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Any striving nation must establish a vision, and all residents must be equally accountable stakeholders and contributors to achieving the intended vision, mission, and objectives. Such a commitment should cut across the nation’s fault lines. India is not immune to this reality; history is rife with examples of India’s grandeur and invasions to pillage its wealth. There were numerous looting expeditions against India, each worse than the last, which harmed India’s riches of knowledge, goods, institutions, and self-esteem. The most essential reason for India’s centuries-long enslavement was a lack of security, inaccurate evaluations of the intentions of invaders and colonial powers, and insufficient internal coherence. India in 2024 is looking forward with the

From being a 27% world GDP contributor in early 1700 CE when the British East India Company established itself here, India fell to a mere 3% global GDP contributor in the 1940s when the exploiters finally left India. The Colonial force could not erase the Indian yearning and spirit to be reborn; India’s existence is founded on thousands of years of legacy and history, establishing it as a rich cultural civilization. The East India Company was founded in 1600 CE, and it began the Unmaking of India by force, manipulation, and servitude in all aspects of daily life and throughout all segments of society.

The end effect was the exploitation and manipulation of local systems and minds in order to increase the reliance of every common man and indigenous institution on the British Crown. The mindset shifted from civilizational pride to a period of self-doubt and criticism. Aping the West became the accepted norm. After more than seven decades of reliance, a renewed desire to grow and be secure has emerged. PM Modi launched the Make in India mission in 2014, symbolised by the Lion with gears, pulleys, and machinery inside. The mission has launched several improvements to promote self-reliance in India, known as Bharat.

Coming to power with the rupee plummeting between 2011 and 2013, the new government overhauled the governance process in order to restore India’s prosperity. Fueled by success from 2014 to 2019, when the economy grew from an inherited 1 trillion US dollars to a 2 trillion US dollars, the Prime Minister called for a quantifiable growth trajectory aimed at a US $5 trillion GDP by 2024, as he stated from the ramparts of Red Fort on August 15, 2019. The COVID Pandemic of 2020-21, which originated in China, together with the Chinese military LAC confrontation, had a negative influence on our national economic momentum.

Despite these challenges, India is on track to reach the 5 trillion mark soon. The Make in India Mission, which includes both the public and private sectors, has been a significant change in the defence sector. From the mindset of boasting about being one of the largest importers of military gear, India is shifting to Make in India for itself and the world. The current geopolitical world order is in a state of uncertainty and increasing disorder, with Russia-Ukraine Kinetic Conflict, the radical HAMAS-Israel conflict, uncertainty prevalent between China and Taiwan, and multiple flash points due to the West promoting its agenda, which is stonewalled and challenged by the resistant Russia and expansionist China.

The situation is exacerbated by the wicked problems of drug proliferation, transnational terrorism, contrived asylum seekers, unhappy refugees, and ideology-driven radicalization. Climate change, poverty, health, cyber espionage attacks, misinformation-disinformation, biochemical attacks, and other topics continue to cause global concern. In this era of instability and uncertainty, India has confidently launched on the Atmanirbharta path across many Ministries, including the Ministry of Defence.

Multiple initiatives are being implemented to turn the idea into reality. Policy directives such as DPP2016 and DAP2020 have been issued and are now in use. Structural modifications, including the appointment of CDS and DMA as a vertical. Functional transformation-an intensive research led in the abolition of the Ordnance Factory Board and the corporatization of Ordnance Factories, converting the 41 factories into seven DPSUs. Modernisation of the entities is underway. DPSUs are challenged to modernise and enhance their work cultures in order to offer excellent products at competitive prices, on time, and with reliable post-sales service.

DPSUs are already exporting their products, generating valuable foreign cash. Users encourage the private sector by guiding it from inception to delivery. Defence exports increased from ₹686 crores in FY2013-14 to ₹16,000 crores in 2022-23, and are likely to reach ₹20,000 crores in a few months. This is in pursuit of the Honourable Prime Minister’s goal of achieving $5 billion in exports. India exports defence products to nearly 85 countries. Major indigenous content on devices and platforms. INS Vikrant (aircraft carrier), Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, Main Battle Tank Arjun, K9 Vajra tracked artillery gun, submarines, ships, boats, helicopters, drones, Electronic Warfare systems, missiles, rockets, transport planes, and radar sets are all indigenously made.

The joint venture approach is preferred for international collaboration – BrahMos, AK-203 Rifle. Encouraged innovation through Start-ups and MSME with IDEX Challenges, of which the Indian Navy initiated the “Swavlamban” event, with the Honourable Prime Minister opening 75 maritime challenges to Indian brains during DefExpo in June 2022, followed by 75 Defence Space challenges in October 2022, which were also opened by the Hon’ble Prime Minister.

This is in addition to a set of DISC challenges. The Armed Forces issued five positive lists totaling 509 items, while DPSUs issued four positive lists. These things will be purchased from indigenous makers. 75% of budgeted resources are set aside for capital acquisitions of indigenous items. A 25% increase in the Defence R&D budget has been assured. Def Expo and Aero India supported Indian brand enterprises, MSMEs, startups, and academia. Indian embassies now hold conferences and fairs to promote Indian defence products, as well as stimulate technology and partner discovery in their chosen nations. Dedicated defence corridors have been established in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, bringing an ecosystem in close proximity to generate strong supply chain resilience.

The process of establishing an industry and generating exports has been simplified. The Department of Defence Production is working to improve innovation prospects through the IDEX platform. The focus is on DRDO collaboration with industry partners to advance technology discovery and make the most of the Technology Development Fund. Technology (TOT) produced or acquired by DRDO is being transferred at a low cost to Indian start-ups, MSMEs, and existing large defence industries. MOUs are being signed by the business sector with the Department of Defence Production and DRDO, facilitating interaction between users, innovators, manufacturers, and financiers across the table. Design, development, and marketing search entities in Services have been developed. DGQA reforms have begun and are being implemented. Promoting the concept of research and product design in academics at numerous

Paying off. States and universities are encouraged to do defence technology research, design prototypes, and manufacture components and products. Critical technology attracting endeavours are in vogue, with many engagement lines and friendly technological powers. To achieve long-term benefits for the Atmanirbhar Bharat Mission, users, designers, developers, manufacturers, legislators, and funders must work together effectively. Every person has a stake in India’s evolution to become a Viksit and Surakshit Desh by 2047.

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