India will fund at least 250 defence startups over the next five years as it seeks new technologies to give a cutting edge to the armed forces. The plan is to achieve at least 50 ‘tangible innovations’ by the startups that can be inducted over the coming years.
The defence ministry will be earmarking at least Rs 500 crore for its Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) initiative and will try to bring together innovators with public and private sector industry and the armed forces to find new technology solutions.
Expressing his support for the initiative, defence minister Rajnath Singh said at a function on Monday that India could emerge as a $10 trillion economy over the next 10-15 years if innovation talent is harnessed.
“Looking at the talent India possesses, I am pretty confident that we can become $10 trillion economy in the next 10-15 years,” the minister said at the government’s ‘Def Connect’ seminar, emphasising that the need of the hour is to strengthen research and development in defence manufacturing.
Singh said India needs to change course from being a net importer to a net innovator and exporter of defence technologies in the near future.