‘Make in India’ in Textiles : for Armed Forces

  • There is a budget of Rs. 2000 crore for purchase of textile related products every year.

  • Conclave on Indigenization and Supply of Special Clothing to Soldiers

  • A fully indigenous ‘Made in India’ clothing solution for our soldiers. This was the theme of a one-day conclave held today, in New Delhi.

Unarmed Combat Dress for Marine Commandoes
Unarmed Combat Dress for Marine Commandoes

The conclave was organized by the National Textiles Corporation in the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, with active participation of senior officers of Ministry of Textiles, Ministry of Defence and the Indian Army. Representatives of NITRA, ATIRA and key stakeholders of Technical textile industry too participated.

The event was chaired by Shri Sanjay Kumar Panda, Secretary – Textiles, Government of India and was attended by Lt. Gen. Ravi Thodge, AVSM, VSM, SM, Master General Ordnance, Ministry of Defence.

The conclave deliberated on the subject of providing our soldiers a fully indigenous clothing solution, on the concept of “Make in India”.

Shri S. K. Panda stressed on the need for quality improvement, adherence to time lines and import substitution in this area of Technical Textiles, so that our armed and paramilitary forces could get the best solution at the best price.

Lt. Gen. Ravi Thodge, MGO mentioned that there is a budget of almost Rs.2000 crore for purchase of textile related products every year. He said that Technical Textiles hold promise for improving performance and safety in the Army. He suggested that a single window solution may be evolved where PSUs like NTC can work together for mutual benefits.

Referring to the Defence – ITTA Joint Exhibition cum Seminar 2015, held recently at New Delhi, Shri V.P Yajurvedi, Addl. DGOF said that this is a step ahead towards indigenization of special clothing.

According to the Status Report on Protective Textiles for Indian Armed and Paramilitary Forces, prepared by NITRA – one of the Ceners of Excellence (CoEs) in technical textles – NITRA has critically examined the specifications of protective textiles used by Indian armed forces with an objective to identify whether these specifications match with the state-of-art technology and address if gaps exist. “CoE hopes that this exercise will help in providing maximum protection to Indian armed forces and at the same time it assists the manufacturers to produce the right product,” says the report.

The report covers protective clothing requirements for various personnel : Armed Forces – Army, Navy & Air-Force. Paramilitary forces – Coast Guard Organization; Defense Security Force; Assam Rifles; Border Security Force; Central Industrial Security Force; Central Reserve Police Force; Indo-Tibetan Border Police; Rashtriya Rifles; National Security Guards; Railway Protection Force. States and Union Territories – Provincial Armed Constabulary. The items being Camouflage Uniforms; Rainwear; FR Suits; High Performance Uniforms.

Out of the 1.5 million defense services personnel in army, navy and air force, about 25-30% are involved in high risk, counter insurgency & special operations. The demand for paramilitary forces is higher than the defense services. being the major users of protective textiles.