Department of Defence Production Current Affairs - 2020

What is Open General Export Licence issued by Defence Minister?

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has approved issuance of two Open General Export Licences (OGELs) for export of certain parts and components as well as intra-company transfer of technology to select countries. This decision is expected to give a boost to defence exports and enhance ease of doing business (EDB).

Key Highlights of OGEL

The OGEL is a one-time export licence to be granted to a company for a specific period which would initially be only two years.

The OGEL policy was formulated by DPP, following a demand by exporters and after holding extensive consultations with various stakeholders. Once formulated, the policy was submitted for Defence Minister’s approval.

Countries allowed under OGELs: France, Belgium, Germany, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Mexico, Canada, Italy, Japan, Poland, UK and USA.

The application for grant of OGEL will be considered by Department of Defence Production, Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) on a case-to-case basis. Export of items to a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is not permitted.

The applicant is mandatory to have Import-Export certificate, for acquiring licences. The quarterly and end of the year reports on all transactions done under OGELs should be submitted to DPP for examination and post-export verification.

Items permitted under OGEL includes: components of fuse and ammunition setting device without energetic and explosive material, firing control and related warning equipment as well as body protective items. Complete aircraft or complete unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and any components specially designed/modified for UAVs are excluded under this licence.

Condition: The transfer of technology to permitted countries is subjected to condition that- export is an intra-company transfer either from an Indian subsidiary or applicant exporter to its foreign parent company and/or to the subsidiaries of the foreign parent company.

India’s Defence Export

India has made significant strides in improving its defence exports and these have grown seven fold over last 2 years and reached to Rs.10,500 crore rupees in 2018-19. This has been made possible due to the reforms brought in standard operating procedure (SOPs) and ushering in a portal for online clearance of applications. Moreover, the processing time has been brought down significantly.

N Chandrasekaran Task force constituted to study AI application in military

The Ministry of Defence (Department of Defence Production) constituted a 17 member task force headed by Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran to study use and application of artificial intelligence (AI) in military.

The task force will study the whole gamut of issues surrounding strategic implications of AI in national security perspective, in global context.

Members

The task force comprises National Cyber Security Coordinator Gulshan Rai, representatives from Indian Army, Navy and Airforce, chairman of Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), representatives from ISRO, Atomic Energy Commission and defence ministry. It also includes representation from academic institutes such as IISc-Bengaluru, and IIT Mumbai and Chennai.

Background

Experts believe that AI has potential to provide military superiority apart from driving technology-driven economic growth. The future progress of AI has potential to have transformative impact on national security. It is also seen that AI is essentially dual use technology i.e. it can fuel technology driven economic growth and also has potential to provide military superiority. India has a strong talent pool of engineers which are advantages which need to be leveraged.

Artificial intelligence

AI is branch of computer science concerned with making computers behave like humans. In contrast to normal hardware and software, AI enables a machine to perceive (i.e. to think) and respond to its changing environment.