Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has said that startup and innovators are strong pillars of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and called upon them to develop new and unique technologies to counter future threats.
Singh said this after launching Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) Prime and sixth Defence India Start Up Challenge (DISC-6).
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 Defence Minister lauded lauded iDEX for providing an important platform for start-ups to showcase innovations and technological developments.
“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,” he said, according to a Defence Ministry release.
Singh 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,” he added.
According to the Defence Ministry release, terming the private sector, individual innovators, start-ups and MSMEs as strong pillars of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the minister exhorted them to imagine, innovate and develop new defence technologies and ensure uniqueness in each one of them.
He said that defence technologies are one of those technologies, utility and uniqueness of which hold equal importance.
“The usefulness of defence technologies is important, but its availability to us alone holds equal relevance. As the technology spreads to others, it loses relevance. If the uniqueness is lost, the effect of that technology gradually diminishes. There is a need to develop new technologies, with focus on ensuring uniqueness. The Government, Armed Forces, private sector, individual innovators, start-ups, MSMEs and academia can together create a strong bond and move forward to achieve the shared aim of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’,” he said.