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BW Businessworld

“Covid-19 Has Taught Us To Be Self-reliant: Major Gen Shashi Asthana (retd.)

"There is zero specification in telecom and maybe that is why India is so poor in telecom. Research and development is needed by all sectors.”

“There is no revenue right now. There is a very distinct categories of goods now. General development will take place here. Now we have to make systems here to prove our worth. Every company outside is worried about the bottom line,” said Air Marshal Shirish Deo – Vice Chief, Air Staff (retd.).

At a recent panel discussion with senior members of the defence sector BW Businessworld addressed fundamental aspect of the hindrances, obstacles and fundamental questions such as some of the projects delayed, FDI from 49% to 74%. Down to 30 in squadron from the Air Force point of view. Coming to the army FRCV and FICV, two critical projects are far away. The Navy has done well too but there are still some obstacles in that field as well.

On a slightly different note Jayant Patil - SIDM Chairman, Whole-time Director & Sr. Exec. VP, L&T Defence, said that “There has been a lot of movement on the policy side but of course there has not been much movement on the Indian buying side. The last couple of years saw that nearly 70% now we are buying from outside. It is indicated that there will be money found, not sure when. Those who understand the DPP have it quite easy. Today bi-global is the last area of acquisition. Effective GDP is the need of the hour. If there are no investments, there will be no business so then how will there be any R&D. Without R&D nothing will happen. It is the key. You build an organization which tomorrow can completely change and be very different.”

Adding to the discussion Major General Shashi Asthana (retd.), Veteran and leading expert, commented,"DPP 2020 is still a draft. The ordinance factory board and 41 ordinance factories, they have been enjoying a certain status. They have not being delivering efficiently, and the excuses they are giving are very uncertain. Private players are also important. Research and development firstly is of utmost importance. We appreciate that R&D is costly, we also appreciate that our procedures don’t allow a fixed order and it does not make an economic sense for any capitalist to put money unless you have a fixed order.

Lt. Gen. R. K. Jagga – Former DGMF Indian Army stated firmly, “I would like to say that the gap between India and China is well known. They have a fast-growing economy. They used their intelligence also. I would not get into the technological gap between us and China, we should see why we aren’t progressing. We have to have a level playing field. We need to ensure collaboration internally.”

Rajiv Malhotra, leading telecommunication and security expert, MD and Founder, Shyam & VNL Telecom, concluded the debate by saying “We should not discriminate. We want the best always and because of that the defence is suffering in terms of money. The ‘best’ is not always so. Some people understand that what the overall process needs and globally a lot has been accomplished. Another thing is true that we have overlooked certain facts. There is zero specification in telecom and maybe that is why India is so poor in telecom. Research and development is needed by all sectors.”


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