ROORKEE: Seeking to tap innovative ideas from academic campuses, Defence Ministry has set the ball rolling for collaboration with IITs, NITs, IISc and other top institutions to work out a research and development paradigm which will include both "innovation and production" for the sector.
"I have already instructed DRDO and our other organisations to tie up with academic institutions in tapping the potential for innovation there and use it for not just academic research but also for defence production, based on merit," Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said here today.
The Union minister, an IIT-Bombay alumnus, was speaking at the opening ceremony of the three-day technical festival 'Cognizance 2016' of IIT Roorkee.
"Some IITs, some NITs, IISc, some regional engineering colleges and other top academic institutions, we have planned to tie up with to work out R&D not just for innovation but production in the defence sector too.
"And, I think in six-twelve months we should be in a position to start the programme," he said.
Parrikar while addressing a gathering of students, academicians and guests at the Convocation Hall emphasised the government's 'Make in India' vision and asked students to contribute to the country's growth story by innovating.
"I don't claim that all intelligence lie at IITs, but a substantial amount of it does. I mean look at this Convocation Hall, it was a hangar used during the Second World War or something and you have turned in into this big facility, therein lies your innovation," he said, as he received a loud applause.
He also proposed using defence offsets to create projects that bring in academic participation.
"I think we should also use defence offsets to create such type of research projects in defence with academic participation," Parrikar said.
The minister cited example of some of the projects taking place in few institutions like IIT-Bombay with Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the US.
Parrikar went down memory lane and even recalled his days of entrepreneurship.
"After finishing college, we started our own venture and later decided to enter politics. But, innovation is something the campus environment promotes and if you have great ideas then this programme fits in right there," he said.
The 60-year-old politician graduated in 1978 and was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award by his alma mater for his achievements in 2001.