The Russia-Ukraine war has created a lot of problems for the world but India is emerging strong out of these tumultuous times. While India has a strong diplomatic fort, the supply chain impact of the war is being managed quite effectively. The import dependence on Ukraine will be replaced with indigenous solutions, that is, Aatmanirbhar Bharat, and Bengaluru is stepping up to take on the challenge.
Before the Russia-Ukraine war, India had a plan of importing 36,000 wheels for Vande Bharat trains from Ukraine. But the war has completely changed the scenario. The manufacturing industry has come to a grinding halt in war-torn Ukraine. And only 128 wheels have been transported from Ukraine to neighbouring Romania. These wheels will be airlifted to India by the third week of May. Hence, the manufacturing halt has left India with two choices, either find a new exporter or look for solutions within India.
The Indian Railways has finally decided to manufacture the wheels for the Vande Bharat train in its own Bengaluru factory. The Railway Wheel Factory in Yelahanka, Bengaluru will manufacture wheels for two Vande Bharat rakes. (A rake in Vande Bharat train comprises 16 coaches.) The factory was already manufacturing axles for wheels that were supposed to be imported from Ukraine. Hence, the manufacturing halt in Ukraine will be a blessing in disguise for India and Bengaluru will emerge as the hub for manufacturing train wheels.
India is already replacing Ukraine in wheat production
Russia and Ukraine make up about 30 per cent of global wheat exports. But, the Russia-Ukraine war has caused a wheat crisis in many countries. Russia has been sanctioned by the Western world and Ukraine, which was called the Breadbasket of Europe, has banned wheat exports. Hence, India has come into play to save the world from hunger. Egypt has been in talks with India to replace Ukraine and Russia from its wheat markets and PM Modi had assured food supply to the world and India is in talks with WTO to allow food export to the world.
The changing geopolitical situation and instability around the world are providing India with a great opportunity to not only capture a greater market share but also an alternate option to the world with India’s stable and resilient supply chain. Now by giving domestic manufacturing sector an opportunity to replace Ukraine, India is taking another step in the direction of Aatmanirbharta.