On September 15, 2020 The Ministry of Defence cancelled two arms import contracts worth over $2.5 Billion (Approximately Rs. 21,500 Crores), which were in final stages of procurement. The decision was taken in a special meeting chaired by the Defence Secretary, Raj Kumar, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat also attended the meeting.
The orders will now be placed under the Make in India initiative to give a boost to the domestic industry.
i.The request for Proposal (RfPs) Close Quarter Carbines (CQBs) from a UAE based company ‘Caracal’ and the program to import Self Propelled Air Defence – Gun Missile Systems (SPAD-GMS) from South Korean Company ‘Hanwa’ will now be withdrawn.
ii.The army was looking for a replacement for the Bofors weapon system of the Indian Army. It needs five regiments of the guns to deploy with the forces.
iii.The move is expected to reduce the dependency of Indian Army on Imports and is in line with the Government’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
Stopping Import of 101 key Military items:
i.On August 10, 2020 the Government of India announced that it will ban the import of 101 types of weapons and ammunitions from December, 2020 to December, 2025 to give a push to ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan (Self-reliant India Movement)’.
ii.The list includes assault rifles, sniper rifles, short-range surface-to-air missiles, beyond visual range air-to-air missiles, corvettes, missile destroyers, light combat helicopter, ship-borne cruise missiles, light combat aircraft, a variety of radars and different types of ammunition.
iii.Imports account for 60-65% of India’s Military requirements.
Recent Related News:
i.On August 13, 2020, Union Defence Minister (Raksha Mantri) Rajnath Singh virtually launched 15 products of Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) and Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) as a part of the Atma Nirbhar Week celebration (Atmanirbharta Saptah) between August 7-14, 2020.
ii.On August 14, 2020, Union Defence Minister (Raksha Mantri) Rajnath Singh virtually launched Department of Defence Production (DDP) portal SRIJAN as a part of “opportunities for Make in India in Defence”.
About Ministry of Defence:
Union Minister – Rajnath Singh
Minister of State (MoS) – Shripad Yesso Naik