Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday made a strong pitch for promoting young talent in the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), asking it to earmark five laboratories for scientists “below 35 years”.
“The country has new talent. Can we dedicate five labs to people below the age of 35 years? Why not take a risk? Let the ultimate decisions be taken by the people in these labs, by these people,” said Modi at a DRDO awards function.
Earlier in his speech, DRDO chief Avinash Chander drew attention to the decline in young talent.
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Modi also asked the DRDO, which is often criticised for time and cost overruns, to “develop before time”. “The biggest challenge for DRDO is how to work before time. If the world is going to (develop) by 2020, can we be ready by 2018? We must visualise which way the world is going to go. It is for DRDO to decide whether it wants to respond or set the agenda… The world will not wait for us. We must work before time. We have the potential,” he said.
Describing scientists as “rishis” working in solitude for the development of the nation, Modi called for increased interactions between them and soldiers. He said such interactions would motivate the jawans to guard the borders and ensure a flow of practical ideas from the jawans to the scientists.
“Let the development by DRDO bring comfort in the routine lives of these jawans,” said Modi, besides calling for a mechanism to attach DRDO scientists with universities to inspire the youth.
Among the others who attended the function were Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh.