Amit Cowshish

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  • Amit Cowshish is a former Financial Advisor (Acquisition), Ministry of Defence and presently a Distinguished Fellow with the Indian Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses. Click here for Detailed Profile

    Offsets Facilitation Cell: Optimizing its Potential

    On Feb 14, 2014, MoD issued an office memorandum about operationalization of a Offsets Facilitation Cell. This is the perhaps the first positive step in a long time and the MoD needs to be complimented for it. However, absence of an operating procedure, clarity about the exact nature of mandate and guidelines for those who will man the cell could turn out to be a bane for this wonderful initiative.

    March 14, 2014

    What is choking the Indian defence budget?

    Projecting a demand which cannot be met is as pointless as allocating budget that is barely sufficient to sustain the armed forces and other departments of the MoD. The persistent neglect of this aspect of defence management is taking its toll not only on the stock of ammunition held by the armed forces, notably the Army, but also on serviceability levels of the equipment.

    February 14, 2014

    Indian Companies - Need for a Clear Definition

    The Defence Procurement Procedure 2013, as also its earlier versions, does not define an Indian company. Some would argue that the answer is very simple: any entity registered in India under the Companies Act, 2013 or any other relevant statute and operating with a valid license, where such a license is required, qualifies as an Indian company, enterprise, institution or establishment.

    January 22, 2014

    Assessing Modernization of the Indian Armed Forces through Budgetary Allocations

    India’s quest for modernization of the armed forces is propelled by the persistent threat to its territorial integrity and the aspiration of becoming a great power. However, there is no clearly defined comprehensive policy, much less a carefully crafted strategy, for time-bound modernization of the armed forces and there is no mechanism in place to steer the modernization programme in a holistic manner. In fact, there is considerable ambiguity about the core question as to what constitutes comprehensive ‘modernization’.

    Cancellation of the VVIP Helicopter Contract: Beginning of a Long haul?

    While there was perhaps no option for the MoD but to do what it has done, it would be naive to expect the seller to acquiesce in forfeiture of the bank guarantees, recovery of the sums allegedly paid in violation of the PCIP (assuming that it will be possible to recover this amount) and to simply take the three helicopters back without demur.

    January 06, 2014

    Indo-Pak DGsMO Meeting: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

    Shorn of its rhetoric, the only tangible outcome discernible from the joint statement is the agreement on staging two flag meetings at the LoC. In fact, there are some questions that need to be asked, for example, why did the situation worsen to the extent that the DGsMO had to meet to affirm their commitment to maintain the sanctity of, and the ceasefire on, the LOC?

    January 02, 2014

    Delegation of Powers to the Armed Forces in a Time Warp

    MoD, according to news reports, has instructed the Army HQ that its permission will need to be taken before changing the structure or role of the units in future. This could easily be interpreted to mean that there are no existing instructions on such vital issues. But such an impression would be wrong.

    December 26, 2013

    Avro Replacement Programme: Alive and Kicking

    This programme was a sincere effort by the MoD to walk the talk on participation of the private industry in defence manufacturing. The success or failure of this programme will have a long lasting effect on MoD’s efforts to strengthen the defence industrial base in the country.

    December 03, 2013

    Avro replacement Programme on the Cusp of Hope and Despair

    The avro replacement is not a design and development programme which will involve extensive use of the airfields for test flights. It is an aircraft that is already flying and will be built as per the OEM’s specifications that will go into manufacture of the aircraft in India.

    October 31, 2013

    Cut in Non-plan Expenditure and Impact on Defence Budget

    The services will have no option but to reduce the allocation under the heads where the impact is not immediately visible: maintenance of infrastructure, purchase of spares for maintenance of equipment, procurement of ammunition, etc.

    October 03, 2013

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