SRM Institute of Science and Technology (SRMIST), Kattankulathur in association with Tamil Nadu Defence Industrial Corridor is to hold a Defence Forces Hackathon in the institute’s premises. This is being done as part of the Indian Government's 'Atma Nirbhar Bharat' program.
The hackathon will aim to identify and support student and faculty teams for the development of technology/products for the Defence sector. A special emphasis will be on indigenization of all aspects of the technology and products supporting the Indian Armed Forces (Army, Navy, and Air Force).
Dr. T K Varadarajan, Nodal Officer, Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA) Facilitation Cell, shared various opportunities in the Defence sector and how the Government is supporting Defence Startups with students and faculty.
In his brief, he said, "The idea is to inculcate partnership between academia and defense. The specific agenda of the government is to indigenize, incubate, innovate, and have start-ups for Defence in India. We are trying to get away from the industry and have academicians working with us. There is always a huge gap between the knowledge available, potential competence, and what needs to be done. This was a big zero and no start-up was able to provide us with solutions to the problems we face. We have been lagging in setting up small systems and weapon platforms, whereas many other countries have been gained upon it. So we thought this gap could be solved with the help of involving academicians."
Elaboration on how to go about it, he said, "All the problems are put in the Defence website and solutions for the same are sought. People, especially students are welcomed to help solve this issue. Once their solutions are accepted, Seed funding will be provided to do the prototype. If it succeeded it will be industrialized. The aim of this initiative is nation-building through academia."