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March 5, 2024

Rajnath Singh Launches ADITI Scheme Offering Financial Aid to Defence Start-ups

In a significant move to bolster innovation in critical defence technologies, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh unveiled the ADITI scheme, aimed at providing financial assistance to start-ups engaged in research, development, and innovation within the realm of military technology. Under this scheme, start-ups stand to receive up to ₹25 crore in funding, marking a pivotal step towards fostering indigenous capabilities in defence innovation.

Addressing attendees at DefConnect 2024, a premier defence conclave, Singh emphasized the transformative potential of the ADITI scheme in propelling India forward in technological advancement. ADITI, an acronym for Acing Development of Innovative Technologies with iDEX (Innovations for Defence Excellence), seeks to allocate a total of ₹750 crore during the period of 2023-26 to support the development of approximately 30 deep-tech critical and strategic technologies.

Singh underscored the imperative of attaining a technological edge in modern warfare, highlighting the pivotal role of cutting-edge technology in safeguarding national security interests. He emphasized the dual approach of embracing the latest innovations from abroad while concurrently fostering indigenous technological prowess, a strategy central to India’s pursuit of self-reliance in defence.

Central to the government’s vision of bolstering self-reliance in defence manufacturing is the imperative to reduce dependence on imported weapons and platforms. Singh reiterated the significance of self-reliance, emphasizing its criticality in preserving strategic autonomy and enabling independent decision-making on global issues aligned with national interests.

Highlighting the strides made in the domestic defence production sector, Singh cited a substantial increase in production value, underscoring India’s trajectory towards self-sufficiency. From ₹44,000 crore in 2014, domestic defence production has surged to over ₹one lakh crore, indicative of the government’s concerted efforts to bolster indigenous manufacturing capabilities.

Over the past few years, India has intensified its focus on enhancing the defence manufacturing sector, implementing a series of measures to promote self-reliance. These initiatives include import bans on various weapons and systems, the establishment of a dedicated budget for procuring locally manufactured military hardware, liberalization of foreign direct investment norms, and initiatives to improve the ease of doing business.

The launch of the ADITI scheme marks a pivotal juncture in India’s quest for technological self-sufficiency in defence, offering a significant boost to start-ups engaged in pioneering research and innovation in military technology. With a robust ecosystem supporting indigenous innovation, India is poised to emerge as a global leader in defence technology innovation, ensuring its sovereignty and security in an increasingly complex geopolitical landscape.

Rajan Shukla

Rajan Shukla

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