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DefConnect 2.0: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launches iDEX-prime, DISC 6

DefConnect 2.0 is a symbol of increasing technological prowess of the country and a celebration of the continuous growth of the Indian defense start-up ecosystem, Rajnath Singh said.

ByIFP Bureau

Updated 23 Apr 2022, 1:23 pm

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Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday launched the Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) Prime and sixth Defence India Start-up Challenge (DISC 6) during DefConnect 2.0 in New Delhi.

The iDEX-Prime aims to support projects, requiring support beyond Rs 1.5 crore up to Rs 10 crore, to help ever-growing start-ups in the defence sector. The DISC 6 with 38 Problem Statements witnesses the participation of newly-formed seven defence companies, Indian Coast Guard and organisations under the Union Home Affairs Ministry for the first time. The Problem Statements relate to Artificial Intelligence (AI), Advanced Imaging, Sensor Systems, Big Data Analytics and Autonomous Unmanned Systems and Secured Communication among others, the  Union Defence Ministry said in a statement.

In his address, Rajnath Singh described DefConnect 2.0 as a symbol of increasing technological prowess of the country and a celebration of the continuous growth of the Indian defense start-up ecosystem. "It is indicative to the success of the iDEX initiative which has helped in the development of many new and indigenous technologies," Singh said.

The defecnce minister congratulated the Department of Defence Production (DDP) for receiving the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration 2021 under the ‘Innovation (General) – Central’ category for the iDEX initiative.

Lauding iDEX for providing an important platform for start-ups to showcase innovations and technological developments, the Raksha Mantri said, “iDEX has provided an opportunity to our science and technology professionals to understand futuristic technologies such as AI, Augmented Reality, Block-chain and Space technologies. The start-up ecosystem has also been promoted and encouraged through order placement,”

The defence minister stressed on continuous strengthening of all sectors, especially the security apparatus, of the country to deal with challenges that may emanate from the fast-changing world order.

“Every new threat is becoming more complex and challenging than the previous one. After the Covid-19 pandemic, the world is now witnessing the Ukrainian conflict. We have also witnessed instability in the Middle East, in Afghanistan and now in Pakistan. One way or the other, such events impact our country as well. There is a need to equip the country in every area to ensure peace and stability. The development of disruptive technology is a key requirement to handle new threats and challenges of the future,” Singh said.

The defence minister also listed out a number of steps taken by the government to create an eco-system that strengthens the domestic industry, start-ups & innovators, equip the Armed Forces with latest equipment and help the Government achieve the ultimate aim of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’. 

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The measures include earmarking 68 per cent of capital procurement budget for domestic procurement to promote ‘Aatmanirbharta’, reserving 25 per cent of defence R&D budget for private industry & start-ups and the recent release of third positive indigenisation list of 101 items. Singh exuded confidence that many start-ups will soon come out as defence unicorns and make a place in Fortune 500 companies.

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First published:22 Apr 2022, 3:24 pm

Tags:

Rajnath SinghDefence India Start-up ChallengeIdexDISC 6DefConnect 2.0

IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur

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