With focus on indigenisation in defence and aerospace industry, former Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria has been appointed as ‘Chief Nodal Officer’ of UP Defence Industrial Corridor (UPDIC), which is being developed by the UP Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA).

The Ex-Air Chief Marshal will helm the charge of UP defence corridor, an aspirational project under UPEIDA towards the Government of India’s impetus to reduce the foreign dependency of the Indian Aerospace & Defence Sector.

“ACM Bhadauria is appointed as Chief Nodal Officer for the UPDIC Project which is going to be immensely benefited from his plethora of experience spanning four decades with Defence services”, mentioned a communique.

Notably, Bhadauria’s involvement will be a catalyst for the development of the UP Defence Industrial Corridor. He is the former chief of the Indian Air Force with an immense focus on supporting the indigenous defence industry and Atmanirbharta in the Defence and Aerospace Sector”. 

The former Air Chief’s involvement in UPDIC Project will immensely benefit from his plethora of experience spanning four decades with Defence services. Further, his involvement will be a catalyst for the development of the Defence Corridor along with the immense focus on indigenous defence industry and self-reliance.

Understanding The Imperativeness of DPDIC

With the project costing Rs 20,000 crore, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 21, 2018, announced the Defence Industrial Corridor project in Bundelkhand region in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) is the nodal agency to execute the project.

The Defence Corridor has six nodes viz. Lucknow, Kanpur, Jhansi, Agra, Aligarh and Chitrakoot. The defence corridor was orchestrated with the Indian Defence industry going through a rapid change where India is not just focusing on expansion of Defence market but also is looking at arenas to strengthen indigenous manufacturing under ‘Make in India’ scheme.

Notably, with Indian Armed Forces being the 2nd largest armed forces in the world, the country spends a substantial amount on Defence & Aerospace equipment. India was one of the largest importers of arms with a share of 9.5% of world import between 2014-18.The Union Budget 2020-21 also allocated around $47.47 billion (excluding Defence pension) for Defence, out of which 1/3rd is dedicatedly allocated for capital expenditure.

Where on one hand India is welcoming foreign players to enter the Indian Defence market through opening up FDI, as they provide for more than 50% of Defence equipment procured, the nation is also focusing on development of Indian Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) by encouraging collaborations like joint ventures, partnerships, offsets etc. with an aim to decrease foreign dependency.

With the above objective, it was decided that two Defence Industrial Corridors would be developed, in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, and was announced during the Union Budget of 2018-19.