Our self-reliance thrust must not defy cost logic
The success of Atmanirbhar Bharat would make us proud, no doubt. Import substitution is also in vogue globally. Yet, an idea that works for defence could prove too costly elsewhere
Pride is important. And Indian chests would duly swell with it should ‘Made in India’ aircraft start flying people around the globe. Speaking at a ceremony on Sunday in Gujarat to flag off a Tata-Airbus venture to make the latter’s C-295 planes for military transport, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called it a “big step in making India a defence manufacturing hub".“Soon," he said, “big passenger planes will also be built in India." Swelling Indian air traffic, he added, would spell robust demand for aeroplanes over the next 10-15 years. For now, our Air Force can expect a boost in its ability to move troops, equipment and other forms of payload around. As defence analysts affirm, home-made hardware expands our strategic autonomy, a point implicit in the project’s Atmanirbhar Bharat credentials highlighted by Tata Group chief N. Chandrasekaran. Self-reliance is a big deal for national security. But what about markets for other products? And what if our pride demands a premium?
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