In the modern era, where countries like the United States, Russia, France, Germany, and Japan are moving ahead in the field of defence manufacturing, India is still finding a way to compete with these nations. There is another country also, China, which has larger military strength than India. But for years, the Chinese have failed to prove their defence technology to the world. India has a much larger population than all of these nations excluding China. Then why India has failed to match its level in manufacturing and technology? Despite having larger human capital, the most important resource, we have not been able to utilize it up to the maximum extent. There are certain reasons for the issue, which we are facing since independence. In this article, we will discuss them and try to find the solutions.
Diversity Of Population And Complexity Of Governance In India
We are the only country after China, with a population of over 1 Billion. This is the reason for the majority of our problems. A country where so many people have the freedom to express their views generally slows down the process of development. Because of the fact we are a large democratic sovereign state, we cannot take decisions in a hurry. The government has to discuss with all the senior persons. As a result, major decisions take time to come into effect.
Moreover, the government in our country keeps changing after a certain period, unlike China and Russia. This results in the changing of policies issued by the previous government, which is also another reason for delaying in decisions.
However, this problem can be solved if the ruling party takes decisions with the consultation of the opposition. This will increase transparency as well as decrease the time wasted.
India Need To Focus On Quality Education
It is a bitter truth that quality education has failed to gain the attention of people. In India, marks and ranks always win a race against knowledge and skill. Students are trained to cram facts rather than learning things. We do not know how to think. This is the reason we do not have good engineers and scientists in enough number. Few good engineers cannot fulfill the needs of the Armed Forces of such a huge country. Since independence, many governments have completed their terms but failed to create the ecosystem of a good education. Unlike India, United States, Germany, and France have worked brilliantly on their human resource. India must learn from them and should excel in providing education to maximum people.
Increase In Privatization In Defence Manufacturing
The most necessary need of the hour is to increase privatization in defence manufacturing. All the developed countries have one thing in common. They all have a lot of private companies, which are innovating in defence equipment. For e.g. Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman in the United States. These companies manufacture on a large scale and have many contracts for the United States military. In addition to these, there are a lot more companies also researching on small scale. Privatization in defence manufacturing creates a lot more employment, which overall improves the economy. In addition to that, the government alone cannot manufacture on such a large scale. There has to be support provided by private vendors.
In India, the private sector is there in manufacturing, but on a very limited scale. For instance, almost all the research and development in India is done by DRDO. This creates a lot of burden on a single organization if the private sector is very limited. We have Tata and Mahindra, which manufactures equipment for the Indian Army. But these have limited orders. The government must encourage more and more private companies to invest in defence manufacturing.
Lack Of Experience Of World Wars
Despite of having many problems discussed above, we cannot deny the fact that India has done a good job in defence. We are among top five strongest militaries in the world. Moreover, we cannot forget that all the top countries have experience of world wars. Since India became independent only seven decades before, we are still young, compared to others in this field. However, Indian soldiers fought in world wars, but for British forces. As a result, we were not able to gain experience compared to other countries. In these 73 years, we have come a long way. We have produced deadly missiles of all the ranges, which can be launched from all the platforms. Moreover, we have the best-trained personnel in our forces.
Financial Problems Faced By The Government In Defence Manufacturing and Research
Another major reason is the difference in economies of the countries. Countries like the United States and China have larger economies than India. This makes possible for them to innovate more and more. They feel less restrictions because of financial advantage. Military budget of USA is almost 10 times to that of India. Hence it is obvious that they can invest more. Plus, due to larger population, money allotted to our forces mostly goes into pensions of retired personnel. In addition, we have to import most of the weapons which are expensive. Therefore, our government left with a small part of the military budget, which is not enough for research and development.
What Are The Future Needs To Overcome These Problems?
In the end, if we conclude, India has to improve a lot in defence manufacturing. We have to invest highly in Research and development so that most of the equipment can be made indigenously. The government should invite private companies to join hands and research more. The most important need is to increase the overall economy. This will result in an increase in the military budget too. As a result, we will be able to develop more. Our exports will also increase once we start to manufacture in a large amount.
The government should take initiative to encourage students to study science and technology. This will result in better utilization of our education and skills. We need to compare ourselves to countries better than us so that we can improve our technology with the cooperation of both government and private sector. It is necessary to not forget the positives and keep on increasing our capability.