Army chief reaches out to start-ups, MSMEs for indigenous solutions
The Hindu Business Line , Apr 12, 2018
The Indian Army is moving forward with modern equipment to ‘fight future wars with Indian solutions’, said Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff, in the context of indigenisation in Indian Army.
“We need a lot of equipment to modernise our Defence forces. We have come a long way, and time has come to look at indigenising our weaponry, our equipment and our ammunition that we use in Defence services,” he said at a session on ‘Defence Industrial Corridors: Unleashing the Start-ups and MSME Ecosystem’ at the DefExpo2018.
“We are willing to open up our workshops, our equipment to any one of you [MSMEs and start-ups]. Anybody can look at our equipment, including imported ones. If you can reverse engineer the same system and develop indigenous solutions, we will support in whatever way we can,” he said.
Rawat said, “We are now ensuring Defence, industry and academia integrate with each other and move on forward. We are working with IITs, engineering colleges, management institutes to get solutions to some of our problems, and not just look at in-house solutions. There is competency that lies beyond our capabilities and capacities,” he said.
He urged young academicians, MSMEs and start-ups to go to forward areas, meet troops there and understand their problems and come up with solutions.
For instance, identifying and locating terrorists is a problem. “Once I locate him [terrorist], I should see that he should not get away. There are problems on identification [of terrorists] and surveillance, and we are looking at solutions. We want to stay ahead of adversary. The way to stay ahead is to use our knowledge base that we have in our ecosystem, and look beyond Armed forces on to the industry, young developers and MSMEs. We are confident that in future we will able develop indigenous solutions and development equipment in-house,” he said.
On defence industrial corridor, Rawat said it has created interest among many stakeholders, including Ambassadors. People are looking at how they can integrate with Defence.
They do understand that India is ‘the’ place, and that the country will continue to invest lot of funds on modernisation of defence forces.
On compendiums of problem statements sent out by the Army to the industry, Rawat said out of the 132 problems sent out to ecosystem, it got solutions for 80.
“But, can we absorb those 80s, may be not? When you [industry] come so quickly with solutions, we get surprised. We thought solutions were far away. But, when you come with a solutions within six months after we give compendium, we get surprised,” he said.
Rawat assured support to MSMEs and start-ups in whatever way they want. “We will do hand holding. You give us a solution, which may not be 100 per cent meeting our requirement. Even if you come up with 60-70 per cent, we will accept those solutions, and tell you what to do next. This means, step on, hear on, move on ahead and see how better you can improvement our system for betterment,” he said.