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Defence Ministry to support Indian tech startups through new DISC Challenge

Rajnath Singh

Technology

Defence Ministry to support Indian tech startups through new DISC Challenge

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has started the sixth edition of the Defence Indian Startup Challenge (DISC) under the iDEX program. The MoD aims to support Indian tech startups through the challenge.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) will back startups that can provide the Indian military with software solutions such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), advanced imaging, sensor systems, big data analytics, autonomous unmanned systems, and secure communication systems through the sixth edition of the Defence Indian Startup Challenge (DISC) under the iDEX program.

The MoD intends to encourage Indian businesses through this obstacle by providing financial assistance ranging from INR 1.5 Cr to INR 10 Cr.

The challenge is being led by seven newly formed defense firms, the Indian Coast Guard, organizations working under the Ministry of Home Affairs, three services, and several defense public sector undertakings.

Startups and innovators were invited to address 35 problem statements (PS) from armed forces and OFB/DPSUs in the fifth edition of the DISC challenge. These were real-world issues confronting the Indian Army, Indian Airforce, Indian Navy, HAL, BEL, HSL, MDL, MIDHANI, and GRSE.

The Defence India Startup Challenge was launched by the Ministry of Defence Rajnath Singh and the Atal Innovation Mission as part of the iDEX project. It seeks to assist Indian entrepreneurs, MSMEs, and innovators in the development of prototypes, commercial goods, and solutions for the defense and aerospace sectors.

Founded in 2018, iDEX works with MSMEs, startups, individual innovators, R&D programs, and academics to develop technology solutions that may be used by the defense and aerospace industries.

Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri established the India WaterPitch-Pilot-Scale startup challenge in March 2022, with the goal of funding 100 companies in the water sector.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs initiated the startup competition (MoHUA). It intends to assist Indian startups in the water sector in adopting innovation and design, hence generating long-term economic growth and job possibilities.

Selected firms will receive INR 20 lakh in funding as part of this project. Aside from that, MoHUA will be mentoring and investing in businesses.

The Indian government has supported 10,600 businesses during the last eight years. Between 2006 and 2014, the government funded in 1650 startups, according to Union Minister of State for Science and Technology Jitendra Singh.

Singh explained that the National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) initiative was launched to help transform knowledge-based and technology-driven innovative ideas into successful enterprises. Over 50 NIDHI technology business incubators (TBIs) and seven Centres of Excellence (CoEs) have been established in India thus far.

The government has implemented a number of programs throughout the years to assist startups in the technology sector in adopting innovation and tech-led entrepreneurship.

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