Parliamentary Committee Recommends “Complete Revamp” of DRDO

Defence Industry

New Delhi: There is need for a “complete revamp” of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and involvement of the private sector and academic institutions for its resurgence and chalking out a plan to reduce dependence on foreign vendors for military hardware, a Parliamentary panel has recommended.

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In its recommendations tabled in Parliament, the Standing Committee on Defence chaired by former Minister and BJP MP from Odisha Jual Oram recommended a complete revamp and re-orientation of DRDO functions and according to a release “one of the major initiatives suggested by the committee in this regard was to facilitate the active involvement of the private sector, universities, IITs and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), which could play a major role in the resurgence of DRDO.”

It also recommended that an environment might be created where the public sector and the private sector could work in collaboration so that the research and development activities could be synergised and better coordination achieved.

Noting that dependence on foreign vendors for military hardware has been rising all these years, the Committee said the Defence Ministry should “chalk out a plan in consultation with the services, Indian industry, Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), educational institutes and other stakeholders to reduce this dependence.”

The rising reliance on foreign vendors for hardware required by defence forces has led to very little procurement from the Indian sources, it said.

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“This led to very little procurement from the Indian sources as it is inversely proportional to procurement from foreign vendors and would affect our indigenous industry in long run,” the Committee noted.

The committee also felt that a level-playing field needs to be provided to the Indian private industry and they might be allowed to tie up with foreign manufacturers to develop certain equipment based on the requirements of users.

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