• Aligarh node of UP Defence Corridor to be inaugurated by August

Lucknow. 29 July 2021. The Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers, in partnership with the
Confederation on Indian Industry (CII) and the Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial
Development Authority (UPEIDA), is organizing the Indigenisation Summit on Defence
and Aerospace (ISDA) 2021 from 28 – 31st July.

Speaking at the Inaugural Session of ISDA 2021, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi
Adityanath said that the Defence corridor in UP is a greenfield project and the industries
coming alongside the six nodes of the corridor can benefit immensely from the scheme
by becoming part of the ecosystem. 1409 hectares of land has been earmarked under
the corridor. The project proposals received so far from 54 companies would create
employment of more than sixteen thousand people.

He shared that development of roads, electricity, water & boundary walls are underway
for the Aligarh node and the inauguration of the Aligarh node, comprising of 74 hectares
of industrial land divided into 19 units is proposed in August 2021.

Sharing that 2500 crores have been earmarked by the central government for promoting
investments in the defence corridors, he said that land banks were being created for
zones where there is a greater demand of land for investment projects. The state
government along with the Defence Ministry is also working on the establishment of labs
under the Common facilitation centre, Defence testing and Infrastructure scheme which
would benefit MSMEs & Start-ups in prototyping, technology training as well as design &
development. The state government has also established centres of excellence at IIT
Kanpur, BHU for a greater engagement between the Indian navy, industry & academia.
The first instalment of the grant for research & development at these centres has already
been disbursed & the second is under consideration.

Awanish Awasthi, ACS-Home & CEO, UPEIDA noted that the vision of the UP
government is to attain 1st position as a business destination. Speaking on the progress
of the nodes of the Defence corridor, he mentioned that infrastructure development to the
tune of 32 crores is underway at Aligarh and the node is expected to be ready for
inauguration by August 2021. The Kanpur node, where 25 crores has been assigned
infrastructure development would also be ready in a couple of months whereas the Jhansi
node work would be taken up in the next six months.

Chairman ISDA 2021 & Chairman, CII Northern Region Committee on Defence &
Aerospace Manoj Gupta remarked that a strong and empowered defence ecosystem
is crucial for any country seeking to emerge as a significant global player. With the thrust
provided by the ‘Make in India’ movement, today India’s exports are to the tune of ten
thousand crores which was merely five hundred crores eight years back. Measures like
only domestic tenders for contracts below 200 crores, increasing FDI limit in defence
production from 49% to 74%, greater number of production categories, defence offset
program as well as an updated DAP 2020 will further embolden the defence
manufacturing in the country. He further pointed out that a higher offset for defence
industries as well as a single-window system for license issuance for the defence
manufacturers will go a long way in making UP a hub for defence & aerospace.

Jayant Patil, President, SIDM pointed out that the reforms pertaining to the defence
sector are focused on building capacity. This is evident through the 15% increase in
defence budget allocation. He also highlighted that two-thirds of the defence budget is
now dedicated to purchases from Indian industries, of which 20% has been reserved for
MSMEs. Mr Patil mentioned that 208 items have been moved to the positive list now
hence no imports of these items would be allowed into the country to promote the Indian
manufacturers. He highlighted that Indian is expected to be the security provider in the
Region, for which the industry can prove to become the sixth arm of the Indian Defence

Speaking on the occasion, Sachin Agarwal, Chairman, SIDM UP Chapter pointed
out that today, close to 8000 Defence Sector MSMEs, primarily from tier 2 and tier 3 cities
form the backbone and are the largest part, in terms of volume, of the Industry. He also
mentioned that the Industries that are bound to grow and mature in this phase of
development will find that UP can provide the necessary infrastructure and support
needed to augment production and services. Mr Agarwal highlighted that the Government
planning to spend $250 billion over the next 10 years for the modernization of its Forces
and the Industry will have a critical role to play in meeting these demands.

Ashmita Sethi, Co-Chairman, CII Northern Region Committee on Defence &
Aerospace spoke about the various emerging technologies being deployed in defence
manufacturing for which UP can become a potential hub. These included defence
electronics, MRO facilities, space related research & development. Electric military
vehicles among others.

Over the 3 day period, Sessions with UPEIDA, DPSUs and the Services HQs will be held
to generate awareness about opportunities available for the Industry vis-a-vis Defence