Self-reliance in the Defence & Nari Shakti

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    • India’s spirit of self-dependence in the military and its women’s power stood out during the Republic Day parade.

    More about the news

    • Self-dependence in the military:
      • The Army’s British-era 25-pounder guns — which traditionally offered the symbolic 21-gun salute — were replaced by the indigenous 105-mm Indian Field Guns (IFG).
      • The Indian Army also showcased other Made-in-India equipment, including its main battle tank Arjun, the NAG missile system, the K-9 Vajra-T gun system, the AKASH air defence system, and the Brahmos missile. 
    • Women’s power:
      • In a display of women’s empowerment, the marching contingents of the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy were both led by women officers for the first time. 
      • The Central Reserve Police Force also presented an all-women marching contingent in the parade while the Delhi Police had an all-women pipe band comprising 35 women constables.
      • The theme of nari shakti or female power carried beyond the armed forces contingents into the parade’s cultural tableaux as well.
    • Agniveers:
      • In another first, the Navy’s contingent also included three women and six men Agniveers.
        • They are the participants in the new Agnipath scheme for short-term recruitment to the armed forces which has faced violent protests from army aspirants in some States.

    Major defence-related events in the recent period include

    • Defence equipments:
      • The commissioning of the indigenously-designed and built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant
      • The firing of an SLBM (submarine-launched ballistic missile) from the INS Arihant
      • The radical decision to award the manufacture of a military transport aircraft (C 295) to a major private sector entity; 
      • The induction of the made in India Prachand LCH (light combat helicopter); and 
      • The conclusion of a deal with Russia to manufacture a Kalashnikov-type light weapon/small arms in India.
    • Defence export:
      • Indias’s defence exports have grown eight times in the last five years
      • India is exporting defence materials and equipment to more than 75 countries of the world
      • In 2021-22, defence exports from India reached $1.59 billion (about Rs 13,000 crore)

    Aatmanirbhar in defence production

    • Make-I Category:
      • About: 
        • Under the Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020, ‘Make’ Category aims to achieve self-reliance by involving greater participation of Indian industry.  
        • Projects involving design and development of equipment, systems, major platforms or upgrades thereof by the industry can be taken up under this category. 
      • Financial Support:
        • The Ministry of Defence will provide financial support up to 70% of the total cost of prototype development.
    • Make-II Category:
      • It is funded by industry with assured procurement. The following platform has been listed –
        • Anti-jamming Systems for Multiple Platforms
    • Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) Model:
      • Under this, private industry will be encouraged to take up the design and development of military platforms and equipment in collaboration with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and other organisations.  
      • Following two platforms have been identified under this category.
        • Long Range Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) [High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE)]
        • Indian Multi Role Helicopter (IMRH)
    • iDEX:
      • Projects of Start-ups, MSMEs etc. involving high-end innovation would be pursued under the iDEX category and the following platform has been selected under this category –
        • Low Orbit Pseudo Satellites.

    Women’s participation in the India’s armed forces

    • Evolution:
      • The armed forces, traditionally thought of as a male bastion, have in the past 30 years seen success in the induction of women, though the journey has not been smooth.
      • The military opened its doors to women in 1992 when the Air Force inducted its first batch.  
    • Limited combat roles:
      • In 2008, a permanent commission was extended to women in streams of Judge Advocate General (JAG) and Army Education Corps.
      • In 2015, India also opened new combat air force roles for women as fighter pilots. 
        • Women have been allowed in combat in the Air Force, but we are yet to see women in combat roles in the army and navy. 
        • Even though women have been in the forces since 1992 all roles and career options are not offered to them.
      • Women in NDA:
        • After the Supreme Court paved the way for women to take the National Defence Academy (NDA) exam last year, the first batch of 19 cadets have joined the tri-services academy in Khadakwasla, Pune.
    • Significance of inducting women in defence forces in India:
      • Women officers will be given equal opportunity to contribute to the nation.
      • The armed forces play an important role and need to promote gender equality in the forces. 
      • Providing women with a more challenging and fulfilling career
      • It would change the “regressive mindset” for not allowing women in the armed forces. 
      • It will challenge a strong stereotype that assumes that domestic obligations rest solely on women.

    Women in Police Force in India

    • About:
      • According to the data provided by the Bureau of Police Research and Development, women police personnel constitute 10.3% of the police force all across India.
    • State-wise data:
      • State of Bihar possesses the highest percentage of women police personnel that is 25.30%, followed by Himachal Pradesh that has 19.15% and then Chandigarh at 18.78%. 
      • The highest number of women inspectors are in Tamil Nadu, 1055, followed by 425 in Maharashtra and 286 in Odisha.
    • Aim: 
      • The aim is that each police station should have at least 3 women sub-inspectors and 10 women police constables

    Women in Central Armed Police Forces:

    • The total strength of women in the Central Armed Police Forces is 3.68%.

    Source: TH