16 May 2023 – Current Affairs

Daily Current Capsules

16 May 2023

Indigenisation of Technology

Defence Ministry’s iDEX reaches milestone


Relevance IN – Prelims ( about iDEX + DefSpace + DIO + DIF + DISC +SPRINT challenge+ + Mains ( GS II defence indigenisation)

What’s the NEWS

  • Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX), the flagship initiative of the Ministry of Defence (MoD), has reached a milestone with the signing of the 250th contract, the first one under the Mission DefSpace, and the 100th SPRINT (Navy) contract
  • The first iDEX contract of Mission DefSpace was exchanged between the Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO) and InspeCity, one of the winners of the “micro propulsion system for cubesats” challenge,
  • “InspeCity is developing a gas-based (compact micropropulsion system) system.
  • This technology can be integrated with other satellites, including the cubesat swarm being developed under Mission DefSpace.

Associated terms and Organisations

Know! about Innovations For Defence Excellence (iDEX)

  • The iDEX initiative was launched by the Hon’ble PM in April 2018.
  • iDEX aims to achieve self – reliance and foster innovation and technology development in Defence and Aerospace by engaging Industries including MSMEs, start-ups, individual innovators, R&D institutes and academia.
  • iDEX has partnered with leading incubators in the country to provide handholding, technical support and guidance to the winners of iDEX challenges.
  • Defence India Start-up Challenge (DISC) are launched with Problem Statements (PS) from Armed Forces and OFB/DPSUs for resolution by innovators.
  • iDEX provides grants/funding and other support to carry out R&D which has good potential for future adoption for Indian defence and aerospace needs.

Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO)

  • iDEX will be funded and managed by a “Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO)‟ formed as a “not for profit‟ company as per Section 8 of the Companies Act 2013 for this purpose.
  • The modalities of implementation of DIF will be managed by a specialized team known as the Innovation for Defence Excellence (iDEX) within the DIO.
  • DIO will provide high level policy guidance to iDEX.
  • iDEX will have functional autonomy.
  • The CEO of iDEX will be selected and recruited by the DIO
  • CEO of iDEX would also be CEO of DIO thereby providing the linkage between the high level policy guidance given by DIO and its implementation in a professional manner through iDEX.
  • iDEX will be funded and managed by a ‘Defence Innovation Organization (DIO)’ which has been formed as a ‘not for profit’ company as per Section 8 of the Companies Act 2013 for this purpose, by the two founder members i.e. Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) – HAL & BEL.
  • iDEX will function as the executive arm of DIO, carrying out all the required activities while DIO will provide high level policy guidance to iDEX.

Defence Innovation Fund (DIF)

  • It aimed at creating an eco-system to foster innovation and technology development in defence by engaging R&D institutes, academia, industry including MSMEs, start-ups and even individual innovators and provide them award based grant/ funding to carry out innovative development, which has good potential for future commercialization.
  • The Scheme is proposed to be implemented through a ‘not for profit’ company under section 8 of the Companies Act, namely Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO).
  • DIO has been registered with Bengaluru as its headquarter.
  • The DIO would be funded by two Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), namely Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL).
  • The maximum corpus fund raised by HAL and BEL for DIO shall be Rs. 100 crore, Rs. 50 crore each from HAL and BEL.

Defence India Startup Challenges(DISC)

  • Taking the iDEX initiative further, Defence India Startup Challenge “has been launched by Ministry in partnership with Atal Innovation Mission, aimed at supporting Startups/MSMEs/Innovators to create prototypes and/or commercialize products/solutions in the area of National Defence and Security.

Mission DefSpace

  • It was launched by the Prime Minister during DefExpo in October, 2022 with 75 Defence Space Challenges relevant to the end users.
  • These challenges have been categorised into existing DDP initiatives of iDEX, Make-I and Make-2.
  • Private Industries, including Start-ups, MSMEs and Individual Innovators, are eligible to apply.
  • The challenges, classified into five buckets viz. Launch System, Satellite System, Communication & Payload System, Ground System and Software System, provide a holistic 360overview of space.

