Pune Takes the Lead: Maharashtra MSME Defence Expo Unveils New Policies for Defence Growth

Pimpri-Chinchwad, 24th February 2024: Maharashtra’s dynamic push in the defence sector gained momentum as Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis inaugurated the ‘Maharashtra MSME Defence Expo,’ marking the largest event of its kind in the country. The expo, held at Moshi, Pimpri Chinchwad, Pune, witnessed the announcement of a new policy aimed at fostering micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the defence industry.

Fadnavis, in his address, underscored the state’s commitment to defence growth, highlighting the success of the aerospace and defence policy implemented in 2017. The policy, backed by a substantial fund, has catalyzed the establishment of 600 MSMEs, contributing significantly to the sector’s value. Fadnavis expressed plans for an enhanced policy offering increased facilities and concessions to MSMEs, aligning with the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ vision. The focus remains on generating employment and promoting local production of high-quality weapons.

Pune, strategically positioned in India’s defence production landscape, plays a pivotal role, hosting key establishments like the Air Force maintenance command, the army’s southern command, and the navy’s Mumbai dockyard. Fadnavis emphasized Pune’s strategic importance and acknowledged the city’s role in India’s defence manufacturing capabilities.

Key Dignitaries Present at the Inauguration:

  • State Higher and Technical Education Minister Chandrakant Patil
  • Industries Minister Uday Samant
  • Army Southern Command Chief Lt Gen Ajay Kumar Singh
  • Air Marshal Vibhas Pande
  • MP Shrirang Barne
  • MLA Ashwini Jagtap
  • Harshdeep Kamble, Industries Principal Secretary
  • Ganesh Nibe, Chairman and Managing Director of Nibe Limited

Engineering Opportunities in Defence Sector:

The defence sector, heavily reliant on technology, presents a significant opportunity for engineering students. Pune, being the technology capital, has played a pivotal role in Maharashtra’s progress in defence. The Industries Department has strategically decided to establish four MSME clusters within the supply chain, fostering entrepreneurship in the field. The ongoing exhibition actively involves private organizations, contributing to the creation of a new ecosystem. Defence manufacturing emerges as a promising avenue for engineering students to explore and engage.

Impressive Turnout and Future Plans:

On the first day of the exhibition, an impressive 80,000 citizens registered, showcasing a keen interest among the youth in the defence capabilities on display. Minister Patil acknowledged the exhibition’s significance for engineering students, considering the growing development of the defence industry in the country. Plans are in place to integrate industry needs into the curriculum, aligning with the new education policy.

Minister Samant highlighted Maharashtra’s strides in the defence sector, actively participating in the production of modern weapons and helicopters for the Air Force. Plans are underway to establish defence clusters in strategic locations like Nagpur, Shirdi, Pune, and Ratnagiri, transforming Maharashtra into a defence hub.

Notable Quotes:

  • “This defence expo initiative not only provides a golden opportunity for students and MSMEs but also showcases the state’s dedication to strengthening the defence department.” – Minister Samant
  • “India’s inclusion among 25 arms-exporting countries and the aim to be recognized as a developed nation by 2047 highlight our commitment to self-sufficiency in the defence sector.” – Union Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhat

The expo witnessed the exchange of various MoUs related to defence production, solidifying partnerships between industry players and the Government of Maharashtra. The program concluded with the presence of notable figures from the government and industry sectors, emphasizing Maharashtra’s commitment to becoming a prominent defence hub for the future.

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