The enormous weight of India’s reliance on imports to wage its several wars and skirmishes since independence has sapped foreign exchange and constrained strategic alternatives. Self-reliance is not for the weak-willed, and it takes time to develop. It will take at least ten years of committed work. All stakeholders, especially those in the private sector, will require support and protection from the government.
The right trajectory has been reached as the nation approaches a century of independence, with a heavy emphasis on bolstering up indigenous defence manufacturing. A negative import list is one of the strongest components of the policy framework that has been established.
The goal is to develop a Rs 5 lakh crore defence and aerospace manufacturing market by 2047, with the cornerstone being fast upscaling of the private sector. From the expected Rs 1 lakh crore market in 2022, this would be a huge increase.