Collaborate with private players: Parrikar to DRDO

In a key departure from past practices, the defence ministry wants the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to collaborate with private players for future projects.

The direction to DRDO has come from the very top – defence minister Manohar Parrikar himself.

DRDO is the premier research and development organization of the country that works on various areas of military technology.

The defence minister apparently rued the fact that the indigenously-built heavyweight anti-submarine torpedo Varunastra, that was successfully inducted in the Indian Navy on Wednesday, did not come at par with the
quality expectation of the navy.

Parrikar said that DRDO should rope in a private company for future projects so that there is a good competition.

“Getting in private players to work along with DRDO is an excellent thing, which should have been implemented long back. It not only brings the best minds into crucial projects, but also helps with cutting edge technology,
professionalism and a competitive spirit among those involved,” said a defence expert.

“If the private sector is allowed to play larger role, it would only help the country become less reliant on defence imports. This would be a big boost to the defence sector,” said an official.

Parrikar also directed the DRDO not to have a hands-off approach now that they have developed the torpedo, and handed over the technology to BDL for production.

“You cannot be a hospital where a child is born. You will have to stay along at least till the child is able to stand up and run around,” Parrikar said as he suggested placing a small DRDO team with state-run BDL for a limited period.

Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) works under Department of Defence Research and Development of Ministry of Defence. The premier organization works in various areas of military technology which include aeronautics, armaments, combat vehicles, electronics, instrumentation engineering systems, missiles, materials, naval systems, advanced computing, simulation and life sciences.

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