One look this ugly little fuck is enough to tell u why India must keep out of aircraft manufacture!
By that logic one could argue that India should stay out of the Miss Universe contest because our contestant this year looks worse than the average babe on Bangalore's Brigade Road
Also, the Saras project began in 1991(http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2004-05/29/content_1497544.htm
), and was stalled in the mid 90s after its original Russian collaborator withdrew in the aftermath of financial crunches following the implosion of the USSR
. The 1998 nuclear tests and the ban implosed on NAL as a result, further delayed the project.
I would completely disagree that India should stick to licence production. Saras is merely the first step. One cannot expect a cash-strapped sanction-hit research lab to come out with a magnum opus on the first try. The Saras is to the civilian aerospace sector what the LCA is to the defence sector. The experience gained out of building a plane from scratch will be invaluable to the country's aerospace industry. Personally I think its a great design for a light turboprop; its just the miserable jaundiced yellow paint that makes me cringe.
High technology is an area India must progressively master in various fields. We moan about technology denial by the west, but still crib about efforts to master the technology locally. IMHO there is no reason why it should be left out in favour of any other prerogative the country might have, and most certainly not because people didn't like the way the first aircraft looked like. In the past we showed technological sanctions on us to be worthless in some areas, e.g. supercomputers which we built ourselves. Saras, LCA etc just widen our ability to ride out such hurdles.