NEW DELHI: In a gentle nudge to the DRDO, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday asked the nation’s premier defence R&D agency to complete its projects well within the deadlines and to focus on becoming the world’s best institution by pioneering futuristic military technologies. Modi also gave new directions to the DRDO to boost its functioning and to carry out a talent search for young, scientific minds from outside its laboratories.
Speaking to the military scientists here after presenting the DRDO awards to some of the best brains, Modi said the world and warfare were undergoing changes at a rapid pace and all walks of life, including defence, was now driven by technology. In such a scenario, the DRDO scientists must always be two steps ahead of time and should be the pioneers of futuristic defence technologies, much before other nations of the world, he told them.
The DRDO has to speed up its programmes to keep pace with the world, where technology has become the key driver of defence products, he said, in the presence of Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, the armed forces chiefs and the DRDO Director General. On July 13, Jaitley had told Parliament that at least 10 major projects of the DRDO were delayed. Modi also set three other new directions for the DRDO to focus on in the coming years. He said the DRDO should earmark at least five of its 50-odd laboratories, where only young scientists below 35 years will work in all positions and they should be the decision-makers.
The Prime Minister also asked the DRDO to establish a mechanism for obtaining user feedback and suggestions for improvement of made-in-India weapons. Modi said the DRDO should forge partnerships with universities and other scientific academic institutions to loan senior scientists to interact with the students for a year. Jaitley assured the DRDO chief that his point that there was need for an annual intake of 300 young scientists in the DRDO.