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PIB – 20 August 2021




Focus: GS III- Internal Security

Why in News?

Ministry of Defence launched Defence India Startup Challenge (DISC) 5.0 under Innovations for Defence Excellence – Defence Innovation Organisation (iDEX-DIO) through video conferencing.


  • The launch of DISC 5.0 is a massive leap towards leveraging the startup ecosystem to develop India’s defence technologies, equipment design and manufacturing capabilities.
  • It will encourage startups to become more attuned to innovative concepts and inculcate the approach of creative thinking in India’s budding entrepreneurs.
  • Thirty five Problem Statements – 13 from the Services and 22 from Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) – were unveiled under DISC 5.0.
  • These are in areas such as Situational awareness, Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Aircraft-trainer, Non-lethal devices, 5G network, Under-water domain awareness, Drone SWARMS and Data Capturing.
  • DISC 5.0 as another step towards independence in the defence sector as the launch comes at a time when the country is celebrating ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’.
  • Stating that DISC 5.0 is a reflection of Government’s resolve of creating an ‘AatmaNirbhar’ defence sector.
  • Defence India Startup Challenge and Open Challenges provide many opportunities to our youth and entrepreneurs.
  • They give a new direction to defence innovation and capabilities by highlighting the potential of India’s science, technology and research.
  • iDEX will support five times more start-ups over the next five years as the aim is to accelerate progress, reduce costs and complete procurement in a time bound manner. For this, there is need to adopt the concept of 5 Is (Identify, Incubate, Innovate, Integrate and Indigenise).

Defence India Startup Challenge (DISC)

  • iDEX-DIO had launched the Defence India Startup Challenge (DISC) to address problems faced by the Armed Forces, DPSUs & OFB.
  • The Defence India Startup Challenge (DISC) has been launched under the Ministry of Defence in partnership with Atal Innovation Mission.
  • The program aims at supporting Startups/MSMEs/Innovators to create prototypes and/or commercialize products/solutions in the area of National Defence and Security.
Defence Innovation Organization (DIO)
  • Defence Innovation Organization (DIO) is a Non-Profit Organisation (NOPO) established under Section 8 of the Companies Act 2013.
  • The founding members are Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL).

Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX)

  • Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) is an initiative taken by the government, launched in 2018, to contribute towards modernization of the Defence Industry.
  • iDEX aims to promote innovation and technology development in Defence and Aerospace by engaging Industries (which includes MSMEs, start-ups, individual innovators, R&D institutes & academia).
  • iDEX will provide the engaging industries with funding and other support to carry out Research & Development.
  • iDEX will be funded and managed by Defence Innovation Organization (DIO), and will function as the executive arm of DIO.
  • iDEX has partnered with leading incubators in the country to provide hand holding, technical support and guidance to the winners of iDEX challenges.
Main objectives of iDEX
  • To frame ‘corporate Venture Capital’ models for Indian Defence needs thereby identifying emerging technologies, connecting innovators with military units, facilitating co-creation of new and appropriate technologies and so forth into weapon systems used by Indian Armed Services. 
  • To deliver military-grade products thereby solving the critical needs of the Indian defence set-up by developing or applying advanced technologies.
  • To devise a culture of innovation in the Indian Defence and Aerospace by engaging startups and innovators for co-creation and co-innovation.

November 2023