MoD Finalises Structure of Five Sub-Groups For Strategic Partners For Defence Manufacturing

Anupama Airy

India’s defence minister Manohar Parrikar has cleared composition of the five sub-groups constituted for focused discussions on the strategic partnership model for selected platforms in the defence sector.

Selection of strategic partners for long term partnership between the ministry of defence and private sector Industry is seen as the most forward looking and bold initiative of the current leadership especially in the backdrop of the fact that India’s defence sector has continued to remain import dominated over the past many decades and since independence. has exclusive details on the composition of these sub-groups. 

The first sub-group for Armoured Fighting Vehicles will be chaired by Col (Retd) H S Shankar, Chairman, FICCI Defence sub-committee on Indian Defence SME and will representatives from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and two star rank officers from the Armoured Division of the Army Headquarters. This sub-group I, that will focus its discussions on platforms  including Armoured Fighting Vehicles and their major systems, will also have Lt Gen A V Subramanian (Retd) as a representative of the Dr V K Aatre Task Force. Ravin Kulshreshta, Director (P&C), Department of Defence Production (DDP) will be the facilitator of this sub-group.

Sukaran Singh, Co-Chairman of CII National Committee on Defence will chair the second sub-group, constituted for discussions on platforms including Aircrafts and Helicopters (fighter, transport and their major systems). This group will also have participation from DRDO and two star rank officers from Air Head Quarters. Former Chairman Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), N R Mohanty will represent the Dr V K Atre Task Force in this Sub-group-II that will be facilitated by R R Thakur, Officer on Special Duty, Defence Offset Management Wing (DOMW), DDP.

Sub-group-III that will focus on platforms including Submarines and their major systems will be chaired by Jayant Damodar Patil, Chairman FICCI Defence Committee and will comprise of representatives from DRDO and two star rank officers from the Naval Head Quarters.  Rear Admiral Pritam Lal (Retd),who was member of the Dhirendra Singh committee of experts will also be a member of this Sub-group-III on submarines.

Ammunition including smart ammunition will be the focus area for Sub-group-IV that will be chaired by Neeraj Gupta, MD, MKU Pvt Ltd and nominee of industry association, ASSOCHAM. As in other sub-groups, this sub-group will have DRDO representatives and two star rank officers from the Army HQs. This sub-group will be facilitated by Wing Commander Vani Mishra, PO (Systems).

Sub-group V will look into macro process management of issues related to eco-system, technical competence, financial evaluation, weightage to existing infrastructure, commitment of partner for life cycle support and other regulatory matters. This sub-group will be chaired by Rajinder Bhatia, Co-chairman, CII national Defence Sub-committee on Land Systems and will also comprise pf DRDO representatives. This sub-group will have two star rank officers from the service Headquarters (Army, Navy or Airforce). Kaushik Dutta, Director, Thought Arbitrage Research Institute and Dr Ashish Bhattacharya, Prof and Head, School of corporate governance and public policy, Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (Ministry of Corporate Affairs) will be the two representatives of the Dr V K Atre Task Force in this sub-group that will be facilitated by Praveen Kumar, Director (Acquisitions).

Also Read– Our Special Story on MoD’s Proposed Model For Selection of Strategic Partners For High-end and Critical Defence Projects

Sources said that the Chairman of each of the five Sub-Groups have been asked to expeditiously complete the discussions on their relevant topics and be ready with their respective presentations within 10 days (latest by June 3rd, 2016).After 10 days, in the first week of June, 5 sub-groups will make recommendations to Defence Minister Click To Tweet

It may be recalled that Defence Minister Parrikar had held a consultative meeting with the industry associations on April 25 on the issue of strategic partners for defence sector from private sector. This meeting was held to get views of the industry on selection criteria before formulating the policy on selection of strategic partners for defence manufacturing.

“After 10 days, in the first week of June, the five sub-groups will make recommendations to the Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in another consultative committee meeting,” sources said.

The task force under under former DRDO chief Dr V.K. Aatre, appointed for the specific purpose, has come out with detailed framework and criteria for selection of Strategic partnership among Private sector.

The industry consultation meetings being spearheaded by Parrikar is aimed at creating a trust based model for few select, technologically complex and large long duration programs without compromising on the transparency and probity needed in the entire Defence acquisition process.

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