Sunday, August 19, 2012

Embarrassed DRDO Lambasts TV Report

On August 13, television news station CNN-IBN aired a story (text and video) titled 'DRDO spending crores, but no positive outcome' on an internal government audit that had made troubling observations about the DRDO's conduct and the manner in which it was going about ramping up weapons self-reliance in the country.

Saw the story? Ok. Five days after the story went on air, DRDO issued a statement to the entire media, responding to the CNN-IBN TV report. I'm putting that response here in full. My take: It's full of unnecessary platitudes, typically diversionary irrelevancies, insinuations that the TV station is working for arms dealers and an expected sentimentality on indigenous development. I wonder why the DRDO has such a problem dealing with the report head-on. Over 14 points, it just barely touches upon the substance of the audit report, and that too to say they are not final, and can still be struck down. Here it is in full, verbatim:

1. DRDO’s response to reports in certain section of media about an internal audit report pertaining to Ministry of Defence, leaked out to them (as claimed by these media reps)

2. The report referred is a confidential document pertaining to the MoD. It is not understood how the contents have reached public domain in total violation of laid down orders on handling of such documents. Response to the audit authorities by DRDO is being similarly rendered under confidential classification only.

3. The original objective of the internal audit was to conduct an internal review of the wings of the MoD namely, Army, Navy, Air Force , Ordnance factories and DRDO.

4. Since laid down procedure was not followed and the report was issued without authorization, the matter is under examination and correspondence with the concerned authorities.

5. As already indicated, notwithstanding the fact that the report was vitiated by a faulty audit process, DRDO is recording its responses.

6. However, for the sake of clarity it is stated that the issues raised are essentially in the nature of preliminary observations which, in accordance with the laid down audit procedure, are required to be discussed with executive authorities during formal entry and exit meetings before compilation of audit report. Normally, the internal audit observations are settled by clarifications from the concerned department. Such preliminary observations are required to be formally issued and replies to the same should be sought prior to compilation of any report. Only if the replies are not satisfactory is the next step of making a preliminary report taken. In the extant case, the laid down procedure was not followed and to that extent, the process of audit stands vitiated. Thus, even before seeking replies of DRDO, presumption and baseless conclusions appear to have been arrived at.

7. The draft report, as per procedure, is also required to be submitted to the competent (audit) authority for its approval before it is issued to the executive authorities. This also does not appear to have been done.

8. The observations are apparently based on individual perceptions and hasty presumptions rather than facts and are a curious mix of fact and fiction issued without seeking the formal replies of the executive authorities. In several instances, the statements have taken the shape of undue criticism and derogatory remarks.

9. DRDO strongly refutes observations made in the report and is in the process of compiling its responses despite the fact that the findings of audit already stand vitiated. The replies to audit will be sent in due course as per procedure.

10. All laid down procedures are being followed by DRDO in a transparent manner and interests of the State are the sole consideration during the process of decision making.

11. DRDO is committed to the cause of indigenous development of state of the art weapon systems for the Indian Armed Forces with total focus on transparency, probity and accountability.

12. Unfortunately, the perverse campaign has been launched at a juncture when DRDO is making rapid strides into high end defence technologies and indigenously churning out one after another, contemporary weapon systems and equipment, sharply reducing the dependence on imports, the efforts have helped India to raise the level of indigenous content in meeting its requirements of defence systems to around 60%; the figures are rising steadily. Thus, anyone can easily guess, who will be the beneficiary’s this campaign and who is going to loose. Not only the manner in which the audit has been conducted but also the manner in which sensitive information pertaining to India’s Defence Research Programs has been leaked out is unfortunate.

14. It need be borne in mind that R&D projects involving development of complex system such as missiles, combat aircrafts, battle tanks etc, as well as those involving development of newer technologies, require a large number of experiments and iteration before success is achieved. It involves handling uncertainties and as such predicting the exact number of iteration is not feasible. Allowing flexibility in the system and confidence in the project team are essential to achieve success.

For the story on that image above, go here.

