New Delhi. 21 January 2021. The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) commemorated its 25 years of partnership with the Indian Army today by organizing a Session on ‘25 Years of Army – Industry Partnership’. The Session was held in partnership with the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM). The first formal “Army – Industry Partnership” Conference was held on 14 & 15 September 1995.

In this occasion, a landmark MoU between SIDM and the Army Design Bureau was signed to strengthen the efforts of both organizations towards Indigenisation. The MoU calls for both organisations to jointly work to encourage the Indian defence industry including start-ups and MSMEs, and aims at enhancing research and academic collaboration, to develop innovative solutions to address defence capability requirements. Collaboration between the Indian Army and industry started in 1995 with
the indigenisation of spares and has progressed to major defence platforms and a wide range of weapons and equipment. With the signing of MoU with SIDM, Indian Army has reiterated it’s firm resolve towards achieving self-reliance by supporting and handholding the indigenous defence industry.

General MM Naravane, PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, ADC, Chief of the Army Staff, in his Keynote address congratulated CII and SIDM for having actively steered this partnership. He said “The private industry today is providing us major defence platforms, including He said “ The private industry today is providing us major defence platforms including artillery guns, bridges, radars and a wide range of weapons, ammunition & equipment. The Indian Army on its part has established the Army Design Bureau which has been
proactively reaching out to the industry to effectively harness the potential of the industry towards defence Indigenisation”.

“Indigenous defence industry is a big enabler for self-reliance and capability building and it a prerequisite for maintaining our strategic influence and freedom of action”, he stated. He brought out that 75% of our Priority-1 Projects in the 13th Army Plan, costing over Rs 1,50,000 Cr are marked for Make in India Programmes. He also said that the Procurement Procedures can have more flexibility in its operations and interpretations to enable faster procurement of equipment. He further stated that the capital and revenue procurement routes of procurement have aligned under the Deputy Chief of Army Staff (Capability Development and Sustenance). “Combining these routes will result in optimal capability building and will act as a single point of contact with the Industry”, he said.

Dr G Satheesh Reddy, Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman, DRDO, in his special address, highlighted how DRDO is actively pursuing funding of the development of Technology up to 90% of an eligible company’s value which is indigenously manufacturing the spare parts and sub-parts to reduce the imports and meet the needs of the armed forces. He added that, DRDO has given funding of up to 10 Cr to 25 Indian firms in the past year. He dwelt on how DRDO is supporting the Industry through a number of schemes and is ready to support MSMEs and youth venturing into the defence production.

In his opening remarks, Jayant D Patil, President, SIDM highlighted that in the journey towards ‘Atmanirbharta’ in the strategic defence sector, the Indian Army has extended great support and has guided the industry through its outreach programs to familiarise the industry with its requirements, with the compendium of its problem statements and several ‘technology challenge’ rounds to spot the ‘innovators’.

Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII in his address elucidated how CII, in collaboration with the leading private defence industries of our country, has incubated the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers – SIDM in 2017 to give greater impetus to indigenous defence production.

Baba N Kalyani, Chairman, CII Manufacturing Council and Founder President, SIDM, dwelt on the entrepreneurial spirits of the Industry and mentioned how the industry has proven itself to be a major contributor to nation-building by indigenous production of Artillery Systems, Communication Systems, Ship Building, Armoured Vehicles, Missile Systems, UAV and Drone Technologies.

SP Shukla, Vice President, SIDM, concluded the session by highlighting several initiatives for creating an enabling environment for the growth of the Industry by the Government.

The event was attended by over 200+ participants from the Industry, Services and Academia.