Updated: August 28, 2021 7:09:46 am
There is a lot of interest among young students to pursue defence research, technology and allied studies in the country in recent years, said Dr G Satheesh Reddy, chairman of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), on Friday.
Reddy was speaking on the sidelines of the launch of a one-year post-graduate diploma in Defence Technologies, jointly conducted with the Department of Defence and Strategic Studies, Savitribai Phule Pune University.
Starting this year, DRDO and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) have also launched an M.Tech programme in Defence Technologies. So far, 42 engineering institutes have decided to offer this two-year course.
“Compared to a few years ago, when most students opted for Information Technology and Communication, there is a lot of interest shown by students in pursuing defence studies and research. With the constant push for ‘Make in India’, there is now an atmosphere… wherein a lot of defence technology, industries and start-ups are being developed, making students keen on this subject,” said Reddy.
The PGD offered by SPPU will have a student intake capacity of 40, all of whom will be selected on merit following an entrance test. The course, open for all science graduates including engineers, is expected to start some time in October.
On the changing trend and the new-found attraction towards pursuing defence as an academic subject, Reddy, who is also the secretary of the Department of Defence and R&D, said, “Defence technology as a subject was not being taught anywhere. The idea of introducing the M.Tech course is to develop required skillsets in students who can then opt either for R&D, industry or design and development, thus creating… skilled manpower and eco-system. With over 40 institutes rolling out the M.Tech course within a very short span of its announcement, this itself is an indication, and it would not have been possible unless there was interest shown by the students.”
With growing emphasis on indigenously-developed materials and technology for defence purposes, the DRDO plans to fund 500 PhD scholars solely for defence-related research. Over 300 institutions and eight Centres of Excellence at various national institutes are also working on DRDO sponsored projects, which are futuristic in nature.
“The defence sector and the industry have taken a quantum jump… academia has played a major role in this,” Reddy said.
Sharing the growing numbers, the DRDO chairman said that in India, at present, there are more than 2,000 industries involved in tier I and II tasks — in developing systems and subsystems for the defence sector. In addition, there are over 10,000 industries working in tier III — supplying components and required parts. There are also many start-ups which are now working on defence technologies.
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