BENGALURU:With India continuing to be one of the largest importers of arms and China becoming one of the largest suppliers of arms to countries in the Indian subcontinent, it is high time that private and state-owned industries in the defence sector came together to work towards the common goal of self-reliance, several experts in the defence sector opined on Wednesday.
They were speaking at a seminar on opportunities for industry in the defence sector organised by the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers.Lt General (retd) Subrata Saha, Director General of the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers, said, "Government estimates peg India to becoming a $5-trillion economy by 2025. Such growth specially requires strong security. As India's import of arms continues to grow, countries like Pakistan are seeing a slowdown in imports. China is supplying arms to several countries. Self-reliance has become time-critical and we should stop thinking about the public and private sector being different."
M V Gowtama, Chairman and MD, Bharat Electronics Ltd said when Defence PSUs like BEL and BEML could record double digit growth, there was no reason why private industry could not grow faster.
Discussing Bengaluru, which is a hub of defence and aerospace, all speakers spoke of the urgent need for trial, certification and testing facilities which can be used by industry instead of having to import equipment and expertise. "The state government is keen on launching such facilities," said Commissioner for Industrial Development Darpan Jain. Highlighting the need for such institutions, Deepak Kumar Hota, Chairman and MD, BEML, said they were in talks with the Railways and the Department of Science and Technology to open a centre of excellence in Bengaluru.