Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Instead of consolidating Aero India 2009 as the foremost Asian aerospace show, we reduced its functional importance by taking away two aspects integral to it. The Ministry of Civil Aviation held a separate international civil air power show at Hyderabad, and Bangalore ended up with the first international space exhibition that practically had no visitors.
The uncalled for turf war between different ministries created unwanted segmentation and compartmentalization between space, civil and military air power assets that are technically inter-linked. Besides diluting the holistic structure of Aero India, conduct of three different exhibitions trebled the cost to the Indian taxpayer and the foreign vendor.
To be a dominant Asian power, India requires to consolidate and integrate the genius of the private sector with the existing national assets to build state-of –the-art defence industries that will enhance its military prowess. Unity of purpose will enable New Delhi to defend its expanding economic interests in a globalized environment and permit it to speak from a position of strength in the existing hostile neighbourhood.
However, to achieve the twin goals of becoming an economic powerhouse and the ability to militarily defend its riches and democratic values, it is essential that we exploit the favourable international environment for deep military technology transfers. This alone can modernise the defence industries. Therefore cutting edge thinking at the political level is essential too.
10/02/09 Bharat Verma/


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