give a major boost to Defence Research in the country and to ensure
effective participation of the private sector in Defence technology,
the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony today approved a series of
measures that will transform and revitalise the Defence Research and
Development Organisation (DRDO) – in form and substance.
The key measures include the
establishment of a Defence Technology Commission with the Defence
Minister as its Chairman, de-centralisation of DRDO management,
making DRDO a leaner organisation by merging some of the DRDO
laboratories with other public funded institutions with similar
discipline, interest and administrative system, engagement of an
eminent Human Resource (HR) expert as consultant to revamp the
entire HR structure of DRDO and establishment of a commercial arm of
DRDO. The decisions also include continuation of Aeronautical
Development Agency (ADA) for design and development of combat
aircraft, continuation of the Kaveri aero-engine programme,
development of MBT Arjun Mk-II and Akash Mk-II by DRDO and selection
of industry partners by DRDO through a transparent process by
evolving a suitable mechanism.
It may be recalled that the
Government had set up a committee on February 08, 2007, chaired by
Former Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Dr. P Rama
Rao to review and suggest measures to improve the functioning of
DRDO. The committee was mandated through its terms of reference to
review the present organisational structure and to recommend
necessary changes in the institutional, managerial, administrative
and financial structures for improving the functioning of DRDO. The
Committee, after year – long deliberations, submitted its report to
the Government on February 07, 2008.
The recommendations of the Rama Rao
Committee together with DRDO's views and the report were extensively
deliberated upon by the three Services and the Defence Ministry. The
Defence Minister Shri Antony had subsequently constituted a
committee on June 25, 2009 under the Chairmanship of the Defence
Secretary, to consider the responses and the suggestions made by
various stakeholders on the recommendations of the Rama Rao
Committee and to arrive at a set of acceptable recommendations. The
committee chaired by the Defence Secretary met on five occasions and
gave its recommendations to the Defence Minister.
Defence Technology Commission
A new Defence Technology Commission
will now be established with the Defence Minister as its Chairman
and supported by a Secretariat located at DRDO Headquarters.
Decentralisation of DRDO Management
The decentralisation of DRDO
management will be achieved through formation of technology domain
based centres or clusters of laboratories headed by Directors
General. Seven centres will be created based on functionalities and
technology domains. It will be the responsibility of the Directors
General to ensure timely execution of major programmes and
encouragement of research in laboratories. DRDO will also ensure
full autonomy to all laboratories as far as S&T initiatives are
concerned. While empowering the Directors of the laboratories, DRDO
will put in a mechanism in place to ensure the accountability of the
One of the major recommendations of
the Rama Rao Committee was to make DRDO leaner by merging some of
its laboratories with other public funded institutions have similar
discipline, interests and administrative systems. Some of these
recommendations of the Committee have been accepted by the Defence
Restructuring of DRDO
The present Director General of DRDO
will be redesignated as Chairman, DRDO. Directors General at centres
and CCsR&D at Headquarters will report to Chairman, DRDO, who would
be the head of the organisation. The Chairman will head the DRDO
Management Council having seven Directors General and four CCsR&D at
Headquarters and Additional Financial Advisor (R&D) as members.
Financial Advisors at the appropriate levels would report to
Directors General / Lab Directors to ensure accountability.
Revamping of DRDO's HR Structure
DRDO will now hire an eminent HR
expert as Consultant to revamp the whole HR structure. The
Consultant will be entrusted with the task to examine issues such as
selection and tenure of Directors and avenues for the induction of
talented persons, independently spotted by the Lab Directors and the
heads of centres, including filling up of wastage vacancies.
It has also been decided that the
budget for rejuvenating Research may reach 5 percent of DRDO budget
in a period of three years.
Commercial Arm of DRDO
A new Commercial Arm of DRDO would be
created by DRDO as a Private Limited Company with a seed capital of
about Rs. 2 crores. The commercial arm would deal only with the
spin-off products and technologies meant for civilian use. It will
not take up any manufacturing activity. For any production activity
the services of public or private sector industry will be utilised.
It has also been decided that ADA
will continue to perform its role of design and development of
aircraft and DRDO to continue with the Kaveri Aero-Engine Programme.
DRDO will also take up the development of MBT Arjun Mk-II and Mk-II
version of Akash. DRDO will also select industry partners through a
transparent process by evolving a suitable mechanism.
Sitanshu Kar / RAJ