Defence News India: Defence minister Rajnath Singh launched the third phase of defence startup challenge in New Delhi. The initiative is aimed at encouraging ideation, innovation and incubation and self-reliance in the defence sector.
He highlighted the importance of innovation in the defence sector for the success of the Modi government’s flagship scheme Make in India in defence sector in his address to the ‘Def Connect 2019’ programme organised by the ministry of defence. The programme is aimed at highlighting the accomplishments of the Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) initiative.
“India is leading in the fields of technology and peacekeeping throughout the world. As a major power, it is equally important for us to strengthen our defence manufacturing and research & development,” said Raksha Mantri.
Rajnath Singh expressed confidence that India will emerge as a net innovator and net exporter of defence technologies rather than a net importer.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set a target of USD 5 trillion economy by 2024. Looking at the talent India possesses, I am pretty confident that we can become USD 10 trillion economy in the next 10-15 years,” he said.
He stressed that the confluence of knowledge and power are important for the progress of a country.
“iDEX is emerging as a suitable platform for linking knowledge & power and tapping the energy of the youth,” said the defence minister.
He hoped that this confluence will strengthen the government’s efforts to create a strong India which will further help in safeguarding the interests of the people as well as respond effectively to any misadventures.
“The human mind is the most powerful and creative laboratory which tests millions of ideas on a daily basis. And when ideas are given the wings of freedom and the flight of imagination, new and innovative solutions are created,” Rajnath Singh said.
The defence miniter described incubation of new ideas as the most critical challenge.
“The idea may be great and the innovative mind can also find a solution. However, unless the process of careful and passionate incubation provides the ideal environment for nurturing and hand holding a creation, projects might fail,” he said.
Defence minister highlighted that ‘Make in India’, ‘Startup India’ and ‘Atal Innovation Mission’ are some of the initiatives taken by the Government to provide the requisite environment to innovative minds in the country.
He said, the aim of iDEX is to recognise talent and harness it amongst the youth, MSMEs, Startups and fast emerging private sector.
Terming research, development and manufacturing as collaborative process, Rajnath Singh called for building a strong partnership between public and private sector. He assured Government’s full support in the indigenisation of the defence industry and nation building.
He also listed out the recent decisions taken by the Ministry including opening of Government testing labs and facilities for private sector; DRDO sharing its technologies with the private companies; and contribution of Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)in progress of iDEX to encourage defence research and development.
Real time monitoring of iDEX programmes
Rajnath Singh launched the new iDEX logo, its portal (www.idex.gov.in) and dashboard for real time monitoring of the programme. A Compendium of iDEX Guidelines was also released.
The Defence India Startup Challenge (DISC) – III was launched under which three challenges from the Army, Navy and Air Force were thrown open to prospective startups. An iDEX Open Challenge was also launched to provide an opportunity to innovators to come up with their technologies that may be adopted to the country’s defence requirements.
3rd phase of Defence Startups challenge
The defence minister also gave cheques of around Rs 1.5 crore each to two startups – North Street Cooling Towers Private Limited and Chipspirit Technologies Private Limited for building on their innovative ideas.