New Delhi. Details of New Achievements / Initiatives of the Government during the last three years in the Defence Sector are as below:-
Reform Measures: Based on the recommendations of the Shekatkar Committee, the Government has decided to restructure posts of different corps of Army. This will free up approximately 57,000 positions of Officers/JCO’s/OR’s and civilians which will be redeployed to improve the “teeth to tail” ratio of the Indian Army in future. Further, seven Military Farms have been closed and the cattle of these Farms have been transferred to other Military Farms. Closure of six more Military Farms is in progress.
Decentralisation in decision making: To empower the Armed Forces as also to reduce the time taken in decision making, a number of powers exercised hitherto by the Ministry of Defence have been delegated to the Armed Forces. These include powers relating to procurement of critical Ammunition/Spares; post-contract management of capital acquisition contracts as well as revenue expenditure; full powers in respect of revenue and capital account with respect to perimeter security etc.
Strategic Partnership: Government’s policy on Strategic Partnership in the Defence Sector has been finalised. It is intended to institutionalise a transparent, objective and functional mechanism to encourage broader participation of the private sector in manufacture of major defence platforms and equipment.
Capital Acquisition for the Armed Forces: During the last three years and current year, 119 contracts involving Rs. 1,16,522.89 crore have been signed with Indian vendors and 68 contracts involving Rs. 1,24,291.33 crore have been signed with foreign vendors for capital procurements of defence equipment.
Policy initiatives in respect of Defence Production: ‘Make in India’ in defence sector is primarily driven by providing preference to procurement from Indian vendors under the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP), promoting indigenous design, development and manufacture of defence equipment, and other policy measures such as liberalization of the licensing regime & FDI policy by raising the cap on FDI in the defence sector, simplification of export procedure, streamlining of defence offset guidelines etc.
Major Achievements by Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs):
- Goa Shipyard Limited delivered Naval Offshore Patrol Vessels, Damage Control Simulator, Fuel Barge, Fast Patrol Vessel for the Indian Navy and Coast Guard.
- The Bharat Dynamics Limited developed Akash Weapon System for Army, Long Range Surface to Air Missile for the Indian Navy and test fired the Anti-Tank Guided Missile.
- The Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited launched the Visakhapatnam Class Destroyers and commissioned the INS Kalvari, the Scorpene class Submarine.
- During the period the Light Combat Helicopter attained initial operational clearance, first technical flight of Light Utility Helicopter was undertaken and Brahmos Integration with Su-30 MKI Aircraft was undertaken by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
- Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) commissioned the secure CDMA Cellular Network at Srinagar.
- Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited delivered the Anti Submarines Warfare Corvette, Offshore Patrol Vessel, Water Jet Fast Attack Aircraft and Landing Craft Utility during the period.
Research & Development in Defence Sector: A number of major products has been developed for defence and civilian use by the DRDO. These include the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas; Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) System; 155 mm / 52 Calibre Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS); Weapon Locating Radar (WLR) Swati; High Speed Heavy Weight Ship Launched Torpedo (Varunastra); Arudhra-Medium Power Radar; Akash Weapon System; Abhay Sonar; Hull Mounted Sonar (HUMSA); Advanced Indigenous Distress Sonar System (AIDSS); various types of Ammunition for MBT Arjun; Anti Torpedo Decoys; Electro-Optical Fire Control System for Naval Ships; Electro-Optical Sensors for Airborne Platforms; Mountain Foot Bridge; Sub-munition warheads for Pinaka; Terrain Assessment System for Trans-border Deserts etc.
One Rank One Pension (OROP): The Government has implemented the One Rank One Pension (OROP) for Defence Forces Personnel.
Facilitating servicemen to register and vote from their place of posting: Government has already introduced e-Postal Ballot System in October 2016 to facilitate participation of service voters. The Election Commission of India (ECI) directed to undertake the process of de-novo registration of Service Voters. As per ECI data, 13.37 lakh service voter requests from Armed Forces (Indian Army, Indian Air Force, Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard) have been registered with ECI.
Army Battle Casualties Welfare Fund: A Fund namely, ‘Army Battle Casualties Welfare Fund’ has been set up w.e.f. 1.1.2016. Under this fund, assistance of Rs.2.00 Lakh is provided to the army battle casualties which are fatal, 60 per cent and above disability and battle casualties invalided out due to disability and Rs. 1.00 Lakh to disability less than 60 per cent. This will be in addition to other admissible dues.
Some of the new initiatives taken during the last three years, as mentioned in reply to part (a), are long gestating by their nature and will bear fruit in the medium / long term.
This information was given by Minister of State for Defence Dr. Subhash Bhamre in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.