The Southern Command Regional Technology Node (RTN) conducted a ‘Southern Star Army – Academia – Industry Interface’ (S2A2I2) at Charak Auditorium, Command Hospital, Pune on 17 February 2023. The Southern Army Commander, Lt Gen Ajai Kumar Singh AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM addressed a gathering of representatives from the industry and academia. The Chief of Staff, HQ Southern Command, Lt Gen Manjit Kumar was also present.
About 100 participants from a diverse spectrum of industry bodies, industries, academia and army formations attended the event which provided an interactive platform for various stakeholders and also hosted an interesting display of indigenously produced innovations from IIT Bombay and local industries.
In his address, Lt Gen AK Singh stressed on the urgent need to shift towards indigenous defence production, especially in the light of recent global events. He said that the Armed Forces need to be ready to undertake operations at short notice and that conventional warfare should be supported by contemporary technologies. He stressed that indigenization would help resolve our own security needs and project the nation as a producer of its own weapon systems.
Lt Gen AK Singh mentioned that the Rules of Doing Business have been simplified and various initiatives taken by the Govt. to introduce newer regulations to assist industry, fast track Research & Development (R&D) and accelerate procurement procedures. In addition, new changes to the Defence Acquisition Procedure and significant increase in budget allocation under Atmanirbharta in Defence have been announced. These will give a much-desired fillip to defence procurement. Lt Gen AK Singh urged the audience to carry forward the existing exchange of ideas so as to understand potentials of industry and academia that may effectively enhance the Army’s capabilities through technology infusion.
Mr Prashant Girbane, DG MCCIA delivered the Inaugural Address. The other speakers at the event included Shri Rajinder Singh Bhatia, President and CEO, Bharat Forge Defence and Aerospace who spoke about ‘Supporting Technology Infusion into Indian Army’ and Prof Suhas Rautmare, NCETIS, IIT Bombay who covered the topic of ‘Opportunities and Potential of Academia to Promote Military Indigenization’. The Chairman of the RTN, Brig NP Singh also spoke about ‘Atmanirbharta’ in the Indian Army.