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Indian Ministry of Defence Launches Portal for Government Awards Programme

The Ministry of Defence has launched an online portal for filing applications for the Raksha Mantri’s (Prime Minister’s) Awards for Excellence in the Defence and Aerospace Sector 2021-22. A press release has stated that the objective of the award is to boost the government’s Make in India initiative and reward excellence in the fields of indigenisation, innovation, and exports by the Indian defence industries (both private as well as defence public sector undertakings).

Launched in 2014, the Make in India initiative aims to develop and encourage organisations to develop, manufacture, and assemble products in India. It incentivises dedicated investments into domestic manufacturing. The Raksha Mantri Awards will facilitate the widening of the industrial base in the defence and aerospace sectors and identify ‘hidden gems’ from private industries, especially from micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and start-ups.

Applications for Raksha Mantri’s Awards under various categories will be accepted only through the online portal and the processing of applications for the awards will be carried out online as well. The last date to file the online applications is 29 September 2022. The awards for 2021-22 will be presented during DEFEXPO-22, scheduled to be held in Gujarat from 18 to 22 October.

The government has been investing heavily in the development of online portals for administrative operations and public service delivery as they have a wider reach than non-digital mediums. In July, the Department of Posts launched an e-learning portal to enhance the competencies of about 400,000 rural postal service and departmental employees by providing them access to standardised training content online or in a blended campus mode. The training videos and quizzes on the portal are available in 12 Indian languages.

Meanwhile, the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras’ National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) introduced an online portal to help students prepare for the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE). Nearly one million students will take the GATE exams next year and the portal strives to make the preparation journey easier for the aspirants.

In August, the Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare (DoPPW) announced it is working on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)-enabled Integrated Pensioners Portal, linking the DoPPW portal, Bhavishya, and the pension portals of various banks. Bhavishya has ensured the end-to-end digitisation of pension processing and payment in line with the government’s objective of enhanced transparency, complete digitisation, and better service delivery. It was made mandatory for all central government departments in 2017 and is currently implemented in the main secretariat of 97 ministries/departments.

Earlier this month, the Union Home and Cooperation Minister launched the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) eAwas web portal. It will help efficiently allot departmental pool residential accommodation and separated family accommodation (SFA) held by the CAPF. The portal will enable the online registration and allocation of residential quarters/SFAs to eligible personnel. It also maintains an online inventory of residential quarters/SFA held by CAPFs, as well as their allotment. The portal will notify the applicant through SMS and e-mail about the various stages of the allotment process. It will also facilitate planning for the construction of new quarters based on demand-gap analyses.

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