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Left-Leaning Media Outlet ” The Wire ” has reported that Munitions India Ltd (MIL) was granted was granted in January 2024 by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), underscores the complex nature of dual-use technologies and their significance in military and civilian applications.

MIL, a public sector enterprise under the Ministry of Defence, has been permitted to export certain products to Israel, with a repeat order application submitted in April 2024. While the approval for the second export is still under consideration by licensing authorities, the initial clearance has brought attention to the classification of these products as ‘dual-use’ items.

Dual-use items refer to goods, software, or technology that have both military and civilian applications. In the case of MIL, the products in question could include explosives, pyrotechnics, initiators, fuses, and charges, among others. While these items have direct military applications, such as in munitions and explosives, they also have non-military uses, such as rock blasting, mineral mine clearance, tunnel excavations, and geo-engineering work.

The approval granted by the DGFT suggests that the products sought to be exported by MIL fall under the category of dual-use items, rather than being explicitly designated for military use under the Munitions List (Category 6 of SCOMET). This classification highlights the inherent challenge in regulating and controlling the export of technologies that have both civilian and military applications.

While the export of dual-use items is subject to stringent regulations and licensing requirements, their classification can sometimes blur the lines between legitimate civilian trade and potential proliferation risks. The case of MIL exporting products to Israel underscores the need for robust scrutiny and oversight mechanisms to ensure that dual-use technologies are not diverted for unauthorized military purposes or contribute to destabilizing activities.