KARABKH: INTRODUCTION


Nagorno-Karabakh is a landlocked secessionist enclave in the Greater Caucasus that is a subject of dispute between Azerbaijan, in which it lies, the Armenian ethnic majority of the enclave, and neighbouring Armenia.

With the roots of the conflict said to be dating back well over a century into the rivalry between Christian Armenian and Muslim Turkic and Persian influences, the history of Nagorno-Karabakh is the subject of furious argument between Armenian and Azeri historians about the original inhabitants of the region.

Nagorno-Karabakh claimed its independence for the first time during the first Congress of the Armenians of Karabakh in 1918. Following the Bolshevik revolution in Russia, Soviet Union’s leader Joseph Stalin in 1921 put the region of Nagorno-Karabakh under the control of the Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan. The region came to be known as the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast (NKAO) in 1923.

Though disputes were commonplace between Armenians and Azerbaijanis about the way the autonomy of the region was exercised in the NKAO, the smouldering frictions exploded into violence only in 1988 when the enclave’s legislature cited historical and ethnic reasons to pass a resolution in 1988 to join Armenia – a request that was swiftly denied by Moscow on the grounds of Azeri territorial integrity. In the same year, anti-Armenian pogroms occurred in Sumgait, and Armenians started getting expulsed from Azerbaijan.

Once the Soviet Union collapsed, Nagorno-Karabakh’s legislature unilaterally proclaimed their independence in 1991 and the enclave became a de facto republic (which no world body recognises as yet) – leading up to a full-scale war between Azerbaijan and Armenia in 1992. Within months, the Armenian army controlled the bulk of NagornoKarabakh and pushed further into Azerbaijani territory to establish the so-called Lachin Corridor, an umbilical cord linking the breakaway enclave with Armenia mainland. By 1993, Armenian forces had occupied nearly 20% of the Azerbaijani territory surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh and expelled hundreds of thousands of ethnic Azeris. A year later, Russia brokered ceasefire between the two countries, which is where things stand at the moment.

As per a 1994 study by Human Rights Watch, the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh resulted in an estimated 25,000 dead as well as around one million refugees and Internally Displaced People (IDP) on both sides.

NAGORNO-KARABAKH: THE REGIONAL ASPECT

Apart from Armenia and Azerbaijan (and the geographical areas of Nagorno-Karabakh), Turkey, Russia and Iran play a significant role in the dispute.

Turkey, which is accused by Armenia of the ‘Great Crime’ (the 1915 massacre of over a million Armenians by Ottoman Turks), shares a ‘one nation-two states’ doctrine with Azerbaijan because of the cultural similarities between the two. Consequently, the Turkish government has been participating in the conflict through military cooperation with the Azerbaijanis and declared a blockade on Armenia in 1993 in support of Azerbaijan. Turkey has been refusing to re-open diplomatic relations and its border with Armenia until the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is resolved.

On the other hand, Russia is linked to Armenia by cooperation treaties, especially the 1997 treaty of friendship between both countries, which guarantees the support of Russia to Armenia in case the latter is subjected to foreign attacks.


The remaining major regional actor in the dispute is Iran, which has economic interests in the region and which, like Russia, wants to keep Western countries away from the region. Despite being an Islamic state, Iran has been a major partner for Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, and has helped the two fight the economic blockade enforced by Azerbaijan and Turkey after the war.

NAGORNO-KARABAKH: PEACE PROCESS AND THE CHALLENGES

Since 1994, there have been a number of attempts to broker peace by the so-called Minsk Group, a subset of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) chaired by Russia, the United States, and France. The Minsk group is currently working towards making the warring sides agree on the Madrid principles of 2010 which would include that (1) Armenian forces leave the occupied territories outside Nagorno-Karabakh, (2) an interim status is granted to Nagorno-Karabakh until a self-determination referendum, (3) the return of IDPs and refugees, (4) the establishment of a corridor linking Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh in Lachin with the presence of peacekeeping forces.

One of the biggest obstacles to the signing of a peace treaty is the issue of sequencing: Azerbaijan wants Armenia to end its occupation first and withdraw its forces before discussing the republic’s final status; Armenia is seeking a resolution first on the status question before pulling out its forces; Nagorno-Karabakh wants its independence officially recognized prior to all other negotiations.

