Naik briefs LS on domestic defence production ecosystem

New Delhi: Minister of State, Defence Shripad Naik today briefed the Lok Sabha on domestic defence production ecosystem.

While giving a written reply to a question asked by Dr Arvind Kumar Sharma, the minister said, “As part of the recommendations of the Sectoral Group of Secretaries-10 (SGoS-10), Department of Defence Production (DDP) has adopted a Vision and Action Plan 2019-2024 to enhance self-reliance and technologies, leveraging ‘Make in India’ and maximize the untapped employment and economic potential of the Defence Sector.”

The Government is focusing on development of suitable human resource pool to support the indigenization of the science-intensive industry like special technology universities and special departments within existing universities, said the minister.

“The R&D Infrastructure Schemes such as Sophisticated Analytical and Technical Help Institutes (SATHI) and Promotion of University Research in Scientific Excellence (PURSE) are open to startups and manufacturing industries along with the researchers/scientists of academic organizations including the development of suitable human resource pool to support indigenization of the science-intensive industry like special technology universities and special departments within existing universities.”

Talking about the SATHI scheme, the minister said that dedicated manpower will be made available to help with the data collection, interpretation, and dissemination of the information.

“The aims of this scheme are: (a) procurement and maintenance of high-end equipment and infrastructure facility necessary for research/testing/manufacturing/fabrication to cater to the demands of researchers, scientists, students, start-ups, manufacturing units, industries and R&D Labs; (b) Providing access and sharing of scientific equipment and infrastructure; (c) Capacity Building of operators and technicians for efficient operations and interpretations of results/outcome; and (d) Monitoring of usage of expensive scientific research infrastructure for maximum utilization of Infrastructure Management with efficient operations and to be a part of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ (Self Reliant India Campaign). Currently, three SATHI Centres have been established at IIT Delhi, BHU Varanasi and IIT Kharagpur.”

The PURSE program is an on-going scheme exclusively for the University Sector being implemented by R&D Infrastructure Division of Department of Science & Technology since 2009, Naik said, adding that “this program has broadened and created excellence in the R&D base around the performing Universities in India”.

In addition, Department of Defence Production through Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) framework aims to achieve self-reliance and foster innovation and technology development in Defence and Aerospace by engaging industries including MSMEs, start-ups, individual innovators, R&D institutes and academia, the minister informed the house.

iDEX has forged strategic partnerships with premier institutions of the country such as IIT Madras, IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IISc Bangalore, T-Hub, IIIT Hyderabad, IIT Hyderabad, IIM Ahmedabad, Forge Coimbatore and Maker Village, Kerala. These Partner Incubators help discover, explore and support startups/MSMEs and develop human resource pool to support indigenization of the science-intensive industry. (PR)

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