Manohar Parrikar, defence minister, Government of India, has announced a 'Design in India' policy, which will be an extension of the ongoing 'Make in India' programme. He stated that the 'Design in India' policy will aim at building, enhancing and promoting designing capabilities of Indian manufacturers and entrepreneurs so that they can design products of world-class standards to compete with global counterparts and take advantage of 'Make in India' programme.
Parrikar made the announcement at the inauguration of a three-day International Conference & Exhibition on Reinforced Plastics, 2017 (ICERP 2017), in Mumbai. The Conference is organised by FRP Institute, an association of Indian reinforced plastics or composites sector.
Responding to a long standing demand of Indian Composites Industry to source defence equipments, components and ancillary material domestically from Indian manufacturers of composite products and extend support under the 'Make in India' programme, Parrikar assured the players of Indian composite industry that the Defence Procurement Policy (DPP) will soon include composite products developed indigenously. He maintained that the DPP will be updated soon and see its implementation with necessary procedures clarified.
"We are introducing a 'Design in India' policy, which will boost up a 'Make in India' programme,” said Parrikar. “It will be an opportunity for domestic manufacturers to enhance designing capabilities to compete with global standards. As far as the defence industry is concerned, there is huge potential to source material, equipments domestically, but quality standards and innovations in designing are highly essential. Indian composites industry can certainly enhance supplies to the defence sector if they provide products of global standards in terms of quality and designing. We will soon include composites products in the Defence Procurement Policy, which will allow domestic composites manufacturers to supply to Indian defence industry."
The Rs 5,000 crore indian composites industry, had made a strong pitch for support from the government and mainly from the defence ministry, amid rising supplies of Russian and Chinese composites raw material in Indian defence sector. Further, the Indian industry, which has been growing at a CAGR of just six percent as against the global average of 12 percent, also urged for the government's support.
At the inauguration of ICERP, 2017, Pradip Thakkar, Chairman of FRP urged the defence minister to extend the government's support to the Indian composites industry to unleash its full potential. He stated, "The Indian Composites Industry is fully capable of supplying 100 percent of requirements of the defence sector, if given due support. Composite materials are emerging as an innovative alternative for steel and aluminium and hence, can be used in defence equipment manufacturing."
Shekhar Sardesai, a member of FRP and CMD of Keneco emphasised that the industry should rise above the levels and produce world-class products for which innovation and standards were necessary. He urged the defence minister to scale-up procurement of composites not only for Tier I categories such as OEMs, but also for Tier II & III categories where raw materials and components also could be sourced from domestic manufacturers.
Professor S C Lakkad, Chairman, FRP Institute said, “Composites market in India is not fully tapped and offers tremendous growth opportunities for Composites manufacturing in the coming years. This makes an apt case for ‘Make in India’."
Dr Selvan, Former Chairman, FRP Institute offered the vote of thanks and requested the members of the industry to meet with the standards expected and embrace opportunity. The Industry is continually evolving with development of newer materials, technology, applications and processing. While the conventional composites continue to find newer applications, the high tech Composites like the carbon fibre based composites are finding greater interest in terms of their applications in defence, aerospace, and other applications to keep pace with the global trends.