Jammu / New Delhi: Organised jointly by HQ Northern Command, SIDM, and IIT Jammu, a three day event North Tech Symposium which opened on September 11 served as an exceptional platform to showcase state-of-the-art technologies and innovative products. The North Tech Symposium is an event that not only highlights advancements but also fosters collaboration between the Indian defence industry and the Army.
The North Tech symposium was inaugurated by distinguished figures, including Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen MV Suchindra Kumar and Lt Governors of UT of Ladakh Brig (Dr) BD Mishra (Retd) and UT of Jammu & Kashmir Manoj Sinha, along with CDS Gen Anil Chauhan.
At the event, the technologies and products displayed covered a broad spectrum of critical areas. Among the prominent themes were surveillance and situational awareness, tactical mobility, firepower enhancement, soldier and force protection, advanced communications systems, combat medical facilities, robotics, simulators, and training aids, to name just a few.
The core theme of this interactive platform was aligned with the Government of India’s “Make in India” initiative. It emphasised the importance of indigenous production and self-reliance in defence technology. The symposium received enthusiastic participation from nearly 180 Indian defence companies, including MSMEs (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises), DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation), DPSU (Defence Public Sector Undertakings), and the Simulator Development Division, among others.
The GOC-in-C (General Officer Commanding-in-Chief) of Northern Command applauded the innovative spirit of the vendors and participants alike. His conviction in the wealth of indigenous technologies available reaffirmed the nation’s commitment to the “Atmanirbhar Bharat” project. The symposium was not just a standalone event; it marked the dawn of a new era in indigenous defence production that promises to become the backbone of our nation.
For the first time in its 15-year history, the North Tech Symposium will be hosted over three days, from September 11 to 13, at a civil establishment – the prestigious IIT Jammu. This ground-breaking move exemplifies the commitment to synergise the requirements of the Indian Army with the potential and capabilities of academia and the industry, facilitated by the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM) at the IIT Jammu campus.
Established in August 2016 and expanded to a sprawling 25-acre campus (with plans for future expansion to 400 acres in 2018), IIT Jammu stands as one of the 23 IITs in India. It specialises in cutting-edge areas like Communications and Cyber applications, Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, Renewable & Sustainable Energy, Biomedical Research, Catalysis, and Synthesis.
At the North Tech Symposium, the Indian Army showcased its latest Light Specialist Vehicles that can be equipped with anti-tank guided missile launchers, medium machine guns, and grenade launchers and can also be used to rush troops to forward areas for quick reaction. These Light Specialist Vehicles can also be used to supply ammunition and rations to forward troops, according to a news agency report. New types of off-road and all-terrain vehicles are also being showcased at the symposium. The vehicles have been acquired by the Indian Army for operations in rugged terrains in the Ladakh sector and near the Line of Control.
“The North Tech 2023 will pave the way for identifying suitable indigenous technologies and products for subsequent trials and induction in the Northern and Western Theatres… Around 200 companies are participating in the show including 60 startups,” said Indian Army’s Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi.
The North-Tech Symposium provides a platform to the Army, academia, manufacturers, entrepreneurs, experts and key stakeholders to identify unique solutions to meet the Army’s operational requirements, while promoting self-reliance in defence production and technology proliferation. The symposium will feature exhibitions, product launches, structured interactions and technical seminars.
According to the Indian Army, the objective of the symposium is to engage with academia and industry to identify unique/ customised solutions to meet operational requirements of the Northern Army and provide a platform to the original equipment manufacturers and vendors.
The three-day symposium began on September 11, the same day when the US was rocked with terrorist attacks in 2001. “11th of September 2001 (9/11) is etched in history as the day, the world was jolted out of its slumber, when the most powerful nation of the planet was hit at its financial heart. This date, in a way, symbolises the awakening and unison of mankind towards acts of terror as a means of warfare through non-state actors,” read a statement by the Army.
“North Tech Symposium 2023 will be unfurled on this day in 2023 to rededicate the efforts towards rekindling the spirit of innovation to meet the immediate and futuristic security requirements and to mitigate the possibilities of such incidents being repeated in future,” it added. “The Indian Army representatives from Delhi, and all commands pan India, private sector, start-ups, DPSUs, R&D Organisations & Academia will get engaged concurrently, over the three day event,” it said in a statement.