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Indian MoD outlines latest steps to expedite acquisitions

The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has finalised several new initiatives aimed at accelerating defence procurement. The measures were revealed in a recent tweet by Ajay Kumar, defence secretary, Department of Defence.

Kumar said that the MoD's Acquisition Wing, in collaboration with the armed services, “have worked out several steps to speed up defence capital acquisitions. These are steps towards [achieving] reduced average time of capital acquisitions by about 50%”.

Kumar outlined some of the steps. They include a move to ensure that acquisition stakeholders – including the MoD, the armed services, and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) – co-ordinate requirements “from the formulation stage of a project to avoid subsequent differences” in requirements, said Kumar.

Another initiative is to ensure that any delayed procurement “attracts reviews” by the director general (Acquisition) and the concerned vice chiefs of services to “fix responsibility for delays”, he said.

In addition, trial directives – or requirements to trial offered equipment – will be fixed to a schedule within two weeks of receiving approvals from the MoD's Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC), he added. The MoD's Acquisition Wing will also, in consultation with the concerned armed service, specify the requirement for “upfront tests” in trials where simulations are deemed sufficient.

Another new measure is the requirement to allow acquisition approvals to “lapse” if they have not been acted upon within one year, said Kumar. This would presumably require the approval process to restart.

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