New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: In a bid to make the all-crucial defence sector 'atmanirbhar', 41 Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) firms would be converted into 7 government-run corporate entities, announced Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week on the occasion of Dussehra. This move, the Prime Minister said, will help in making India "the world's biggest military power on its own".

Launching the seven companies, PM Modi said they will help in creating more employment opportunities for people in the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector, adding that India has already placed orders worth Rs 65,000 crore for the new firms.

"Some time ago, the Ministry of Defense had released a list of more than 100 such tactical equipment which will no longer be imported from outside. The country has already placed orders worth Rs 65,000 crores for these new companies. This shows the country's faith in our defence industry," PM Modi was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

In his virtual address, PM Modi also said that a single-window system has been put in place instead of stagnant policies to develop India as a major producer of defence equipment. He said that India's defence exports have also increased by 325 per cent in the last five years.

"Under the self-reliant India campaign, the country's goal is to make India the world's biggest military power on its own and development of modern military industry in India," PM Modi was quoted as saying by news agency PTI. "In the last seven years, the country has worked to carry forward this resolve with the mantra of 'Make in India'."

Following is the list of seven defence companies launched by PM Modi:

* Munitions India Limited (MIL)

* Armoured Vehicles Nigam Limited (AVANI)

* Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited (AWE India)

* Troop Comforts Limited (TCL)

* Yantra India Limited (YIL)

* India Optel Limited (IOL)

* Gliders India Limited (GIL)

How these seven firms will help in making India's defence sector 'atmanirbhar'?

The Centre has said that these seven 100 per cent government-owned companies will help India to improve its self-reliance in the defence preparedness. It said that this move will bring about "enhanced functional autonomy, efficiency and will unleash new growth potential and innovation".

It said that the Union Defence Ministry has set a target of achieving a turnover of Rs 1.75 lakh crore by 2024 through these seven firms, adding that they will have 66 firm contracts from the Indian Armed Forces. The Centre has also said that these firms will help in improving "accountability and efficiency" in the defence sector.

"The functioning of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) was studied by various high-level committees over the past two decades. Its objective was to promote self-reliance to improve the functioning, and defence preparedness of the Armed Forces by these factories," Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was quoted as saying by ANI. "Today our country with its full capability and potential is all set to emerge as the defence manufacturing hub of the world".

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma