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"Design our Destiny" should be our new mantra, says Defence Minister

LCA, Hawk-i, IJT and HTT-40 fly past in formation during the inauguration of Aero India 2023 at Yelahanka Air base, in Bengaluru, Monday, Feb. 13, 2023. A PTI Photo

BENGALURU (PTI):  Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today expressed confidence that India will soon be among the leading countries in the field of innovation and emerge as the "light house" to the entire world.

Speaking after inaugurating the annual defence innovation event 'Manthan' during the Aero India here, he said, if we want to bring the next generation industrial revolution, then we should either do new things, or try to do the existing things in a new way.

"If we have to develop, then we have to re-define the competition. If we think of moving ahead with old technologies and old systems, then we will always be two centuries behind those countries (developed). That's why today it is necessary that we think in new ways and move forward accordingly," Singh said.

Suggesting that we should try to do something new with the traditional things that are going on, he said, a great example of this is the UPI payment method developed in the country.

"Moral of the story is that we should innovate. Innovation means thinking in a new way, which youth like you can do well," he added.

Noting that if we have to go ahead of other countries, it is necessary for "new people" and start-ups to come forward, the Minister said, in his view, start-up means new energy, new commitment, and new enthusiasm.

Pointing at first Prime Minister Jawahalal Nehru's speech on "Tryst with Destiny" on India becoming independent, he said, today, after 75 years of independence, we have got an opportunity to move forward on the path of 'Design our Destiny'.

"From now on, our mantra should be 'Design our Destiny', that is, we move forward towards the Design of our Destiny with our effort, abilities and resolve to build it," Singh said.

"Our destiny is to become the world's top economy in the coming 25 years; Our destiny is to become the Science & Technology superpower of the world," he said, adding that 'Amrit Kaal' is the best time for this, and youth are the best designers and developers of the country's destiny.

Organised by Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX), the Manthan platform brings leading innovators, start-ups, MSMEs, incubators, academia and investors from defence & aerospace ecosystem under one roof.

Highlighting that the environment that has been created for start-ups in the country in the last few years is no less than a boon for our youth, the Minister said, seven-eight years ago the number of start-ups in the country could be counted in fingers, but today their number has reached more than one lakh.

More than a hundred unicorns have been set up by the youth of the country. This not only tells the importance of the newly created start-up ecosystem in our country, but also showcases the new enthusiasm among our youth, and the passion among them to do something new, he said.

Speaking about new innovations and innovative spirit among the youth, Singh said, "I'm fully confident that soon our country will be among the leading countries in the world with respect to innovations, and like in the past, in the future too India will emerge as the light house to the entire world."

iDEX has so far introduced hundreds of innovators to the market, he said, adding that thus thousands of skilled and semi-skilled Indians have been helped in direct and indirect employment generation.

The Defence Ministry has also approved a simplified, and fast track procedure for procurement from iDEX start-ups and MSMEs, the Minister said. iDEX has opened avenues for achieving self-reliance in the defence ecosystem.

"In order to encourage our new entrepreneurs for the development of larger projects, we have decided to increase the grants given so far," he said, adding that this shows the government's support for the hard work, dedication, and encouragement of our innovators and start-ups.

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