New Delhi, Sept 30: In order to identify innovations created by Indian Armed Forces personnel, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched a new initiative, iDEX4Fauji for which they will be rewarded. In the same event, he launched the Defence India Startup Challenge (DISC 4), featuring the initiatives aimed at expanding the horizons of Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) ecosystem. Each of these initiatives is expected to facilitate iDEX-DIO to scale up the program qualitatively and quantitatively.
iDEX4Fauji is a first of its kind initiative, launched to support innovations identified by members of the Indian Armed Forces and will bolster frugal innovation ideas from soldiers/ field formations. There are more than 13 Lakh service personnel working in the field and on borders, handling extreme conditions and equipment and would be having many ideas and innovations to improve such equipment, the ministry said in a release.
Earlier, there was no such mechanism to support such innovations but due to iDEX4Fauji, it will allow the armed forces personnel to become part of the innovation process and get recognised and rewarded. To ensure maximum participation, the services headquarters will provide support to the soldiers & field formations all over the country.
Speaking on the occasion, Singh said, "the iDEX initiative stands out as one of the most effective and well-executed defence Startup ecosystem created in our country and it would be a decisive step towards achieving self-reliance in the spirit of the AtmaNirbhar Bharat campaign. For the first time, an atmosphere has been created in the country when different stakeholders have been brought together to push for innovations in the defence sector."
Further, he added "In order to further strengthen our defence system and make it self- reliant the participation of the private sector is also crucial. For this, we have taken certain steps like partnerships with private sector, technology transfer, 74 % FDI through automatic route and the recently released negative list of 101 items for import ban after a stipulated period."
On Monday, the government launched the Defence Acquisition procedure 2020 which seeks to encourage the private industry to participate in the defence sector. Raksha Mantri encouraged the Armed Forces to "make full use of the Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO) platform to meet their technical requirements and the Indian Startups to use this opportunity to become an integral part of our Defence enablers." The event was also attended MoS for Defence, Shripad Yesso Naik, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar and Secretary, Department of Defence Production Rajkumar.
The iDEX initiative of the Department of Defence Production was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April 2018 with the objective to encourage and nurture innovations in the Indian Defence sector and create an ecosystem where Startups, MSMEs and individual innovators could interact easily with the Indian defence establishment and provide the latest technological innovations for specific challenges experienced in operational environments through co-development and co-production of innovative solutions. The iDEX initiatives are executed by Defence Innovation Organisation, a Section 8 company of DPSUs BEL and HAL.