D. Raghunandan, August 16, 2013
Among the slew of liberalized norms for FDI announced by the government a fortnight ago was a much anticipated relaxation in norms for FDI in defence industries. The prevailing cap on FDI stood at 26% as per a 2001 policy. In this round, trial balloons were floated for raising this to 49% or even 74% under the automatic route, moves aggressively pushed by the Commerce Minister and supported by the Finance Ministry. However, after considerable negative reaction from opposition parties, commentators and reportedly even from the Defence Ministry, the final announcement put the FDI cap under the automatic route at 26% as already prevailing as per the Defence Procurement Policy of 2006, but this has now been brought under the FDI policy, according to government spokespersons, for “greater confidence and clarity” in the minds of foreign investors. More importantly, higher FDI has been allowed although on a case-by-case basis where “state-of-the-art” technologies are involved and with special approval by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS). (Hitherto the only case of more than 26% foreign participation is the JV for the Brahmos cruise missile involving state–owned enterprises from Russia and India with the former holding 49.5%.)
Atul Bharadwaj, Courtesy: Purple Beret, January 14, 2013
‘Military diplomacy’ sounds like an oxymoron. Diplomacy is about culture and finesse –graduated gratification of desire- military is about roughing it out and instant success.
Seema Mustafa, Newsclick, June 9, 2012
D. Raghunandan, April 29, 2011
The article published in The Hindu (28 March 2011) on the Wikileaks cables focusing on the landmark Indo-US Agreement of June 2005 on a “New Framework for US-India Defence Relationship” as part of a wider strategic engagement between India and the US has received less attention than it deserves.
Newsclick Production, 5th April 2011
Newsclick Analyst D.Raghunandan comments on the Wikileaks' cables on the Indo-US Defence Framework Agreement, accessed by The Hindu newspaper. He says there is nothing surprising about the content of the cables, which clearly suggest how the US is trying to get India into a closer strategic and defence partnership, notwithstanding pressures from the Indian military and civilian bureaucracies to resist a total bandwagoning.