India becomes world’s biggest arms importer

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) report released on 14 March, India is the largest arms importer in the world whereas the United States is the worlds biggest arms exporter. India has surpassed China in the arms race. Surprisingly India is ranked at 119 among 169 countries on the 2010 Human Development Index while China has been ranked much higher at 89 on this index published annually by the United Nations Development Programme. India has signed arms deals worth $50bn since the Kargil war.

The report said, “India received 9 percent of the total volume of international arms transfers during 2006-10, with Russian deliveries accounted for 82 percent of Indian arms imports. During 2006-2010, arms imports were particularly high in the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Egypt and Algeria. Based on existing orders and known procurement plans, Saudi Arabian and Moroccan arms imports are expected to rise significantly in the coming years.”

According to Paul Holtom, director of the SIPRI Arms Transfers Program, countries like France, Russia, Sweden and the United States are trying hard and competing against each other to get orders for combat aircraft in Asia. Established in 1966, SIPRI, is dedicated to research into conflicts, armaments, arms control and disarmament.

MG News Desk

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 April 2011 on page no. 3

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