India, August 2022: The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur and Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly work on the emerging opportunities in the Indian Defence and Aerospace sectors. Both parties agreed in principle to co-operate, pursue research & development, and collaborate in manufacturing and supplying components, sub-assemblies and systems or equipment in mutually agreed areas of interest to address opportunities in the Indian Defence and Aerospace sectors.
The MoU was signed by Mr. Jai Prakash Srivastava, Executive Director, on behalf of BHEL and Prof. AR Harish, Dean of Research & Development, on behalf of IIT Kanpur. The BHEL team also included Mr. P C Jha (Executive Director -BHEL Haridwar Unit), Mr. Pervez Ahmad and Mr. Rohit Bansal; while the IIT Kanpur team included Prof. Manindra Agrawal, Department of Computer Science and Engineering; Prof. Deepu Philip, Department of Industrial & Management Engineering, and Ms. Avanti Joshi, and Ms. Shreya Mishra, representatives from Corporate Relations & Communication (CRC) Cell, Office of R&D, IIT Kanpur.
Commenting on the MoU, Prof. Abhay Karandikar, Director, IIT Kanpur said, “The Defence and Aerospace sectors are two of the most consistently evolving sectors in India. IIT Kanpur has been involved in various strategic partnerships and multi-disciplinary collaborations with government agencies as well as private organizations in these sectors. This agreement with BHEL initiates another such crucial agreement for the institute. Both the organizations would leverage their expertise to assert cohesive efforts in strengthening the Defence and Aerospace sectors of the state as well as the nation. It would surely accelerate the steps towards exploring multi-disciplinary avenues of growth in these crucial sectors for an Atmanirbhar Bharat.”
Prof. Manindra Agrawal, Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Kanpur said, “This agreement with BHEL to work collaboratively on research and development in the Defence and Aerospace domains will strengthen our resolve to create opportunities for growth in these sectors for the state and the nation, as well. We will work in synergy to develop some crucial indigenized devices, equipment and systems quintessential for attaining self-reliance in these sectors.”
Both parties have identified critical technological avenues of collaboration like anti-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technologies, UAV engines, manufacturing of composite fixed-wing UAVs of Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) category, cyber security, etc. IIT Kanpur is one of the leading institutes in the UAV research and development domain in India, while BHEL has established its leadership in manufacturing large products/systems. This mutual collaboration aligns with attaining self-sufficiency and self-reliance under the “Make in India” and “Atmanirbhar Bharat” missions for Uttar Pradesh, as well as for the nation.
This collaboration will also provide impetus to the Uttar Pradesh Defence Industrial Corridor initiative with technology development at IIT Kanpur followed by manufacturing at BHEL. Both parties agreed to set up a working group of members from both organizations to realize major goals envisioned under the MoU.
Established as a Maharatna PSU, BHEL has gained prominence as one of India’s largest engineering and manufacturing enterprises that serves the core sectors of the economy and provides a comprehensive portfolio of products, systems and services to customers in the power, transmission, transportation, renewables, water, defence & aerospace, oil and gas industry. IIT Kanpur, on the other hand, is one of the country’s premier academic institutions, with highly competent, motivated scientists/engineers, engaged in cutting-edge research and development initiatives across sectors. This MoU will seek to leverage the best of both the organizations for critical R&D collaborations in Defence and Aerospace domains.