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Duffers or victims?

Kalvari, the first of six Scorpene class conventional submarines — also the first submarine to be inducted into the Indian Navy in 17 years — was commissioned by prime minister Narendra Modi at the Mazagaon Docks, Mumbai on December 14. Two more are expected to be inducted into the navy in mid-2018 at six-month intervals. The submarines, designed by French naval defence and energy company DCNS, are being built by the public sector Mazagaon Dock Ltd (MDL) in Mumbai as part of Project-75 of the Indian Navy. Speaking on the occasion, the prime minister described it as “a fine example of the fast growing strategic partnership between India and France”. 

Although the prime minister cited it as an exemplary project of his Make in India initiative, the Indian role in it is restricted to assembling the subs at MDL. Most of the sophisticated inputs and design for this project are provided by the French company. 

Therefore a party-pooping, perhaps anti-national question arises. How come even a century after India’s show-piece Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and half a century after the much acclaimed Indian Institutes of Technology have been established, a fully Indian designed and manufactured sub hasn’t been accepted by the Indian Navy? For that matter, nor has a wholly indigenous light combat aircraft proved acceptable to the Indian Air Force or prototypes of the Arjun battle tank to the Indian Army. 

Please note that all this combat equipment has been in the making at 52 laboratories of the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) of the Central government for over three decades. There are two possibilities: either students graduating from India’s best engineering colleges — i.e, those who haven’t fled abroad — are duffers, or the science and engineering syllabuses/curriculums even in India’s elite engineering colleges/universities are obsolete. Take your pick. 

55 Views  | Posted on: 5 Jan,2018 Add Comment  Show Comments (0)