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Education to boost the development of India’s defence sector

India prepares to host international manufacturers

India’s defence sector is set to require an ever-increasing number of specialised advanced educational and training programmes as the country moves towards a more self-reliant status for the production of defence products and services.

The Indian defence sector – set to emerge as one of the biggest global hubs for defence manufacturing – is going to require extensive educational programmes as part of the Government’s skill development initiatives to support this growth.

Dr Simon Harwood, Director, Defence and Security, Cranfield University, said: “As India prepares to move to self-reliance and host more international manufacturers as part of the ‘Make in India’ initiative there are major requirements for advanced military science and engineering education and training programmes.

“Cranfield has been welcoming students from India since 1946 and has more recently been seeking strategic partnerships through education, research and development opportunities with a number of institutions.”

The University signed six Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with Indian institutions and industries, and refreshed an MoU with the Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT), during the Aero India air show and aviation exhibition in February 2017.

It has also been delivering bespoke short course programmes in India for the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and is actively engaging with Indian industry and academic establishments.

Dr Venkat Sastry, Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Simulation and Analytics, Cranfield Defence and Security, said: “We have started exchange visits with our Indian partners in preparation for the new programmes, which are essential to support the investment expected in the Indian defence sector under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

“We expect that the education and advanced training programmes will begin from March 2018, starting with short courses aimed at scientists and engineers from the defence sector.”

Sastry has been championing defence education in India for the last six years and has organised conferences in the country on the value of quality defence education, which were well received and attended by both Government and industry.

He stressed the value of Cranfield’s advanced programmes and unique educational offerings, following on from other recent major initiatives such as the 2016 MoU with Tata Power’s Strategic Engineering Division.

The University also has a similar understanding with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, India’s largest aerospace company, and another MoU with AADYAH Aerospace Private Ltd, a privately held engineering enterprise created by some of India’s leading defence sector experts.

Sunderarajan Varadan, CEO, AADYAH, said: “AADYAH is a next generation aerospace and defence company in India and is the first in the sector with broad-based equity participation by employees. Our partnership with Cranfield helps our team to be at the forefront of academic excellence, design innovation and industrial research in the sector.”

Representatives from both the Indian defence sector and Cranfield have visited each other and exchanged information about training programmes, including after last year’s Farnborough Air Show. The University is once again preparing to host Indian delegations in the UK during September this year.

For further information please contact:
James Hill, Communications Manager, Cranfield Defence and Security
E: T: +44 (0) 7384249121

About Cranfield in India
Cranfield University is one of the world’s leading universities for defence and security education, research and consultancy. For over 70 years, Cranfield has educated Indian students both from Government and industry.

It has close relationships with global businesses such as Tata and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited – building the capacity of the Indian defence industry through knowledge transfer both in the UK and in-country.

In March 2016, Cranfield University signed an MoU with Tata Power SED to explore the possibility of entering into a strategic partnership through research and development and academic study in the areas of defence-related engineering and emerging technologies.

The Indian Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) has been sending its officers to Cranfield University for more than 30 years. Shri SC Bajpai, a Cranfield alumnus, has recently been appointed Director General and Chairman of OFB.

In May 2017, Cranfield University Chief Executive & Vice Chancellor, Prof (Sir) Peter Gregson, and Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT), Pune, Vice Chancellor, Dr S. Pal signed an MoU at Cranfield University for faculty exchange, student exchange and award of double degrees, MSc by Cranfield University and MTech by DIAT, by way of credit transfer and to conduct short courses of mutual interest.

For the last 10 years, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), India’s largest aerospace company, and Cranfield University has partnered in a “High Flyers” MSc Programme to prepare HAL officers to meet the future challenges of the aerospace sector in India with an objective of creating leaders who will lead HAL into a new era through by providing technical leadership to the organisation. Over 200 HAL officers have now participated in this programme.

One of India’s best-known businessmen, Lord Karen Bilimoria, founder of Cobra Beer and Chairman of the Cobra Beer Partnership Limited and of Molson Coors Cobra India, attended the Business Growth Programme at Cranfield School of Management.

About Cranfield

Cranfield is an exclusively postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.

Cranfield University is one of the world’s leading universities for defence and security education, research and consultancy.

Our staff and facilities are at the forefront of their fields, offering a diverse range of capabilities from energetics and forensic sciences to international stabilisation and cyber security.

Cranfield provides specialist knowledge to industry, security and emergency services, military, governments and NGOs, underpinning defence and security sector reform around the world. As the postgraduate academic provider to the UK’s Ministry of Defence, we offer a unique gateway to delivering practical education and solutions that make a real difference to the lives of military, security and civilian personnel.

Further information about Cranfield Defence and Security is available at

Follow us on Twitter: @CranfieldUni / @CranfieldDefSec  –/

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