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Panel Formed For ‘Restructuring And Redefining’ Role Of DRDO

The Ministry of Defence in India has taken a significant decision to undertake a comprehensive revamp of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Long recognized for its delayed projects and cost overruns, the DRDO is now set to undergo a transformation to enhance its technological advancements beyond the missile program.

Revitalizing DRDO: Addressing Concerns and Charting a New Course

This initiative comes after persistent concerns expressed by various stakeholders, including the armed services, regarding the organization’s efficiency and effectiveness. To spearhead this transformation, a nine-member committee has been formed, bringing together experts from the defence sector, industry, and academia.

The committee’s task is to restructure and redefine the DRDO’s role, foster collaborations with foreign entities, attract and retain top-tier talent, and streamline its research efforts. The newly appointed committee will be led by K. Vijay Raghavan, former Principal Scientific Advisor to the government.

Key Objectives of the Committee: Transforming DRDO for Future Excellence

Restructuring and Redefining DRDO’s Role: The committee is entrusted with proposing a revamped structure for the DRDO that aligns with contemporary defence research needs. This involves revisiting the organization’s priorities, resource allocation, and operational processes.

Attracting and Retaining High-Quality Manpower: A major challenge the DRDO faces is the retention of skilled personnel. The committee will devise strategies to attract top talent and create an environment conducive to innovation and research excellence.

Enhancing Collaboration with Foreign Experts and Entities: The committee will explore mechanisms to foster international collaborations, allowing the DRDO to tap into global expertise and technological advancements. This step could accelerate research and development processes.

Rationalizing Laboratories: The DRDO’s vast network of over 50 laboratories across India will undergo a rationalization process. The committee will recommend ways to optimize resources and enhance collaboration between various research units.

Necessity for Revamp

The need for revamping the DRDO has been recognized by the government for some time. While the organization has demonstrated success in missile development, it has struggled to deliver technologically contemporary platforms and capabilities for the armed forces across various domains. Projects related to tanks, fighter aircraft, assault rifles, naval systems, communication, and unmanned aerial vehicles have encountered significant delays, leading to dissatisfaction among the armed services.

Addressing Critical Challenges: Transitioning DRDO’s Prototypes into Effective Military Solutions

Previous expert evaluations have underscored a significant issue with DRDO’s emphasis on presenting proof-of-concept prototypes, lacking a well-defined plan for large-scale manufacturing and seamless integration into military endeavors. This strategy has impeded the prompt incorporation of vital technologies into operations.

Furthermore, despite recommendations from several committees like Kelkar, Kargil, and Rama Rao in the past, the execution of these suggestions has been constrained. The overhaul of DRDO is seen as an indispensable stride towards tackling these persistent concerns.


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