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India | Industry & Trends | Issues - Political | Policy - Procurement

India’s Defence Minister: Improve Quality, Or Else

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At a recent international arms conference in New Delhi, Indian Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee warned domestic arms makers to sharpen their skills or perish in the face of intense competition from foreign rivals in a globalizing world. AFP reports that the warning came amid reports of military complaints over the quality of hardware and spare parts supplied by India’s own arms industry. The warning is valid to a point, and private sector procurement is finding a niche in India. Still, there may be less here than meets the eye. According to AFP, India opened defense production to the private sector in 2001, and permits direct foreign investment of up to 26% in joint projects. State-owned defense firms annually procure goods worth 120 billion rupees ($280 million) from private businesses, while state-owned ordnance factories outsourced production work worth 190 billion rupees ($443 million) to private companies. DID Op/Ed: India’s software development community, which boasts more Level 5 CMMI firms than anywhere else in the world, shows that quality is not a foreign concept to Indian organizations per se. As DID has noted in our coverage of India’s annual Ministry of Defense report, however, large segments of India’s arms industry are government-owned. […]

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