Setting up new test facilities under Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme will boost indigenous defence manufacturing in India
It is not mandatory to set up new testing centres under the scheme only in Defence Industrial Corridors
New Delhi: In a step towards resolution of complaints by India's private defence manufacturers over an 'uneven playing field' vis-a-vis Defence PSUs, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has approved the launch of Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme (DTIS). The Scheme would run for the duration of five years and envisages to set up six to eight new test facilities in partnership with private industry. This will facilitate indigenous defence production, consequently, reduce imports of military equipment and help make the country self-reliant.
The projects under the Scheme will be provided with up to 75 percent government funding in the form of ‘Grant-in-Aid’. The remaining 25 per cent of the project cost will have to be borne by the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) whose constituents will be Indian private entities and State Governments. The SPVs under the Scheme will be registered under Companies Act 2013 and shall also operate and maintain all assets under the Scheme, in a self-sustainable manner by collecting user charges. The equipment/systems tested will be certified as per appropriate accreditation.
Not just this scheme is expected to give a boost to domestic defence and aerospace manufacturing in India, it will certainly expedite the same. Today, most of the testing infrastructure is with DPSUs, including DRDO, BEL and HAL, etc. In case private manufacturers require a testing centre, they have to go to these PSUs and most of the times where they are allegedly accorded low priority. That's the reason the government had promised to come up with testing infrastructure for a long time. It is also important to mention here that majority of test facilities are expected to come up in the two Defence Industrial Corridors (DICs), the Scheme is not limited to setting up Test Facilities in the DICs only.
The DTIS Guidelines have been uploaded on the MoD/DDP and DGQA websites. It can be downloaded from clicking here.