Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday assured the startup movement in the country that the products sourced from them will not be rejected by Defence Ministry and sought them to participate in the national endeavour in achieving self reliance in defence procurement.
Launching 11 challenges to the start up community here, Ms Sitharaman said 'we want a lot of things to be disrupted and indigenisation is priority for India'. Though the country had achieved indigenisation to some extent it was only a replication of things developed elsewhere with little modification. But the country is now looking for ideas originating from the Indian minds and develop totally India made products for the defence force.
She assured the startups that the department would not disqualify bids from them and would hand hold products and ideas that would find a market in the country. She said even suo moto proposals would be entertained, she added.
Apart from the requirements of the Defence force, she urged the startups to look to new ideas in the cyber and space segments which need new and innovative solutions. She said her ministry had collaboration with Indian Space Research Organisation.
The Defence Ministry had started looking up to the startups following Prime Minister Narendra Modi launching the iDEX scheme during the DefExpo in April 2018, with the vision to build an eco-system of innovation and entrepreneurship in India for the defence sector, with the overall objective of making India self-reliant for meeting the requirements of national defence.
As part of the scheme Ms Sitharaman launched ‘Defence India Startup Challenge’ here. She also launched a number of initiatives to support startups. During this event, five incubators -- Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship , IIM Ahmedabad, SINE, Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, T-Hub, Hyderabad FORGE - a branded incubation enterprise launched by the Coimbatore Innovation & Business Incubator (CIBI), and IIT Madras signed the MOUs with Defence Innovation Organization and were given Certificates of Partnership for helping Ministry of Defence in discovery, exploration and mentorship of Startups/MSMEs to co create innovative Defence Technologies.
It is for the first time in the history of defence procurement that a firm M/s Tonbo Imaging, Bengaluru was given a Certificate of Accord of ‘Approval in Principle’ for its suo moto proposal ‘Night Fire Control System for AGS-30’.
The Challenges posed to the start ups covering all the three wings of the armed forces were Individual Protection System with built-in sensors, See Through Armour, Carbon Fibre Winding (CFW) , Active Protection System (APS), Secure hardware based offline Encrypt or Device for Graded Security, Development of 4G/LTE based Tactical Local Area Network, Development of Advanced Technology Based Desalination System (Water Purification) and Bilge Oily Water Separation System,Artificial Intelligence in Logistics & SCM, Remotely Piloted Airborne Vehicles, Laser Weaponry and Unmanned Surface and Underwater Vehicles. (UNI)