Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launches Defence India Startup Challenge-4, releases PMA guidelines for iDEX

DISC-4 challenge will step ahead of its earlier editions and promote development and innovation in the country. While iDEX4Fauji initiative will ensure the participation of India's armed personnel in the program.

Sep 29, 2020 17:44 IST
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The Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on September 29, 2020, released the Project Management Approach (PMA) guidelines for iDEX (Innovation for Defence Excellence). The guidelines were released during the launch function of Defence India Startup Challenge- 4 (DISC 4), iDEX4Fauji initiative. 

The Union Minister during the launch informed that the DISC-4 challenge will step ahead of its earlier editions and promote development and innovation in the country. While iDEX4Fauji initiative will ensure the participation of India's armed personnel in the program.

Apart from the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) also participated in the event held via video conferencing.

Key Highlights:

The Union Defence Minister congratulated all the stakeholders, including those who are in the Ministry of Defence, for creating an environment where participants from various sectors have been coming together to promote innovation in Defence.

As per the Defence Minister, to make defence sector strong and self-reliant, it is important that along with the government sector, the private sector too needs to participate.

He also highlighted that the partnerships with the private sector, 74% of FDI approval and technology transfer, and a recently released negative list of 101 are all part of the policy change, which promotes private sector involvement in defence.

Rajnath Singh assured that the government wants to promote private players of India along with opting for built in the country products.

What is Innovation for Defence Excellence (iDEX)?

The Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) is an innovation ecosystem for Defence which was launched in April 2018 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It aims at the creation of an ecosystem to foster technology development and innovation in aerospace and defence by engaging industries including Startups, MSMEs, R&D Institutes, Individual Innovators, and Academia and provide them funding or grants to carry out R&D in Defence.

iDEX mandates setting up of Defence Innovation Hubs all over the country in order to provide the necessary support to defence startups and innovators.

What is Defence India Start-Up Challenge (DISC)?

Taking the iDEX initiative to the next level, Defence India Start-Up Challenge was launched by the Defence Ministry in partnership with Atal Innovation Mission (AIM). It aims at supporting the MSMEs, startups, innovators to create prototypes and commercialize solutions or products in the area of National Security and Defence.

How ‘Defence Acquisition Procedure’ promotes private sector participation?

During the launch, the Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also talked about the Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020, launched on September 28, 2020, and that it contains provisions to promote the private sector’s participation in Defence sector.

He added that the iDEX platform has succeeded in bringing the talent from all over the country to Defence. In the last three rounds of DISC (Defence India Startup Challenge), over 700 innovators and startups had participated. The Minister also informed that out of these 58 participants were also chosen for the innovation grants under ‘Support for Prototype and Research Kickstart’ (SPARK). As per the Union Minister, the 11 challenges in the DISC-4 challenge cover all the needs of the armed forces.

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