35 comments :

Anonymous said...

truth is always bitter. remove reservation system drdo recruitment.

Anonymous said...

scientist can not be made by quota. When you have 50% scientist in DRDO are selected by quota then you can expect this to happen.

Hindustani said...

Shiv, you do know that it is "CNN"-IBN. Also, whether you like it or not all media houses today are influenced by those American f****rs. Honestly, after having spent so much time on your blog and reading about what you write I sometimes doubt whether even you're "influenced" a little!

The fuktards in the US are getting nothing. Therefore this frustration!

I for one will support DRDO throughout. I do not mind delays (including delays for 20-30 years) in indigenous development as long as it keeps us from buying from the United States of Shit Land

For all those reading this, ALL points raised by CNN-IBN are lies and fabricated bull-crap. Please ignore and support the DRDO.

Shiv, you can choose to not post this

Anonymous said...

come on shiv, a post on Psy opps done on DRDO and you use Abhrams tank as the picture, I would have been happy id you have used Agni-5 or Arjun tank.
-Your regular reader

SinghS said...

If this news had come 6 years ago I would be fully supporting it but the report is being published when DRDO has achieved success after success. I agree that Defense sector shall be completely out of quota system but how can anyone blame DRDO for quota when its a binding law.
I support DRDO. It may not be perfect but then who is? Look at how every single military is facing problems. F-35's are delayed and hyper costly, Chinese attack copters are massively delayed, canada's attack heli pending from 1990s, or the report that USA's nine comp. upgrade are running 30 years behind schedule and have cost overrun of $7 billion. So yeah, shit happens.
On the other hand we are making Prahar in less than two years, LCH in just 5 years, Agni-V in 5 years, we are finally making artillery after spending decades trying to buy one.
It is an clear trend of increasingly improving efficiency. Its very easy to blame DRDO for delays but always remember the truth that most of the delays are caused by -

1- Change of requirements mid-development.
2- Commission culture.
3- Lack of self-confidence. Lack of belief that we can top the best.
4- Lack of funds for R&D but expectations to beat 20x better funded projects around the world.
5- Red tape. Do you how long it takes to release funds? How long it takes to even get permission for a test? How long it takes the report to complete its run and next sanction? Not to mention new proposed changes/feature that are added out of nowhere to the list (see point 1)?
6- Most delays are caused by lack of materials/tech which should have been provided but fails to be delivered to development/manufacturing units. How can one expect the project to be on time when material supply is running eight months behind schedule.

Anonymous said...

well,to be honest,i consider Indian journalists and Indian journalism as one of dumbest in the world.their quality of journalism is highly questionable and sometimes they go hyper nova and sometimes lethargic.I don't know how you rate yourself,but over time i found Indian journalists as a bunch of hypocrites ,some behave as if they have been assigned some kind of james bond assignment.don't take me wrong,the talk of free,fair and unbiased media is a myth,no western media or Indian media are completely free of their prejudice or notional or self interest,time and again BBC,New York times and many such media giants have been criticized and there working and reporting of facts has been questioned,there were incidents when journalists deliberately represented falsified facts to propagate national interests.well shiv,i even found your work intriguing and and a bit hyped.well, on this topic, i stand with DRDO come what may,rather than to trust bunch of fools jumping like escaped zoo monkeys(journalists)i will stand with scientists of DRDO,seriously, there are hardly any Indian journalists left who live for truth,most(hell lot of them)just want to grab eye balls.only if knew and understood the life of these scientists and their achievements and contributions,we would not be in a such a pathetic state,as to believe in this stupidity what everyone calls as journalism

Anonymous said...

>>My take: It's full of unnecessary platitudes, typically diversionary irrelevancies, insinuations that the TV station is working for arms dealers and an expected sentimentality on indigenous development.

Of course this would be YOUR take. After all, you wouldnt want the freebies and junkets you enjoy from your arms dealing buddies to end would you? The ordinary Indian is not as stupid as you think he is. We all remember how you wrote up that anti DRDO campaign at the same time, the DRDO, PSUs etc were opposing relaxation of offset rules. At worst, you were a treasonous turd. At best,you were the sort of two bit pimp used by power brokers.

