Several policy initiatives have been taken by the Government in the past few years and brought in reforms to encourage indigenous design, development and manufacture of defence equipment, thereby promoting self-reliance in defence manufacturing in the country. These initiatives, inter-alia, include according priority to procurement of capital items from domestic sources under Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP)-2020; Notification of four ‘Positive Indigenisation Lists’ of total 411 items of Services and three ‘Positive Indigenisation Lists’ of total 3,738 items of Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), for which there would be an embargo on the import beyond the timelines indicated against them; Simplification of Industrial licensing process with longer validity period; Liberalization of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy allowing 74% FDI under automatic route; Simplification of Make Procedure; Launch of Mission DefSpace; Launch of Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) scheme involving start-ups & Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs); Implementation of Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) Order 2017; Launch of an indigenization portal namely SRIJAN to facilitate indigenisation by Indian Industry including MSMEs; Reforms in Offset policy with thrust on attracting investment and Transfer of Technology for Defence manufacturing by assigning higher multipliers; and Establishment of two Defence Industrial Corridors, one each in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu; Opening up of Defence Research & Development (R&D) for industry, start-ups and academia with 25 percent of defence R&D budget; Progressive increase in allocation of Defence Budget of military modernisation for procurement from domestic sources, etc.
DPSUs provide equal opportunities to women in employment. Various guidelines issued for the women workforce and followed in order to ensure a safe work environment. Modernised Creche Centres, recreation rooms and Medical Rooms have been set up at DPSUs for welfare of women employees.
Indian Army encourages women to join the force by adopting enabling policies for their inclusion. Recent major initiatives are as under:
- Grant of Permanent Commission (PC) to Women Serving Personnel.
- Armed Forces have opened entry for women candidates in National Defence Academy (NDA).
- Indian Army has also opened avenues for Women Officers to serve as pilots in the Corps of Army Aviation since year 2021.
- Provision for enrolment of women as Other Ranks in Corps of Military Police in the Indian Army has been introduced in 2019.
In Indian Navy, following avenues are available for women:
- Short Service Commission (SSC) women officers in the Indian Navy are eligible for consideration for grant of Permanent Commission.
- Women officers are appointed onboard warships.
- Women Naval Air Operations (NAO) officers have been appointed as specialist NAO officers to ship borne helicopters.
- Women officers can join the Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) stream.
- Entry of women candidates into NDA has been permitted from 2022 wherein women officers are being inducted as PC officers.
In Indian Air Force, following avenues are available for women:
- Women officers are inducted in all branches and streams of Indian Air Force. Gender neutral approach in IAF facilitate the employment of women officers of IAF in all combat roles without any restrictions.
- An opening has also been provided through National Cadet Corps (NCC) Special Entry for flying SSC (Women) from July, 2017 onwards.
- The scheme of induction of women SSC officers in the fighter stream commenced in 2015, has been revised and made permanent.
- IAF has started the induction process for women joining through NDA for the course commenced in June, 2022 (Tech and Non-tech) as Permanent commission officers.
- Women are also eligible for selection in various long duration service courses, short/exchange visit and deputation abroad.
Three versions of Dare to Dream (D2D) contest have been successfully conducted till date. As on date, a total 34 start-ups have been selected as winners and awarded Rs 2.40 crore as prize money. Total eight start-up winners of D2D contests have been supported under Technology Development Fund (TDF) Scheme. Recently, Dare to Dream 4.0 edition inviting applications against 10 challenge areas was also launched on October 20, 2022 during Def Expo-2022 at Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
This information was given by Raksha Rajya Mantri Shri Ajay Bhatt in a written reply to Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar in Lok Sabha today.