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Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande visits Maharashtra MSME Defence Expo 2024 in Pune

Mon, 26 Feb 2024   |  Reading Time: 2 minutes

Pune (Maharashtra) [India], February 26 (ANI): Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Manoj Pande, visited the Maharashtra MSME (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises) Defence Expo 2024 on Monday at the International Exhibition Convention Centre in Pune.
The expo, organised by the Maharashtra Government, showcased the indigenous capabilities and innovations of the MSMEs, private companies, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) laboratories, and Defence Public Sector Unit (DPSU) setups in Maharashtra.
Delivering a keynote address to the MSME and students, General Manoj Pande said, “Maharashtra deserves a mention, for being one of the major contributors to the nation’s economy, industrial growth, exports, and FDI attractiveness.”
He noted that Maharashtra was the first in India to frame a defence manufacturing policy after private investment was allowed in the defence sector.
Maharashtra has also declared aerospace and defence manufacturing as a thrust sector in the ‘Package Scheme of Incentives’. As a result of these efforts, the state has been contributing more than 20 per cent to the country’s output in aircraft, ships, and boats and 30 per cent to the national output in weapons and ammunition.
The COAS while highlighting the economic growth made by India, said, “The nation is witnessing improved consumer affluence, better standards of living, a higher literacy quotient, and rising aspirations among the citizens.”
Appreciating the steps taken by government agencies and armed forces in policy reforms, skilling initiatives, infrastructure investment, digital potential, and frontline entrepreneurship, the Army Chief said, “This signifies the commitment to sustainable development and the promise of being a reliable supply chain stakeholder.”
“Leveraging both the MSMEs and the start-up ecosystem has been a focus area for the Indian Army, as part of the Atmanirbharta pursuit, in meeting our capability development requirements,” he added.
The Army Chief elaborated that under Innovations in Defence Excellence (iDEX) procurement, all projects are mandated to be progressed through start-ups.
“Currently, under the iDEX route, 55 Indian Army projects worth Rs 400 crore are being pursued, which encompass a total of 65 start-ups. Four contracts worth Rs 70 crore have been concluded for the procurement of equipment in limited quantity for field exploitation. The iDEX route also follows the spiral mode of development of indigenous technology and platforms, since the exploitation of limited quantity in field conditions, enables concurrent development of equipment based on user recommendations,” he said.
The COAS mentioned the Indian Army’s in-house Ideas and Innovation initiative and informed the gathering about two innovations and the technology transferred to industry for mass production, namely VIDYUT RAKSHAK-an Internet of Things (IoT)-based generator protection system, and a biomedical device.
He mentioned that the Indian Army’s endeavour to promote innovation also entails pursuing of Intellectual Property Rights for the products developed in collaboration with the industry.
He also highlighted that 66 IPRs have been filed by the Indian Army to date, of which 13 patents, 5 copyrights, and 5 design registrations have been granted.
The Indian Army, during the expo, displayed its indigenous equipment and systems, such as Tank T-90, BMP Mk-II, Soltam Gun, Dhanush Howitzer, K-9 Vajra, Pinaka Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher, Sarvatra Bridge System, Schilka Gun and Fly Catcher Radar of Army Air Defence, Tavor, Sig Sauer and M4 Assault Rifles, Ak-47, Sniper Rifles, and various other weapons and equipment, the Defence Ministry said.
The Chief of the Army Staff also interacted with the participating industries and encouraged them to align their products and services with the future requirements of the Indian Army. He urged all to collectively contribute to the aspirations, goals, and objectives of a rising India, through the resolve and commitment to Atmanirbharta. (ANI)



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