Nashik to get a defence innovation hub soon: Bhamre

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Nashik: After the fuss over the news that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was locating the defence cluster to Nagpur, comes another news that Nashik will not be deprived and it, too, will now get a defence innovation cluster.

According to the press release issued by the district information officer on behalf of Minister of State (MoS) for Defence Dr Subhash Bhamre, the union ministry of defence has given nod to set up a defence innovation hub in Nashik.

Surprisingly, though Bhamre has clarified that the announcement is soon to be made about the defence innovation hub, but owing to the decision clouds of uncertainty are hovering over the ancillaries in Nashik that are currently indulged in manufacturing of defence equipments and components.

The government has already declared that there will be five defence clusters in the state and Nashik will be one of the places where defence cluster (manufacturing) will be started. In the meantime, there were rumours of the defence cluster to be shifted in Nagpur instead of Nashik. However, on the back drop of the rumours Bhamre has clarified that he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and union ddefence minister Nirmala Sitaraman and discussed the issue.

Bhamre demanded to develop a defence innovation hub in Nashik itself which would boost local MSMEs and industries. Accordingly, union defence minister Nirmala Sitaraman has given nod to set up a defence innovation hub in Nashik. At the same time putting an end to the rumours about shifting of Combat Army Aviation Training School (CAATS) to Nagpur, Bhamre also clarified that the ministry of defence has not made any such decision.

While responding to a query related to the announcement of defence innovation hub in Nashik, AIMA’s former president Rajendra Ahire said, “We had a discussion with the BJP leadership in Nashik and MoS for defence Subhash Bhamre. During the discussion Bhamre has assured us that a suitable announcement beneficial for Nashik’s industry will be made soon. We are hoping that the government would take a positive decision to boost the MSMEs in Nashik.”

Meanwhile, though the AIMA is hopeful that Nashik would get a defence cluster which would boost the manufacturing in Nashik, but the announcement by MoS for Defence Subhash Bhamre hints that the cluster is likely to be shifted somewhere else.

Major loss for the industry in Nashik
Ideally there are around 2,000 MSMEs in Nashik which are the ancillaries of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). These ancillaries provide jobs to around 2.5 lakh works in the city. At present the HAL itself does not have enough work to sustain. As a result, the employees of HAL are already worried about their future.

Besides, cluster and innovation hub are two completely different things. The announcement of an innovation hub means that there would not be any kind of manufacturing. If so happens, then it would be a major loss for the industry in Nashik. Notably, the ancillaries of HAL in Nashik have been into manufacturing components for the defence sector since decades.

Apart from that Nashik already has a trained manpower and experts in field of manufacturing for defence sector. Therefore, considering these aspects Nashik should get the defence cluster for manufacturing, rather than an innovation hub, said Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture (MACCIA), President Santosh Mandlecha.

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