Shiv Aroor said...

anon@9.52pm: If you clicked on the link at the bottom of the post, you'd perhaps understand the background story to DRDO's howler with that M1 Abrams website banner. Click away :)

Anonymous said...

as usual, shiv aroor and his westernized collegues are having an itch. Just a few months ago, I read somewhere that DRDO used only 20 billion dollars in the last 10 years to make a variety of products. Shiv, if you don't know, that's how much US spent just on their UCAV programme!! would you like to write a rant on them?? or will you let it go as they are your masters ?? lol ... CNN is an American media outlet, and they and their assorted chimps who have set their foot in the Indian media as "English" language channels are some of the most crappiest things I have seen on TV. My advice to you would be to concentrate more on what's happening in DRDO instead of moaning about them. You are just a pathetic Mr. Aroor if you think you can put an inflamatory title to provoke negative response from Indians. Use some brain, if you have any...

Raja Raja Chola said...

DRDO needs to seriously look at all it's current projects n take tough unpalatable decisions to cull projects that are just not delivering the required outcomes but just eating away valuable funds. A relook at its core competencies n what it is best able to design manufacture test and operate to meet or exceed armed forces requirements is vital for its future. With Chinese Dragon breathing down our necks we cannot afford lengthy timelines from inception to conception to delivery of armament systems to our armed forces.

Puri Gopalan said...

Its very clear that several foreign sellers as well as local commission agents are irked by DRDOs success in recent times.
Please understand that when we make a system ourselves then USA, Russia, france loose billion of dollars worth of profits. Profits not just from sales but economies of scale too. It also have the added advantage of making them further dependent on them resulting in a vicious cycle. DRDO is fighting against the tide and doing a damn good job. So yeah I support DRDO instead of this joke called "free media" which is actually nothing but private companies.

Anonymous said...

I have worked in a public sector major for over 26 years. I wish to inform readers that the audit reports are never 'balanced'. They are not even consistent. For instance, they may say tendering should have been done in one report but calculate losses in todays' context for decisions taken years back through tendering. Wrong statements of audit also should have punishment. Indian agents of foreign suppliers in the services and media make merry in the meanwhile.

Anonymous said...

And we needed a report for this? The LCA isn't inducted and won't for another 10 years. Trishul canceled, ABM the defense ministry is clueless on whatever DRDO is doing. Seriously, there's some ok stuff happening but if somebody thinks DRDO hasn't wasted serious taxpayer money over the past decades, then I want to have what they are smoking, because that's some serious sh**.

Anonymous said...

Shiv, You obviously are doing something right. The brickbats are vicious, the accusations sharp. Enjoy your 'journalist' moment. The truth hurts. The fanboys are shooting the messanger.
I am not really sure, how accurate the audit report is. But, I m sure DRDO can offer point vise rebuttal. As an aside, can you do your own research and lay out for us the DRDO products that have been inducted into the Armed forces. We should make the distinction between promise and delivery. For eg, Dhruv is delivery but Tejas is a promise (as yet unfulfilled). Similary Agni 5 is a grand success but years away from induction. Agni-2 itself is not yet fully inducted.
By encouraging you, I have invited the wrath of DRDO fanboys. to them I say "bring it on".

sents said...

Shiv,
Although not related to this article, i thought of asking it here.

Srilanka suddenly given 100 acres of land to a chinese aircraft manufacturing company, which was previously thought to be given to India.

Can you provide us with any more information or the reason behind Srilanka's decision. It will increase chinese presence in India's south side(Tamil Nadu). The only place in India where China haven't got access, till now.

Anuj Kumar said...

@Anon 11:32 Tejas is undergoing trials hassle free. If it was an foreign fighter we would have already inducted it but being our indigenous product it is being put through every test imaginable. It can be inducted right now if IAF wants. And what are you saying about BMD? The Indian BMD is a shining example of capabilities of our scientists, has been a huge success, has 99.8% kill probability!!!! and has already been given green lights for implementation in Delhi, Mumbai other cities will be covered under BMD umbrella soon. Its a great achievement which will save hundreds of millions of lives when we "liberate" Pakistan once and for all. Go DRDO.