SPRINT Challenges

  • The initiative was unveiled by PM Modi during Naval Innovation and Indigenisation Organisation (NIIO) seminar ‘Swavlamban’ in New Delhi in July 2022.
  • SPRINT Challenges aim to boost the usage of indigenous technology in Indian Navy.
  • NIIO, in conjunction with the Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO), aims to induct at least 75 new indigenous technologies/products into the Indian Navy.
  • This collaborative initiative has been named SPRINT {Supporting Pole-Vaulting in R&D through Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX), NIIO and Technology Development Acceleration Cell (TDAC)}.
  • Earlier, in March 2022, the Indian Navy had also signed an MoU for knowledge partnership with BharatShakti.in, and the Society for Indigenous Defence Manufacturing (SIDM), as a significant step towards encouraging innovation among young minds and encouraging self-reliance in defence in the country..

International Organisations

Arab League

The decline of Arab unity – Asia Times

Relevance IN – Prelims ( about Arab League + OIC) + Mains ( GSII international organisations)

What’s the NEWS

  • Syria called on Arab countries to invest in the war-torn nation, now again a member of the Arab League.
  • This inclusion is seen as another step toward bringing Syrian President Bashar Assad back into the fold.

Know! about Arab League

  • Formally the League of Arab States is a regional organization in the Arab world, which is located in Northern Africa, Western Africa, Eastern Africa, and Western Asia.
  • The Arab League was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945, initially with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan (renamed Jordan in 1949), Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria.
  • Currently, the League has 22 members.
  • Syria’s participation was suspended from 16 November 2011 to 7 May 2023 when it was reinstated.
  • The League’s main goal is to “draw closer the relations between member states and co-ordinate collaboration between them, to safeguard their independence and sovereignty, and to consider in a general way the affairs and interests of the Arab countries”.
  • Currently it gathers 22 Arab countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen and Syria
  • The chairmanship is elected every five years, but the seat of the Arab League has been in Cairo (Egypt) since the beginning.

Other sub-organizations are: 

  • the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF)
  • Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD)
  • Arab Economic Development Bank (BADEA)
  • Arab Air Carriers Organization

All member states are also members of the OIC, the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation.

Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)

  • It is an intergovernmental organization founded in 1969, consisting of 57 member states, with 48 being Muslim-majority countries.
  • The organisation states that it is “the collective voice of the Muslim world” and works to “safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony”.
  • The OIC has permanent delegations to the United Nations and the European Union.
  • The official languages of the OIC are Arabic, English, and French.
  • It maintains various affiliated, specialized, and subsidiary organs within the framework of OIC Charter.

, which belongs geographically to Asia.

Prelims Factoids

Israeli Army kills man in occupied West Bank

West Bank - WorldAtlas

Relevance IN – Prelims ( about West Bank – location based questions)

What’s the NEWS

  • Israeli soldiers killed a Palestinian man on the occupied West Bank

The West Bank

Israel-Palestinian violence on West Bank soars - Civilsdaily

  • It is a landlocked territory near the coast of the Mediterranean in Western Asia that forms the main bulk of the Palestinian territories.
  • It is bordered by Jordan and the Dead Sea to the east and by Israel to the south, west, and north.
  • Under an Israeli military occupation since 1967, its area is split into 165 Palestinian “islands” that are under total or partial civil administration by the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), and a contiguous area containing 230 Israeli settlements into which Israeli law is “pipelined”.
  • The West Bank includes East Jerusalem.
  • It initially emerged as a Jordanian-occupied territory after the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, before being annexed outright by Jordan in 1950, and was given its name during this time based on its location on the western bank of the Jordan River.
  • The territory remained under Jordanian rule until1967, when it was captured and occupied by Israel during the Six-Day War.

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