Senior Research Associate, IDSA, Dr Rajiv Nayan’s article titled ‘India’s Defence Industry Base’ was published in the latest issue of Defence and Security Alert.
During the British period, ordnance factories were established to do some military related work. To manufacture guns and ammunition, the first ordnance factory was set up at Cossipore in 1801. In 1942, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research was set as an autonomous body. In 1947, some technical development establishments came up. Some of these technical development establishments became laboratories of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) later. Before 1950, India had only 19 ordnance factories. At present, the Indian DIB refers to 39 Ordnance Factories geographically spread in 24 different Indian locations, eight public sector defence undertakings and increasing number of large, medium, small and micro undertakings from the private sector. Also, more than 50 defence laboratories are considered part of the DIB. The Indian government adopted a policy of permitting 100 per cent Indian private sector participation and 26 per cent Foreign Direct Investment. As of May 7, 2012, 181 Industrial Licenses / Letters of Intent were given to the private sector companies to manufacture defence items. An in-depth analysis of the evolution and the way forward for India’s DIB.