Anonymous said...

DRDO guys are expert rants rather than scientists... they spend more time on net rather than on their projects

ArkAngel115 said...

All these people waving DRDOs flag I like to see where they stand when CAG comes out with some report stating the lakhs of crores Rupees lost by DRDO. After all these are the same people that believe every word that CAG says about the rest of their loss figures.
Most of the DRDO fan boys are PSU employees or socialists living in some romantic fairyland.

RAJA RAJA CHOLA said...

Joke or rather statement of the year! Tejas can be inducted right now if IAF wants. Really what role is it going to perform ?? Gate guardian duties at Air HQ Delhi?? The sooner IAF relegates the Tejas to the role of an operational lead in flight trainer fighter before pilots move into SU30MKI/Rafale/FGFA the better. DRDO has spent way too much time money n effort on Tejas. DRDO needs to straight away gets its resources base to developing the AMCA with fifth generational stealth platform technologies with the aim of having the first AMCA prototype flying before 2018 with operational deployment by 2025. Like the Arjun the IAF is not going to induct the Tejas Mk1&2 in any meaningfully viable numbers to its squadrons. Hence DRDO should stop loss and get the AMCA project up and running ASAP. DRDO powering Indias defence & offensive capabilities now tomorrow and in the future. DRDO zindabad false propaganda murdabad.

Vijay kant sharma said...

@Anon 1:25 Source of this stupid allegation?
@arkangel So anybody who supports DRDO is a socialist?
Wow! It's the same technique used by uncle sam to discredit anyone who disagreed with it.
I am one hundred percent in support of private players like Tata and Mahindra coming forward but I also respect DRDO and support it for all good it has done. You can keep b******g about DRDO but may I ask what YOU have done for India? Or your duty limited to flinging crap at people who are actually doing something for India. Finding fault is easy one can find faults in even god but actually contributing something is a hell lot more difficult.

Robin said...

well more DRDO bashing. given the peanuts that DRDO gets for its projects,it has done an adequate job.The simple fact has irked foreign arms fans.But soon even they won'tbe able to defend the millions wasted in foriegn maal.

Divahar P. said...

Several people are still blind to truth. They will follow critics of DRDO at every opportunity like sheep. They forget how vested interests are morphing the truth. Every project that DRDO completes results in billions of $$$ lost to foreigners. We are consumers and the biggest ones at that. Remember this. The Military-Industrial complex of USA is so powerful that it has been known to influence war decisions. Now add the fact that several of news channels are USA funded and you get the picture. These smear campaign through audit reports that are not even completed show how desperately they are trying to destroy the image of DRDO.
BTW Shiv how was your recent travel to Boeing facilities in USA? Fruitful?

Anonymous said...

पिराईवेट कम्पनियाँ भी दूध की धुली नहीं हैं. टेलीकाम में ही देख लो. मोबाईल कम्पनियाँ कैसे थूक लगाती हैं. यहाँ तो डंडा होना चाहिये सबके. और ऊपर से हो तो नीचे तक सब सुधर जायेंगे. बेनामी ओरिजिनल.

Anonymous said...

@Chola "What role is it going to perform ??"
Light Multirole fighter.

"Gate guardian duties at Air HQ Delhi??"
No. You want that?


"The sooner IAF relegates the Tejas to the role of an operational lead in flight trainer fighter before pilots move into SU30MKI/Rafale/FGFA the better"
We can't have thousand fifth gen fighters. Not in near future anyway. Tejas is ideal for support role.

"DRDO needs to straight away gets its resources base to developing the AMCA with fifth generational stealth platform technologies with the aim of having the first AMCA prototype flying before 2018 with operational deployment by 2025."
I AGREE with you 100%. If even before 2018 then even better. Lets keep our fingers crossed.

