Antony asks DRDO to buck up

At a time when the DRDO continues to resist -- at all levels -- the P Rama Rao Committee's recommendations on reform, the Defence Minister AK Antony today asked top scientists of DRDO to desist from taking up too many projects and thereby lose focus; instead, concentrate on high technology and critical areas to help the country achieve self reliance in strategic fields.

Addressing the DRDO Research Council here, Antony asked the scientists to set a goal of achieving indigenisation of 70 per cent from the current level of 30 per cent in ten years in the manufacture of defence products. According to a statement, he said "Over dependence on foreign suppliers is not conducive to national security in critical times". It went on to add that the Defence Minister favoured involvement of Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) and the private sector for the transformation and paradigmatic change of Defence industry in the country.

He asked the country's defence scientists to have continuous interaction and build synergy with the services for greater success and acceptance of the products by the forces. He also asked the top brass to decentralize and delegate decision making to the numerous laboratories across the country, as far as possible. Antony asked the scientists to give special attention to the quality of products and their timely delivery.

The DRDO Research Council consists of the Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister, eight Chief Controllers (R&D), Additional Financial Advisor and three distinguished Scientists. The body is responsible for providing directions and guidance for executing Research and Technology projects in different disciplines by over 50 laboratories of DRDO.

What I'm still foxed about is just why DRDO continues to resist the P Rama Rao Committee's report.

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