Defence Technology Current Affairs - 2020

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Indian Army begins work on GOCO Model

On December 7, 2020, the Indian Army began its work on the GOCO (Government Owned Contractor Operated) Model. The model is extended to base workshops and ordnance depots. The workshops play vital role as they ensure the Indian Army is operationally prepared all the time.

Highlights

The workshops are assigned the role of overhauling (testing and repairing) of weapons. They also manufacture spares. The workshops have an annual turnover of Rs 10,000 crores. Though, the GOCO model in army workshops helps reducing government expenditure on armed forces and increase combat capability of the army, there are certain issues associated with the model.

Issues

  • In GOCO model, the assets owned by government will be operated by the private industries. In such cases, there are possibilities of protraction of assets and the expertise being absorbed by private industry.
  • The military manpower involved in the workshops is only 25% and 75% are civilian staffs. The private companies might insist on rationalizing the work force. The ratio of 75: 25 will become difficult to maintain.

Benefits

The best technologies grow at faster rate. Under the GOCO model, the private companies need not make investments on land, machinery and other support systems. The missions are set by government and the private sectors are given full independence in implementing the missions using their best practices.

The main advantage of the model is that the targets are achieved in lesser time frame. Also, it will boost competitiveness among the private entities paving way to newer technologies.

Army workshops

On the whole, the Indian Army operates eight workshops all over the country. They are located in Jabalpur, Allahabad, Meerut, Kirkee, New Delhi, Agra, Bengaluru and Kankinara. Of these only the workshop at Bengaluru manufactures spares. Rest of the workshops are involved only in overhauling.

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I-Stem portal; DRDO Science Expo launched at the Indian Science congress

On January 3, 2020, PM Modi inaugurated the 107th Indian Science Congress in Bengaluru. He launched the I-Stem portal at the inaugural function. Also, the Defence Research Development Organization (DRDO) has installed more than 150 exhibits at the congress

I-STEM Portal

I-STEM is Indian Science, Technology Engineering Facilities Map. The portal will act as a gateway for the researchers and users to locate facilities that are required for their research and development work. Also, after locating the facility, the researcher can make an online reservation in order to use the facility. With this, the start-ups can leverage public and private investments and come up with successful services and products.

Initially, similar facility was operating at IISc Bengaluru and IIT Bombay. The I-STEM portal is a replica of these facilities. The facility at IISc Bengaluru was called the Centre for Nano Science and Engineering (CeNSE).

DRDO Science Exhibit

Around 31 DRDO laboratories have show cased more than 150 exhibits at the expo. The outdoor exhibit of DRDO technologies that were manufactured under “Make in India” include ASLESHA, ASTRA missile, Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM), Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LRSAM), Bharani, autonomous surveillance robots, etc. The indoor exhibits of DRDO includes Prithvi missiles, NAG missiles, Akash, Helina, Nirbhay, Bukhari, etc.

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