Increase grants for startups in defence sector: Rajnath


Stating that future economic growth will be driven by startups, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday urged the Defence Ministry officials to increase the grant provided to them to aid innovation in the sector.

“The grant has to be increased,” he said, addressing ‘Start Up Manthan’ organised as part of Aero India 2021 at Yelahanka Air Force base here.

Startups working in defence and aerospace sector for the armed forces receive a grant of ₹1.5 crore for the projects. The Minister also said that defence procurement procedure 2020 has allowed procurement from micro, small and medium enterprises upto ₹100 crore.

Earlier, Defence Secretary Vijaykumar said that institutional framework will be in place for procurement of products developed by startups. “Several products are ready. Officials have to start taking steps to acquire them,” he said, adding that startups can help overcome the limitations at present due to proprietary standards placed by vendors and original equipment manufacturers.

“We should look at developing standards so that weapons work on our platforms and not on foreign platforms. Defence ministry officials will also work towards it,” he added.

More than 1,000 startups are working to address the requirements of the Indian armed forces, he said. “COVID-19 was an opportunity and funding for startups here doubled over 2019,” the Defence Secretary said.

Startups that have pitched innovative ideas for a competition run by Innovation for Defence Excellence (IDEX) were given certificates. As many as 12 in service personnel from triservices were recognized for their ideas under “IDEX for fauji” competition besides winners of Defence India Start Up Challenge and open challenge.

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Sagar Biswas

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