Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched Defence India Startup Challenge (DISC) 5.0 under Innovations for Defence Excellence - Defence Innovation Organisation (iDEX-DIO) through video conferencing on August 19, 2021. Thirty five Problem Statements – 13 from the Services and 22 from Defence Public Sector Undertakings – 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, Under-water domain awareness, Drone SWARMS and Data Capturing.
Lauding the efforts of iDEX-DIO, Rajnath 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 Government’s resolve of creating an ‘AatmaNirbhar’ defence sector. He underlined the importance of creating a strong, modern & well-equipped military and an equally capable & self-reliant defence industry.
Defence Minister listed out measures taken by MoD to promote innovation, such as including iDEX as a procurement avenue under DAP-2020; earmarking 1,000 crore for domestic procurement through iDEX for financial year 2021-2022 and approving a budget of 498.8 crore for the next five years to support over 300 start ups and foster innovation in defence & aerospace sectors.
In his welcome address, Secretary (Defence Production) Raj Kumar termed innovation and self-reliance as the two aspects of iDEX. CDS General Bipin Rawat, including the three chiefs,Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar and other senior officials of Ministry of Defence also attended the launch.
The iDEX initiative was launched by Prime MinisterNarendra Modi in April 2018 to achieve self-reliance and foster innovation & technology development in defence and aerospace sectors.