Nirmala Sitharaman throws 11 challenges to start ups, from drones with missiles to 4G LAN – Here’s the list

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Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday launched the ‘Defence India Startup Challenge’ in Bengaluru. The start-ups have been asked to undertake11 challenges.

Nirmala Sitharaman

Bengaluru: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday launched the ‘Defence India Startup Challenge’ in Bengaluru, under which the defence ministry has thrown open 11 challenges for start-ups to ideate for possible solutions for technological needs of the defence establishment. Sitharaman added that the ministry would ensure that their ideas and prototypes get a market, PTI reported.

The ‘Defence India Startup Challenge’ falls under the IDEX (Innovation for Defence Excellence) which was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April. The 11 challenges include, individual protection system with built-in sensors, carbon fibre winding, active protection system, see-through armour, secure hardware based offline encrypt or device for graded security and development of 4G/LTE based tactical local area network, the news agency reported.

Apart from that, the other challenges are development of advanced technology based desalination system and bilge oily water separation system, remotely piloted airborne vehicles, laser weaponry, unmanned surface and underwater vehicles and artificial intelligence in logistics and SCM, as per the PTI report.

Speaking at the event in Bengaluru on Saturday, Sitharaman said, “There is vibrant atmosphere for startups today. We will make sure that their ideas and prototypes will get a market. We are not going to disqualify startups when they approach us. We are not going to disqualify startups in anything you want to approach us with. Whether it is a bid, tender or suo motu proposal. All three avenues are open for start-ups.”

The defence minister also urged the start-ups to develop unmanned drones which are capable of carrying and firing missiles. Interestingly, her comments ahead of India’s procurement of Predator-B drones from the United States. Sitharaman added that drone were quickly becoming a major asset for armed forces across the world and hence Indian armed forces “should not be left wanting.”

As per ANI report, she said, “Today unmanned drones with missiles on them are the envy of many countries. I already get the feeling that those are not beyond us to produce. You won`t lose your skilled manpower if you can remote control operations to finish your targets.

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