Indian start-ups developing, making products for military use: Kovind

Bengaluru: President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday said many start-ups in the country were developing technologies and products for military use.
“Through start-up manthan, many start-ups are developing new technologies and products for military use. The platform is also helping us develop indigenous innovation and self-reliance in defence technologies,” said the President at the valedictory of the 13th biennial Aero India 2021 at the Yelahanka air base on the city’s northern outskirts.
Start-up manthan is an annual event for defence start-ups when innovations for defence excellence (IDEX) was unveiled in 2018 to encourage innovators, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) engage with the defence ministry and solve military challenges.
“In the 29 innovation challenges issued by the Indian military and defence public sector undertakings and from about 1,200 applications from start-ups, 100 winners referred to as IDEX Innovators have been selected so far,” said Kovind on the occasion.
Recalling that Mahatma Gandhi had sown seeds of swadeshi and self-reliance during the freedom struggle, the President said the government had renewed the pledge and was making efforts to achieve ‘aatmanirbar’ (self-reliance) in the defence sector too.
“Our vision is to create a robust economy and infrastructure alongside developing competitive supply chains and integrate them globally,” said Kovind on the occasion.
Among measures for transforming India into a major defence manufacturing hub are notification of a ‘negative list’ of 101 items; reforms in defence procurement policies and procedures; liberalisation of the industrial licensing requirements; increase of FDI in the defence sector up to 74 per cent through the automatic route and 100 per cent through the government route; simplifying and offering incentives to offset discharges.
“With consistent FDI reforms, foreign investment in defence and aerospace sectors has grown by 200 per cent during the last 5 years. Industrial licensing requirements have been eliminated for a number of items. The processes for industrial licence and export authorisations have been simplified and made on-line.”
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