NAGORNO-KARABAKH: FORECAST 2013-14

While stubborn stances of the warring actors based upon ethnic and historical arguments and applicable competing principles of international law – the right of self-determination and territorial integrity – promise to make the coming years equally difficult for a negotiated agreement, the oft-repeated talk of a fresh war may not match up with the realities of limited abilities of the warring states to win a war outright, and dependence of external actors, notably the United States, Russia and Europe, on continued status-quo, if not negotiated peace, towards serving their economic and geopolitical interests in the region.

Given that hypothesis, there is a possibility of the following scenarios developing in the coming year (2013-14):

The United States, Russia and Europe expand their cooperative efforts in facilitating the resolution of a conflict towards pre-empting any threat to their respective interests in the Greater Caucasus. The efforts could rescue the U.S.-Russian ‘reset’, and signal a new era of European-Russian cooperation.

Sustained pressure at home in the wake of opinion surveys showing high levels of discontent in Armenia about corruption, poverty, and abuse of power could force Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan to divert (at least a tiny) part of the military and economic resources from Nagorno-Karabakh – without changing the official stance on the dispute – to public welfare schemes in Armenia.

President Ilham Aliev of Azerbaijan could up the rabble-rousing ahead of the October presidential elections, without walking the talk on the ground – both because of the dangers of getting into a war that he cannot win at the moment, and the prospects of a harsh response from the international community making his own position vulnerable at home.

As a lead up to the 20th anniversary of truce between Armenia and Azerbaijan, international rights groups could lead a sustained campaign at world bodies to force the two-nation take more action on the issue of the internally displaced people.

CONCLUSION

The ‘frozen conflict’ of Nagorno-Karabakh presents itself as an ideal case study for the Greater Caucasus region – and indeed other conflict zones of similar nature in Europe and elsewhere – to understand the conflict between ethnic minority groups’ fierce attachment to their socio-historical and geographical identities and modern world’s need for enforcement of legal principles. The conflict in this case is not about resources but is about identity – something that cannot be divided.

There are no easy political solutions to such complex disputes. While all-round mediation efforts by neutral parties should be encouraged, the effectiveness of those efforts is hostage to a host of internal, global, political, ability and intent issues. On the other hand, the welfare of the affected people – directly, as opposed to a trickle effect via the state – in a visibly unbiased and meaningful manner could provide the healing that functions as the foundation for a negotiated agreement.

Currently, the talk is more about the “best alternative to a negotiated agreement” (BATNA). For Azerbaijan, it is war, and for Armenia, it is status-quo.

The future of Nagorno-Karabakh would tell the Greater Caucasus region what to do in such complex situations — or, what not to do. That future, however, may not arrive this year.

Anshuman Rawat

Anshuman Rawat is a geopolitical and IR columnist-editorcommunications specialist and serial entrepreneur from India. His long-term ambition is to play a leading role in the “development and spread of social welfare-oriented media convergence in India”.

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DEFENCE-SECURITY

The Subject Of Being Atma Nirbhar In Defence Technology

DRDO has to navigate through a complex web of stakeholders and labyrinthine bureaucratic processes.

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Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Vocal for Local” call and launch of Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan (Self-Reliant India Campaign), the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has tweaked its capital acquisition manual to promote greater self-reliance in defence production.

On July 27, it released the draft Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020 (DAP-2020) for public comments. The draft incorporates suggestions received from various stakeholders on a previous draft – the draft Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP-2020) – which was also put in the public domain.

Among other features, the draft DAP-2020 improvises upon Chapter III A of the draft DPP-2020, which was articulated with the intention to streamline para 72 of Chapter II of the existing DPP that facilitates the acquisition of systems designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) and the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB).


Will the Chapter-III A make a difference in realising Prime Minister Modi’s call for an Atma Nirbhar Bharat? The answer lies in understanding the issues surrounding the indigenous development of defence equipment by the Indian entities, particularly the DRDO, and then juxtaposing them with the procedures articulated in Chapter III A.

Since its creation in 1958, the DRDO has been at the forefront of indigenous design and development of defence equipment. The organisation, which has 24,700 employees, including 7,300 scientists, and a budget of Rs 19,327 crore (or four per cent of the MoD’s budget for 2020-21), is known for many remarkable achievements in strategic programmes, a glimpse of which was the recent successful conduct of Mission Shakti, an anti-satellite (ASAT) missile test.

