National Seminar on Technological Sovereignty in ICT
11th October, 2012: Under the current procurement norms, India has a policy for 30 per cent offset on defense procurement. This creates an immense opportunity for domestic manufacturers, and service providers. More importantly, this also creates an opportunity for developing domestic IPR to take benefit of the 30 per cent defense offset policy, thus enabling growth in the domestic sector, and leading to a more secure nation.
The objective of this conference was to identify roadblocks that prevent domestic manufacturers from tapping this enormous market. This program was the first step in the identification of institutional mechanisms to facilitate domestic entrepreneurship. The aim was to create a collaborative institution that will support and enable the private sector to deliver indigenously-developed technology to the army, thereby ensuring that India gains technological sovereignty over a period of time.
In order to initiate the process, the Indian Army accepted a proposal by Centre for Digital Economy Policy Research (C-DEP) and Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS), to organize a one day national level seminar on Technological Sovereignty in ICT on 11th October, 2012 at Manekshaw Centre, New Delhi.
Apart from identifying the existing challenges that prevent the achievement of technological sovereignty, the discussions covered various topics including the impact on modern warfare, critical information infrastructure, and the strategic implications on supply chain and trade.
During the inaugural session of the conference, Lt. General S P Kochhar, Signals-in-Chief of the Indian Army, mentioned that the Indian Army is upgrading various areas including ICTEC (ICT, Electronics and Cyberwarfare). It is critical at this stage to understand the concerns of stakeholders in delivering indigenously developed technology to the army. It is also necessary to keep in mind the strategic implications as we move towards net-centric equipment. Thus, it is imperative that India move towards an ICTEC ecosystem profile, which provides greater control over the ICTEC layers to the military strategists.