[op-ed snap] India in aerospace: Vision 2020

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Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: The newscard comprehensively deals with the issues related to Defence and Aerospace manufacturing sectors. The efforts done by the government can be seen as a part of its Make in India initiative.


News

Need to focus on aerospace and defence manufacturing sectors

  1. These sectors have potential to generate vast amounts of jobs and revenue
    Defence
  2. India has one of the largest defence budgets in the world
  3. By 2018, it is expected to be in the vicinity of $56 billion
    Aviation
  4. In the commercial aviation sector, India remains one of the highest traffic growth markets
  5. It is estimated to become the third-largest aviation market in the world by 2025, and will likely need nearly 1,500 new commercial aircraft by 2030

Efforts done by the Government

  1. It has introduced the long-awaited strategic partnership model that will allow partnerships with overseas companies to manufacture everything from submarines to fighter jets in India
  2. It also opens the doors for Indian companies to form joint ventures with multinational original-equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for defence production
  3. This model has the potential to create a high-tech defence manufacturing ecosystem

Why is Manufacturing for the aerospace sector a complex exercise?

  1. The sector
    (1) is capital-intensive,
    (2) has high technological requirements and
    (3) has a prolonged gestation period
  2. Other challenges faced by the sector: costly raw materials, skilled labour, technological requirements, and the procurement of parts from multiple manufacturers

Three key challenges companies face in the aerospace and defence (A&D) sector

  1. Access to technology and talent
  2. building scale in a business that is extremely capital-intensive, and
  3. the enabling infrastructure and policy environment which can be clubbed together as what is known as the ease-of-doing-business basket

What can we learn from Automobile Sector?

  1. The automobile manufacturing sector benefited from having ancillary hubs around large car plants located in Gurugram, Chennai and Pune
  2. The government would do well to encourage the creation of A&D hubs too
  3. There is already some visible success on this front
  4. Telangana is home to the country’s first public aerospace and precision engineering special economic zone (SEZ)
  5. Karnataka too is setting up similar facilities

Contribution of foreign manufacturers

  1.  Boeing continues to expand its footprint in the country in the form of the Boeing India Engineering and Technology Center (BIETC)
  2. It is the Indian counterpart to its research and technology organization in the US

The way forward

  1. What is required in an ideal ecosystem is the setting up of facilities which cater to multiple stages of the supply chain, all in one location
  2. The target is to create an integrated aerospace ecosystem which enables customers to source all their requirements from one place to hasten the time-to-market
  3. Additionally, the industry needs a skilled talent pool for this highly specialized industry
  4. The creation of educational institutions and universities by the government that are tailor-made for the A&D sector, will go a long way in making India a preferred manufacturing destination
Make in India: Challenges & Prospects
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