Brain Booster for UPSC & State PCS Examination (Topic: India’s Arms Imports: SIPRI)

Brain Booster for UPSC & State PCS Examination

Current Affairs Brain Booster for UPSC & State PCS Examination

Topic: India’s Arms Imports: SIPRI

India’s Arms Imports: SIPRI

Why in News?

  • According to a recent report by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) India’s arms imports has decreased by 33% between 2011-2015 and 2016-2020.

Key Highlights

  • The top five global arms exporters were the US, Russia, France, Germany and China in 2016-2020.
  • Asia and Oceania was the largest importing region for major arms, receiving 42 per cent of global arms transfers in 2016–20.
  • India, Australia, China, South Korea and Pakistan were the biggest importers in the region.
  • Japan’s arms imports increased by 124 per cent between 2011–15 and 2016–20. Although Taiwan’s arms imports in 2016–20 were lower than in 2011–15, it placed several large arms procurement orders with the USA in 2019, including for combat aircraft.
  • The United States remains the largest arms exporter, increasing its global share of arms exports from 32 to 37 per cent between 2011–15 and 2016–20. Russia is the second largest arms exporter.
  • Arms imports by Pakistan between 2011–15 and 2016–20 decreased by 23%. China accounted for 61% of its imports in 2011–15 and for 74% in 2016–20.
  • The biggest growth in arms imports was seen in the Middle East.
  • SIPRI found Middle Eastern states imported 25 per cent more major arms in 2016–20 than they did in 2011–15.
  • This reflected regional strategic competition among several states in the Gulf region. Saudi Arabia—the world’s largest arms importer—increased its arms imports by 61 per cent.

India’s Position

  • India remains the second highest importer, only behind Saudi Arabia.
  • The drop in Indian arms imports seems to have been mainly due to its complex procurement processes, combined with an attempt to reduce its dependence on Russian arms.
  • The US was the second largest arms supplier to India in 2011–15 but in 2016–20 India’s arms imports from the US were 46% lower than in the previous five-year period, making the US the fourth largest supplier in 2016–20.
  • Russia was the largest arms supplier in both years. However, Russia’s deliveries dropped by 53% between the two periods and its share of Indian arms imports fell from 70 to 49%.
  • France and Israel were the second and third largest arms suppliers in 2016–20.
  • India’s arms imports from France increased by 709% while those from Israel rose by 82%.
  • Based on its outstanding deliveries of combat aircraft, air defence systems, ships and submarines, India’s arms imports are expected to increase over the coming five years.

Government’s Efforts

  • As part of efforts to boost defence imports and promote domestic manufacturing, the Defence Ministry had last year notified a list of 101 items on the negative import list. The second negative list with more items is expected to be issued later this year.
  • Also, over 60 per cent of the capital expenditure, Rs 70,221 crore, for the armed forces has been allocated for domestically produced weapons and platforms this year.
  • In addition, the Ministry has reserved a part of the capital budget for procurement from domestic industry.
  • Government has also opened the way for 74 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in defence production through automatic route.