Bengaluru: State-run Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML) will set up a centre of excellence for the Indian Railways here to test its equipment and coaches, a top official has said.
"The centre of excellence is being set up in Bengaluru with Rs 300-crore investment with a testing facility for railway equipment and coaches," said BEML Chairman D.K. Hota at an industry seminar here on Wednesday.
The state-run Railways and the Science and Technology department are partnering with the company in the project to build the centre.
The defence behemoth, which provides the Indian armed forces logistics solutions, also makes metro coaches, accounting for 47 per cent of the needs of corporations operating the metro rail service in cities across the country.
"As India is at the cusp of rapid economic growth, the government has to focus on developing skill sets in the youth with right policies to catalyse the industry," asserted Hota at a seminar, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) with Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM).
Committing to indigenous making of defence equipment, state-run Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) Chairman M.V. Gowtama said 60 per cent of materials for defence and civilian use was sourced from the local industry.
"The company has 1,289 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as vendors to outsource 30 per cent of our equipment needs for defence and civilian use," said Gowtama at the seminar on 'Opportunities in Defence for Industry'.
Karnataka's industrial development Commission Darpan Jain said the state government was keen to develop a defence industrial corridor in the state.
"The state industrial policy envisages Rs 1 lakh crore investment to generate 3 lakh jobs annually over the next five years. To achieve the target, we are focusing on developing infrastructure, promoting industry with incentives, technology, SMEs and ease of doing business in the country," said Jain.
SIDM Director-General Lt General (retd.) Subrata Saha said as India was the world's largest arms importer for the fifth consecutive year, the need for greater indigenisation was imperative.