State plans education, defence hubs

Keeping this in mind, it has invited expression of interest from bidders for setting up of a defence manufacturing hub as also an education hub. While defence manufacturing hub will come up in Challakere Taluk of Chitradurga district, education hub has been envisaged in Bijapur district.

Spread over 500 acre, defence manufacturing hub/park is aimed at encouraging growth of large as also small and medium enterprises. According to official sources Chitradurga being nodal hub of multiple corridors with access to Bangalore, Belgaum, Mangalore port and Bellary region has been selected for the defence hub.
Likewise, education hub, spread over 150 acre plot in Bijapur, will house wide range of educational institutions besides technical and vocational training institutes, they said.

Manufacturing impetus
Incidentally, sources said, automobile industry in Belgaum-Dharwad as well as steel base in Bellary will provide sufficient impetus to development of defence manufacturing industry in Chitradurga.

Among factors that catalysed development of defence manufacturing hub were: a) Indian armed forces currently operate with over 50 per cent obsolete equipments; b) defence budget for 2009-10 being Rs 142,000 crore representing an increase of 34 per cent; c)India’s defence spending has been rising at rate 12 per cent CAGR over last ten years; d) India is tenth largest defence spender in the world with third highest growth rate of 9.3 per cent.

Distinct zones
Furthermore, with opening up of defence sector for private investment and government bringing out policy paper on allowing FDI are other factors. Chitradurga officials said, has been picked up by IISc for research campus and testing range for DRDO. The hub would be involved in manufacture and supply of large scale defence equipments and have four distinct zones: army and navy zone engagaged in design and development of latest electronic equipments, defence vehicles, weapons besides facilities for testing and repairs. MSME zone housing small manufacturing firms vital to production stream of large players.

It will provide for well developed supplier ecosystem. Aerospace zone for manufacture of aircrafts, engines, helicopters and related accessories including MRO facilities. Testing centre for DRDO.
The education hub, modelled Knowledge Village in Dubai will have common facilities such as hostels, auditoria, retail, sports and medical facilities besides other supporting infrastructure.
DH News Service

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