I would like to add one thing. You said Arjun is getting less order while Tejas is getting more. Answer to both is same - Threat Perception. Against Pakistan's Alk-Khalids even T-90s are more than enough thus army is trying to cut its costs. Had Pakistan procured Abrams or, god forbid, Leopard-2 A7+ then we will be making Arjun Mk-2 left and right.
Similarly due to Pakistan's over-reliance on Jf-17, our Tejas becomes a good and cost effective counter. If Pakistan were to mass induct (cough*receive in donation*cough) F-18 then we will be moving to larger Rafale/Su-30-Mki/T-50 order.

from NZ with love said...

hey check this out ppl....

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/hyperbola//2012/08/indias-unmanned-mars-mission-a.html

Anonymous said...

@ Anuj Kumar. U are high on drugs.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 10:16 Yeah I agree. We will not "Lliberate" Pakistan. We will be "Reacquiring" it. That is ofcourse if they dont destroy themselves first...

Vikram Sharma said...

Hi Shiv,

Thanks for posting the DRDO side of story fully. Its sad and disheartening to see how the foreign paid media goes to bad mouth the Indian scientists who work their A$$es out to make india self sufficent in Deffense field. Majority of these people can get decent salaries in any foreign organization however they chose to stick around because of the love they have for mother India. Shame on the Media...

regards,
Vikram

H said...

Shiv

How much did the Americans pay you to publish this?

Cheers!
H

prodyut said...

The DRDO riposte seems to focus on what PROCEDURAL errors have happened or PROCEDURAL norms were broken.

I would have been happier if DRDO had rebutted by saying the report was rubbish and the very likely ( for the nth time?)dates are .....

Unfortunately in the Gubmint Agencies much store is set on "High Administrative Abilities" which is a slick phrase to describe someone who has the Rule book for a brain.

As regards poster saccusing others of being "unpatriotic": When I was younger I was told Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. Now,older, I, with regret, believe it.Who are the scoundrels- those who criticize ENDLESS delays and non performance or those who have allowed things to slide? Who were the people-it cannot be everyone in the Bureaucracy- who first watered down the Rama Rao Committee report and now it seems to have been quietly shelved. Who allowed these projects to continue for decades without decisive management intervention when the yellow signals began to glow?

Anonymous said...

Dear Shiv
Like your blog its compresive but such news is not appriciated, here we are taking about people efforts and their lifes work and they are not mere remakeing the stuff in huge number, they are developing products and technologies to manufacture same and bitter truth development take time and any product or technology is most frigile in development stage we have completed some milestone and will find some in near future but bottom line will be we will be self reliant and sustanable. we shall not pay attention to such irresponsiable remarks to some internationally guided media as they are mort hurt that parent countary lost some deal against Indian indegeneous programs......

Raj said...

i did my mtech project at DRDO.. trust me, this report isnt far off... the baboodom there is unlike anywhere else.

it matters little whether you believe me or not, just telling you what i saw for 3 months

Jack said...

@ Sents: Regarding the land allocated by Sri Lanka to China...well they approached India first and we were dumb enough to reject the offer...it would have given us immense strategic benefits in the Indian ocean. It is similar to the the dumb decision taken Indian govt not to work with BAE to work to developing fighter aircrafts when they offered.

Regrading the DRDO...nobody else can speak better than someone who have worked there....it has a strong South Indian lobby. It is hard to get selected of you aren't a South Indian to get in and even if you manage to...you and your work both will be ignored. I do not mean to be offensive to anybody but its a fact. If things are to change in DRDO this lobby system and "babu" attitude should be changed.

Noah Webster said...

this blog is very informative for me....its a great work from ur side....thanks and congrats...
Air Quality Testing
Compressed Air in Pakistan
Air Audit services

Samuel Diaw said...

Hah! Just jealous people bitching around; all of DRDO's projects are on shoestring budgets - LCA MK1 & MK2 project is less than 700usd Million dollars! Take a look at DoD of USA F-35 project- already spent around 700usd BILLION dollars and still not fit for deployment..