4.1. DRAFT DEFENCE PRODUCTION POLICY 2018
Why in news?
Recently, Ministry of Defence released the draft Defence Production Policy 2018 (DProP 2018).
• India defence production has progressively increased from Rs. 43,746 crores in 2013-14 to Rs. 55,894 crores in 2016-17.
• However, according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) report India is the largest weapons importer country, accounting for nearly 12% of all global weapon imports between 2013-17.
• The policy aims to make India among the top five countries of the world in Aerospace and Defence industries, with active participation of public and private sector.
o To create an environment that encourages a dynamic, robust and competitive defence industry as an important part of the ‘Make in India’ initiative
o To facilitate faster absorption of technology and create a tiered defence industrial ecosystem in the country
o To achieve self-reliance in 13 identified areas by 2025 such as manufacturing fighter aircraft, missile systems, small arms, land combat vehicles etc.
o To increase domestic arms sales to Rs1.7 lakh crore ($26 billion) by 2025 and achieve export of Rs 35,000 crore ($5.0 billion) in defence goods and services by 2025.
o To make India as a global leader in Cyberspace and AI technologies.
• The policy aims to improve ease of doing business through:
o Liberalisation of licensing process and rationalising the taxation system to support domestic manufacturing especially Startups and MSMEs
o Undertaking Competency Mapping of private defence industry including MSMEs, to establish their core competence/ability to absorb various technologies.
o Formulating Technology Perspective Capability Roadmap (TPCR), to list out the platform/weapon systems being considered for procurement in the next 10 year timeframe by our Services
o Make-II process of DPP 2016 will be streamlined to make it easier for industry to enter in defence production sector.
o Increasing the FDI cap under automatic route from the current 49 to 74 per cent for certain niche technologies.
o Defence Investor Cell in DPP will be setup to provide handholding to MSMEs and other investors in defence production and to resolve issues with Central, State and other authorities.
• FDI regime in defence will be further liberalized and FDI up to 74% under automatic route will be allowed in niche technology areas.
• Intellectual Property Cell will be created in DDP to facilitate the registration of intellectual property rights.
• Encouraging Startups: Innovation for Defence Excellence (iDeX) Scheme will be formulated to set up Defence Innovation Hubs throughout the country to provide necessary incubation and infrastructure support to the start-ups in defence area and setting up of a corpus of Rs 1,000 crore to fund them to meet specific defence R&D requirements.
• Defence Industrial Corridors will be setup in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, where each corridor would have one major cluster of defence production units around an anchor unit.
• Defence Export Organisation will be set up jointly with industry to promote export of Indian defence products abroad.
• Boosting OFB and Public Sector: Ordnance Factories will be professionalized to make them competitive and improve their productivity.
• Aeronautical University will be setup on a 50:50 cost sharing basis between Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and the government, to promote design, development and manufacturing industry.
• Autonomous National Aeronautical Commission will be created to link military and civil aviation need for expansion and indigenisation.
• Outreach Programmes will be conducted in various parts of the country to spread awareness about the potential opportunities and to understand the challenges being faced by stakeholders.
• Department of Defence Production (DDP), Ministry of Defence will be the nodal department for implementation of the Defence Production Policy 2018.
• State Governments will be encouraged to come up with State specific aerospace and defence related policies to attract investment in this sector
• Though unlike the 2011 policy, the draft of the 2018 policy sets a clear vision, a set of objectives and strategies, it does not fully address the private sector’s trust deficit with the government which is largely due to the representation of senior MoD officials in the governing boards of the defence public sector companies, which often leads to the nomination of larger contracts in their favour.
• The draft policy does not provide concrete solutions to the divergent interests of various stakeholders such as DDP, DRDO and Acquisition Wing of the MoD which are more or less independent of each other.
• The 13 different sets of items identified for indigenous production are mostly generic names and includes items which are under production or cleared for production in the near future. The policy does not identify any specific new projects by name that would have given the industry an indication of the likely business prospects.
• Budgetary Constraints may not allow the policy’s promised investments to fructify in a time bound manner.
4.2. DEFENCE INDSTRIAL CORRIDOR
Why in News?
The Government initiated work for preparing a Detailed Project Report (DPR) to set up a defence production corridor in Tamil Nadu.
About Defence Industrial Corridors
• The government, in Budget 2018, announced establishment of two defence corridors
o One in Uttar Pradesh which will run from Agra to Chitrakoot.
o Another in Tamil Nadu called Tamil Nadu Defence Production Quad connecting Chennai, Hosur, Salem, Coimbatore and Tiruchirappalli to Bengaluru.
• The draft defence production policy, 2018 provides that these defence industry Corridors will be set up in collaboration with States. Govt of India will contribute 50% of assistance subject to a ceiling of Rs 3000 Crores to the SPV set up for development of each defence corridor.
• Government has also announced the creation of a dedicated defence and aerospace small and medium enterprises (SME) fund, registered with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), where a minority stake could be taken by investors. This fund would help channelise investments into the two defence corridors.
• Benefits of the corridors:
o They will give thrust to the manufacturing sector and will help in making India self-reliant in the defence sector.
o They are expected to bolster interaction between all industry players in order to create long-term synergy and eventual development of the area into a Defence Production powerhouse.
o These corridors will attract investment and create lakhs of jobs.
