Defence Tech Summit 2020 –Shaastra: A Pitch Perfect Start

The initiative by IIT – Madras students and Shaastra to organise the Defence Tech Summit 2020 is all poised to have a long term impact and will help in creating positive vibes among the aspiring minds and motivate them to be a part of the Indian government’s Make in India initiative and contribute effectively to realise India’s long cherished self-reliance goal through indigenous manufacturing and emerge as an export hub.

Defence Industry

The upcoming annual technical festival of IIT Madras, Shaastra, which completes two decades will be focussing on Defence sector as the government is keen on promoting “Make in India” and “Defence Indigenisation”.

The festival has been growing in size, substance and stature and the annual three-day conference during Shaastra to be held from January third onwards has been named the “Defence Tech Summit 2020.”

Shaastra has the distinction of being the first student managed technical festival in the nation and this Summit would provide exposure to the participants on how technology has become the key to nation’s defence forces. The participants will get an opportunity to interact with the companies which have been playing a major role in the defence sector and also for the companies to attract bright young minds.

The Summit will comprise of three days of panel discussions and the Defence Expo. The Summit will feature a series of lectures, panel discussions and demonstrations delivered by professionals from the field of defence technology and government officials. The Summit has already attracted leadings name as speakers like Dr. Sudhir Mishra, Director General (BrahMos), DRDO for the lecture demonstration on BrahMos Missile, Dr. Chitra Rajagopal, Director General (SAM), DRDO for the lecture on War-Games Simulations, Lt. Gen. Satish Dua, the former Chief of Integrated Defence Staff and brain behind the surgical strikes of 2016 for the fire-side chat on Counter Terrorism, Mr. Shrikant Shitole, MD, FireEye India for the lecture on Information Warfare.

Similarly the Panel Discussion on “Defence Manufacturing Through the Years” will have as panelist’s Shri Sanjay Jaju, Joint Secretary, Defence Industries Production, MoD; Mr. JD Patil, Director and Senior Executive Vice President, L&T Defence; Mr. Sameer Joshi, Director, Newspace Research and Technologies and Mr. Vaibhav Gupta, Director, MKU.

Shaastra has the distinction of being the first student managed technical festival in the nation and this Summit would provide exposure to the participants on how technology has become the key to nation’s defence forces. The participants will get an opportunity to interact with the companies which have been playing a major role in the defence sector and also for the companies to attract bright young minds.

The Day 1 will begin with a discussion on “The Defence Start-up Ecosystem in India – The Way Forward,” in which professionals from start-ups and government officials from the Ministry of Defence will cover all aspects with a view to present a complete dissertation of the current state of defence manufacturing in India and highlight the manner in which start-ups can supplement established companies in the defence sector, and the method in which government policies can be framed so as to encourage start-ups.

With technology gaining immense importance in the defence sector and future conflicts having less human participation, the area of focus would be “The Importance of UAVs in A Modern Defence System.”

DRDO’s Nishant, developed in 1996, signalled India’s intent to include UAVs in her defence forces.  But, it was only in the early 2010s that the world awakened to the immense potential of UAVs in the development of a truly unmanned force. With China making rapid strides in this aspect developing entire fleets of UAVs, it is imperative that India prioritize UAV development with a view on defence.

The Day 2 session will have the focus on countering the growing menace of terrorism and will also include Soldier Tech where the participants of the summit will be given a special access and tour of the Defence Expo which will see participation from DRDO, BrahMos Aerospace, Indian Armed Forces, Data Patterns, MKU, MEL Systems and Services, Aerospace Engineers, Newspace R&T, Aadyah Aerospace, Accord Software, Rodella Technologies etc.

With increasing terror threat to nations in the current century, the role of the armed forces to tackle this menace has been growing making the primary purpose of armies to keep them at bay. Thus, counter-terrorism is a major component of defence and any manner in which technology can augment the battle against terror will go a long way in the protection of the country.

There will be a fireside chat to be followed by a demonstration by one of the most prominent start-ups in the Indian defence technology sphere. The aim of the demonstration is to introduce the participants to the rigour involved in manufacturing and developing a product in the sphere of defence technology and to provide them with a clear overview of the technical aspect of the product.

As war game simulations form a crucial part of the testing phase, so to acquaint the participants with the rigorous simulations and testing that their products will have to undergo, there will be a lecture on war games simulations in Indian Defence Systems.

The participants will be given an opportunity to deal with, ideate upon and find solutions to a problem statement based on real time problems faced in the defence industry through a case study competition.

The Day 3 of the Summit will focus on Artificial Intelligence (AI), AR-VR in defence technology and cyber security.

With the next war expected to be fought through computers, smartphones and social networks, information and data would form one of the cornerstones. The ability to protect data is as much a necessity as that to extract it. So the focus would be on the importance of information warfare and data integrity.

The Defence Expo would have on display products of nascent defence technology start-ups, established manufacturers and the military. It will provide exposure to the participants of both Summit and Shaastra alike in the Defence Technology space and give access to a large number of people.

With defence technology undergoing a seismic shift brought about by the development of AI and robotics, the design of defence systems is an absolute necessity to improve performance and develop a truly autonomous fighting force which can minimize the threat to human life during defence operations. Thus, the disruption of the defence sector by AI seems inevitable and it is the need of the hour for defence technology start-ups and manufacturers to prepare for the same.

The security of data pertaining to a defence system is of paramount importance. To acquaint the participants with the nuances of cyber security and data protection, there will be a cyber-security workshop.

The importance of decoding encrypted data has been a part of the defence sector since time immemorial – only that the methods used for the encryption and decryption of data have rapidly evolved with time. The purpose of “Enigma Game” is to showcase the perennial importance of encryption and decryption techniques in defence systems.

 

The Defence Expo

The Defence Expo would have on display products of nascent defence technology start-ups, established manufacturers and the military.   It will provide exposure to the participants of both Summit and Shaastra alike in the Defence Technology space and give access to a large number of people.

The participants will get an opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of various products in the industry and provide networking platform for nascent start-ups to obtain mentors and inspire college students to join the defence sector and provide them with internships.

The Day 4 on January six, participants would visit multi-acre Kuttapalli Shipyard cum Captive Port-complex with state-of-the-art facilities for ship-building and repairs.It is one of the most well equipped shipyards in India invested in building specialised ships like Warships, Submarines, Corvettes and Patrol vehicles.

The initiative by IIT – Madras students and Shaastra to organise the Defence Tech Summit 2020 is all poised to have a long term impact and will help in creating positive vibes among the aspiring minds and motivate them to be a part of the Indian government’s Make in India initiative and contribute effectively to realise India’s long cherished self-reliance goal through indigenous manufacturing and emerge as an export hub.

Raksha Anirveda appeals to all its readers and stakeholders in the defence sector to participate in large numbers in the one of its kind Defence Tech Summit 2020 and make it a grand success.

For more information and registration, please visit the website (http://summit.shaastra.org/register)

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