Telangana set to become defence & aerospace hub

The state will set up an aerospace academy in collaboration with a French company

By Sai Nikesh D

The government of Telangana along with the central government’s key departments like DRDO and NITI Aayog is organizing the ‘2nd Defence & Aerosupply India 2015’ event in Hyderabad from November 30- December 2, 2015.

The event that witnessed representations from various government departments and defence and aerospace manufacturing companies from all over the world focused on transforming the newly-formed Telangana state into an aerospace and defence hub.

On second day of the event on Tuesday, Arvind Kumar, Principal Secretary Industries, Telangana, informed about the setting up of an aerospace academy in Telangana in collaboration with the Bordeaux Aeronautics Industry, which forms one of the two pillars of the global Aerospace Valley cluster in France.

He also said that the state government will soon discuss with the Centre for setting up of an aerospace centre of excellence in Telangana.

Through development of strong R&D capabilities, incubation centres, academies, upgradation of technology with a prime focus on OEMs and SMEs, he expressed hope that the state would become the hub of aerospace industry in India.

Frederic Woringer, Director, International Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Bordeaux, France, lauded the Indian government’s efforts towards easing the process of doing business for global manufacturing firms through initiatives like Make in India.

“Supported by central government initiatives like Make in India, single window clearances for industries and encouraging state policies like Telangana State Industrial Policy, Bordeaux-Telangana partnership will go a long way in transforming the newly formed state as a key centre for aerospace industry and also to expand the cooperation with India on the whole,” he told us.

However, he said, there are challenges where the government should think of being more open to industries to achieve the expected industrial growth. Referring to Ernst & Young report that says 50% of defence equipment imported by India is obsolete, Anand Tandon, Director of Gryffon Advisors Pvt. Ltd, said the next year could be a $225 billion opportunity for the defence sector.

He said the Defence Acquisition Council has already approved proposals worth $36 billion since July 2014. Ashok H Varma, CEO and Chairman, Efesto LLC, USA, pitched for the need of implementation of ‘Metal 3D printing’ technology across various industries including aerospace, defence, oil and energy sectors.

Terming the technology as the 3rd manufacturing revolution, he said, the aviation industry is currently the largest adapter and user of 3D print technology and oil, gas & energy sectors will be the future core users.

Speaking on the governmental initiatives, Arun Mahendru Balru,  Senior Development Officer (Engg.), Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, said the Defence Industrial License (IL) is not a pre-requisite for being an Indian offset partner.

He called upon defence firms to avail the opportunity of defence offset obligations for technology upgradation being provided by the Centre. Liberalisation of procedures for the sale of defence items to government agencies and process clearance for issuance of IL for manufacturing of  Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) for defence use are among the key initiatives taken by the government in recent times to help the defence sector, he added.

Responding to a query on export control regulation for printing technologies and parts, Balru said, “No export permit is required for export of defence parts.” Ajay Kumar, Additional Secretary, Department of Electronics & Information Technology, said it’s the right time to bring a fab-ecosystem in the country.

This was published in The Dollar Business on December 01, 2015

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