India has long held the status as the world's biggest arms importer — it procures nearly 70 per cent of arms from abroad. The NDA government under Narendra Modi wants to change that. It is keen to build a modern defence industry, pushing for planes, ships, tanks and guns to be produced in India along with automobiles, chemicals and electronics, as part of its pet Make in India campaign.

Nowhere is this push more visible than in the number of licences handed to private enterprises for manufacturing defence items. The NDA government has already handed nearly 100 such licences since it came to power in May last year compared with the 200-odd licences its predecessor issued during its 10 years in office. (But will the flurry of licences alone be enough to change the tide? The Indian military has traditionally been skittish about buying weapons from Indian firms. Partnerships with foreign companies might help.)

A Statistical look at the Indigenous Push in Defence:


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