DRDO tests to border infiltrations: Defence discussion in Parliament

by Editorial

Twenty-eight successful tests have been carried out by DRDO in the last one year. The major weapons and other systems that have been handed over to the armed forces by DRDO are: Astra Beyond Visual Range Missile System, 10 m Short Span Bridging System, Indian Maritime Situational Awareness System (IMSAS), Heavy Weight Torpedo (HWT) Varunastra, Border Surveillance System (BOSS) and Arjun Mk-1A. The development cum Production Partner (DcPP) policy for DRDO developed systems ensures involvement of industries from the beginning of development cycle, thus enabling industries and facilitating hand-holding throughout the development phase. DRDO is a research and development organisation. All systems designed and developed by DRDO are manufactured by the Indian industries which includes both public and private sectors entities. Some of the Systems that are developed by such collaboration during last one year are as follows: Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS), Extended Range Pinaka System & Guided Pinaka Rocket System, 10 m Short Span Bridging System, Indian Maritime Situational Awareness System (IMSAS), Heavy Weight Torpedo (HWT) Varunastra, Border Surveillance System (BOSS) and Arjun Mk-1A etc.DRDO has many foreign collaborations. DRDO works in futuristic R&D and technology development in collaboration with some Foreign Countries. DRDO co-chairs the following G-to-G Forums:

• India-USA Joint Technology Group

• Indo-Israel Management Council

• India-Russia R&D Subgroup

• India-Singapore defence technology steering committee

• India-UK steering committee

• India-Korea steering committee

This information was tabled in a written reply by MoS Defence Shripad Naik to a question asked by Rita Bahuguna Joshi in the Lok Sabha.

STEPS TO REDUCE BORDER INFILTRATION

The Indian Army has adopted a robust counter infiltration strategy which has an appropriate mix of technology and human resource put together to check infiltration effectively. Innovative troops deployment, proactive use of surveillance and monitoring devices and the Anti Infiltration Obstacle System (AIOS) have enhanced the ability to detect and intercept terrorists attempting to infiltrate/exfiltrate. On the basis of regular analysis of threat assessment and past infiltration attempts, drill and procedures are modified to counter emerging threats. Some of the measures employed by Indian Army are:

(i) Appraisal and upgradation of intelligence gathering capabilities.

(ii) Reorientation of surveillance architecture to enmesh with counter infiltration deployment.

(iii) Augmentation of Anti Infiltration Obstacle System (AIOS) incorporating surveillance assets.

(iv) Enhanced incorporation of aerial platforms, night vision equipment, radars, underground sensors etc. to strengthen the surveillance architecture.

(v) Maintenance of heightened alert in areas along the LC.

The Indian Army, along with Research & Development agencies, regularly upgrade the design of Anti Infiltration Obstacle System (AIOS) on the fence to incorporate ‘Smart’ components such as Border Surveillance System (BOSS), Laser Fence, Short Range Surveillance Equipment etc. This information was tabled in a written reply by MoS Defence Shripad Naik to a question asked by Talari Rangaiah in the Lok Sabha.

EXPORT OF DEFENCE EQUIPMENT

The important defence equipment exported during last 5 years include Weapon Simulators, Tear Gas Launcher, Torpedo Loading Mechanism, Alarm Monitoring & Control, Night Vision Monocular & Binocular, Light Weight Torpedo & Fire Control Systems, Armoured Protection Vehicle, Weapons Locating Radar, HF Radio, Coastal Surveillance Radar, etc. Export leads/Interest for Indian defence equipment from small components to major defence platforms are being received from all over the world including Asian, European, North American, African, Latin American and SAARC countries. Currently, defence items from India are being exported to more than eighty four countries. Names of the countries cannot be divulged due to strategic reasons. Many reforms/steps have been taken up to boost defence exports in last 6 years. The reforms/steps taken up to promote defence exports are:

Special Chemicals, Organisms, Materials, Equipment and Technologies (SCOMET) Category 6 titled “Munitions List” that was hitherto “Reserved” has been populated and Military Stores list notified vide Notification No.115(RE-2013)/2009-2014 dated 13th March, 2015 stands rescinded.

The Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) vide Public Notice No. 4/2015-20 dated 24th April, 2017, notified Department of Defence Production(DDP) as the Licensing Authority for export items in Category 6 of SCOMET. The export of items specified in Category 6 (Munitions List) except those covered under Notes 2 & 3 of Commodity Identification Note (CIN) of the SCOMET is now governed by the Standard Operating Procedure issued by the Department of Defence Production (DDP), Ministry of Defence.

Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the export of munitions list items has been modified and placed on the website of the DDP.

A completely end-to-end online portal for receiving and processing export authorisation permission has been developed. The applications submitted on this portal are digitally signed and the authorisation are also issued digitally, at faster pace.

In repeat orders of same product to the same entity, consultation process has been done away with and permission is issued immediately. For the repeat order of same product to different entity, the consultation earlier done with all stakeholders is now limited only with MEA.

In Intra-Company business (which is especially relevant for outsourcing of work by defence related parent company abroad to its subsidiary in India), the earlier requirement of getting End User Certificate (EUC) from the Government of importing country has been done away with and ‘Buying’ Company is authorized to issue the EUC.

The legitimate export of the parts and components of small arms and body armour for civil use are now being permitted after prior consultation with MEA.

For export of items for exhibition purposes, the requirement of consultation with stakeholders has been done away with (except for select countries).

Powers have been delegated to DRDO, DGOF, and CMD’s of DPSUs for exploring export opportunities and participation in global tenders.

New End User Certificate Format for Parts & Components has been provided in SOP.

Validity of Export Authorization has been increased from 02 years to date of completion of order/component whichever is later.

A new provision for re-exporting parts and components for undertaking repair or rework to provide replacement for a component under warranty obligation is inserted in the SOP as a sub-classification of repeat orders.

MHA vide Notification dated 1.11.2018 has delegated its powers to this Department to issue export license under Arms Rules 2016 in Form X-A, for parts & components of small arms. With this the Department of Defence Production becomes the single point of contact for exporter for export of parts and components of Small Arms & Ammunitions.

The Government has notified the Open General Export License (OGEL) – a one-time export license, which permits the industry to export specified items to specified destinations, enumerated in the OGEL, without seeking export authorisation during the validity of the OGEL.

Scheme for Promotion of Defence Exports has been notified to provide an opportunity to the prospective exporters an option to get their product certified by the Govt. and provides access to the testing infrastructure of Ministry of Defence for initial validation of the product and its subsequent field trials. The certificate can be produced by the prospective exporter for marketing their products suitably in the global market.

A separate Cell has been formed in the Department of Defence Production to co-ordinate and follow up on export related action including enquiries received from various countries and facilitate private sector and public sector companies for export promotion.

In order to boost defence exports, webinars are being organized with Friendly Foreign Countries (FFCs) under the aegis of DDP, MoD through Industry Associations with active participation from Indian Defence Industries.

A Scheme to provide financial support to Defence Attaches for taking up actions for promoting exports of Indian made defence products both of public and private sector in the countries to which they are attached has been notified.

This information was tabled in a written reply by MoS Defence Shripad Naik to a question asked by Kaushal Kishore and P.P. Chaudhary in the Lok Sabha.

SAINIK SCHOOLS IN COLLABORATION WITH PRIVATE PLAYERS

Government is proposing to bring a new scheme for setting up Sainik Schools in the country in partnership with NGOs/Private Schools/States etc. The endeavour is to provide schooling opportunities in “CBSE Plus” type of educational environment by involving desirous Government/Private Schools/NGOs to partner in establishing/aligning their system with Sainik Schools ethos, value system and national pride. It envisages enrolling existing/upcoming schools to be run on the lines of Sainik Schools curriculum. The schools are proposed to be affiliated to Sainik Schools Society. Detailed guidelines and requisite approval are at an advance stage.This information was tabled in a written reply by MoS Defence Shripad Naik to a question asked by Kripanath Mallah and others in the Lok Sabha.

NCC UNITS IN SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES

List of all Schools and Colleges having NCC Unit is as follows:

In addition to girl units, there is mixed Battalion concept where around 33 per cent seats are utilised for enrolling girls. Details are as follows:-

(i) Total enrolled cadets: 1347436

(ii) Boys cadets: 893074

(iii) Girls cadets: 454362

(iv) Girls’ percentage: 33.72%

In July, 2020, the Government has sanctioned the scheme of expansion of NCC to Coastal/Border talukas with the strength of one lakh cadets. The scheme is to expand the NCC Cadet base in 172 border Taluks, 92 coastal taluks and 43 major Air Force Stations. This information was tabled in a written reply by MoS Defence Shripad Naik to a question asked by Sunita Duggal in the Lok Sabha.

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