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Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh Unveils ADITI Scheme to Boost Defence Innovations at DefConnect 2024

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh Unveils ADITI Scheme to Boost Defence Innovations at DefConnect 2024


New Delhi:  Fostering innovation in the realm of defence technologies, Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh inaugurated the Acing Development of Innovative Technologies with iDEX (ADITI) scheme during DefConnect 2024 in New Delhi on March 04, 2024. The scheme, falling under the iDEX (Innovations for Defence Excellence) framework of the Department of Defence Production (DDP), Ministry of Defence, is set to infuse Rs 750 crore from 2023-24 to 2025-26 to catalyze advancements in critical and strategic defence technologies.

Under the ADITI scheme, startups are eligible for a grant-in-aid of up to Rs 25 crore to support their research, development, and innovation endeavors in the defence technology domain. Addressing a diverse audience of industry leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators, and policymakers, Raksha Mantri emphasized the scheme’s potential to nurture youth innovation and propel India forward in the global technological landscape.

The initiative aims to develop approximately 30 deep-tech critical and strategic technologies over the proposed timeframe. A key component of the ADITI scheme is the creation of a ‘Technology Watch Tool’ to align the capabilities of the defence innovation ecosystem with the expectations and requirements of the modern Armed Forces.

In its inaugural edition, ADITI launched 17 challenges, spanning the Indian Army, Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, and Defence Space Agency. These challenges are geared towards inviting innovative solutions from startups to address critical defence needs.

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh underscored the unwavering commitment of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi-led Government to encourage youth innovation. He mentioned the expansion of iDEX to iDEX Prime, with assistance increased from Rs 1.5 crore to Rs 10 crore, which has led to the launch of the ADITI scheme.

The Raksha Mantri asserted, “The idea behind schemes/initiatives such as ADITI, iDEX, iDEX Prime is to transform India into a knowledge society. We have to transform our country into a knowledge society to achieve a technological edge in this changing world.”

As part of the DefConnect 2024 event, the 11th edition of Defence India Start-up Challenge (DISC) was also launched. DISC 11 introduces 22 problem statements, inviting innovators to propose solutions that enhance defence capabilities and contribute to national security.

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh emphasized the pivotal role of technology in achieving self-reliance in defence. He outlined the government’s strategy, involving both the adoption of latest innovations through Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and the development of indigenous technologies through research and development (R&D).

In a broader context, Shri Rajnath Singh highlighted the government’s vision of attaining ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in defence production and listed various measures, including earmarking 75% of the defence capital procurement budget for Indian companies.

DefConnect 2024 also featured a technology showcase by iDEX-Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO), a panel discussion on ‘Women as Drivers of Change,’ and the launch of a rolling iDEX internship program. The event underscored the government’s commitment to promote innovation, entrepreneurship, and self-reliance in defence production, positioning India as a global leader in defence technology and innovation.

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