Ministry of Defence to develop 25 AI products

The Ministry of Defence is planning to develop at least 25 defence specific Artificial Intelligence (AI) products by 2024 says Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh.

Speaking at the Global Business Summit 2020, Rajnath Singh said, “The government has prepared a road map for Artificial Intelligence in national security to make India a significant power in defence and there is a plan to develop at least 25 defence specific Artificial Intelligence products by 2024.”

Rajnath Singh has also called for an increased participation of the private sector in defence manufacturing to realise the Government’s vision of making India a $5 trillion economy by 2024 as manufacturing sector has the potential to reach $1 trillion by 2025 and the government is striving to achieve the goal by implementing key flagship programmes like ‘Make in India’, besides building policies relevant to the digital-economy and fostering human-capital.

The minister listed out several steps taken under the ‘Make in India’ initiative, including greater scope for domestic industry in defence tenders, simplification of industrial licensing process, hike in FDI cap, making defence export less stringent, streamlining defence offset policy, opening the government-owned trial and testing facilities for the private sector, setting up of two defence industrial corridors and promotion of innovation through participation of start-ups and small and medium enterprises.

“In our envisaged Defence Production Policy, we have clearly spelt out our goal to achieve a turnover of $26 billion in aerospace and defence goods & services by 2025. This will have huge implications for India’s endeavours to promote R&D, innovation and its efforts to secure a place in global supply chains,” said Rajnath Singh.

“The government aims to achieve exports of defence goods & services to the tune of $5 billion in the next five years. All possible support would be extended to the private sector so that they can contribute significantly to enable us to achieve the said target,” added Singh.

“We understand that Defence R&D in private sector will take time to establish itself. To give a boost to this process, we have opened opportunities through DRDO with a zero fee for Transfer of Technology (ToT), free access to over 450 patents, access to test facilities and an upfront funding of up to Rs. 10 crore. More than 900 licensing agreements for ToT have been signed with industries,” commented Singh.

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