Building competitiveness in the industry depends on robust quality assurance practices which help in building global as well as Indian competitiveness. Quality assurance practices need to shift to prevention-based quality management practice. It needs to be integrated within the process of development and every stage of development, mentioned Shri Sanjay Jaju, IAS, Additional Secretary (Defence Production), Government of India in a webinar organized by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Defence Testing and Certification for Speedy Procurement.
Shri Sanjay Jaju mentioned that Military Industrial Complexes and QA to be developed organically – keys for the Defence Procurement. We are trying to change the paradigm of defence production with the help of defence production and export policy. Procurement is one of the strategies and the procurement agenda is sometimes driven by strategic or tactical or short-term interest. We have also talked about reforming the procedure, level playing field, improving the trying and testing process, and quality assurance process. Our focus has been on improving the quality assurance process as the process needs to change so that meets the requirement of the industry.
He deliberated that we are talking about creating an IT platform where quality assurance and time-bound delivery can be rationalized in a better way. We need to come with a protocol that is strong for the private and public sector with minimalist inspections, a process that is more trust-based and industry friendly. We are also talking about making the third-party specialized agencies so that we can augment the resources. MSMEs need to become quality cautious and they need to bring in systems that are based on self-improvement and internalize the process of quality assurance. The infrastructure needs to be enhanced to leverage the industry and we also talking about establishing permanent trying and testing places.
Shri Sanjay Chawla, Director General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance, Department of Defence Production, Government of India discussed the initiatives undertaken by the department in recent times, talked about the quality assurance testing labs which have been set up around the country so that the industry is helped in getting tested seamlessly across the country. He mentioned that we have started the third-party inspection services which will help in quality assurance in a fast manner.
Maj. Gen Sanjeev Singh, Officiating Director General of Quality Assurance, Department of Defence Production, Government of India while talking about the challenges faced in weapon testing and operation mentioned that liability of weapon system is very important. The time, efforts, and resources utilized in testing should be taken as an investment. We are trying our best to reduce the timeline in testing and go for simultaneously testing of equipment. The industry needs to go for rechanneled or self-certification for themselves. The industry needs to update to Industry 4.0 standards to minimize the human intervention and rejection at the final inspection stage.
Shri APVS Prasad, Scientist ‘H’ & Chief Executive (Airworthiness), CEMILAC, DRDO while talking about the role of simulation in the design and analysis which will help in ensuring the overall safety of the equipment. He emphasized that it’s high time that industry and MSMEs invest in modeling the stimulations for ensuring quality assurance and faster development in the industry.
Shri Rajesh Maheshwari, CEO, National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB) talked about the use of technology in Defence Testing which will help in better time utilization and help in getting international standards in testing helping Indian companies export their products to the international market.
Dr. S K Jha, Chairman & Managing Director, MIDHANI in his presentation talked about testing infrastructure which is required for quick procurement mentioned that testing is pivotal and every different product requires different certification which needs to be renewed from time to time to ensure industry standards. Testing will help this sector to become self-reliant.
Cdr. Bhaskar Sengupta, General Manager, Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers in his presentation shared how quality assurance is done in the shipbuilding in every step ranging from material to value addition by shipyard i.e. shipyard QA/ WOT/ Trial Agency.
Commodore Mukesh Bhargava (Retd), Senior Advisor, Member of the Board, L&T Defence mentioned that quality assurance needs to happen from the designing stage and minimalist inspection is important for the industry’s inspection and quality assurance.
Mr. M K Gupta, Chair, Defence & HLS Committee, PHD Chamber suggested that Domestic manufacturers who have developed critical and strategic raw materials indigenously should be facilitated for testing and certification by CEMILAC/DGQA/DGAQA/DRDO. Enabling provisions should be incorporated in the testing and certification procedures of these institutions to ensure that the indigenous manufacturers are given priority in the testing and certification processes. OFB/DPSUs should give support to the indigenous developer by conveying their consent to the Testing and Certification Agencies for the end-use of the material. The use of the developed materials may not be restricted to the equipment manufactured by OFB/DPSUs but can also be utilized for defence exports. Moreover, these Testing and Certification Agencies should create a funding mechanism for providing requisite financial support to the domestic manufacturers who have developed such materials and offered them for testing and certification.
Mr. Vikram Sahgal, Co-Chair, Defence & HLS Committee, PHD Chamber while giving industry perspective, its challenges and opportunities faced by the indigenous manufacturing products especially Testing, Defence Policy Reforms and Certifications mentioned that there is a need for partnership and tie-ups with foreign OEMs for seamless development. Industry requires constant hand-holding, facilitation, guidance; joint technical problem solving and we need a positive encouraging attitude from DPP.
Mr. Rudra Shriram, Co-Chair, Defence & HLS Committee, PHD Chamber proposed a formal vote of thanks to all the delegates and participants.
The session was moderated by Mr. Vivek Seigell, Assistant Secretary-General, PHD Chamber along with Col. K V Kuber, Director, Aerospace & Defence, Ernst & Young LLP and was attended by many industry stalwarts pan-India. PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s webinar was supported by MIDHANI, GRSE, Star Wire, Micron Instruments, USISPF, QCI, IMR and India Strategic. It was also supported by the Annual Sponsors namely DLF India; Multani Pharmaceuticals Ltd; JK Tyre & industries ltd; Marble City; Paramount Cables ltd; SMC Investments and Advisors Limited; Blossom Kochhar Aroma Magic; DCM Shriram Industries Ltd; Radico Khaitan ltd and Timberworkz.