Highlighting that the rapidly changing geo-political and security scenario in the world, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said that India’s national security challenges are becoming “complex”.
Speaking after launching of Defence India Startup Challenge (DISC) 5.0 under Innovations for Defence Excellence – Defence Innovation Organisation (iDEX-DIO) through video conferencing, Singh underlined the importance of creating a strong, modern & well-equipped military and equally capable & self-reliant defence industry.
He said India cannot depend on other countries for its security and asserted that it is not easy to identify between the country’s allies and friends.
“Today the security scenario of the whole world is changing very fast. Because of this, the challenges to our national security are increasing and becoming complex. There are constant changes in the geo-political situation of the world. We are monitoring he situation in our neighbouring country,” he said.
“Nothing can be said when what kind of news will come. Our country is also not untouched by these changes. In such a situation, we cannot accept being dependent on someone else for our security as a nation. It is not easy to identify who is our friend and who is our enemy in today’s time,” he added.
The Defence Minister’s comments came amid concerns in India as the Taliban entered Kabul on Sunday and took control of the presidential palace after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani left the nation. The Taliban leaders are discussing future government plans and are in touch with intra-Afghan parties.
Earlier on August 17, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) and instructed all concerned officials to undertake all necessary measures to ensure safe evacuation of Indian nationals from Afghanistan in the coming days.
The Defence Minister urged the private sector to contribute towards building a self-reliant defence industry, assured all possible support.
Thirty-five Problem Statements – 13 from the Services and 22 from Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) – were unveiled under DISC 5.0. These are in areas such as Situational awareness, Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Aircraft-trainer, Non-lethal devices, 5G network, Underwater 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, read the release by the Ministry of Defence.
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 the Government’s resolve of creating an ‘AatmaNirbhar’ defence sector, he exuded confidence that this challenge will move forward from its earlier editions and take innovation, design, and development to newer heights.
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.
The Minister 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 a need to adopt the concept of 5 Is (Identity, Incubate, Innovate, Integrate, and Indigenous).
Commending various stakeholders for indigenously developing world-class technologies, he called for identifying and developing new technologies to take forward the vision of ‘Make in India – Make for the World’. Singh called upon the private sector to come forward and contribute towards building a self-reliant defence sector and assured all possible support of the government.
Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Defence Secretary Dr. Ajay Kumar, and other senior officials of the Ministry of Defence were present at the launch of DISC 5.0 The iDEX initiative was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April 2018 to achieve self-reliance and foster innovation & technology development in defence and aerospace sectors. (ANI)