However, in regard to conventional arms, there has been a deep-rooted perception that the DRDO has not been so successful, even though the organisation, with all its human resource and budgetary constraints, has designed and developed a range of complex systems including Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), Main Battle Tank Arjun, Pinaka multi-barrel rocket system, advanced towed artillery gun, and myriad other weapons and sensors.


In terms of value, the DRDO-designed products (other than strategic systems), whether inducted or in the process of induction, amount to Rs 2,65,007 crore, as of 2017.

Notwithstanding these achievements, the ultimate users, i.e., the armed forces, often complain about time and cost overruns and performance shortfall of the equipment designed and developed by the DRDO.

It is important to note that unlike strategic systems in which the DRDO has greater freedom in the developmental process, in conventional weapon systems, most of which are developed through the Mission Mode, the DRDO has to navigate through a complex web of stakeholders and labyrinthine bureaucratic processes which often work as a stumbling block.

The involvement of various stakeholders, which include armed forces and production and quality assurance agencies, brings an element of diffused accountability as agencies involved are accountable to different administrative heads.

The lack of synergy among stakeholders has been commented upon by various authorities, including the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, for its adverse impact on timely completion of projects.


More significantly, the lack of synergy has sometimes generated rigid institutional biases, leading to undue delay in placement of orders even after projects have gone through the rigorous process of development and testing. This not only demotivates scientists and the industry involved in the project but directly affects India’s self-reliance as the budget which could have been utilised to procure home-grown technologies is ultimately spent on importing arms from external sources.

The Chapter III A of the draft DAP-2020 has attempted to address some of the abovementioned constraints by articulating detailed step-by-step procedures to enable smooth acquisition of systems indigenously designed by the DRDO and other MoD-owned/controlled design houses. The chapter has identified 12 steps to be followed, ranging from identification of projects for the DRDO and others to award of contract and post-contract management.

The chapter also provides for the spiral development of weapons and platform so as allow quick induction of developed products and continuous capability enhancement of the inducted system through incremental technological improvements.

Significantly also, the chapter provides for Joint Project Management Team (JPMT) to bring a semblance of synergy among various stakeholders. Comprising representatives from the concerned armed force, design house, quality assurance and maintenance agencies and the Acquisition Wing of the MoD, the JPMT is intended to facilitate smooth progress of projects.

While the abovementioned steps stipulated in the chapter are a move in the right direction, they need to be strengthened further to make procedures more robust and conducive for timely completion of projects. One key area which needs improvement pertains to the power of the JPMT.

In its present form, the JPMT can, at best, discuss issues arising during the developmental process without any power to take decisions on its own to facilitate timely completion of the project. The real power is vested with higher authorities who are not directly involved in the project’s day-to-day execution. In short, the JPMT is not empowered to be responsible to deliver projects on time and to the budget.

In comparison to the suggested JPMT in Chapter III A, similar institutions in other advanced defence manufacturing countries such as the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK) and France are real drivers of the indigenous projects with necessary powers vested with the team to take decisions in the projects’ interest. Such an empowered arrangement would be desirable to promote R&D in Indian defence

Another area that needs refinement pertains to trial and testing of the equipment. The draft chapter in the present form lays emphasis on a multi-layered trial evaluation – developmental trials, user-assisted technical trials, field evaluation trials, staff evaluation, and acceptance trials – before a product is finally inducted. Such a multi-layered trial provision does not necessarily add value; rather, they consume time and money and not necessarily in the best interest of product development.

An empowered JPMT with the responsibility to undertake trial evaluation in its entirety would shorten the process, quicken the developmental pace, and enable India to become Atma Nirbhar in defence technology.


Disclaimer: The facts and opinions expressed in this article are strictly the personal opinions of the author. League of India does not assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information in this article.

Originally published by the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (www.idsa.inhere.

Laxman K Behera

Dr Laxman Kumar Behera is a Research Fellow at IDSA. He specialises in issues related to Arms Procurement, Defence Offsets, Defence Industry, Military Spending, and Export Control. Dr Behera has authored numerous policy-relevant research publications. His book 'Indian Defence Industry: An Agenda for Making in India' provides a comprehensive analysis of India’s evolving arms manufacturing sector.

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