Tuesday, January 31, 2023
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Army wants DRDO to take in more of its personnel on deputation, give them more access

Army officers are unhappy with DRDO’s speed of development, and want more of their own personnel to work with it and make the process streamlined.

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New Delhi: The Army has asked the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to take in more uniformed personnel on deputation and to give specific roles to them as it focuses on indigenous weapons and cutting down on imports.

The Army currently sends its personnel on deputation to help the DRDO with projects specified for the force, as does the Navy. While the exact number of Army personnel on DRDO deputation is not known, the Navy currently has about 40 personnel deputed there.

“We currently have some small deployment to the DRDO, but we want them to take in a higher number of personnel. Also, these personnel should be given access to the actual labs where research and design work is being carried out,” a senior Army officer told ThePrint.

The officer said the deputed personnel are often not given the access needed to ensure that the Army and the DRDO are on the same page.

Another officer made a caustic remark about the situation, saying the deputed personnel end up spending more time in the mess than in actual labs.

Also read: To stop relying on imported weapons, govt must create separate MoD for production, rejig DRDO

Incubation period too long

While the armed forces are willing to look at indigenous products, sources said the DRDO’s incubation period was just too long.

“The time taken by the DRDO on some products is just too much. There needs to be a shorter incubation period. Many times, the forces have demanded a certain product, and by the time it comes out, it is more or less outdated, technology-wise,” a source said.

The forces are now willing to work closely with research firms to ensure that the process can be faster and more streamlined.

An example of this was the appointment of a Major General as the chief executive officer (CEO) of the Korwa Ordnance Factory in Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi district, which will manufacture AK-203 assault rifles for the military under an Indo-Russian joint venture. The experiment has been conducted to see if things can improve if armed forces personnel take charge of their key projects.

Also read: Indian Army tanks now have sharper night vision equipment developed by DRDO

DRDO’s view

Asked about the situation, DRDO sources said there are about 100 uniformed personnel on deputation, and the organisation has no issue in inducting more. Sources also denied the charge of limited access, saying the services and the DRDO are “on board” on all projects.

A source said uniformed personnel have been an integral part of DRDO, and a serving Major General is actually the director of an important lab, adding that uniformed personnel are given responsibility as per suitability.

Push to cut down imports

The three services are trying to cut down imports to follow the Narendra Modi government’s ‘Make in India’ push.

Speaking at a DRDO seminar this week, Army chief Gen. Bipin Rawat had pitched for greater inclusion of indigenous technology in the armed forces, and asserted that India would fight and win the next war with home-grown solutions.

Rawat and Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh attended the launch of the Indigenous Defence Equipment Exporters Association in New Delhi Friday. Rawat said numerous initiatives had been taken over the past several years to indigenise the defence sector. “We remain committed to the ethos of indigenisation,” he said.

Also read: DRDO test-fires futuristic missile tech, but its success is in doubt


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  1. 30 0
    Percent of designers and 60percent of admin technical officers and staff including 75percent of trials team must be uniform ranks .Initially taken on 3 to 5 years deputetions the go getters and result oriented be permanently absorbed and allowed to retain their ranks and uniforms .Drdo is known for hounding out achievers and naval Cmdr Paulraj who designed a world class Apsoh sonar was not allowed to work by Drdo top officers.

  2. DRDO should be more interlinked with our defence forces on any new requirement, design and specs. Enabling our forces to meet their requirements on the field when the operate. Instead of having uniformed personnel from the Army and Navy like school kids,
    To be professional and focus more on the road to Make in India. DRDO should interact and be more open towards our armed forces in their capabilities and requirements.. Iaj Hind.

  3. Instead of directly involving the Army technocrats it will be better to give directions and requirements to DRDO and then follow up with the progress to check if it meets the quality, time and cost parameters. No use wasting resources for a weapon which is available cheaply in the market, in a lesser time and of a better quality.

  4. No doubt the deputing army personnel may be acting good catalyst between two organisation for safety and security of country. But there is apprehension for civilian scientists, technocrats and supporting staff to digest uniform personnel, which may causes lot of controversies thus leading to hampher ongoing and future classified projects. So it is better instead of deputing, joint projects should be initiated. In addition, the chances of leakage of any secret and classified information pertaining to army through civilian staff publically or foreign country(s), if any be curbed. As reported earliers that civilian(s) of DRDO was/were accused for it. Jai Hind.

  5. Armed forces have since decades sending officers in uniform to institutes of higher learning like IITs. It shows army forces established zeel and culture for higher education and research. It is a logical next if more personel from armed forces are deputed in DRDO.

    DRDO has excellent pool of scientific man power. However, development of products and technologies require modern ways of management of research. There is serious need to infuse modern way of management and cooperative research in DRDO.

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