Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme

  • In order to give a boost to domestic defence and aerospace manufacturing, the government on 15th May, 2020, approved the launch of Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme (DTIS) with an outlay of Rs 400 crore for creating state of the art testing infrastructure for this sector.

Objective

  • To promote indigenous defence production, with special focus on participation of MSMEs and Start Ups by bridging gaps in defence testing infrastructure in the country.

Background

  • The scheme, announced in August, 2019 under “Make in India”, accorded high priority to development of manufacturing base of Defence and Aerospace sectors in the country to reduce dependence on imports.
  • Towards this, Government announced establishment of Defence Industrial Corridors (DICs) in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

Need

  • One of the main impediments for domestic defence production is lack of easily accessible state-of-the-art testing infrastructure.
  • Defence Testing Infrastructure is often capital intensive requiring continuous upgradation and it is not economically viable for individual defence industrial units to set up in-house testing facilities.

Key Points

  • The Scheme would run for the duration of five years and envisages setup six to eight new test facilities in partnership with private industry.
  • The projects under the Scheme will be provided with up to 75 percent government funding in the form of ‘Grant-in-Aid’.
  • The remaining 25 percent of the project cost will have to be borne by the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) whose constituents will be Indian private entities and State Governments.
  • The SPVs under the Scheme will be registered under Companies Act 2013 and shall also operate and maintain all assets under the Scheme, in a self-sustainable manner by collecting user charges.
  • While majority of test facilities are expected to come up in the two DICs (one in Tamil Nadu and the other in Uttar Pradesh), the Scheme is not limited to setting up Test Facilities in the DICs only.
  • The guidelines specify the establishment of testing facilities for drones and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), radar, electronics/telecom equipment, rubber testing, noise and shock testing, specialised driving tracks, ship motion testing, ballistics and blast testing, and environmental test facilities.

Impact

  • The scheme is directed towards promoting indigenous defence capability, specifically amongst micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and start-ups.
  • Setting up of Defence Testing Infrastructure will provide easy access and thus meet the testing needs of the domestic defence industry.
  • This will help to reduce imports of military equipment and help make the country self-reliant.

Source : Civil Services Chronicle Online, May, 2020