New Delhi, Sep 29 (IANS) Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday launched a startup challenge to achieve self-reliance in the military sector under the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ campaign.
Singh launched the Defence India Startup Challenge (DISC 4) featuring initiatives aimed at expanding the horizons of the Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) ecosystem.
“The iDEX4Fauji initiative and the Product Management Approach (PMA) guidelines were also launched by the Defence Minister during the event. Each of these initiatives is expected to facilitate iDEX-DIO to scale up the programme qualitatively and quantitatively,” the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.
It is a first of its kind initiative launched to support the innovations identified by the members of the Indian armed forces and will bolster frugal innovation ideas from the soldiers.
There are more than 13 lakh service personnel working in the fields and on the borders, handling extreme conditions and equipment and would be having many ideas to improve such equipment.
“iDEX4Fauji would open this window and allow our soldiers to become part of the innovation process and get recognised and rewarded. Services headquarters will provide support to the soldiers and field formations all over the country to ensure maximum participation,” the ministry said.
Singh said that for the first time, an atmosphere has been created in the country where different stakeholders have been brought together to push for innovations in the defence sector.
“In order to further strengthen our defence system and make it self-reliant, the participation of the private sector is crucial. For this we have taken certain steps like partnerships with the private sector, technology transfer, 74 per cent FDI through automatic route and the recently released negative list of 101 items for import ban after a stipulated period,” the Defence Minister said.
Singh also said that on Monday, the government launched the defence acquisition procedure which seeks to encourage the private industry to participate in the defence sector.
He also urged the armed forces to make full use of the Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO) platform to meet their technological requirements.