• Russia’s invasion of Ukraine reiterated the importance of achieving self-reliance in the defence sector because India is still dependent on Russia for nearly 60% of military equipment, and the war has resulted in the uncertainty of future supplies from Russia.

The present situation in India:

  • As per SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) report, India accounted for 11 per cent of global arms imports in 2017-21. India is amongst the world’s largest arms importers.
  • At present, India depends on Russia for nearly 60% of its defence equipment.
  • Defence equipment imports from France have increased over the period of 2017-21 and made France the second-largest supplier of arms to India in this period.

Steps taken by the Indian government:

  • Since 1958, DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) is developing advanced defence technologies.
  • In 2001, the Indian government fully opened the defence sector to the private sector. It was completely reserved for the public sector till then. Private companies’ participation brought more investments and also innovation in the defence sector.
  • The Indian government launched the iDEX (Innovations for Defence Excellence) scheme in 2018 to encourage innovators and entrepreneurs in the defence sector.
  • Several other schemes such as Make in India, launched in 2014 and Startup India, launched in 2016 are also encouraging innovators in the defence industry.
  • In 2020, the Indian government announced that foreign companies can invest up to 74% in local defence manufacturing companies. This is attracting more foreign investments in the defence sector.
  • In the Defence budget 2022-23, the allocation for procuring the equipment from domestic defence manufacturing companies is increased from 58% to 68% of the capital outlay.
  • As of April 2022, the Indian government banned the import of over 300 items to promote the domestic manufacturing industry.
  • In April 2022, the Indian government announced that it is planning to ramp up domestic defence production to balance the possible shortfall from its main supplier Russia.
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What more need to be done:

  • There is a need to increase investment in the research and development of the defence sector.
  • The Indian government took steps to attract foreign companies to India to establish defence industries. But many such companies are assembling the spare components to make defence equipment. There is a need to take steps to encourage these companies to make the equipment from scratch to reduce the need to import spare parts.
  • Even though the Indian government is taking steps to promote the domestic defence industry, the investment is not sufficient to reach complete self-reliance in a few years. For example, the iDEX scheme provides financial support for startups, but on average, a startup gets 15 to 20 lakhs per year. The amount is not sufficient to develop innovative technologies. So, the investment to promote indigenous technologies needs to be increased.


India is taking steps to increase the share of domestic manufactured defence equipment. We have come a long way. But there is a need to put more investment and speed up the process so that India can achieve self-reliance in the defence sector in the near future.

Your Turn…

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Also Read :  India-Bangladesh relations

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  • Mahesh Choudhary, Mar 12, 2023 @ 12:37 am Reply

    We can add in this that, Govt started to give defence orders to Indigenized companies like Mahindra and TATA. Many more companies who can supply equipment to defence sector, started to make projects for the Indian Defence forces.
    All started after the gates are opened by govt to private companies to invest and start to make innovations on products and equipment for the govt.

  • Shahnawaz, Jan 10, 2023 @ 11:14 am Reply

    You miss name of recent developments and companies involved

  • Chinmin, Jan 1, 2023 @ 6:49 pm Reply

    Enough Efforts are being done, but there is actually a need for core knowledge that should be taught in Colleges to embrace more fruitful results.

  • Cloud Kid, Dec 18, 2022 @ 10:36 pm Reply

    Thanks for the topic!!

  • Kashish, Oct 15, 2022 @ 3:48 pm Reply

    Topic is aatmanirbhar bharat in defence sector means.. To use the defence equipments and accessories which are made in India and to stop the importing items from Russia like Developed countries.
    Since we are importing defence items from Russia like Developed countries, We need to be independent now for these military equipments as during Russia Ukraine war, it seems difficult yo import from there which causes serious issues in our country so we have to developed our own domestic products.
    Since 1958, DRDO ( Defence Research and Development Organization) is developing many advanced technologies in defence sector.
    1n 2001, gov. Has promoted Private sector to indulge in Public one to make boost in domestic growth of development.
    It started some plans make in india and startup india to give a kick start to entrepreneurs and innovators to give their contribution in development.
    Inspite of this, we need many foreign investors to invest in domestic projects to grow it on levels.

  • Naveen, Jun 14, 2022 @ 7:24 am Reply


  • Yashashree Joshi, Jun 6, 2022 @ 6:01 pm Reply

    I think DRDO should introduce some courses for students who are passionate to develop something which will be helpful for the armed forces. As this will encourage students to enter this field as well. More awareness should be created about DRDO among students in schools and colleges by arranging seminars, hackathons, etc. The government needs to tell the youth how their creative minds can help India to become self-reliant in the defense sector.

  • Rahul Yadav Indore From BI, Apr 26, 2022 @ 2:44 pm Reply

    It is a very good GD Topic and written very well.

  • Akhil parihar, Apr 13, 2022 @ 5:33 pm Reply

    Topic is quite well it has sufficient information 👍👍

    • Team GD Ideas, Apr 14, 2022 @ 2:45 pm Reply

      Thank you for the feedback Akhil. :)

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