PIB News 29th Sep, 2020

(General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)


Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh launches Defense India Startup Challenge-4; says defense Startup ecosystem is a decisive step towards achieving self-reliance in the spirit of AtmaNirbhar Bharat campaign;
iDEX4Fauji launched for the first time to encourage innovation among soldiers

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh launched the Defense India Startup Challenge (DISC 4) during the iDEX event, featuring the initiatives aimed at expanding the horizons of Innovations for Defense Excellence (iDEX) ecosystem in New Delhi today. iDEX4Fauji initiative and Product Management Approach (PMA) guidelines were also launched by the Raksha Mantri during the event.  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. There was no mechanism to support such innovations.  iDEX4Fauji would open this window and allow our Faujis to become part of the innovation process and get recognised and rewarded. Services Headquarters will provide support to the soldiers & field formations all over the country to ensure maximum participation.

 Speaking on the occasion, Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh said that the iDEX initiative stands out as one of the most effective and well-executed defence Startupecosystem created in our country and it would be a decisive step towards achieving self-reliance in the spirit of the AtmaNirbhar Bharat campaign. Shri Rajnath Singh said, 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 defense sector. “In order to further strengthen our defense system and make it self- reliant the participation of 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.” Raksha Mantri also said that only yesterday the government launched Defense Acquisition procedure 2020 which seeks to encourage the private industry to participate in the defense sector. Raksha Mantri also exhorted the Armed Forces to “make full use of the Defense Innovation Organization (DIO) platform to meet their technological requirements and the Indian Startups to use this opportunity to become an integral part of our Defense enablers.”

The event was addressed among others by Raksha Rajya Mantri Shri Shripad Yesso Naik, Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat, Defense Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar and Secretary, Department of Defense Production Shri Rajkumar.

Under Defense India Startup Challenge (DISC) 4, eleven challenges from Armed forces, OFB&DPSUs were thrown open to prospective startups, innovators, MSMEs alike to provide their innovative ideas on technologies which find their application in the defense sector. The challenges are as follows:

  1. Autonomous Underwater Swarm Drones
  2. Predictive, Preventive & Prescriptive Machine Monitoring
  3. Super Resolution for Improving Spatial Resolution
  4. AI based Satellite Image Analysis
  5. Prediction and forecasting of atmospheric visibility
  6. Computer Generated Targets for Virtual Training
  7. Remote Real Time In-Flight Health Monitoring of Aircrew
  8. MF-TDMA based Wideband SATCOM Modem
  9. Foliage Penetration Radar
  10. Reduction of RCS of Naval Warships
  11. Target Detection in Chaff Environment

In order to develop a 'right product and the product right', DIO has adopted the Product Management Approach to steer the prototype development to a market ready product.  These guidelines are first of their kind and their release by Raksha Mantri is intended to monitor product development milestones achieved by iDEX winners against the requirements set by the Services/ DPSUs/ OFB.

The iDEX initiative of the Department of Defense Production was launched by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in April 2018 with the objective to encourage and nurture innovations in the Indian Defense sector and create an ecosystem where Startups, MSMEs and individual innovators could interact easily with the Indian defense 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 Defense Innovation Organisation, a Section 8 company of DPSUs BEL and HAL.

DIO has evolved and expanded the magnitude of its activities since inception in 2018:

  • iDEX-DIO has launched three rounds of Defense India Startup Challenge (DISC) with 18 problem statements from Armed Forces, DPSUs&OFB and identified 55+ start-ups/ individuals to receive innovation grants in technological areas through the Prototype funding guidelines called “Support for Prototype and Research Kickstart” (SPARK), which entail provisioning of grants up to Rs 1.5 crore to the Startups on the basis of milestones through multiple tranches, for prototype development.
  • DIO has entered into strategic partnership with leading incubators of the country and undergone international collaborations especially with Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) in US.
  • For efficaciously taking forward the activities, DIO is hiring manpower, doing outreach, launched own website (www.idex.gov.in) & portal, launched 2 cycles of open challenge for supporting suo-moto innovations, SPARK II guidelines and an internship program etc. along with promulgating elaborate guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures.
  • DDP has 9 Defense PSUs as pillars of defense production in the country and iDEX has enabled capacity building in DPSUs by seeding a culture of innovation and Research and Development.

The iDEX event successfully brought together the iDEX stakeholders on a single platform i.e. Ministry of Defense (MoD), iDEX selected startups, partner incubators, Defense Innovation Organization (DIO), nodal agencies (Indian Army, Indian Navy, Indian Air Force), NITI Aayog, DRDO, DPSUs, OFB, think tanks, private industry and Industry associations. More than 500 startups and innovators participated in the event through video conference.


(General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)


Human Rights cannot be an excuse for defying the law of the land
The stand taken and the statements made by Amnesty International are unfortunate, exaggerated and far from the truth.

The facts of the matter are as follows:

Amnesty International had received permission under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) only once and that too twenty years ago (19.12.2000). Since then Amnesty International, despite its repeated applications, has been denied FCRA approval by successive governments since as per law it is not eligible to get such an approval.

However, in order to circumvent the FCRA regulations, Amnesty UK remitted large amounts of money to four entities registered in India, by classifying it as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). A significant amount of foreign money was also remitted to Amnesty (India) without MHA’s approval under FCRA. This mala fide rerouting of money was in contravention of extant legal provisions.

Owing to these illegal practices of Amnesty, the previous government had also rejected the repeated applications of Amnesty to receive funds from overseas. This had led Amnesty to suspend its India operations once during that period as well. This bipartisan and purely legal approach towards Amnesty, under different governments, makes it clear that the entire fault lies in the dubious processes adopted by Amnesty to secure funds for its operations.

All the glossy statements about humanitarian work and speaking truth to power are nothing but a ploy to divert attention from their activities which were in clear contravention of laid down Indian laws. Such statements are also an attempt to extraneously influence the course of investigations by multiple agencies into the irregularities and illegalities carried out over the last few years.

Amnesty is free to continue humanitarian work in India, as is being done by many other organizations. However, India, by settled law, does not allow interference in domestic political debates by entities funded by foreign donations. This law applies equally to all and it shall apply to Amnesty International as well.

India has a rich and pluralistic democratic culture with a free press, independent judiciary and tradition of vibrant domestic debate. The people of India have placed unprecedented trust in the current government. Amnesty’s failure to comply with local regulations does not entitle them to make comments on the democratic and plural character of India.




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