One item among the most distressful news of the UPA era, particularly related to the defence sector, was the inability of the UPA government to ensure that our soldiers lacked basics such as bullet proof jackets, let alone the procurements of big military equipment. The NDA government in its first term not only provided bulletproof jackets to soldiers; it also ensured that today these products are being exported from India. In our earlier post UPA Vs. NDA – One Could Not Give Bulletproof Jackets to its Own Army and Other is Exporting it to the World we had shed light on this development.
The Picture of Transformation in Numbers
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has recently given a clear picture of what is happening in the sphere of Bullet Proof Jacket production. A question was asked in the Lok Sabha about the scale of Bullet Proof Jacket production in India and its export status.
In his reply, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has given some specific points which should be seen in context:
- Industrial Licenses have been issued to 15 companies for manufacturing Bullet Proof Jackets (BPJs).
- The production capacity of the country is over 10 Lakh per annum to meet the domestic and export requirement.
- Bullet Proof Jackets are also being exported to 18 countries. In view of the strategic requirement, names of the countries are not disclosed.
- BPJs are authorized as per laid down scale and are procured from time to time and made available to soldiers as per specifications and authorization.
In 2009, the Indian Army had raised the requirement of bulletproof jackets for its soldiers. However, the UPA government over the next 5 years until 2014 couldn’t do anything concrete about it.
In 2018, the NDA government fulfilled the Army’s long-standing demand, and the Bullet Proof Jackets were supplied. By 2019, media reports have said that India has become an exporter of this product, as these bulletproof jackets were of international standard.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has set the record straight on the matter by officially putting out the details of the BPJ production and export from India, a matter of much pride.