IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


6th March, 2024 Security


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Rajnath Singh launches ADITI scheme to promote innovations in critical and strategic defence tech.


Acing Development of Innovative Technologies with iDEX (ADITI) scheme

  • The scheme launched to promote innovations in critical and strategic defence technologies, during DefConnect 2024 in New Delhi on March 04, 2024.
  • Under the scheme, start-ups are eligible to receive grant-in-aid of up to Rs 25 crore for their research, development, and innovation endeavours in defence technology.
  • The ADITI scheme worth Rs 750 crore for the period 2023-24 to 2025-26 falls under the iDEX (Innovations for Defence Excellence) framework of Department of Defence Production (DDP), Ministry of Defence.
  • It aims to develop about 30 deep-tech critical and strategic technologies in the proposed timeframe. It also envisages to create a ‘Technology Watch Tool’ to bridge the gap between the expectations and requirements of the modern Armed Forces and the capabilities of the defence innovation ecosystem.
  • In the first edition of ADITI, 17 challenges – Indian Army (3), Indian Navy (5), Indian Air Force (5) and Defence Space Agency (4) - have been launched.

Advantages of the scheme

  • The scheme will nurture the innovation of youth, and help the country leap forward in the field of technology.
  • To motivate young innovators, iDEX was expanded to iDEX Prime, with the assistance increasing from Rs 1.5 crore to Rs 10 crore. Following the encouraging participation in providing solutions to the challenges given by the Services and DPSUs, ADITI scheme has now been launched.
  • The idea behind the schemes/initiatives such as ADITI, iDEX, iDEX Prime is to also transform India into a knowledge society as  times are changing, new technologies are coming into existence. To become a developed country, it is necessary for us to achieve a technological edge.

Defence India Start-up Challenge

  • The event also witnessed the launch of the 11th edition of Defence India Start-up Challenge (DISC), heralding a new chapter in the collaboration between the defence establishment and the start-up ecosystem.
  • The DISC 11 introduces 22 problem statements - Indian Army (4), Indian Navy (5), Indian Air Force (5), Armoured Vehicles Nigam Limited (7) and Hindustan Shipyard Limited (1) - aimed at addressing critical defence challenges, inviting innovators to propose innovative solutions that can enhance the country’s defence capabilities and contribute to national security.
  • Highlighting the Government’s vision of attaining self-reliance as soon as it came to power, the nation cannot remain dependent on import of weapons/platforms as it can be fatal for strategic autonomy. Without self-reliance, India cannot take independent decisions on global issues in line with its national interests.

DefConnect 2024

  • As part of DefConnect 2024, a technology showcase was also organised by iDEX-Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO) with a diverse range of technology start-ups at the forefront of innovation in the defence sector.
  • These start-ups are revolutionising key areas such as Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Undersea Detection and Communication, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Wearable Technology, Blast & Ballistics Proof Structures and Equipment, smart textiles and cyber security.
  • These start-ups represented cutting-edge technologies and innovations, offering solutions to enhance defence capabilities, strengthen national security, and safeguard national interests. The showcase underscored the immense potential of the Indian innovation ecosystem in contributing to defence technology.
  • As part of a broader discourse on diversity and inclusion in defence entrepreneurship, DefConnect 2024 hosted a thought-provoking panel discussion on ‘Women as Drivers of Change’.
  • The discussion explored the pivotal role of women in shaping the future of defence innovation and strategies to further promote gender diversity in the sector.
  • The panel witnessed various noted participants from the Department of Space, Indian Air Force, Financial institutions and start-ups. The discussion offered insights on the Indian Defence Landscape, Technology, Future Trends, Innovation, and opportunities for the Indian start-up ecosystem. In recognition of the invaluable contributions of women entrepreneurs to the defence innovation ecosystem, DefConnect 2024 featured a special felicitation ceremony for iDEX women entrepreneurs.
  • DefConnect 2024 witnessed the launch of a rolling iDEX internship program, aimed at nurturing young talent and providing them with hands-on experience and mentorship in defence innovation. This initiative seeks to groom the next generation of innovators and equip them with the skills and knowledge necessary to contribute effectively to the defence innovation ecosystem.


The launch of the ADITI Scheme, DISC 11, and other initiatives during DefConnect 2024 underscores the Government's unwavering commitment to promote innovation, entrepreneurship, and self-reliance in defence production. These initiatives are poised to accelerate India's journey towards becoming a global leader in defence technology and innovation, ensuring the nation's security and sovereignty in the years to come.


Self-reliance in defence is of vital importance for both strategic and economic reasons for India. Discuss