4.3. INTEGRATED THEATRE COMMAND
Why in news?
Government has notified new “statutory rules and orders” to ensure an officer from any one service can now “exercise direct command” over personnel from the other two services, who are all governed by different acts and rules, in tri-service organisations.
• The move has been implemented especially for the strategically-located Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC), which was established as India’s first theatre command in October 2001 but has largely failed to achieve its potential due to turf wars among the three services, general politico-bureaucratic apathy, fund crunches and environmental concerns.
• The naval commander-in-chief of the ANC can now directly control and discipline Army and IAF officers and other personnel under him, even as similar moves are afoot to eventually bring all land and assets under him.
• A fully unified approach in ANC is important due to the expanding Chinese threat in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
• The tweaking of the Army, Navy and IAF rules represents the first step towards having a chief of defence staff (CDS) and integrated theatre commands.
What is an integrated theatre command?
• It envisages a unified command of the three Services, under a single commander, for geographical theatres that are of security concern.
• The integrated theatre commander will not be answerable to individual Services. He will be free to train, equip and exercise his command to make it a cohesive fighting force.
• The logistic resources required to support his operations will also be placed at the disposal of the theatre commander so that he does not have to look for anything when operations are ongoing.
4.4. FIRST 'CRIME FREE ZONE' ON INDIA-BANGLADESH BORDER
Why in news?
A crime-free stretch of 8.3 kms has been established between the BSF border posts at Gunarmath and Kalyani and the BGB (Border Guards Bangladesh) border posts at Putkhali and Daulatpur.
More on news
• The objective of creating a crime-free zone is to have select border locations that are clear of illegal, anti-social and criminal activities (such as Human trafficking/Drugs and Fire arm smuggling/terrorist activities) by integrating the efforts of the BSF and the BGB, with assistance from the district administration, NGOs and border population of both the countries.
• Border surveillance devices such as closed-circuit cameras, search-lights and thermal imaging devices have been installed to ensure that the area remains crime-free. Drones will also be used to keep a tight vigil on the border.
• The BSF and BGB have also been raising awareness among the locals regarding crime prevention in the border area.
4.5. PROTECTED AREA PERMIT
Why in News?
The Government has decided to relax Protected Area Permit for foreign tourists.
About Protected Area Permit (PAP)
• Due to security reasons, certain areas have been declared as Protected Area/Restricted Areas where no foreigner can enter or stay without obtaining permit from the competent authorities.
• Under the Foreigners (Protected Areas) Order, 1958, all areas falling between the ‘Inner line’ and the International Border of the State have been declared as ‘Protected Areas4’.
• Currently Protected Areas are located in- all of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, parts of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand.
• Under the Foreigners (Restricted) Areas Order, 1963, parts of Sikkim and entire Andaman & Nicobar Islands have been declared as `Restricted’ Areas.
• Relaxing PAP will increase tourism and create job opportunity and revenue for the state.
Why in News?
• ‘Saposhi’, a new malware which can create botnet and launch Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, was detected by the security agencies.
What is a Malware?
• The term is contraction of “Malicious Software” and is any piece of software that was written with the intent of doing harm to data, devices or to people.
• Different kinds of Malware include
o Virus: They attach themselves to clean files and spread uncontrollably, damaging a system’s core functionality and deleting or corrupting files. They usually appear as an executable file.
o Trojans: They disguise themselves as legitimate software and tend to act discretely and create backdoors in your security to let other malwares in.
o Spyware: It hides in the background and takes notes of what one does online, including passwords, credit card numbers, surfing habits and more.
o Worms: Worms infect entire networks of devices, either local or across the internet, by using network interfaces. It uses each consecutive infected machine to infect more.
o Ransomware: Also called scareware, this kind of malware can lock down computer and threaten to erase everything — unless a ransom is paid to its owner.
o Adware: These can undermine security which can give a lot of other malware a way in.
o Botnets: Botnets are networks of infected computers that are made to work together under the control of an attacker.
Cyber Swachhta Kendra to Tackle Malware
• Government has established the “Cyber Swachhta Kendra” which is a Botnet Cleaning and Malware Analysis Centre.
• It is part of Digital India initiative to create a secure cyber space by detecting botnet infections and providing information and enabling citizens for removal of BOTs/malware.
• It is being operated by CERT-In
• Also, the Kendra will strive to create awareness among citizens to secure their data, computers, mobile phones and devices such as home routers.
• It also collaborates with Department of Telecommunications, Internet Service Providers, Antivirus companies and academia to carry out its work.
4.7. NAVAL EXERCISES
Why in news?
• Recently, the biennial eight-day exercise 'Milan' was organised at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The Indian Navy also conducted a tri-service maritime exercise named ‘Exercise Pashchim Leher (XPL)’ in the Arabian Sea.
• It is a multi-lateral navy exercise along with leading maritime powers of the Indian Ocean region and was first held in 1995. Milan 2018 was its 10th edition and largest participation till now.
• The participating nations include at least 16 countries i.e. Australia, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, New Zealand, Oman, Vietnam, Thailand, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Kenya and Cambodia
• MILAN 2018 was not attended by Maldives as there was state of emergency in the country.