New Delhi: The Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence has approved a central sector scheme viz. Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) with budgetary support of Rs 498.78 crore for the next 5 years from 2021-22 to 2025-26, Lok Sabha was told.
Answering questions in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhat said the objective of the scheme is to provide financial support to nearly 300 Startups/MSMEs/individual innovators and about 20 Partner incubators through Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO).
Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) framework aims to achieve self-reliance and foster innovation and technology development in Defence and Aerospace Sector by engaging Industries including MSMEs, startups, individual innovators, R&D institutes and academia. A total of 89 iDEX winners have so far been identified. 35 new problem statements have been launched recently to expand the network, under Defence India Startup Challenge (DISC)-5.
Further, in order to promote startups, DRDO has also launched DARE to DREAM contest and Technology Development Fund (TDF) Scheme.
After the Pathankot incident, the Government has approved an integrated smart power fencing called Integrated Perimeter Security System (IPSS) for 23 Air Bases. BEL has signed a contract with Indian Air Force for establishing Integrated Perimeter Security Systems for 23 Air Bases across 8 states, Pan India. The pilot site was commissioned in February 2021, the minister said.
During FY 2013-14 to 2020-21, 407 contracts have been signed, out of which 156 contracts have been signed with foreign vendors for capital procurement of defence equipment for Armed Forces. Delivery schedule of equipment is specified in each contract, the Minister said.
In reply to another question, he said bio-toilet has been customized and different designs have been developed for use under different geo-climatic conditions.
DRDO has transferred the technology to approximately 60 industries all over the country. These industries have installed bio-digesters across the country. A total number of about 16000 bio-digesters have been installed in more than 20 states. In addition, more than 2.5 lakhs bio-digesters have been installed in Indian Railways coaches, which cater to the need of more than 100 lakh passengers on daily basis.