Indian Army signs a contract with ideaForge worth $20 million to procure SWITCH UAV
January 15, 2021

The Indian Army has signed a contract of approximately $20 million with ideaForge in order to procure undisclosed quantities of high-altitude drones which will be delivered over a period of 1 year.

ideaForge has been awarded the contract for a high-altitude variant of its SWITCH Unmanned Air Vehicles- UAV or drones after the company emerged as the only vendor that successfully qualified the operational requirements in an evaluation which was done in real-world conditions, for a fast-track procurement.

The contract signed by the Indian Army marks a strategic shift in the procurement process of the Indian Army as it goes on an aggressive modernization drive. This deal has also cemented ideaForge’s position as the largest manufacturer of India of drones for homeland security, defence, and industrial applications.

About SWITCH UAV:

It is an indigenous system that has been built to cater to the most demanding surveillance operations of the Indian Forces.

This Fixed-Wing VTOL- Vertical Take-off and Landing UAV can be deployed easily at harsh environments and high altitude for day and night surveillance in Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance- ISR missions.

SWITCH UAV is man-portable and also has the highest time on target when compared to any other Unmanned Air Vehicles- UAV in its class.

Development of SWITCH UAV:

The CEO of ideaForge, Ankit Mehta while speaking on the development of SWITCH UAV mentioned that it is the culmination of knowledge and insights that the company has gained over the years of experience to help the Indian defence forces operationalize UAVs in their ranks.

It is also the only product that passed the stringent product trials and surpassed expectations of the Indian Army.

He added that it is also proof of the fact our systems are built like a bird and are tested like a tank. The systems that are developed by the company are completely ready to serve the nations that aim to protect their territorial sovereignty.

Bagging the contract against the global competition:

Executive Chairman-ideForge, Ganapathy Subramaniam, informed that a combination of world-class technology along with a deep understanding of customer requirements resulted in the company bagging the contract with the Indian Army against the global competition.

He added that with the backing of famous institutional investors such as Qualcomm, Infosys, WRVI, ideaForge is all set to grow rapidly.

The company plans to work with like-minded investors as well as partners in order to achieve the vision of a premier drone company that serves security, enterprise, and surveillance market all over the world.



EAM S Jaishankar holds talks with Nepalese counterpart Gyawali
January 15, 2021

The External Affairs Minister of India, S Jaishankar on January 15, 2021, held talks with the Foreign minister of Nepal, Pradeep Kumar Gyawali with a focus on different key aspects of the bilateral relations between the two nations.

As per the officials, the talks between India and Nepal are taking place under the framework of the Indo-Nepal Joint Commission meeting.

The Foreign Minister of Nepal, Pradeep Kumar Gayawali arrived in India on January 14 for a three-day visit. Gayawali is also the first senior political leader from Nepal to visit India after the ties between the two neighbouring countries came under strain because of a border issue.

Significance of Indo-Nepal Joint Commission meeting:

The Joint Commission Meeting-JCM between India and Nepal is a significant mechanism that provides an opportunity for reviewing the whole gamut of the bilateral relationship between India and Nepal and for providing political guidance to further enhance and strengthen the unique ties between the two nations.

The meeting will have constructive discussions on the numerous sectors that encompass the bilateral agenda of India and Nepal.

Will there be a discussion on the border issue at JCM?

The Spokesperson of the External Affairs Minister, Anurag Srivastava had given a clear indication that the boundary issue between the two countries is unlikely to be discussed at the Joint Commission Meeting.

He added that India’s position on the boundary issue is very much clear and is well known and that JCM and boundary talks are two different mechanisms.

Border disputes between India and Nepal: Background

Between India and Nepal, there are two territorial disputes. One is over the Kalapani territory, an area at the India-Nepal- China junction in northwest Nepal and another one is Susta, an area in Southern Nepal.

In May 2020, Nepal had started to dispute the source of Kali River, claimed it to be at Limpiyadhura, and allocated 300 sq km of Indian Territory to itself by issuing a new map. However, the reason why this dispute arose was not explained.



