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March 30 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm


India’s emergence as the leading arms importer globally, according to recent data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), highlights the nation’s evolving defence procurement strategies.

Key Highlights of Recent SIPRI Data:

Arms Importers:

  • Nine of the top 10 arms importers in 2019–23 were located in Asia, Oceania, or the Middle East, with India, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar leading the list.
  • Ukraine notably rose to become the 4th-largest arms importer globally during this period.

Arms Exporters:

  • The United States remained the largest arms supplier globally, witnessing a 17% growth in exports.
  • France ascended to become the world’s second-largest arms supplier, while Russia experienced a significant decline in exports.

India’s Arms Import Dynamics:

  • While Russia remained India’s primary arms supplier, accounting for 36% of imports, India diversified its sources, increasingly turning to Western countries like France and the USA.
  • This marks the first five-year period since 1960-64 where Russian deliveries constituted less than half of India’s total arms imports, indicating a shift in procurement patterns.

Understanding SIPRI:

  • SIPRI, established in 1966 in Stockholm, is an independent international institute focusing on research related to conflict, armaments, arms control, and disarmament.
  • It provides data, analysis, and recommendations based on open sources, catering to policymakers, researchers, media, and the public.

Recent Indian Government Initiatives to Reduce Arms Imports:

Positive Indigenisation Lists:

  • The government releases Positive Indigenisation Lists to promote domestic manufacturing of specific defence components and subsystems.
  • The recent release of the 5th Positive Indigenisation List includes 98 items, aimed at bolstering indigenous manufacturing in the defence sector.

Increased FDI Limits:

  • Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) limits in the defence sector were increased in 2020 to 74% through the Automatic Route and up to 100% via the Government Route, encouraging foreign participation in domestic defence manufacturing.

Defence Industrial Corridors:

  • Dedicated Defence Industrial Corridors in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh aim to boost defence manufacturing by providing infrastructure and support.
  • These corridors foster collaboration between industries, academia, and research institutions to promote innovation and technology development.

Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX):

  • iDEX fosters an ecosystem for innovation and technology development in defence and aerospace.
  • It engages various stakeholders, including industries, startups, and research institutes, providing them with grants and support for research and development.

SRIJAN Portal:

  • The SRIJAN Portal serves as a platform for vendors to find opportunities to manufacture defence equipment previously imported.
  • Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) and government agencies can post requirements, allowing Indian companies to express interest and collaborate on production.

Way Forward:

Defence Innovation Zones:

  • Designating specific areas as defence innovation zones can attract startups and high-tech companies, offering infrastructure support and regulatory flexibility.

Streamlined Procurement Process:

  • Simplifying and expediting the procurement process for indigenous defence products can encourage domestic production.
  • Transparent and efficient procurement policies prioritising locally manufactured goods are essential.

Incentivize Indigenous Production:

  • Providing financial incentives, tax benefits, and subsidies for indigenous defence manufacturing can create a conducive ecosystem for startups and small-scale enterprises.

Boosting Exports:

  • Developing a robust defence export industry can generate revenue to support further research and development.
  • Following models like Israel’s can help reduce reliance on domestic budgets for defence procurement.

Mains Question:

  1. Discuss the recent trends in India’s arms import dynamics as highlighted by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Evaluate the effectiveness of recent government initiatives aimed at reducing India’s dependency on foreign arms and promoting indigenous defence manufacturing. (150 WORDS)


March 30
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category:
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