Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday stressed the need for ‘ideation, innovation and incubation’ in cutting edge technologies to achieve the goal of indigenisation and self-reliance in the defence sector.
Singh was addressing the inaugural session of ‘Def Connect 2019’ organised by Ministry of Defence to showcase the accomplishments of the Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) initiative here today. “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 and development,” said Singh.
Describing ‘incubation’ as the most critical challenge, Singh said: “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.”
The Defence Minister further said that 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.”
“The confluence of knowledge and power are important for the progress of a country. iDEX is emerging as a suitable platform for linking knowledge and power and tapping the energy of the youth,” he said.
“I hope 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,” he added.
Furthermore, Singh highlighted that ‘Make in India’, ‘Startup India’ and ‘Atal Innovation Mission’ are some of the initiatives taken by the Central government to provide the requisite environment to innovative minds in the country.
“The aim of iDEX is to recognise talent and harness it amongst the youth, MSMEs, Startups and fast emerging private sector,” Singh said.
Terming research, development and manufacturing as a collaborative process, Singh called for building cohesion between public and private sector. He assured the Government’s full support in the indigenisation of the defence industry and nation-building.
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 also 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 adapted to the country’s defence requirements.
The Defence Minister gave cheques of around Rs 1.5 crore each to two start-ups — North Street Cooling Towers Private Limited and Chipspirit Technologies Private Limited — for building on their innovative ideas.
Speaking on the occasion, Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar said: “The aim is to fund 250 start-ups and achieve 50 tangible innovations in the next five years. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is in the process of seeking approvals of Rs 500 crore for the purpose.”