DISC 5.0: Rajnath Singh Launches Fifth Edition Of Defence India Startup Challenge
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday (19 August) launched Defence India Startup Challenge (DISC) 5.0 through video conferencing.
The DISC 5.0 has been launched under Innovations for Defence Excellence - Defence Innovation Organisation (iDEX-DIO).
Thirty five problem statements – 13 from the services and 22 from Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) – were unveiled under DISC 5.0, the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.
These are in areas such as situational awareness, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, aircraft-trainer, non-lethal devices, 5G network, under-water domain awareness, drone SWARMS and data capturing.
The problem statements, designed to ensure military advantage in the foreseeable future, are the highest in any edition, so far, the ministry said.
Lauding the efforts of iDEX-DIO, Singh, in his address, termed DISC 5.0 as another step towards independence in the defence sector as the launch comes at a time when the country is celebrating ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’.
Stating that DISC 5.0 is a reflection of government’s resolve of creating an ‘AatmaNirbhar’ defence sector, Singh exuded confidence that this challenge will move forward from its earlier editions and take innovation, design and development to newer heights.
The Defence Minister also shed light on the previous four editions of DISC and said that more than 80 startups, MSMEs and individual innovators have joined as winners in over 40 technological areas.
He added that modern and futuristic problem statements launched in DISC 5.0 demonstrate the confidence of young entrepreneurs and innovators in the initiative.
Singh underlined the importance of creating a strong, modern and well-equipped military and an equally capable and self-reliant defence industry, given the rapidly changing geo-political and security scenario in the world.
To realise this vision, he said, iDEX is playing a crucial role by providing a platform wherein the government, services, think tanks, industry, startups and innovators can work together to help the defence and aerospace sectors reach full potential.
“Defence India Startup Challenge and Open Challenges provide many opportunities to our youth and entrepreneurs. They give a new direction to defence innovation and capabilities by highlighting the potential of India's science, technology and research”, said Singh.
He added that iDEX4fauji is a similar initiative that gives an opportunity to the service personnel to showcase their talent in these fields.
Sharing his insights on the broad contours of iDEX, Singh stated that the initiative has succeeded in bridging the gap between talent and demand in the country.
“iDEX provides a strong foundation of innovation, R&D to the industry. Initiatives like iDEX form a link between our youth, academia, R&D, start-ups and the Armed Forces,” he added.
Singh also listed out measures taken by Ministry of Defence to promote innovation, such as including iDEX as a procurement avenue under Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP-2020); earmarking Rs 1,000 crore for domestic procurement through iDEX for financial year 2021-2022 and approving a budget of Rs 498.8 crore for the next five years to support over 300 startups and foster innovation in defence & aerospace sectors.
He expressed confidence that iDEX will support five times more start-ups over the next five years as the aim is to accelerate progress, reduce costs and complete procurement in a time bound manner.
For this, he said, there is need to adopt the concept of five Is (Identify, Incubate, Innovate, Integrate and Indigenise).
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