DefConnect 2024

DefConnect 2024

This article covers ‘Daily Current Affairs’ and the topic details of “DefConnect 2024″.This topic is relevant in the “Internal Security” section of the UPSC CSE exam.


Why in the News?

The Ministry of Defence recently sponsored DefConnect 2024, which aims to promote innovation, entrepreneurship, and self-reliance in the defence industry. India’s Defence Minister also established the Acing Development of Innovative Technologies with iDEX (ADITI) project to stimulate innovation in essential and strategic defence technologies.


Key Points from DefConnect 2024


DefConnect 2024 served as a pivotal platform for showcasing advancements and fostering future initiatives in the Indian defence sector.


  • Propelling Innovation and Self-Reliance: DefConnect 2024 witnessed the launch of several key initiatives aimed at accelerating innovation and fostering self-reliance in the country’s defence production. These initiatives included the ADITI (Acing Development of Innovative Technologies with iDEX) Scheme and DISC 11 (Defense India Startup Challenge), demonstrating the government’s unwavering commitment to cultivating a dynamic and robust defence innovation ecosystem in India.


  • A Glimpse into Cutting-Edge Technologies: The event featured a technology exhibition organised by iDEX-DIO, where startups displayed their groundbreaking innovations in various fields critical to defence, including artificial intelligence, robotics, cybersecurity, unmanned aerial vehicles, and wearable technology. This showcase highlighted the immense potential of the Indian innovation ecosystem to contribute significantly to national defence capabilities.


  • Nurturing the Next Generation of Innovators: In a strategic move to cultivate young talent and build a future generation of innovators, DefConnect 2024 marked the launch of a rolling internship program under the iDEX initiative. This program provides aspiring innovators in defence technology with invaluable hands-on experience and mentorship opportunities.


  • Engaging Discussions on Defense Innovation: Through insightful panel discussions, DefConnect 2024 explored critical topics related to defence innovation and entrepreneurship. These discussions shed light on the current state of the Indian defence landscape, emerging trends shaping the future, promising opportunities for startups, and effective strategies to promote diversity and inclusion within the sector.


  • Recognising Women in Defense Innovation: DefConnect 2024 held a special felicitation ceremony to acknowledge the invaluable contributions made by women entrepreneurs to the defence innovation ecosystem, particularly those associated with iDEX.


ADITI Scheme: Boosting Innovation and Self-Reliance in Indian Defence


  • The Ministry of Defence (MoD) unveiled the Acing Development of Innovative Technologies with iDEX (ADITI) scheme, marking a significant step towards bolstering innovation and technological advancements in India’s defence sector. This initiative, alongside other iDEX programs, aims to propel India towards becoming a global leader in defence technology and achieving self-reliance in this critical domain.
  • Launched during DefConnect 2024 in New Delhi, the ADITI scheme focuses on fostering innovation in crucial and strategic defence technologies, particularly among young minds. Its primary objective is to bridge the gap between the modern needs of the Armed Forces and the Indian defence innovation ecosystem by facilitating the development of approximately 30 deep-tech technologies within the designated period (2023-24 to 2025-26).
  • The scheme is backed by a dedicated ₹750 crore corpus, enabling it to provide startups with grants of up to ₹25 crore. These grants aim to support research, development, and innovation endeavours in the defence technology sector. Furthermore, the iDEX Prime initiative, an extension of iDEX, increased the financial assistance from ₹1.5 crores to ₹10 crores, providing additional impetus to young innovators.
  • ADITI presents exciting opportunities for startups and entrepreneurs. Its launch coincides with the announcement of 17 challenges across various branches of the armed forces and defence agencies, seeking innovative solutions from the aforementioned groups.


Key Features of the ADITI Scheme:


  • Promoting Self-Reliance: The scheme aligns with India’s vision of self-reliance in defence production, which is evident in the significant growth of domestic defence production, rising from ₹44,000 crore in 2014 to over ₹1 lakh crore today.
  • Encouraging Innovation and Entrepreneurship: The launch of ADITI, alongside other initiatives, signifies the government’s commitment to fostering innovation, fostering a culture of entrepreneurship, and achieving self-reliance in defence production.
  • Facilitating Investment: The iDEX Investors Hub (IIH) established MoUs with new investors, paving the way for increased investment in defence startups. Additionally, technology showcases organised by iDEX-DIO provide a platform for startups to exhibit their groundbreaking work in fields like Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Cybersecurity, and Wearable Technology.
  • Supporting Growing Startups: The iDEX-Prime initiative caters to projects requiring larger financial support (up to ₹10 crore), empowering and nurturing the growth of startups in the Indian defence sector.


Potential Benefits of the ADITI Scheme for the Indian Defense Sector


The ADITI scheme holds promise for the Indian defence sector in several ways:

  • Reduced reliance on foreign imports: By fostering the development of critical technologies domestically, ADITI can potentially help India lessen its dependence on external sources for defence equipment, thereby promoting self-sufficiency.
  • Enhanced defence capabilities: The scheme’s focus on cutting-edge technologies will likely lead to the development of more advanced defence equipment, potentially bolstering India’s preparedness and ability to address security threats.
  • Cross-pollination of knowledge: The collaboration between industry, academia, and the armed forces encouraged by ADITI can facilitate the exchange of knowledge and expertise, leading to advancements in various fields relevant to defence.
  • Boost for innovation, manufacturing, and job creation: By stimulating innovation in the defence technology sector, ADITI has the potential to spur not only the development of new technologies but also create opportunities for domestic manufacturing and job creation in related industries.

Download Yojna daily current affairs eng med 7th March 2024


Prelims practise questions


Q1. Consider the following statements: 

  1. The Defence Innovation Organisation is responsible for managing iDEX.
  2. The primary goal of iDEX is to oversee military cooperation.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2




Q2. What type of funding does ADITI offer to startups?

(a) Loans with high-interest rates

(b) Equity investments in startups

(c) Grants for research and development

(d) Subsidies for manufacturing costs




Mains practise question


Q1. Do you think iDEX is effectively bridging the gap between the needs of the Armed Forces and the Indian defence innovation ecosystem? Why or why not?


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