Govt sits on DRDO revamp plan

The decision to grant service extensions to two top DRDO scientists flies in the face of the recommendations of the first-ever external review report....

Written by Manu Pubby | New Delhi | Published:February 27, 2009 2:18 am

The decision to grant service extensions to two top DRDO scientists flies in the face of the recommendations of the first-ever external review report of the research body that was carried out last year.

The Rama Rao Committee had recommended the setting up of a Defence Technology Commission,a younger age profile for scientists,more involvement of the organisation in defence procurements,setting up of a services interaction group for coordination with the armed forces,more foreign collaborations,a dedicated research board,restructuring of labs and a commercial arm of the research body.

As reported by The Indian Express in April last year,a Cabinet note was to be moved to implement the restructuring of the organisation on the basis of the P Rama Rao report. However,a year after the report was submitted,the Government is yet to move on implementing the revamp.

The Cabinet note has got stuck due to inter-departmental consultations on the roadmap to be followed for the revamp of the research body. A decision to move the note now has to be taken by Defence Minister A K Antony.

The report had noted that the major cause of delays and failures was DRDO’s tendency to take up a large number of projects in excess of what it could handle. It had said inadequate project planning resulted in ‘overambitious’ time and cost targets.

Inadequate human resource management and ‘over centralisation’ of authority by the research body were also identified as major loopholes in the organisation. The committee had brought out that the main challenge in front of DRDO was to ‘regain trust’ of the armed forces.

It called for a major change in human resource management and has recommended that DRDO should ‘substantially’ increase allocation to HR from the current share of 18 per cent of the total budget. It has also asked the body to appoint an eminent HR specialist to draw up a roadmap for restructuring its workforce.

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