India approves £48.3 million allocation for research in defence sector
India defence minister Rajnath Singh (Photo: PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images).
TO MAKE India self-reliant in military hardware and weapons, defence minister Rajnath Singh approved budgetary support of nearly Rs 4.99 billion (£48.3 million) for research and innovation.
“Defence minister Rajnath Singh has approved the budgetary support of Rs 4.99bn (£48.3m) to Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX)-Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO) for the next five years,” the ministry said in a statement.
The funds will be used to provide financial support to nearly 300 start-ups, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and individual innovators, it said.
Setting up of the iDEX framework and the DIO is aimed at creating an ecosystem to foster innovation and technology development in the defence and aerospace sector, the ministry said.
In the last couple of years, India has unveiled a series of reforms and initiatives to make India a hub of defence manufacturing.
In August 2020, Singh announced that India will stop import of 101 weapons and military platforms like transport aircraft, light combat helicopters, conventional submarines, cruise missiles and sonar systems by 2024.
Besides, India levied import restrictions on 108 military weapons and systems last week.
In May this year, the government increased the foreign direct investment (FDI) limit in the defence sector to 74 per cent from 49 per cent.
India is one of the largest importers of arms globally.