Why in News:
- The Defence Minister has approved the budgetary support of ₹498.8 crore to Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) challenge under the Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO) for the next five years.
What is iDEX?
- The iDEX framework and establishment of the DIO by the Department of Defence Production (DDP) is aimed at promoting innovation and indigenisation in the aerospace and defence sector.
- It is aimed at providing financial support to start-ups, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), individual innovators and partner incubators under the DIO framework.
- It aims at empowering a culture of technology co-creation and co-innovation in the sector and boosts innovation among the start-ups and encourages them to be a part of the ecosystem.
- iDEX will be funded and managed by Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO)
How the plan works
- Setting up and managing the iDEX network in the form of Partner Incubators (PI), communicating with innovators, start-ups, technology centres of MSMEs through the PIs, hackathons to shortlist potential technologies and entities and evaluating technologies and products developed by innovators, start-ups in terms of their utility and impact on the defence and aerospace setup.
The need for indigenisation
- India is expected to spend around USD 220 Billion in the coming decade to modernize its armed forces.
- According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), India was the world’s second largest importer of major arms(After Saudi Arabia) in 2014-18 and accounted for 9.5% of the global total.
- Reducing Fiscal Deficit
- Indigenisation in defence is critical to national security
- Employment generation
- Can become a global power
Schemes related to modernisation and indigenisation of defence
- In recent years, the government of India has initiated various schemes like Make In India, Startup India, Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), etc. to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in the Indian commercial ecosystem.
- Strategic Partnership (SP) Model- It lists a few Indian private enterprises that will seek knowledge transfers from global Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in order to establish domestic manufacturing facilities and supply networks.
- Artificial Intelligence in Defence- N Chadrasekharan Task Force set up in 2018
- Defence Artificial Intelligence Project Agency (DAIPA) – to give a thrust on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Defence, formulation of an AI roadmap for each Defence PSU and Ordnance Factory Board to develop AI-enabled products.
- Addition of “Buy (Indian-IDDM)” i.e Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured defence goods category in Defence Procurement Procedure
- DIO is a ‘not for profit’ company registered under Section 8 of the Companies Act 2013.
- The company is being formed by defence electronics major Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and defence aviation major Hindustan Aeronautics Limited(HAL).