This article highlights key takeaways for startups and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) from the Draft Defence Production Policy, 2018 (available here.), published by the Ministry of Defence, Government of India.
(Note: the paragraph numbers in the parentheses below refer to those in the Draft Defence Production Policy, 2018)
1. Turnover and prior experience requirements for entry into the defense production sector will be done away with as long as technical and functional requirements are met. (¶ 5.1.1)
2. Competency mapping, data collection, guidance and provision of information regarding new opportunities will be done through a portal developed on the Department of Defence Production website. (¶ 5.2)
3. The Defence Investor Cell will provide MSMEs and other investors with guidance and assistance to resolve issues with central, state and other authorities. (¶ 5.3)
4. A liberalized licensing process will be instituted where the current list of items requiring a license will be reviewed and be replaced with a smaller list. (¶ 6.1)
5. Defense corridors will be set up to organise supply chains of MSMEs and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) with testing, certification, technology transfer and export facilities. (¶ 14.1.1)
6. The testing systems of defense organisations will be opened up to private industries. New testing facilities will also be set up. Additionally, 75% assistance to set up common testing facilities may be provided. (¶ 14.2)
7. Challenges and hackathons will be organised on specific problem areas by the Department of Defence Production and the DRDO, and INR 1000 crore will be allocated for this. (¶ 19.2)
8. Defense Innovation Hubs will be set up throughout the country under the Innovation for Defence Excellence (iDeX) scheme and private venture capital will be encouraged for startups. (¶ 19.3)
9. Appropriate policies will be designed to capitalize on new technologies and the Government will have the right of the first offer on the same. (¶ 19.4)
10. An Intellectual Property Cell will be set up to provide legal and technical assistance. (¶ 19.5)
11. Intellectual property involving national security, defense, and aerospace-related technologies will be prioritized during registration. (¶ 19.6)
12. Awards and recognition will be instituted for well-performing private industry and startups. (¶ 22.4)
13. Regular outreach programmes will be conducted by established stakeholders to make MSMEs aware of potential opportunities and challenges. (¶ 22.9)
[This post is authored by Sushma S. Babu, a fourth-year undergraduate student of HNLU, Raipur, under the supervision of Nehaa Chaudhari (Public Policy Lead, TRA) during her internship with TRA].