Wednesday, May 27th, 2020

“I would like to flag one issue for the top brass of DRDO : AK Antony

INVC,, Delhi,, The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony has called upon the DRDO top brass to nurture talent and ensure “fairness at all levels” in order to realise the organisation’s goals. “I would like to flag one issue for the top brass of DRDO – paying undivided attention to and effective management of human resources,” Shri Antony said, addressing the 35th Directors’ Conference of the DRDO here today. “No amount of technology and financial resources can ever match the vibrancy of human resource. Effective HR policies are the key to a dynamic, vibrant and futuristic organization. I call upon CCR&Ds, Directors and senior scientists in charge of laboratories to lead by example and maintain transparency and fairness at all levels, even in routine administrative matters. DRDO personnel at all levels must be given equal opportunities in matters pertaining to career progression and training,” he added. Shri Antony called upon the DRDO top brass to create a “dynamic work environment.” “We want to retain and attract the vast pool of talent, but the Government’s efforts must be backed up by genuine support so that its intentions are translated into reality at the ground level. The onus clearly lies on the top hierarchy of DRDO to create and sustain a creative, positive, vibrant and dynamic work environment, where the other levels of personnel feel motivated to give off their best and at the same time, their reasonable expectations are fully met,” he said. Shri Antony said though the DRDO has developed “spin-off” products that have greatly benefitted the civil society, it must not lose sight of its prime objectives. “Without discouraging such efforts, I would like to add in the same vein that such spin-off benefits must not be allowed to cloud the vision of DRDO. It must strongly focus its energy and resources on developing weapon systems and adequate high-end critical defence technologies for our Armed Forces,” he said. Lauding the DRDO’s indigenous missile development programme, Shri Antony said that the country needs missiles that can reach 5,000 kms and a reliable missile defence system. “India has been able to reach an appreciable level of competence in missile technologies, with a reach capability up to 3,500 kilometers. Now, DRDO is developing Agni missile, with a capacity to reach 5,000 kilometers. DRDO must also speed up the developmental trials and induction of Interceptor Missile for a credible Ballistic Missile Defence,” he said. Shri Antony cautioned against delays in vital weapons projects that affected the operational preparedness of the Armed Forces. “Time and cost overruns continue to be a matter of concern. While whole-heartedly appreciating DRDO, I have to give the other side of picture too. I am conveying the concerns of our Armed Forces. Such delays not only invite criticism, but also have an adverse impact the operational preparedness of our Armed Forces,” he said. The Defence Minister stressed on the need for partnership between DRDO and the Armed Forces. “It is the collective duty of the Defence Industry, Armed Forces and the scientific fraternity to hold regular and healthy interactions among themselves to understand each other’s concerns and requirements in a better way… As the technology hub for our Armed Forces and the nation, DRDO needs to enhance the frequency of its interaction with all the concerned S&T departments, as well as the end user – our Armed Forces. Air Chief used a phrase – ‘Partner’, it is a correct term. But they (Armed Forces) are partners, as well as ‘Users’,” Shri Antony said. Pointing out that the unconventional warfare and low-intensity conflicts have emerged as the new threats, the Defence Minister said that the requirements of the soldier deployed in counter-insurgency operations and jungle warfare, including his mental health, must be met. “I have recently asked one of the life science laboratories of DRDO to undertake extensive psychological research to optimize the stress profile and enhance the mental health of soldiers. The objective of this exercise is to further reduce the incidents of suicides and fratricides among soldiers. The earlier steps have resulted in a substantial reduction of such incidents and resulted in control and management of such aberrations in mental behaviour. Fratricides are more or less, under control,” Shri Antony said. Addressing the gathering Shri Satpalji Maharaj, Chairman, Standing Committee of Parliament on Defence, strongly advocated that the DRDO’s budget should be raised to 15 percent of the Defence Budget, at par with some of the neighbouring countries. He also supported the DRDO staff’s demand to implement the sort of incentives that have been advanced to similar organisations like the ISRO. In his address Dr. Vijay Kumar Saraswat, Scientific Advisor to Raksha Mantri, said that after the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, the DRDO will take up the design of Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) in the financial year 2011-12. The Chief of Air Staff and Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee, Air Chief Marshal PV Naik, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma and the Defence Secretary Shri Pradeep Kumar also spoke on the occasion.

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