Innovation is key to self-reliance in defence sector: Rajnath Singh

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh addressing ‘Def-Connect’ under the aegis of Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) in New Delhi on November 11.

New Delhi (NVI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today emphasised on the importance of ‘Ideation, Innovation and Incubation’ in cutting edge-technologies to achieve the goal of indigenisation and self-reliance in the defence sector.

“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 & development,” he said.

The Defence Minister also expressed confidence that India will emerge as a net innovator and net exporter of defence technologies rather than a net importer.

He was addressing the inaugural session of ‘Def Connect 2019’ organised by the Defence Ministry to showcase the accomplishments of innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) initiative here.

Rajnath Singh stressed that the confluence of knowledge and power are important for progress of a country, adding that iDEX is emerging as a suitable platform for linking knowledge and power and tapping the energy of the youth.

He hoped 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.

“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 flight of imagination, new and innovative solutions are created,” he said.

Describing ‘Incubation’ as the most critical challenge, Rajnath 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.”

He highlighted that ‘Make in India’, ‘Startup India’ and ‘Atal Innovation Mission’ are some of the initiatives taken by the Government to provide the requisite environment to innovative minds in the country. Adding that the aim of iDEX is to recognise talent and harness it amongst the youth, MSMEs, Startups and fast emerging private sector.

Terming research, development and manufacturing as collaborative process, Singh called for building a cohesion between public and private sector. He assured Government’s full support in the indigenisation of the defence industry and nation building.

He also listed out the recent decisions taken by the Ministry including opening of Government testing labs and facilities for private sector; DRDO sharing its technologies with the private companies and contribution of Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in progress of iDEX to encourage defence research and development.

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 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 adopted to the country’s defence requirements.

Raksha Mantri gave cheques of around Rs 1.5 crore each to two Startups — North Street Cooling Towers Private Limited and Chipspirit Technologies Private Limited — for building on their innovative ideas.