New Delhi: Defense Minister Rajnath Singh has said that out of more than 1200 start-ups and innovators participating in the Defense India Start-up Challenge (DISC), 60 winners have received a grant of up to Rs 1.5 crore to build the prototype.
In his address at the start-up brainstorm held on 5 February at Aero India 2021, the Defense Minister announced that 45 MSMEs participating in Aero India had already received orders worth Rs 203 crore. The annual flagship program was organized on the last day of Aero India 2021. On this occasion, the Defense Minister asked the officials of the Ministry of Defense to consider increasing the finance available for the Innovations for Defense Excellence (iDEX) start-ups.
The Defense Minister lauded India’s ambitious start up program, which was launched at the call of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to harness youth talent and entrepreneurship. He said that Start Up India was based on three pillars – simplification and handholding, funding and promotion and incubation and industry-education partnership. He lauded the success of Start-UpIndia in creating an ecosystem of investment of 45,00 crore in more than 41,000 startups and 384 start-ups through the Fund of Fund scheme.
Steps taken by the Government to promote start ups in the defense manufacturing system, such as the Patent and Defense Laboratories of Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) for private industry, setting up of young scientific laboratories in niche technology sectors, iDEX, Defense India Also talked about programs like Start-up Challenge (DISC), iDEX4Fauji etc. He said that the latest version of Defense Acquisition Process 2020 allows start-ups to participate in the Make in India forums and secure projects up to Rs 100 crore for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
The Defense Minister said that the IDEX initiative is a decisive step towards achieving self-reliance and is one of the most effective and well-executed defense start-up systems in line with the true spirit of self-reliant India.
Speaking on the aerospace sector, Rajnath Singh said that currently there are more than 300 start-ups going on and iDEX 10 start-ups have developed products worth Rs 100 crore which are showcased in Aero India 2021.
Rajnath Singh also highlighted iDEX4Fauji as an initiative to provide opportunities to the Indian armed forces to innovate. He further said that iDEX4Fauji opens up a new opportunity allowing Indian soldiers and service personnel to be recognized and rewarded as innovators. He cited innovations in the field of robotics in marine applications by Lieutenant Deepak Suman Kumar and Wall Piercing Radar by Major Anupamishra as an example.
Talking about the DEX Open Challenge, he said that this initiative creates opportunities for innovators to exploit technological capabilities and propose ways to strengthen our country’s military capabilities. The Defense Minister hoped to end his address That the annual flagship event of start-up has become a milestone in the start-up of the defense sector.
Defense Secretary Dr. Ajay Kumar praised the development of the start-up ecosystem and identified the importance of developing standards for its sustainability in future. He mentioned that start-ups in India had considered COVID-19’s challenge as an opportunity with funding of over two lakh crore rupees in 2020. He said that India has shown with innovations like vaccine development that it is one of the leading innovative countries. He said that this changed the form of confidence of the Indian youth, which is being reflected in IDEX.
Earlier, Defense Production Secretary Raj Kumar briefed the gathering about the measures taken by the Department of Defense Production, Ministry of Defense to promote start-up culture and self-reliance in defense. He said IDEX was designed to promote the latest technology in military wars that is closely tied to the needs of military services and to reduce dependence on imports.
The Defense Minister handed over certificates of recognition to the innovators under the iDEX4Fauji and DISC4 Challenges at the event.
Start-up brainstorms are held annually under the iDEX banner. IDEX was launched by the Prime Minister in April 2018, with the main objective of creating a corporate model for Indian defense needs and allowing the defense sector to use start-ups. Since its launch, iDEX has emerged as a national-level ecosystem bringing military users and operators together with start-ups, innovators and entrepreneurs. The event provided a unique opportunity for DIO-iDEX-linked firms to showcase capabilities, products and services to industry leaders and business decision makers.
Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat, Deputy Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Shantanu Dayal, other senior civil and military officers of the Ministry of Defense were present on the occasion. Representatives of the armed forces personnel and start-ups, MSMEs also attended the event.