India and Japan sign MoU to strengthen cooperation in Information and Communications Technology
January 15, 2021

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed between India and Japan on January 15, 2021, to enhance cooperation in the field of ICT- Information and Communications Technology.

The MoU was signed by Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Union Minister for Communications, Electronics and IT, and Takeda Ryota, the Internal Affairs and Communications Minister of Japan. The signing was exchanged through a video conference.

The Japanese Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications expressed happiness during the signing of the MoU between India and Japan. He also assured the commitment of the Japanese government towards mutual cooperation and investments in India.

Objective:

Under this MoU, the Telecom department of India and the Ministry of Communications of Japan will enhance the mutual cooperation in the field of telecom security, 5G technologies, spectrum management, submarine optical fiber cable system to Indian islands, a high-altitude platform for broadband in unconnected areas, disaster management and public safety, smart cities, etc.

Key Highlights:

•  While speaking on the occasion, the Union Minister noted the timely execution of connecting Andaman & Nicobar with the submarine optical fiber cable and mentioned it as a great example of cooperation between India and Japan.

•  He also shared India’s rapid adoption of innovative digital technologies during the pandemic such as the rapid growth of digital payments, the Aarogya Setu tracing App, digital hearings in the courts of India.

•  The minister also highlighted that during the pandemic, because of the attractive policies of India such as SPECS and PLI, there has been a large investment in the field of electronics manufacturing.

Invitation to the Japanese electronics industry:

The Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad urged the electronics industry of Japan to invest in India as well as avail the benefits of the new technologies.

He also further highlighted the great potential that India holds for Japanese investors in the area of 5G and 5G based services, digital health technologies, Internet of Things, etc.

It has also been agreed between both the countries that apart from the cooperation at the ministry level, organisations of the Indian government such as ITI Limited and C-DOT along with the Japanese industry partners will also be part of this cooperation.



Startup India International Summit 2021: PM Narendra Modi to address summit on January 16th
January 15, 2021

The Startup India International Summit- ‘Prarambh’ is being organised virtually by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) between January 15-16, 2021. The summit was inaugurated by Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal who stated that Prarambh’ is a beginning of a new journey towards new horizons with hope, encouragement & confidence.

The Minister further said that the government has decided to go beyond  Government to Government, Business to Business collaboration to a startup-startup collaboration and thus, invites startups from neighbourhood countries to engage with Indian startups.

He stated that such a collaboration will have a huge potential as it will enable new ideas to prosper and encourage young minds to come together and work collectively to come up with new ideas, innovations and inventions.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to address the concluding session of the summit tomorrow, on January 16th. 

Significance

The Startup India International Summit marks five years of the launch of the Startup India initiative. which has played a key role in encouraging the spirit of entrepreneurship across India. 

Key Highlights 

The summit is expected to bring together top industry people, policymakers, investors, academia, startups and all stakeholders from across the globe.

The summit' sessions have been designed in a way to showcase the spread of entrepreneurship based on innovation in India. They will also deliberate on good practices from the best of the ecosystems across the world.

The first day of the Summit has been dedicated to host BIMSTEC Startup Conclave. The Union Commerce Minister in his address encouraged Indian investors to look at the BIMSTEC region and work towards greater engagement through investment, mentorship and support. 

The summit will also involve panel discussions with startups and other stakeholders on various themes stretched over the two days of the Summit.

The BIMSTEC Startup Conclave will involve seven Panel Discussions on the themes of Knowledge Exchange Workshop, Sharing Best Practices, Promoting Social Innovation and Multilateral Incubator Programmes.

Around 100 Startups from BIMSTEC countries are expected to participate in the Virtual Startup Showcase.

The selected startups will then get the opportunity to interact with PM Narendra Modi at the Grand Plenary session tomorrow. 

Objective

The main objective is to focus on global capital for startups in India and mobilise domestic capital. The summit also aims to provide opportunities to the Indian startups to access international markets and evolve enabling policy provisions. 

Background

The BIMSTEC Startup Conclave was one of the announcements made by PM Narendra Modi at the 4th BIMSTEC Summit in Kathmandu in August 2018 to enhance connectivity among the entrepreneurs of the region.  



 
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