As India looks to increase domestic production of arms and armaments, the country's defence ministry is working on a project that will put new IT systems in place to streamline operations and help in faster decision-making, The Economic Times reported.
The report quoted officials as saying that the absence of a single and unified technology platform was one of the main reasons for importing weapons.
They said that the platform will help decision-makers in the ministry by creating a single window for viewing all manufacturers and their specialities, thereby making the shortlisting process faster.
The new platform, which will be part of the new IT infrastructure, can be used by vendors to submit certifications, products and apply for licences.
“Everything is highly licensed in the defence sector," Ajay Kumar, Secretary Defence Production, was quoted as saying. "There are many types of certifications, registrations, etc and they are all highly controlled, but you can make these interfaces smoother by making them IT-enabled and creating more transparency, ensuring less corruption and speedier decision-making,” .
Kumar said that the ministry was building capacity within the department to ensure it takes an online approach for most interactions with the industry.
The development comes a month after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, while making his Budget speech, indicated that India would look to start projects that would reduce the country's reliance on defence imports.
“The government will also bring out an industry-friendly Defence Production Policy 2018 to promote domestic production by public sector, private sector and MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises),” he said.
In line with the minister's speech, Kumar said that the country was looking to bring down defence imports from the current 70-75% in terms of value.
"To change it, we need industry participation and industry needs certainty, transparency, and timeliness… The IT interfaces can significantly introduce ease of doing business in the defence sector,” Kumar was quoted as saying.
Last year, VCCircle had profiled a Delhi-based IT solution company which was helping the India's defence agencies in this regard.
Naesys Dimensions Solution Pvt. Ltd offers solutions in areas such as enterprise application, digital security, security and surveillance, and business intelligence.
It has taken up several projects with organisations such as R&D unit Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and executed an e-office project for the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to help the paramilitary force become a digitally empowered and a less-paper organisation.