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PIB Summary for UPSC

5-March -2024

1. DefConnect 2024: Raksha Mantri launches ADITI scheme to promote innovations in critical & strategic defence technologies

Topic: GS2 – Governance – Government Policies – Interventions for development in various sectors
ADITI scheme boosts defence tech innovation with Rs 25 crore grants, vital for self-reliance; UPSC likely to test defence policies.
Context
  • Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh launches ADITI scheme, providing Rs 25 crore grant to defence tech start-ups. 11th Defence India Start-up Challenge also unveiled during DefConnect 2024.
 Additional information on this news:
  • Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh launched the Acing Development of Innovative Technologies with iDEX (ADITI) scheme during DefConnect 2024 in New Delhi.
  • The scheme allocates Rs 750 crore for 2023-24 to 2025-26, falling under the iDEX framework, supporting start-ups in critical and strategic defence technologies.
  • Start-ups under ADITI can receive grant-in-aid of up to Rs 25 crore for research, development, and innovation in defence technology.
  • The initiative aims to develop 30 deep-tech critical and strategic technologies and create a ‘Technology Watch Tool’ to align Armed Forces’ needs with defence innovation capabilities.
  • The 11th Defence India Start-up Challenge (DISC) with 22 problem statements was also launched to address critical defence challenges.
  • The government encourages youth innovation, expanding iDEX to iDEX Prime, and launching ADITI to nurture youth innovation in defence.
  • The government emphasizes the importance of achieving technological edge for India’s development and becoming a knowledge society.
  • Efforts towards self-reliance in defence production are highlighted, with positive indigenisation lists and plans for a short negative import list.
  • DefConnect 2024 featured a technology showcase, a panel on ‘Women as Drivers of Change,’ an iDEX internship program, and MoUs to foster investment in defence start-ups.
  • The initiatives underscore the government’s commitment to innovation, entrepreneurship, and self-reliance in defence production, positioning India as a global leader in defence technology.
Need For innovations in critical & strategic defence technologies
  • Security Challenges: India faces diverse security challenges, including traditional threats, asymmetric warfare, and cyber threats. Innovations in critical and strategic defence technologies are essential to address these multifaceted challenges.
  • Modernization Imperative: Rapid advancements in technology globally necessitate continuous modernization of defence capabilities. Cutting-edge technologies enhance the effectiveness of armed forces and ensure a credible deterrence.
  • Self-Reliance: Achieving self-reliance in defence technology is a strategic goal for India. Relying on indigenous innovations reduces dependence on external sources, enhances national security, and bolsters the defence industrial base.
  • Asymmetric Warfare: With the rise of non-traditional threats, such as terrorism and insurgency, innovative technologies play a crucial role in combating asymmetric warfare. This includes advanced surveillance systems, counter-terrorism technologies, and intelligence capabilities.
  • Strategic Autonomy: The ability to develop and deploy critical defence technologies independently contributes to India’s strategic autonomy. This autonomy is vital for decision-making in geopolitical scenarios and strengthens the country’s global standing.
  • Cybersecurity: As the digital landscape evolves, cybersecurity becomes paramount. Innovations in cyber defence technologies are crucial to safeguarding military networks, critical infrastructure, and sensitive information from cyber threats.
  • Dual-Use Technologies: Investments in dual-use technologies that have civilian applications alongside military use promote economic growth and technological advancements. This synergy fosters innovation in both defence and civilian sectors.
  • Deterrence Capability: Technological superiority enhances India’s deterrence capability. Advancements in areas like missile defence, hypersonic technology, and electronic warfare contribute to a robust defence posture.
In conclusion, continuous innovation in critical and strategic defence technologies is imperative for India to address emerging threats, achieve self-reliance, and maintain a credible deterrence capability in an evolving global security landscape.
Practice Question:  How does the pursuit of innovations in critical and strategic defence technologies contribute to India’s national security objectives? Discuss. (150 words/10 m)

2. Geological Survey of India Celebrates 174th Foundation Day

Topic: GS3 – Science & Technology
UPSC relevance: GSI’s 174th Foundation Day highlights geological contributions, mineral exploration, technological advancements, and national self-reliance efforts.
Context
  • The Geological Survey of India celebrated its 174th Foundation Day, marked by an event in Kolkata. The occasion included exhibitions, homage to founders, and recognition of GSI’s contributions.
 Additional information on this news:
  • The Geological Survey of India (GSI) celebrated its 174th Foundation Day on March 4, 2024, across the country.
  • Shri Janardan Prasad, Director General, GSI, inaugurated the celebrations at the Central Headquarters in Kolkata.
  • M. K. Mukhopadhyay, former Director General of GSI, was the Chief Guest, inaugurating an exhibition of rocks, minerals, and fossils for students.
  • Ceremonial garlanding of portraits of GSI founder Dr. Thomas Oldham and first Indian Head Dr. M. S. Krishnan took place.
  • The exhibition was open to students from Kolkata and suburbs, showcasing geological specimens.
  • Joydeep Guha highlighted GSI’s pivotal role in mineral exploration and geoscientific knowledge.
  • Shri Janardan Prasad emphasized GSI’s 174-year history, contributions to mineral exploration, and commitment to self-reliance.
  • GSI employs advanced probing techniques, AI, machine learning in mineral exploration, and collaborates nationally and internationally.
Geological Survey of India
  • Establishment: Founded in 1851, the Geological Survey of India (GSI) is one of the oldest geological organizations globally.
  • Mission: GSI’s primary mission is to explore the country’s mineral resources, assess geological hazards, and provide geoscientific information.
  • Headquarters: The central headquarters is located in Kolkata, with regional offices across India.
  • Founders: Dr. Thomas Oldham, the founder of GSI, and Dr. M. S. Krishnan, its first Indian Head.
  • Functions: GSI conducts geological surveys, mineral exploration, and environmental assessments to support sustainable development.
  • Contributions: GSI’s work is crucial for understanding India’s geological structure, managing natural resources, and mitigating geohazards.
  • Technological Advancements: GSI incorporates advanced techniques, artificial intelligence, and machine learning in mineral exploration.
  • Collaborations: Actively collaborates with national and international agencies for research, data exchange, and technological advancements.

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