Jammu: Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen MV Suchindra Kumar Monday inaugurated North Tech Symposium (NTS)- 2023 at the picturesque campus of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Jammu.
Jointly organised by HQ Northern Command, SIDM and IIT Jammu, the 3-day event will culminate on September 13.
Lieutenant Governor Jammu & Kashmir Manoj Sinha; Lieutenant Governor Ladakh Brig (Dr) BD Mishra (retired) and the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Anil Chauhan also graced the occasion with their presence.
With a lot of brilliant minds and state of the art defence technologies under one umbrella of HQ Northern Command, the event is witnessing participation from nearly 180 Indian defence companies including MSMEs, DRDO, DPSU, Simulator Development Division etc.
This interactive platform for knowledge diffusion through army-industry and academia participation was also aimed at propelling the government initiative of “Make in India.”
Lt Gen MV Suchindera Kumar, in his inaugural address, remarked, “More than an honour, it's a moment of immense pride for me to witness the harmonious blend of the army, academia, and industry. In an era where technology knows no boundaries, it is imperative that we recognize the essence of cooperation and collaboration.”
“The symposium stands as a luminous example of the synergy that can be harnessed,” emphasised Lt Gen Kumar. “This platform will serve as a launchpad for numerous startups and industries to illuminate their products and ideas. The primary objective of the symposium is to enrich the participants' technological knowledge, with a collective endeavour to seek solutions that not only bolster national security but also address environmental concerns.”
Prof Anurag Misra, Dean of IIT Jammu, echoed the sentiments of unity and progress, setting the symposium's tone with his pride in hosting this monumental event on the IIT Jammu campus. He declared, “It is indeed an honour to have NTS'23 organised at the hallowed grounds of IIT Jammu. In a brief span, IIT Jammu has emerged as a beacon of knowledge. We aspire to be renowned for our translational research, research that is not confined but can be translated into practical applications for users and industries alike.” “Our commitment extends to research in defence technology, aiming to enhance the lives of our valiant soldiers. The establishment of the Centre for Strategy and Sustainable Infrastructure exemplifies our dedication to interdisciplinary research. Collaboration is our ethos, and together, we shall forge innovative solutions. NTS'23 is an opportunity to strengthen our ties with the Army and Industry, contributing to our nation's welfare. It signifies a milestone in the collaboration between industry, the Army, and academia,” he said.
S P Shukla, President of the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM), added to the fervour, expressing his honour at being part of this historic occasion. He underlined the transformative journey of India's defence sector, proudly asserting, “75 percent of army products now bear the 'Make in India' emblem.” Shukla called upon the academic institutions, urging them to champion the 'Make in India' spirit.
He applauded the 150 companies and 50 startups participating in the exhibition, showcasing the very zenith of technological innovation. Shukla noted, "Structured one-on-one discussions and technical sessions at the symposium will serve as crucibles for the exchange of visionary ideas."
GOC-in-C, Northern Command, in his address, lauded the initiative and innovations of all the vendors. He furthermore commended the spirit of the participants who showcased their technical equipment. GOC-in-C Northern Comd remarked that he was convinced by the plethora of technologies available indigenously which can further boost the “Atmanirbhar Bharat” project of the Nation.
“The symposium was a huge success and was just the beginning of the indigenous defence production industries which are soon going to form the backbone of the country,” he said.
Among the highlights of the 2023 edition of North Tech included an exhibition of latest products by over 200 industry partners on various technologies with special encouragement to start ups and one on one structured interaction with industry representatives and the academia to bridge the gap between requirements and capabilities.
Technical seminar aimed at exchange of novel ideas and concepts with contributions from the defence industry, academia and the army; an idea and innovation display by students and the army to acknowledge and applaud the spirit of innovation at all levels are among its other highlights.
Besides, there is a military equipment display by the armed forces to acquaint the industry partners, the academia and the general public for a hands-on experience besides the product launches by Industry partners, typical to the requirements of the armed forces.
Defence spokesperson said that the symposium served to showcase cutting edge technologies and innovative products providing solutions to some of the complex challenges faced by the security forces in the Northern Command and also acted as an ideal platform for mutual exchanges of ideas between the Indian defence industry and the army. The technologies and products on display covered a wide canvas, the prominent being, surveillance and situational awareness, tactical mobility, firepower, soldier, force protection, communications, combat medical facility, robotics, simulators and training aids among others.